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Gran Paradiso to Mont Blanc

10 Days & 9 Nights
  • Hike the best of the classic Alta Via 2 trail through Italy’s Aosta Valley
  • Challenging long-distance walking, perfect for Alpine connoisseurs
  • Share stories with fellow hikers in authentic mountain hotels and huts
  • Indulge in Italian mountain cuisine; polenta, sausage and la fontina cheese
  • Finish in chic Courmayeur, Italy’s Alpine capital at the foot of Mont Blanc
Walk the Alta Via 2 trail from Cogne to Courmayeur in Italy’s Aosta Valley on this self-guided point to point trek. This challenging long-distance hike begins at the edge of the Gran Paradiso National Park, and takes you on an unforgettable journey through Aosta to the foot of Mont Blanc. Experience Aosta’s lesser-known Alps, sharing trails with ibex, chamois, marmots and a few local walkers. Hike through Alpine meadows, on rocky high trails, and over 5 spectacular mountain passes. Offering a balance of comfortable nights in welcoming family run hotels and nights in classic mountain refuges, relax at the end of a tough day’s walking with a hearty home-made meal. Refuel on traditional cheesy polenta, sausages in tomato sauce and local red wine. Embrace the simple life of long-distance hiking, switch off and immerse yourself in the best of Italy’s natural paradise.
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What To Expect

This trek is ideal for Alpine connoisseurs looking for their next challenge. This peaceful trail is perfect for getting away from the crowds and getting back to nature. The tour is rated strenuous with significant ascent and descent on most days. The terrain can be varied and tough. You should be a sure-footed walker and have a head for heights. Bag transfer is included (except to huts), helping to lighten the load. 6 nights are spent in traditional hotels and guesthouses, and three nights are spent in mountain hut dorms.

Trip Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active holiday.

Activity:

Hut to Hut Walking | A point to point walking trip, staying in a new location each night, usually with remote mountain huts or refuges included

This trip is suitable for:

Avid Adventurers

As a guide, we would suggest that the minimum age of traveller this holiday would be suitable for is: 17 Years

Ideal if you have an interest in:

  • Personal Growth
  • National Parks & Trails
  • Mountains

Inspiration:

  • New
  • Classic

Grade & Terrain

This trip is graded strenuous with the average daily distance being 14km. All days have significant ascent and descent and the paths are a mixture of woodland trails, rocky mountain paths, moraine, scree, gravel tracks and paved country roads. There are some exposed sections which require a head for heights, particularly on the sections from Rifugio Sella to Rifugio L’Epee. Another challenging day of the trail is day 7 which involves a walk of 17.5 km and an ascent of 2,269 m and descent of 1,339m. For experienced hikers, and with an early start and steady pace, it is a long but rewarding day. There is some light scrambling on the route and there are cables, ropes and chains to aid ascent/descent in some places. . Please be aware that on the highest passes, there may be some residual snow lying in patches, but this will not require any special equipment or skills; just a steady foot and experience. Walking poles are essential for this tour. To get the most of this trip, you should be in good physical shape and be an experienced walker, having already done some Alpine walking.

Navigation

All of the walks are way-marked to varying degrees, some walks better than others. We provide you with turn-by-turn instructions for each walk, maps and access to our GPS smartphone navigation app, so you will have no problem finding your way.

Accommodation Information

Stay 4 nights in comfortable 3* hotels/guesthouses in private en-suite rooms, 2 nights in comfortable mountain hotels in  private en-suite rooms and 3 nights in mixed sex dorms in mountain huts with shared bathroom facilities.  Below you will find an example of the accommodation we normally use along the route.

Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

This trip is not available to solo walkers due to the nature of the terrain. Single rooms and double rooms for single occupancy are available on 6 nights (not available in mountain huts) should someone in your party wish to have their own room, again a supplement is payable.

Meals

Breakfasts are included each day. Breakfast in the hotels is a buffet selection with lots of sweet treats like pastries, home made jams fruit and cereals. Savoury tastes are also catered for with bread, cheese, ham and eggs are usually available.Breakfasts in the mountain hotels and huts tend to be very basic; bread, butter, jams, coffee, tea and orange juice.  If you prefer something more substantial before walking, we recommend carrying a few energy bars with you each day and supplement your breakfast with one of these.

Packed lunch items can be bought locally from supermarkets or the local boulangerie. If you are staying in a hut or small town without these facilities, order a packed lunch with them upon arrival.  

Dinner is included at each overnight location with the exception of Cogne, La Thuile and Courmayeur. Dinner in the mountain hotels and huts tend to be a convivial affair, and you will be seated with the other guests. Meal times are a real highlight , and you can enjoy the company of people from all over the world while you dine on good honest home cooked food. Dinner is typically soup with bread, a main course consisting of meat and rice or pasta, a side salad or vegetables, followed by dessert or cheese. If you have any dietary requirements, please tell us upon booking and we can arrange this with the huts.

In Cogne, La Thuile and Courmayeur dinner is not included so you are free to choose from the available options. Dining options in these towns are plentiful and you will be spoilt for choice.

Included
  • 4 nights in 3-star hotels/guesthouses, 2 nights in mountain hotels, 3 nights in mixed sex dorms in mountain huts
  • 6 dinners
  • 9 breakfasts
  • Transfer from Courmayeur to Cogne on Day 1
  • Bag transfers (except on days 2, 5 & 7)
  • Route notes, maps, GPX tracks, access to our GPS app & info pack
  • 24-7 Emergency telephone support from our UK office
Excluded
  • Travel insurance (required)
  • Travel to and from Courmayeur
  • 3 Dinners and all lunches
  • Drinks and snacks
  • Personal equipment
Extras
  • Additional nights before, during or after the walk

When To Go

You can start your adventure on any day between mid-July and mid September.

The busiest time of the season is the month of August when almost all of Italy take their holidays! However, even in the high season, these trails are relatively quiet. July is ideal if you wish to catch the wildflowers in full bloom and September is usually very quiet and calm.

At the beginning of the season, there may be snow remaining on some sections of the path, however this will not normally require any specialist equipment.

Getting to the Start

A transfer from Courmayeur to Cogne is included in the cost of your trip. To reach Courmayeur, fly into Geneva airport. From Geneva, take a shuttle to Chamonix (can be booked through a company such as Mountain Dropoffs) From Chamonix, take a public bus through the Mont Blanc tunnel to Courmayeur. Mountain Dropoffs can also organise shuttle transfers from the airport directly to Courmayeur, but these can be very expensive. If you are travelling in a group it may be worthwhile. You will be picked up in Courmayeur and taken to your hotel in Cogne (1 hour transfer). Your tour finishes in Courmayeur, from here, retrace your steps and journey through the Mont Blanc tunnel by bus back to Chamonix, from where you can travel on to Geneva airport. We can also organise extra nights in Chamonix and/or Courmayeur should you require this.

Baggage Transfer

Bag transfer is included in this trip. We ask that you limit your baggage to one bag per person with a maximum weight of 20kg per person. Your bags cannot be transferred to Rifugio V.Sella, Chalet Rifugio de L’Epée or Rifugio Deffeyes due to the remoteness of the huts. You will need to carry your overnight things on these days and you will be reunited with your main bag the following day.

General Information

The distances and ascents/descents are approximations of the recommended routes. Please be prepared by packing all necessary items, for example, proper rain gear (jacket and trousers), sun hat and sunscreen. Your information pack has a detailed equipment list which ncludes standard walking gear such as good walking boots or shoes, warm and waterproof clothes for the cooler months and lightweight clothing for summer, and a day pack.

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Macs Adventure that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the activity, emergency evacuation and hospital care.

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Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Courmayeur, transfer to Cogne Day 2 Walk to Rifugio Vittorio Sella - 9 km 5 miles / 8 km Day 3 Walk to Eaux Rousses - 17 km 10 miles / 16.5 km Day 4 Walk to Rhemes Notre Dame - 15.5 km 9 miles / 15 km Day 5 Walk to Rifugio Chalet de l’Epée - 7.5 km 5 miles / 8 km Day 6 Walk to Planaval - 12 km 8 miles / 12.5 km Day 7 Walk to Rifugio Deffeyes - 17.5 km 12 miles / 19 km Day 8 Walk to La Thuile - 9.5 km 6 miles / 10 km Day 9 Walk to La Visaille, bus to Courmayeur - 24 km 15 miles / 25 km Day 10 Onward Travel

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