RANDOLAND: Puy Aillaud / Le Villard

RANDOLAND: Puy Aillaud / Le Villard

History and architecture
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Explore traditional villages to discover their architectural, mountain-dwelling and cultural heritage

A two-stage treasure hunt:

First, Puy Aillaud, the highest hamlet in Vallouise. which offers a stunning view over the valley. Then, 300 metres lower down, Le Villard and its traditional houses. Two mountain villages cast their spell!


The tour starts from the car park in Puy Aillaud (next to the containers). Go down the road and take the first road on the right, towards the restaurant “Les Rhododendrons”.

  1. Just before the two restaurants, climb up the steps on the right and take the grass path opposite to reach the road.
  2. Go down to the left, to the hike post at the start of the first path, on the left. Carry on down the road, go between the two restaurants and then turn right, skirting around Les Rhododendrons. Carry on until you come to the church water fountain.
  3. Go down the steps on the right which lead to a wash house.
  4. Then go left down the road, then turn left and carry on until you come to the sheepfold. Come back to the road and go right to pass the house with the sundial. Then head back to the car park. Get back into the car and head towards Le Villard. Stop at the chapel of Saint-Jean, on the left-hand side of the road, and then carry on along the road towards Le Villard.
  5. Park just outside the hamlet of Le Villard. Head up to the right, towards the exhibition, and stop in front of the chapel.
  6. Head up to the right until you come to the exhibition centre and then go back down to the church water fountain. Next, turn right and then left to reach the wash house. Continue left to return to the car park.
  • Departure : Le Passage d’Aval, Puy Aillaud
  • Arrival : Just outside Le Villard, Le Villard
  • Towns crossed : Vallouise-Pelvoux

5 points of interest

  • History

    The chapel of Saint-Jean

    Surrounded by a cemetery and with a bench installed to the front of its façade, this pretty little seventeenth century chapel has an air of peaceful tranquillity. Maybe to sit and watch the trail runners?
  • Vernacular heritage

    The church of Saint-Sébastien

    A listed Historical Monument, this church has two frescoes on its facade depicting the Virgin Mary and Saint Sebastian. The church is also known for its two sun dials dating from 1718, made by Giovanni Francesco Zarbula.

  • History

    Giovanni Francesco Zarbula

    Between 1833 and 1870, Giovanni Francesco Zarbula made some forty sundials in the Hautes-Alpes. Here, one of the sundials depicts a cockerel, large vases of flowers, curtains and masonry tools. On the other sundial, we see crows dropping flowers and a rare bird. Both sundials show a motto. 

  • Vernacular heritage

    The sun dials

    The sun dial is an eighteenth century tradition that is widespread in the Southern Alps, where the sun is constantly present. Artisan dial makers were responsible for these dials, which adorn and embellish the fronts of houses, religious buildings and monuments. They are works of art, but can also be inscribed with philosophical sayings.

  • Architecture

    Le Villard in Vallouise

    Lying in the valley of the Onde, the hamlet of Le Villard is justifiably proud of its beautiful houses with arcaded balconies, of the same type as those of Vallouise. It is a pretty, flower-filled hamlet. It still receives a few hours of sunshine in the winter, which is not the case further along the Onde valley. It stands in a position sheltered from avalanches which are severe in this valley.   


Altimetric profile


To download the Randoland clue sheets, visit the Office de Tourisme Intercommunal du Pays des Écrins website. 

Check weather conditions before setting off.

Rescue services contact details: Secours Montagne (Mountain Rescue): +33 (0)4 92 22 22 22 or 112;

Show consideration for the work of farmers, livestock keepers and owners

Close all gates behind you

Take your litter home

Do not take shortcuts across pastureland

Herd protection dogs

In mountain pastures, protection dogs are there to protect the herds from predators (wolves, etc.).

When I hike I adapt my behavior by going around the herd and pausing for the dog to identify me.

Find out more about the actions to adopt with the article "Protection dogs: a context and actions to adopt".
Tell us about your meeting by answering this survey.

Information desks

Vallouise Park house

, 05290 Vallouise

http://www.ecrins-parcnational.fr/vallouise@ecrins-parcnational.fr04 92 23 58 08

Information, documentation, models, exhibitions, screenings, product sales and works of the Park. Guided tours for school, reservation required. The new Park House opened in Vallouise since June 1, and offers visitors an interactive permanent exhibition inviting to explore the area and its heritage. A temporary exhibition space will allow a renewed offer. Finally, the device is completed by an audiovisual room to organize screenings and conferences Free admission. All animations of the Park are free unless otherwise stated.

Find out more


Public transport >> www.pacamobilite.fr


For more information, ask at the Tourist Information Office nearest to the trail starting point.

Access and parking

15 km from L'Argentière-La Bessée, take the D994E and then the D504.

Parking :

Le Passage d'Aval car park, Puy Aillaud, and then the car park as you enter Le Villard


Emergency number :114

More information


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