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Aiguilles

Population : 441h Elevation : 1450m
Hautes Alpes department


From Mont-Dauphin via the D902 to Château-Queyras, then take the D947.

 

Under a virtually permanent blue sky, Aiguilles offers the visitor a wonderful vista of pretty brightly coloured red and blue houses, topped by shingle roofs, with beautiful fountains enthroning statues, and sundials. If you look carefully you'll notice the architecture is often rather unusual for a mountain village, reflecting South American influences. As in Barcelonnette (see the section on this town), many locals emigrated to South America following the terrible fire of 1829, and returned home many years later, much richer, to build these houses, as bourgeois as they are peculiar.

A good example of this architecture is Château de l'Auche, built at the end of the 19th century by the Challe family on their return from South America, which today houses the village school. Other curioisites: Grand Hôtel (1910) and Maison Eiffel, both entirely built from iron and designed by an engineer called Duclos, who worked for Gustave Eiffel's firm.

Aiguilles is the geographical and commercial heart of the Queyras region. In winter it is a family-oriented village ski resort, perfect for people who are attracted by authenticity. The resort's cross-country ski routes take the forest tracks, passing through magnificent larch forests, home to roe deer, chamois, mouflons and ibexes.

Worth visiting :

Maison Eiffel
hâteau de l'Auche (late 19th century)
Grand Hôtel (1910)
St Jean-Baptiste church (belltower made from tuff stone,
typical of the region, dating back to the 17th century)
Queyras natural park.

Leisure activities :

In winter : downhill skiing
(6 ski lifts, 30 km of runs for every level)
Cross-country skiing
(25 km of waymarked runs, skating technique and conventional) Snowboarding, monoski, ski touring, snow shoeing
Waterfall ice climbing
In summer : mountain-biking (many routes)
Hiking, pony-trekking
Climbing (via ferrata),
Heated swimming pool
White water sports in the Guil gorge
(kayak, rafting, hot-dog)
Tennis, mini-golf, volleyball Canyoning Mountain book
and photography fair (July)

Accommodation and eating out :

2 hotels. Bed & Breakfast and tables d'hôtes
2 Hiking gîtes. 2 Campsites.
Furnished accommodation Holiday centre.

Neighbouring villages not to be missed :

Château-Queyras (7km) Abriès (5km)







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