Hiking at Aosta Valley: discover stunning alpine landscapes, history and more...

19th June 2020

With life being slower than usual and whilst we are not travelling yet, we wanted to highlight some of the trails which make Aosta Valley a hikers paradise. Numerous trails surrounded by 4,000 metre summits, featuring beautiful chapels, delightful hamlets, alpine nature and spectacular mountain vistas await for you – here is a sample to inspire you!

Cammino Balteo:  This hiking itinerary that takes you through more than 40 municipalities of the Aosta Valley region, mostly at medium and low altitudes. A journey into the innermost heart of the territory and the local community, where human history has left the most evident signs of its passage, to discover the architecture of the villages as well as local traditions, still alive and deeply rooted, but also the rural landscape: pastures, vineyards, cellars and creameries. Cammino Balteo is a route that thrills in the presence of Roman and medieval history, but which also becomes an immersion in nature: lakes, waterfalls, nature reserves and wooded areas. The route is suitable to different seasons and thematic interests which allows everyone to adapt it to their own needs and time available.

Alta Via Trails: running through Aosta Valley in the heart of the four giants of the Alps, the Alta Via Trail 1 and Alta Via Trail 2 can be walked in the summer months and cross medium and high altitude mountain areas, through meadows and pasturelands, woodlands and rocky outcrops, maintaining an average altitude of around 2,000 m. and often touching almost 3,000 m. Various stopping points such us camping sites, huts, refuges, hotels and hostels are available.

Alta Via Trail 1, known as the Alta Via dei Giganti, or “the giants’ trail”, is a trekking route through incomparable scenery, across the foothills of some of the highest peaks in Europe such as Monte Rosa, the Matterhorn and Mont Blanc. This itinerary offers, alongside some superb examples of natural alpine architecture (including the elegant pyramid of the Matterhorn), matchless specimens of rural architecture that are inextricably linked with the life of the alpine pasturelands, such as the traditional Walser buildings in the Gressoney Valley and the upper reaches of the Ayas Valley. The route leads from Donnas to Courmayeur, with 17 daily stages that require 3-5 hours walking time each.  

Alta Via Trail 2, known as the nature Trail, a large part of its route passes through the Gran Paradiso National Park and the Mont Avic Regional Park. This route passes through wild areas of magnificent landscapes with abundant alpine flora and fauna including some of the rarest species; admire the chamois on the run or the elegant golden eagle in flight, or find yourself surrounded by a herd of male ibex who gather in the final hours of daylight to graze in the valley grasslands below the moraines and the eternal snows. The route leads from Courmayeur to Donnas, with 14 daily stages which require 3-5 hours walking time each.

Via Francigena: Walking along the Via Francigena in the Aosta Valley means strolling through ancient villages and splendid castles, impressive churches and important vestiges of the Roman era, all against the backdrop of the Alps. Along this route you will also find numerous vineyards boasting prestigious wines, and areas acclaimed for the local PDO produce such as the ham "prosciutto di Bosses" and the lard "lardo di Arnad". The route is divided into five stages starting at the Great Saint-Bernard pass, at an altitude of 2,450 metres on Swiss territory. The path takes you down along the Great Saint-Bernard valley in the direction of Aosta, then moving on along the central valley to Pont-Saint-Martin where you leave the Aosta Valley to enter the Piedmont region. It is advisable to take the stage n. 1 in summer (or in the absence of snow at the pass) while those along the central valley are suitable for every season, even for a 2 or 3-day trek to discover the region.

Emma Cashmore
19th June 2020

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