The village of La Grave typifies the charm of the Hautes-Alpes. From an altitude of 2,500 meters, the village and its surrounding area impose a wild and majestic character. La Grave is recongized among France's Most Beautiful Villages.
Due to its exceptionally high altitude, homes in La Grave are not wooden chalets but rather are made largely of volcanic rock. The village's many alleys weave a web that connects the homes of its 500 residents. Accomodations in La Grave tend to not be luxurious but rather encompass comfortable hotels. It is not a major vacation destination, as it is largely residential with a few holiday homes.
Nestled in the Écrins Natural Regional Park, La Grave benefits from a lovely natural setting just 10 kilometres from the Col du Lautaret and 35 kilometres from Briançon. From the South, the village is dominated by the Meije mountains.
This mountain range is home to an unique skiable area, as it is has no officially marked pistes but it is accessible as a "free ride" zone via cable car (which brings skiiers to an altitude of 3,200 meters.) As a result, it is a popular destination for experienced and thrill-seeking skiiers.
The Meije's 2,500 meter descents are not for the faint on heart. There are various itineraries available to free riders, and slopes at 3,600 meters on the Glacier de la Girose that are ideal for intermediate skiiers.
This ski paradise is also a mecca for other winter sports:
- Mountaineering: The area of La Grave is home to many mountaineering itineraries, the best known of which is at the ascent of the the Grand Pic of La Meije (3,982 meters), whose northern side dominates nearly the nearly 1,000 meter glacier of the same name.
- The ice waterfall and Via Ferrata (at the Fréaux hamlet)
- Footpath: many routes leave from or pass through La Grave, including the GR 50 (Tour du Haut-Dauphiné) and GR 54 (Tour de l'Oisans.)
La Grave's cable car system opens for the season on December 21st, 2013.
- Courchevel airport (47 km away)
- Chambéry airport (74 km away)
By train: SNCF stations at Grenoble (Isère) or Briançon (Hautes-Alpes).
- From Grenoble: 80 km by the RD 1091, going towards L'Oisans.
- From Gap: 120 km by the RN 94 towards Briançon, then RD 1091 towards Grenoble via the Col du Lautaret.