Graian Alps



The Graian Alps (french: Alpes grées ; it, Alpi Graie ) are a mountain range in the western part of the
Alps The Alps () ; german: Alpen ; it, Alpi ; rm, Alps ; sl, Alpe . are the highest and most extensive mountain range system that lies entirely in Europe, stretching approximately across seven Alpine countries (from west to east): France, Swi ...


The name ''Graie'' comes from the ''Graioceli'' Celtic tribe, which dwelled in the area surrounding the Mont Cenis pass and the Viù valley. Other sources claim that the name comes from the Celtic "Graig" meaning rock/stone, literally the Rocky Mountains


The Graian Alps are located in France ( Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes), Italy (
Piedmont Piedmont ( ; it, Piemonte, ) is a region of Northwest Italy, one of the regions of Italy, 20 regions of the country. It borders the Liguria region to the south, the Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna regions to the east and the Aosta Valley region to th ...
and the
Aosta Valley The Aosta Valley ( it, Valle d'Aosta (official) or (usual); french: Vallée d'Aoste ; frp, Val d'Outa; wae, Augschtalann or ; pms, Val d'Osta) is a mountainous Regions of Italy#Autonomous regions with special statute, autonomous region in nor ...
), and Switzerland (western
Valais Valais ( , , ; frp, Valês; german: Wallis ), more formally the Canton of Valais,; german: Kanton Wallis; in other official Swiss languages outside Valais: it, (Canton) Vallese ; rm, (Chantun) Vallais. is one of the cantons of Switzerland, 26 ...
). The French side of the Graian Alps is drained by the river Isère (
Tarentaise valley The Tarentaise Valley (french: Vallée de la Tarentaise, ; frp, Tarentèsa) is a valley of the Isère (river), Isère River in the heart of the French Alps, located in the Savoy region of France. The valley is named for the ancient town of ''Da ...
) and its tributary Arc (
Maurienne Maurienne ( frp, Môrièna) is one of the provinces of France, provinces of Savoy, corresponding to the arrondissement of Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne in France. It is also the original name of the capital of the province, now Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne. ...
valley), and by the Arve. The Italian side is drained by the rivers
Dora Riparia The Dora Riparia (; pms, Dòira Rivaira; french: Doire Ripaire or ''Doire''; la, Duria minor) is an alpine river, a left-hand tributary of the Po (river), Po. It is long (of which 5 km in France), with a drainage basin. It originates in ...
, Dora Baltea, Orco and Stura di Lanzo, tributaries of the Po. The Graian Alps can also be divided into the following four groups: * the Mont Blanc group (north of the Little St Bernard Pass), including the Beaufortain
Massif In geology, a massif ( or ) is a section of a planet's Crust (geology), crust that is demarcated by geologic fault, faults or Lithospheric flexure, flexures. In the Plate tectonics, movement of the crust, a massif tends to retain its internal s ...
* the Central group (the watershed between the Little St Bernard Pass and the Col du Mont Cenis) * the Western or French group, * and the Eastern or Italian group.


The main peaks of the Graian Alps are:

Mont Blanc group

Central group

Eastern group

Western group


The main passes of the Graian Alps are shown in the table below. The group in which the pass is located is indicated with "MB" for Mont Blanc group, "C" for Central group, "E" for Eastern group, and "W" for Western group.

Nature conservation

The western group contains the Vanoise National Park, established in 1972 and covering the eastern group contains the
Gran Paradiso National Park Gran Paradiso National Park (Italian: ''Parco nazionale del Gran Paradiso''; ), is an Italian national park A national park is a nature park, natural park in use for conservation (ethic), conservation purposes, created and protected by nat ...
, the oldest Italian national park. Also on the Italian side is located the ''Parco Regionale del Monte Avic'', a nature park of 5,747 ha established by Regione Valle d'Aosta.''Parco del Mont Avic'', home page o
(accessed on April 2012)


* Italian official cartography ('' Istituto Geografico Militare'' - IGM); on-line version
* French official cartography ('' Institut Géographique National'' - IGN); on-line version:
* Swiss official cartography ('' Swiss Federal Office of Topography'' - Swisstopo); on-line version:

See also

Mont Blanc Massif The Mont Blanc massif (french: Massif du Mont-Blanc; it, Massiccio del Monte Bianco) is a mountain range in the Alps, located mostly in France and Italy, but also straddling Switzerland at its northeastern end. It contains eleven major indepen ...
* Vanoise Massif *
Swiss Alps The Alps, Alpine region of Switzerland, conventionally referred to as the Swiss Alps (german: Schweizer Alpen, french: Alpes suisses, it, Alpi svizzere, rm, Alps svizras), represents a major natural feature of the country and is, along with the ...



External links

Ascents in Gran Paradiso group
- Czech and English

- English {{Authority control Mountain ranges of the Alps Mountain ranges of Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Mountain ranges of Italy Mountain ranges of Switzerland Mountain ranges of Piedmont