Besse en Oisans, the perfect example of an authentic mountain village. All the houses of this charming village are made in wood and stone. A unique place in Oisans thanks to its typical and preserved architecture.
This small mountain village, far from the noise and pollution, offers on a giant screen one of the most beautiful panoramas in the Alps.
It kept its appearance from one hundred years ago. The old people, hawkers, artisans or harsh mountain farmers have left their mark permanently. Their successors will welcome you warmly and make you enjoy the relaxed lifestyle of this unusual town, one of the finest of Oisans.
This important mountain community was formerly called “St. André in the middle of the forest …”
According to the legend, after the forest fire on August 24 in 1540, only birches remained. Hence the present name of the town that comes from Bes, meaning “birch” in local dialect.
“Who has not seen Besse and Paris and saw nothing …
By “Paris” we mean the Emparis plateau, with its 2,900 hectares that spread like a natural balcony at an altitude of 2,200m and offers a beautiful panoramic view of the Aiguilles d'Arves, the Meije summit and the Sarenne glacier. This natural site is one of the largest pastures in Europe, and welcomes every year many herds that keep the landscape “open” and perpetuate the ancient culture of mountain pastoralism.
Facing south, Besse is one of the most beautiful villages of Oisans, and also one of the most visited. Squat stone houses huddled on each other for protection from cold, separated by narrow streets and steep cobblestone, a solid structure to withstand heavy snowfall, the Besse village is a typical of a mountain village in Oisans. The walls are made of slate, whose dark and austere appearance is enhanced by the veined granite quartz that glows under the sunlight.
It is a crowded and active village that has kept its ancient soul. In the center of the village is located the Maison des Alpages museum, tourism and cultural actor in the departmental level, which plays a major role in pastoral protection. Children and adults can discover the fun and entertaining cultural traditions and traditional activities of Oisans linked with pastoralism.
Period of opening
Throughout the year : open daily.
Equipment & services
Unguided group tours
Unguided individual tours
Free of charge