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Discover the Hautes-Alpes

Country of snow and sun

The department of the Hautes-Alpes is characterized by its great diversity in geography and climate due to difference in altitude (from 400 to 4000 m), ensuring new sensations every new visit. In the heart of two Natural Parks, the Ecrins National Park and the Queyras Regional Park, nature flourishes and each season announces itself and brings along other activities in the Hautes-Alpes.

In winter, from November onwards, this high mountain area is blessed with snow, sunshine and blue skies. The ski areas and villages in the hautes-Alpes together offer 31 ski areas and 22 nordic sites. They are well equipped to meet the expectations of the public and the resorts in the Hautes-Alpes rely on their imagination to please all members of the family.

In April, when skiers and hikers enjoy the last of the spring snow, the flora wakes up in the valleys and everywhere rafts, tubes and other fun crafts come down the rivers.

In summer the lakes make excellent stops for hikers and dreamers. Serre-Ponçon, Europe’s the largest man-made lake, captures the light and attracts sailors and walkers. The summer resorts welcome you to take a breath of fresh mountain air and with a large choice of activities.

Autumn, with its gentle climate, offers magnificent colours while the first snow already appears on the mountain peaks against a starry sky. And Gap, Briançon et Embrun offer events, festivals and trade fairs all year round.

Tourist attractions in the Hautes-Alpes

Les Baronnies Park : Les Baronnies Provençales

The landscapes in Les Baronnies Natural Regional Park are reflected in its soil : they are rich, diverse and stunning. For every valley has its own climate, products and flora and fauna. The coexistence of more than 149 different natural habitats allow the steady growth and development of about 2000 plant species.

Queyras Park : an authentic way of life

The Queyras, protected by its mountains, once enclosed but never isolated, has been able to develop an original history. The harshness of mountain life has made it into a region of solidarity where double the amount of ingenuity was needed in order to be able to live there.

Notre-Dame du Laus : spriritual Catholic centre

Tradition has it that the Virgin Mary appeared for the first time to the shepherd Benoîte Rencurel in May 1664. During the next apparitions she asked for the building of a church and a house for the priests in the hamlet of Laus.

Les Ecrins National Park

The Barre des Ecrins is the highest point in the Hautes-Alpes. Local history is marked by the attempts of pioneer mountaineers. The Ecrins area with sites such as Vallouise, Pré de Madame Carleand, Ailefroide and Vallon du Fournel, is the second best mountain climbing site after Chamonix.

Tallard aerodrome

The Hautes-Alpes aerodrome is situated south of Gap in the municipality of Tallard, a couple of hundred meters from the exit of the motorway A51, where it is protected from prevailing winds. Here industrial and tourist activities are combined all year round. As is shown with the new training centre Polyaéro Tallard, a business park with an incredible energy, the first European aerial leisure centre of its sort.

Gap : the sweet capital

Gap, prefecture of the Hautes-Alpes, with its soft pastel coloured façades, shopping streets and surrounding mountains, has managed to combine modernity with a high quality of life. It boasts an ideal geographic situation and sits at the crossroads of popular tourist routes, such as the Route Napoleon crossing the Champsaur department in the South of the Gap region.

Briançon - Mont Dauphin UNESCO World Heritage site

As the King’s engineer, at the age of 34, he became responsible for the supervision of the fortifications of the kingdom. In that capacity he designed and renovated 160 fortresses, three of which are to be found in the Hautes-Alpes : Château-Queyras, Mont-Dauphin and Briançon. These last two are listed as UNESCO World heritage sites

Lake Serre-Ponçon - Durance

The Durance river is more than a river, it is a natural force. From its source at 2300 m altitude, in Montgenèvre, it flows for 302 km before ending in the Rhone river. Controlled by man over the years, in particular the construction of the Serre-Ponçon Dam, it is nowadays the vital artery for the department.

La Meije

In the north of the department, crossing all mountain levels, you will discover that the La Meije cable cars will give you the unique high mountain experience. From the village of la Grave you will be transported up to 3200 within 40 minutes, and be rewarded with a panorama view.

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