Walking and Trekking in the Gran Paradiso

Alta Via 2 trek and 28 day walks

By Gillian Price

This guidebook presents 28 day walks in the Gran Paradiso National Park in the Italian Alps south of Mont Blanc, and the 12-day Alta Via 2 trek. The Alta Via covers over 148km of rugged mountains and valleys between Chardonnay and Courmayeur. The graded walks vary from 2 to 33km and range from easy paths to routes for the experienced alpine walker.



The summer months - late June to late September - are the time to go. That's when the mountain huts are open, providing meals and accommodation for trekkers. However, outside that period the valley villages can be used as a comfortable base for day routes


Cogne, Rhêmes-Notre-Dame, Pont Valsavarenche, Valgrisenche, La Thuile, Chardonney, Ceresole Reale, Ronco Canavese


The walks are all graded for difficulty - ranging from straightforward paths to high and exposed routes for experienced alpine walkers. No special equipment is needed
Must See

Must See

Alta Via 2 trek through the Gran Paradiso National Park, parallel to the Aosta valley. Glittering glacial lakes, old royal hunting trails, ascent of Becca della Traversiere, Punta Basei, belvederes onto Mont Blanc, the trad southern valleys and Ceresole Reale
12 Feb 2018
17.2 x 11.6 x 1.3cm
  • Overview

    A guidebook to walking in the Gran Paradiso National Park in the Italian Alps, describing the 12-stage Alta Via 2 trek between Cormayeur and Chardonnay, and 28 walks ranging from 2 to 33km, as well as suggestions for combining routes into long-distance hikes. The Gran Paradiso sits in the Valle d'Aosta, in northwestern Italy, a region verging on pristine wilderness. Views of Mont Blanc, Monte Rosa and the Matterhorn ranges can be seen from routes in this guide. The guidebook provides plenty of practical information on getting to and around the Gran Paradiso, as well as advice on accommodation, language, equipment, planning and how to make the most out of any adventure in one of Italy's most spectacular national parks. A wealth of detail on points of interest walkers can explore, as well as information on wildlife, history, geology and flowers is also included. Despite its attractions, the park is relatively undiscovered. Walkers can often enjoy unforgettable days on excellent trails through spectacular valleys all to themselves, even at the height of the summer season. The itineraries explore highlights and special places to whet walking appetites.

  • Contents

    The Gran Paradiso National Park
    Valleys and bases
    When to go
    How to use this book
    Path marking
    Dos and don'ts
    Mountaineering and guides
    What to take
    Local traditions
    Further suggestions
    Alta Via 2
    Stage 1 Chardonney to Rifugio Dondena
    Stage 2 Rifugio Dondena to Rifugio Péradzà
    Stage 3 Rifugio Péradzà to Cogne
    Stage 4 Cogne to Rifugio Vittorio Sella
    Stage 5 Rifugio Vittorio Sella to Eaux Rousses
    Stage 6 Eaux Rousses to Rhêmes-Notre-Dame
    Stage 7 Rhêmes-Notre-Dame to Rifugio Chalet de l'Epée
    Stage 8 Rifugio Chalet de l'Epée to Planaval
    Stage 9 Planaval to La Haut
    Stage 10 La Haut to La Thuile
    Stage 11 La Thuile to Rifugio Elisabetta Soldini
    Stage 12 Rifugio Elisabetta Soldini to Courmayeur
    Day Walks
    1 The Lillaz Waterfalls
    2 Lago di Loie
    3 The Money Glacier Terrace
    4 The Casolari dell'Herbetet Traverse
    5 Punta Pousset – the local ‘Gornergrat’
    6 Beneath the Grivola
    7 Passo d'Invergneux and the Mines Circuit
    8 Laghi di Lussert
    9 Pondel's Roman Bridge
    10 The 2205m Mont Blanc
    11 At the Foot of the Gran Paradiso
    12 Over Gran Collet to Col del Nivolet
    13 The King's Path in Valle delle Meyes
    14 Vallon di Sort
    15 Col Rosset
    16 Punta Basei
    17 Becca della Traversière
    18 Legendary San Grato
    19 Becca dei Quattro Denti
    20 The Royal Track to Ceresole Reale
    21 Sentiero Glaciologico Lago Serrù
    22 Beneath the Tre Levanne
    23 The Villages of Valle dell'Orco
    24 Beyond the Dam in Vallone di Piantonetto
    25 Nivolastro to Andorina
    26 Frescoes and Fridges en route to Bivacco Davito
    27 Sanctuary of San Besso
    28 Col Larissa

    Appendix A Italian-English Glossary
    Appendix B Route Summary Table

  • Updates
    Receive updates by email
    Be notified by email when this book receives an update or correction

    Sept 2018

    p47 Chardonney: Hotel Chardoney is now closed but walkers can find rooms
    and meals at Lo Ski Man Gontier tel 01251865237 www.loskiman.it

    Aug 2018

    There's been an increase in cases of TBE (tick-borne encephalitis) across Europe, Italy included. Walkers should be aware that they may pick up ticks while walking through grass and woodland up to approx 1500 metres altitude. Not all ticks carry the disease but better safe than sorry. Simple precautions and plenty of useful information is available on the website: https://ecdc.europa.eu/en/tick-borne-encephalitis. Vaccination is also an option.

  • Reviews
    Gillian Price gives detailed information about the area, when to go there, where to stay, and much more.

    Another guidebook published this year by this prolific writer [Gillian Price] is about walks in northern Italy. This time she focuses on the beautiful landscape of the Valley of Aosta and surrounding areas of the Gran Paradiso, Italy's first national park declared by King Vittorio Emanuele Ill, grandson of the 'Hunter King' in 1922 to protect the flora and fauna, as well as the beauty of its gorgeous scenery.

    Once again, Gillian Price gives detailed information about the area, when to go there, where to stay, and much more. The Valley of Aosta is breathtaking especially in summer. Walks off the beaten track along country and mountain pathways appreciating incredible landscapes and encounters with ibex and chamois in healthy fresh air are out of this world. lt is real paradise for the sporty, as well as for the less equipped and experienced mountain lovers.

    The writer recommends various places to see and a large choice of day walks, routes, maps and accommodation shelters for enthusiasts like herself, who enjoy hiking and wish to persevere along their discovery of nature.

    Living Italy Magazine

    Your wonderful guides have been a pleasure to read, and have been particularly helpful, thank you!

    Dear Ms Price,

    For the last 20 years, my wife and I have relied heavily on Cicerone guidebooks. Your wonderful guides for Amalfi, Dolomites, and Gran Paradiso have been a pleasure to read, and have been particularly helpful, thank you!

    Thanks again!

    Dan & Cheryl
    Seattle, WA

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Price Gillian

Gillian Price

Gillian Price has trekked throughout Asia and the Himalayas, but now lives in Venice and is exploring the mountains and flatter bits of Italy. Starting in the Italian Dolomites, Gillian has written outstanding Cicerone guides to walking all over Italy as well as Corsica and Corfu. An adamant promoter of public transport to minimise environmental impact, Gillian belongs to Mountain Wilderness and is an active member of the Venice branch of CAI, the Italian Alpine Club.

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