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Orcières, Orcières-Merlette

Population :
Orcières Elevation : 1450m
Orcières-Merlette Elevation : 1850m
Department of Hautes Alpes

By motorway Sisteron-Gap, La Saulce exit, via the D944

In upper Champsaur, in the heart of the Ecrins National Park, Orcières is a large village clinging to a hillside.

Architecture enthusiasts will recognise the typical "Orcières" house: square in shape, with a gable wall as the main façade and a dwelling on two levels. It is built from local stone, with a timber structural framework covered in olden times with slates but now more often with metal or shingles.
On the ground floor, the kitchen is next to the stable, on the first floor with a floor made from larch wood is the bedroom and ... the barn, people and animals living together in olden times to keep warm !

Prapic is a characterful hamlet and the starting point for many hiking routes. It nestles in the Drac Noir valley, far far away from the main lines of communication.

Its agricultural areas are notable for the piles of stones placed on the edges of the cultivated fields by farmers. Don't miss the little "musée de la Casse", presenting a collection of everyday objects telling stories about yesteryear's professions.

Orcières Merlette is a ski resort built in the 1960's above the Drac Noir, offering all the delights of winter sports: from downhill skiing to cross-country skiing, not forgetting original activities such as horse-drawn ski joering !

Worth visiting :

Le Creuset Animal Park
(open every day in summer, except Sunday, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The village of Prapic (5 km via the D474)
and its museum "La Casse" :
a museum of popular traditions and art (entrance fee € 3)
Circuit of the Great Lakes. Sundials
Chapels. The Bride's Veil.

Leisure activities :

In winter :
downhill skiing at Orcières-Merlette
( 5 km from the village via the D76) :
100 km of ski runs, 30 ski lifts
Nordic skiing (50 km of runs). Snowpark
Slalom stadium. Ice karting
Sledge dogs, snow shoes
horse-drawn ski joering
Grande Ourse (ice-rink, swimming pool, relaxation area)
In summer :
a leisure centre. Arbraventure
Hiking. Mountain-biking. Climbing
Paragliding. White water sports. Tennis

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Accommodation and eating out :

5 hotels including 3 at the Merlette resort
2 holiday villages at Merlette
2 holiday residences at Orcières 1850
1 Inn. 2 campsites. Gîtes.

Neighbouring villages not to be missed :

St Bonnet en Champsaur (26km), St Jean-St Nicolas (10km).

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