Diversity, the fundamental wealth of the Hautes Alpes
Whether you are a regular visitor to our region or have never been here before, there are some common geographical names that we all know, and which, consciously or unconsciously, force us to discover them one day…
Places and sites to discover
Mythical? Did you say mythical?
The Lautaret pass, the Galibier pass, the Izoard pass, the Granon pass, regularly climbed by the riders of the Tour de France, and crossed by the Route des Grandes Alpes, impose respect. Whether you climb them by bike, motorbike, on foot or… by car, you will feel the majesty of the landscapes, each time different.
Seaside ? Did you say seaside?
The Serre-Ponçon lake is the 2nd largest artificial lake in Europe. With a 360° view of the mountains, this lake is often referred to as the sea in the mountains. You can swim there and enjoy the many water sports activities on offer.
Natural ? Did you say natural?
The Ecrins National Park and the Queyras Regional Natural Park are true natural wonders, with an incredible wealth of flora and fauna.
High up? Did you say high perched?
Saint-Véran, in the Queyras, the highest commune in Europe, culminates at 2042m! Full of tradition, this village where “the roosters peck at the stars” is a must for High Alpine tourism.
Historical, heritage and cultural tourism to discover without moderation
It is of course Briançon, the Vauban city, labelled Ville et Pays d’Art et d’Histoire, and its Vauban fortifications, classified as a Unesco World Heritage Site, which concentrate the essential part of the visible history of the region.
Porte de Pignerol, the Gargoyle, the Schappe park… you will inevitably pass by…
In the Serre Chevalier Valley, in Chantemerle, Le Monêtier-Les-Bains, Saint-Chaffrey or La Salle Les Alpes, you will be able to visit historical monuments and buildings, and in particular chapels and churches from different eras.
In Villar-d’Arène, you will be amazed by the botanical garden of Lautaret and its exceptional floral diversity..
The Pays des Ecrins
The Pays des Ecrins will also be able to tell you its history and make you appreciate its heritage through its 8 authentic villages.
You can choose your visits among the Silver Mine of l’Argentière-La-Bessée, the hydroelectric energy museum of Pelvoux, the churches and chapels of Les Vigneaux, Vallouise, Ailefroide, Puy Saint Vincent, without forgetting Saint Martin de Queyrières of course, which, once an important stage of the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela, will make you discover, by essentially pedestrian paths, no less than 15 churches and chapels, among which is the chapel of Saint Jacques, in Prelles.
The Freissinières Valley, for its part, will let you discover its Waldensian and Protestant culture.
A gastronomic land to discover with greed
To discover the local gastronomy, there is nothing like the local producers’ markets. 2 markets in Briançon, 1 market in Vallouise, 1 other in l’Argentière-La-Bessée, not to mention, during the tourist season, the ephemeral and night markets… In our valleys, there is a market every morning!
When we think of mountain specialities, we think essentially of cheese and charcuterie. And we are right! Our valleys are teeming with herds, so it’s not surprising that we find many local cheese and charcuterie producers on the markets. Tomme de l’Izoard, Bleu du Queyras, Bear’s garlic sausage… yum!
A tasty and hearty speciality of the Hautes Alpes, the well-named Boite Chaudes des Hautes Alpes, honours a local cheese, roasted in the oven, and served with an assortment of charcuterie and potatoes. Regularly put in the spotlight during the special evenings of the Snack – Bar, you will tell us if the Boite Chaude des Hautes Alpes deserves to be as well known as its cousin the Mont d’Or, from the Jura.
Moreover, you will not be able to miss the famous tourtons of Champsaur, traditionally filled with potato cheese or spinach. A treat, which we will offer you to taste, during the summer period, on the occasion of our Sunday welcome drink.
Finally, on the other hand, when one thinks of the Hautes Alpes, one does not immediately think of oenology. And vice versa! And we are wrong! Indeed, even if we are not talking about great wines, you will certainly take pleasure in tasting, with moderation, the wines of the Domaine de Tresbaudon as well as those of the Domaine des Treilloux.
The Iscle de Prelles, to be discovered from Christmas to the first weekend of October!
It would be pretentious to claim that the Iscle de Prelles campsite is part of the heritage of our valleys, but this campsite, which has always been a family campsite, does have its own history… For example, regular visitors to the campsite, who are now parents or even grandparents, happily tell us that they learnt to swim in this very swimming pool, 40 years ago!
At that time, there were only bare pitches, then a caravanning site with residents, the first mobile homes, chalets, and more recently unusual accommodation… And the swimming pool has of course been renovated since then! The 3-star campsite of l’Iscle de Prelles, through its successive owners, has always known how to evolve with the times while keeping its family, friendly and relaxing atmosphere.
Today, the campsite is the link between the Pays des Ecrins and the Serre Chevalier valley. Just 5 minutes from Briançon and all the shops and services, l’Iscle de Prelles is at the crossroads of not only the heritage that you can discover, but also the multitude of activities and hikes that you can enjoy.
Welcome to the Iscle de Prelles, welcome to the Hautes Alpes…