About AlpBase in the Southern French Alps
Jerry and Jackie Gore, fed up with British weather and traffic decided to move to France, but where to go? Now everyone knows that if you want guaranteed sunshine you head for Provence, and if you want guaranteed snow you head for the Alps. Well, the Hautes Alpes has it all, so guess where we chose? With 300 days of sunshine per year, 31 ski resorts comprising 1400km of downhill slopes, huge off-piste at La Grave and almost one thousand kilometres of cross-country ski tracks we knew we were on to a winner.
But the more we investigated the better it got; as the Hautes Alpes is France’s second most important mountaineering area you would expect fantastic rock and ice climbing, numerous Via Ferrata and miles of mountain trails. But there’s also great mountain biking, paragliding, and white water rafting. All set within the beauty of France’s largest National Park - Les Ecrins - where it’s not uncommon to see eagles, marmots, chamois and even Ibex. We also found out that it is one of the very few alpine regions that, since it achieved national park status in 1973, has always controlled its tourism. Having both experienced the horrors of Chamonix over many years we liked the sound of that. And finally the Hautes Alpes also happens to be where most of the French head to when they need a break, no matter what time of year!
If you are after culture and heritage, the architecture in this â€œPaysâ€Â is legendary, such as the old town of Briancon, at an altitude of 1,362 meters (Europe’s highest), built by Vauban and renowned for its typical narrow streets, sundials and old gargoyles.
After a lot of searching we found a beautiful chalet, L’Acacia, with an upstairs for us, a large garden and a self-contained apartment for our guests. Our village of Vallouise lies at an altitude of 1,100 meters with mountains on all four sides of the chalet. Most days finish watching the alpenglow across Mt Pelvoux, with a drink in hand, and the opportunity to relax and saviour some legendary French food, either at home or in one of the three local restaurants.