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Hautes-Alpes is a department in southeastern France named after the Alps mountain range.


Hautes-Alpes is a department in the south-east of France, named after the Alps mountain range.
The department is surrounded by the following French departments: Alpes-de-Haute-Provence, Drome, Isere, and Savoie. Italy border is on the east.
Hautes-Alpes is located in the Alps mountain range. The average elevation is over 1000 m, and the highest elevation is over 4000 m.
The high attitude ski resort are: Serre-Chevalier, La Grave-La Meije, Montgenevre, Puy St Vincent, Risoul, Vars, Les Orres, Orcieres and le Devoluy.
There are 6 main rivers crossing department: Durance (which has been dammed to create the largest artificial lake in Europe of 3 000ha- the Lac de Serre-Poncon), Guisane, Buech, Drac, Claree and Severaisse.
The only three sizable towns are Gap, Briancon and Embrun but there is plenty of charming villages.


The Hautes-Alpes benefits from neighbouring with Provence. Its dry climate and altitude bring the advantage in the region of having very defined seasons. This type of climate is sometimes called mountainous Mediterranean.
More altitude and drop down to the south, plus annual average temperatures are rising. They are between 0 ° C and 3 ° C for the coldest districts (Queyras and Briançonnais), and more than 9 ° C for Laragnais.
With the average of 300 days of sunshine a year, Hautes-Alpes is perfect destination for each season.


Gap is the capital of Haute-Alpes department. Located on the river Luye, it famous as a health resort and good base for winter sports. There are two markets a week, which are a great way to meet with the locals. Gap is well placed to tour the region and has a botanical conservatory with 1,000 varieties of rose, 500 of apple and 800 of pears. The Departmental Museum on Avenue Marechal Foch has some interesting archaeological collections from the bronze and iron ages on display.

In the heart of the “Parc Naturel Regional du Queyras” Nature Park, at a height of 2042 m, Saint-Veran prides itself on being the highest inhabited village in Europe. In the village, which is made up of several quarters, the wood and stone chalets tiled with slate, the fountains, bread ovens and sundials are all typical of “everyday” local heritage, while the many chapels and mission crosses bear witness to the inhabitants’ beliefs. While in Si Veran there are sevarl places not to be misses: Le Soum Museum, L’Observatoir (mountain top observatory), church and the exhibition on the old copper mine.

The village of La Grave has settled its stone and slate houses on a sunny slope in the heart of the Massif des Ecrins, facing the impressive Peak de la Meije that rises to an altitude of 3,983 m. La Grave is a Mecca for mountain climbing and also a key venue for skiers seeking thrills who come from all over the world to challenge each other on a 2,150 m vertical drop for the yearly Derby de la Meije. While in the La Grave, it’s necessary to visit the church of Notre Dame and to see LA Meije glaciers and ice cave.


The main activities are: hiking, biking, mountain climbing and biking, horse riding, rafting, canoeing, kayaking, all winter sports (skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing), golfing or fishing in the lake or rivers. There is also possibility to try air sports like parachute jumping or hot air balloon.
The best way to discover the beauty of this department is to take all of the tourists routes including: lavender route, Alps route, Napoleon route, fruit and wine route and finally sundials route. The will well presents history, nature and gastronomy of Hautes Alpes.
For more unusual entertainment there are: dogsled, diving under ice, visit of Kanata- igloo villages, snowmobiling or try car racing on ice.
Several ski resort benefits from spa centres like one in Serre Chevalier, in Orcieres or Briancon Sere Chevalier.


Gastronomy in Haute -Provence is quite traditional of a mountain region, based on natural produce. Amongst traditional offerings from the city of Gap, there are potato or spinach fritters, with herbs or meat, and also the sweet variety, with prune for example.
Other specialties include: tomme, pates, ravioles and gratin of fresh pasta with spinach and local cheese.
The cheese production is extremely diversified with bleu from the highlands and the Queyras variety. On the fruit side, sample as you go gorgeous pears like Passe Crassane or apples such as Golden Delicious, apricots famous well beyond regional borders. Further south, honey comes to the fore ground, scented with the flowers of Provence. On the eaux de vie side, Hautes Alpes produces quite a few with genepi being the most notorious. And for just a pick up, try Alphand, a light and refreshing beer brewed locally.

Useful information

Tourism office in Hautes-Alpes

Maps of Hautes-Alpes

Travel from the UK

By air: British Airways flies to Montpellier and Nice

Ryanair flies to Marseille, Toulon and Nice

Easyjet flies to Marseille and Nice

By rail: TGVs from Paris to Marseille and Aix-en-Provence.

Our team of sale advisers at Sextant Properties will be happy to help you to find a property in Hautes-Alpes. We have a large network of estate agents in Hautes-Alpes. All of them are registered French estate agents and speak both French and English. Whatever kind of property you are looking for: farmhouse, longere, barn, gite, B&B, country house, mill, castle or chateau, we will do our best to find a property in Hautes-Alpes matching your requirements.

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