Queyras

INDEPENDENT WALKING HOLIDAYS

 

Tour of Queyras - An Alpine secret

moderate challenging grade Cantal France independent walking holiday+

8 nights - from £890/€960 - 7 days trekking between guest houses

Dramatic walking in an unspoiled, rugged region of the French Alps with breathtaking scenery. A sunny climate and good paths make this an ideal alpine destination for the fit novice and experienced alpine walker alike. Luggage transported between guest houses. Rich alpine flora and fauna.

independent trekking holiday tour of Queyras in Alps France

Queyras - Best Kept Secret in the Alps

moderate challenging grade Cantal France independent walking holiday

7 nights - From £760/€820 - 6 days centre-based walking holiday

This centre-based self-guided walking holiday explores the Queyras, an unspoiled, rugged region of the French Alps with breathtaking scenery. A sunny climate and good paths make this an ideal alpine destination for the fit novice and experienced alpine walker alike. You'll need your own transport for this holiday which cherry-picks the best one day circuits in the region.

queyras french alps walking holiday

GUIDED WALKING HOLIDAY

 

Snow Shoeing in the Queyras

grade moderate Beaujolais guided walking France or grade challenging morocco Toubkal High Atlas

6 nights - from £1095/€1180 - Single centre, day walks

Discover the French Alps under its winter blanket of snow. Based in a wonderful 3-star hotel in Arvieux, our snow shoeing holiday will allow you to discover the most beautiful landscapes of the Queyras, as well as discovering a region full of unique traditions and architecture. Each day your guide will take you to a different valley in the Queyras Regional Park.

guided walking in queyras in French alps

Queyras: The Best Kept Secret in the Alps

moderate challenging grade Cantal France independent walking holiday

7 nights - £895/€965 - Two-centre based, day walks

A spectacular and relatively undiscovered alpine region of rich contrasts. Deep gorges, alpine meadows, rocky deserts and rugged mountain ridges and peaks. Accessible high mountain passes and summits, and a sunny climate make this an ideal destination for an alpine walking holiday.

Full list of independent and guided walking holidays

We also have a tailor-made trekking holiday in the Queyras which can be booked by private parties. Follow the link to find out more: Alpine trekking adventure - peak bagging in the French and Italian Alps

queyras french alps walking holiday

 

Queyras

On our independent and guided walking holidays you’ll explore the spectacular and relatively undiscovered Queyras Regional Park. Its range of accessible mountain passes and summits linked by good trails make this unspoiled region a paradise for walkers wishing to have a real high alpine experience. In addition, its location in the Southern French Alps on the border between France and Italy means it enjoys a wonderful climate with 300 days of sunshine a year.

The walks pass through a range of varied landscapes; mountain torrents snaking down deep gorges lined by lush forests. Above, alpine meadows merge with astonishing rocky deserts and mountain cliffs, capped by a succession of stunning mountain ridges and peaks. Its fauna and flora is exceptional with chamois, ibex, marmots, golden eagle and a vast array of rare wild flowers.

The Queyras landscape is as diverse as it is spectacular. Highlights of the area include the Casse Deserte, an amazing barren wilderness with a mass of fallen rocks, bristling with rocky spikes creating a scene more at home in the wild west. Several valleys surrounded by endless rugged peaks are home to crystal clear lakes. The Bouchosse valley is an excellent example and is both remote and wild. You'll have plenty of occasion to marvel at two beautiful mountains. The Font Sancte is the highest summit in the Queyras and you'll get great views of it on both our guided and self-guided walking holidays. Mont Viso, just over the border in Italy, is a sublime mountain that dominates the area and reaches 3841m in height.

The Queyras is one of the oldest mountain ranges of the Alps, and it was one of the last ones to be opened to public tourism towards the end of the 20th century. It is relatively unspoiled. A large part of it is designated a regional park which seeks to reconcile the protection of wildlife and man’s traditional activities. Tourism is promoted on the basis of promoting the natural landscape and wildlife assets of Queyras. The 650km2 of natural spaces that make up the Queyras is home to golden eagles, marmots, chamois, wolves, eagle-owls, black grouse, brown trout, Arolla pines, larches, edelweiss, Martagon lilies…

The major town of the Queyras is Guillestre on its south western edge. The mountains harbour several villages, many of them originally farming communities which are now winter and summer tourist resorts, such as Ceillac and Saint Véran. Like many parts of remote rural France, these villages have experienced depopulation over the last 200 years, caused by a lack of employment, rural poverty and the two world wars. Many of the villages have seen their population decline by two thirds. The popularity of skiing and tourist activities has helped to stabilise the population and bring in new employment to the area.

Despite some modern developments related to the French ski industry, the Queyras remains largely unspoiled with their historic villages decorated with traditional dwellings, religious buildings and sculptures, as well as other unique local buildings and monuments. The typical architecture of the region is individual houses with the ground floor built from stone and the upper floors built from wood with high pointed haylofts supported by beams and columns. Many of these dwellings were built during the 17th and 18th centuries, with villages such as Saint Véran containing many fine examples. There are a large number of religious monuments in the Queyras. Despite the presence of a protestant stronghold in parts of the region, it is the catholic symbols which are dominant. There are plenty of shrines, chapels, churches and crosses dotted across the landscape. This is a reflection of the great number of traditions that developed in the Queyras and its relative isolation. Some of the wooden crosses are decorated with objects by the carpenters who created them. In addition some villages have their own particular traditions and features. For example, Saint Véran has many sundials on its buildings. More information on individual villages and monuments will be provided during the course of your holiday.

The earliest evidence of humans in the Queyras dates from about 1,500 BC. During the Roman era, the main centre of activity and population was Escoyères. This is known due to an inscription, the stone of which has been re-employed in the chapel lintel. It was not until about the 12 or 13th centuries that many of the villages we see today began to develop with Arvieux, Molines et Château-Queyras being the most important. The Queyras lies within the old province of Dauphiné, which formed part of France from 1349.

The Queyras was above all an agricultural area, the high pastures being used during the brief summer months for milk and cheese. There were also a number of artisan type activities, some of which now thrive due to tourism. The area is known for its honey (miel) – the hives are often moved from low altitude to the mountains in the summer to take advantage of the alpine meadows in flower. Woodcarving is another important activity in the region and you’ll find their products in the local shops. Local craftsmen and farmers continue to earn an income from their traditional activities. They produce a number of traditional wooden carvings including toys and furniture, costumes and lace garments, as well as honey and cheese such as Fontu and the Tomme and Bleu de Queyras.

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Take a look at some photos from our 2010 guided walking holiday


 

Location Queyras French Alps

Col Houert Queyras French Alps

st veran village in queyras walking holiday in french alps

mont viso guided walking holiday queyras alps France

mountain views in queyras France self guided walking tours

font sancte lac mirroir independent walking holiday queyras France

Col Agnel Queyras Alps France guided walking holiday

Mount Viso Queyras guided walking Alps France