Vue sur Barcelonnette enneigé, dans la Vallée de l'Ubaye, dans les Alpes de Haute Provence

Barcelonnette: Mexican charm in the Alps

Famous for its Mexican villas–leftover from the 19th-century migration of Ubayens across the Atlantic–Barcelonnette is a vibrant, welcoming town to discover in every season. At the crossroads of winter ski resorts, the village buzzes with jazz and traditional festivals in the summer.

Voyage to the heart of Alpine charm

Colours, café terraces and pedestrian lanes

Set under the high peaks of the Ubaye valley, Barcelonnette, the valley’s capital, positively overflows with charm in every season. As soon as Spring comes around, locals and visitors alike enjoy sipping a glass or two on the terrace of the many cafés and restaurants on Place Manuel, the town’s coolest hangout. When night falls it’s time for a concert – the summer programme is packed – or stroll through the town centre’s pretty pedestrian lanes. In winter, Barcelonnette is an ideal base for skiers and snowboarders, with no less than four ski resorts totalling 280 km of slopes just a 10-minute ride away.

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Une publication partagée par Barcelonnette (@barcelonnette_officiel) le

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The extraordinary Mexican saga

Barcelonnette and its villas

A stroll around Barcelonnette promises a full immersion in a mesmerizing world where Alpine identity embraces the colours, style and warmth of Mexico. Mexican villas flourished here in the late 19th century. Stop off to admire the Villa Bleue and its stained-glass window representing the Mexican textile factories of its former owner. Barcelonnette’s Mexican villas tell the truly fascinating story of the town’s historic penchant for commerce. It all started in 1805 when Marc-Antoine Arnaud, a local silk weaver, opened a fabric shop in Mexico. 40 years later he returned to his country, with his pockets well lined… The people of Ubaye subsequently flocked to Mexico to make their fortune – they commissioned the luxurious Mexican villas you can still see today on their return.

Celebrating Mexico

Mexican & Latin American fairs in Barcelonnette

Harbouring a fascinating collection of photos, commercial correspondence, clothing, Aztec statues and Mexican modern art, the Musée de la Vallée testifies to the unbreakable ties that bind Barcelonnette and Mexico. Every August, the town pulsates to the beat of Mexican and Latin American music for an entire week in a wonderfully festive celebration of cross-cultures, with highlights including street concerts, processions and creative workshops. In July, the town welcome the « Festival des Enfants du Jazz », fronting famous names and young talents alike. Barcelonnette truly is a never-ending story…