Hiking in Italy: The Heart of the Gran Paradiso | Mountain Travel Sobek

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Hiking in Italy: The Heart of the Gran Paradiso

Trip Length 8 days

From $4,995

  • Trek the awe-inspiring landscapes of the Graian Alps through Italy’s Val d’Aoste on this challenging itinerary in eight euphoric days
  • Bask in the hospitality of comfortable, traditional and charming alpine inns and spas, and refuel with hearty regional mountain fare
  • Learn about ibex, mountain chamois and colorful wildflowers from your expert guides—all certified mountaineers

Nestled between Italy’s Val d’Aoste and Piemonte regions, Gran Paradiso National Park is one of the Alps’ hidden treasures. Established in the 19th century to protect ibex, the park is home to Italy’s only peak above 13,000 feet—and is a haven for trekkers and climbers. Full of idyllic high alpine meadows, larch forests, babbling brooks and mighty waterfalls, Gran Paradiso is every bit the picture of paradise. Join MTS on this challenging trek that traverses the Graian Alps—a stunning crossroads between Italy, Switzerland and France. Every day, we’ll arrive at the trailhead for a full day of hiking, stopping along the way at scenic overlooks and mountain huts above tree line for lunch. Long descents will lead you back to cozy hotels, spas and inns in traditional alpine villages, providing you with loads of warm hospitality and charming regional culture. In eight action-packed days, you’ll quickly understand why our guests return here year after year!

Day 1: Arrive in Geneva, Switzerland – Courmayeur, Italy

Welcome to Geneva, Switzerland! Your MTS guide will meet you at 2pm at the airport, outside of customs. We suggest that you arrive no later than 1pm to allow enough time to get your luggage and pass through customs and immigration. We’ll transfer for two hours by private car to the village of Courmayeur (4,000’) in the Val d’Aoste region of Italy. After checking in to our charming mountain hotel, you will have time to rest or explore the village before the evening’s welcome dinner and orientation.

  • Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Berthod

Day 2: Gran Paradiso Natural Park – Hike in the Valsavarenche

After breakfast, we’ll transfer 40-minutes to Pont, Valsavarenche, at an altitude of 6,560-feet in the heart of Gran Paradiso Natural Park.  Here we’ll find our trailhead that climbs up to the Croix de l'Arolley, above a great water fall. From the Plan Borgnoz at 8,753-feet, our highest point, we’ll enjoy views of Becca di Montandayne, Piccolo Paradiso, and Gran Paradiso, Tresenta and Ciarforon, and beyond.  After a picnic lunch, we’ll hike down to the wide Nivolet Plateau, thickly covered with flowers, to reach Pont, from where we will transfer to the hamlet of Eau Rousse – our home for the next three nights. (Hiking Time: 5 hours; Ascent: 2,200'; Descent: 2,200')

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hostellerie du Paradis

Day 3: Hike to Rifugio Chabod

A quick 10-minute transfer will take us to where we begin our hike. Today, we’ll follow a trail blazed by mountaineers hiking to the summit of Gran Paradiso. Our trail begins gently on switchbacks through a conifer forest, eventually rising up above the trees into open meadows of colorful wildflowers and sweeping views of the surrounding peaks. After lunch at the Rifugio Chabod (9,022'), we’ll traverse along a high path that meanders over rocky terrain and alpine grassland, and beneath the moraines of the Gran Paradiso Glacier. Along the way, we’ll keep an eye out for whistling marmots, chamois, and golden eagle. We’ll then descend to the valley floor, and return to our hotel in Eaux Rousses. (Hiking Time: 6.5 hours; Ascent: 4,000'; Descent: 4,000')

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hostellerie du Paradis

Day 4: Hike to Lake Djouan

Our trail this morning begins just behind the hotel, leading us uphill into a shady forest along abandoned terraces. Once above tree line, we’ll reach the ancient royal hunting lodge of Orvielle (7,103'). We’ll continue on towards Lake Djouan (8,254'), where we’ll soak in spectacular views of the entire Gran Paradiso Range. From the Col del Mento (9,169'), we’ll continue down into Valle delle Meyes.  On our descent, the terrain begins rocky and rough, but we’ll soon reach grassy slopes and flats. After passing by the old farms of Meyes, the trail lazily winds down under larches to the village of Eau Rousse (5,465') where we began our hike. (Hiking Time: 7 hours; Ascent: 3,704'; Descent: 3,704')

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hostellerie du Paradis

Day 5: Hike from Aosta to Cogne

This morning, we’ll transfer 45-minutes to Aosta from where we begin with an ascent by gondola in Pila, Aosta’s ski resort, and then the Chamole chairlift that transports us up to 7,546 feet. From there, we start hiking to the Col de Tza Seche (9,251') with views of the east face of Gran Paradiso’s summit (13,323') and the deep Valnontey at its feet. To the west, the Mont Blanc range encloses the Aosta Valley while to the north, the Monte Rosa range follows Italy’s border with Switzerland. We then hike down to Cogne (5,030') and its valley. This charming little town is the biggest resort we’ll encounter during our journey across the Gran Paradiso. Our centrally-located hotel features a luxurious spa and terrace with sweeping views of the Gran Paradiso range. (5 hours hiking, 2,360' ascent, 3,830' descent)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Bellevue

Day 6: Hike to Chalets du Money

Today we begin with a short transfer to the trailhead in the hamlet of Valmontey (5,465'). We’ll follow a path that leads us through the wooded Valmontey Valle through trees, and eventually over rocky terrain, crossing several streams flowing down from the glacier along the way. We’ll start up a steep zig-zag path for about 2,000-feet, before our traverse to the Chalets du Money where we can enjoy a snack and a short rest. From here, the whole of the Gran Paradiso is on display for us.  Our hike continues with sweeping views of Gran Paradiso before us, as we eventually descend into the Valley again, and return through larch forests to our van, which brings us back to Cogne. (Hiking Time: 6 hours; Ascent: 2,700'; Descent: 2,700')

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Bellevue

Day 7: Hike to Lac de Loie

After breakfast, we’ll have a short transfer to Lillaz where we find our trailhead and begin our walk through a larch forest to the Bardonney Valley. This idyllic meadow could be a scene out of a fairytale with its grazing cows, mountain stream and snowcapped peaks. A short climb leads us to a perfect viewpoint, from where we can see a postcard-perfect panorama. We’ll then continue on to Lac de Loie (7,720'), from where we can admire Mont Blanc towering high in the distance. On the way back down to the village, we’ll pass the spectacular Lillaz waterfall. We’ll return to our comfortable hotel with time to get ready before dinner. (Hiking Time: 5 hours; Ascent: 2,100'; Descent: 2,100')

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Bellevue

Day 8: Cogne – Depart Geneva

After breakfast, we’ll transfer from Cogne to the Geneva airport. There will be one group departure for the airport at 8:00am. Please schedule your flight after 12:00pm for flights to other European destinations, or after 1:00pm for all transcontinental destinations. If you would like to depart earlier or later, the transfer is on your own.

  • Breakfast

Jun 24, 2017 - Jul 01, 2017 Guaranteed Departure

Sep 02 - 09, 2017

Jun 23 - 30, 2018

Sep 01 - 08, 2018

pricing

2017 Prices
$4,995 (4-14 members)

2018 Prices
$4,995 (4-14 members)

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Hostellerie du Paradis — Valsavarenche

With the spectacular backdrop of the Valsavarenche, this rustic alpine hostel seems to sit at the top of the world; its bar sauna and hydro-massage equipped swimming pool will leave you feeling pampered. Opened nearly a hundred years ago, Hostellerie du Paradis emphasizes mountain tradition without compromising on modern comfort. 

Hotel Bellevue — Cogne

Offering top-notch hospitality in Gran Paradiso National Park for the past 90 years, Bellevue Hotel & Spa is a luxurious respite in the midst of unparalleled beauty. Thirty-five rooms and three chalets, each uniquely decorated and with its own distinct character, invite guests to relax in comfort and style. Antique furnishings, French doors leading to fairy-tale landscapes, whirlpool tubs and other thoughtful details abound. A world-class wellness center and spa are available to guests, as are several excellent dining options, and the endless outdoor activities and natural beauty that Gran Paradiso National Park has to offer.

Hotel Berthod — Courmayeur

Originally built in 1882 by Jean Laurent Berthod, Hotel Berthod is still run by the Berthod family. As you'd expect, there is a familial atmosphere here, and guests are made to feel quite at home. The property is ideally located within walking distance to the ski lift and just steps away from Courmayeur's main street, where guests will have numerous dining and shopping options. The hotel is outfitted with indoor spa facilities, cozy, personalized rooms and offers an excellent breakfast buffet.

  • Trek the awe-inspiring landscapes of the Graian Alps through Italy’s Val d’Aoste on this challenging itinerary in eight euphoric days
  • Bask in the hospitality of comfortable, traditional and charming alpine inns and spas, and refuel with hearty regional mountain fare
  • Learn about ibex, mountain chamois and colorful wildflowers from your expert guides—all certified mountaineers

Nestled between Italy’s Val d’Aoste and Piemonte regions, Gran Paradiso National Park is one of the Alps’ hidden treasures. Established in the 19th century to protect ibex, the park is home to Italy’s only peak above 13,000 feet—and is a haven for trekkers and climbers. Full of idyllic high alpine meadows, larch forests, babbling brooks and mighty waterfalls, Gran Paradiso is every bit the picture of paradise. Join MTS on this challenging trek that traverses the Graian Alps—a stunning crossroads between Italy, Switzerland and France. Every day, we’ll arrive at the trailhead for a full day of hiking, stopping along the way at scenic overlooks and mountain huts above tree line for lunch. Long descents will lead you back to cozy hotels, spas and inns in traditional alpine villages, providing you with loads of warm hospitality and charming regional culture. In eight action-packed days, you’ll quickly understand why our guests return here year after year!

DAILY itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Geneva, Switzerland – Courmayeur, Italy

Welcome to Geneva, Switzerland! Your MTS guide will meet you at 2pm at the airport, outside of customs. We suggest that you arrive no later than 1pm to allow enough time to get your luggage and pass through customs and immigration. We’ll transfer for two hours by private car to the village of Courmayeur (4,000’) in the Val d’Aoste region of Italy. After checking in to our charming mountain hotel, you will have time to rest or explore the village before the evening’s welcome dinner and orientation.

  • Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Berthod

Day 2: Gran Paradiso Natural Park – Hike in the Valsavarenche

After breakfast, we’ll transfer 40-minutes to Pont, Valsavarenche, at an altitude of 6,560-feet in the heart of Gran Paradiso Natural Park.  Here we’ll find our trailhead that climbs up to the Croix de l'Arolley, above a great water fall. From the Plan Borgnoz at 8,753-feet, our highest point, we’ll enjoy views of Becca di Montandayne, Piccolo Paradiso, and Gran Paradiso, Tresenta and Ciarforon, and beyond.  After a picnic lunch, we’ll hike down to the wide Nivolet Plateau, thickly covered with flowers, to reach Pont, from where we will transfer to the hamlet of Eau Rousse – our home for the next three nights. (Hiking Time: 5 hours; Ascent: 2,200'; Descent: 2,200')

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hostellerie du Paradis

Day 3: Hike to Rifugio Chabod

A quick 10-minute transfer will take us to where we begin our hike. Today, we’ll follow a trail blazed by mountaineers hiking to the summit of Gran Paradiso. Our trail begins gently on switchbacks through a conifer forest, eventually rising up above the trees into open meadows of colorful wildflowers and sweeping views of the surrounding peaks. After lunch at the Rifugio Chabod (9,022'), we’ll traverse along a high path that meanders over rocky terrain and alpine grassland, and beneath the moraines of the Gran Paradiso Glacier. Along the way, we’ll keep an eye out for whistling marmots, chamois, and golden eagle. We’ll then descend to the valley floor, and return to our hotel in Eaux Rousses. (Hiking Time: 6.5 hours; Ascent: 4,000'; Descent: 4,000')

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hostellerie du Paradis

Day 4: Hike to Lake Djouan

Our trail this morning begins just behind the hotel, leading us uphill into a shady forest along abandoned terraces. Once above tree line, we’ll reach the ancient royal hunting lodge of Orvielle (7,103'). We’ll continue on towards Lake Djouan (8,254'), where we’ll soak in spectacular views of the entire Gran Paradiso Range. From the Col del Mento (9,169'), we’ll continue down into Valle delle Meyes.  On our descent, the terrain begins rocky and rough, but we’ll soon reach grassy slopes and flats. After passing by the old farms of Meyes, the trail lazily winds down under larches to the village of Eau Rousse (5,465') where we began our hike. (Hiking Time: 7 hours; Ascent: 3,704'; Descent: 3,704')

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hostellerie du Paradis

Day 5: Hike from Aosta to Cogne

This morning, we’ll transfer 45-minutes to Aosta from where we begin with an ascent by gondola in Pila, Aosta’s ski resort, and then the Chamole chairlift that transports us up to 7,546 feet. From there, we start hiking to the Col de Tza Seche (9,251') with views of the east face of Gran Paradiso’s summit (13,323') and the deep Valnontey at its feet. To the west, the Mont Blanc range encloses the Aosta Valley while to the north, the Monte Rosa range follows Italy’s border with Switzerland. We then hike down to Cogne (5,030') and its valley. This charming little town is the biggest resort we’ll encounter during our journey across the Gran Paradiso. Our centrally-located hotel features a luxurious spa and terrace with sweeping views of the Gran Paradiso range. (5 hours hiking, 2,360' ascent, 3,830' descent)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Bellevue

Day 6: Hike to Chalets du Money

Today we begin with a short transfer to the trailhead in the hamlet of Valmontey (5,465'). We’ll follow a path that leads us through the wooded Valmontey Valle through trees, and eventually over rocky terrain, crossing several streams flowing down from the glacier along the way. We’ll start up a steep zig-zag path for about 2,000-feet, before our traverse to the Chalets du Money where we can enjoy a snack and a short rest. From here, the whole of the Gran Paradiso is on display for us.  Our hike continues with sweeping views of Gran Paradiso before us, as we eventually descend into the Valley again, and return through larch forests to our van, which brings us back to Cogne. (Hiking Time: 6 hours; Ascent: 2,700'; Descent: 2,700')

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Bellevue

Day 7: Hike to Lac de Loie

After breakfast, we’ll have a short transfer to Lillaz where we find our trailhead and begin our walk through a larch forest to the Bardonney Valley. This idyllic meadow could be a scene out of a fairytale with its grazing cows, mountain stream and snowcapped peaks. A short climb leads us to a perfect viewpoint, from where we can see a postcard-perfect panorama. We’ll then continue on to Lac de Loie (7,720'), from where we can admire Mont Blanc towering high in the distance. On the way back down to the village, we’ll pass the spectacular Lillaz waterfall. We’ll return to our comfortable hotel with time to get ready before dinner. (Hiking Time: 5 hours; Ascent: 2,100'; Descent: 2,100')

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Bellevue

Day 8: Cogne – Depart Geneva

After breakfast, we’ll transfer from Cogne to the Geneva airport. There will be one group departure for the airport at 8:00am. Please schedule your flight after 12:00pm for flights to other European destinations, or after 1:00pm for all transcontinental destinations. If you would like to depart earlier or later, the transfer is on your own.

  • Breakfast
lodgings

Hostellerie du Paradis — Valsavarenche

With the spectacular backdrop of the Valsavarenche, this rustic alpine hostel seems to sit at the top of the world; its bar sauna and hydro-massage equipped swimming pool will leave you feeling pampered. Opened nearly a hundred years ago, Hostellerie du Paradis emphasizes mountain tradition without compromising on modern comfort. 

Hotel Bellevue — Cogne

Offering top-notch hospitality in Gran Paradiso National Park for the past 90 years, Bellevue Hotel & Spa is a luxurious respite in the midst of unparalleled beauty. Thirty-five rooms and three chalets, each uniquely decorated and with its own distinct character, invite guests to relax in comfort and style. Antique furnishings, French doors leading to fairy-tale landscapes, whirlpool tubs and other thoughtful details abound. A world-class wellness center and spa are available to guests, as are several excellent dining options, and the endless outdoor activities and natural beauty that Gran Paradiso National Park has to offer.

Hotel Berthod — Courmayeur

Originally built in 1882 by Jean Laurent Berthod, Hotel Berthod is still run by the Berthod family. As you'd expect, there is a familial atmosphere here, and guests are made to feel quite at home. The property is ideally located within walking distance to the ski lift and just steps away from Courmayeur's main street, where guests will have numerous dining and shopping options. The hotel is outfitted with indoor spa facilities, cozy, personalized rooms and offers an excellent breakfast buffet.

Dates and Pricing

Jun 24, 2017 - Jul 01, 2017 Guaranteed Departure

Sep 02 - 09, 2017

Jun 23 - 30, 2018

Sep 01 - 08, 2018

pricing

2017 Prices
$4,995 (4-14 members)

2018 Prices
$4,995 (4-14 members)

Activity Level Strenuous
Trip Length 8 days

From $4,995

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