The villages

The villages

The Ubaye Valley is diverse

The Valley consists of 13 municipalities where, all over, magic happens. Those who value authentic lifestyles will appreciate these small communities – communities proud of their mountain culture and history - built on the slopes rising from the Ubaye River and its tributaries.

The people have clung for over 2000 years to a harsh land, although also a generous land. From Pontis - the sentinel at the entrance of the valley, to the remote hamlets of Saint-Paul-sur-Ubaye, or to the ski slopes of Sauze or Pra Loup, each community tells its story with the same magnanimity: that of an alpine valley of unspoiled nature, isolated from the main roads, but not from the world!

Rocked gently by the bells of churches and the melodic flow of streams, this area without pollution or industry, gives generously to its visitors, who become intoxicated by the landscapes of the Alps without barriers, all imbued with the flavours of Provence.

Ubaye - Serre-Ponçon

La Bréole & Saint-Vincent-les-Forts

Overlooking Lake Serre-Ponçon, La Bréole deserves a stopover.

Its calmness, the quality of the air and the blue of its sky will not leave you indifferent.

From its landing area, you can go for boat trips to discover many coves, sheltered from onlookers and noise, in which you can relax and enjoy the sun.

Its August 15 celebrations and other concerts during the summer will leave you with enchanting memories.

Its history is punctuated by wars and invasions for more than three centuries.

Today Saint-Vincent-les-Forts, with its fortifications and its old stones, speaks to you of Vauban.

The village is perched like an eagle’s nest, like a sentinel overlooking the immense Lake Serre-Ponçon.

The upper part of the village enjoys an exceptional view over the valley.

No wonder that Saint-Vincent-les-Forts is labelled «Land of Art and History, space of light».

Le Lauzet-Ubaye

At 900 metres altitude, Lauzet was the border country between the Dukes of Savoy and the Count of Provence, and is famous for its fort “Tourniquet”.

The castle of the middle Ages, built on a rock overlooking the lake next to the village, has given way to an interlacement of typical houses.

Flower-filled gardens and restaurant terraces welcome visitors. The village has several heritage-listed sites, including the natural lake and the thirteenth century Roman bridge.


A diverse hamlet that stretches up to an altitude of 1500 m.

The hamlet has kept its character whilst harmoniously mixing agricultural, artistic and tourism activities.

Méolans, visible from the road, is huddled behind a large rock upon which sits a proud bell tower, set in the heart of a forest.

The municipality and forest extend all the way into the Laverc valley, where there is a Benedictine priory, dependant on the Boscodon Abbey and its monks.

Les Thuiles

Ancient pottery factories led to the village being named: Thuiles.

After the gorges of Méolans, the village at 7 km from Barcelonnette marks a sudden change in geography: the opening up of the valley.

Rising up opposite the Great Séolane (2 900 m), this municipality consists of many hamlets: Les Guérins, les Bruns, Clot-Meyran, Miraval, Le Villaret and Prats.

There are many opportunities for hiking, such as to see the Pisse waterfall and the Aupillon lakes.


Foundations in Saint-Pons date back to 1230, and this cradle of the valley, “Sanctus Drollia of Pontius” created, along with its neighbour Faucon, the origins of a town built halfway between two villages: Barcelonnette.

The village has several trails along the tributaries of the Ubaye River - such as the torrent Riou Bourdoux.

In the heart of the village, one of the oldest churches in the valley showcases roman art specific to the Durance valley.


Before the revolution, 200 workers spun silk here. Today, the flagship activity is skiing in the resort of Pra Loup.

A sports area in all seasons, with its marked hiking trails, a mountain bike trail, the fishing lake; as well as shopping arcades. Around the village of Uvernet the Bachelard River offers a string of natural beaches.

Hamlets follow the D902 road leading to the Fours valley - known for its fearless mountain peddlers (merchants) and then up to Bayasse and the Cayolle pass in the heart of the Mercantour National Park.


Barcelonnette is at the crossroads of Ubayen itineraries.

Scenic, historic and artistic, it is a classified tourist resort since 1928! From Paul-Emile Victor to George Clooney, they have enjoyed the restaurant terraces of Manual Place at the foot of the Cardinalis Tower, and its streets with shops.

Outside its checkerboard centre, the “Mexican” villas give this small city its originality. The only villa that can be visited “La Sapinière” is now home to the Museum of the Valley.


The term “Enchastre”, is derived from the practice of winter peddling, or merchant trading, from the Fours Pass to the Bachelard Valley, and means “put on snowshoes!”

Sauze was established in 1934, led by Honoré Couttolenc and is one of the oldest resort villages in France. Today the village maintains a perfect balance between tourism and agriculture.

The seven hamlets have all retained the original character of mountain villages.


Birds of prey would have given their name to the village, one of the oldest in the valley. Faucon offers the serenity of the convent of the Order of Trinitarians.

Dedicated since 1661 to Saint Jean de Matha, founder of the order and liberator of prisoners in the twelfth century. The order exchanged Christian slaves against their Muslim prisoners.

The clock tower is based on the foundations of a Romanesque church of the eleventh century. It adjoins the statue of the local Saint and is open for guided tours.


Travellers gave Jausiers its name. Italy to Louisiana or Mexico, the courageous villagers’ experiences of the past have provided richness and originality to the history of the city.

The three Arnaud brothers and their successors led the ubayenne youth to the Americas. Those who succeeded marked their French home land with «Mexican» villas.

From the seventeenth-century church to the path to the Cross of Chastel, the artificial lake to the Tour de Sagnes Mountain, the choice of sites and activities is unlimited.

La Condamine-Châtelard

Perched on a rocky outcrop, the village of Chatelard, the former heart of the municipality, has given over its dominance to the village of Condamine, now the main centre.

The Tournoux fort, has overlooked the village for 150 years, he was built rom 1843 to 1866 to protect the valley from attack.

The village is crossed by the GR 6 hiking trail and the Parpaillon trail towards the ski resort of Sainte-Anne.

A strategic military road, there is a 2,783 m tunnel which was dug to connect the Ubaye Valley to the Embrunais.

Val d'Oronaye - Larche & Meyronnes

Larche, the highest town in the valley is named after Noah’s ark.

A few kilometres from Italy, near the Mercantour National Park, this high alpine territory was, in the thirteenth century, one of the most populous areas of the Ubaye.

Severely marked by the Second World War, the village was completely destroyed and then rebuilt by its inhabitants.

In winter, the northern area of Larche is a major site in the region with 30 km of ski slopes all the way to the beautiful valley of Lauzanier.

The meyres, alpine huts of stone, would have given the village its name: Meyronnes

A village built in a passage that belonged to the kingdom of France, it was repeatedly destroyed by the Italians and the Germans.

The village has kept its legends and its pilgrims: unmarried girls and the terminally ill climb to St. Ours to find a cure for their ailments.

The starting point for excursions to discover the forts of St. Ours, upper and lower, Fort Roche-la-Croix, the jewel in the crown of the Alps Maginot Defence line.


The only municipality in France with 30 mountain peaks over 3000 m, Saint-Paul-sur-Ubaye is also, with its 22 000 ha, one of the most extensive and least populated of France.

Bordering Italy, it is crossed by the Via Alpina (Trieste-Monaco) hiking trail, the Great Alpine Road, between the Vars pass and the Cayolle pass, and the GR 5 and GR 6 hiking trails.

The hamlet of Fouillouse, at the foot of Chambeyron Mountain, constitutes one of the most picturesque areas.