Observe the Stars in the Alps

Check out these great tips for stargazing in the Alps. After an educational hike, a tour of the interferometer on the plateau de Bure, a night in an observatory, or at a unique guesthouse, the sky will hold no more secrets for you!

Head in the Stars

According to the 2015 map of light pollution in France, the night sky in the Alps is the most pure. How fortunate that two Hautes-Alpes observatories open their doors for a night to groups of amateur astronomers. There is the Les Baronnies Provençales, in Moydans, in the parc naturel régional of the same name. And Astroqueyras at Saint-Véran, a village perched at an altitude of 2042 metres at the centre of the Parc Naturel Régional du Queyras. Also in Saint-Véran, the Maison du Soleil offers guided tours for children and adults with observations of the sun, scientific explanations, experiments and workshops.

Voir cette publication sur Instagram

Une publication partagée par jdcastellnou (@jdcastellnou) le

Hike to the Planets

From the village of Valberg, in the Alpes-Maritimes, take a trip to the stars! The Planetary Trail, an educational hike of about four and a half hours, simulates a path through the stars of the solar system, reproduced on a scale of 1/1,000,000. Punctuated by a series of monoliths and astronomy-related sculptures, this walk will take you around the backwoods and across a panoramic crossing.

Walks, hikes, and outings in the Alps

Stay in an Original Guesthouse

12 km from Briançon and 1530 metres high, on the edge of the Parc National des Écrins, Le Pas du Loup chalet, owned by Laurence and Bernard, offers an original and poetic experience. Guesthouse and restaurant, the chalet also serves as an observatory: its terrace houses a telescope and has a hydraulic retractable roof! You can observe the stars from the outdoor bedroom La Tête Dans les Étoiles (Head in the Stars) or the Éphémère bedroom, where you’ll spend the night in a comfy round bed contemplating the sky …

Go Back to the Future at The Plateau de Bure

It’s a science-fiction setting, a landscape of lunar limestone that sprouts strange giant steel machines. From the Plateau de Bure, at a height of 2550 metres, at the heart of the Massif du Devoluy, six parabolic antennae constantly observe the universe. Installed by Iram (Institut de Radioastronomie Millimétrique), this set of steel mushrooms that are 15 metres in diameter, known as an interferometer, studies the birth of stars and the development of galaxies. But getting to this hotbed of astronomy is hard work! Head off for a « small » 3-hour-hike on the GR14 starting from the cable car at the Pic de Bure – preferably between May and October.