Between Provence and the mountains, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence is renowned for its unspoiled landscapes, its many characterful villages and its mountain activities. Several towns have come to structure and energize this essentially rural territory. Forcalquier, former capital of the Counts of Provence, still watches recklessly over Haute-Provence. About 40 kilometers to the northeast, Digne-les-Bains has become the administrative center of the department and a renowned tourist destination, at the heart of the Haute-Provence Geopark and close to the ski resorts. Manosque, in the Durance Valley, is the most populated town in the department.
This dynamic conurbation is also a gateway to the Verdon Natural Regional Park, partly located in Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. The ancient medieval city of Sisteron is still crowned by its powerful citadel overlooking the Durance, which once protected the Kingdom of France from the invaders. Further north, in the Ubaye Valley and the Mercantour National Park, Barcelonnette is home to many middle-class residences.