Valgaudemar Valley, Hautes-Alpes visitors guide
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Explore the Valgaudemar Valley
You can enter the Valgaudemar valley at either St-Firmin or St-Jacques, but if you enter at St Firmin cross over to the other side of the river to explore the valley as you will pass the charming villages of Le Sechier, Lachaup, and l'Ubac. These little hamlets with their stone houses and tiny churches look as if they have remained unchanged for many years.
On the other side of the river, Saint-Maurice-en-Valgaudemard has a charming 11th century church. At l'Ubac a bridge takes you over the river Severaise to join the only road that goes to the end of the valley.
Then continue on to Villar Loubiere with its thatched house and on to La Chapelle en Valgaudemar, the main village in the valley. Here you can visit the Maison du Parc National des Ecrins to find out more about the park, its climate and its different vegetation and habitats.
La Chapelle en Valgaudemar is also the starting point for climbing to the Pic d'Olan - one of the highest peaks of the valley at 3564m. The town of La Chapelle is itself at an altitude of 1100 meters. The road continues to Ref du Clos where you can take a 10 minute walk to the restaurant and stop for coffee and home-made tart in this stunning setting.
Otherwise continue to the end of the road to the Chalet du Giobernay. This hotel-chalet sits in a stunning position with mountains forming a circle behind it. Two walks start here - one is difficult, almost mountain-climbing, but the other is a lovely walk leading to the Lac du Lauzon.
Even if you do not have the time to go hiking it is well worth the drive through the Valgaudemar valley. It is impossible to drive quickly along the valley as you will need regular stops to admire the scenery and take photos. It really is superb. And for those of you who, like me, suffer from vertigo it is a beautiful valley road without any scary bits!
Exploring around Valgaudemar
Valgaudemar valley is on the edge of the Parc National de Ecrins and the whole area is peppered with beautiful walks to suit all levels of hiker.
Map of Valgaudemar Valley and places nearby
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Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby
- Poligny: town of art and history (18 km)
- La Meije: site of natural beauty (23 km)
- La Grave: most beautiful village (27 km)
- Jardin alpin du Lautaret: remarkable garden (27 km)
- L'Argentiere-la-Bessee: recommended detour (29 km)
- Domaine de Charance: remarkable garden (29 km)
- Lac de Serre-Poncon: site of natural beauty (36 km)
- Aiguilles d'Arves: site of natural beauty (36 km)
- Briancon: secteur sauvegarde (36 km)
- Briancon fortifications (Vauban fortifications): heritage site (37 km)
- Place Forte de Mont-Dauphin: national monument (38 km)
- Mont-Dauphin place forte (Vauban fortifications): heritage site (38 km)
The French version of this page is at Valgaudemar Valley (Francais)