The scenery in Besse en Oisans, a traditional Alpine village, has changed little over the last century or so, with squat, steep houses separated only by narrow streets. In summer and winter alike, this small town in the Isère department attracts many visitors who climb the Emparis plateau, the Mas de la Grave peak or the Salse ridges. Many activities and hikes are available in the surrounding area, including the Col d’Ornon, the Col du Lautaret and its exceptional botanical garden, or the summits of Les Deux Alpes and Mont de Lans, for the more sporty.

Activitiesaround Besse


Sports enthusiasts and lovers of the great outdoors alike can’t resist the chance to explore the Emparis Plateau, of which Besse en Oisans is a gateway. If it attracts so many visitors, it’s primarily because it’s the largest mountain pasture in Isère, covering 2,900 hectares. But it’s also a place where you can enjoy breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and landscapes.

From this vantage point, you can contemplate the Aiguilles d’Arves, the highest peak in the massif of the same name, and La Meije, on the north-western edge of the Écrins massif. The Plateau d’Emparis attracts hikers and equestrians in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, especially as the site boasts a number of suitable refuges.

Some visitors also come here to try their hand at paragliding and enjoy breathtaking views of the Alps. As for winter sports enthusiasts, ski touring with snowshoes is a great activity to enjoy in Besse. You’ll find plenty of professionals to hire adapted equipment.

The Emparis plateauand PDIPR trails

When you spend a few days in Besse-en-Oisans, you’re bound to hear about the PDIPR, or departmental plan for walking and hiking itineraries. Among other things, the plan aims to preserve the heritage of rural paths and tracks, ensure the continuity of routes and promote hiking and walking. In practical terms, this means taking an inventory of marked routes and trails (pedestrian, equestrian and mountain bike), as well as monitoring and ensuring the safety of the paths in question.

In fact, Besse-en-Oisans offers direct access to several walking itineraries with varying gradients that take you to Savoie or the Hautes-Alpes. Outside the snowy season, many holidaymakers can be seen on the marked trails from the valley to the slopes and other passes in the area. There are also a number of themed heritage trails around the mountain village. It’s the perfect opportunity to take a detour to the Maison des Alpages, an eco-museum listed by Bâtiments de France.

La Maison des alpagesin Besse-en-Oisans

Culture and pastoralism

The Maison départementale des alpages is located in the heart of Besse-en-Oisans. It’s a place for sharing culture and discovering the Oisans and its unspoilt nature. It’s the perfect place to learn more about the history of pastoralism and the Haut-Oisans region. Promoting pastoral activities is one of the main functions of the Maison des Alpages. High mountain pastures are of great historical and cultural importance, as this activity has been going on since the 16th century. At the same time, pastoral activity is an important economic lever, both locally and in the département.
The Maison des Alpages is also responsible for showcasing local produce, bringing together local and tourist customers through a variety of events… It is also a reliable information point for the Ecrins National Park.

Besse-en-Oisans is a charming mountain village to discover on vacation in Isère, offering a wide choice of cultural, sporting and outdoor activities. If you’re looking for a place to stay in our beautiful region, the 5-star À La Rencontre du Soleil campsite will give you, your family and friends a warm welcome in a mobile home or camping-caravan site, just a 27-minute drive from Besse-en-Oisans. Take advantage of our water park with indoor heated pool to relax after a day of exploring the Oisans region!