Summer in the Southern French Alps


Very few are the regions where you can spend the morning climbing up a glacier and relax on a beach by a lake in the afternoon! The Southern French Alps, thanks to its incredible variety of landscapes and great weather, offers it all. Besides its huge outdoors potential, this unique region also offers plenty of beautiful traditional markets, quality restaurants serving the tasty local specialties, very interesting museums and many other sightseeing opportunities.

Here are some of our favourite things to do and places to go to while you're holidaying in the Southern French Alps to make the most of your time here! This is by no means an exhaustive list, and we're continuously updating it with the feedback from our clients.


Markets have a century long tradition worldwide. They are particularly bustling and colourful in the Southern French Alps, where a happy crowd of welcoming locals and merry tourists meet every morning in a different village or city. Outside of the high season (mid-June to mid-September), the markets are quieter places where the locals come buy their bread, cheese, fruit and vegetable for the week. In the tourist season, the local traders are joined by a wide range of arts and crafts, clothing and souvenirs stands. Some villages even organise night markets which, thanks to the particular atmosphere of the evening, are even more special. A real must visit!

Day Markets (usually held from 8.00 to 13.00)

    • Ancelle. A small sized market on the central square of a lovely alpine village.
    • Chorges. In the summer, this is the biggest market in the area. A wonderful experience!
    • Saint-Bonnet en Champsaur. The largest market in the Champsaur Valley.
    • Guillestre. Shop for delicious local products before you go explore the awe-inspiring Queyras Valley!
    • Saint-Firmin en Valgaudemar. A nice market at the entrance of the Valgaudemar Valley, nicknamed the "Little Himalayas"
    • Savines-le-Lac. A market with great views over the spectacular Serre-Ponçon lake.
    • Tallard. Feel the Provence influence on this beautiful southern market!
    • Gap (Place de la République). Flowers, local products and a merry atmosphere in the Southern French Alps' capital city!
    • Embrun. A beautiful market in one of the region's most picturesque towns.
    • Chauffayer (mid-June to mid-September). A small sized market between the Champsaur and Valgaudemar Valleys.
    • Orcières. A very nice market in a spectacular high mountain environment!
    • Veynes. West of Gap, the "Marché des Saveurs" will overwhelm you with flavours and savours!
    • Pont-du-Fossé / Saint-Jean Saint-Nicolas. A beautiful little market in the heart of the Champsaur Valley.
    • Savines-le-Lac.
    • Gap (Place Jean Marcellin, Rue Carnot, Rue de France). All year long, the whole pedestrian centre of Gap is turned into a large and vibrant market!
    • Embrun.

Night Markets (usually held from early July to late August, from 19.00 to 01.00)

    • Gap. With its joyful atmosphere, music bands and all shops and boutiques open late, the famous "Nocturnes de Gap" attract more and more visitors each year!
    • Embrun.
    • Prunières. With spectacular evening lights over the Serre-Ponçon lake, this night market is a must see!
    • Chorges.
    • Baratier. A traditional Provence market in a delightful summer evening atmosphere!

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Gastronomy is one of the main reasons why France attracts millions of tourists every year, and each of its region offers delicious specialties. The Southern French Alps is no exception! Thanks to its history, climate and traditions, our region is home to many specialties, including the flavoured alpine lamb, the intriguing "donkey's ears" meal, the delicious goat cheese, the iconic "Tourton du Champsaur", and more.

Here is a list of our favourite restaurants in the city of Gap and its surrounding alpine villages that you'll discover when you join us for your holiday. All these places offer good and hearty mountain food for a decent price. In some of them, you'll even get a free apéritif if you show your Privilege Card, so make sure you keep it with you!


  • LE BOUCHON. One of the best addresses in the city. Great food, friendly waiters, and a terrace for the hot summer days.
  • Contact info: 4, la Placette, 05000 GAP. TEL: +33-492-46-02-43. WEBSITE: Le Bouchon
  • LE PASTURIER. Probably the best restaurant in Gap. Classic French gastronomy. A place for real foodies!
  • Contact info: 18, Rue Pérolière, 05000 GAP. TEL: +33-492-53-69-29. WEBSITE: Le Pasturier
  • LES OLIVADES. A local institution that won't disappoint you! A charming place with a lovely garden.
  • Contact info: Route de Malcombe, 05000 GAP. TEL: +33-492-52-66-80. WEBSITE: Les Olivades


  • LA RIPAILLE. A traditional countryside restaurant serving delicious specialties of the Champsaur Valley.
  • Contact info: 2, Rue de Chaillol, 05500 Saint-Bonnet en Champsaur. TEL: +33-492-50-04-30
  • L'AUBERGE DE MARIE. In the heart of the medieval village of Saint-Bonnet, Marie and Marco serve excellent local food.
  • Contact info: 12, Place du Chevreril, 05500 Saint-Bonnet en Champsaur. TEL: 33 967-29-18-48
  • LE CAFE DE LA PLAGE. Good salads, pizzas and burgers with great views over the lovely "Plan d'eau du Champsaur" swimming lake.
  • Contact info: Plan d'eau du Champsaur, RD 945. TEL: +33-608-64-91-00


  • LES CHENETS. One of the most renowned restaurants in the Champsaur Valley, recommended by many gastronomic guides such as the Michelin Guide or Gault&Millau.
  • Contact info: Le Village, 05500 Saint-Julien en Champsaur. TEL: +33-492-50-03-15. WEBSITE: Les Chenets


  • LAITERIE DU COL BAYARD. The ultimate address for cheese-lovers! A large range of delicious (mostly cheese-based) specialties of the region in a beautiful setting. A must try!
  • Contact info: RN 85, Route du Col Bayard, 05500 Laye. TEL: +33-492-50-50-06. WEBSITE: Laiterie du Col Bayard


  • LA PETITE FABRIQUE. Large and tasty pizzas baked in front of you and the best burgers in the valley! Great for evening take-away dinner.
  • Contact info: La Haute-Plaine, 05260 Chabottes. TEL: +33-492-21-03-68


  • LE CHAMOIS. This family owned hotel and long lasting partner accommodation of Undiscovered Mountains is also a very good value for money restaurant!
  • Contact info: Le Village, 05260 Ancelle. TEL: +33-492-50-80-77. WEBSITE: Le Chamois
  • LES AUTANES. A very good restaurant in a vaulted room serving delicious mountain specialties.
  • Contact info: Le Village, 05260 Ancelle. TEL: +33-492-50-82-82. WEBSITE: Les Autanes
  • LE CLOS DU ROCHER. Probably the best pizzas in this corner of the Champsaur Valley, and very large portions of food whatever you order. Don't go there if you're not starving!
  • Contact info: Les Taillas, 05260 Ancelle. TEL: +33-492-52-65-02. WEBSITE: Le Clos du Rocher


  • L'ANONYME. Very good pizzas and good value for money "plats du jour" and a bar with a nice selection of rhums!
  • Contact info: Grand-Rue, 05260 Saint-Jean Saint-Nicolas. TEL: +33-492-43-87-55
  • L'HYSOPE. Traditional restaurant serving local specialties for a good price.
  • Contact info: Pont-du-Fossé, 05260 Saint-Jean Saint-Nicolas. TEL: +33-492-55-98-84


  • AUBERGE DES ECRINS. In the heart of the awe inspiring Champoléon Valley, a very good address with local specialties and frequent events (live music, etc.)
  • Contact info: Les Borels, 05260 Champoléon. TEL: +33-492-51-76-89. WEBSITE: Auberge des Ecrins
  • AUBERGE DES GONDOINS. A truly authentic experience, with a menu mostly based on products from around the farmhouse! 
  • Contact info: Les Gondoins, 05260 Champoléon. TEL: +33-492-55-90-78


  • CHATEAU LES HERBEYS. Classic French cuisine served in a wonderful château with great views over the surrounding mountains.
  • Contact info: RN 85, 05800 Chauffayer. +TEL: 33-651-17-38-05. WEBSITE: Les Herbeys


  • LE VAL DES SOURCES. Probably one of the best restaurants in the region. Delicious cuisine cooked and served by Claude and Colette, a lovely couple!
  • Contact info: Les Barengears, 05800 Saint-Maurice en Valgaudemar. TEL: +33-492-55-23-75. WEBSITE: Le Val des Sources


  • L'AUBERGE PRAPICOISE. Delicious and hearty mountain food served in Prapic, one of the most picturesque villages in the Southern French Alps!
  • Contact info: Prapic village, 05170 Orcières. TEL: +33-668-97-54-66


  • LE CRO MAGNON. A converted sheep barn with an open fire that serves amazing fondues and other cheese based specialties. Perfect for a cosy winter evening!
  • Contact info: Orcières 1850 resort, 05170 Orcières. TEL: +33-492-55-73-46. WEBSITE: Le Cro Magnon
  • LA TABLE DE L'ESTABLOU. A small and welcoming restaurant in the ski resort of Orcières. Very good food and decent prices.
  • Contact info: Rond-Point des Pistes, 05170 Orcières. TEL: +33-660-96-90-35
  • LA PASTOURELLE. Great local food and good prices for this restaurant that offers a very convenient indoor playground for kids!
  • Contact info: 2, Immeuble Queyrelet, 05170 Orcières. TEL: +33-492-55-74-36
  • L'ENDROIT. Good value for money restaurant at the foot of the ski pistes. Good burgers and meat.
  • Contact info: Rue des Rotondes, Galerie le Chamois, 05170 Orcières. TEL: +33-782-12-56-96
  • LA BAIE D'ALONG. If you've had enough with mountain food, try this very good restaurant that serves Vietnamese specialties, you won't regret it!
  • Contact info: Immeuble le Champsaur, 05170 Orcières. TEL: +33-492-55-85-92


  • AUBERGE DU MOULIN. One of the most unique places in the Gap area for a dinner you won't forget!
  • Contact info: La Plaine, 05230 Montgardin. TEL: +33-492-50-32-98. WEBSITE: Auberge du Moulin
  • LE SANS NOM. If you're looking for the best crêpe in the region, this is the place you need to go to!
  • Contact info: Grande Rue, 05230 Chorges. TEL: +33-492-51-60-18
  • CAFÉ DE LA GARE. A typical French restaurant in the heart of Chorges, serving very good food and organising events such as live music on a regular basis.
  • Contact info: Avenue des Martyrs, 05230 Chorges. TEL: +33-606-85-80-21


  • THE DED'S: A pub like atmosphere in the centre of Gap. Cosy setting inside and lovely terrace outside for a great immersion in the daily life of our capital city!
  • Contact info: Place Jean Marcellin, pedestrian centre, Gap
  • DIVERSION: A local institution where the locals go for an after-work apéritif as well as for a good dinner. Nice terrace outside on Gap's most famous square.
  • Contact info: Place Jean Marcellin, pedestrian centre, Gap. WEBSITE: Diversion
  • BEAUSOLEIL: On a beautifully renovated square, this is the hip bar in town, where all local "bobos" love to hang out until late in the evening.
  • Contact info: Place de la République, Gap
  • LE CHTI BAR: A very small and very popular place in Gap, where you'll find a huge selection of beers, and a mostly hipster crowd.
  • Contact info: 39, Rue Pérolière, Gap
  • L'ANONYME: A good local restaurant (see above) and a nice bar where tourists and locals mingle together. Beer, wine, and a nice selection of rhums!
  • Contact info: Grand'rue, Pont-du-Fossé

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With an official average of 300+ days of sunshine a year in the Southern French Alps, it's unlikely you'll even have to take a look at this section!

However, it's always good to have a plan B and to know what to do on a rainy day - or on any free day when you have no planned outdoor activities in the mountains!


  • STADE NAUTIQUE DE GAP. As a renowned "ville de sports", Gap boasts a modern swimming pool in the Fontreyne quarter, which includes a 25m indoor pool with a section for children. Now also includes a well-being centre.
  • Contact info: Avenue de Provence, 05000 Gap. TEL: +33-492-51-14-99. WEBSITE: Stade Nautique
  • PISCINE LA GRANDE OURSE (Orcières). A beautiful spot to enjoy both a modern swimming pool with a slide and stunning views over the surrounding mountains of the Champsaur Valley. Also includes a sauna, jacuzzi and hammam section.
  • Contact info: Palais des Sports, 05170 Orcières 1850. TEL: +33-492-55-89-96. WEBSITE: Piscine Orcières
  • CENTRE AQUATIQUE INTERCOMMUNAL (Saint-Bonnet). A brand new swimming pool in Saint-Bonnet in the heart of the Champsaur Valley. Includes a large pool as well as a children's pool and a toddler's one! Also includes a well-being centre.
  • Contact info: Avenue de Merly, 05500 Saint-Bonnet en Champsaur. TEL: +33-484-03-00-44. WEBSITE: Piscine Saint-Bonnet
  • CENTRE AQUATIQUE DE SERRE-PONÇON (Embrun). A recently all-renovated swimming pool in Embrun, the beautiful medieval town overlooking the spectacular Serre-Ponçon lake. Also includes a spa section. 
  • Contact info: Plan d'eau, 05200 Embrun. TEL: +33-492-23-24-13. WEBSITE: Piscine Embrun


  • STADE DE GLACE ALP'ARENA. Thanks to the brilliant performances of the local hockey team in the French first league, Gap boasts one of the most modern ice skating arenas in the country. Come on in to feel like one of the "Rapaces", the local team!
  • Contact info: Quartier la Blache, Rue de Narvik, 05000 Gap. TEL: +33-492-53-26-90. WEBSITE: Alp'Arena
  • PATINOIRE DE LA GRANDE OURSE. Located in the Palais des Sports complex in the heart of the Orcières 1850 resort, this 1600m2 skating rink offers modern facilities and evening events all along the winter season.
  • Contact info: Palais des Sports, 05170 Orcières 1850. TEL: +33-492-55-89-96. WEBSITE: Patinoire Orcières 


  • CENTRE SPORTIF DU DÉVOLUY. A modern sports complex with squash courts, badminton and basketball hall, a climbing wall, a gym with all the latest equipment, table tennis, archery, a well-being centre and children's play area (4-10 years).
  • Contact info: Super Dévoluy, 05250 Le Dévoluy. TEL: +33-492-58-91-91. WEBSITE: Centre sportif Dévoluy


  • BOWLING DE LA GRANDE OURSE. A six lane bowling area with a billiard section and a bar in the heart of the Orcières 1850 ski resort to practice on your strikes when the sun is on strike!
  • Contact info: Palais des Sports, 05170 Orcières 1850. TEL: +33-492-55-89-96. WEBSITE: Bowling Orcières
  • BOWLING DE GAP. An eight lane bowling hall with a large billiard section, video games and a friendly bar. Birthday parties, lunch and dinner combos. Free parking outside. Located in the Tokoro quarter.
  • Contact info: 21, Rue de Tokoro. TEL: +33-492-52-35-55. WEBSITE: Bowling Gap


  • 24 MINUTES CHRONO (Zone de la Justice, Gap). A futuristic laser game hall with 4 large playing zones. Single or multiple games, possibility of organising a tournament mode game with 20 players. BOOKING REQUIRED!
  • Contact info: 26B, Route de la Justice, 05000 Gap. TEL: +33-781-54-76-91. 


There are cinemas in Orcières, Saint-Bonnet en Champsaur, Gap, Embrun and Veynes, as well as lots of interesting movies in the "cinéma itinérant" series of projections, which goes from village to village in the summer. Please note that only the LE CLUB/LE CENTRE cinema in Gap shows films in their original language. Most films in the other theatres will be dubbed in French (which can be great if you or your children are learning it!).


Gap has two theatres, the  PASSERELLE and the QUATTRO, both showing a wide variety of shows, concerts and exhibitions all year long. Please let us know if you'd like to receive more info about the programmed events of these two places.

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Gap is the major city in the Southern French Alps and it offers a lot to people hungry for culture all year long. But so do all the little villages scattered around the area! Each of them proudly maintains at least one small museum, or an old typical construction which people can visit to learn more about the history and the traditions of our alpine valleys. The places listed below are among our favourite places, as they all offer a lot for visitors of all ages. 

Our Carte Privilège gets you a free entrance and/or a free goody in lots of these museums, so make sure you keep it with you at all time!


  • APILAND HONEY MUSEUM. An interactive and educational guided visit (count 75 minutes) where you will learn everything about the honey making process, and how important it is for our survival. The owners Lionel and Sandrine are always happy to share their knowledge about the bees and the golden nectar they produce. A great place for visitors of all ages!
  • Contact Info: 1, Rue des Tennis, 05190 Rousset. TEL: +33-492-54-40-60. WEBSITE: Apiland
  • MUSÉOSCOPE DU LAC DE SERRE-PONÇON. This fascinating museum explains in details the history behind the construction of the largest dam in Western Europe: what it meant in the 1960's when it got built and what it means nowadays to the people of the region. A highly educational and interactive visit a few hundred meters away only from the impressive construction! A must see! Tours are in French and English.
  • Contact info: Le Belvédère de Serre-Ponçon, 05190 Rousset. TEL: +33-492-54-50-00. WEBSITE: Muséoscope
  • ABBAYE DE BOSCODON. One of the oldest buildings in the region (and the only abbey in the Hautes-Alpes département), the Boscodon Abbey is a unique place in the Southern French Alps and one of the region's most visited monuments. It is both a very simple and a stunning building which commands silence and contemplation. It is also the departure point of many beautiful hikes with spectacular views over the Serre-Ponçon lake, the largest artificial lake in Europe. We highly recommend a visit there!
  • Contact info: Abbaye de Boscodon, 05200 Crots. TEL: +33-492-43-14-15. WEBSITE: Abbaye de Boscodon
  • PARC ANIMALIER DE SERRE-PONÇON. One of the nicest animal parks in the whole region. Discover the local birds (owls, eagles, etc.) as well as many other mountain animals in their natural habitat. You will also learn about the daily job of the park's caretakers and pet some of the softest and furriest animals!
  • Contact info: Parc animalier de Serre-Ponçon, Domaine des Grisons, 05160 Le Sauze-du-Lac. TEL: +33-761-26-32-00. WEBSITE: Parc animalier


  • MUSÉE DÉPARTEMENTAL DE GAP: The largest museum in the city presents the history of Gap, from the Roman time when it was called Vapincum to the modern age. Permanent and temporary exhibitions all year long, as well as interactive visits. A nice place to get more familiar with the Southern French Alps' long history. Free entrance, closed on Tuesdays.
  • Contact info: 6, Avenue Maréchal Foch, 05000 Gap. TEL: +33-492-51-01-58. WEBSITE: Musée de Gap
  • DOMAINE DE CHARANCE. This beautiful classic building is not only the headquarters of the Ecrins National Park, it is also one of the Gapençais' favourite places for a picnic or a stroll. The beautiful grounds that surround the building are open all year round and offer some spectacular views over the Gap valley. The rose garden includes a unique collection of 600+ kinds of roses! A wonderful and very pleasant place to spend a few hours!
  • Contact info: Domaine de Charance, Quartier Charance, 05000 Gap. TEL: +33-492-53-26-79


  • CHÂTEAU DE TALLARD. This historical landmark of the region is a castle which is at least 800 years old. It is undergoing renovation right now and should reopen its doors in the summer of 2019. The size of the building is quite impressive, and so are the beautiful views over the surroundings when you're visiting the castle. Evening visits are possible on certain summer days, making the experience even more memorable!
  • Contact info: Château de Tallard, 05130 Tallard. TEL: +33-492-54-10-14. WEBSITE: Château de Tallard
  • THE TALLARD AERODROME. Have you ever had the chance to look closely at how planes take off and land? Have you ever seen how paragliders zoom towards the ground when they're landing? The Aerodrome in Tallard, one of the most famous ones in Europe for gliding and paragliding, is a great place to observe the choreography of all flying objects, from hot air balloon to helicopter! It also offers nice bars and restaurants.
  • Contact info: Aérodrome de Tallard, 05130 Tallard. TEL: +33-492-54-32-10. WEBSITE: Aérodrome de Tallard
  • LA FERME DU COL (Educational Farmhouse). 10 kilometres away from Tallard, in a typical hamlet of the region, this educational farmhouse offers a range of very interesting visits. You'll discover the traditional animals of an alpine farmhouse and you'll see how the owners grow small spelt (an ancient cereal which is the only non-modified one still cultivated today). A very interesting place! Entrance costs 7€ for children and 8€ for adults.
  • Contact info: La Ferme du Col, 05130 Jarjayes. TEL: +33-492-54-30-70. WEBSITE: La Ferme du Col


  • MOULIN BELLON (Villar Loubière). Built in 1838 and restored in 1979 by the Ecrins National Park, this mill is one of 23 local mills, but it's the only one that's in such good shape and that displays information about how the locals used to make flour in the 19th century. A very interesting visit amidst the spectacular landscapes of the Valgaudemar Valley, also called the "Little Himalayas"! Open every day (afternoon only) in July and August. Entrance costs 1,5€ for children and 3€ for adults.
  • Contact info: Moulin Bellon, 05800 Villar Loubière. TEL: +33-492-55-26-78


  • LA MAISON DU BERGER (The Shepherd's Museum). This unique museum offers permanent and temporary exhibitions about the art and the long history of pastoralism in the Alpine valleys as well as in many other regions in the world. Thanks to a dedicated and passionate team, this museum has gathered an exhaustive knowledge and documentation along the years. Wonderful series of pictures, a friendly staff and a great gift shop complete the picture. Entrance costs 4,5€.
  • Contact info: Les Borels, 05260 Champoléon. TEL: +33-492-49-61-85. WEBSITE: La Maison du Berger


  • MAISON DE LA BOTANIQUE DU NOYER  (Botanical Museum). This beautiful museum is dedicated to the life and work of Dominique Villars, a famous botanist and doctor of the 18th century. Outside, the wonderful garden and the botanical trail allow an immersion into the world of plants (mountain flowers, edible plants, medicinal plants, etc.). Displays are in French.
  • Contact info: Maison de la Botanique, 05500 Le Noyer en Champsaur. TEL: +33 492-23-28-02. WEBSITE: Maison de la Botanique
  • MUSEE DU MOULIN (Pont-du-Fossé). This "eco-museum" has two separate exhibits. The first one is a very true-to-life reconstitution of the interiors of a traditional Champsaur Valley farmhouse. The second one is a visit that allows you to re-live an hour of class from the early 20th century: wooden benches, purple ink, writing with a quill, etc. A lot of fun for everyone in the family!
  • Contact info: Le Moulin, 05260 Saint-Jean Saint-Nicolas. TEL: +33-492-55-91-19. WEBSITE: Museé du Moulin
  • L'ASINERIE DU SENTIER DES ANES (Saint-Julien en Champsaur). You won't find any cows, pigs or sheep in this farmhouse: Eric and Marielle only deal with donkeys! Their farmhouse is a great place to discover how they milk their lovely donkeys, and how they make all kinds of cosmetics with their milk. A very interesting, very educational visit, 2 minutes away only from the lovely Plan d'eau du Champsaur swimming-lake where we organise our weekly barbecue!
  • Contact info: Route du Domaine, 05500 Saint-Julien en Champsaur. TEL: +33-660-30-41-56. WEBSITE: Asinerie Sentier des Ânes

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The Southern French Alps is home to many lakes, including the largest dammed lake in Western Europe: the spectacular Serre-Ponçon lake. Dotted around the mountains are many smaller sized swimming lakes, both higher and lower altitude. Some of them are commercialised with supervised swimming areas and water sports, some  (natural or artificial) also offer endless swimming and sunbathing opportunities, no matter what you're after: a wide range of water sports for the adrenaline junkies, and incomparable alpine landscapes for the romantic ones. And if you're rather into swimming-pools, we've got plenty of those too!

Here is a short list of our favourite lakes and outside pools (for the indoor pools, please read our "Activities to do on a rainy day" section).


The Serre-Ponçon lake is the largest dammed lake in Western Europe. The dam has been built in the 1960's for electricity purposes, but the lake which subsequently reshaped the whole Durance valley has quickly become one of the major tourist hubs in the Southern French Alps. Today, it is our favourite spot for all water activities, from windsurf to tubing to SUP, but it is also a stunningly picturesque place if you're just looking for a swim in beautiful turquoise waters, or for a wonderful alpine sunset.


On the northern side of the Hautes-Alpes département, another wonderful lake offers many opportunities for fun-packed water activities. The Lac du Sautet is smaller and less known than the Serre-Ponçon one, but its amazing colors and awe inspiring mountainous environment make it a top spot for visitors looking for a more preserved area. It is especially nice for lake kayaking, and the scenic roads that stretch around it make for an unforgettable bike tour.


This picturesque site is located downstream from the Serre-Ponçon dam in the Durance Valley. Though the Ecrins National Park is not too far away, the whole atmosphere is very different in this part of the Southern French Alps and you can feel the proximity of the beautiful Provence area: lower mountains, hotter temperatures, vineyards and orchards, etc. A very nice place to spend a few hours or a whole day, with many different water activities, a paintball area, a karting track, etc.


This lovely artificial swimming-lake built in the heart of the Champsaur Valley is one of our favourite lakes, as it offers everything one can expect from a lake in the mountains. Amazing views, a beautiful pine tree forest with bbq sets, a mini-golf and other games, an adventure park, a big slide, and of course many water activities such as lake kayak and SUP. Because it is strategically located in the middle of the Champsaur Valley, this is the place we chose for the highly popular barbecue which we organise every week in the summer with all the families that are holidaying with Undiscovered Mountains!


The largest swimming-pool in the area, the stade nautique de Gap offers both indoor (see "Activities to do on a rainy day") and outdoor pools. The outdoor facilities include an Olypic sized 50m pool, a big slide and 2 children's pools as well as mini-golf and trampolines. WEBSITE: Stade Nautique


Nested amidst a spectacular mountainous environment, the swimming-pool of Saint-Firmin en Valgaudemar offers 3 heated pools as well as courses for children and adults. It is only open in July and August. The perfect way to relax after a great walk in the valley nicknamed "The Little Himalayas"! WEBSITE: Piscine Saint-Firmin


A few minutes away from the famous Tallard Aérodrome, this small swimming pool (open only during the summer) is a nice place for a break. It includes a large pool and a children's one, as well as a solarium. Courses and lessons can be organised. WESBITE: Piscine Tallard


One of the greatest thermal spa&wellness centres in the region. Swimming pools, jacuzzi, spa and hammams as well as a wide range of massages, all of it in a beautiful and peaceful environment with some stunning views over the mountains of the Ecrins National Park. The drive from Gap takes a couple of hours, but you won't regret it! WEBSITE: Les Grands Bains

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Hikes and walks are one of the greatest things to do when in the mountains. It is especially true in the Southern French Alps, where history and traditions (people used to live in remote villages scattered in the mountains and had no other means of transportation than their own feet!) mean that you'll find hundreds of safe and well marked paths throughout the area. The spectacular Ecrins National Park (the second largest in size in metropolitan France) boasts 750+ kilometres of paths, and you'll find about as many outside the park itself. We strongly recommend you go for a walk while holidaying with Undiscovered Mountains!

Here is a list of some of our favourite hikes and walks in and around the Champsaur and Valgaudemar Valleys, where Undiscovered Mountains was created 15 years ago. Some of them come with an added cherry on the caked: a beautiful high altitude lake at the end of the path! We classified them by duration so you know what to expect and how to organise your day. Click on the "READ MORE" button to find a more detailed description of each of these walks, a map of it, and what kind of sightseeing you can expect on the way.

We remind you that when going on a hike in the mountains, it is always better to leave as early as possible: you'll avoid the potential thunderstorms risks (they often happen in the afternoon or early evening on a hot summer day) as well as the heat, you'll see more animals and less tourists, and let's face it: there's nothing more amazing than reaching a summit or an altitude lake when nothing else is around but the mountains, the spectacular morning lights, and the silence!

You can also click on this link called Ecrins-Rando to discover many more walks and hikes with info in English (also downloadable as app on Android and iOS).

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Pic de Gleize (2 to 3 hours)

A classic walk with panoramic views of the Gap, Champsaur and Dévoluy valleys without the need to do much climbing!

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Croix de St Philippe (2 hours)

A beautiful and gentle ridge walk suitable for the whole family with spectacular views over the Champsaur and Gap valleys.

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Col du Vialet and Pic Queyrel (4 to 5 hours)

A reasonably challenging walk to a little known summit with magnificent views over the Champsaur valley.

Col de la Vénasque (6 to 7 hours)

A long but beautiful through walk taking in the wild and unspoilt Champoléon valley and the famous Refuge du Tourond.