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Looking for a Place to Stay in Briançon, Fr

Looking for a Place to Stay in Briançon, Fr

Mar 17th, 2009, 09:05 AM
  #1  
ira
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Looking for a Place to Stay in Briançon, Fr

We will be spending just one night on our way from the Italian Lakes to Provence.

I am considering the Cristol (about 60E) and de la Chausée (68E), both plus bkfst.

We will need parking.

Any better suggestions in the 60-75E price range?

Suggestions for a good resto?

Thanx,

ira is offline  
Mar 17th, 2009, 09:22 AM
  #2  
 
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We chose to stay not in Briancon but in nearby Guillestre, Hotel Les Barnieres. It is a charming alpine 3-star hotel with gorgeous pool, right in your price range. The hotel restaurant is good too, with regional cuisine (like trout in genepi sauce, genepi icecream, genepi schnapps.. you get the picture?).

http://www.hotel-lesbarnieres.com/

Guillestre is said to have the best microclimate in France because it is surrounded by mountains on all sides so that few clouds and little rain reach the valley. And it is right on the Route des Grandes Alpes.
traveller1959 is offline  
Mar 17th, 2009, 09:50 AM
  #3  
 
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Hi Ira

We had an excellent dinner at Le Peche Gourmand - much better than I expected. It's in the Michelin Red Guide - 2 knife & forks, & a Bib Gourmand. Forget where we stayed - may have been the Parc. Parking was not a problem at all. You'll enjoy Briancon. We're planning to stay in a Gite near there next year.

Stu Dudley
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Mar 17th, 2009, 10:23 AM
  #4  
ira
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Thanks trav and Stu.

Stu, I am disappointed in you.

I expected at least a paragraph on the hotel, the room, the dinner, and particular sights worth seeing.

ira is offline  
Mar 17th, 2009, 11:36 AM
  #5  
 
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My wife didn't keep a diary on that trip, so I can't tell you about our meal - except that we both remember that it was excellent.

What day of the week will you stay in Briancon, and where are you sleeping in Provence the next night ("in a bed" is not an acceptable answer)? What time of year - lavender season?? We spent 2 days between Briancon & Provence, so I could describe the route we took - sights we liked, & some missable things too.

I assume you have my Provence itinerary.

Stu Dudley
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Mar 17th, 2009, 12:52 PM
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Ira, what a surprise to find you'll be in Briancon! Few people here in US seem to have heard of it. My family (husband, adult "kids", SIL, and I) spent a ski week there in early March of 2000.
It was a great place, both Briancon and the 10 or so villages along the river that comprise the Serre Chevalier ski domaine.
Anyway, I digress: we stayed in Briancon at the Auberge Mont Prorel; it's w/in walking distance of the old town which is interesting. There was parking. Can't remember where we ate dinner except that it was on the main street in the old town and was kind of built back into the hillside.

Have fun!

Grand-mere
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Mar 17th, 2009, 03:30 PM
  #7  
ira
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Hi grandmere,
Thanks for responding.
I've read your post on AMP. I'm looking into it.

ira is offline  
Mar 17th, 2009, 03:37 PM
  #8  
ira
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Hi Stu,

Oh well, I guess that your DW is allowed to slip up now and then.

We will arrive in Briancon on a Wed afternoon in the Autumn, plan on touring the town a bit and heading off Thurs afternoon to the Cadran Solaire in Graveson. near Avignon. Our route will be via Rustrel, Apt and the D900.

Please don't tell me where I should stop over for a night. I have been working on this itinerary since June, and it is just about complete.



Yes, I have your Provence printout. Thank you.
ira is offline  
Mar 17th, 2009, 03:45 PM
  #9  
ira
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PS,

Thanks for the recommendation for La Peche Gourmand.
ira is offline  
Mar 17th, 2009, 03:56 PM
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Ira, we stayed in Briancon 4 nights in August 2006 at the Edelweiss Hotel. Our double room was 63 euros which included breakfast. The hotel is a short walk (straight uphill(steep)) to the gate of the ramparts. Deborah
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Mar 17th, 2009, 04:49 PM
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>>Please don't tell me where I should stop over for a night. I have been working on this itinerary since June<,

If you had asked me where to stay, I wold have suggested Briancon - one of my favorites. You're ahead of me.

Here are some ideas:

Except for Briancon & St Veran, there are not many "cute little villages" in the Alps like you find in Alsace, Dordogne, & Provence. The real "star" is the Alps themselves - so make the Alps the main objective of your sightseeing.

After you've arrive in Briancon, checked in, and do a tour of the upper village - if you have any stamina left I suggest that you visit one of the most famous & beautiful "cols" in the Alps - the Col du Galibier. From Briancon, head northwest on the N91 over the Col du Lautaret. The road over the Galibier is just past Lautaret. Just drive on this D902 over the Col du Galibier a little bit - it's quite breathtaking. This should not take long.

On Thursday, head southeast on the beautiful D902 over the Col d'Izoard, then on to St Veran. My Michelin Green Guide says that this is the hightest village in Europe. However, about 3 other Green Guides say that other villages are the highest in Europe too???? We enjoyed touring this interesting village with the south facing storage lofts. The GG says it's one of the prettiest villages in France.

Chateau Queyras is on the way to St Veran, but I would skip that.

Retrace your route a bit, and head southwest on the Combe du Queyras (D902) to Guillestre. We did not visit this village - so there must have been a reason I chose to bypass it. If you are a Vauban fan (my wife is), stop at Mont Dauphin - but I suspect you might need to make some time & skip it.

From Guillestre, you can make a scenic clockwise loop on the D902 over the Col de Vers & on to Barcelonnette, then on to the A51 freeway. Or you could head southwest from Guillestre on the less scenic N94 through Embrun, past the Serre Poncon lake, and on to the A51. Serre Poncon will be a BIG disappointment after the Italian lakes, so I suggest that you do the Barcelonnette loop. Perhaps stop in Barcellonnette for lunch. There are lots of outdoor cafes there & it's a somewhat interesting village to explore. It has Mexican architecture, of all things. We stayed overnight in Embrun and did this entire loop. Embrun is interesting.

Get on the A51 heading south to Sisteron.

Sisteron gets 2 stars in the Michelin Green Guide. I can't understand why. We stayed overnight in Sisteron, and found little charm in the village. There was an auto show going on while we were there, and we though that all the loudspeakers blasting noise everywhere might have detracted from our enjoyment, so a few years ago we visited Sisteron again. Still didn't find the charm. Many of the old houses looked kind of run down, and the shopping street was very uninteresting (I don't put touristy shops in the interesting category). The Citadel was OK - but you've visited much more interesting forts & castles in the Dordogne, and I remember that your wife does not like heights. HOWEVER, the view of Sisteron from outside on the A51 is fantatic - so it's my opinion that Sisteron is better from the outside than from the inside. When you are heading south on the A51, the best views occur when you actually drive past Sisteron a bit. Whoever is not driving will have to look behind to get the views. This obviously won't work, so do what we did & get off the A51 at Exit #22 and head north on the D4, which is just east of the A51. Have your camera ready. Stop to take pics.

Continue south on the A51. Just south of Sisteron is the Rochers des Mees - an extremly interesting rock formation. Do not drive into the village of Mees - the views are better elsewhere. I think I indicated the road with the best views in my itinerary that you have. The views are either from the D4 or the N96 - I believe it's the latter. After viewing Sisteron, perhaps don't get on the A51, but continue south on the D4 to the N96 to get the views of the rocks.

On to Provence.

If you got an early start, had a quick lunch, and did not visit Sisteron or Mont Dauphine, you might have time to visit either Forcalquier or Manosque. I think Manosque is more interesting, but Forcalquier is on more of a direct route to Avignon.

Stu Dudley
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Mar 18th, 2009, 04:11 AM
  #12  
ira
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Hi DA,
Thanks for the recommendation of the Edelweiss.

Stu,
Thanks for the driving route. think that I can factor it in.

ira is offline  
Mar 18th, 2009, 06:48 AM
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Ira, the drive from Briancon to St. Veran is not for the faint of heart, especially from the col d'Izoard to St. Veran. I was lulled by watching my husband drive easily up the col so with every confidence I offered to drive so he could record the spectacular scenery.

The road changed to sheer drops, narrow roads with so many curves that you couldn't always time passing cars only at the widest sections. It's certainly worth the drive but frightening for someone with acrophobia like I have. I had no problems driving Galibier or L'Alpe d'Huez but Izoard almost pumped my heart right out of my body.

I think I enjoyed St. Veran so much because for a while on the road I thought I might not live to see it Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
Mar 18th, 2009, 07:54 AM
  #14  
ira
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Hi DA,

Thanks for the heads up about getting to St. Veran.

Stu,
My Lady Wife cannot take sheer drops. Do you agree with DA?

ira is offline  
Mar 18th, 2009, 09:17 AM
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I don't recall having any problems, but we all have different thresholds.

The road from Briancon to St Veran then on to Guillestre is 98% shaded in green - which meeans Michelin thinks it's a scenic road. Michelin gives this route a **. The alternate route on the larger N94 through Argentiere to Guillestre is less than 50% shaded green, and the green section on this route receives zero Michelin stars (we didn't take this road).

Start on on the Col d'Izoard & see how it goes - you can always turn back. There are usually parking spots at the cols. You could take the N94 south then the D902 northeast & reach St Veran that way instead of going over the Col d'Izoard.

Stu Dudley
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Mar 18th, 2009, 01:04 PM
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Ira, Stu is absolutely correct about having different thresholds. I thought I remembered your wife not liking the Amalfi Coast drive because of the heights and as a driver I didn't have a problem there with the heights, just the reckless motor scooter drivers

There is a large parking area at the top of the Col d'Izoard but I don't remember any place wide enough to turn around when driving on the outer lane after leaving the Col. There may have been but I was determined to drive all the way to St. Veran and for me it certainly was a white knuckle drive.

Someone without the fear of heights that I have might not have been bothered by the drive. There certainly were plenty of cars on the road that day.

The old town of Briancon has plenty of character and atmosphere, I was just surprised in August how very quiet it was in the evening. Have a great trip, Deborah
DeborahAnn is offline  
Mar 18th, 2009, 10:59 PM
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Ira, I can't believe you mention Cadran Solaire. I did a search on this forum just last week and there was nothing! We are thinking of staying there in July. As Stu knows, I'm obsessing over where to stay for western Provence. We are booked in St. Remy, but Cadran Solaire gets great reviews, is a/c and seems like great place and it is MUCH cheaper than where we are booked in St. Remy. I'm trying to figure out how I will feel not having a real town like St. Remy to walk around before, during or after dinner -- without getting into our car. Graveson looks like it has some restaurants.
Ira, if you have been to Cadran Solaire or have anything to add to help with my decision, please chime in! It seems to be a great base! thanks so much.
alison is offline  
Mar 19th, 2009, 01:47 AM
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>>The road from Briancon to St Veran then on to Guillestre is 98% shaded in green - which meeans Michelin thinks it's a scenic road. Michelin gives this route a **. The alternate route on the larger N94 through Argentiere to Guillestre is less than 50% shaded green, and the green section on this route receives zero Michelin stars (we didn't take this road).<<

The route over Col d'Izoard is part of the Route des Grandes Alpes - one of the most scenic mountain roads on Earth. Leisurely driving these roads is the main reason to visit this region.

Of course, it is a mountain road - rather steep, with serpentine curves, but otherwise it is a normal, well-maintained road. It is a paradise for bicyclists (part of the Tour de France). We have driven the road with our 7-seater minivan and did not notice anything special - except those gorgeous vistas.

If you have someone in the car who suffers from motion-sickness, it is wise to take a Dramamine in the morning - this applies for all roads in the Alps. If someone suffers from vertigo - then better avoid the Alps at all.
traveller1959 is offline  
Mar 19th, 2009, 07:22 AM
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Good suggestion about Dramamine: we flew into Milan, and by the time we reached Briancon, I had big time "mal de mer"; for the return I used Dramamine and no problems.
grandmere is offline  
Mar 19th, 2009, 08:43 AM
  #20  
ira
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Hi alison,

>Ira, if you have been to Cadran Solaire or have anything to add to help with my decision, please chime in!<

This will be our first time to Provence, so I cannot give you advice from experience.

However, this might help you with dining out.
Le Mas des Amandiers resto in Graveson is a Logis 2C
Le Clos des Cyprès in Graveson is +++ on Michelin
.................................................. ..................
Hi Stu and DA,

I did respond yesterday to thank you both.

I don't know what happened to my post.
.................................................. ........
traveller1959 on Mar 19, 09 at 04:47 AM
Thank you. That is very helpful.

ira is offline  

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