ECONOMY OF THE VERCORS
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