As far as tourism in the French Alps goes, the north wins the battle hands down. Everybody goes there.
And that suits me just fine.
Because unlike the more famous regions in higher parts of the Alps, Le Queyras, hidden in the Hautes-Alpes in the southern Alps, remains completely unspoilt by any sort of development or environmental destruction.
When you go hiking here, you don’t have to navigate through huge ski resorts with their labyrinths of pylons and chair-lifts sprawling across the mountainside.
And you can walk all day without finding cable cars regurgitating tourists onto tarmac covered mountain tops.
All the souvenir shops and restaurants remain firmly in the villages in the valleys. And if you’re looking for a bite to eat, the only place you’ll find it is in your rucksack. Maybe on the edge of a lake.
And call me anti-social, but one of the best things about being here is that you can walk all day without meeting another soul. It is truly 100% solitude, sunshine and steep slopes.
It’s just (wo)man and the great outdoors – and isn’t that what hiking is all about?