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La Chapelle en Valgaudemar

Population : 129h Elevation : 1600 m
Department of Hautes Alpes

Via RN85 then RD85a (16 km from St Firmin)

After crossing this marvellous vallée du Valgaudemar, so authentic and exceptionally protected, overlooked by the prestigious summits of Olan and Les Rouies, and then driving for about fifteen kilometres along the banks of a sparkling trout river, you'll arrive at La Chapelle en Valgaudemar, a large mountain village, very lively and bustling in summer, brightened by the splashing of a tumultuous mountain stream.

The village is built on a cultivated plain meeting high rocky walls above which tower peaks covered with eternal snows.

La Chapelle en Valgaudemar is a scattering of wooden or grey stone chalets with wooden balconies decorated with flowers, and its shingle or lauze roofs typical of mountain villages.

"Kill time or live for the moment" is the wise saying inscribed on one of the numerous sundials fixed to the façades. People interested in the wonders of nature should visit "Les Oules du Diable", a gorge at the bottom of which is a foaming mountain stream, or should simply take a look at the majestic Gioberney Cirque with its towering peaks and sparkling glaciers.

Gourmets will no doubt want to taste the home-made "tourtons" from the Champsaur area, fritters of very thin pasta, with potato purée, spinach or goat's cheese inside, unless they prefer them sweet, eaten cold, with stewed prunes or apple compote inside.

We mustn't forget ravioles, little fritters made from potatoes and cheese, traditionally served with … liquid honey or jam. You should also try donkey's ears, spiced up with wild spinach, a plant so-called because the leaves look like pointed ears.

Once replete, you can then leave this enchanting valley, making sure you don't forget to stop at Saint Maurice en Valgaudemar.
Here you will be able to contemplate a marvellous Lombardic Romanesque church, from the side of the road (D985A).

Built between the 11th and 12th centuries by the monks of Cluny, it has a stone belltower raised in the 15th century, and a typical mountain style lauze roof with flat files. Right next to it, take time to admire the majestic limetree. It is three centuries old and was planted by order of one of Henry IV's ministers !

Worth visiting :

At Saint-Maurice-en-Valgaudemar :
omanesque church at the side of the road.
At La Chapelle-en-Valgaudemar :
The gorge of Oules du Diable (1200 m)
Villard-Loubière Mill (guided tours in summer)
The hamlet of Les Portes Gioberney Cirque (1642 m)
The Village of Le Casset Tounes
at the Hamlet of Chaussendents
Lesdiguières Château
(16th century ruins in the municipality of Glaizil).

Leisure activities :

In winter :
Nordic skiing at Saint Maurice (12 km, 3 runs)
and La Chapelle (20 km, 4 runs)
Mountain races
Acrobatic routes in the forest
Downhill skiing at Saint Firmin
(2 ski lifts - 4 runs - 4 km)
Ice waterfall climbing
In summer :
Adventure Trail :
La Chapelle en Valgaudemar, 5 levels of difficulty
welcoming children aged 5 and over
High Mountain Hiking. Climbing, climbing sites :
at La Chapelle, Gioberney, Le Casset,
Surette, Colombeugne, Le Glaizil
White water sports. Horse-riding. Tennis.
Paragliding. Fishing. Swimming pool (at Saint Firmin).

Accommodation and eating out :

Many campsites. Hotels. Restaurants.
4 Hiking gîtes. 1 Horse-riding gîte. Country gîtes
Furnished accommodation. 2 Bed & breakfast establishments.
1 Farmhouse-Inn.

Neighbouring villages not to be missed :

Saint Bonnet en Champsaur (34km)

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