Departments : Ain, Allier, Ardèche, Cantal, Drôme, Isère, Loire, Haute-Loire, Puy-de-Dôme, Rhône, Métropole de Lyon, Savoie, Haute-Savoie.

Population: 8 million

Prefecture : Lyon

Surface area: 69,711 km2

Specialities: Beaujolais, Côtes du Rhône and Savoy wines, Lyon specialities (quenelles, cervelles de canut, saucisson.), potée auvergnate, Savoy specialities (raclette, fondue, tartiflettes, diots, crozets), cheeses (beaufort, reblochon, cantal, bleu d'Auvergne, Salers, saint-Nectaire...), green lentil of Le Puy, waters (Evian, Thonon, Volvic) verbena, chartreuse.

Sports clubs: Olympique Lyonnais, AS Saint-Etienne, Clermont Foot 63, Grenoble Foot 38 (football). ASM Clermont, Lyon OU, FC Grenoble, Stade Aurillacois, US Oyonnax (rugby union), ASVEL Villeurbanne (basketball), Chambéry (handball), Brûleurs de loup Grenoble, Pionniers de Chamonix (ice hockey)

Competitions: women's football world cup, ski competitions (Première neige criterium in Val d'Isère), Tour de France mountain passes, Critérium du Dauphiné.

Economy: (8th European region) high-tech industries, automotive (Berliet), metallurgy, rubber, plastics, chemicals, electronics, agri-food, textiles, digital, banks, universities, public services, winegrowing. tyres (Michelin). Design. New technologies (Inovallée) Winter and summer tourism. 

Festivals: Fête des Lumières in Lyon, Nuits de Fourvière in Lyon, quais du polar in Lyon, biennale du design in Saint-Etienne, classical music festival in La Chaise-Dieu, etc.

Sights: Old Lyon and Croix-Rousse, Le Puy-en-Velay cathedral, Lake Annecy, Chambéry castle, winter sports in Isère, Savoie and Haute-Savoie, Cantal, spa resorts, Auvergne volcanoes. Caverne du Pont d'Arc. Château de Grignan. Grenoble Bastille. Vulcania. Parc des Oiseaux.


Km 10.4


The village is situated on the Petit Buëch, between Pic de Bure (2,709 m, the highest point in the commune) and Céüze. As you wander through the pretty maze of narrow streets in the old village, you'll come across the castle of the Lords of Flotte, a 15th-century church, the former home of the Pénitents Blancs (White Penitents), an archaic statue of Saint-Pierre, a mill and a host of small bridges and fountains. In 2007, Pierre Para, a former telephony instructor and engineer with the Eaux et Forêts, rebuilt a 100-metre-long tri-cable forest cableway on his land at La Roche-des-Arnauds. This machine was used by foresters nearly a century ago to transport logs across the mountain

Km 31.4

DÉVOLUY (POP: 1,000)

Since 2013, Dévoluy has included the communes of Agnières-en-Dévoluy, La Cluse, Saint-Disdier and Saint-Étienne-en-Dévoluy. It takes its name from the massif where it is located, made famous by the Super Dévoluy and Joue-du-Loup ski resorts, now part of the Dévoluy ski area. In the village, the Gicons chapel, known as the "Mother Church", has been a listed monument since 1927. This small Romanesque church, whose construction date is unknown (11th or 12th century), comprises a three-bay nave with round arches and a semi-circular apse, flanked by a side chapel topped by the bell tower and extended by an apse. The building, which has been altered several times, was abandoned for a long time, but is now being restored by a local association. But the municipality is most proud of its natural sites, such as the spectacular Pic de Bure (2,709 m), which René Desmaison climbed with great difficulty in 1961. The plateau is home to a major astronomical observatory. At the foot of Pic de Bure is the resort of Super-Dévoluy, which has produced skiers such as Cyprien Sarrazin, but was also the finish of the queen stage of the 2013 Critérium du Dauphiné, won by Samuel Sanchez and where Chris Froome consolidated his leader’s jersey. In 2016, the resort hosted the final stage of the Dauphiné, won by Steve Cummings as Froome once again took the overall win.   

ISÈRE (38)

Region: Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes

Population: 1.2 million (16 pc of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes)

Prefecture: Grenoble

Sub-prefectures: Vienne, La Tour du Pin

Number of communes: 521

Surface area: 7,431 Km² (11 pc of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes)

Specialities: Grenoble walnuts (AOC), St Marcellin (IGP cheese), Bleu du Vercors-Sassenage (AOP cheese), ravioles, Chartreuse liqueur, Bonnat chocolates, antésite. Wines: Coteaux du Grésivaudan, Balmes Dauphinoises, Collines Rhodaniennes (IGP wines), Vitis Vienna (Vienne wines). Vercors trout, mountain meats (beef, lamb), gratin dauphinois, brioche de Bourgoin, murçon (charcuterie)...

Major sports clubs: FC Grenoble (rugby), Brûleurs de loups (ice hockey), GF38 (football), CSBJ (rugby), Les bruleurs, Les ours de Villard (hockey), Rugby Sassenage Isère (women's rugby).

Major competitions: La Foulée blanche in Autrans, Ut4M (Ultra tour des 4 massifs), Trail des passerelles du Monteynard, Echappée belle (Ultra trail of Belledonne), EuroNordicWalk Vercors, Grand Duc-trail de Chartreuse, La Marmotte in l'Alpe d'Huez (Grand Fondo event).

Festivals: La Coupe Icare in St Hilaire du Touvet, L'Alpe d'Huez Film Festival (comedy film festival in Isère), Berlioz Festival in la Côte Saint-André, Jazz in Vienne Festival, Autrans Mountain Film Festival, Vélo Vert Festival in Villard de Lans, Tomorrowland in l'Alpe d'Huez.

Economy: Industry, electronics, digital, micro and nanoelectronics, IT, research, health, hydroelectricity, chemicals and the environment, energy, thermal spas, tourism

Main sights: Domaine de Vizille, Grande Chartreuse monastery, Saint-Antoine l'Abbaye, Choroanche caves, Grenoble cable car, Grenoble museum, Chartreuse cellars, Musée Dauphinois, St Hilaire du Touvet funicular railway, Crémieu, Vienne, Walibi Rhône-Alpes park, Europe's largest skiable glacier at Les Deux-Alpes.

Websites and social /

Km 57.7

CORPS (POP: 500)

On the Route Napoléon, it's impossible to miss this historic, tourist and gastronomic stop-off. Discover a traditional distillery, the Church of St Pierre, the Chapel of St Roch... not forgetting the Sautet dam and its lake, perfect for water sports.


Departments: Alpes de Haute-Provence, Hautes-Alpes, Alpes-Maritimes, Bouches-du-Rhône, Var, Vaucluse.

Population: 5.1 million

Prefecture: Marseille

Surface area: 31,400 km2

Specialities: Mediterranean cuisine, pizza, pissaladière, panisses, chichis, bouillabaisse, petits farcis (stuffed vegetables), alouette sans tête (mea trolls), pieds et paquets marseillais (lamb feet), salade niçoise, pan bagnat, gardiane de taureau (bull stew), sea urchins, fish (sea bream, sea bass, red mullet, denti, marbled, pageots, pagres, sars), wines (rosés of Provence, côtes de Provence, côtes du Rhône, Palette, Bandol...). 

 Sports clubs: Olympique Marseille, OGC Nice (football), Rugby Club Toulon. Cercle des Nageurs de Marseille (swimming).

Competitions: football world cup, Euro 2016 football, rugby world cup, rugby test matches, Tour de France cycling, Paris-Nice, GP La Marseille, Haribo Classic, Tour du Haut-Var, Tour de la Provence, beach volleyball, beach football, rugby in Toulon. Mondial à pétanque in Marseille. 

Tourist attractions: beaches and seaside resorts (Saint-Tropez, Nice, Saint-Raphaël, Fréjus, Cassis, Bandol etc...), Palais des Papes in Avignon, Arles (amphitheatre, Roman remains), Marseille (Old Port, Panier, calanques, château d'If, Mucem), Nice (Promenade des Anglais, old Nice, old port), Mont Ventoux, Cannes, ski resorts in the Hautes-Alpes and Alpes maritimes (Serre-Chevalier, Le Sauze, Orcières-Merlette, Isola 2000), Briançon (citadel), Aix-en-Provence.

Economy: 7% of French GDP, 3e region in France, 16e in Europe. Agriculture (wine, market gardening), service sector (80%), universities (Aix-Marseille, France's leading university, Nice, Toulon), ports (Marseille, La Ciotat, Nice), petrochemicals (Fos), logistics, Nice and Marseille airports, tourism.

Festivals: Cannes Festival (cinema), Avignon Festival (theatre), Chorégies d'Orange, Aix en Provence Festival (opera), Jazz à Nice, Marseille Festival (dance). Midem (Cannes), Marsatac (Marseille), Fiesta des Suds (Marseille), Plages électroniques (Cannes), Rencontres d'Arles (photography).


Prefecture : Gap

Sub-prefecture : Briançon

Population: 141,800

Number of municipalities: 162

Surface area: 5,549 km2

Specialities: Tourtons (doughnuts), Oreilles d'âne (a gratin made with cream, lasagne and spinach), honeys (mountain, lavender, all flowers...), wines (Tallard and Avance valley), fruits (apples and pears from the Durance valley), cheeses...

Sport: France's second-largest department in terms of number of sports people per inhabitant, with almost 500 clubs and some fifty disciplines ranging from alpine skiing to ice hockey (Diables Rouges of Briançon and Rapaces of Gap), cycling (cyclo, mountain biking), team sports (football, rugby, handball, basketball), athletics, swimming, etc.

Economy: Tourism, Agropastoralism, Wood industry, Crafts, Departmental aeronautics industry, etc.

Competitions: Women's Alpine Skiing Southern Regional European Cup in Orcières, Speed Skiing World Cup in Vars, Embrunman Triathlon, Trail Gapen'cimes, Mondial de l'Escalade Briançon, Alps Epic MTB, Windfoil and KiteFoil French Championships in Serre-Ponçon.

Culture and heritage: Vauban fortifications at Briançon and Mont-Dauphin (UNESCO listing). Lac de Serre-Ponçon, Massif des Écrins (Barre des Écrins and Meije), major mountain passes (Izoard, Lautaret, Galibier, Vars, Granon, Noyer...). Departmental Museum in Gap. Alpine botanical garden at Le Lautaret. Religious sites of Notre-Dame du Laus and Boscodon. The villages of Saint-Véran (Queyras) and La Grave (Haute-Romanche) have been awarded the Most Beautiful Villages in France label. Embrun Cathedral. Plateau de Bure and Iram astrophysics observatory (Dévoluy). Château Charance estate and park (Gap)

Festivals: Festival Tous Dehors...Enfin de Gap (May), Outdoormix Festival (Embrun), Trad'in Festival (Embrun), Chaillol Music Festival, Messiaen Festival (Haute-Romanche).

Websites: / /

Km 83.6


Saint-Bonnet is an ideal outpost for exploring the Champsaur and Valgaudemar. Overlooking the Route Napoléon, the largest village in the region offers all the services you need, just a few minutes from its lake and the Bayard plateau, and just a little more for the village resorts and hiking trails. Every Monday and Thursday, it is market time, with its enticing smells and mouth-watering local flavours. Agricultural fairs, inherited from patron saint festivals and other gatherings, are held in spring and autumn, showcasing the high quality of the local produce. The village's reputation is based on its prestigious historical heritage, dating back to the time of its prosperity, particularly in the 17th century, when it was the capital of the Duchy of Lesdiguières, the famous French Constable bearing the title of Duke having been born in Saint-Bonnet. The architecture is remarkable: Place Grenette with its covered market hall, Place aux Herbes, the narrow streets, the old solid walnut doors. Elegance exudes from every carved stone, small square, wall and alleyway, and from every pebble in the Drac River that welcomes footsteps like silent witnesses to the determination of mankind.

Km 111.5

CHORGES (POP: 3,060)

In 2013, during the 100th Tour de France, Chris Froome won a 32km time trial in Chorges that started in Embrun ahead of Alberto Contador and Joaquim Rodriguez, thereby consolidating his Yellow Jersey. Chorges was very briefly chosen as the capital of the new Hautes-Alpes department, created in 1790, because of its neutral position between Gap and Embrun, who were vying for the title. From 4 to 15 July of that year, the 226 electors of the new department met in the church of Chorges to create the new administrative entity. There were many differences of opinion, but in the end it was decided to make Gap the capital of the Hautes-Alpes at the expense of Embrun and Chorges, which became canton capitals. The holding of this "constituent assembly" of the department was celebrated 200 years later, in July 1990, when the general councillors of the Hautes-Alpes sat in Chorges in period costume and in the seats held two centuries earlier by their 18th-century predecessors. By analysing the issues on the agenda of the 1790 debates, the elected members of the General Council were able to see that the problems and quarrels were practically the same as today: roads, budget, financial resources...  


Construction: 12th century.

Style: mainly Romanesque.

History: Chorges church was built between 1121 and 1124 by the monks of Saint-Victor Abbey in Marseille. Plundered by Francis I's mercenaries in 1517, it was sacked by Louis Ayme's Protestants in 1569 and occupied by the Duke of Lesdiguières in 1585. The church was then burnt down three times: in 1586 during the siege of Chorges by Bernard de Nogaret, in 1692 during the invasion of Dauphiné and in 1699 by the troops of the Duke of Savoy, Victor-Amadeus II.

Characteristics: it consists of a rectangular nave with two massive bays that precede a choir that is lower than the rest of the building. All the bays of the nave are vaulted with an irregular coved roof that replaces a carpentry roof. On the south facade, two of the three former Romanesque round arched bays, which are very high, have been preserved. In the first bay, a pillar that does not appear to predate the 14th century supports the gallery. Geometric motifs can be seen on it, while the font features scallop shells. On the outside, the unusual shape of the apse catches the eye; although it appears to have been altered, its style remains Romanesque.

Listed as: historical monument since 1862.

Km 120.4


Saint-Apollinaire is a small village in the Savines basin, facing south on a balcony above Lake Serre-Ponçon, halfway between Savines-le-Lac (the administrative centre of the canton) and the Réallon ski resort. Saint-Apollinaire, a small, quiet village, is an ideal place for contemplation. From 113 permanent inhabitants in the low season, the population rises to around 300 during the holiday season. Originally a predominantly agricultural community, Saint-Apollinaire is gradually becoming a residential community as farms disappear.

Km 132.3


A 20th century heritage site since June 2011, Savines-le-Lac, on the shores of Lake Serre-Ponçon, is a dynamic summer tourist destination in Hautes-Alpes. Built on the shores of one of Europe's largest man-made lakes, Savines-le-Lac offers all the services and shops of a real seaside resort. This dynamic village is heir to a very eventful history. The old village was destroyed when the Serre-Ponçon dam was built and the lake impounded. It was rebuilt, giving it its modern architecture. The permanent photographic exhibition "De Savines à Savines-le-Lac" at the Savines-le-Lac tourist office tells the story of the town. Over the seven centuries of its existence, Savines has been moved three times. In 1282, Rodolphe de la Font de Savines paid tribute to the Dauphin for the lands of the Mandement de Savines. At that time, the first village was located at the bottom of the Réallon torrent, at a place called La Paroisse, where the ruins of the ancient castle of the Counts of la Font de Savines and those of the first parish church can still be seen. It was abandoned during the Revolution because of the ravages of the Réallon torrent. The second Savines, dating from 1825, was destroyed on 3 May 1961 to make way for the Serre-Ponçon reservoir. It was located on the left bank of the Durance at a place called La Charrière.  

Lake Serre-Ponçon

The devastating floods of the Durance in 1843 and 1856 led to studies into the feasibility of a dam. However, the permeability of the soil meant that new techniques had to be developed, and it wasn't until 1948 that an engineer from Moscow, Ivan Wilhem, came up with a viable project. Development work began in 1955 with Jean de Mailly as architect, assisted by Jean Prouvé, and the reservoir was impounded in November 1959, with completion in May 1961. Around 1,500 people were displaced and their villages - Savines, Ubaye and Rousset - flooded. The village of Savines was rebuilt and the new Savines-le-lac was inaugurated in 1962. Lac de Serre-Ponçon is the second largest man-made lake in Europe.

Km 139.4


Les Demoiselles coiffées (The Hatted Maidens), more commonly known as "fairy chimneys", are original formations created by erosion. They take the form of a column of various conglomerates supporting a rock of varying size. In order to prevent their further deterioration and, above all, to avoid putting the public at risk of accidents, a footpath has been created below them, with explanatory panels and superb panoramic views. The 2.60 ha parcel of land housing the Demoiselles coiffées of Sauze du Lac has been a listed site since 1966.

Km 142.9


At the crossroads of the Ubaye and Durance rivers, the picturesque village of Le Sauze du Lac has preserved its typical character while offering a view over Lake Serre-Ponçon. The village has a public beach at Port Saint-Pierre, at an altitude of 780 m. Situated on the Ubaye arm of Lake Serre-Ponçon, this beach is a haven of peace where you can relax and unwind. In summer, swimming is supervised and the beach is equipped.  You can also go sailing, jet-skiing, pedal-boating and canoeing. The chapel of Saint-Martin, a religious site dating back to 618 and recently restored, stands on a hill overlooking the Ubaye and Durance valleys. The Serre-Ponçon Animal Park showcases the fauna of the Hautes-Alpes and birds of prey.


Population: 161,600 (2016)

Prefecture: Digne-les-Bains

Sub-prefectures: Barcelonnette, Castellane, Forcalquier

Surface area: 6,925 km2

Specialities: Lavender honey, lavender, Sisteron lamb, Banon cheese, Génépi from the Ubaye valley, truffles, olive oil, Pierrevert wines, apples from the Alpes de Haute-Durance, Ubaye ravioles, fumeton, Tomme de l'Ubaye and Cachaille.

Sports: rafting, white-water swimming, canyoning, canoeing, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, hiking, horse riding, water sports, climbing, via ferrata, cycle touring, golf, fishing, gliding, hang-gliding, paragliding, speed riding. Alpes de Haute-Provence is France's No. 1 department for mountain biking. Three Grandes Traversées have been awarded the FFC label: the Alpes-Provence, the Transverdon and the Chemins du soleil.

Main tourist attractions: Verdon gorges, Lake Allos, Lake Ste Croix, Mercantour National Park, Luberon and Verdon Regional Nature Parks, Unesco Geopark of Haute Provence, village of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie, Valensole plateau and its lavender fields, Sisteron citadel, Gorges du Verdon prehistory museum, Salagon museum and its remarkable gardens, Gréoux-les-Bains and Digne-les-Bains thermal baths.

Cultural events: Prehistory Days in Quinson (July), Enfants du Jazz Festival in Barcelonnette (July), Nights at the Citadel in Sisteron (July/August), Été Astro in Saint-Michel-l'Observatoire (July/August), Corsos de la Lavande, Lavender Festival in Valensole (21 July), Latin-Mexican festivals in Barcelonnette in August, Les Correspondances in Manosque in September.

Economy: tourism, agriculture, cosmetics, flavours and fragrances, agri-food, renewable energies, chemicals and pharmaceuticals (manufacture of beauty products, perfumes, etc.), fruit and vegetables, hydroelectricity (the Durance and Verdon dams account for 12% of France's hydroelectric output), wood (forests cover almost half the département), and photovoltaics (1er département in PACA).

Websites and social networks :

Km 156.2


Once a military lock on the Ubaye valley, Le Lauzet-Ubaye is famous for the "Pas de la Tour turnstiles", when the road did not yet exist; today a bridge provides access to Le Lauzet. The so-called "Roman" bridge, a narrow defile 40 metres above the Ubaye, is a listed site dating back to the 13th century. The Villard dolmen, dating from prehistoric times, was listed in 1900. A green resort, Le Lauzet-Ubaye gives the Ubaye valley access to Lake Serre-Ponçon. The village of Ubaye, which was part of the commune of Le Lauzet, was destroyed and swallowed up in 1956 when Lake Serre-Ponçon was built. The village's natural lake offers swimming and fishing. In 2009, the commune of Le Lauzet completed the restoration of the Saint-Laurent church, built between 1715 and 1730 thanks to the financial contribution of a cloth merchant from Turin, Joseph Vigne. The church features paintings by Italian painter Fidele Patritti, who was a frequent visitor to the Ubaye valley where he lived in the 1850s.  

Museums in the Ubaye valley

The Ubaye valley and its history can be discovered at the six museums in Barcelonnette, Saint-Paul-sur-Ubaye, Pontis, Jausiers, le Lauzet-Ubaye and Meyronnes-Saint-Ours. They tell the story of the locals struggle with their harsh land and their discovery of the wide world. Each of the museums has chosen its own theme, which it presents on the scale of the whole valley and not just the commune.

Km 165


The village is made up of several hamlets (Méolans, St Barthélémy, Lavercq, Rioclar and Revel) with its emblematic bell tower overlooking the Ubaye river from the top of its cliff. As part of the Natura 2000 programme, the Lavercq valley, with its popular Eaux Tortes hiking trail, is currently undergoing a general ecological and naturalist inventory. The Lavercq Abbey, at the end of the valley of the same name, is the remains of a 12th-century monastery. The municipality is overlooked by the 2,408m-high massif known as "Louis XVI's head", named for its profile, which is strangely reminiscent of that of the king. In the village, the Huse of Wood combines all the features of an eco-museum, a wood workshop and an exhibition gallery. It is a showcase for the timber industry. Its original, innovative architecture reflects the revival of timber construction.

Km 169.8


The name of the village comes from the pottery factories that once operated here. Its church, Saint-Martin-de-Tours, dates back to 1525. In the Gimette forest, a 1.6km discovery trail explores the fauna, flora and geology of the Ubaye valley.


Erleben Sie bei einem Besuch in Gap eine spannende Mischung aus Geschichte und schöner Natur. Gap ist die größte Stadt der Region Haute-Alpes und bietet verwinkelte historische Gassen und kulturelle Wahrzeichen, wie die Kathedrale von Gap, die zum französischen Nationaldenkmal erklärt wurde.

Die Stadt gilt als sportlichste Stadt Frankreichs und verfügt unter anderem über eine Eislaufbahn, auf der das beliebte Team Rapaces trainiert. Außerdem ist Gap als Tor zu den französischen Alpen ein idealer Ausgangspunkt für Outdoor-Fans. Entdecken Sie die malerischen Wanderwege und spannende Wintersportaktivitäten.

Wenn Sie eher die Entspannung suchen, hat Gap ebenfalls einiges zu bieten. Die zahlreichen Plätze sind der perfekte Ort, um unter freiem Himmel zu essen und das Nachtleben zu genießen.


Erleben Sie das einzigartige Flair von Barcelonnette. In der Alpenstadt offenbaren sich auf Schritt und Tritt Geschichte, Kultur und Naturschönheiten. Bei einem Spaziergang durch die malerischen Straßen können Sie typisch französische Sehenswürdigkeiten wie die Stiftskirche der Heiligen Maria-Magdalena als historisches Wahrzeichen besichtigen oder im Musée de la Vallée einheimische Handwerkskunst und das Kulturerbe bestaunen. Mit ihren vielen Villen im mexikanischen Baustil bietet die Stadt aber auch einen Hauch von Mexiko.

Erklimmen Sie den Col de la Cayolle und genießen Sie den Panoramablick auf die atemberaubende Landschaft des Ubaye-Tals. Dank seiner Lage in den französischen Alpen ist Barcelonnette ein idealer Ausgangspunkt für Wanderer, Skifahrer und Aktivurlauber. Verwöhnen Sie sich anschließend in den Restaurants des Orts mit provenzalischer und alpenländischer Küche.

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