Colmars-les-Alpes, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence: tourism & sightseeing
Visit Colmars-les-Alpes (Provence, France)
Colmars (also known as Colmars-les-Alpes) is found in the Upper Verdon Valley to the east of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department of south-east France, south of Barcelonnette and east of Digne-les-Bains.
A small yet impressive mountain village in a picturesque setting in a verdant valley below the mountains, the historically strategic location of Colmars, that extended from the 14th to the 17th century, is immediately apparent, from both the fortified walls that surround the old town, and the two forts that stand either side of Colmars-les-Alpes.
Fort de Savoie (orig. Fort Saint-Martin) stands just above the northern side of the village while Fort de France (orig. Fort du Calvaire) protected the southern approach, relics from the era when France and the Dukes of Savoy both sought to control the region, and from later struggles for control until the 17th century*.
*In the 14th century, Colmars supported the French while the nearby villages of Barcelonnette and Allos fell under the control of the Savoy Dukes.
The village of Colmars itself is entered by one of the two gateways through the fortified walls: the Porte de Savoie and the Porte de France. The village centre itself is small yet very attractive, with plenty to enjoy as you stroll along the narrow streets.Much of the village we see today dates from the years after 1672, at which time it was largely destroyed by a fire.
Note in particular the Church of Saint-Martin (built just after the fire) and the Saint-Joseph Chapel, and the small stone bridge that once provided the main access to the village (next to the more recent bridge).
A waymarked trail around the village with informative notices (see Colmars-les-Alpes tourist office for details) will ensure that you see the highlights.
The steep sided forested valleys and mountains and stunning scenery around Colmars-les-Alpes - it is within the Mercantour National Park - make it very popular with outdoor enthusiasts, and there are numerous opportunities for hiking and biking to suit all levels of ability and fitness.
Note: photo of Colmars is copyright
Map of Colmars-les-Alpes and places nearby
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Address: Colmars, Allos-Colmars, Castellane, Provence, 4370, France || GPS: latitude 44.182222, longitude 6.627222
Plan your visit to Colmars-les-Alpes, Alpes-de-Haute-Provence
Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Lac d'Allos: site of natural beauty (9 km)
- Col de la Cayolle: site of natural beauty (13 km)
- Col d'Allos: site of natural beauty (13 km)
- Source - Verdon: site of natural beauty (17 km)
- Col de la Bonette: site of natural beauty (22 km)
- Clue de Barles: site of natural beauty (30 km)
Market days in Colmars-les-Alpes, France
A seasonal market is held in Colmars-les-Alpes on Friday & Tuesday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)
The French version of this page is at Colmars-les-Alpes (Francais)