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High Trails of Aosta Valley

High Trails of Aosta Valley

Overview

The beautiful Aosta Valley lies in the shadow of Mont Blanc, Monte Rosa, Grand Combin, Gran Paradiso and the Matterhorn. It is a real paradise for hikers with excellent walking trails surrounded by the 3000-metre summits of the French, Italian and Swiss Alps. Beautiful chapels, delightful hamlets and spectacular mountain vistas await and ancient pathways trodden over the centuries by armies and pilgrims bring a touch of history to the exceptional natural environment.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive Aosta

Arrive in the quaint, small town of Aosta, in a valley dominated by the stunning views onto Europe’s highest mountains. Take a walk through its streets and admire the well-preserved Roman Theatre, the Arch of Augustus and town walls and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of the place.

Day 2: Les Croux to Homene Dessus

A short car transfer will take you to the small hilltop village of Les Croux, where today’s itinerary starts with a tough but a rewarding climb to above 2,000 metres. You walk through flower meadows overlooking the valley and the high mountains around. Finally, you will be warmly received at the accommodation located next to a beautiful chapel, just outside the village of Saint Pierre.

Day 3: Fallere Lake Circular Walk

This is a fairly demanding route due to the elevation gain that must be tackled (but as it is a circular walk, you can shorten it and retrace your steps back to the accommodation). You will meander through the Bois de Verrogne and after a tough climb you reach the crystal clear Lake Faller situated at 2415 metres. En-route you have breath-taking views of the many mountain peaks surrounding you. The descent beyond Becca France allows you to navigate yourself through thick forest woodland.

Day 4: Homene Dessus to Vens

Today the walk is a bit easier; you go from east to west along the more than 2.000m-high ridge of the Valle d’Aosta. Higher up are the pastures where the famous Fontina and Toma cheeses are made, and, on the lower slopes, there are numerous mountain villages and local farms. The small family-run hotel where you stay on the next two nights is located in a charming mountain hamlet surrounded by wonderful scenery.

  • Accommodation: Albergo Vagneur or similar
  • Walking for the day: 12 km, 4 hrs ↑650m ↓620m

Day 5: Vens to Pointe Oilletta and Back

From the village of Vens, walk into the area of the old gold mines. Then you climb the 2616m-high Oilletta peak, where your efforts will be rewarded for the stunning views of the high peaks of the Alps including the Gran Paradiso and the impressive Mont Blanc Massif. Today’s walk is steep and scrambly in places.

  • Accommodation: Albergo Vagneur or similar
  • Walking for the day: 12 km, 5-6 hrs, ↑980m ↓980m

Day 6: Vens to Villeneuve/Cogne

Today’s walk includes a long descent along the Dora Baltea Riveris on nice paths, alternated with some flat sections. You will pass by many castles and churches of different historical periods. At the end of the walk, travel to Cogne by local bus (22 km, 30-50 min, EUR 5 pp, fare not included).

  • Accommodation: Hotel Grauson or similar
  • Walking for the day: 12 km, 5-6 hrs, ↑20m ↓1000m

Day 7: Loie Lake Circular Walk

Reach the mountain village of Lillaz, known for its the enchanting waterfall, where the day’s walk begins with a steady climb to the beautiful Loie Lake (2354m). Walking along a mountain stream, you pass other two smaller lakes and gradually you descend to the bottom of the Urtier Valley. From here take a bus back to your hotel (fare not included). Alternatively you walk to Bardoney.

  • Accommodation: Hotel Grauson or similar
  • Walking for the day: 11 km, 6 hrs, ↑900m ↓900m (Loie Lake) or 11 km, 5 hrs, ↑900m ↓900m

Day 8: Colle Tsa Sètse Circular Walk

From the hotel, you will walk through on a beautiful path to the Colle Tsa Sètse pass (2820m), populated by Alpine marmots and from where you can enjoy great views of the Gran Paradiso and the Mont Blanc Massifs.

  • Accommodation: Hotel Grauson or similar
  • Walking for the day: 12 km, 5-6 hrs, ↑20m ↓1000m

Day 9: Departure

The trip ends after breakfast.

Hotels

Your holiday includes nine nights accommodation in small, cosy and quiet mountain family-run hotels and farmhouses. All rooms have private en-suite facilities. The places have been carefully hand-picked by us and their quality is regularly monitored. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.

*Hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.

Meals

There will be a delicious savoury breakfast and evening meal (drinks excluded) served each day (except for the dinner in Aosta on Day 1 which is not included), including a great selection of regional specialities. Packed lunches can be pre-ordered at the accommodations or you can buy food from the village shops. Throughout the trip, there are plenty of opportunities to taste both the great local food and wines.

Travel

The closest airport is Turin.

From the airport take a train to Turin train station (approx. 30 minutes), get off at Porto Susa station and take a train to Aosta (approx. 2 hours). Check up-to-date train timetables at https://www.trenitalia.com/en.html

On your return journey, take the bus from Cogne to Aosta (1h), then by train to Turin. For bus timetables, check at www.savda.it

Baggage Transfers

Hotel to hotel luggage transfer when changing hotels are included, you will walk carrying your daypack only. NB! On Day 6, your luggage will be taken from the accommodation to a restaurant in Saint Pierre (if you don’t have a car and you travel by public transport) or in a gelateria in Aymavilles (if you travel with your own car). Pick up your bags in St. Pierre (or Aymavilles) at the end of the walk and then take a bus to Cogne.

Country Info

Language: Italian. In big cities and resorts, many people speak English, but in remote areas, this might not be the case. However, most of the hotel personnel where we stay speak English and are ready to help you. You can always call our 24/7 helpline if there are any problems. Electric supply and plugs: 220V, 50hZ, two-pin round plugs. Currency: We strongly advise taking sufficient cash for your daily requirements. Banks and ATMs are available, and credit/debit card payments are widely accepted in towns and cities and big petrol station chains but might be limited at some of the villages we visit. Up-to-date travel advice on Italy is available here. Detailed travel information and hints will be provided in your holiday information pack.

Travel Insurance

A comprehensive and reputable travel insurance policy is essential to your enjoyment and peace of mind while on an active holiday. It is highly recommended when booking with us that all group members have valid travel insurance which includes cover for all activities included in your trip. We have teamed up with World Nomads Logo to offer you adequate cover at a great value from a reputable insurer, and it takes only a few minutes to buy online.

Buy travel insurance online

Trip Info

Difficulty Grade: Moderate

This walking tour is graded moderate due to the relatively steep ascents on most days. Day 5 has a particularly steep and scrambly section (however you can shorten the walk as it is a circular one and skip this section if you wish) and you will need to be comfortable walking uphill on steep rocky terrain. A very good level of fitness is required for enjoying the walks to the maximum (read more about difficulty grades).

Route Navigation

Some of the walks on this trip are waymarked but many are not and you will need to follow the route notes and maps. We supply very detailed route notes and maps so navigation is generally easy. You will be walking in the high mountains and the ability to navigate with a map and compass in the event of bad weather is recommended. We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. You can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime.

When to Go

You can start your holiday every day between 1 June and 15th September.

What to Bring

We recommend that you travel as light as possible – airlines might charge you an extra fee, and during ground transfers, the place might be limited. Ideally, you should bring one piece of luggage weighing no more than 20 kg (to be checked in) and a daily pack (15 – 20 l rucksack) for your everyday essentials (snacks, drinking water, camera, etc.). Below is a non-exclusive list of what you should bring to this trip. More detailed info will be included in your holiday information pack. If you need further advice, please contact a reputable outdoor retailer or us.

  • Good hiking boots
  • Hiking socks
  • Several t-shirts (preferably breathable/fast drying)
  • Packable waterproof and windproof jacket with hood
  • Synthetic mid layer or warm fleece
  • Trainers and/or sandals – to relax and wear inside the accommodation
  • Sunglasses, sunscreen and lip salve
  • Hat/Baseball cap
  • Personal First Aid kit (wet wipes, flu remedies, stomach remedies)

Included

  • 8 nights in selected B&Bs, hotels and agriturismi
  • 8 breakfasts
  • 7 dinners
  • Private transfer from Aosta to Lez Croux (+ luggage to Saint Pierre) on Day 2
  • Luggage transfer from Saint Pierre to Saint Nicolas on DAY 4
  • Luggage transfer from Saint Nicolas to Aymavilles or Saint Pierre on DAY 6
  • Holiday information pack including GPS-checked and regularly updated route notes and maps (digital copy sent by email and a hard copy delivered at first hotel)
  • 24/7 phone support by our local office/representative

Single Room & Solo Traveller Supplements

  • Where individual members of a group require a single room, a single room supplement is applicable.
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; as accommodation and transfer costs are not shared, solo supplement applies.

Options and Extras

  • Additional nights before, during or after the walk

Other Trip-Related Costs

  • Entrance fees for attractions and museums
  • Local buses as described in the itinerary

Excluded

  • Flights and connecting transfers
  • All lunches and dinner on Day 1
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Personal equipment
  • City tourist taxes
  • Any items not explicitly mentioned as ‘included’ in the programme

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High Trails of Aosta Valley
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by Chester on King Ludwig Way

Delightful moderate walk building up slowly to an interesting climax over the days. Varied and friendly hotels. Kirchberger in Wildsteig deseerves... Read full review

We are a retired couple of 73 and 70 years old. We enjoyed the trip very much. The trip was well organised; all went smooth, the accommodation... Read full review

This holiday not only had erupting volcanoes, fabulous hospitality and a plethora of dramatic landscapes to walk in, it also featured gorgeous... Read full review

We had a really great holiday and appreciated the good organisation from your company. Everything went to plan, very well organised and good... Read full review

We just completed the Catalan Coast and Mountain week-long self-guided walking tour. February was perfect in the off-season! [The] itinerary... Read full review

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