In the foothills of the Col de Sarenne
Made up of two hamlets set against a schist ridge, Clavans has beautiful fountains, flower-filled squares and a charming church.
The rushing torrent of the Ferrand, the Vallée’s namesake, cascades down from the glacial Lac des Quirlies (2600 m) into the turquoise waters of the Lac du Chambon. With its floral Alpine pastures, traditional shepherd’s huts, age-old customs, and breathtaking routes, Claven-en-Haut-Oisans incarnates the past and the present.
What to see and do in Clavens
The Grand Sablat boulder site
It’s quite a jumble of rocks opposite La Meije! Aficionados of boulder climbin will feel as though Christmas has come early when they see Grand Sablat. This beautiful location, with its high alpine pastures dotted with babbling streams, is well equipped with some sixty trails. The one and a half hour walk up the hill makes for a very pleasant hike. It’s perfect for a picnic, even without climbing!
lac des Quirlies
Nature is constantly in flux. How do we know this? Climb up to the last of the lakes created in Oisans, the Lac des Quirlies, and see for yourself. There is no official date of creation, and the development process was long, but experts agree that it was a ‘lake’ as early as 1950. Its namesake glacier leads the way into this icy, mesmerisingly milky blue coloured lake, which has long been dotted with small ’icebergs’ in the spring. Even if today, the glacier terminus has moved far away, the icy atmosphere remains the same.
Croix de Cassini
When you’re at the Col de Sarenne, you are also at the foothills of the Croix de Cassini, a spectacular looking-point in Oisans. It’s not us who’s saying it, but rather César François Cassini, first of his name, who, in the 18th century, chose the site to map out this part of the Alps. Four generations of Cassini have since chosen this viewpoint as their point of reference (find out more).
So the best thing to do is to check for yourself and go up there to have a look!
A practical guide
Visit the Vallée du Ferrand for an unparalleled experience. Download our practical guide.