2017 Discovery

Facing the Mediterranean, the sun-drenched Southern Alps are aglow with beautiful landscapes. From the arid mountaintops to the turquoise waters of its lakes, they offer a diverse and contrasting range of scenery. Discover our selection of mind-blowing views! 

Whether you’re a keen hiker or just enjoy going for quiet family walks, you’ll be amazed by what the mountains have to offer, especially the Southern Alps! Lunar landscapes and wooded valleys, crystal-clear lakes - a beautiful setting for a picnic, and a wealth of geographical curiosities. Let’s take a look at 7 panoramas, accessible from the resorts.

Lac de Vens - Auron

A precious gem in the Mercantour National Park’s crown, set at an altitude of 2,380 metres!

The shortest route sets out from Vens car park, on the way to La Bonette. It’ll take you on a 2 hour walk through a pretty larch forest, with waterfalls that lead on to a succession of stunning lakes. Overlooking the lake, you’ll find a mountain hut of the same name, serving one of the best blueberry tarts around!

Le Mont Mounier - Valberg

The highest limestone summit in the Southern Alps, Mont Mounier reaches up to an impressive 2,817 metres.

Comprising limestone ridges made of sediment gathered from the secondary period, it boasts panoramic views; on a clear day, you can see from the Swiss Alps as far as Corsica. 

Allow for 6 hours to get there and back, with a 1,100 metre vertical climb to get to the top.

Access from Valberg: from the resort centre, drive down Avenue St Bernard, then along Avenue Jean Ray and Route Sasha Sosno towards Valberg Golf Club and the Col de l’Espaul. There’s a car park at the Col de l’Espaul.

Le Saut du Laïre – Orcières
This family-friendly hiking route is one of the Haut-Champsaur classics. Walk from the charming hamlet of Prapic across marmot territory until you get to the famous «Saut du Laïre» waterfall! An easy 8km walk, accessible to all (350 metre vertical climb), taking about 3 hours to complete.
Lac de l’Oule – Serre Chevalier

An easy family-friendly walk, starting out from the Col du Granon. A marked, well maintained path, which climbs gently up to the Col de l’Oule, before making its way back down to the lake of the same name.

Access: From Saint-Chaffrey, leave your car in the Col du Granon car park. 

Lac d’Allos – Val d’Allos

Set at the heart of the Mercantour National Park, Lac d'Allos is the largest natural high-altitude lake in Europe (2,228 metres), and one of the Mercantour National Park’s true gems.

Dating back to the quaternary period, created by meltwater and natural springs, Lac d’Allos covers a surface area of 54 hectares and is 48 metres deep.

2 access routes are available:

From le Laus car park, a short 45 minute walk will take you to Lac d’Allos

From Val d’Allos, follow signs for the GR 56B. Allow 6 hours to get there and back

La réserve naturelle des gorges de Daluis - Valberg

The easily accessible and aptly named Point Sublime hike, which means ‘magnificent place’ in English, boasts breath-taking views over the Daluis gorges, also known as «the Colorado Niçois» (approx 1¼ hrs there and back, over 4kms with a 150m vertical climb).

Access from Valberg: Take the RD 28 towards Guillaumes. From Guillaumes, follow signs for the Gorges de Daluis. The hike starts close to Berthéou bridge, where you can leave your car.

Lac Sainte Marguerite – Les Orres

Set at an altitude of 2,227 metres, the tranquil Lac Sainte Marguerite is the perfect place for a picnic with idyllic views. As you rise up above the lake, you’ll spot summits from the Ecrins and Queyras mountain ranges.

2 access routes are available:

-from Pousterle chairlift (harder and steeper with an elevated section), walk towards the orientation table at 2,768 metres, then follow the ridge path between le Petit Vallon and the edge of the lake. This leads you to the panoramic viewpoint and the orientation table. Head towards the top of Aupillon (2,917 metres) and walk back down to the Vol de l’âne and Lac Sainte Marguerite.

-from the Pra Paisset pathway (you’ll see the via ferrata from here), or from the resort centre at 1,650 metres (follow the marmottes run underneath the Prélongis chairlift).

Crédits photos : OT Vars (Rémi Morel) / Parc National du Mercantour / OT Orcieres (Gilles Baron) / Fotolia / Georges Veran / OT Les Orres
0 votes