Fournel Valley

The Fournel Valley is a great place for strolling and exploring and is somewhere you should most certainly visit during your stay in the Pays des Écri


An illustration of the former pastoral life, it is above all a ‘sanctuary’ for unique biodiversity.

Located on the right bank of the Durance, in the town of l’Argentière-la-Bessée, part of the Fournel Valley is located in the central part of the Écrins National Park.

Unspoilt, almost secretive, it is home to a surprising biodiversity. In summer, the meadows of this valley are covered with the deep blue of ‘alpine sea holly’, more commonly known as the ‘blue thistle’.

The Deslioures ecological reserve is the place to go to discover this rare, protected plant, with its dedicated footpath, as well as the botanical wealth and fauna of the valley, and is also the start point for some superb hikes.

The Fournel Valley was previously an agriculture and breeding area and is protected by the ONF and the Écrins National Park in order to maintain the balance of the unique biotope.

The valley’s landscape progressively changed with the decline of pastoralism. This is why the Écrins National Park coordinates human activity along with the shepherds and farmers to reduce the impact on this fragile environment, so that this biodiversity continues to exist for many years to come and our children can also enjoy strolling in this pretty valley.

On your way back to l’Argentière-la-Bessée, you can go along the Fournel Canyon, it is the most popular in the Pays des Écrins for canyoning enthusiasts.