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Trekking the Giants' Trail: Alta Via 1 through the Italian Pennine Alps

Beneath Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa

Guidebook to trekking Italy's Alta Via 1 - a 180km trail through the Italian Alps, following the northern flank of the Aosta Valley from Donnas to Courmayeur. Nicknamed the Giants' Trail, the route offers fantastic views of the Alpine giants: Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa. With travel advice and accommodation listings.


Once the rifugi open, from late June to early September each month offers different views and experiences.


From Donnas the route visits Gressoney-Saint-Jean before passing the world-famous Great St Bernard Monastery to finish in Courmayeur.


Regular, fit walkers will enjoy crossing cols of nearly 3000m and travelling across the 'grain' of the mountains. Harder than the Tour of Mont Blanc, but without technical difficulty, this trek will provide a suitable challenge for those familiar with Alpine trekking looking for quiet huts and stunning views.

Must See

The Alpine giants of Monte Rosa, the Matterhorn, the Grand Combin and Mont Blanc form the stupendous backdrop to two weeks' trekking through the old kingdom of Savoy. With almost 1000 years of history, the Great St Bernard Monastery is a rewarding diversion.
23 Feb 2021
17.20 x 11.60 x 1.15cm

A guidebook to trekking the Alta Via 1, the Giants’ Trail, between Donnas and Courmayeur in the Italian Alps. Covering 180km (112 miles), this long-distance trail on the northern flank of the Aosta valley takes around 2 weeks to hike and is suitable for hikers with some experience of Alpine trekking.

The route is described from east to west in 16 stages, each between 4 and 17km (2–11 miles) in length. Alternative stages covering some popular variants, including an optional detour to visit the famed monastery at the Great St Bernard Pass, are also detailed.

  • 1:50,000 maps included for each stage
  • GPX files available to download
  • Refreshment, facilities and mountain hut information given for each trek stage
  • Spectacular views of the alpine giants Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa
  • Can be combined with Alta Via 2 to form the Tor des Géants

Table of Contents
Andy Hodges Cicerone author HODGES

By Andy Hodges

Andy was born and bred in Northern England and first developed his mountain skills in the Lake District and Snowdonia. Since discovering the joys of the Alps with a Cicerone guidebook in 1999, Andy and his wife Sue have explored much of the Western Alps, walking, running, cycling, ski touring and snowshoeing. With 25 years' service in Dartmoor Search and Rescue, Andy has vast experience of the moors and recently completed the in-depth training and assessments to become a qualified International Mountain Leader.

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