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La Grave travel guide

Photo of La Grave

Visit La Grave (Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur, France)

The village of La Grave is high in the mountains 40 kilometres north-west of Briancon. Because of the mountains opposite the village it is also known as La Grave - La Meije, and it is these imposing mountains around the village that make it so scenic.

Explore La Grave

The village of La Grave sits on a slope nestled into the mountainside with narrow streets winding between the houses and overlooking the Peak de la Meije, a mountain almost 4000 metres high. It is a picturesque village, listed among the most beautiful villages of France.

In the centre of La Grave there is a roman style church built in the 12th century, although much modified over the centuries, next to a Chapel of Penitents Blancs and a cemetery. This ensemble has various elements of interest such as the porch and entrance to the church.

Because of the altitude of the village there are no wooden chalets to be found, because there are no trees and because earlier fires in the town further discouraged the idea. The buildings are therefore made of stone, with stone rooves. The houses are constructed largely with volcanic rock, held together by a mortar made from earth.

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The village is proud, and rightly so, that it has managed to avoid the visual impact of tourism on the town, and the facilities that are here are well integrated into the rest of the village.

The views from La Grave, and in the surrounding countryside, are magnificent and if you visit during the summer you can enjoy walking in the region. Rockclimbing is also very popular around the village.

La Grave skiing

La Grave is best known as a ski and mountain climbing destination, and in particular attracts more adventurous skiers. It is a location for very experienced skiers with no established pistes and skiing often on glacial ice.

From the village skiers can reach (via tram and lift) what is said to be one of the best ski runs in Europe, with a vertical drop of over 2000 metres, all in a magical setting that attracts many experienced skiers looking for a new challenge and experience. An annual competition takes place on the slope, called the Derby de la Meije.

Photo by MartinD: see photo and copyright.

Attractions nearby

La Grave is in the northern part of the Ecrins National Parc with numerous leisure opportunities both during the summer and winter.

The scenic highlights in the region around the village are centred around the Meije mountain as well as the lakes (Lac Lérié and Lac Noir), the Plateau d'Emparis and the Col d'Aiguillon. You can reach the higher levels such as the La Meije glacier (and a beautiful panorama of the region) by cablecar.

You can find more travel ideas in the Hautes-Alpes guide and the Provence guide.

See also: 

Map of La Grave and places nearby

 
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Visit near La Grave with France This Way reviews

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... or see ALL recommended places to visit in Hautes-Alpes

Tourist classifications for La Grave

La Grave is classified as a one of the most beautiful village in France (plus beau villages)

Address: Grave, Briançon, Provence, 5320, France || GPS coordinates: latitude 45.044, longitude 6.3064

Plan your visit to La Grave, Hautes-Alpes

Sightseeing & tourist attractions to visit nearby

  • Jardin alpin du Lautaret: remarkable garden (2 km)
  • La Meije: site of natural beauty (4 km)
  • Aiguilles d'Arves: site of natural beauty (9 km)
  • Col de la Croix-de-Fer: site of natural beauty (22 km)
  • Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne: recommended detour (26 km)
  • Vallee de la Claree: grand site of france (30 km)
  • Briancon: secteur sauvegarde (30 km)
  • Briancon fortifications (Vauban fortifications): heritage site (31 km)
  • L'Argentiere-la-Bessee: recommended detour (34 km)
  • Ruines de Séchilienne: site of natural beauty (39 km)
  • Parc du château de Vizille: remarkable garden (42 km)
  • Poligny: town of art and history (44 km)

Market days in La Grave, France

Regular market(s) are held in La Grave each Thursday. (Markets are held in the morning unless stated.)

The French version of this page is at La Grave (Francais)

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