©VINZI / Evrard V.

Woodworking: The Savoir-Faire of Le Queyras

The sea of larch forests changing with the seasons is the classic postcard view of Le Queyras, whose sublime landscape beckons hikers. But the forest offers other outings to travellers – authentic experiences that share the stories of the locals from yesterday to today.

Wooden Toys of Le Queyras

This woodworking tradition began in the 17th century. Here, winters are long, so to whittle away the time, our forebears carved wood to create furniture and toys. During your visit, you can also stop at Arvieux to visit L’Alpin Chez Lui, a traditional wooden toy factory set up in 1920 to fight the rural exodus. The company, which is still in operation, offers a range that has evolved through the years, as well as the same models that have been made since its start. Definitely one to visit, this place is a treat for adults and kids of all ages.

The wood industry is still very active in Le Queyras. Many craft workers continue the tradition while innovating in cutting-edge sectors, such as construction with wood and renewable energy. Here, wood is a witness of the past and the way of the future. Come and check it out.

The coopérative artisanale du Queyras

A showcase for the savoir-faire of the people of the region, the Coopérative Artisanale du Queyras, located in Château-Ville-Vieille, presents the craft work of Le Queyras. Find objets from over a dozen woodworking artisans, including furniture and carved objects that are made from mountain pine and stone pine. Solid wood furniture is sold with the Queyras Artisanal Vrai de Tradition label. They are traditionally decorated with rosettes that are carved using a gouge or simply a knife. Larch and Scots pine are mainly used outdoors, as in the fustes of Le Queyras – the large wooden balconies that are characteristic of the traditional architecture.

Useful Information

As part of Monviso, an integrated cross-border programme that focuses on wood and its uses, a wooden game involving various stakeholders across the Franco-Italian border has been developed. Le Bòsc is a board game and a territorial game, inspired by Tock, a Quebec variant of France’s Petits Chevaux. Poetic and full of surprises, this game offers a fun way to celebrate the wood sector in Le Queyras and Val Varaïta. It will soon be available at the Maison de l’Artisanat in Château-Ville-Vieille, and on the sunny terraces and firesides throughout Le Queyras.