The Region of Savines

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The territory of Savines Serre -Ponçon extends from the Baie Saint- Michel to the municipality of Savines-le-Lac. In the center of the region of Savines Serre–Ponçon, seven villages welcome you for your holidays: Prunieres, Saint- Apollinaire, Réallon, Puy Saint-Eusèbe, Puy Sanières, Sauze-du-Lac and Savines-le-Lac.

At the bend of your road, from the balconies of the lake, or from the mountain valleys, you will discover the preserved cultural and natural patrimony.

In summer, the village festivals, the night markets, the shows for children, fireworks,... rhythm your holidays.

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Le Sauze-du-Lac

Visite du site Internet de la CommuneAt the crossroad of Ubaye and Durance, the picturesque village of Sauze-du-Lac has retained a typical character while being well-appointed, overlooking Serre- Ponçon.

The municipality of Sauze-du-Lac has a public beach at Port Saint -Pierre, at 780 m of altitude. Located on the arm of the Ubaye of the lake of Serre -Ponçon, this beach is a haven of peace where it is good to rest. In the summer, swimming is supervised and the beach is well-appointed: toilets, showers, lifeguard post, snack bar, picnic area, pitch for playing boules, volleyball and more than 2,000 m² of lawn to relax and to enjoy the generous sunshine of the Hautes-Alpes.

You can also enjoy water activities: sailing, jet- skiing, pedal boats, canoeing, ... with a marina with 35 places equipped with a fuel dispenser.

In Sauze du Lac, you can admire:

  • The gazebo, beautiful view on the lake and the dam of Serre -Ponçon
  • Label "European Blue Flag" for the protection of its environment, the quality of bathing water and its marina.
  • The classified site of Demoiselles Coiffées with its fairy chimneys.
  • The Chapel St. Martin, recently restored religious site dating from 618: parking at the entrance of the village. If you take on the right the little earth road, you reach the St Martin chapel in 30 minutes, planted on its hill dominating the valleys of Ubaye and Durance.
  • La Montagne aux Marmottes, an animal park with fauna of the Hautes-Alpes and birds of prey.

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Visite du site Internet de la Commune de PrunièresThe municipality of Prunieres, located at 1,000 meters of altitude, has 285 permanent inhabitants.  Its surface of ??1,320 hectares lies between the lake of Serre -Ponçon, with its 9 kilometers of shore, and the Aiguilles de Chabrières, nearby the ski resort Réallon.

The village overlooking the lake is divided into several hamlets. The inhabitants live mainly from agriculture and tourism or go working at Gap, capital of Department located only at 20 kilometers.
The chapel of Saint –Michel, belonging to the municipality, amid the waves, is sort of the emblem of the Department and of the Lake of Serre –Ponçon; it is in fact the most photographed site of the Hautes-Alpes.
With its sunny climate, many tourists come to enjoy the pleasure of water and mountains and can be housed in campsites, farm campsites, guest houses and vacation rentals.

Since a few years, Prunieres and SMADESEP realized a harbor complex with buoys, dock and launch for boat permitting the boat adepts to enjoy trips, water skiing, fishing ... in strict safety for the harbor is guarded by the Club de la Gendarmerie.

The castle which belonged to the Countess of Prunieres is now occupied by her descendants.

In this charming village, the church, whose foundations date back to the fifteenth century, is surmounted by four twin windows in pink limestone of Roman style. The sacristy dates from 1878 and hides the original round shape of the chorus. The elegant bell tower, restored in 1998, is decorated with a sundial.

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Puy Saint Eusèbe

Puy Saint Eusèbe, a charming terraced village of 800 at 2 450 m of altitude, is situated on the right bank of the Lake of Serre Ponçon, in the peripheral area of the Ecrins National Park. Long before the rebuilding of the village church between 1505 and 1530, the commune already had the name of St. Eusèbe, and appeared since 1265 under the name of Sanctus Eusebius.
Its seventeenth-century church located in the hamlet of Puy, and its fully restored chapel at Villard, are part of a communal patrimony that has been preserved. Common pastoral and agricultural, its privileged seduce you with its calm and tranquility.
The commune offers many hiking paths on the Mont Guillaume starting from the church, as well as mountain biking routes.

Tour of Puy Saint Eusèbe

Departure: park your car in the hamlet of Villard, near the town hall. Join the path that goes up to Clot Tartuc . From there, join to the hamlet of the Church. An incomparable view on the lake of Serre-Ponçon, the Grand Morgon and Les Aiguilles de Chabrières, is just an example of what you may enjoy.

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Puy Sanières

If Puy Sanières enjoys a privileged situation in the Hautes-Alpes, this is partly due to its dominant position on the right bank of the lake of Serre-Ponçon and in the peripheral zone of the Ecrins National Park. The six main hamlets that make up the village are located at 1,200 meters of altitude on the plateau of the Puys, splendid natural gazebo on the southern slopes of Mont Guillaume. Southern side means exceptional sunshine, mild climate and beautiful scenery ...

Outdoor activities

Throughout the year the panorama which is offered to the visitor is spectacular and colorful. From the vastness of the lake of Serre-Ponçon to the majesty of the mountains of the Grand Morgon and Parpaillon, the eye is constantly drawn to new images; new colors are mixed through the hours, along the seasons.
For nature lovers, Puy Sanières is a huge open-air theater where everyone can indulge his passion, from the most peaceful to the most sportive: hiking trails, mountain bike trails, renowned sites for paragliding, horse riding, and not to forget the water activities on the lake, something for everyone! Skiers only have a few kilometers to go to enjoy the domain of Réallon in dolomitic surroundings of Les Aiguilles de Chabrières.


The village church doesn’t lack of character with its pretty characteristic bell tower, its decorated porch and its sundial. Just above the village is a picturesque place, l’Ecluse; you won’t find boats here, but a fitted out, discreet picnic area near a small pond surrounded by old willows. Much higher, clinging to the side of Mont Guillaume, the Shepherds hut reminds us that formerly pastoral activity was intense in the municipality.
For the convenience of visitors, many lodges, guest houses or rentals are available in the commune.
By lack of restaurant, Puy Sanières offers a guide tour of the goat shed, where Véronique makes delicious cheeses, to the gourmets.
And if at the bend of your road, your ear is drawn by some melody, do not be surprised: the Music School and the Choir of Puy Sanières have reached a renowned reputation that exceeds the limits of the town since longtime!

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At the gates of the Ecrins National Park, Réallon has a charter for the protection of nature and the development of trails. You will find many hiking trails or short discovery walks.

An old story ...

From ancient times as evidenced by the many objects dating from the Bronze Age discovered in the nineteenth and twentieth century. During the Hundred Years War, gangs roam the region and seriously disrupt the daily lives of the population. In case of attack, the inhabitants of Réallon were sheltered in the castle which dominates the village. During the Revolution, the feudal system was abolished; the village of Réallon becomes an independent municipality with an elected mayor. Until the mid- twentieth century, the lifestyle of the inhabitants of Réallon will change little.
Practicing a subsistence economy based on breeding, agriculture and small crafts, they live for a long time self-sufficiently. With the Industrial Revolution and the arrival of the railway at Savines in 1883, we are witnessing the first large external trades. But it is also the beginning of the rural exodus which will continue inexorably during the twentieth century. With 1014 inhabitants in 1846, Réallon did not have more than 642 in the early 1920s and 179 in 1980.
It is thanks to tourism that the village now has a happy reversal of its demographic trend. The creation of a ski resort in 1985 led to the influx of new permanent residents and the reopening of the school. Réallon benefited from the last authorization for the creation of a winter sports resort.

Réallon, from the Ecrins National Park to the Lake of Serre -Ponçon

In addition to the ski resort, a commune is structured around four main villages, constituting many links on the slope between the heart of the Ecrins National Park and the Lake of Serre-Ponçon.
Les Rousses: At the heart of this hamlet, there is a beautifully chapel restored in the 80s. This building was formerly comprised of the chapel and the school room. It was converted into a religious building around 1820; it was restored in 1867/1868 and solemnly blessed on the 6th of June, 1869.
Les Méans: Derived from "Mea -n" which means adjoining canal. Formerly, the hamlet Méans was located on the side of the river before a landslide divided the hamlet. At the exit of Méans (direction Embrun) lies one of the two shrines of the Commune. The other is located between the Chef-lieu and Les Gourniers.
The Chef-lieu: Located on the sunny side at 1410 meters, it is the most important village of the commune. It consists of three groups of dwellings called from North to South: Les Gleizes, Les Anges, L’Eglise. The first two dwellings, built along the road leading to Gourniers show the characteristics of the street-village. The fabric is relatively loose. The hamlet of L’Eglise, by contrast, looks like a small village, houses and streets are clinging to the slope so that each house has several accesses. The lower alley serves as shed, the basements and the living area are at the first floor. The entrance to the barn is located at the rear of the house at the highest point of the natural land. We also find the Ruins of the Castle and the Church.
The Gourniers: Southern entrance to the Ecrins National Park, this hamlet is at 1500 m, the highest of the Commune. The houses are aligned along a central street that leads to the little chapel of the hamlet. At a half hour walk from the village, is the chapel of Saint Marcellin, mountain sanctuary that existed yet in 1554, the time when a chaplain was named after it.

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Saint Apollinaire

Le lac de Serre-Ponçon vu depuis Saint-Apollinaire (Hautes-Alpes). En face, Savines-le-Lac. Au fond, la chaîne du Parpaillon - Fr-LatreilleSaint-Apollinaire, an unusual village, discreet and yet so sought ... Its dominant position, its sunshine, its calm, its quality of life make that changes here must be measured and calculated. The landscape protection and its maintenance, the regulation of its population growth, while not depriving themselves of new technologies, will guarantee the well-being of St. Apollinaire.
Small commune in the basin of Savines, Saint Apollinaire enjoys a balcony position, south facing, above the lake of Serre-Ponçon, halfway between Savines-le Lac (county town) and the ski resort Réallon. This quiet village is a place of contemplation predominant in all aspects. From 113 permanent residents in low season, the passing-by population goes to 250 to 300 people during the holidays.
Its population increases, and second homes multiply (they represent 66.5 % of the housing park). However, the secondary residents stay longer and longer at Saint Apollinaire. The majority lives there six months in a year. Agriculture is declining with one sheep farmer and a recent installation in sea buckthorn herbs. The lands, however, are common exploited by farmers whose business center is located in other communes.
Saint Apollinaire shares its school with Réallon. Located in Les Rousses, the school has two classes and welcomes 29 pupils. A library is open in the afternoon on the first Wednesday of each month.


Saint Apollinaire, like the other municipalities bordering the lake of Serre-Ponçon has undergone a dramatic change after the construction of the dam. Very rural and agricultural commune, the municipality had for example still no network of supply in drinking water in 1977. The creation of the dam allowed to blow a new economic dynamic, bringing new perspectives and gradually offsetting the rural exodus.


Privileged site thanks to its gazebo on the lake of Serre-Ponçon, Saint Apollinaire offers the possibility to take wonderful pictures in perspective. Its rural altitude lake is the ideal place for long moments of relaxation or nice fly fishing parties.


The glacial lake of Saint-Apollinaire is accessible from the village. Located opposite to the peak of Morgon and overlooking the valley of the Durance, the panorama from this space is incomparable of beauty, providing a place for relaxation and healing ...

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La plage de Savines-le-Lac - SMADESEPSavines-le- Lac, touristic commune at the side of the lake of Serre-Ponçon, is thanks to its environment and dynamism, a top tourist attraction in the summer in the Hautes-Alpes.
The commune, built on the banks of one of the largest artificial lakes in Europe, offers all the services and shops of a real seaside resort. This dynamic village is the heir of a very turbulent history; the old village was destroyed during the construction of the dam of Serre-Ponçon and by the impoundment of the lake. It was rebuilt wherefore its modern architecture.

The permanent photographic exhibition "From Savines to Savines-le-Lac" in the inter-communal tourist office of Savines-le-Lac tells its story.

A little bit of history

In the seven centuries of its existence, Savines has been moved three times. In 1282, Rodolphe de la Font de Savines lent tribute to Dauphin des terres du Mandement de Savines. At that time, the first village was located at the end of the torrent Réallon, at the locality La Paroisse, where we still find the ruins of the ancient Castle of the Counts de la Font de Savines and those of the first parish church. It was abandoned during the revolution because of the ravages of the torrent Réallon. The second Savines, dating from 1825, was destroyed the third of May 196, necessary for the reservoir of Serre-Ponçon. It was located on the left bank of the Durance at the locality Charriere.

A multitude of activities

On the shores of the Lake of Serre-Ponçon, Savines-le-lac, ranked tourist resort in the Hautes-Alpes, offers you mountain with your feet in the water.
Water sports lovers discover the practice of wild water activities, sailing, gliding, bathing, and not to forget one of our traditional activities: fishing.
Nature lovers, discover our forests and mountains at the gates of the Ecrins National Park, our wildlife and our exceptional flora, diverse and protected. Summer or winter, go through our forests, by foot, by horse, by mountain bike, by ski or by snowshoes. Finally take some height on our escalating site Rochette.


The Church of the old parish dedicated to Saint Florent, Bishop of Orange, is the funeral chapel of the Family de la Font de Savines, Church of the chapel dedicated to St. Mary Magdalene (destroyed): Famous by the image remained in our memories while its destruction, where we saw the Father FERRARO, parish priest at that time, go to the scene after the explosion to remove the Iron Cross which surmounted the former bell tower of the church. This cross is still visible in the new church.
The current church was inaugurated on the 15th of July, 1962. The architect wanted to build a modern church of bold design, leaving conventional habits. Patron holder of the Church of Savines, destroyed by voluntary explosion on Wednesday the third of May 1961, Saint Florent remains Patron of the new church of Savines-le-lac. Inside you can admire magnificent works in the Treasury Room, including two paintings: Adoration of the Shepherds - Adoration of the Magi.

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