Wide open spaces in the Southern Alps: Hautes Vallées and Le Devoluy for beautiful nature photography | Hobbies

Hautes Vallées, three protected and wild areas

The Clarée Valley is an irreplaceable paradise for hikers

© experiences-hautes-alpes.com

The classified Clarée valley is located on the French-Italian border between Montgenèvre and Briançon. Specially preserved, this natural and magical valley is a true paradise for all travelers and whatever the season. Located at an altitude of 1400-2000 meters above sea level, it offers exceptional views and a unique heritage between high-altitude lakes and routes, sheer walls and a bucolic valley around Mount Tabor. Beneath the false air of the Dolomites, the Klaree valley is also heavily covered with snow in winter, revealing a stunning patchwork of alpine meadows and larch forests.

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La Grave, the kingdom of off-piste skiers

© Ski Vallons de la Meije – Ben Hodson

La Grave, one of the most popular ski areas in the Southern Alps, attracts skiers from all over the world every year. Located in the heart of the Ecrins massif, very protected from technology with only a few ski lifts, this place offers an absolutely spectacular view. Add this exceptional quality snow and you have a paradise for powder lovers with a choice of courses between La Meije valleys, larch forests, La Meije, Rake or Girose glaciers… Thrills and dazzle guaranteed!

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Izoard, an emblematic bicycle pass at an altitude of 2,362 meters

Colonel d’Izoard-Napoleon refuge © Michel Ducroux

Among the main routes of the Tour de France is the Izoard Pass and its twenty kilometers through the mountains between Briançonnais and Queiras. At the bend of this winding road (to be explored on foot, snowshoes, skis or hiking) you will discover a vast landscape dotted with charming villages such as Cervières, Puy-Saint-Pierre or Puy-Saint-Andre. . But the Izoard is also rich in archeology with the so-called Casse deserte, an extremely rocky area that some describe as the Moon. And to fill the sensations, it is also possible to go down the pass with a toboggan.

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Le Dévoluy is as comfortable as it is sporty

Two resorts, two idylls

Photo: Facebook Le Dévoluy© Dévoluy Tourism Office

Dévoluy massif is reached up to 2500 m in the alpine domain. consists of of 4 cities : Agnières en Dévoluy, Saint Étienne en Dévoluy, Saint Disdier and finally La Cluse; All part of Devoluy commune. In all, spread over about thirty villages everywhere in the array. Villages stretch 186 km²With a population of less than 1000 (and 20,000 tourist beds). The massif has two great resorts: Superdévoluy and La Joue du Loup, both connected to the ski area. Charming and friendly, Superdévoluy is the first ski resort of Dévoluy, born in 1966. The atmosphere is warm, with its chalets, its grand building in front of the snow called Bois d’Aurouze, and all its surrounding shops. (Coffee, newspaper, ski equipment rental, etc.) Sports center located there is open daily from 9:30 am to 8:00 pm during the winter season. with 3000 m² interior, 1 1600 m² multi-gym, 1 18 m high climbing wall (indoor), 4 squash courts, 1 weight room, 1 fitness area, 2 saunas and over 20 activities, how can you say? Aside from skiing, it’s a fitness paradise, and I’m not kidding when I say that… mountain. La Joue du Loup, in turn, is deceived by its aesthetics, architecture and relaxed spirit. Restaurants, friendly bars, ski school are there to perfect your bliss. Spa with O’dycéa, Devoluy baths, balneo center and Norwegian bath, foam beds, music bath, cold wells, sauna, bath…

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Unusual activities

Photo: Facebook Le Dévoluy© Dévoluy Tourism Office

In Dévoluy, you are never bored! Between sports competitions, concerts, festivals… But it’s also exciting! For example, the Derby du Dévoluy is a celebratory multi-slide race. Available to all ages 5 and up, rising from the top of the ski area and reaching the resort with a vertical descent of 1000 meters. There we dress up (and win for the best disguise!), buy supplies, wait for prizes… It is also possible to baptize in the dog line (you manage the team), discover a safe cave 300 m or 500 m long depending on the route, you can do it on a quad bike… and more!

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A corner that helps speleology

© Marion Carcel_Foehn Photography

Speleology consists of explore natural voids in the soil. For example: its cliffs, caves or underground rivers. This activity can be done for scientific or sports purposes! With him 600 of the 800 spaces in the Hautes-Alpes departmentLe Dévoluy is one of the most inclined massifs satisfies all speleologists budding and enthusiasts. the longest gap measured up to 7200 m for a height of 450 m ! It lies on the chorum (natural void), which is the steepest drop At an altitude of 982 m. The most original is the chourum de la Tune, where the via souterrata is located: an underground via ferrata accessible all year round. Megalomania!

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