Hautes-Alpes (05350) Population: 371 Altitude: 1545 m
Arvieux-en-Queyras is a tiny mountain village in a high valley, just south of the Col d'Izoard that crosses the mountains south of Briançon. The reason for coming to Arvieux is to enjoy the mountains and the beautiful surrounding nature.
Location. 16 km NE of Guillestre, up the narrow Combe du Queyras gorge and just 2 km short of Château Queyras, the D902 turns left to go to Arvieux (20 km from Guillestre); the road continues north over the Col d'Izoard (10 km) to Briançon (30 km from Arvieux).
The commune of Arvieux-en-Queyras is made up of four hamlets going in a line up the valley: Arvieux, Le Coin, La Chalpe and Brunissard. All are centered around ancient farming hamlets, and all have gites and other facilities for summer and winter visitors. Arvieux center, in addition to a few shops, has a large old church at the edge of the village, and a nearby "temple", a small Protestant Reformed church.
Arvieux Village is located astride the main road. A fairly large and very nice church sits at the bottom (south) edge of the village. In the center is an "épicerie" (grocery store). Opposite are a string of large buildings, one of them the town hall (mairie). Other Arvieux village buildings include some houses and farms. Behind the village on both sides wide fields slope gently up to the edges of the forests at the bottom of the mountain sides.
Le Coin is a hamlet sitting 300 m west of the main road. There are only about 15 buildings in the hamlet, but most are multi-family dwellings. There are no shops or cafés of any kind in Le Coin. And, sitting off away from the main road, there wouldn't be many tourists passing through, except possibly sundial hunters.
La Chalp Hamlet is located right on the main road, 2 km north of Arvieux village. There are a few large houses beside the road, and La Ferme de L'Isoard hotel and Le Campagnol restaurant. It's a well-known hotel, with heated pool, and a good restaurant.
The rest of La Chalp extending further back to the east of the road are villas and vacation chalets.
Brunissard is a very small village (or hamlet) close to the main road but mostly off to the west side. Brunissard has a small café-restaurant right out on the main road, Chez Marius. There's no other commerce at all.
"Inside" Brunissard are typical mountain houses, with wooden upper halves, villas, chalets and some larger buildings, including small farms. It's a pleasant hamlet to walk around in, admiring the houses and the surrounding mountain scenery, and the occasional sundial. There's also a small chapel, and a chapel with a very unique bell tower, made of tall wooden poles, looking from a distance like an early oil-well.
The church in the main hamlet of Arvieux is the 12th-century Saint-Laurent with a pointed steeple on top of a double-layered bell tower. The original 12th-c building was badly damaged during the Wars of Religion and was rebuilt in the 17th century, and further renovated in the 20th century.
There are several sundials in this tiny village. Most are old, a couple dated 1830 and 1852, in varying condition. Even the newer sundials are colorful, elaborate designs, in keeping with the spirit of the region.
• GPS: 44.766595, 6.739190
There are dining possibilities, of some sort, at Arvieux, La Chalp and Brunissard, but not Le Coin.
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).