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Italy's Grande Traversata delle Alpi

GTA: Through the Italian Alps from the Swiss border to the Mediterranean

A guidebook to the 809km Grande Traversata delle Alpi trek through the western Italian Alps traversing the Lepontine, Pennine, Graian, Cottian and Maritime Alps to finish at Ventimiglia. The guide splits the route into 3 sections with 55 day stages. A good level of fitness is required to tackle the route as it contains nearly 60,000m of ascent.


The route is best walked from early June, when any snow on high passes is diminishing, until late-September, when declining weather, and limited accommodation becomes a factor.


Access local transport to key mountain trailheads from Airolo (Switzerland), Domodossola, Ivrea, Susa, Pinerolo, Saluzzo, Cuneo or Ventimiglia.


This route with strenuous daily ascent/descents is best for fit and experienced alpine trekkers. No special equipment is needed beyond good footwear and appropriate clothing, although trekking poles are recommended. It is a mountain route, however, with high passes daily so allow extra time initially for legs and lungs to acclimatise and strengthen.

Must See

High mountain passes, turquoise glacial lakes, summer meadows and alpine forest would be enough, even without the Walser culture, the Occitan valleys, Nebbiolo vineyards and the slow food movement. Ancient, cobbled ‘mulattiera’, pilgrim routes and fortifications add to the sense of history and the stories of the people that make this route so special.
20 Jun 2023
17.20 x 11.60 x 1.65cm

A guidebook to trekking the Grande Traversata delle Alpi (GTA) from the Nufenen Pass on the Swiss border to Ventimiglia on the Mediterranean coast. Covering 809km (503 miles), this often overlooked long-distance trek through the western Italian Alps takes around 2 months to hike and is suitable for experienced alpine trekkers.

The route is described from north to south in 55 stages, each between 7 and 26km (4–16 miles) in length. The route is divided into 3 sections with transport options given for those wanting to break the trek into shorter sections.

  • GPX files available to download
  • 1:100,000 maps included for each stage
  • Handy route summary tables help you plan your itinerary
  • Refreshment and accommodation information given for each trek stage

Table of Contents
David Jordan Cicerone author DJORDAN

By David Jordan

David's earliest memories of walking adventures were family holidays, let loose among trees and fields with a Kodak 'instamatic' camera and notebook. Many years on, little has changed (except perhaps the size of the boots). David has hiked and camped extensively across much of the higher ground of the UK, Europe and Norway, as well as the US. A first taste of long-distance walking started with a circuit of the Tour du Mont Blanc in 1992 and led through sections of the Appalachian Trail to a full thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail in 2016. Returning to the Alps David spent four years researching and exploring the Grande Traversata Delle Alpe. In 2023 David hiked the PCT for a second time and became one of fewer than 200 people ever to thru-hike the trail more than once.

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