Briancon is a city with exceptional historical significance, which sits on the French side of the French/Italian border. The city is known to be the highest city in Europe, at 1,326m, and was an important junction for the road outward from Rome in ancient Roman times. The city was known as Brigantium, and the area is rich with history. It also has access to some excellent skiing, which makes it a perfect place to rent self catering accommodation in Briancon to enjoy the winter fun.
Holidays in Briancon are active and exciting as the nearby resort has over 24km of downhill ski runs, serviced by 74 chairlifts. The ski area includes a whole 1430m of vertical ski area, with plenty of runs for both beginner and intermediate and better skiers and snowboarders. For those taking a day off the slopes, Briancon is full of history right on the chalet doorstep. The centre of the town contains the various “Fortifications of Vauban” (named after King Louis XIV’s military engineer Sebastien Le Prestre de Vauban (1633-1707) who designed the fortifications), built in the 17th century to keep the Austrians out. These varied buildings and structures are so impressive they were established as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008. In fact, the whole area is home to various medieval fortresses and citadels.
The city of Briancon sits right in the middle of the French Alps, making it prime for outdoor activities. In the summer and winter, this is an excellent place to base mountaineering trips from, and scale some of the more extraordinary alps in the area. There is also plenty of other outdoor and extreme sports to take part in, paragliding is popular in the area. The region is also a part of various cycling events, and quite often the Tour de France passes through the area.
In the summer, Briancon is wonderfully warm, with an average high of 27 degree Celsius in July and August. The winter months are understandably cooler, with highs just above freezing. Precipitation in the summer is under 70mm of rain each month over July and August. There is about the same in the middle of winter, as the snow falls.
There is no airport in the region, so the best way to get to Briancon is to fly to Grenoble (GRB) and take the train from there. There are connections leaving five times daily over the winter, and expect the journey to take about 3.5 hours. There is also a coach service available. Grenoble is served by regular flights from Birmingham (BHX), Bristol (BRS), London Gatwick (LGW), London Stansted (STN) and Liverpool (LPL), with winter seasons flights also from Edinburgh (EDI). Grenoble is served by easyJet and Ryanair. It is also possible to get to Briancon by train, either through Grenoble or by high speed TGV to Oulx, then a 1 hour bus transfer.