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Aosta Valley

Walking and Hiking

San Bernardo
Mont Saron
Mont Saron vista
Monte Emilius
Place Moulin
Place Moulin
Pila
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Terra Alpina is a perfect base for walking and hiking in the Aosta Valley. One of the most historic paths in the Alps, the Via Francigena, goes right past the house - it is a 1000 year-old pilgrimage trail from Canterbury to Rome! Whether you want gentle walks through Alpine meadows or more strenuous paths up to 3500 metres, they are all easily accessible from the apartments.

Punta Chaligne: This is the mountain on which Terra Alpina sits. Above Gignod is a tiny village called Buthier. Just above Buthier there is a walking path to the peak at 2600 metres which takes about two hours to get to. The good news is that there is a big new restaurant and bar half way up (you cannot miss it) which makes a good lunch stop.
See Chaligne

San Bernardo:
You can walk from our house directly to Switzerland, via the Via Francigena path, but that is a six hour walk. However there are plenty of sections you can walk in a few hours:You can go as far along the path as you like and then come back. About two hours takes you to the village of Etroubles. You can drive to the start of the old San Bernardo pass, park above the village of St Rhemy and then walk up towards the Swiss border at the peak of the pass. The border is 2-3 hours from St Rhemy (this has far better views).Drive to the border itself, park near the historic San Bernardo hospice and walk around there. There is a website that covers the whole route of the Via Francigena that runs from Canterbury in England to Rome, via the St. Bernard Pass and Gignod.
See Via Francigena

Mont Saron:
As you start to drive down to Gignod from Terra Alpina, you can see Mont Saron almost directly opposite. To get there, you drive down to the main road and head north towards the St. Bernardo tunnel. After a couple of kilometres, turn right to Allein and drive through the village. Carry on driving up the mountain thorugh the tiny village of Villa until the road comes to an end. It takes just over two hours to hike to the top, and about an hour to come back down. The drive itself is spectacular, so it would be good for people that want to view the scenery but don't want to hike. On the drive back, you can take a detour to Etroubles, with its pretty car-free town centre.
See Summit Post

Becca di Viou: This is directly opposite Terra Alpina. You drive down to Aosta, then to the eastern suburb of St Christophe and drive to the village of Blavy. To get to the peak and back is about seven hours, but you can go as far as you like and then return - two hours will take you quite high and you can look back across the valley to Terra Alpina.
See Blavy

Pila: As well as mountain biking, there are some great walks at the top. Both the main cable car from Aosta and the Chamole skilift in Pila itself run through the summer, which take you up to 2600 metres. From there you can walk as far as you like past Lac Chamole and into the high mountains. If you are feeling adventurous, you can walk from the top of Chamole to Monte Emilius (about 2 hours) and then climb the peak 񢠬 metres), using a Via Ferrata - but you will need harnesses and carabiners to be safe. The top of Monte Emilius is an all-day expedition, and you will need to get the first lift up in the morning.
See Pila

 

When we went up Monte Emilius, we went with a guide we know called Gianni Carbone. He is a qualified Mont Blanc Mountain Guide who knows the whole Aosta Valley and speaks excellent English.
See Gianni

Place Moulin: This is about 40 minutes drive, but the views make it well worth it. The start of the walk is a dam at the top of the Valpelline valley, just past Bionaz (north east of Gignod, very close to the Swiss border). The lake behind the dam is a spectacular turquoise colour and the path winds up above the lake to Lac Long (about 1.5 hours) and then on to Lac Mort (another 30 minutes). The views back down the Valpelline valley are spectacular.
See Bionaz