Apres Ski in La Grave

Apres-Ski Bars & Restaurants in La Grave

La Grave is for skiing and there aren’t many restaurants.

In keeping with its ski focus, the dining options in La Grave are limited. Most people prefer to eat in their hotel, but there’s a scattering of other restaurants. The hotel restaurants offer traditional cooking and ‘mountain specialities’.

The Village of La Grave 

La Grave is too rugged to be pretty. It’s just a small mountain climbing town, with a sprinkling of hotels and about 600 local inhabitants. The road passing through it is annoyingly busy at times.

For any uninitiated visitors who happen to be driving through this beautiful but remote part of the Dauphiné region, their first glimpse of the jagged La Meije summit and beneath it, La Grave’s high steep slopes is the sort of startling sight that makes people pull over and crane their necks as they attempt to follow the contours of the mountain to the top.

The village itself is unpretentious and rugged rather than chocolate box pretty. It has narrow streets and a weather-beaten church, but it’s not particularly old: it dates back only two or three centuries. It’s just a small climbing town, built on a bend in the road above the banks of the Romanche River.

There’s a sprinkling of hotels and apartments and about 600 local inhabitants – but no conventional wooden chalets. Major fires in previous centuries have discouraged the local population from building with wood. Traditional architecture in the La Meije area is almost exclusively stone: blocks of tuff (a volcanic stone) and shale, sealed with mortar, and slate or flagstone roofs.

La Grave is surrounded by several smaller villages and hamlets, including Les Fréaux and Le Chazelet. Villar d’Arène, at 1650 metres, is the last village before you go over the col and reach the Briançon side of the Hautes Alpes. Almost the first village you reach on the other side is le Monetier, part of the Serre Chevalier ski area, and only about a 30-minute drive away from La Grave.



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