Winter Walking in the Italian Alps
Discover Gran Paradiso National Park in winter
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Leisurely / Moderate
Group Size Small Group
Located in the Graian Alps between the Aosta Valley and Piedmont regions, Gran Paradiso National Park is an ideal place for winter walking. The beautiful Italian national park includes a large territory of high mountains, from the 800 metres of the valley bottom to the 4061 metres of Gran Paradiso peak, all forming spectacular scenery. Glaciers, rocks, larch and fir woodlands, wild alpine grasslands, and the numerous valleys provide an ideal setting and are home to more than 1000 mountain-dwelling species including ibex, wild goat, marmot and chamois. A real paradise for walkers with a base in Cogne, considered to be the “heart” of Gran Paradiso, with a rich historical and cultural presence and dramatic views.
* 7 nights at the 3* Hotel du Grand Paradis in Cogne
* 5 days of guided winter walking, tour leader throughout
* Walking poles, crampons
* Airport transfers (for group flights only)
- Single Accommodation (available on request, inquire for supplement)
- Extensive network of trails
- Local culture and traditional cuisine
- Pretty Italian villages and cozy mountain cafes
- 5 days guided winter walking
- 7 nights 3-star family-run hotel
- Leisurely/Moderate walking on prepared tracks
- Altitude maximum 2100m, average 1700m
- No previous experience needed
Your holiday begins at the comfortable alpine hotel in Cogne. Those making their own way to the hotel should aim to arrive late morning to early afternoon for a pre-dinner briefing from your walking leader.
Walking directly from the hotel, head south, in the direction of the Gran Paradiso National Park.
This morning we start our first walk, heading towards Gran Paradiso National Park, the first national park to be established in Italy. On the way back to Cogne there will be possibility to stop in the small village of Valnontey for a hot drink in a cosy cafe.
Walk from the hotel up to the village of Gimillan, through the old Magnetite mine village.
The views of the Grand Paradiso National Park are spectacular from Gimillan. We stop here for a break before we continue, (depending on the snow conditions), for a balcony walk with views of the Mont Blanc. We can return either by foot or by public bus.
Follow the river to Lillaz, a village in the far east of the region and famous for its spectacular waterfall.
Today we start from the hotel and enjoy a delightful walk along the river to Lillaz, a beautiful village nestled at the far east of the region. Lillaz is famous for its dramatic waterfall, which we visit, and on which when in good conditions, ice climbers enjoy climbing. After a stop in one of the local we return to our hotel by public bus.
Free day to enjoy optional activities, explore the area or simply relax at the hotel.
Today is a free day for optional activities or sightseeing. Your leader will be able to advise you of possible walking routes or you can try cross-country skiing or downhill skiing! Alternatively, you may choose to spend the day in Cogne to visit the Gerard Dayne house, which is a good example of traditional local architecture, the Gran Paradiso National Park house (Foundation Paradis) or the Iron mine museum. It should also be possible to take a public bus to Aosta (approx. EUR 7 each way), to explore the charming Italian town, which is the capital of the Valle d’Aosta region.
Take a short bus transfer to Gimillan to begin a beautiful balcony walk down to Epinel.
After a short walk we transfer to Gimillan by public bus and enjoy a nice balcony walk mainly downhill to Epinel. During this walk we will see spectacular views of the Grivola mountain and the south side of the Gran Paradiso National Park. We return to Cogne by public bus.
After a short bus transfer, walk in the heart of the national park, along the Valnontey stream.
In the morning we take a short transfer by public bus to Valnontey and walk right in the park along the Valnontey stream, surrounded by beautiful mountain vistas. We return to Cogne by public bus.
Following breakfast we say our goodbyes.
Hotel du Grand Paradis 3*
Our base for seven nights will be Hotel du Grand Paradis in Cogne. This charming 3* boutique hotel was built at the end of 19th century, and it offers an alpine atmosphere. It is located near the mountains and has a spa, with a sauna, jacuzzi and hammam.
All rooms are en-suite and equipped with hair dryers, in-room safe and free WiFi.
Accommodation is based on two people sharing. Single rooms are available for a supplement (please check price and availability with our sales team). There may be some double rooms for single use available on occasion, please check with us for prices and availability.
7 breakfasts and 4 dinners included.
A varied and rich buffet of sweet and savoury breakfast goods, made using the best local produce including ham, cheese, yoghurts, the coffee cakes, cereals fruits, many sorts of local jam, different juice, and eggs are offered daily.
Dinners usually include a buffet starter, main course and buffet desert.
Grade 2 – Leisurely/Moderate, no previous experience required, but a reasonable level of fitness is necessary.
Winter walking is ideal for those who want an active week in magnificent scenery, but are not tempted by snowshoeing or cross-country skiing. The emphasis is on relatively gentle walking at a relaxed pace, with plenty of time to admire the scenery. We walk mostly on paths and forest tracks, many of which are cleared or rolled after new snowfall. While there may be some walking in unprepared snow, winter walking weeks do not use snowshoes.
Each day the leader will carefully assess the situation and choose the route according to current conditions and those forecast, with the over-riding priority being group safety. Our leaders are required not to proceed with any proposed route (including those mentioned in brochure or trip notes) if they believe the risk to be too high.