Great escapes in the Alps

A great escape in the Alps awaits you, one that touches a preserved and pure nature. Explore the rich historical heritage of these authentic Alpine towns and villages, each nestled in the most peaceful and magnificent landscapes.

Gap

Sports and a Lovely Village

Motor sports and aerial sports  – it’s all happening in Gap! The town is proud of the achievements of local lad, Sébastien Ogier, who shines at rally competitions. Located at the foot of the Southern Alps, Gap and its neighbour, Tallard, are also gateways to the sky: parachuting, paragliding, or ultra-light gliders. Let yourself be tempted by adventure – pure thrills are guaranteed! Upon arrival from the South, you will cross Gap to reach the snowy passes and ski resorts. Why not stop and go for a stroll? You will find a lively town centre, criss-crossed by small pedestrian streets. In short, a simple and authentic setting. Gap is definitely worth a detour. You might be surprised by its charm!

Sisteron

Between Exceptional Heritage and Panoramas

From the Route des Alpes, Sisteron pops up you as you round the bend. The Citadel dominates the town and the Durance from the top of its rock face. Perched where Provence meets the Alps, Sisteron has warm weather in the summer and Alpine temperatures in the winter. Enter the walls of the citadel and stroll through the little paved streets of the Old Town. Discover the small squares and Provençal fountains. Here you are at the heart of a scene of rare richness of heritage that faces an exceptional panorama over Provence and the Alps. Athletic types will appreciate the rock-climbing locations around the town. After your workout, take a break on a terrace to taste the famous Sisteron lamb, the local specialty.

Embrun

A Historical Wonderland

Nicknamed “the Little Nice of the Alps,” the town of Embrun, located near the Lac de Serre-Ponçon, looks down upon the Durance. It enjoys beautiful sunshine throughout the year. History and religious architecture enthusiasts will find magnificent buildings here, like the Cathédral Notre-Dame-du-Réal, or a bit further on, the abbaye de Boscodon, a masterpiece of Romanesque art. Families will thoroughly enjoy the lake, just 2 kilometres from the village, where a wide range of water activities can be enjoyed. ​Finally, the most athletic will head away from Embrun and towards the hiking trails. Or will take part in the legendary Embrunman, a long-distance triathlon in August.

Briançon

A Remarkable Heritage

The highest town in Europe after Davos, Switzerland, Briançon soars at a height of 1326 metres. It is located at the heart of the Southern Alps, where five valleys meet: Durance, Clarée, Guisane, Cerveyrette and Orceyrette. This strategic position has made it an important defensive site. Its fortifications, built in the Middle Ages and then strengthened by Vauban, are moreover classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Enter the stronghold to look at the monuments, frescoes and magnificent doors of carved wood. This abundance of treasures have entered Briançon into the prestigious group of “Cities and Areas of Art and History”.

 

Mont-Dauphin

Marvelous History and Light

It’s impossible to visit Briançon without popping over to Mont-Dauphin, located a bit further south. Another stronghold registered as a UNESCO World Heritage site​, the town is also the work of Vauban. Here, the climate is southern. The sun pierces through the purest blue sky, illuminating the village for a large part of the year. From the top of Mont-Dauphin’s walls, be dazzled by a unique panorama over the mountains of Le Queyras and the glaciers of the Massif des Écrins.

Barcelonnette

A Latino Atmosphere

In the 19th century, two brothers from Jausiers, near Barcelonnette, set themselves up in the textile trade in Mexico. The town’s first ties with Mexico had been woven. And they will never be broken, as shown by the beautiful villas with colourful facades that you’ll admire as you walk around the town centre. Want some fresh air? Clamber the hiking trails to reach the surrounding summits, like the Cîme de la Bonette of the Vallée de l’Ubaye, which peaks at a height of 2,802 metres. On foot or by car, you are on the highest – and one of the most spectacular! – of European roads. Before you leave, fill up on local products: fumeton (lamb jerky), génépi (herbal liqueur) and honey.