Classic hiking trails among the Alps’ highest and most famous peaks
Fresh mountain air and exhilarating panoramic vistas
Historical castles, beautiful chapels and delightful hamlets of the Aosta Valley
Spot mountain wildlife in their natural habitat – ibex, chamois, eagles and marmots
Warm, comfortable family-run accommodation with traditional mountain cuisine
Hiking in the Aosta Valley
The Aosta Valley is a paradise for walkers, with numerous hiking trails overlooked by the majestic 3000-metre high summits of Europe’s highest mountains. This dramatic glacial valley is nestled in Italy’s northwest corner, between France and Switzerland. It is here that you find the highest of the Alpine peaks; the Grand Combin, Gran Paradiso, Matterhorn and the king of them all, Mont Blanc. This is truly a natural paradise, with peaceful Alpine meadows criss-crossed by ancient pathways trodden over the centuries by armies and pilgrims and surrounded by glaciers, snow-capped peaks and gushing waterfalls.
Discover a distinctive alpine culture
The strategic position of the Aosta valley means that it is home to many different cultures and traditions. Control of the valley was keenly contested between Burgundy (France) and Savoy (Italy) in the Middle Ages. Evidence of this can be seen in the line of castles, each within view of the next so that messages could be passed along via a system of flags. The region remains bilingual today, with a Valdostan culture that can be heard in its musical local dialect and simple but hearty cuisine. Staples include Fontana cheese, grilled polenta and wine from the indigenous Fumin grape that was recently rescued from extinction.
|9 DAYS / 8 NIGHTS||From €799 per person sharing*
*Discounts available for triple rooms. Please enquire for prices.
|ACCOMMODATION||In very comfortable hotels and agriturismo on a half-board basis. All accomodations are carefully selected because of their location, atmosphere and/or unique services. All rooms are en-suite. The standard hotels are listed below. If a hotel is fully booked, then we will book a similar one for you and inform you about the alternative booked.
You can also book additional nights at any of the hotels along the way.
|AVAILABILITY||You can start on any day of the week, subject to availability, between June 1st and September 15th.|
|TERRAIN||The walks are mostly on grass and stone paths, dirt roads, forest tracks and also some inevitable short sections on asphalt road. At the beginning of the season, there may be snow remaining on some sections of the path, however this will not normally require any specialist equipment.|
Day 1: Arrive in Aosta
Arrive in the quaint town of Aosta. The regional capital is spectacularly situated in a valley dominated by the stunning views of Europe’s highest mountains. Once an important Roman settlement, the town remains bilingual and retains a charming historic centre. Strolling around its peaceful streets, you will discover impressive well-preserved monuments such as the Roman Theatre and the Arch of Augustus.
Day 2: Walk From Arpuilles to Homene Dessus
Distance: 15 km | Ascent: 1200 m | Descent: 700 m | 7 hrs approx.
A private transfer after breakfast will take you to the small hilltop village of Arpuilles, where today’s itinerary starts with a tough climb to above 2,000 metres. Your walk takes you through flower-carpeted meadows overlooking the valley and the majestic surrounding peaks, before reaching your next accommodation, an 18th century, restored Alpine farmhouse set on a natural mountain-balcony which affords breath-taking views over the Gran Paradiso National Park.
Overnight: Les Ecureuils, Homene Dessus
Day 3: Walk from S.Pierre to Lac Fallère and back via Becca France
Distance: 16 km | Ascent: 1000 m | Descent: 1000 m | 7 hrs approx.
Today’s itinerary takes you through the shady forest Bois de Verrogne and after a gradual, sometimes tough climb, you reach the crystal-clear alpine lake, Lac Fallère, situated at 2415 m altitude. En-route, you will enjoy panoramic views of the impressive surrounding peaks. Your descent beyond Becca France is through a sloping woodland area without marking but where the correct direction is clear to see.
Overnight: Les Ecureuils, Homene Dessus
Day 4: Walk from Homene Dessus to Vens
Distance: 12 km | Ascent: 650 m | Descent: 400 m | 5 hrs approx.
Today’s walk takes you from east to west along a mountain path more than 2000 m above the valley floor. On the higher slopes you will find the pastures, which produce the famous Fontina and Toma cheeses, while lower down are the quiet mountain villages and alpine farms.
Your accommodation tonight is in a small family-run hotel located in a charming mountain hamlet with traditional décor, wooden furnishings and panoramic views. The restaurant serves local specialities accompanied by locally produced wines.
Overnight: Hotel Vagneur, Saint Nicolas
Day 5: Walk from Vens to the Pointe Oilletta
Distance: 8.6 km | Ascent: 950 m | Descent: 950 m | 5 hrs approx.
Beginning in the village of Vens, you will first stroll through an area of old gold mines. This is followed by a climb to the 2616 m Oiletta peak, where you will be rewarded with incredible views of the nearby peak of the Gran Paradiso and the awesome Mont Blanc Massif.
Overnight: Hotel Vagneur, Saint Nicolas
Day 6: Walk from Vens to Villeneuve
Distance: 10 km | Ascent: 25 m | Descent: 1150 m | 4½ hrs approx.
A long descent along the Dora Baltea River is on good paths, alternated with some flat sections. The vegetation gradually becomes drier with fewer conifers and more fruit trees and vineyards. Along the way you will encounter many castles and churches dating from various historic eras.
At the end of your walk you can pick up your luggage and take a short bus trip back to Aosta (cost €1.50 approx.). If you are travelling with your own car you pick up your car in Aosta and drive to Cogne. Otherwise you can take the local bus (cost €3 approx.) to Cogne; a bustling town known for its lace-making. Local fabrics are sold at several craft and antique shops. There is a regular free shuttle bus service between the village of Cogne and your accommodation in Hotel Grauson*.
*We can also arrange a taxi to take you directly from the end of your walk to your hotel for tonight. The cost is €50. Please enquire at the time of booking.
Day 7: Circular walk from Lillaz
Distance: 10.5 km | Ascent: 800 m | Descent: 800 m | 8 hrs approx.
Beginning from the mountain village of Lillaz, known for its enchanting waterfalls. You will first climb steadily to the beautiful Loie Lake (2354 m altitude). Walking along a mountain stream, you pass two smaller lakes and gradually you descend to the bottom of the Urtier Valley. From here you can take a local bus back to your accommodation.
Day 8: Circular walk Gimillan - Colle Tsa Sètse - Gimillan
Distance: 15 km | Ascent: 1100 m | Descent: 1100 m | 8 hrs approx.
From the hotel you walk through a beautiful path to the Colle Tsa Sètse (2820 m altitude), populated by Alpine marmots and offering tremendous views of the Gran Paradiso and Mont Blanc mountains. You return to the hotel through a mixture of open farmland and forest paths.
Day 9: Arrivederci Cogne!
The trip and our services end after breakfast. We can also arrange extra nights in Cogne or Aosta if you would like to spend more time exploring the area. Just let us know at the time of booking if you require additional nights.
Getting to Aosta
Departure from Cogne
|/||At the end of the trip you travel by bus from Cogne to Aosta (about 1 hour) and from there travel onwards to Turin or Milan.|
|We will send you a pre-departure information pack, which contains detailed public transport information.|
A thoroughly enjoyable experience, even better than we expected! The scenery was majestic, especially in Gran Paradiso, the good weather certainly helped. Organization was great: prompt and responsive communication before booking, nice accommodations, food OK (super in Hotel Vagneur). Hopefully we will come back soon and do another trekking holiday with you guys. In conclusion – recommended.
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