Authentic and simply magical, Europe’s highest inhabited village is a genuine gateway to the stars.
A hub of rural traditions
An identity carved over the centuries
Did you know that the village of Saint-Véran is home to France’s highest-altitude school, perched at a dizzy 2,042 metres? Ranked among “France’s Most Beautiful Villages“ and featuring winding lanes, ancient fountains, bread ovens and sun dials, this magnificent site has preserved all of its original charm. Its gorgeous, traditional houses are built with “fustes” (handcrafted logs) and decorated with superb, finely-chiselled rose windows carved by local woodworkers. At the heart of the village, the Musée de la Soum offers visitors a fascinating introduction to life in the mountains. If you fancy an exciting day out for all the family, take the walk leading to the ancient copper mine where you’ll learn all about the history of this precious mineral, coveted since Roman times.
Contemplate the sparkling horizon
Star-gazing, to infinity and beyond
“The village where roosters peck the stars”… The nickname of Saint-Véran speaks volumes about this little village set clinging to the mountain face. Experts, dreamers and curiosity-seekers alike come to the Southern Alps to revel in its pure, unadulterated night skies and see the stars sparkle a little more than elsewhere. Perched at an altitude of 2,930 metres, the Observatoire Astronomique du Pic de Châteaurenard, France’s highest observatory, is a coveted venue hosting a variety of events open to all. Just next door, the Maison du Soleil teaches you everything you’ve always wanted to know about the Sun. Our fave activity? The winter “Astro Raquettes” and summer “Astro Baskets” astrology walks – not to be missed!
Lap up the culture of the Queyras
Larger than life experiences in an intimate setting
During your stay in the Parc Naturel Régional du Queyras, opt for a hike, guided donkey trek, or mountain bike excursion over the mythical mountain passes of Agnelle or L’Izoard, starting out from Saint-Véran. Whatever your preference, you’ll love this full immersion in 100% natural landscapes. And if you want to fly like a bird, why not try your hand at paragliding? The Hautes-Alpes is also a treasure trove for fishermen: trout are legion in the bubbling brooks of Aigue Blanche and Aigue Agnelle.
In winter, when the larches are weighed down with snow, the village dons its bobble hat and transforms into the largest ski domain in the Queyras area (links to La Molines). Head to the highest point at 2,900 metres to revel in the breathtaking, 360° views over Mont-Viso in the Italian Alps.