ECON­OMY OF THE VERCORS

Living France - - WHERE TO LIVE -

De­spite the moun­tain­ous ter­rain, the Vercors has long been linked to the pe­riph­eral low-ly­ing ar­eas thanks to the many passes that tra­verse the re­gion fa­cil­i­tat­ing ac­cess, ei­ther on foot or horse­back. The rivers also pro­vided a means for trans­port­ing goods in the past, and reg­u­lar big mar­kets known as foires brought farm­ers and trades­peo­ple to­gether at key cross­ing points to ex­change their wares. To­wards the end of the 19th cen­tury, roads were built, bring­ing the Vercors into the mod­ern era and greater eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment. Agri­cul­tural pro­duc­tion gath­ered pace (hay, livestock, cheese and but­ter), mills popped up along the river pro­duc­ing flour and wal­nut oil, while greater ex­ploita­tion of the re­gion’s forests opened up new mar­kets.

Eas­ier ac­cess also her­alded the start of the tourist trade, which rev­o­lu­tionised the so­cial and eco­nomic world of the Ver­ta­comiriens (in­hab­i­tants of the Vercors) dur­ing the 20th cen­tury. Many peo­ple were at­tracted by the area’s beauty, oth­ers by the health ben­e­fits of the pure moun­tain air, and later, many more still by the in­cred­i­ble ar­ray of sport­ing and out­door ac­tiv­i­ties that de­vel­oped.

One of the most mag­nif­i­cent roads in the Alps, Combe Laval is carved into the cliff

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