#11 GRAND PARADIS,France-Italy (219 km) 🇫🇷🇮🇹
Between a profusion of lakes and glaciers, mountains that lie alongside peaks.
Plus, the charm of the Italian tradition...
Welcome to the Cogne itinerary.
SKIING, HIKING, PRAIRIES, GLACIERS, MARMOTS & CLIMBS
- Landscape 90% 90%
- Fooding 70% 70%
- Distance 50% 50%
- Activities 80% 80%
Welcome to the Aosta Valley. Its lakes, glaciers, dream prairies and mountains perched at an altitude of over 4,000 metres above sea level.
A skier paradise (from mid-December to 15 March), a profusion of trails and paths to entice hikers, and the most beautiful views for climbers to reach after much work. In every season, the flora and fauna – watch out for marmots, foxes and ibexes running wild – are stunning.
An itinerary leading to the discovery of authentic mountain villages, local specialities and the best Italian cheeses.
After picking up the van keys, the escape starts with a tour of Chamonix. Shoes on, choose your trail and take off right away. Treat yourself to panoramic views, good cheese, a bottle for the evening and dream of tomorrow.
After breakfast or a yoga session, head towards Italy and cross a monument: the Mont Blanc Tunnel and its 11.6 km under the mountains. Destination: Lac d’Arpy, 2,000 m. Huddled among the peaks – Mont Charvet, Becca Pugnenta and Mont Cormet -, this lake from the first glacial era offers a mirror in which the mountains of the Grandes Jorasses are reflected in all seasons. Sublime! A hike along the lake is ideal.
This small ski resort lets you ski until the spring and meander through the forests. Covered in glaciers, the surrounding mountains offer unbelievable icefalls to climb. And in fine weather, hikes galore from the centre of the village. In all seasons, taste the local cheese, Fontina, with a glass of good white wine in the van.
Stay in the Aosta Valley and park the van in this village, very popular with hikers for its nature trails, royal walks and climb to the Gran Paradiso, an amphitheatre carved by nature at 4,000 m above sea level. Those who regularly walk here tell of their encounters with marmots, ibexes, foxes, etc. In winter: cross-country skiing is recommended by the pros and fabulous icefalls.
Next stop, Cogne. Aside from being renowned for cross-country skiing and icefalls beloved by climbers, the surrounding area is ideal for hikers the rest of the year. Located in the Gran Paradiso National Park, Cogne is surrounded by immense pastures and numerous trails. To make up for your efforts, when you’re back at the village, taste its local specialty: Crema di Cogne, a custard made with eggs and chocolate.
South-west of Courmayeur, this valley of the Mont Blanc massif offers an astonishing view of the snow-capped peaks. In summer, as in winter, Skyway Monte Bianco operates its cable car and lets you touch the sky at 3,466 m.
Ciao ciao, Italy. Grazie mille. The mountain road trip ends in Chamonix. A last shot of Mont Blanc or the Mer de Glace and the last hike suggested here: le Plan de l’Aiguille.
Alternative route 4 days / 4 nights “Cogne”, 170 km
For a trip to wonderland, head towards Italy and stop in the village of Cogne. Spread over one of Europe’s largest mountain prairies, this spot offers plenty of intense emotions with its icefalls in winter. Follow Valsavarenche, enjoy hiking in the Gran Paradiso National Park before the third stop in Lac d’Arpy and the climb to the roof of the world in Courmayeur. Last night in Chamonix with the FatMap app, which will find the last spot for you.