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Located at the crossroads of five valleys bordering Italy, Briancon is a dynamic mountain town. Labeled the ‘Town of Art and History’, Briancon is also renowned for its many international sporting events, exceptional climate and wide range of cultural and outdoor activities.
As Europe’s highest town, Briancon’s primary attraction is its central location amongst the Provence Mountains. Linked by gondola to the main ski area, the Briançonnais-Vallouise valley offers all the modern amenities of an international field with over 250kms of tracks, 76 lifts and night skiing options. Similarly, the wide range of outdoor pursuits attracts visitors. These include mountain climbing, ice-skating and hiking and cater for all levels, from beginners to the more experienced.
Built to ward off invaders, Briancon boasts a fortified old town which is worth exploring. The tourism office provides guided walking tours, year round, taking in the old fortifications of Vauban Castle and its surrounding appendages, Asfeld Bridge, Place of Weapons and Bourdelle’s ‘Statue of France’. Independent visitors can explore on their own, taking in the monuments, frescoes and sculptured wooden doors encountered at every turn of the town’s winding streets.
Visitors won’t be disappointed by the wide range of dining options. From quaint cozy family tearooms to famous gourmet restaurants, brasseries and inns, there’s something for every taste and budget.
Exploring the surrounding region offers the visitor plenty of choices. Ecrin’s National Park marks the junction between the North Alps and South Alps with 92, 000 hectares of unspoilt nature and spectacular views - from rocky peaks and alpine pastures to mountain lakes. For urban lovers, the southern town of Gap offers lively streets and market shopping in a more temperate climate.
Nice-Côte d'Azur is Briancon’s closest international airport. From Nice, a rail service provides transport to Marseilles and across the Southern Alps to either Grenoble or direct to Briancon. Similarly, non-stop trains ply the Paris-Lyon-Briançon route with regular connections to Oulx (Italy). Major motorways A50 and A51 head north from Marseilles to the nearby southern town of Gap.