Hike Epic Alpine Trails of the Val d’Aosta Beneath Italy’s Highest Peaks

Overview

If you love the mountains, you’ll love our challenging hiking journey on what our revered Trip Leader Gianluca Canalicchio calls “The Roof of Europe.” This “hiker’s hike” brings us across the craggy ridges and cols of Italy’s dramatic 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 Alta Via, the rugged long-distance trail circling the heights of the Val d’Aosta, and parts of the famous Tor des Geants (Tour of the Giants). Cable cars and gondolas whisk us up onto the flanks of the highest mountains in Europe for our stunning hikes, beginning with the dramatic Matterhorn and followed in turn by Monte Rosa, the “Queen of the Alps,” the peaks and valleys of Gran Paradiso National Park, and—the jewel in the crown—mighty Mont Blanc (15,771’), the highest of them all. At night, we are welcomed into cozy hotels in small villages. And we’ll enjoy the cuisine of this beguiling corner of Italy, famous for its culinary traditions—spicy Bosses ham, lard d’Arnad (bacon conserved with local herbs), Fontina cheese, honey from the town of Châtillon, and rennet apples, used in many regional dishes. We’ll be sure to top it all off with a glass of Genepi, the local herbal liqueur traditionally sipped from a wooden goblet. This is adventure in style! Join us on this wonderfully fun, dramatic, and ultimately rewarding journey to the heights of Europe!

Itinerary at a Glance

Days 1-3
Aosta, Val d’Aosta / Breuil-Cervinia

Cable cars bring us up into the mountains for hikes with breathtaking views of the Mont Blanc massif, Grand Combin, Monte Rosa, the Matterhorn, and countless other high peaks.

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Days 4-7
Cervinia / Gressoney-La-Trinité

One of our stunning hikes is along the Tour de Monte Rosa, and brings us into the glacially carved Val d’Ayas, a serene paradise full of rivers and streams, framed by the superb backdrop of the snowy Breithorn and two mountain-ringed lakes. Other hikes lead along the famed Alta Via, a rugged long-distance trail encircling the heights of the Val d’Aosta, and through alpine hamlets with traditional Walser architecture.

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Days 8-9
Gran Paradiso National Park

Gran Paradiso National Park is a magnificent landscape of soaring snow-covered peaks, glacial cirques, alpine lakes, and remote valleys with charming traditional villages. Our hiking route brings us through Lillaz, famous for its beautiful waterfalls, and along ancient royal hunting roads built by King Vittorio Emanuele II (Gran Paradiso was once his private hunting grounds).

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Days 10-12
Courmayeur / Mont Blanc

From the town of Courmayeur, stunningly set beneath the Mont Blanc massif, we ascend by cable car and hike to the Elisabetta Hut. Our last hike is in the Val Ferret, a lovely realm of alpine meadows and fast-flowing streams surrounded by the massive granite peaks of Mont Dolent, the Dent du Geant, and the Grandes Jorasses. We catch the cable car to savor spectacular views of the “Roof of Europe” at the Aiguille du Midi (12,678') in the heart of the Mont Blanc massif, then descend to Chamonix, France. Depart on Day 12 via Torino.

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Highlights

Highlights

Enjoy exhilarating hikes beneath the giants of the Alps—the Matterhorn, Monte Rosa, and Mont Blanc—and in the valleys of Gran Paradiso National Park
A true hiker’s hike on the Val d’Aosta’s Alta Via, with shorter hiking options on many days
Sample the distinctive cuisine of Italy’s Val d’Aosta
Discover tiny villages with distinctive architecture and ancient traditions

Details

Length: 12 days
Cost From: $5795  
Arrive: Torino, Italy
Depart: Torino, Italy
Lodging: 11 nights hotels
Meals: All meals included except 2 dinners (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
Activity: Hiking / Trekking
Trip Level:

11 hiking days on moderate to steep trails, 4-6 hours a day, altitudes between 8,000-11,600 feet, van support (for luggage or if you wish to skip a day’s hike). This is a strenuous hiking trip, read “What the Trip is Like” for more details.

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