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Embrun: Family stroll from downtown to the lake via the Plaine du Roc

©Guy Borgia
'' Walk between the tumultuous Durance and the tranquility of the fields, under the benevolent gaze of the town of Embrun.

At the heart of the story

After a visit to Embrun's Tourist Information Office, where you can admire the frescoes in theformer Cordeliers convent, you're off, on the advice of Constance, the tourist advisor, for a family stroll from the town center via the Plaine du Roc to the lake. As a family, with your youngest daughter snuggled up in her stroller, you stroll through the streets of the town center. Pass by the imposing Tour Brune, then the majestic Notre-Dame du Réal cathedral.


Balcony with view

You arrive at the Jardin de l'Archevêché, your first contemplative pause. At the edge of the vertical rock, the plain opens up 80 meters below. Look up and you'll see the Durance River and all the surrounding peaks, from Mont Orel to Pic de Morgon. Three orientation tables will help you identify each one. The stroller's resident, already asleep, won't be able to enjoy the show. The panoramic rock path continues to the ramparts, which have been pierced to accommodate a footbridge spanning the moat. The itinerary is punctuated by interpretation panels dealing with different themes: the origins of the town, geology, flora and fauna.

The Naturographer

As the water flows

As you make your way down to the plain, you'll discover numerous gardens with small buildings ranging from cobbled-together garden sheds to cabins transformed into small houses. This plain has been protected from the whims of the Durance since a dike was built at the end of the 16th century. It's early June, and the colors and smells are all there. The area is home to a wealth of flora and fauna.

On the banks of the Durance, the sound of its flow, which is significant at this time of year, calls out to you. A few meters further on, it's full of milky water from melting snow. A mesmerizing spectacle that will make you stop without meaning to. Mistake! The stroller's stop marks the end of a nap for its occupant, dazed to find herself in front of this roaring river.


The lake, a paradise for families

After following the Durance to its terminus, you arrive at the Embrun water park with its many fun and/or water activities: inflatable playgrounds on land and water, merry-go-round, trampoline, Rosalies rental, bowling green, pedal-boat rental, Stand Up Paddle and canoe-kayak (rowing and white-water clubs present), tennis, mini-golf, municipal swimming pool...THE family fun base par excellence!

It's time for a well-deserved snack on the beach lawn. Then it's time to make the most of the area, with a tour of the lake for some to discover magnificent views of the lake and surrounding mountains, and children's games and a dip in the water for others.

For the return trip, no problem! A free shuttle bus between the lake and the town center will take you back to your starting point. In the end, the hardest part of the walk is picking up the kids, who don't want to leave because they're having so much fun.

The tour of the lake is a classic digestive stroll for the people of Embrun. Even in the middle of winter, as soon as a ray of sunshine shows its face, it's a pleasant place to stroll. Virtually flat and sufficiently wide, this 2.5-kilometer loop is accessible to all. A number of interpretation panels around the lake provide information on the local flora and fauna.

A paradise for anglers, too!

Don't be surprised to see well-equipped anglers, with tents, boats and deckchairs. These are " carp anglers", who specialize in fishing for carp, which can exceed 20 kilos at the Embrun lake! The site also has the particularity of being authorized for night fishing, which justifies its interest and attracts anglers from all over Europe.

The lake is also home to Pike, Perch, Whitefish and, more recently, Black Bass (no-kill, i.e. anglers are obliged to release them alive). Consult our fishing page for more information on fishing at Serre-Ponçon.


Find out more about the walks on the la plaine sous le Roc and the tour du plan d'eau on our website dedicated to hiking around Serre-Ponçon.