Alpine Villages, Mountains and Valleys
Briançon is a mountain town fortified by Vauban fortifications and surrounding 17th-c forts in the nearby hills. To the west is the Ecrins National Park with mountains and glaciers; to the SE the Queyras full of picturesque valleys and villages, like Chateau-Queyras (photo); south is Embrun and Lake Serre-Ponçon, and a bit further the Mexican inspired town of Barcelonnette.
Arvieux-en-Queyras [31 km] A tiny mountain village in a high valley, just south of the Col d'Izoard; to enjoy the mountains and the beautiful surrounding nature.
Briançon [0 km] Famous for being fortified by Vauban in the 17th-c, very picturesque and interesting; the highest town in Europe. Just one of the towns of the Vauban Fortifications UNESCO entry (2008).
Ceillac [48 km] A mountain town surrounded by higher mountains, picturesque, with shops and cafés, and many working farms.
Château-Queyras [42 km] The little village of Chateau Queyras, with its striking Vauban Fortress, and the village of Ville-Vieille in the beautiful Guil river valley.
Embrun [48 km] An ancient Roman and Medieval town that retains its old center, with picturesque buildings, pleasant squares, ancient sights, old fountains, and lots of shops, cafés, restaurants and hotels for visitors.
Guillestre [35 km] A very picturesque little town set in a deep valley at the mouth of the narrow Gorges du Guil that leads to the Queyras mountains.
Molines-en-Queyras [45 km] A mountain commune of several lovely little hamlets: Molines, Gaudissard, La Rua, Pierre-Grosse , La Coin and Fontgillarde.
Le Monêtier-les-Bains [15 km] A picturesque village between Grenoble and Briançon, near the Parc National des Ecrins; populart ski centers.
Mont-Dauphin [33 km] An impressive fortified hilltop site overlooking the Durance, 4 km from Guillestre.
Montgenèvre [11 km] This little mountain town on the Italian border, once a main way-point for the Romans and for Napoleon, is now a ski station and a site for mountain sports.
Ristolas [52 km] A tiny mountain village at the far eastern edge of the Queyras Natural Park, the last village on the road along the Guil river towards Italy.
Saint Véran [51 km] A beautiful perched village with house-barns and ancient sundials, in the Queyras mountains SE of Briançon. A "Plus Beaux Villages de France".
La Salle-les-Alpes [8 km] The old village is pretty and it's quite and natural; a lot of narrow little village streets, some "paved" with grass, running closely beside the houses; many old sundials.
Serre-Ponçon Lake [57 km] This lake is formed by a dam on the Durance, beneath the mountains of the Hautes Alpes; the largest artificial lake in Europe.