The Lake de Serre-Ponçon is one of the largest artificial lakes in Europe. Set amongst a backdrop of impressive mountains, it is a major tourist attraction and a popular destination for water sports. It is, a sea in the mountains.
The Lake was created to control water flow, as many villages were destroyed by flooding and all that remains is the charming, much photographed little Chapelle of Saint-Michel. It once stood on top of a hill, and is now a picturesque little island in the lake.
We will first go to see the monumental earth dam, the Barrage de Serre-Ponçon, in Espinasse. It is 123 mts high and 650 mts long and is the biggest dam in europe. If it where to burst, it would flood the whole valley and go as far as the camargue in the Bouche du rhône.
We can visit this dam in June, July and August (Age min 8 years).
Lunch will be a picnic by the lake, (if possible by the bay of Saint Michel)
After lunch we will go onto see the stars of the day. Les Demoiselles coiffées. It is a striking set of narrowly-tapered rock columns standing along the top of a ridge. Each column is topped with a large rock balanced neatly on the tip, helping to protect the "demoiselles" from complete erosion.
After a short walk, 15mn, you will be able to admire these incredible geological formations from close up.
For visiting the dam, trainers or flat shoes are obligatory, You will also need a passport for entrance.
Departures from the tourist offices of Sisteron, Château-Arnoux, Digne les Bains, Manosque, Gréoux les Bains.