The Ubaye Valley
Museums, forts, churches
unspoilt nature :
Coming from the Digne,
take the road through Seyne-les-Alpes
Between Maurin-Maljasset hamlet at 2,000 metres and the Serre-Ponçon lake the Ubaye is a high altitude valley, surrounded by many peaks over 3,000 metres high - the massifs of Parpaillon, Chambeyron and Séolannes - where the river Ubaye flows for 70 km. In places a turbulent torrent, it eventually joins the Durance.
On its sunny right bank there are houses and farmland, while the northern left bank is the kingdom of the larch tree.
Before being opened up by the construction of the D900 (in 1883), the
Ubaye valley was for a long time one of the most isolated regions in France,
as the mountain passes (Larche,
Allos, Restefond, Cayolle
), which were snowed up for several months were the only way in
and out of the valley.
In this U-shaped Ice Age valley, hollowed out by the raging river over thousands of years, lived a true mountain people whose lives were based on the rhythm of transhumances. They were used to the hard climate, the isolation and the peddling of goods from village to village. In the nineteenth century they were prepared to become adventurers and seek exile in Louisiana and Mexico, in search of a better life.
Ubaye valley really only became a tourist area in recent times with the
construction of the Serre-Ponçon dam and lake in 1960.
Prior to that, the Durance which receives water from the Queyras and
Écrins massifs and the Ubaye valley (55% of which is during the
spring thaw), had always been a curse for Provence.
Today, the Ubaye Valley and the Serre-Ponçon lake are an untouched, preserved natural paradise where you can breathe pure mountain air and enjoy an unimaginable range of outdoor sports !
Do you like water ?
Do you like gliding ?
you prefer "terra firma"?
And culture lovers will not be disappointed: they will enjoy the guided
tour of Barcelonnette
Finally, they will surely be taken by the unexpected beauty of several of the small mountain churches ; the 13th century church at St Pons, St Pierre and St Paul church, late Middle Ages at St Paul en Ubaye, the 12th century church at Maurin-Maljasset, etc
The Ubaye valley, a little-known heritage, not to be missed !
|Background screens - L'Ubaye et le Lac de Serre-Ponçon|
|Villages in the Ubaye Valley that are close to the Serre-Ponçon lake :|
Faucon de Barcelonnette
Savines le lac
St Paul sur Ubaye
St Vincent les Forts