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Queyras (High Alps): the ideal region for astronomy lovers

At the heart of the Regional Natural Park of Queyras, the Pic de Château-Renard Observatory and Maison du Soleil are part of Europe’s best spots to observe the stars and to better understand them.

Rédigé par Saliha Hadj-Djilani translated by Joséphine Foucher le Vendredi 22 Juillet 2016

Pic de Château renard observatory
Pic de Château renard observatory
Pic de Château-Renard Observatory

Located at 2,936 meters in altitude, at the heart of the Regional Natural Park of Queyras, the Pic de Château-Renard Observatory is one of continental Europe’s best astronomical sites thanks to several factors such as the atmosphere’s purity, the darkness of the sky, and the amount of clear days.

This observatory opened in August 2015 after renovation and standardization work. Below the three domes, it welcomes amateur astronomers and tourists who can spend the night examining the stars in the same conditions as professionals.

La Maison du Soleil

Just a bit lower, in Saint-Veran, one of France’s most beautiful villages, La Maison du Soleil opened in early July 2016. This new discovery space is devoted to understanding the sun.

“Entirely dedicated to the sun, this center explains its functions thanks to instruments of high scientific value that were made available to the public by the Paris Observatory (CNRS). It helps to better understand the sun’s rotation, its spots, and other phenomena that characterize this star.

We can also explore the relationships of the sun with the Earth along with their interactions, especially around everything pertaining to solar energy, with the modes of capture and storage,”
explains Caroline Tchepelev of the CDT Hautes Alpes.

Practical Information

La Maison du Soleil
La Maison du Soleil
Queyras Regional Natural Park
0530 Arvieux
phone: +33 (0) 4 92 46 88 20

Tourism Office of Queyras Natural Park

Pic de Château Renard Obervatory
Queyras Natural Park
phone: +33 (0) 4 92 45 85 44

La Maison du Soleil
Le Chatelet
05340 Saint-Véran

Every day except mondays
2pm to 6pm
Guided visits at 2:15pm and 4:15pm
Workshops upon reservations here: 04 92 23 58 21

Adults : €4.00
Children 6 to 12: €2.00
Workshops: €6.00

Getting to the Queyras Natural Park?


From Marseille: take the highway A51 until Gap/Tallard then direction Embrun, Guillestre and Queyras. 3h25 mn.
From Grenoble: either Briançon from the Lautaret pass or Gap through the Bavard pass then Embrun, Guillestre and Queyras. 3h30 mn.
From Torino: reach the border through the Montgenèvre pass, then direction Briançon, Guillestre and Queyras. 3h.


TGV : Paris-Valence or Paris-Grenoble or Paris-Oulx
Shuttle Connections
SNCF train station of Montdauphin/Guillestre
TER PACA Marseille/Briançon, daily service.


Torino Airport
Geneva Airport
Lyon Saint-Exupéry Airport
Marseille Provence Airport (By train, by bus, car rental, taxis from Marseille.)

Queyras (Hautes Alpes): la région idéale pour les passionnés d'astronomie

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