Aosta Valley Trek - Italy
Trip Type: Trekking
Region: Aosta Valley - France & Italy
Duration: 6 days
Max Altitude: 2933m
Batch Dates: Custom Trips only
Aosta Valley Trek Overview
The Aosta Valley is the smallest region in Italy - located to its north-west, it borders France and Switzerland.
Every turn on this beautiful trail reveals a majestic summit in this mountainous territory and in particular some of the highest peaks in the Alps. We see peaks such as the Matterhorn, Mont-Rose, Gran Paradiso, and the majestic Mont-Blanc. In fact, its wonderful natural environment is a major asset that attracts visitors from all over the world by its geographic and cultural characteristics.
We start the trip at Chamonix in south-eastern France. Situated to the north of Mont Blanc, and near the massive peaks of the Aiguilles Rouges and most notably the Aiguille du Midi, Chamonix is one of the oldest ski resorts in France. It was the site of the first Winter Olympics in 1924.
We make our way to Italy and discover Valle d'Aosta, by hiking through a selection of the most beautiful hikes in the Mont Avic Natural Park and the unspoiled Ruitor massif. Through the course of the trip, we also appreciate the warm Valdotain welcome as well as the regional gastronomical delights.
This is a custom departure tour and so please write to us for prices and more info on this trek.
Day 1: Val d'Ayas
Elevation gain: 810m | Elevation Loss: 810m
Departure from Chamonix for a two hour transfer to Val d'Ayas. Our hike begins above Brusson, a route that offers a striking view of the lower Aosta Valley. After an hour of walking in the forest, we reach the Chamen valley and its eponymous lake. A final climb leads us to a very aesthetic pass under the Pointe de Valnira. We descend to the Arp refuge and find our vehicle. A one hour transfer takes us to Champ de Praz, we spend the night at the Hotel du Parc du Mont Avic.
Day 2: Mount Barbeston
Elevation gain: 1260m | Elevation Loss: 1260m
Our path starts from the hotel to make a loop at the north end of the Parc du Mont Avic. We gently leave the hamlet before starting a steady and sustained climb in the dense forests that smell of pine essence! After the hamlet of Arp, an increasingly marked rump will lead us to a beautiful easy ridge walk to the summit of Mont Barbeston (2482m).
Our efforts are rewarded because the panorama is splendid. We will descend towards the “Alpage des Anglais” before returning to the hamlet of La Veula and spend a second night in our Hotel.
Day 3: Barbustel Refuge
Elevation gain: 1000m | Elevation Loss: 1000m
We leave the hotel for a two-day trek in the heart of the Mont Avic Natural Park. It is therefore with a slightly heavier bag that we progress in the Pessey pine forest which then brings us along a torrent, weir of Leser lake (2011m). The landscape opens onto the high alpine pastures and larch forests to the Barbustel refuge (2200m), located in a natural setting between lakes and "whale back"! We can consider an additional little getaway, without backpacks, in the nearby surroundings in order to enjoy more of this beautiful place. We will sleep at the shelter tonight. No access to luggage.
Day 4: Pointe de Médzove
Elevation gain: 815m | Elevation Loss: 1545m
After a good night aloft, we leave early, a big and beautiful day awaits us. Our steps will lead us from lake to lake, each more extraordinary than the other. It is in this sublimely austere atmosphere that we will reach the tip of Medzove (2845m), the culmination of our day. Option to push forward to Mont Iverta (2933m). The view is breathtaking on the Trevista which dominates the Val Clavalité, incredibly wild and preserved. Now, a long and beautiful descent under the wall of Mont Avic awaits us, we will then take the path of the miners to reach the lower valley. A 1.5 hour transfer by minibus takes us to the hamlet of La Salle in the Aosta Valley. We will sleep at the hotel tonight.
Day 5: Pointe de la Croix - Lac d'Arpy
Elevation gain: 500m | Elevation Loss: 500m
A transfer by minibus takes us to the Col de San Carlo (1971m) in a remarkable Mélézin. This enchanting route will lead us without great difficulty towards the Col de la Croix, and some additional efforts will allow us to reach the military remains of the summit stop, the Cross (2476m). A strategic point with an impregnable fort, our summit offers a striking view of the sunny slopes of the Mont-Blanc massif, the upper Aosta valley and the famous passage of the Petit St Bernard pass, which makes this historic and geographical link between the Tarentaise in Savoie and the Aosta Valley.
On the way back, we can take a foot bath in the splendid Arpy lake. Finally, a 10-minute transfer takes us to the village of La Thuile. We will sleep at the hotel.
Day 6: Les Eaux du Ruitor
Elevation gain: 1000m | Elevation Loss: 1000m
We start our day in the hamlet of La Joux. The path runs along a fast torrent, the cold waters fall in multiple waterfalls offering a beautiful spectacle. The last climb takes us in front of the imposing Ruitor glacier, and its main summit, the Testa del Ruitor. We will make a first break at the Deffeyes refuge, then we will make our way to a lake, later the mountain pastures and finally the last laces along the torrent will gently bring us back to the hamlet of La Joux. We find the minibus again, and it takes 1 hour to reach Chamonix at the end of the afternoon. Trip Ends.
Organization and supervision by a Mountain Guide
Half-board in a hotel, refuge and inn
Transfers with our minibuses from Chamonix and during the hike
Luggage transport (maximum 15kg)
- All expenses of personal nature like drinks, tips, telephone calls, mineral water etc.
- Any personal gear
- Accommodation and food in Chamonix
- Medical and Repatriation insurance (compulsory)
- Backpack 40 - 50 Lts with rain cover.This you will need in case you choose to offload your larger pack onto a horse/porter
- Day Pack 15 - 20 lts - You will use this to carry your camera, water bottle, Trail layers, trail food etc.
-Trekking Shoes: Please do not wear sports shoes as on most treks as we go higher it gets harder to use the sports shoes. We recommend shoes with a good hard sole and also ankle support preferable water proof. While we do not subscribe to any particular brand you can try the Quechua forclaz 100, 500 or 600.
- 2 -3 pairs of cotton socks.
- 2 pairs of woolen socks ( these are ideal to sleep in and best to use when in camp. We do not recommend them while trekking).
- Pants: 3 pairs (including the ones you wear) - Ideal are the quick dry light weight synthetic pants. Alternatively track pants are also comfortable to trek in. We do not recommend you get Denims or Jeans as they get hard to trek in.
- Tshirts 3 pairs (including the ones you are wearing) - Preferable cotton t-shirts that are full sleeves. You can also choose to get T-shirts with collars, they offer extra protection for the neck from sun burns.
- Synthetic Fleece Jacket - 1 pair.
- Wind proof/ Water proof Jacket - 1 pair.
- Down filled / Hollow fiber fill insulated Jacket - 1 -pair ( optional - get this if you want to stay extra warm at camps.)
- Thermal liners - 1 pair upper and lower (optional).
- Raincoat/ Poncho - what ever you get make sure it is something that will cover your daypack and camera too.
- Warm Beanie - make sure it is something that covers your ears. You can also use buffs, scarfs etc in addition to your beanie.
- Gloves - Lightweight synthetic gloves made of Fleece or you can also use woollen gloves.
- Sun Cap- 1 no
- Sun Glasses with good UV protection.
Other necessary things that we recommend you get:
- Toiletries - Sunscreen SPF 40+, Moisturizer, Lip balm, Soap, Toilet paper.
- Repair Kit (needle and thread).
- Headlamp/ Torch.
- Water Bottle- Ideally keep two bottle 1 litre each.
- Trekking Pole - Optional.
- Plastic Packing covers. (Please pack all your gear in waterproof plastic bags so that your clothes etc do not get wet while on horses or porters. Also carry extra plastic bags in case you need to pack wet clothes.)