Colmars-les-Alpes travel guide

Photo of Colmars-les-Alpes

Visit Colmars-les-Alpes (Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France)

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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.

Explore Colmars-les-Alpes

A small yet impressive mountain village in a picturesque setting in a verdant valley below the mountains.

The historically strategic location of Colmars-les-Alpes, 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.

The Fort de Savoie (previously 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-les-Alpes 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.

Note: much of the village we see today dates from the years after 1672, at which time Colmars-les-Alpes was largely destroyed by a fire.

See 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.

Attractions nearby

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

You can find more travel ideas in the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence guide and the Provence guide.

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Map of Colmars-les-Alpes and places nearby


Visit near Colmars-les-Alpes with France This Way reviews



Barcelonnette has an attractive town centre, and also a good number of substantial 'Mexican villas' adding character to the town

Barcelonnette guide


The small village of Annot is most unusual, being built around great boulders in the heart of the village

Annot guide
Vallee de l'Ubaye

Vallee de l'Ubaye

Starting near the Lac de Poncon, the Vallée de l'Ubaye is one of the scenic highlights in the Alps

Vallee de l'Ubaye guide


In the mountain village of Seyne you can see various parts of the medieval defences that once stood here, and a pretty village

Seyne-les-Alpes guide


The narrow medieval streets and the citadel on the hill above the village are among the highlights in Entrevaux

Entrevaux guide


As well as being a spa town, the medieval centre of Digne-les-Bains also merits exploration

Digne-les-Bains guide

... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Alpes-de-Haute-Provence

Address: Colmars, Allos-Colmars, Castellane, Provence, 4370, France || GPS coordinates: 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)
  • Barrage de Castillon: site of natural beauty (35 km)
  • Lac de Castillon: site of natural beauty (35 km)
  • Barrage de Chaudanne: site of natural beauty (38 km)
  • Arboretum Marcel Kroenlein: remarkable garden (38 km)
  • Col de la Lombarde: site of natural beauty (42 km)
  • Lac de Serre-Poncon: site of natural beauty (43 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)