On the edge of the Ecrins National Park, the Emparis plateau offers superb views of the mountains. A hiker’s paradise, this superb green expanse where every valley is overlooked by a peak or ridge has preserved a great pastoral tradition. As you stroll along the Oisans hiking trails, most of which start in Besse-en-Oisans, you’ll be sure to admire the flora and fauna, and come across flocks of sheep led by sheepdogs.

The Emparis plateau is one of the largest concentrations of alpine pastures in the region. Above all, it’s one of the most beautiful natural sites in the Oisans. Walkers flock to Lac Lérié or Lac Noir, guided by marked trails to magnificent panoramas. There, they can admire the emblematic peaks of the Écrins massif, including the Meije and Râteau. The Col du Lautaret is nearby.

The Emparis plateaua Natura 2000 site

Sustainable development

Natura 2000 sites, of which the Emparis plateau is one, are presented as “fundamental tools of European biodiversity preservation policy”. This network of natural sites in Europe states that these areas are “designated to protect a certain number of habitats and species representative of European biodiversity”. In practice, economic and social activities, as well as infrastructure projects, can be carried out in these areas, provided they are not detrimental to the protected species or habitats of the nature reserve.

As far as the Emparis¸ plateauis concerned, the challenge is to preserve its exceptional biodiversity. This group of alpine pastures lies at the intersection of two biogeographical areas: the inner Alps and the intermediate Alps. The site lies at the climatic boundary between the northern and southern Alps. These include its great geological variability and contrasting geomorphology. These ecological variations are ideal for the development of many animal and plant species in a unique natural environment.

The characteristicsof the Emparis plateau

The landscapes of the Emparis plateau are marked by agro-pastoral activities. The hamlets of the upper valley are surrounded by several biologically rich hay meadows. At an altitude of 2,2000 metres, you’ll find alpine pastures where mountain walkers are sure to come across herds of cattle and sheep. The lucky ones will be able to observe a wild fauna made up of chamois and marmots living in the wild. Visitors can also discover a number of wetlands.

Couples with or without children love to spend time on these flowering meadows as far as the eye can see. These are vast green spaces where you’re sure to enjoy a peaceful moment after a family outing. The mountain setting couldn’t be more perfect for recharging your batteries with your loved ones. These areas are particularly appealing, as they offer breathtaking views of the Meije massif and its glaciers.
At the same time, the Emparis plateau is characterized by steppe-like landscapes, linked to geographical and geological criteria, but also to agricultural and pastoral activities. For those who want to know more about the history of pastoralism in the Oisans, a detour to the Maison départementale des alpages is recommended. You can also take advantage of your walks in the Parc des Écrins to go ski touring in the mythical ski resorts of Serre Chevalier or Vilar d’Arène, the Mecca of mountaineering, and to explore the high mountains to discover a glacier or sublime waterfalls.

The Isère department attracts holidaymakers all year round. That’s why, less than 35 km from the Emparis plateau, you’ll find the 5-star campsite À La Rencontre du Soleil which has chosen to develop a high-quality services with its ideal infrastructure consisting of a water park with heated indoor pool and offer comfortable, affordable accommodation in mobile homes or camping pitches. Don’t wait any longer to book your dream holiday near the Emparis plateau!