Clavans, at the gates of the col de Sarenne
Comprising two hamlets backed by a schist ridge, Clavans features pretty fountains, flower-filled squares and an interesting church. The fast-flowing Ferrand torrent, which gives its name to the Valley, gushes down in waterfalls from the glacial Lac des Quirlies (2600m), before tumbling into the turquoise waters of the Lac du Chambon. With its flower-strewn pastureland, typical shepherds huts, ancestral traditions and daring roads, Clavans-en-Haut-Oisans is a land combining the modern day and memories of yesteryear.
In summer, you can go up over the Col de Sarenne – a marvellous unspoiled viewpoint over the Massif de la Meije – and on up to Alpe d’Huez on the pastoral track. For hikers, Clavans is on the GR54 Tour de l’Oisans long-distance footpath and the Montée du Cerisier or the traditional walk up to the Lac des Quirlies (listed site) will reveal magnificent scenery. In winter, the Grand Sablat glacier off-piste run can be tackled with a guide from the Pic Blanc (Alpe d’Huez) down to Clavans.