Where are the igloos?
We have two igloo villages situated in the Southern French Alps. One of them is located up in the ski resort of Orcières, at 2300 meters of altitude on the spectacular Rocherousse plateau. The other one is nestled in the icy winter wonderland at the end of the Champsaur Valley.
What are the igloos?
The igloos are made of snow built using Eskimo technique and adapted to the alpine climate and snow conditions!
A large dome of snow is built and then literally dug out by hand with a spade to create a hollow space inside. There is a sleeping platform, which is higher than the entrance tunnel to make the most of the warmer air rising for comfortable sleeping conditions.
They are equipped with special insulated mattresses with warm sleeping bags suitable for the cold night time temperatures. They are lit with candles inside, which against the snow create a rather unique and quite romantic atmosphere for your rustic survival experience!
A Night in an Igloo on the High Altitude Rocherousse Plateau
Journalist Jo Kessel braved the cold for a night with her sister. Read her report in the Independent Newspaper!
The night in the igloo village unfolds as follows: after catching the last lift up to the Rocherousse plateau, you will watch all the skiers ski off the mountain, leaving you in the peace and quiet!
Then you will go for a short easy walk around the igloo village with your guide to watch the sun set and look at the stars, which is a magnificent spectacle, made all the more special by having it all to yourselves! After your walk, you will go to the cabin or chalet restaurant where you will eat dinner before going to your igloos to sleep. Alternatively, you and your guide will cook in the igloos and eat there! Dinner is usually a sociable dish, like a cheese fondue, and vegetarians can be catered for. Alcohol is not allowed due to the high altitude.
After dinner, you will go to the igloos, snuggle up in your sleeping bags and go to bed! There are toilets accessible throughout the night a short walk away from the igloos but you will need a head torch to navigate your way there in the dark.
In the morning, you are woken up with hot drinks and brekkie. After breakfast, you can enjoy the spectacular view of the mountains before the skiers take over for a new day...
Please note that this igloo village is only open from late January to early March and is subject to weather conditions so it is imperative that you have an alternative night's accommodation planned in case of extreme weather.
A Night in An Igloo in The Champsaur Valley Icy Winter Wonderland
The evening starts with a mulled wine or hot chocolate aperitif served over an ice bar and a tour of the igloo village including the 'World of Snow' photo exhibition displayed in one of the igloos. Your guide will then give you a safety briefing and show you where your igloo for the night is.
You'll then be served dinner in the nearby Auberge before heading out to your igloo for the night. Snuggle up in your sleeping bags and prepare for a once in a lifetime night time sleep in the snow! There are toilets accessible throughout the night in the Auberge but you will need a head torch to navigate there in the dark.
In the morning you will wake up in your snowy cocoon and go our to greet the icy scenes and peaceful calm of this snowy valley, all the more impressive first thing in the morning. You will appreciate your hot morning drink and breakfast in the warm of the Auberge!