Le Monêtier-les-Bains, the mountain town and its ring of hamlets

Le Monêtier les Bains, the mountain town
and its ring of hamlets

The high mountains at its feet

It was born under the benevolence of the Cerces massifs and the domination of the Casset, Monêtier, Près-les-Fonts and Arsine glaciers.

Here, on the edge of the Guisane valley, below the Lautaret and Galibier passes, the Roman town of Monêtier-les-Bains stands proudly.

Here, in the protected area of the Ecrins National Park, the mountains are pure and raw. The park rangers at the Maison du Parc, located in the hamlet of Le Casset, confirm this, with binoculars slung over their shoulders, as they show and tell visitors about the wild world of the peaks. Their exhibits and activities provide the information you need to set off on a clever and well-informed assault on the slopes and summits.

Since mountaineering was recently included in UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list, seven of the Ecrins ' most famous sites, including Le Casset, have launched a joint initiative: Villages d'alpinisme (mountaineering villages). Their aim: to re-enchant their villages, promote authentic, respectful mountaineering, pass on the tradition to new generations, and raise public awareness of the fragile beauty of the natural environment.

From the six hamlets that make up the vast commune stretching out on either side of the nascent Guisane torrent, the paths to discover the high mountains, their fauna, flora, traditions, culture and customs, are legion. From Le Lauzet (1630 m) to Les Guibertes (1420 m), from Le Freyssinet (1430 m) to Le Serre-Barbin (1400 m), from Le Casset (1519m) to Le Monêtier-les-Bains (1500m), you can hike the trails, ride the mountain bike trails, climb the equipped routes, pedal the Route du Lautaret, fill your basket with the flavors of high altitude, from honey to cheese, blueberry jam to flasks of genepi.


View from here Le Monêtier les Bains mountaineering village


this small mountain hamlet is renowned as a land of mountaineers, and has recently become a venue for bouldering

Titre de la vidéo
Discover Monêtier les Bains, land of mountaineering

At Monêtier, the experience is more of a vertical one. You'll encounter marmots whistling at you, herds of not-so-shy ibexes, mountain pasture hamlets steeped in history, perched chapels and their treasures, which can also be found in the village's Museum of Sacred Art, which since 1997 has housed one of the finest collections in the Hautes Alpes in the Saint-Pierre chapel. The chairlift takes you up to the terraces of the high-altitude restaurants in the ski area, a great place for hiking and mountain biking in summer.

After all that back and forth, up and down, the plunge into the naturally warm waters of the Grands Bains du Monêtier is a salvation! This time it's horizontal, so you can enjoy the bubbling facilities of this 4,500 m2 thermo-ludic center, perpetuating the ancient past of this spa town where Roman legionnaires soaked themselves to soothe their wounds and multiple ailments. Healing water, aqui sagne, gave its name to the Guisane.

There's plenty of water in Monêtier! The area boasts a number of lakes that are ideal for beautiful walks: the Grand Lac (2,282 m) and the surrounding lakes of La Ponsonnière and Les Crouserocs, the Lac d'Arsine (2,500 m) and the Lac du Réou d'Arsine (2,250 m), the Lac de la Douche (1,900 m) and the Lac de Combeynot (2,530 m). Hiking shoes and bathing suits: in Monêtier, you don't choose, you take both!

Monêtier les Bains Town Hall