Courmayeur, the Sunny and Italian version of Chamonix:
The Mont Blanc Southern side is surely one of the most impressive glacier faces of the Alps, with more than 3000 meters of vertical drop. At the feet of Mont Blanc or on the summits of Courmayeur, this valley remembers the Himalayan mountains!
A few kilometres from Chamonix Mont-Blanc, discover the Italian side of the Mont Blanc Massif, with its Charm and worldwide known Gastronomy!
The Italian mountaineering and skiing capital is less known than Chamonix, largely because in the past it was more difficult to reach it, before the Mont Blanc Tunnel allowed easy and quick access, summer and winter. Bus lines now connect Chamonix and Courmayeur, to reach Aosta. This ancient Roman city, renowned for its remains, it is the second city with as many Roman remains after Rome. Aosta is located at the heart of the Aosta Valley: a region surrounded by beautiful peaks at 4000 meters, here people keep a strong culture speaking the local dialect and keeping many mountain traditions alive.
Hike in Italy in Courmayeur, a week in the mountains with Esprit Montagne, the Sport Travel Agency specialist of the Valley of Aosta:
We offer trekking trips and itinerant or daily hikes in the French, Italian and Swiss Alps. The Mountain Guides Team is Italian at the base, but since a few years French Trekking and Mountain Guides have joined Esprit Montagne!
The activities of Mountaineering, Climbing and other mountain sports allow our small agency to discover mountain environment with a different Philosophy!
The Strengths of Esprit Montagne:
We carry out programs in small groups with a maximum of 10 people in Trekkings. In Mountaineering and Skiing, depending on the difficulty, the group is reduced so that you can always have privileged relationships with the rest of the group and with the Guide. Small groups also allow to easily get off the beaten track!
Esprit Montagne designs its trips to reduce transports, planning the departure from the major Alpine train stations and thanks to a car sharing system with the other members of the group!
You will eat locally thanks to your Guide or the Refuge Guardians, who prepare picnics for us to lighten your backpacks as much as possible. We do not use 4x4 to carry luggage from hut to hut, to increase our autonomy in the choice of programs and itineraries: we plan the trekking itineraries in order to always be on the most beautiful altitude alternative paths, instead of walking on the bottom of the valleys!
We are developing Mountain Beekeeping to safeguard the local species which is the Black Bee, in partnership with the CETA of Savoy, more information in our Philosophy.
Our Hiking Stays:
In Italy we propose you many Treks such as the Traversée des Alpes Grées, Between France and Italy as well as Trekking Tours such as the TMB ...
Mont Blanc Southern Side in Italy:
The Col de La Seigne:
It is a great hike with a frontier pass between France and Italy: it is one of the most beautiful panoramas of the Tour du Mont Blanc, we will leave for the day in Val Veny to enjoy this beautiful hike!
The Rifugio Bonatti and the Testa Bernarda:
For the second hiking day, we will be walking above Courmayeur: the hike is quite steep in the beginning, then once we reach the Rifugio Bertone the path flattens. The view of the Dent du Géant / Dente del Gigante is magnificent, this is one of the favorite hikes of local people in Aosta Valley, that may spend the Weekend in such a beautiful environment!
Towards the top of Testa Bernarda we will take the path that leads to the Valley of Entre Deux Saut, one of the most beautiful mountain environments along this hike!
The view of the Grandes Jorasses and the Arêtes de Rochefort is breathtaking! We will then arrive to one of the most beautiful refuges of the TMB: the Refuge Bonatti!
The Col de Malatra:
It is one of the most famous passes of the Tour des Géants (famous Trail Running Competition that makes the Tour of the Valley of Aosta in six days). It will allow us to pass in the valley of the Grand Saint Bernard close to Valpelline: it is one of the most beautiful passes in the Alps, right in front of the whole Mont Blanc Chain, and one of the wildest places along the Tour du Mont Blanc, where only few people pass by.
The Grand Saint Bernard:
We will sleep at the Col du Grand Saint Bernard, in Italy, and we will enjoy Italian gastronomy in an altitude hotel: we continue our hiking in a comfort mode. Here we will find civilisation again, as we are staying along the road of the great Alpine passes. The Grand Saint Bernard is one of the highest passes in the Alps at 2,480 meters.
We will sleep on the shores of the Grand Saint Bernard lake and a stone's throw from its Hospice. You can visit its museum, which is located in Switzerland.
The Grand Col Ferret:
In Val Ferret we will come back from a two-day mini trek via the Grand Col Ferret, it is the Border Pass between Switzerland and Italy, it is one of the most beautiful viewpoints on the Mont Blanc chain , Mont Dolent (3820 m) is just above the pass. This mountain is known to have the three borders of France, Italy and Switzerland at its summit. We will be walking part of the time on the TMB but most of the day we will be on uncrowded alternative paths ...
The Main Ski Resorts of the Aosta Valley:
Many cable cars form the Courmayeur ski area, which is one of the most beautiful resorts for these magical landscapes on Mont-Blanc.
It is located at the heart of the Alps at the feet of Mont Blanc just 22 kilometers from Chamonix! The view over the Roof of Europe is magnificent. The ski area is naturally very snow-covered and 70% of the slopes are artificially covered to ensure the season! 18 ski lifts connect the slopes of Chécroui and Val Veny. Skiers can start from Dolonne at 1210 m to ski to the top of Youla at 2624 meters above sea level, facing the South Face of the Mont Blanc range. Skiers and hikers can also climb to the Pavilion, then to the summit of Pointe Helbronner, which allows you to reach the Vallée Blanche and the Aiguille du Midi in just 45 minutes.
The resort is linked to La Rosière de Montvalezan in France, it is a great international ski area with a beautiful view on Savoy, Haute Tarentaise and the Mont Blanc Massif. La Thuile is a charming village ski resort, which has good ski lift facilities. There are many small Italian chalets and restaurants, which gives a special charm to this magical place!
This is the Aosta Ski Resort, a cable car leaves from the city center to go up to the ski area which is located at the feet of Mont Emiluis and Becca di Nona, the resort starts at 1650 meters above sea level and climbs near the summit of Piatta di Grevon at 2752 meters.
It is a small integrated resort that looks like a French resort from the 1970s. The ski area is pleasant with a great view of the Grand Combin, the Matterhorn, Mont Blanc and Mont Rose.
It is undoubtedly the most famous ski resort in Italy, with an altitude resort linked to Zermatt by the Rosa Plateau. An international ski resort with a breathtaking view of the Matterhorn, Monte Rosa and the Gran Paradiso which is 15 kilometers away. In summer, many lakes are located under the Plateau Rosa, which delight families and hikers by taking photos with the Matterhorn!
Is a magnificent and wild valley at the feet of Monte Rosa, the Alpinists generally know it well as it is the starting point for the climb of the Punta Gnifetti, summit at 4554 meters which is surely the highest easy summit of the Alps. The Ski resort is connected to Alagna, which is located in Piedmont.
Champoluc and the Val d'Ayas:
It is one of the wildest valleys in the Monte Rosa Massif. Champoluc station is linked to Gressoney at the Bettaforca pass near the Forca Lake. Higher up, the Sella Refuge allows you to reach the summits of Castor and Pollux, some beautiful 4000 meters summits.
The SkyWay: from Entrèves to Pointe Helbronner
Like the Aiguille du Midi cable car, the SkyWay is its twin brother on the Italian side. It allows nature lovers to discover the freedom of high altitude environments. At the top of Punta Helbronner you are above the Mer de Glace and the Vallée Blanche. It is the starting point for the climb of many peaks over 4000 meters. Accompanied by a UIAGM Mountain Guide, you will be able to climb routes for beginners as well as major races. Your Guide will be able to show you the summits on the map, to discover the Pilier d'Angle or the Mont Maudit, which is located on the normal route to Mont Blanc.
Pré Saint Didier and its Hot Water Baths:
The Spa and the Thermal Baths of Pré Saint Didier have been known since ancient Rome, you can enjoy a beautiful day of rest at the end of your week.
Aosta, a Roman and medieval city at the feet of the 4000 of the Alps:
Aosta is a beautiful and charming city where the Italian Dolce Vita allows you to enjoy a cozy moment at the feet of the mountains, the historic center of Aosta is known for its many Roman remains. It is a very popular destination to spend a weekend or to end a week of vacation. The view of the Ruitor and the Grand Combin is quite exceptional. You can enjoy the excellent wines of the Aosta Valley and its many specialties. It is the ideal place for a romantic weekend!
Cogne, the hidden valley at the feet of Gran Paradiso, ideal for a Hiking Stay:
The Val di Cogne is a full-fledged valley in the Valley of Aosta, it is a central valley that has been autonomous for a long time and by taking its access road we understand very well why. The Cogne valley is one of the most beautiful in the Alps, at the heart of the Gran Paradiso National Park. Here cross-country skiing is a religion but the small ski resort is also very beautiful at the feet of the North East Face of Gran Paradiso and of the Grivola (3969 m), which, a few meters away, would have been a very famous summit. seen the resemblance to the Matterhorn.
It is the valley of the Gran Paradiso National Park and the normal routes for the climb of Gran Paradiso, which is considered one of the easiest 4000 summits in the Alps!
It is one of the most secret valleys in the Alps, here there was no need for a Park to save the valley, only two small ski lifts.
It is the paradise for rock climbers, who will be able to check the many climbing routes on their Topo before choosing to climb on some great Gneiss walls. The San Grato lake, at the feet of Ruitor, is one of the most beautiful hikes in the valley.
The Val di Rhêmes:
The Val di Rhêmes is a paradise for hikers in summer and skittering in winter, the valley is first very narrow with big walls and waterfalls, then in the upper valley the relief flattens out towards the glaciers of Pointe Calabre. .