•Hautes-Alpes (05460) • Population: 333 • Altitude: 1547 m
Abriès is a small but dynamic village in the beautiful Haut-Guil valley part of the Queyras, near the Italian Alpes. The village is popular in the summer for hiking and mountain climbing, and in the winter for skiing. Sitting astride a mountain stream, Abriès has cafés, restaurants, lodging and shops, including sports outfitters -- and some great sundials.
Location. From Château Queyras village, the road goes northeast up the Guil valley past Chateau-Ville-Vieille (3 km), Aiguilles (7 km), Abriès (12 km), Ristolas (15 km) and Ristolas-L'Echalp (19 km).
The Guil valley is fairly wide here, where the Torrent de Bouchet joins it from the north. The village squares are also wide, and the village has a more open feel than some of the other tightly-packed mountain villages.
We were in the village on a Wednesday, market day. It's an active market, full of fresh, regional and local products.
The commune of Abriès includes several hamlets. The two inhabited parts are the village of Abriès, at the confluent of the Torrent de Bouchet and the Guil, with about 300 permanent residents, and the hamlet of Le Roux, about 4 km north, with about 50 inhabitants.
Among the shops in Abriès are a few with clothing and especially sports clothes. We visited Abriès in September, and one of the village sports-clothing shops was having a 50-percent-off end-of-season sale. Since it's extremely difficult to find good size-13 hiking boots anywhere, we jokingly asked what this wee mountain shop had available. Surprise, they had our size in high-quality Asolo hiking boots.
A pretty little chapel with a tall steeple sits on the mountainside above the village, posing very picturesquely, with a row of white cross-stations in a line leading the way up to it.
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In the winter Abriès has skiing, snow shoeing, ice skating and dog sledding. For skiing, Abriès has a 6-place detachable chair lift (télésiège) and 4 ski lifts (téléskis). The chair lift goes up to the station of Le Fusteit (2020 m), and ski lifts continue up to the Crête de Gilly, at about 2360 m.
• GPS: 44.794152, 6.926621
IGN (1/25,000) #3637 OT "Mont Viso, St-Veran, Aiguilles"
The GR58 (Grande Randonnée) trail "Tour du Queyras" passes through Abriès. The GR58 crosses the river beside the village at 1546 m altidude. It then makes a big loop to the north and passes back to the east of the village along the Crête de Gilly (2580 m), near the top of the ski lift, Téléski de la Colette. The GR58 then drops back into the valley (1660 m) southeast of Ristolas before heading south through the mountains towards the Refuge Agnel (2580 m) and the Col Agnel.
The loop from Abriès, up around the north and back down to Ristolas-L'Echalp hamlet is about 13 km. From L'Echalp south to the Refuge Agnel is about 12 km.
We ate lunch in one of the many café-restaurants. We sat at a terrace table of the Retour d'Est, in the sun, with mountains all around. We had two variants of a Galette Sarrazin, a buckwheat-flour crêpe-wrap stuffed with regional fare, including meats, potatoes, mushroom and cheese. Almost too much for one person.
Department 05, Haute-Alpes Buses
- See Beyond's Haute-Alpes (05) Bus Schedules for downloading Haute-Alpes bus-lines map and bus-line schedules [pdf for each line] (link for PDF files).