Barcelonnette - Spanish in name only

Barcelonnette - Spanish in name only – main image

In the Provencal Alps, at the confluence of two beautiful valleys, there is a French town with a Spanish-sounding name and architecture with distinct Mexican accents. This is Barcelonnette, which has numerous ski resorts as its neighbors, and itself tempts with something completely different - a specific atmosphere, the possibility of blissful relaxation or active time spent among pristine Alpine nature.

Relaxation in the Ubaye Valley

"Barcelonnette", naturally, is associated with Barcelona and is translated as a diminutive of its name. In terms of architecture, however, it does not resemble much the center famous for the Sagrada Familia temple or residential buildings designed by Antonio Gaudi (including Casa Batlló, Casa Vicens). The city owes its name to the fact that Ramon Berenguer IV, who founded it in the 13th century, was also the ruler of the seat of Catalonia. Barcelonnette is surrounded by Alpine peaks, the largest of which, Grand Berard, rises above the horizon north of the city. On the other side, the sky is decorated with Le Chapeau de Gendarme, considered the most picturesque of all the peaks that cast a shadow over the valleys of the Ubaye River and its tributary, the Bachelard. The town is beautifully situated on the flat bottom of the valley, and a little higher, in the background, there are pastures and meadows. Between them, small hamlets nestled in the landscape, looking as if time had stopped there for at least half a century. Even higher, the areas are covered with pine forests, and above them you can see the mountain peaks, jagged like the edges of a cordon handkerchief. What could be a more relaxing sight, what better place to holiday in the Alps than a campsite in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region ?

First skiing experience in Pra Loup

Approx. 7 kilometers from Barcelonette there is Pra Loup, a town very popular among skiers. This especially applies to families with children who teach their children the art of skiing. Located at an altitude of 1,600 m above sea level, the station belongs to the Famille Plus Montagne family centers, and for the youngest it has to offer, among others: toboggan slope and playgrounds. Children aged 6 months to 6 years can be cared for in the special Les Petits Loups nursery/kindergarten. During this time, parents have the opportunity to go skiing on nearby slopes. Most of the complex's routes start at this height, while lower down, at Pra Loup 1500, there are many accommodation options in apartments. There is only one cable car, but a free ski bus runs regularly, taking skiers to Pra Loup 1600. But not only skiing is a good reason to come - the station is a great idea for a family holiday , regardless of the season.

Camping in the heart of the Ubaye Valley

Where to find accommodation in Barcelonnette or in the immediate vicinity? Literally a stone's throw from the town, and at the same time about 15 minutes from Lake Serre-Ponçon, there is a place created for relaxation, preferably with family. This isCamping Rioclar , which perfectly meets the expectations of people who want to spend time actively in the bosom of nature. Hiking and cycling trails are waiting to be discovered, and the valley can also be admired from above - not only from the peaks, but also from a paraglider. The beauty of high mountain lakes will not be forgotten for a long time. In addition to the location ideal for sightseeing trips, the campsite offers guests an extensive restaurant menu with a view of the mountains, a heated swimming pool, a shop, animations and attractions for rafting enthusiasts. All surrounded by beautiful greenery. Unfortunately, you must be aware that the town is at risk of landslides, including the active Super-Sauze and La Valette. Who knows what the valley bed will look like in a few, a dozen or several dozen years? It is quite possible that the landscape will change beyond recognition and the places we fell in love with will disappear. It is worth visiting Barcelonnette as soon as possible to feel its unique atmosphere.

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A writer by profession, a passion of a cat. One day he will see what is behind the Urals - good to Vladivostok. So far, when he can, he enjoys the sun of the countries of southern Europe. And it's also fun;)

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The larch routes of Les Orres – image 1
Places to visit
The larch routes of Les Orres
Les Orres is a small but very picturesque French ski station. It is located in close proximity to the village of Embrun, in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region. The proximity of Lake Serre-Ponçon and the surrounding larch forests, combined with the gradually increasing number of well-prepared ski slopes, ensure the station's interest in tourists. It is approximately 1,860 km away from Warsaw. By car, this distance can be covered in approximately 20 hours. When planning a vacation in Les Orres , you need to be prepared that it will be difficult to take advantage of all the attractions offered by the resort. There may simply not be enough time for it. 101 km of slopes of all levels of difficulty await skiers - gentle and easy in the lower parts of the mountains (making it an ideal ski resort for beginners) and demanding in the higher ones, including the red Grand Cabane running between forests, almost 6 km long. There are smaller slopes at Les Orres 1800 , ideal for driving lessons. At an altitude of more than 2,000 m above sea level, there are ambitious routes that should not be used by people without experience. It is an area of quite long routes, mostly red, running from the mountain ridge to the station itself. While hiking on Clos Deguis, Bergerie, Boussolenc or Myrtilles, apart from the next sips of adrenaline, you can focus on admiring the valley with its villages and the mirror of Serre-Ponçon Lake. It is better to concentrate on the most difficult route of the resort, the famous L'Horrible ("Terrifying") or the black Pousterle, which is used in organizing international competitions. In addition to the ski runs served by 22 lifts, the station offers an ice rink, a toboggan run and a snow park with a boardercross track, snowmobile riding, paragliding and climbing frozen waterfalls. There are also restaurants and pubs, the resort also has a disco and a cinema.