Archive for September, 2008

Alpes of Queyras

Month ago we attended a wedding ceremony in the Alps. In fact it is the second time we went to this beautiful place but we didn’t have enough time to explore as we stayed only for one day. It was the 30th birthday anniversary of the groom. The party was remarkably glorious but I will not talk about his birthday neither his wedding, well this blog is intended for travel right? So come with me and discover this divine beauty of the Hautes-Alpes situated in the South of France which is a  2 ½ hours drive from Marseilles.

We left Thursday afternoon to arrive earlier and to have more time tripping out in the village before the Friday afternoon mass celebration. So we have spent our Friday morning visiting the town. This time we took the pleasure to stay in a three star hotel in the village of St.Véran. We have stayed in this luxurious Hotel L’Astragale which is quite expensive but it was worth staying.  St. Véran is the most prominent commune and the third highest in Europe and is near Italian border.

Sorry about the pinkish background in the photo as I have a battery problem but at least it worked out anyway. This is the green lushes background up there. It’s quite warmer in the mountain but with the sun it was okay.

The bridge you see is actually the way up to the Alpes wherein you could see a whole in between the rocks and not a tunnel as an access for the vehicules going up to the mountain. You could also see The Lac de Serre Ponçon (Serre Ponçon Lake) which is an artificial lake with a catchment area of 3,600 km², Maximum length of 20 km with Maximum width of 3 km. the lake was formed to rule water flow after devastating floods caused by harsh damage and loss of life in 1843 and 1856. First projected in 1895, structure started in 1955 and was finished by 1961. After that morning walk kids were tired and hungry so then we look for a restaurant and eaten before heading to the mass celebration. So the celebration has ended and the reception was done in their Chalet. Very well organized. We stayed until 1 o’clock AM only to get ready for another walk in the near villages. Now, I took some pictures of St. Véran because of their famous old houses.

The view behind our hotel room.

An old house.

Church entrance.

Wider view of St. Véran

The fountain

An old door.

So that is about Les Hautes Alpes, I still need to learn about gastronomy and the everyday life of the villagers but I think 3 days was not enough and besides we were there for the party 😀 ! And for the final when we left the Alpes we saw this beautiful castle while we are on our way going down the Alpes.

After spending a wonderful 3 days we really plan to visit the site again as we were really mesmerized by the enchanting beauty of the place. It’s not far, the place is perfect for either hiking during the summer and skiing during winter season. There are a lot of activities, from cheaper to expensive hotels so when you want to visit Alpes I think this is really worth exploring.

These are the nearby cities that you can find in the Alpes :

Arvieux en Queyras 13 km, Briançon 30 km, Ceillac en Queyras 9 km, Chateau Queyras 11 km, Château Ville Vieille 11 km, Embrun 15 km, Gap 50 km, Guillestre 2 km, La Grave 50 km, Mont Dauphin Fort 4 km, Risoul 10 km, Saint Véran 20 km, Savines le Lac 17 km, Vallouise 20 km, Vars 10 km


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Now here is what I discovered in Corsica a white fine sand beach situated in St. Florent which is apparently rare in France. My husband was also surprised to discover this place because normally white sand is not a view common in France. From our village it only took us 1 and 1/2 hr travel passing by the  The Desert of the Agriates a rocky mountain and rather green panoramic view. The desert stretches between Alliso and Ostriconi villages measuring 16 hectares seeing bizarre geographical evolution which makes them more mysterious. From the beginning of the century, the Corsican farmers worked between thousands of olive trees, cultivates the wheat, harvests almonds, lemons and figs. While on our way to St. Florent the drive is just untiring because of the magnificent landscape. There are rocks with its strange formation. They called it the desert because there are no villages nor people living in that area, in short uninhabited area in Corsica.

This is the heart of of St. Florent with a lot of choices from budget wise, good deal to classy bars, restaurants and pizzeria.  Anyway, most of the restaurants will display their menus and tariffs to inform the tourists which is pretty more assuring 😉 . There are also little stores such as Petit Casino that will cater for you. If you are a type of person who likes picnicking  it would also be nice to sit and relax while picnicking near the dike.

You can get an easy access to the beach of St. Florent itself but it is not with a fine white sand. But If you really want to explore the La Plage de Lotu/Lodu and discover what is hidden behind this rugged mountains you need to take a boat and you can get them from the booth of Le Popeye which you will find in the Port of St. Florent. I would advise you to call them before for more inquiries.  Very organise and good service in traversing St. Florent to experience a breathtaking crystal clear turquoise water.

In our case we left at 9:30 to be there as early as possible but they have a time table to be respected and followed to avoid too much crowd at the beach. We needed to take our lunch in one of the restaurants in the Port because you will find no restaurant at La Plade de Lotu. You will only find white sand beach, yacths, tourists and trees.  So bring something with you especially water, sodas and light pack sandwiches. Do not also forget your sunblock and parasol as there are no shaded areas and it could be really really hot during summer season.

This is valid only for the months of July, August and September (summer season) out of season you may check the link given :

Departure/Return from Lotu
08:45 –  11:45
10.00 – 13:00
11.15 – 14:45
12.30 – 16:00
13.45 – 17:30
15.15 – 18:30
last trip 19:30 (return)

The ticket for adults cost 14€/head and for kids 7€/head. We were lucky they have given us free ticket for our daughter….how nice of them 😀 since she will not really takes so much place !

Finally, this is indeed a beautiful place and its worth traversing for only 20 minutes.

It was really surprising! Honestly, It was our first time to see such beautiful beach behind this rocky mountains of Corsica. Well, I must admit this will probably the second time as we already went to Porto Vecchio there are also white sand beaches but this one is exceptionally extravagant ! So what are you waiting for, next time you visit Corsica include this in your lists 😀 !

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