Spectacular Alpine Trails of the Val D’Aosta

Overview

This high alpine journey crosses the craggy ridges and cols of the majestic Val d’Aosta, a valley ringed by the giants of the Alps—the iconic Matterhorn, Monte Rosa, and Mont Blanc. Our challenging hikes (with shorter options on many days) bring unforgettable panoramas as we hike into glacier-carved Gran Paradiso National Park, once the private hunting grounds of King Vittorio Emanuele II, and across portions of the Alta Via, Italy’s premier long-distance trail. The ancient mountain culture and cuisine of the Val d’Aosta reflect its shared border with France and Switzerland, and in this splendid mountain realm, we’ll enjoy the best wines and hearty mountain cuisine, from warming soups to gnocchi, polenta, and game from the forest.

Itinerary at a Glance

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

From the car-free village of Buisson, a cable car brings us to Chamois for our hike on the Grand Balconeta of the Matterhorn, a fantastic trail with great views of the breathtaking spire of the Matterhorn (known as Monte Cervino in Italy).

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Days 4-7
Cervinia / Gressoney-La-Trinité

Hiking the Tour de Monte Rosa trail, we enter the glacier-carved Val d’Ayas, an alpine paradise framed by the superb backdrop of the Breithorn, the Matterhorn’s snowy neighbor. Other hikes lead along the Alta Via, a rugged trail encircling the Val d’Aosta, and up to the Rifugio Quintino Sella (11,762'), set on the flanks of Monte Rosa (15,203'), the “Queen of the Alps.”

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Days 8-9
Gran Paradiso National Park

Gran Paradiso National Park is a magnificent landscape of snow-covered peaks, glacial cirques, alpine lakes, and traditional villages. One of our hikes leads up to the Col de Fenêtre (9,318') and down into the town of Lillaz, famous for its beautiful waterfalls. Our trails follow ancient royal hunting roads built for King Vittorio Emanuele II, who donated this vast holding to the newly unified country in 1860.

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Days 10-12
Courmayeur / Mont Chétif / Glacier Hike

From Courmayeur, we catch a cable car to Refuge Maison Vieille (6,417') for our hike up Mont Chétif, a peak below Mont Blanc. A spectacular cable car ride brings us to Pointe Helbronner (11,371') on Mont Blanc for a thrilling hike on the Glacier du Géant (gear provided, no experience necessary). The views across the “Roof of Europe” are amazing! Depart Torino on Day 12.

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Highlights

Highlights

Enjoy exhilarating hikes beneath the giants of the Alps—the Matterhorn, Monte Rosa, and Mont Blanc
A true “hiker’s hike” in a mountain realm, shorter options on many days, glacier hike on Col du Géant
Sample the delicious mountain cuisine of Italy’s Val d’Aosta
Discover tiny villages with distinctive Walser architecture and traditions

Details

Length: 12 days
Cost From: $6495  
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, choice of moderate to steep trails, 4-6 hours a day, altitudes between 8,000-11,700 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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