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Embrun

Where water and mountains meet in the Hautes-Alpes

Feel your spirits soar as you take to the dizzying heights or revel in a dip in refreshing turquoise waters. Welcome to the peaceful alpine summits, the picture-postcard lake, and the religious heritage of Embrun!

Solid as a rock

Keep your eyes on the horizon

Perched on a rock at an altitude of 870 metres, Embrun stands over the Durance river. You’ll definitely want to head to the viewpoint to admire the vistas over Mont Orel, Mont Méale and the Pic du Morgon. Descend from your little cloud to enjoy a stroll in Jardin de l’Archevêché set under the rock, dotted with pretty flower beds and romantic benches. This peaceful address is a favourite haunt for local families. A walkway connects the garden to a footpath, where you can drink up the view a little longer. Thirsty for more? Head to the Mont Guillaume footpath, interspersed with a variety of viewpoints spanning the Durance and Ubaye valleys.

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Monumentally spiritual

Embrun: an ancient religious capital

A former episcopal city, Embrun still bears witness to its religious past. Don’t miss a visit to Cathédrale Notre-Dame-du-Réa, a jewel of Gothic art and architecture, now a listed monument. Built in traditional Lombardy pink stone, the cathedral invites visitors on a voyage through the ages. A few hundred metres away, the Maison des Chanoines and Tour Brune, the ancient archbishops’ keep now converted into the Ecrins National Park exhibition centre, plunges us into the history of the town. If you’ve had your fill of hushed atmospheres, head to Place Barthelon in the lively old quarter, where terraces bedecked with parasols rub shoulders with market stalls. You can pick up a few bits for lunch here, have coffee or simply enjoy exploring.

 

Chilling on the lake

Grab a towel and head to Embrun-Plage

Nicknamed the « Nice of the Alps », Embrun offers a tempting cocktail of sunshine and turquoise waters. The banks of the Durance river and Embrun lake are little corners of paradise, perfect for tanning and bathing. Simply pick your favourite cove or stretch of river! Here, far from the madding crowds, you’ll come across seasoned fisherman patiently waiting for a carp to bite. If you’re visiting with kids, head to the AquaParc and its giant inflatable structures. And if you’re a (very) well-trained sports enthusiast, the town hosts the Embrunman competition – one of the world’s most challenging long-distance triathlons – every August. On the programme: night departure from the lake, cycling on Col d’Izoard, and a marathon with a 400-metre incline.

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