The Hautes-Alpes make up the area of high mountains to the southeast of Grenoble and south of the Massif de la Vanoise. To the east lies the Italian border and to the south, the Alpes de Provence. The region is sliced in two by the Durance valley, with the Parc National des Écrins lying on the western side of the divide and the Parc Naturel Régional du Queyras on the eastern. At the head of the Durance valley, where the Guisane and Durance rivers converge, has the ancient fortified city of Briançon which makes an excellent base for exploring the surrounding region.

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