Your summer destination : the Lautaret Alpine Garden !

View of the Jardin du Lautaret ©OSUG
Surrounded by the magnificent glaciers of Alps and the Ecrins National Park, this garden houses over 2,000 plant species and is open to the public all summer long.

The Jardin du Lautaret, part of the Joseph Fourier Alpine Station, opened its doors at the beginning of last June. The garden is found in the Col du Lautaret (Lautaret pass) at a height of 2,100 meters, across from the glaciers of Mount Meije, part of the Ecrins Alpine range. Its rich collections of alpine and mountain plant life make it a major resource for researchers as well as of one of the most beautiful gardens in Europe.

You, too, can take advantage of the garden, whose two hectares are open to the public until September 2, 2018. You’ll see plants from nearly all the world’s mountain enviroments : the Alps, the Pyrenees, the Caucasus, the Balkans, the Sierra Nevadas, the Andes, the Himalayas, the Atlas, as well as the mountains of Japan and Siberia. The collections include medical plants, like arnica, and rare specimens, such as the alpine chardon bleu or blue star, the famous himilayan blue poppy.

"Jardins d’ici et d’ailleurs" broadcast on Arte in March 2018

This beautiful garden is also a research center

Created nearly a century ago by Professor Jean-Paul Lachmann of the Université de Grenoble, the Jardin du Lautaret is one of Europe’s oldest gardens. The facility provides resources for advanced study of mountain ecosystems and their response to global changed. The garden’s location allows for a large degree of natural biodiversity, with more than 1,500 native plant species in the 20 km surrounding the garden. Covered with wildflowers, the natural meadows which enclose the facility are, themselves, a naturally occuring garden.

The garden also houses a research laboratory as well as showrooms and classrooms, all part of the Galérie de l’Alpe, which opened in 2016. The Galérie is an important space for public science education and lifelong learning. This summer, the Galérie is housing the exhibition Dominique Villars, from the collections of the Grenoble Science Museum. Villars was an 18th century botanist, moutaineer, and medical doctor, author of an early catalog of alpine flora.


Practical information

- Jardin du Lautaret website
- Hours  : The garden is open from June 2 to September 2, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
- Cost : Regular entry is 7€ ; the reduced entry fee is 5€.
Groups of ten or more, students, and persons with reduced mobility can benefit from the fee reduction.
COMUE Université Grenoble Alpes students and staff are admitted free of charge, as are children under 12 years of age.
- Tours : Free guided tours are offered every day in June, July, and August at 10:30 a.m., 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. Groups should reserve in advance at sajf-resajardin univ-grenoble-alpes.fr or 04 92 24 41 62.

This article has been published by

- UGA