Travel Guide - Holidays & Tourism in the Hautes-Alpes

Tourism > Cities & Towns > Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur > Hautes-Alpes > L'Argentière-la-Bessée


 Tourism, holiday & travel in L'Argentière-la-Bessée
Insee code05006
AltitudeFrom 945 to 3243 meters
Surface64.55 km²
Population2398 inhabitants
Density37 inhabitants/km²


National labelsLes Vigneaux at 5.1 km (7 min)
Chief townGap (at 71 km, 67 min)La Roche-de-Rame at 6.2 km (7 min)
DepartmentHautes-AlpesSaint-Martin-de-Queyrières at 7.2 km (11 min)
RegionProvence-Alpes-Côte d'AzurSearch another town


Near your destination


Please vote :
Create an itinerary around L'Argentière-la-Bessée   -   Link to this page


Gateway Pays des Ecrins, L'Argentière-la-Bessée is located 1000 meters above sea level. The confluence of the Gyronde, the torrent Fournel and the Durance, it allows access to neighboring valleys Freissinières, Vallouise which rises to 4102 meters at the Barre des Ecrins, and Fournel. L'Argentière-la-Bessée named after the silver mines that were exploited from the 10th century. Abandoned in the early 20th century, the site is the subject of archaeological excavations since 1990, updating many vestiges currently valued and to visit the underground galleries.

The mine site and the Castle of St. John (XVIII-XIX) allowing the mining museum, are both listed as historic monuments. They house a research center under the label of scientific, technical and industrial.

The religious heritage is composed of a multitude of buildings whose major component is the church of Saint-Apollinaire 15th century listed building, with its murals and its lock-headed chimera.

Old industrial city, L'Argentière-la-Bessée is the symbol of a successful conversion. In recent years it has set up a circuit of industrial heritage visited by many people witnessed a willingness to showcase its rich history by turning to tourism.

Taking advantage of its location, it is the world capital in January practitioners ice climbing. Once the snow melts, the city becomes a haven for outdoor sports (climbing, climbing, kayaking, canyoning, mountain biking, hiking), and water sports with its slalom on the Durance. In 2011, it hosted the world championships in kayaking.

In addition, in the valley has L'Argentière-la-Bessée Fournel of a single (subject to Deslioures and scope of blue thistles called queens of the Alps, the largest in Europe) of high biological diversity that can be discovered through the establishment of a preservation policy (Natura 2000) and animated in collaboration with the Ecrins National Park and National Forest Office.

With a municipal cultural department and a very active network of associations, the town also offers year-round quality animations like the Book Festival and Heritage in Dauphiné early August.


  • Museum of the silver mines:
  • At the foot of the cliffs Fournel open galleries. Over the centuries, miners dug near 20 km network. A secure underground path of 800 meters on two floors of galleries sometimes millennia, carved fire in the Middle Ages and the powder during more recent periods allows an understanding of the organization of work: excavation, gallery 'ventilation, drainage gallery.
  • Archaeologists have unearthed the remains unique in France: pumping system, water wheels, winches in the 19th century that allowed operation of the vein up to 80 meters below the river bed.
  • Reservations required to visit the mines: Contact: Tel. : +33 4 92 23 02 94 - Email: minesdargent@ville-argentiere.fr. Tour not recommended for people in poor health and children under 6 years. Shoes and appropriate clothing recommended. Groups limited to 18 people underground, length of visit: 2 hours. Temperature 12 ° C. The appointment to visit the mines is fixed to the mining museum, Chateau Saint Jean. Free shuttle buses are being introduced this summer. Outside these times, access is by private vehicle. Attention coaches can not access the Fournel Valley, please contact the museum at +33 4 92 23 02 94 for access arrangements.
  • Guided tours of the Industrial Heritage:
  • The only industrial town in the Hautes-Alpes invites you to discover its treasures past and present through the testimony in the built heritage, movable objects, views, etc..
  • Valuing the memory of a very recent industrial past is the goal of discovery trail in place in and around the downtown L'Argentière-la-Bessée.
  • The building blocks are really impressive, like the aluminum bar four feet high, symbolizing 80 years of local industry of aluminum electrolysis, the jitney whose installation in the forecourt of the station n is no coincidence, because this cousin of the locomotive is a child of the railroad, without which no industrial activity could not have existed. Other witnesses of the industrial past throughout the city: three compressors (those of the coal mines of Briançon and the slate quarries of the Castle of St. Jean Salce), a ladle and four anodes, etc..
  • Tours: Reservations required +33 4 92 23 02 94. Visit time: 2 hours. Entrance fee.
  • Religious Heritage Tours:
  • The Chapel of St. John: a historical monument, the remains of a Preceptory of the Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, it was built on a rocky promontory along the old road "via per ALPEMA". A staircase cut into the rock passes under the apse of the church and testifies to the existence of an earlier building, or Early Christian or pagan. Since 1999, several archaeological excavations have uncovered graves anthropomorphic rock type (C14 dating from the 11th century), level ground at the base of the promontory, and confirmed the outlet of the stairs in the sanctuary at the inside the building. The dismantling of the altar led to the discovery of fragments of stone carvings of early Christian origin. Floors calade finely crafted was also found under the floor of the nave. This chapel, the last remnant high alpine of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem, played a fundamental role in the history of the Argentiérois.
  • The Church of St. Apollinaris, bishop will ... Saint-Apollinaire is one of the churches built in the 15th century in a period of struggle against the Waldenses. In its architectural style - as most of the churches built between the 15th and 16th century in the diocese of Embrun - it takes the main principles of the cathedral of Embrun built in the 12th century. Saint-Apollinaire gives the visitor the feeling of being in relation to a work romance then it is a monument much later. Argentière was a step on the road to Compostela. In contact with the monument, one can not remain indifferent to these marks by people and by history. When the sun allows, you can still guess the polychrome sculptures on the porch. The door walnut and larch in the region is reinforced hinges and wrought iron nails. Lock "headed chimera" date of 1559. This set was restored in 2006 by the municipality. Of outdoor murals are on the southern wall of the apse. They consist of three levels: the virtues, vices and punishments. At the end of the fight against the Waldenses, the Catholic Church - through his preaching - and rigorous moralist wants. Messages left by the builders of St. Apollinaire are obviously in the same direction.
  • Tours: Reservations required +33 4 92 23 02 94. Visit time: 2 hours. Entrance fee.
  • Visits Agricultural Heritage:
  • The path-finding architectural and agricultural heritage. "Man, the plant and the traditional home" this theme is developed in two main areas: "plants and popular beliefs", "plants and agricultural traditions." The purpose of this circuit is to discover the rural hamlets of Argentière using native plants in their natural environment as a link between man and traditional housing. It is also to discover or rediscover the rural tradition very much in Argentière before the arrival of the industry.
  • Visit time: 2 hours.
Detailed information
TransportTrain station of L'Argentière-les-Ecrins
Information pointsTourist Office of L'Argentière-la-Bessée


  • Book Festival in early August, with events (conferences, films, author signings, shows ...). Through its programming, the Festival of the Book of Argentière wants to help meet the public with the literary world, but also at the meeting amateur writers with the professional.
  • Show Extraction, early August. Supported by the PACA region and the State (Regional Directorate of Research and Technology), in a dedicated area within the Festival of the Book, participants will be keen to show you the different facets of their activity: demos techniques for using materials, discovery of spaces dedicated to their preparation, conferences, site visits ...


Leisure activities
NameType of activityPriceTown
Canoe-kayak on the rivers of Hautes-AlpesSports sensationsFrom 32 € to 115 €Saint-Crépin (9.6 km)
Rafting - Inflatable canoeSports sensationsFrom 34 € to 64 €Réotier (14.2 km)
Two-seat paraglider flight or courseSports sensationsFrom 75 € to 490 €Ceillac (22 km)

All leisure activities around L'Argentière-la-Bessée


Hits from the silver minesHits from the silver mines
Industrial Heritage ToursIndustrial Heritage Tours
Chateau Saint JeanChateau Saint Jean
Mining MuseumMining Museum
Church of Saint ApollinaireChurch of Saint Apollinaire
Visits Agricultural HeritageVisits Agricultural Heritage



The Fournel gorges were the location of a large mine in the past
Best places of the Hautes-Alpes
Best places of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur
Photos of the Hautes-Alpes to view and download
Photos of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur to view and download


Thursday 18 December
Min. -10°C - Max. 8°C
Friday 19 December
Min. -5°C - Max. 10°C
Saturday 20 December
Min. -4°C - Max. 9°C


French cuisine restaurantO Chal'heureux  
PASSION FOR EASE - The O Chal'heureux is entirely devoted to conviviality, sharing. Its owners have passion for hospitality, which in this cottage with mountain his best materialization....
Located 5.7 km from L'Argentière-la-Bessée14 € per person 
French cuisine restaurantHôtel Restaurant Le Relais du Pelvoux
Welcome to the Relais du Pelvoux! The establishment opens its doors in the Hautes-Alpes, in the village of Pelvoux few kilometers from L'Argentière-la-Bessée. Discover a charming building...
Located 10.2 km from L'Argentière-la-Bessée19 € per person 
French cuisine restaurantAuberge de Catherine  
Located in the Southern Alps, the Auberge de Catherine open from Wednesday to Sunday noon evening in a warm and friendly atmosphere. Not only restaurant, but room and bar, where you...
Located 12.1 km from L'Argentière-la-Bessée26 € per person 

All restaurants around L'Argentière-la-Bessée


House with 4 bedroomsBrin de paille    
Ecogîtes located at the foot of the Parc des Ecrins, the straw house will bring calm and tranquility in a unique setting. Positioned at the crossroads of several valleys (Clarée, Serre-Chevalier,...
Located 7.1 km from L'Argentière-la-Bessée57 € the double room 
House with 2 bedroomsLe Bacha    
The Bacha is an old house located on the hillside of the valley of the Durance. Pierrefeu occupies a central position at the junction of five valleys of Briançon and this allows our...
Located 9.4 km from L'Argentière-la-Bessée70 € the double room 
House with 5 bedroomsLa Maison du Guil     NEW
La Maison du Guil, installed in a priory dating back to the xvith century, entirely renovated with respect for the spirit of the house while bringing new life to traditional architectural...
Located 14.9 km from L'Argentière-la-BesséeFrom 120 € to 130 € the double room 

All bed & breakfasts around L'Argentière-la-Bessée


Apartment for 4 personsLocation au pays des Ecrins  
Les Vigneaux
Apartment of 32m² on the ground floor of a house, 1 bedroom with a double bed and a wardrobe, 1 alcove with bunk beds with chest of drawers, bathroom with wc, dining area with sofa...
Located 3.5 km from L'Argentière-la-BesséeFrom 250 € to 410 € per week 
House for 15 personsGite Brin de Paille à 5mn de Briançon  
House 5 minutes from Briancon straw and wood frame, 4 bedrooms with toilet and shower in each room, common room, library and TV room, kitchen, pizza oven, Norwegian bath, garden, terrace...
Located 7.1 km from L'Argentière-la-BesséeFrom 900 € to 2000 € per week 
Apartment for 6 personsChalet familial construit avec Amour  
In a village at the foot of the Massif des Ecrins (Southern Alps) we rent the ground floor of a cottage overlooking a large terrace overlooking three valleys. The village of Vallouise...
Located 7.2 km from L'Argentière-la-BesséeFrom 550 € to 590 € per week 

All vacation rentals around L'Argentière-la-Bessée


50 places over 2,8 haCamping le verger    
La Roche-de-Rame
Camping *** with flat pitches, separated by fruit trees in the orchard. Located between the Parc des Ecrins and Queyras park. Appreciable calm and a view of the surrounding mountains,...
Located 4.2 km from L'Argentière-la-BesséeFrom 13.50 € to 16 € per day 
160 places over 6 haCamping Indigo Vallouise    
Vallouise Indigo Campsite... At the foot of the Ecrins National Park, in the heart of the mountain village of Vallouise, The Vallouise Indigo Campsite*** is located in the Hautes-Alpes...
Located 7.9 km from L'Argentière-la-Bessée 
190 places over 5 haLa Rochette   
Deep in the French Alps, nestled near the Massif des Ecrins, on the Queyras valley border, you will discover an unspoilt and magnificent niche in a very sunny region, surrounded by...
Located 16.2 km from L'Argentière-la-BesséeFrom 12.80 € to 15.50 € per day 

All campsites around L'Argentière-la-Bessée


Hôtel de la Mairie - Hotel in L'Argentière-la-BesséeHôtel de la Mairie    
Located in the centre of l’Argentière-la-Bessée and on the edge of Ecrins National Park, Hôtel de la Mairie offers a bar and heated rooms with a view of the mountains. Wired internet...
Located in L'Argentière-la-BesséeRoom from 37 €
Hotel Les 5 Saisons - Hotel in L'Argentière-la-BesséeHotel Les 5 Saisons     
Located in the mountain village of Fressinière, Les 5 Saisons offers a warm and friendly welcome in a peaceful, natural setting, close to the Ecrins National Park and Briançon town....
Located 4.6 km from L'Argentière-la-BesséeRoom from 45 €
Hotel La Pendine - Hotel in L'Argentière-la-BesséeHotel La Pendine     
This hotel-restaurant sits at the foot of the ski slopes and provides guests with exceptional views of the Massif des Ecrins and La Vallouise Valley. Hotel La Pendine offers comfortable...
Located 5.8 km from L'Argentière-la-BesséeRoom from 64 €

All hotels around L'Argentière-la-Bessée

Hôtel & Spa L'Alta Peyra
Located in Saint-Véran, the highest village in Europe, just 58 km away from Briançon, Hôtel & Spa L'Alta Peyra offers ski-to-door access to the ski slopes....
Hôtel & Spa L'Alta Peyra
Located in Saint-Véran, the highest village in Europe, just 58 km away from Briançon, Hôtel & Spa L'Alta Peyra offers ski-to-door...
More information
Car in Hautes-Alpes
Your car waits for you at your arrival
Hotels Online
Take advantage of our special offers. Book your stay and save more.
Airline ticket prices
Search for and compare your ticket
Great Rentals
Find the ideal rental for your next trip