Montgenevre is a fascinating oasis in the heart of the French Alps, located on the border with Italy. Breathtaking views, centuries-old traditions and phantasmagorical adventures between seasons await you in this high mountain gem.

Located at an altitude of 1,860 meters, Montgenevre is known for its state-of-the-art ski slopes and the international Milky Way ski area, which stretches between Italy and France.

But don’t be fooled, Montgenevre offers much more than its excellent snowy slopes. During the summer, you can immerse yourself in lush nature, traverse fascinating trails, admire unique landscapes and discover fascinating historical works.

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Also, let’s not forget the countless opportunities for outdoor sports enthusiasts: golf, mountain biking, climbing, and more, making Montgenevre an ideal year-round destination.

This travel guide is designed to help you best experience and appreciate what this fascinating Alpine destination has to offer. We will have fun exploring the most famous sights and also revealing some hidden treasures of Montgenèvre and its surroundings.

Prepare to embark on an unforgettable journey to this corner of Alpine paradise, be overwhelmed by the colors, scents and views of Montgenèvre, face laughter on the seesaw of emotions between elation and deep calm, and be enchanted by an atmosphere where time seems to stand still.

Enjoy your trip and welcome to Montgenevre!

What to see in Monginevro

If you are planning a trip to Montgenevre, you are in for a pleasant surprise. This charming corner of the French Alps offers much more than exceptional ski slopes. Here are some suggestions on what to see and do during your visit.

Lake of the Angels

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Tucked away in the mountains and forests of Montgenèvre lies a natural jewel that enchants visitors with its pristine beauty: Lake of the Angels. This charming alpine lake, known locally as Lac des Anges, is a magical place that seduces all who visit with its tranquility and natural beauty.

Lake of the Angels can be reached by a convenient walk of about 30 minutes starting from downtown Montgenevre. The trail is suitable for all ages and offers a unique opportunity to admire the local flora and fauna, and enjoy the fresh mountain air and the characteristic scent of pine trees.

Upon reaching the lake, visitors’ hearts are immediately captured with its breathtaking view: clear, calm waters, reflections of the surrounding mountains, and a backdrop of lush vegetation. The lake becomes a great place to relax, have a picnic, or for the more adventurous, take a refreshing dip.

Lake of Angels is beloved by locals and visitors alike for its picturesque beauty, tranquil atmosphere, and sense of serene isolation.

Les Gorges de la Durance

Les Gorges de la Durance

Located in the vicinity of Montgenèvre, Les Gorges de la Durance canyon offers an incredible range of views and activities for nature and adventure enthusiasts. This fascinating natural scenery has been shaped over millennia by the rushing waters of the Durance River, creating a unique visual spectacle.

Les Gorges de la Durance represents a not-to-be-missed experience for those who like to explore nature in the foreground. Its geological features and rich biodiversity of local flora and fauna offer visitors a rare opportunity to immerse themselves in an alpine and riverine environment.

Various outdoor sports activities can be enjoyed in the gorges, including rafting and canyoning. The Durance River offers routes of varying difficulty, making the gorges accessible to both beginners and experts. Thrilling descents on the water rapids and navigation through the narrow meanders of the river provide an unforgettable adrenaline experience.

The rock walls of the gorges also offer a wide range of sport climbing routes, suitable for both beginners and experienced climbers. Observing the landscape from the top of the rock walls, you will feel completely immersed in nature.

But the Gorges de la Durance is not just about adrenaline; in fact, hiking and walking enthusiasts will also find the right terrain for exploration here. In fact, the many trails that line the canyon make it possible to discover wonderful stretches of river, small waterfalls, and quiet corners in which to relax and do some birdwatching.

Queyras Regional Natural Park

Parco Naturale Regionale del Queyras

The Queyras Regional Nature Park, located within the French Alps, is a real treasure for nature lovers. Established in 1977, the park covers an area of more than 650 km² and boasts a variety of landscapes, ranging from lush green valleys to towering rocky mountains, from crystal-clear rivers to lush coniferous forests.

Flora and Fauna

The Queyras is rich in extraordinary biodiversity, with a wide variety of plant and animal species, some of them endemic. Visitors may have the opportunity to observe chamois, marmots, golden eagles, ibex and even wolves, among many others. The flora varies with altitude and includes a variety of alpine flowers, from rhododendrons to gentians, as well as spruce and larch forests.

Outdoor Activities

For outdoor enthusiasts, the Queyras Regional Nature Park offers a wide range of activities. From hiking and walking, with over 650 km of well-marked trails, to cycling and mountain biking. In winter, the park transforms into a paradise for cross-country skiing, downhill skiing and snowshoeing, offering trails for all skill levels.

Cultural Heritage

In addition to its natural wonders, the Queyras is also famous for its cultural heritage. Numerous quaint villages are located within the park, each with its own identity and history. For example, the Vauban fortifications are a remarkable example of 17th-century architecture and are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Magdalena Pass Lakes

Laghi del Colle della Maddalena

The Magdalena Pass lakes are a series of small bodies of water located along the ancient passage route between Italy and France. These lakes, of glacial origin, offer a unique experience for nature lovers and trekkers.

There are three main lakes on the Maddalena Pass: Upper Lake, Lower Lake and Roburent Lake. Each offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains, with an atmosphere of absolute peace and tranquility. The lakes are surrounded by green meadows and multicolored alpine flowers in summer, while in winter the landscape turns into a white blanket of snow.

The trail to the lakes is well-marked and not particularly challenging, making this hike suitable for all ages. The trail offers breathtaking views of the Marguareis Nature Park and the Mt. Tenibres massif. During the walk, it is possible to spot various species of wildlife such as chamois, marmots and numerous birds.

In addition to hiking, the area offers other opportunities to enjoy nature, such as birdwatching, fishing in trout-rich lakes, and berry and mushroom picking. In winter, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing is possible, with trails suitable for different skill levels.

Near the lakes, there are several shelters and bivouacs where visitors can rest, eat or stay overnight, fully immersing themselves in the atmosphere of the mountains.

Janus Fort

Forte di Janus

The Janus Fort, located in the Cottian Alps region at a height of 2,541 meters, is one of the most impressive military structures in the area. This ancient fort, built in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, dominates the valley below, offering breathtaking views of Montgenèvre and the surrounding mountains.

The Janus Fort was erected as part of the Italian frontier defenses in response to the expansion of French fortifications along the Alpine frontier. Although it was a defense structure, the fort’s elevated location and architecture combine to create an attraction of great historical and scenic interest.

The structure consists of a series of stone and concrete buildings and bunkers designed to resist potential attacks. The fort could accommodate up to 500 soldiers and its highest point reached 2,668 meters, making it one of the highest in Europe.

Access to the fort is obtained via a well-marked path from Montgenèvre. However, the climb, which can be challenging due to the altitude, is rewarded by the spectacular view from the summit. The trail passes through coniferous forests, alpine meadows and rocks, allowing visitors to appreciate the diversity of the mountain ecosystem.

Upon reaching Janus Fort, visitors can explore the various structures and enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding area. From here, it is possible to see the city of Briançon, the valleys of the Cottian Alps and, on clear days, even some peaks of the Maritime Alps.

Skiing in Montgenevre

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Located a short distance from the Italian border, the Montgenevre ski area is a perfect blend of the picturesque charm of a traditional mountain village and the grandeur of a spectacular international ski area-the Milky Way.

This winter paradise, elevated from 1860 to 2700 meters above sea level, boasts more than 400 kilometers of slopes. It offers sublime snow quality, breathtaking views and abundant sun exposure.

Montgenevre has a vast snowy front full of diverse activities, capable of delighting both younger and older visitors. With state-of-the-art lifts, including two telemix and conveyor belts, up to 35,000 skiers per hour can be handled.

This makes Montgenevre a suitable place for every type of skier, from the beginner who can enjoy a new 50,000-square-meter dedicated area to the expert who can have fun on the Gondrans boardercross course.

The ski area is divided into several areas, including the Grand Montgenèvre and the Monts de la Lune, which offer seamless access to the Milky Way.

With 70 lifts and 400 kilometers of slopes, the Milky Way ranks as the fifth largest ski area in the world. Montgenèvre’s ski trails traverse an elevation ranging from 1,800 to 2,590 meters, traversing mostly wooded and hilly terrain.

The slopes vary in landscape and difficulty, ensuring satisfaction for skiers of all levels. Montgenevre offers intricate slopes, some of which meander through larch and pine trees, respecting the natural morphology of the site and making skiing a smooth and enjoyable experience. Not to be forgotten are the black slopes, which promise adrenaline and challenge for even the most experienced skiers.

What to do in Winter in Montgenevre

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Monty Express Luge

The Monty Express Luge is a unique monorail luge that provides 1400 meters of thrilling descent over a 300-meter drop. Open year-round, this spectacular track is the longest of its kind in France.

Toboggans can reach a maximum speed of 45 km/h; however, the average is around 30-40 km/h, with a travel time of about 3 minutes. The luge winds through an atmospheric forest, allowing participants to experience slow turns and faster sections, before passing through two tunnels and arriving at the finish area.

In addition, the slope is illuminated for night runs during the winter season. Each participant has complete control of his or her sled, including braking and speed, ensuring a safe experience through the mandatory use of seat belts. The attraction is suitable for children with a minimum height of 1.25 meters, while younger children can enjoy the experience together with an adult by positioning themselves between his or her legs.

Durancia balneotherapy center

Durancia is an exclusive balneotherapy center located in the heart of the picturesque alpine resort of Montgenèvre, at an altitude of 1860 meters. This oasis of peace offers visitors the opportunity to leave everyday stress behind and immerse themselves in an atmosphere of comfort, vitality and serenity.

The complex features a series of carefully designed spaces with the aim of ensuring maximum relaxation. Espace Balneo, open to all, boasts whirlpool beds, hot tubs, a countercurrent river, as well as a sauna and hammam, experiencing all the benefits of 34°C water. Children can have fun in the heated outdoor pool, surrounded by snowy scenery, and in their own lagoon. For those over 18, the Wellness area offers an enveloping experience with the Kneipp path, salt mist cabin, 80°C and 90°C saunas, 36°C heated outdoor Onsen pool, and a relaxation area with tea and herbal teas. To conclude the experience, the Nuxe Spa area, reserved for the over-18s, offers the chance to indulge in a gentle break with relaxing massages in the expert hands of masseurs.

Origin’air Paragliding

Origin’air Paragliding offers a unique experience in Montgenevre, giving you the chance to let your adventurous spirit soar above the breathtaking views of this Alpine resort. Regardless of age or experience level, visitors can experience the thrill of a paragliding flight baptism, accompanied by qualified instructors. Taking off on skis, participants can enjoy a smooth flight over the village, finally landing on snow. Origin’air offers numerous packages suitable for various skill levels, from the option for beginners from 6 to 13 years old, which allows them to take their first steps in this incredible sport, to the option for more experienced paragliders, which includes a flight with a 1200-meter drop, for a truly unforgettable flying experience.

Ski touring

Montgenevre offers numerous opportunities for ski mountaineers, with enchanting larch forests and wide open spaces to explore. There are various routes available, suitable for all skill levels, which you can discover on your own or with a guide if you are new to the sport.

Take the Eagle Trail through the Petite Doire valley to the Eagle Rock refuge and ancient lakes, or enjoy the incredible views of the Ecrins valley from Lac de Chausses and back through the Rocher de l’Aigle.

Discover the source of the Durance, starting at Espace Prarial and crossing Lac des Anges, pass the Izoard Pass to enjoy exceptional views of the fort and the Ecrins. The Aries Trail will take you through a beautiful pine forest to a breathtaking view of Briançon and the Durance Valley.

Finally, for a truly unique experience, take the 3 Little Brothers Pass Trail, which offers remarkable views of the wild Opon Valley, the Vallon des Acles and the Thabor Massif, with the Meije peaks rising to nearly 4,000 meters.

With all these options, ski mountaineering in Montgenevre is a must-do experience for all adventure and nature enthusiasts.

Snowshoeing

If you are a snowshoe lover, Montgenevre is the perfect place for you. The Alpine resort offers a variety of trails, each with something unique to offer.

Route No. 1, known as Le Balcon de Montgenèvre, is a charming 2-km loop walk that takes you to an elevation of 2059 meters and offers breathtaking views.

For a cross-border experience, try Trail No. 2 La Transfrontalière, which descends to Italy’s Claviere on a 4-km loop trail.

If you prefer to admire the mountains, Route No. 3 Vallon de l’Alpet offers spectacular views of the Mont Chaberton massif, which reaches 3131 meters.

For a more relaxing walk, Trail No. 4, Lac des Anges is a 3 km loop trail perfect for all skill levels.

Finally, Route No. 5 The Bois de Sestrières offers a pleasant walk through a larch forest, with breathtaking views of the Briançonnais valley at a premium.

Whether you are a beginner or an expert snowshoer, you will find the right trail for you in Montgenevre.

What to do in Summer in Montgenevre

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Espace Trail 3000

The Espace Trail 3000 in Montgenevre is an area dedicated to trail running, hiking and cycling enthusiasts, located in the heart of the Montgenevre area. With over 200 km of trails spanning 12 different routes, this space offers options for all levels, from beginner to expert.

Starting from the Espace Prarial in the center of the resort, routes are categorized with colors indicating difficulty (green, blue, red, and black), allowing each visitor to find the experience best suited to his or her ability.

Through an outstanding natural landscape, the trails lead to geological, historical and military remains, providing both an educational and stimulating experience.

Through collaboration with Italian colleagues, the Espace Trail 3000 also connects to the Col des Acles, creating a large Franco-Italian area for nature lovers, runners and walkers.

Discover the incredible variety of trails offered by Espace Trail 3000 and immerse yourself in the beautiful landscape of Montgenèvre.

Game’s In Forest – Adventure Park

Game’s In Forest is the first eco-responsible forest amusement park that offers unlimited access to a variety of exciting and adventurous activities throughout the day. This unique park is divided into a variety of themes that allow participants to experience various “universes.”

You could climb a mountain and launch yourself down a dragon’s neck in a tube over 20 meters long in Dragon’s Breath, or escape an ant hill full of danger in Ant Village.

The Suspended Cabins allow you to travel through the park navigating through the trees, while the Lunar Jump gives you the opportunity to experience what it’s like to jump in weightlessness.

Finally, you will be lucky enough to dive into a pool of colorful balls that look like big candy, and try to avoid the spider webs in the Spider’s Lair.

With such a wide range of experiences, Game’s In Forest offers fun and adventure for all ages.

Montgenevre International Golf

Located 1860 meters above sea level, the Montgenevre International Golf Course is the highest golf course in the Hautes-Alpes. Its unique layout offers 18 cross-border holes that bring players closer to steep and challenging fairways.

The golf course not only consists of a wide 9-hole course and a driving range, but also 9 compact holes for more concentrated play. Its partnership with the nearby Clavière Italian golf course allows golfers to enjoy a unique international golfing experience. Holes Nos. 7 and 16 cross the border, offering the opportunity to play two nations in one game.

Open from late May to late September, Montgenevre International Golf Course offers a world-class alpine golf experience.

Where to sleep in Montgenevre

In Montgenevre, there are various accommodation options for every type of visitor.

For those seeking the luxuries of comfort and service, there are several hotels in the downtown area that offer a range of services including spas, restaurants, and onsite bars, as well as being conveniently located near major points of interest.

On the other hand, if you prefer more independent accommodation, there are many apartments or villas for rent that can meet the needs of both couples and families or large groups.

For nature lovers, Montgenevre also offers a number of scenic campsites and RV parks with excellent facilities.

Finally, if you are on a tight budget, there are hostels and guesthouses that offer reasonably priced accommodations without sacrificing comfort.

Each accommodation in Montgenevre allows you to fully enjoy the local attractions and incredible natural beauty of the area.

 


How to get to Montgenevre

Montgenèvre’s location makes it easily accessible by car, train or plane.

If you are traveling by car, Montgenèvre is connected via major Italian and French highways. From Paris, Lyon or Marseille, you can take the A51 highway to La Saulce, then follow the N94 to Briançon and then the D1091 to Montgenèvre.

On the Italian side, one can pass through the Frejus Tunnel from Turin, then follow the SS24 highway to Cesana Torinese and finally the SS24 and SS23 junction to Montgenèvre.

If you prefer the train, there are direct connections from Paris, Marseille, and Briançon to the Oulx train station in Italy, from where a bus service runs to Montgenèvre in etwa one hour.

Finally, for those arriving by plane, the nearest airports are Turin, Grenoble, and Lyon, from which bus or shuttle connections to Montgenèvre are available. A direct shuttle service can be booked from Turin, while from Grenoble and Lyon it is recommended to take a train to Oulx and then the bus to Montgenèvre.

Wherever you start, there are many options to reach Montgenèvre and begin your adventure.

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