The Southern Alps
The first contours rise above the Mediterranean coast with the most prestigious hills and summits in the history of cycling – the Southern Alps offer infinite possibilities for lovers of nature and sport.
From the south to the north, the landscape tempts visitors to discover it. The valleys of this part of the Alps are narrow and one of the most famous is Verdon whose gorges meander through the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence. France's answer to the Grand Canyon is a playground for hikers who venture onto the Blanc Martel path with its spectacular views.
At the far north of the region, the Parc National des Écrins, with summits that reach heights of more than 13,000 feet, marks the border with the Northern Alps. In summer, walkers will appreciate the views across these snow-capped summits but may equally benefit from cultural treasures offered by the town of Briançon, including its famous tower designed by Vauban.
The town can be found in the heart of an area made famous throughout the world by the exploits of successive generations of cyclists. The familiar names of hills literally encircle the town: Lautaret, Galibier and Izoard have all been scaled by the Tour de France and other races on numerous occasions.
When winter comes, there is no shortage of ski resorts that compete with one another to attract visitors: Serre Chevalier to the north and its huge ski resort but also Pra Loup, quite aptly named the queen of the Southern Alps, and the famous Isola 2000, are all just one hour from the Cote d'Azur. They all know how to seduce those seeking a quieter holiday by offering them all the sun of the south to benefit from activities quietly in an exceptional setting. Think about hiring a car at the same time when you book your accommodation and your flights to take advantage of the best rates with the maximum of freedom.
If it's about moving away from the coast a little for an adventurous getaway or in getting back to nature, if you fancy flirting with the natural and historic heritage of high mountains, the Southern Alps have much to offer you for a few days or for your entire holiday.