Set at the crossroads of France and Italy, the Via Alta offers an alluring combination of the past and the present, and of spiritual and sensual pleasures. Discover the Via Alta with our 5-stage trek.
Lac de Serre-Ponçon
Pénitents des Mées
From Montgenèvre to Briançon
Your trek on the Via Alta begins at the ski resort of Montgenèvre. Boasting 400 km of slopes, France’s oldest ski resort offers something for every taste. If you’re travelling as a couple, start with a relaxing moment at the Centre Balnéo et Spa Durancia and finish off the evening at one of the ski domain’s many restaurants. Visiting with the family? Head to the Au Pas de l’Ane farm, where Peggy and Ruddy grow organic food, aided and abetted by their donkeys. Your trek continues with a visit to Briançon. This UNESCO World Heritage Site boasts 300 days of sunshine a year, topped with an architectural heritage to remember.
Parc National des Écrins
It’s time to head to Parc National des Écrins for the second stage of your trek on the Via Alta. Lovers of untamed nature and wild landscapes will love the site’s impressive biodiversity and varied scenery. The park is also an endless source of inspiration for photography fans. Hop on a mountain bike, donkey or simply slip on your trainers to savour the “Grand Tour des Écrins” at your own pace. Last but not least, take time to visit Lac de Serre-Ponçon, where you can enjoy an introduction to kitesurfing. Simply thrilling!
In addition to culture and history, the Via Alta also promises a spiritual experience. On your way to Lurs, stop off at Plateau de Ganagobie, offering stunning views over the river Durance 300 metres below. Seeking inner peace and harmony ? Far from the hustle and bustle of city life, the Benedictine Abbey of Notre-Dame de Ganagobie opens its doors to welcome you. Prolong the pleasure with a visit to the Pénitents de Mées: this series of immense rocks pointing skywards remains one of nature’s mysteries !
Your trek continues across the Luberon. Here, you’ll find Provence in every heart and on every plate. And what better place to fill your plate than the magnificent Apt market, where you will find every imaginable Provencal speciality. Don’t miss the local candied fruit during your stroll round the market stalls: it is a genuine local institution. After lunch, it’s time to head to the Via Ferrata de Cavaillon for a fun and breathtaking climbing experience with your head in the clouds. A cross between rock climbing and walking, this is definitely an experience you won’t forget !
The Alpilles to Arles
Wind up your trek on the Via Alta with a voyage back in time… Follow the guide for an awe-inspiring tour of the Glanum archaeological site and full immersion in Roman times. Next, it’s time to visit the Carrières de Lumière in Les Baux de Provence. This world-unique ancient quarry, now an exhibition centre, stages mesmerizing multimedia shows, with over 70 projectors lighting up the ancient limestone walls with works by the world’s greatest artists. Last but not least, Arles and its world-famed olive groves offer a sweetly-scented stroll in the decors portrayed by Vincent Van Gogh.