•Hautes-Alpes (05100 ) • Population: 519 • Altitude: 1860 m
This little mountain town on the Italian border, once a main way-point for the Romans and for Napoleon, is now a ski station and a site for mountain sports.
Today's Montgenèvre is a typical ski station and mountain holiday village, with chalets and typical holiday commerce of bar-cafés, restaurants and hotels.
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History of Montgenèvre
Gallo-Roman: Montgenèvre was a station on the Roman's Roman Domitienne Way (Voie Domitienne). Although today's town is small, remains of several Roman structures and artifacts were discovered her.
More Recently: Napoleon is credited with building the road here, over the Col de Montgenèvre between France and Italy, although the Napoleonic road is built on top of the more famous Roman road. A Napoleon obelisque stands on the eastern edge of the village.
Tel : 0492 215 252
• GPS: 44.930973, 6.723396
IGN (1/25,000) #3536 OT "Briançon, Serre-Chevalier, Montgenèvre"
Didier Richard (1/50,000) #10 "Queyras Pays du Viso"
The GR5 hiking trail passes through Montgenèvre. To the north, the GR5 climbs over the Col de la Lauze (2529 m) and the Col de Dormillouse (2445 m) and continues north to the Vallée de la Clarée, where it branches into several variants.
To the south, the GR5 passes through Briançon and Villar-St-Pancrace, then crosses into Italy over the Col des Aves (2477 m).
In the mountains both north and south of the village are shorter loop hikes, some concurrent with ski trails.
Source of the Durance
We hiked due south of Montgenèvre village to the source of the mighty Durance river. It's a 3-hour hike (out and back) to the north slope of the Sommet des Anges (Angle Peak), where tiny mountain brooks begin the river that flow down past Briançon, Embrun, Sisteron, Manosque, Cavaillon and Avignon before joining with the Rhône.
It took us six hours to do the 3-hour hike, with the beauty of the mountains, the wildflowers, including fields full of orchids, and some small wild animals to distract us.
There are some interesting old forts on the ridge by the Sommet des Anges, at about 2400 m altitude.
Department 05, Haute-Alpes Buses
- See Beyond's Haute-Alpes (05) Bus Schedules for downloading Haute-Alpes bus-lines map and bus-line schedules [pdf for each line] (link for PDF files).