Best of Aosta valley hiking, Italian Alps

Dates: June – Middle of October

Hike wonderful alpine trails of the val d’Aosta beneath the highest peaks of the Alps – Matterhorn, Monte Rosa, Mont Blanc and Gran Paradiso.“

  • 8 exhilarating hiking days beneath the giants of the Alps
  • City tour Aosta, castle visit, wine tasting with local products
  • 11 nights in typical, handpicked Hotels
  • Culinary local highlights

This hiking tour brings us to the most beautiful spots of Val d’Aosta and through enchanting villages of the intriguing Walser culture. Our hikes take us right below unforgettable panoramas of the giants of the Alps—the iconic Matterhorn, Monte Rosa, Mont Blanc, and the glaciated peaks of Gran Paradiso National Park. We’ll follow sections of the famed Tour de Monte Rosa and the Walser trail. Cable cars and gondolas whisk us up onto the flanks of the highest mountains in Europe for our stunning views. 

At night, we are welcomed into typical, cozy hotels and enjoy the cuisine of this beguiling corner of Italy. Famous for its culinary traditions – traditional Polenta, spicy Bosses ham, Fontina cheese, honey from Mascognez, and Rennet apples, used in many regional dishes. Aosta is famous for it’s wine and we make sure to tast some.

We to top it all off with a Genepi – coffee, the local herbal liqueur mixed with coffee. It’s served in a wooden goblet, called the friendship cup. 

This tour starts and finishes in Turin/Torino (ITA).

Aosta Valley hiking Itinerary – 11 day programme
Day 1: Torino – Aosta city tour – Courmayeur

Pick up at Torino airport (TRN) and drive 1 hour to the Rome of the Alps the town of Aosta. Interesting City tour to Roman sights. This ancient Savoy town has had great strategic importance for centuries. Once ancient “Augusta Praetoria,” named for Caesar Augustus, it was considered “the Rome of the Alps.” A triumphal Roman arch and portions of an amphitheater remain from the days of the empire. There is also some early medieval architecture in the churches and cloisters of the city to be found. A 45′ drive brings us to the town of Courmayeur. A fashionable ski resort in the winter and in summer a beautiful staging point for many hikes and climbs on the south face of Mont Blanc. 

The stunning south face of Mont Blanc and Courmayeur will be our home for two nights.

Night at Hotel in Courmayeur, welcome dinner in town

Day 2: Hike Val Ferret – Courmayeur – Mont Blanc explorer

We hike high above Courmayeur and onward on a beautiful balcony trail to Bonatti mountain hut and deep into the Val Ferret. This is a terrace walk with the best views to Mont Blanc’s South side. 

In the afternoon we take the new cable car skyway up to Monte Bianco and enjoy great views over Mont Blanc, the glaciers and the highest peaks of Italy, France and Switzerland.

Night at Hotel in Courmayeur

  • 8km, +400m, – 400m 
Day 3: Hike Courmayeur – Mount Chetif

We catch a cable car to Refuge Maison Vielle , an antique hamlet in the Val Veny. Our hike brings us up to the top of Mont Chetif, a peak just in front of Mont Blanc, which offers spectacular views of the massif. 

Night and dinner at Courmayeur 

  • 11km, + 390m, -390m 
Day 4: Hike Loiez mountain lake, Cogne 

We depart Courmayeur after breakfast and drive to Cogne and Lillaz, the gateway to the Grand Paradiso National Park. Shortly after our hiking start we can admire Lillaz waterfall. After we reach a high altitude alpine pastures near the Alpe Bardoney where they make an award winning cheese. Once at Loie lake, where the probability to spot chamois and ibex increases and the landscape becomes great we’ll have an unexpected window on the Mont Blanc massif. The descent in a mature woodland of coniferous trees may give us the opportunity to sight birds such as nut-crackers, crossbills,jays and many other animal species. There is the option of a shorter hike today.

Night and dinner at Hotel in Cogne

  • 11,7km + 900m, – 900m

Day 5: Hike Vittorio Sella Hut, Gran Paradiso national park

Our hike takes us to Sella mountain hut where we have our picnic with views to the Gran Paradiso. We stay in the superb Hotel, a historic family-run hotel set amongst lush pastures in the heart of the village. Afternoon tea is served daily, there is a wonderful terrace with views to the Gran Paradiso.

Night and dinner at Hotel in Cogne

  • 15km, +900m, – 900m
Day 6: Pila and night at Aosta

We drive back, down to Aosta and up to the village of Pila. A chairlift brings us up to Chamolé, our hiking start . Our hike leads into the Combe Valley and the Plan Fenêtre, giving us tremendous views of the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa. In the afternoon there will be some time to enjoy Aosta, stroll trough the narrow roads with the shops and coffee places and taste some local specialities.

Night and dinner at Hotel in Aosta

  • 6,5km + 200m, – 200m
Day 7: Castle and wine tasting with local products

We explore Aosta valleys cultural sights like roman bridges and an important castle today and taste a very special wine. The wine area that we visit has a long-standing tradition in wine-growing as shown by a large number of historical documents, including one from 1214 and even Napoleon had the opportunity of tasting the wine in Donnas in May 1800.

Our lunch in a 500 year old house is especially prepared for us. 

Night and dinner at Hotel near Aosta

  • no hiking today, some walking
Day 8: Great balcony trail of Matterhorn, Chamois –Valtournenche

From the car-free village of Buisson, we board the cable car to Chamois and begin our hike on the “Grand Balconade of the Matterhorn,” a fantastic trail with great views of the breathtaking spire of the Matterhorn (14,691’—known as Monte Cervino in Italy). 

Night and dinner at hotel in the alpine resort of Breuil-Cervinia

  • 14km, +700m, -700m
Day 9: Cervinia to Champoluc on the foot of Matterhorn and Monte Rosa

From Cervinia, the cable car brings us up to the Cime Bianche station (9,288’), and we hike into the glacially carved Val d’Ayas. A serene paradise full of rivers, streams, and small villages surrounded by forests of spruce, pine, and larch. Our stunning hike—part of the Tour of Monte Rosa—skirts the Breithorn (13,661’), a glaciated giant straddling the border between Italy and Switzerland, and offers incredible views of the Matterhorn and the Dent d’Hérens (13,684’), as well as two mountain lakes known as the Laghi Cime Bianche. The charming Ayas valley with its quaint slate-roofed houses and its Walser tradition welcome us.

Night and dinner at Hotel in typical Walser Hamlet-Hotel in Val d’Ayas

  • 14km, + 150m, – 1300m
Day 10: Pian die Verra – Val d’Ayas, Walser explorer day

Today we explore the remote Gressoney valley at the foot of the Monte Rosa mountain chain with its fascinating Walser heritage. We discover what the last ice age left behind while walking along the Verra high plateau deep in the Ayas valley. 

Also we learn about the Walser people and visit beautiful old hamlets along the Walser trail. The Walser is of Germanic origin from Alto Vallese, who started colonizing numerous areas in Austria, Germany, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and France around the start of the year 1000. They were searching for new pastures, crossing over alpine passes during relatively mild weather to settle in the higher zones at the head of the valleys. These colonies which were isolated in the harsh environment of the high mountain, drained and reclaimed vast areas of land for cultivation which at the time was uninhabited and created self-sufficient villages capable of surviving the long and severe winters. Ancient Walser heritage can still be seen in the building styles of chalets and their traditional dress. 

Night and dinner at Hotel at Val d’Ayas

  • 8.2km, +350m, – 450m
Day 11: Flight back home from Torino international airport (TRN)

After a nice breakfast we drive back to Torino where this trip ends. 

Costs for Aosta Valley hiking :
  • please ask for actual prices depending on the lodging that you prefer.

Included in the price:

Organisation, UIMLA mountain leader guide, nice, typical hotels with privat double rooms and ensuite bathroom, half board, privat transportation from Torino airport back to Torino airport, luggage transfer, Aosta city tour, entrance to a castle, wine tasting with local products, all cable cars mentioned in the program

Not included in the price:

Drinks, lunches on the hikes, personal insurances, personal equipment

Meeting point: 

Torino Airport (TRN), Italy 

Map of our Aosta Valley hiking tour

Languages spoken in the Aosta Valley – did you know?

Street signs are written both in Italian and in French. Almost all place names and local surnames are French in origin.

In 25 B.C., the Romans founded Augusta Praetoria, the town of Aosta and began the latinisation of the natives: the Salassi.

In 575, Pont-Saint-Martin became the border with the Franchi kingdom and the Aosta Valley was positioned beside the kingdom of Bourgogne (Gaul-Roman linguistic area), where Latin evolved into French-Provencal (the Patois, still spoken today in the Aosta Valley).

From 1200 on, latin was gradually replaced by French in the written language. In 1561, Duke Emanuel Filiberto of Savoy adopted the use of French to replace Latin, for all the public acts in the duke’s kingdom. From the XVII century, French was taught in the Collège Saint-Bénin in Aosta and in country schools, to the extent that, at the end of the nineteenth century, the illiteracy rate wasalmost non-existent.

In 1860, with the annexation of Savoia to France, the Aosta Valley was the only French speaking area in Italy. The diffusion of the Italian language began and reached its peak during the twenty years of Fascism, when the use and teaching of French were banned and place names were translated from French into Italian. In 1948, the special statutes of autonomy sanctioned parity between the Italian and French languages in the Aosta Valley.

Furthermore, in some municipalities of the Aosta Valley, the Walser population still speaks German based language the Titsch and Toitschu.

Short movie from our last Aosta Valley hiking trip:

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