Home to over 2,000 trails Aosta Valley is a hikers paradise. With trails surrounded by 4,000 metre summits featuring beautiful chapels, delightful hamlets, alpine nature and spectacular mountain vistas, the options for outdoor enthusiasts are aplenty. We know it’s hard to shortlist but here’s an overview of some of the best hiking routes to get you inspired:
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. Read more.
Cammino Balteo: This is a circular itinerary of under 220 miles with an altitude between 500 and 1900 meters above sea level. The circuit which can be taken in both directions is divided into 23 stages of about 4-6 hours each and takes you through more than 40 municipalities of the Aosta Valley region. 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. Read more.
Tour du Mont Fallère: taking place at the foot of Mont Fallère (3.061 m) this circular trek is about 22 miles long with an elevation gain of 2.700 metres. It’s recommended to those who enjoy hiking in the mountains without a particular technical difficulty but with a fair physical workout. The walk takes an average of 5/6 hours per day, always on non-difficult and well-marked paths giving you the opportunity to admire the surrounding landscape and take the most of the two stops in the very comfortable huts of Mont Fallère and Chaligne. Read more.
About Aosta Valley: The smallest region of Italy located in the Northwest of the country; Aosta Valley boasts spectacular scenery, world-class skiing and snowboarding, food of the highest quality and a history stretching back to Roman times. At the heart of the alps and bordered by France and Switzerland, Aosta Valley is surrounded by some of the highest peaks in Europe: Cervino, Monte Rosa, Gran Paradiso and the king of them all, Mont Blanc, which at 15,781 feet is the highest mountain in Europe, the roof of the old Continent. With Turin, Milan and Geneva airports all within easy reach, the Aosta Valley resorts are among the easiest to get to from the UK making it an ideal destination for a weekend or short break. For more information on Aosta Valley visit: www.aosta-valley.co.uk