Pn Ecrins Randonnée T Biais
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Top 5 verdant walks in Écrins National Park

A genuine natural jewel, this vast ensemble of high mountains wears its name (which can be translated as jewellery case) well! This high mountain paradise overflows with natural fortresses standing shoulder to shoulder with glaciers, surrounded by vast expanses of meadows and alpine pastures. In summer, you’re likely to come across grazing sheep, cows and goats too – a real treat!

Refuge des Bans, a delightful family walk

This breathtakingly beautiful walk invites you and your clan to venture into a magnificent valley graced with an evocative name: Vallée de l’Onde (Valley of the Wave). You’ll find plenty of heartwarming animals to admire here too. Spanning 8.4 kilometres and lasting 3 hours, the walk leads to a welcoming refuge. As the park rangers will tell you, summer is the ideal time to observe the local chamois – they’ll be pleased to pose for a pic near the trail leading to the Refuge des Bans. An ode to nature, this haven of peace surrounded by high alpine summits soaring to over 3,000 metres – La Jocelme, Pic des Aupillous, Les Bans and more – is instilled with absolute tranquillity. Écrins National Park is a truly exceptional walking and hiking hotspot, promising plenty of delicious memories to take back home!

The refreshing Lac de la Douche

Get ready for a stunning succession of magnificent mountain scenery during this 2½-hour walk covering 8.2 kilometres, leading to the famous turquoise blue waters of Lac de la Douche. You may have already seen pictures of it, but the real deal is even better! After leaving the traditional hamlet of Casset, walk along the vast meadows where deer frolic at dawn, then cross the larch forest where you might be lucky enough to glimpse a chamois or two. In summer, the torrent gushing through the hollow of the valley offers hikers welcome refreshment. Ibex goats also enjoy quenching their thirst with the pure waters of this natural spring.

Take to the heights at Les Sources de la Romanche

Redolent with alpine perfumes, this delightful hike around La Meije promises a full immersion in the beauty of the park’s high mountains with a 4½-hour / 16.4-kilometre loop circling the foot of the Écrins giddiest peaks. This peaceful trail swathed in an alpine atmosphere allows you to get up close and personal with the temperamental torrent of La Romanche. The panoramic views at the source of the river invite walkers to relax awhile at the gateway to the remarkable Plate des Agneaux and lap up landscapes reminiscent of Heidi…

A feast for the eyes at La Quille du Laus

Slip into your walking shoes and head out on this marvellous hiking trail under refreshing beech and larch trees. The Balcon de l’Oussella loops covers 10.7 kilometres and takes about 6 hours to complete. After passing through old hayfields and tumble-down mountain chalets, the trail forms a balcony overlooking Réallon Valley: the views are fabulous and a great incentive to continue onwards and upwards. Just a bit more effort and you’ll arrive at Quille du Laus, featuring a large cairn built on the heights, set gazing over the deep gorge of Chargès torrent on one side and the little lake of Pré de Laus, nestling in the valley, to the other. Get ready to be astonished by the incredible views spanning Réallon and Serre-Ponçon lake.

Le Villard, between woods and mountains

Welcome to a walk through the underwoods, to the sound of black grouse mixed with the magical music of a bubbling river. What better way to get away from it all? You’ll be able to explore the pretty hamlet of Le Villard during this walk at the river’s edge, measuring around 10 kilometres there and back: a 3½-hour full immersion in local heritage and history and in particular that of the site’s ancient slate quarry. The pearl of this superb walk combining relaxation and discovery is Cascade de la Pissette waterfall, a haven of peace and genuine invitation to sit back, relax and recharge your batteries.

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