While spending some time at La Grave and Villar d’Arène, why not going for a day discovering the city of Briançon and its surroundings? The Briançonnais territory is primarily centred on winter sports and outdoor summery sports.
What are the places to visit? Briançon has more than one string to its bow and offers a multi-faceted experience. For instance, the city centre is renowned for its rich historic heritage. Indeed, the city is part of the national label “city and country of Art and History” and conveys a heavy message of the past. Nonetheless history and cultural heritage are not the only aspect possible to discover in Briançon as the natural heritage is omnipresent. With its wild valleys all around, all sorts of outdoor activities are possible in order to make your trip unforgettable!
In winter, many ski resorts are based in this area which bring happiness to many skiers and mountain lovers. Serre Chevalier is the most prestigious one, Montgenèvre the oldest one and La Grave – La Meije the most spectacular and rugged one. For the skating and cross country skiing enthusiasts, the Clarée Valley and the Izoard area will satisfy your expectations, in a wild and idyllic setting.
In summer, in order to gratify your eager for nature and wilderness, many hikes will lead you up to many different lakes, panoramic passes and alpine valleys covered in wild flowers.
The Briançonnais territory is the perfect match between historic and natural heritage. The medieval city of Briançon is a crossroads between three great valleys. There are La Guisane, also called Serre Chevalier Valley, La Clarée and the Durance Valley with other smaller ones such as the Ceveyrette and the Ayes Valley. Furthermore, the fortified city is located at the bottom of the Montgenèvre pass which is a great way to cross the Italian border, either in summer or in winter.
In between the thirteen municipalities around Briançon, you will find a wide panel of activities. From traditions to landscapes you will be able to see and discover through the Vauban fortifications of Briançon, part of the UNESCO World Heritage, a part of its heavy past. You will learn about the squadrons’ history in the resorts of Serre Chevalier and Montgenèvre and have the chance to drive, cycle or walk in many different mythical passes such as the Lautaret, the Galibier as well as the Izoard pass, a strong asset of the Upper Valley territory.
The Serre Chevalier Valley starts from the Lautaret Pass down to Briançon, following the river Gisane. It is one of the largest ski resorts in Europe with its 259km of slopes. The resorts put the city of Briançon together with three other major villages; Chantemerle (part of St Chaffrey), Villeneuve (part of La Salle les Alpes), Monêtier-les-Bains and its eleven hamlets around.
Briançon is classified as city and country of Art and History, as well as part of the UNESCO World Heritage with the Vauban fortifications. A real piece if art between built fortifications and the natural fortress of the mountains around, giving Briançon a lot of character and charm. For instance, the Asfeld Bridge, the parade ground and the Gargoyle are iconic places in the old part of town.
Montgenèvre is the oldest ski resort in the South Alps. Located between the Clarée Valley and the valley of Suse. Just at the border with Italy, the ski resort of Montgenèvre lowest point is situated at 1.860 meters above sea level.
The place offers, nowadays, 85km of slopes but was before an alpine village with for village centre Les Alberts. The resort is part of the Milky Way union (known as La Voie lactée or the Vialattea in Italian), which represents the merging of seven Franco-Italian ski resorts. Nonetheless, the town is not only known for its ski resorts and offers many other services like a balneotherapy institution, a cinema and a sledge slope which is the longest one in France.