Want to visit the Ecrins National Park? Find out right away the best things to do in La Grave!
Nestled between Grenoble and Briançon, La Grave is known for its ski area full of powder. La Grave is also a top destination for summer tourism, and it has many must-see attractions.
Here, we come to cool off, recharge our batteries, and even feast! Enjoy hiking trails lined with gentians, edelweiss, and other genepis and draw your camera: you may have the chance to immortalize a marmot, an ibex, or an adventurous chamois!
But stop chatting: find out the 8 most exciting things to see and do in La Grave.
The 8 Best Things To Do in La Grave
1. The village and its religious heritage
Visiting La Grave is first and foremost about discovering the village. Allow yourself to be carried away by your desires and enjoy the picturesque side of stone houses dating back to the seventeenth century.
They are built of shale blocks and supporting slate roofs; their anthracite hue blends perfectly into the Alpine setting.
Then go up the trabucs (the name given to the small streets of the village) to find yourself at the Church of Notre-Dame-de-l’Assomption. The oldest monument in the canton was founded in the eleventh century.
Its Romano-Lombard style perfectly embodies one of the styles prevalent in southern Europe in medieval times. Do not miss a detour to the Chapel of the White Penitents, dating from the seventeenth century.
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2. The market in La Grave
Enjoy yourself and meet the traders on the market stalls on Thursday morning! During the winter, it takes place on the platform of the cable car and is centered at the exit of the village when the weather is nice.
From local agricultural producers to small craftsmen making bags and other accessories with passion, you will take full mirettes! A must-do in La Grave, through which you will inevitably pass during your stay.
3. The meije glaciers
The glaciers would be if we had to elect a single must-do in La Grave. The cable car leading to the foot of the Girose glacier in about thirty minutes makes this outing ideal for the family.
Admire grandiose panoramas from where you can even see Mont Blanc before taking a break at the altitude restaurant.
Those who are more adventurous can even approach the crevices of the glacier under the watchful eye of a high mountain professional.
If you are on the glacier heights, don’t miss the Ice Cave, a must-see in La Grave.
A team of sculptors works every day to make beautiful decorations and frozen characters appear on the glacier walls. A magical visit that you will remember for a long time!
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4. The Oratory of Chazelet
The perch of the Oratory of Chazelet, located in the hamlet of the same name, is undoubtedly one of the most famous things to see in La Grave.
Located at the Col des Portes, it is a platform erected above the void where a breathtaking view of the entire valley is revealed.
Don’t freak out: it makes you dizzy, but everything is planned for your safety and that of the youngest.
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5. The Chazelet bread oven
A stay in the high mountains is also an opportunity to discover the traditions inherent to the territory.
La Grave is no exception to the rule since it still celebrates the Feast of Bread twice a year and has been since the fifteenth century.
In this instance, the villagers make black bread from rye flour, a hefty bread that bakes for seven hours in the communal oven.
Are you passionate about the crafts of yesteryear and local customs? Do not hesitate to register this visit to La Grave on your “to-do list” »
6. A rafting trip
No Limit Rafting, an activity club on the Romanche, offers descents on the river for sports. For about 5 kilometers, this beautiful wild course is accessible to all, provided you know how to swim. You can skip the line at La Grave if you are not cold in the eyes.
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7. A hike around La Grave
The surroundings of the village are breathtakingly scenic. Visiting La Grave is impossible without taking a hike in the surrounding area.
Walk through the flowery meadows at the foot of the reliefs of the Oisans that will lead you to the Plateau d’Emparis, a classified site accessible by the GR34.
Once up there, you will find yourself on a belvedere offering a superb panorama of the glaciers.
You will also find a mountain lake, Lac Lerié, which will offer you the luxury of a cool swim or a picnic by the water. A colorful day in perspective!
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8. The Ga Canyon
Just below the village, canyoning enthusiasts will have a blast! The Ga canyon, also called the Maid waterfall, offers a great view of the La Meije glacier in a wild setting.
Before the waterfalls on this relatively accessible descent, there are important reminders that last about 4 hours. A fun activity to do in La Grave!
How to get to La Grave?
We’re not going to lie: it’s better to be transported to La Grave with your vehicle or rented.
From the city of Grenoble – located 80 kilometers from La Grave – you will have to follow the D1091 towards Briançon.
From Gap – 120 kilometers from La Grave – you will have to take the N94 towards Briançon and then deviate on the D1091 leading to Grenoble by the Col du Lautaret. Have a safe road!
It is possible to get to La Grave by bus connecting Gap to Briançon. From one of these two cities, you will have to climb into the regional express line n°35.
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Where to stay in La Grave?
La Grave is a small village, so the offer of tourist accommodation is not as developed as in a large city.
However, it is a destination so appreciated by French and international travelers that you can still choose from thirty chalets, cottages, or holiday homes.
Then you can find your cozy little nest that faces the mountain, of course, by using a hotel comparator. What a joy to wake up to this magnificent panorama!
You are now ready to visit La Grave: by car!