Tour del Gran Paradiso

Hiking the Italian Alps


Long distance hiking in Italy

This circular hiking trip in the Italian Alps takes in the best of the Gran Paradiso National Park. High mountain rifugios and cosy hotels, stunning sunsets, tasty traditional Italian food, and a 'glass' on the terrace watching the wildlife. Get fit over the six hiking days then add in the option to climb the Gran Paradiso mountain, the highest summit entirely in Italian territory. 

Join us for this challenging hike in the Gran Paradiso National Park, it's a gem of a trip! The Gran Paradiso offers some of Italy's finest trails in a spectacular setting. It is an area rich in flora and fauna thanks to its protected status and where large herds of alpine ibex and chamois are to be found grazing in the flower meadows. 

Highlights

  • Six days of challenging high mountain trekking
  • Stunning views and a feeling of remoteness
  • Glaciers, summits, tumbling rivers and wilderness
  • Wildlife heaven with herds of ibex and chamois
  • Excellent Italian food, hospitality and culture
  • An unspoiled, less frequented alpine area
  • Option to add a Gran Paradiso 'Summit Day' 
  • All meals included; breakfast, packed lunch, dinner

The area, between the Aosta valley and the Italian Piedmont region, was named as a paradise (paradiso) for good reason. It was here in 1856 that King Vittorio Emauele II established a royal hunting reserve, saving the wild ibex from extinction. Today the Park is involved in ecology and conservation. Wildlife includes the ibex which is the symbol of the Park, chamois, marmot, mountain hare, badgers, foxes, martens, and weasels. Birds include the golden eagle, the bearded vulture which has recently returned to nest in the Park, as well as buzzards, kestrels and other birds of prey.


Summit the Gran Paradiso mountain

You can now choose to climb the Gran Paradiso mountain at the end of your hiking trip. The highest mountain entirely in Italy the summit sits at 4,061 m (13,320 ft) and is a relatively straightforward ascent and a stunning finale to your week. The ascent will be with a professional High Mountain Guide, and require the use of crampons. For more details refer to Trip Information and Optional Activities or contact us.


I think you are a super company. You offer a good range of trips with nice small groups. This was a really great trip. The route is well constructed, the guide was great fun and the accommodation was of a very high quality. The best moments are always the summits in the blazing sunshine and we were lucky to have quiet a few days where that happened.

- Lesley, UK, 2019

Food was great and varied, accommodation always ready and each landlord was welcoming. Our guide was very knowledgeable about the area, which enabled you to learn something new along the way. Lindsay was easy going yet able to judge the groups’ ability/dynamics well and cater to the needs of everyone throughout the trip. Seeing the ibex in the wild was great.

- Karen, England

Excellent guide, very friendly and knowledgeable with wonderful information of the area, outdoors, weather, kept us up to date, willing to help/answer questions anytime. Thank you for an amazing experience.

- Polly, England

Itinerary

  • This evening your guide will meet you at your accommodation in Aosta, Italy at approximately 1800 hrs. Aosta is an old Roman town, founded in 25BC, and is well worth exploring. We ask that you aim to arrive late afternoon or early evening at your hotel to join your briefing which is usually before dinner. For this trip you will carry everything you require for the week in your rucksack, but you will be able to leave unwanted luggage at the hotel for your return. Refer to 'Trip Information', 'Arrival & Departure' for travel details.

  • From the Aosta Valley we take a transfer up the mountain road into Valsavarenche. The spectacular twists and turns take us high into the valley to the tiny hamlet of Pont, at 1952m (6402ft). This is our starting point for our circuit of the Gran Paradiso National Park. Pont is lovely, with traditional houses scattered around the flower meadows. After an Italian coffee, the first of many this trip, we begin our climb to reach the Col Grand Collet at 2832m (9288ft). Rock spires and ridges soar above us as we climb and you have your first taste of this beautiful landscape, often herds of ibex are 'chilling out' at the pass. After a rest at the Col, and our lunch, we head down under the Pointe de la Roley, eventually arriving at the large meadow and marshlands which surround the Laghi del Nivolet, 'the lake of the snow'. We pass the lake and make our way to our rifugio at Savoia

    Ascent: 1118m (3667ft) Descent: 857m (2810ft) Distance: 11km (6.8 miles) Duration: 6h00-7h00

  • From the Rifugio we set off through grassy meadows rich in alpine flowers, and make our way to the lakes of Lago Leyta and Lago Rosset. The views of the valley and the surrounding peaks are stunning as we climb steadily towards the Col Rosset at 3025m (9922ft). Look out for the iconic edelweiss here! On our climb we pass between rocky cliff bands as the terrain becomes steadily wilder, and the feeling of remoteness grows. There are marmots in quantity beside the path, and the youngsters have been know to collide with the guides legs in their haste to rush back home! From the Col we descend steeply at first as we traverse across the mountain side to reach the Rifugio Benevelo at 2287m (7501ft), our accommodation for the night. The 'Rifugio Gian Federico Benevelo' was built in 1930 and is a traditional Italian mountain hut. It was recently renovated and now has hot showers! Of an evening it's a cosy and characterful place to spend the night surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery. There is usually a 'tame' fox who likes to visit the hut in the evening, probably as part of its patrol of its territory. 

    Ascent: 685m (2246ft) Descent: 960m (3148ft) Distance: 12km (7.5 miles) Duration: 6h00-7h00

  • We leave our cosy rifugio, heading out of the door and straight up the mountain this morning as we climb steadily to the Col Bassac Dere at 3085m (10,118ft). There are edelweiss to be found growing on this slope, and a photo opportunity not to be missed! It is a relatively rare flower and not to be found on all walking routes. The flower is said to signify deep love and devotion whereby men harvest the flower on daring steep and sometimes fatal climbs to prove their love and devotion to their partner. 

    Today is another day of wild, glaciated terrain as we hike past the Lac de Golette and the glacier of the same name. On this trip we are often walking very close to the glaciers which gives a true feeling of high, wild mountains, without the need for any of the technical equipment used to hike actually 'on' the glacier - a real bonus. Once at the Col we are greeted with distant views to the peak of Grand Sassiere, and the immense rocky ridgeline ahead. If conditions allow it is possible from the Col to climb a little further to the summit of the Becca della Traversiere, but we will need good weather for this. Our descent into Valgrisenche provides another wild valley with ribbons of streams and torrents cascading from the surrounding mountains. We spend the night at the Rifugio Mario Bezzi, at 2279m (9115ft). The rifugio has an interesting history and is named after Mario Bezzi (1868-1927) who was a grammar teacher, and professor of zoology at the University of Turin. He was also director of the Museum of Natural Sciences of Turin. Even today he is considered one of the world's leading entomologists, specialising in studying flies and mosquitoes.

    Ascent: 980m (3214ft) Descent: 987m (3237ft) Distance: 12km (7.5 miles) Duration: 7h00-8h30

  • Today begins with a relatively easy start from the Rifugio Bezzi as we take a high traversing mountain path and begin our journey towards the quaint Italian village of Rhêmes-Notre-Dame.  We have an easier day in terms of ascent as we wind our way in and out of gully lines with fine views the length of Valgrisenche as we head for the Chalet de l'Epee. We usually arrive here around lunchtime and if the guardian is in residence we will stop here for something to eat. After lunch we have a steady and relatively easy climb that follows the valley up to the Colle Finestra de Torrent at 2875m (9430ft). Watch out for the chamois and Gran Paradiso icon, the ibex, on this section as there are usually herds to be found in this remote valley. A short, but steep descent leads us down from the Col to reach Rhêmes-Notre-Dame where we will spend the night. 

    The high Val di Rhêmes, now the parish and municipality of Rhêmes-Notre-Dame, only became a popular hikers destination a few decades ago due to its extraordinary beauty and remarkable preservation of its ancient architectural heritage. Indeed, it wasn't until after WWII that a proper road was built and only since the late 1960s has it been possible to keep the road open for much of the winter. Rhêmes-Notre-Dame is the only community in Italy with twice as many hotel beds as residents! 

    Ascent: 1360m (4460ft) Descent: 1690m (5543ft) Distance: 19km (11.8 miles) Duration: 8h00-9h00

  • Leaving the lovely village of Rhêmes-Notre-Dame we set off for the high pass of Col d'Entrelor which sits at 3007m (9862ft). We leave the ancient buildings clustered around the heart of the village, and enter the larch forests for the beginning of our climb. Many of the local houses will have been constructed from larch as it is a more durable wood than pine. However, it is also more expensive and it is said that if you have clearly built your house from larch you are signalling that you are more affluent than your neighbours. Eventually we rise above the larch and pine forests and reach several alpine meadows at Plan de Feya where there are several ancient shepherd huts. The trail becomes rocky here with a short section of chain that helps us gain the our Col. It is at this point that you will realise that we have come full circle and that once again we are looking down into  Valsavarenche where we began our journey. Here we are rewarded with fine views of Italy's highest peak, the Gran Paradiso with its summit at 4061m (13,320ft). The Gran Paradiso is the highest mountain in Italy with its summit entirely 'in' Italy. Its competitor is Mont Blanc which is the highest mountain in Western Europe with a summit that is shared by Italy and France. Though it is often disputed as to who has the highest point of Mont Blanc! We spend the afternoon descending and traversing the mountain side via lakes and more high summer meadows to reach the village of Eau Rousse and our hotel for the night. Eau Rousse means 'red water, and it takes its name from the nearby waterfall where the iron in the rock has been released by the water and has coloured the rock a rich red. 

    Ascent: 1300m (4264ft) Descent: 1345m (4411ft) Distance: 16km (10 miles) Duration: 8h00-9h00

  • After a hearty breakfast in our characterful Hostellerie du Paradis, we head off for a final but spectacular day into the shadow of the Gran Paradiso itself. We climb easily through the larch woods to the Rifugio Ferdico Chabod at 2750m (9020ft), arriving late morning. We often wander past herds of chamois and ibex as many of these mountain animals are to be found grazing above the rifugio. The Grand Paradiso National Park was in fact set up to protect and conserve the herds of Ibex, and today they thrive in relatively large numbers. The rifugio, built in the 1970's, is used as one of the starting points for the summit bid on the Gran Paradiso, and offers us spectacular lunchtime views. It's likely we will see climbers returning from their ascent, often looking rather tired! We spend the afternoon traversing the mountainside passing below the space-age looking Rigufio Vittorio Emanuele. We then descend through the forest to our starting point at Pont. On the way down there are great photo opportunities of the mountains through which we have spent the week walking. A well earned Italian hot chocolate or beer awaits in the cafe at the bottom of the trail, where we will be picked up and driven back to Aosta, a journey of just under one hour. 

    Ascent: 1288m (4224ft) Descent: 983m (3224ft) Distance: 17km (10.6 miles) Duration: 7h00-9h00

    NB: Please note that unessential items for today's walk can be stowed at the hotel in Eau Rousse ensuring a lighter rucksack for your final day. Those who have chosen to do the Gran Paradiso summit will be dropped off at the Rifugio Chabod where you will meet your high mountain guide. You can spend the afternoon resting before the climb the following day. 

     

  • Today is your departure day from Aosta. Refer to 'Trip Information', 'Arrival & Departure' for travel details.

It is always our aim to complete the proposed itinerary outlined above, however, it may be necessary for our guides/instructors to adjust the daily itinerary based on the weather conditions, group safety and enjoyment. 

Accommodation

We aim to accommodate our guests in well-situated, clean, characterful, family run accommodation. Our suggested accommodation, listed below, is subject to availability at the time of booking. We have given details of our favoured venues and those we intend to use. If unavailable we will book alternative accommodation of a similar standard.

Our trip fees are based on two people sharing a room. If you are travelling on your own your booking will be based on a twin bedroom sharing with someone of the same gender, what we call a 'twin' meaning two single beds in one bedroom. If you are booking as a single traveller you will share with someone of the same gender. In many cases a single room is available for a supplementary fee, but these can be in short supply and require early booking. Note that it is very rare to have air conditioning in European mountain areas, and most bedrooms do not have this facility.

On this trip you will spend four nights in an auberge/hotel based on twin rooms, and three nights in traditional mountain rifugios. The rifugios on this tour are remote and only offer non-segregated dormitory style rooms. The rifugios are characterful, serve tasty local dishes and are always in a stunning location. The chance to enjoy a beer or glass of wine while watching the sun go down and the ibex playing on the mountain-side can be a really special mountain moment. All the rifugios have potable running water and some have showers. For many of our guests the rifugios literally prove to be a highpoint of the trip. It is normal in the Alps to share accommodation in dormitories whilst in remote locations in the mountains.

A single room may be possible on the nights we are in hotels contact us for details.

Duca d'Aosta, Aosta

Hotel

The Duca d'Aosta 4* hotel is in the heart of the ancient Roman town of Aosta. The hotel has sixty bedrooms inspired by the design of the 1950's and 1960's, with oak wooden floors, stone clad showers, featuring amid art and antiques. The bedrooms have fibre wifi connection and tea and coffee making facilities. The hotel is only 200m from the Porta Pretoria, which is an imposing stone gateway dating to Roman times, close by you can also find the Roman Theatre. 

 

 

Rifugio Savoia

Refuge

The Rifugio Savoia hut sits in a stunning valley, just above a small lake. From its creation in 1921 to the present day, it has been owned and managed by the Dayné family. The Rifugio Savoia consists of three structures: the main one with the restaurant and rooms, the bar and a more detached annex. The hut has 10 rooms, of which 2 are double rooms and the others are small dorm rooms with have 4 or 5 beds each. After your days hike you can look forward to a warm welcome and the prospect of enjoying a hearty traditional meal served in the restaurant.

Rifugio Benevelo

Refuge

The Rifugio Benevelo is situated at the end of Rhêmes Notre Dame valley bordering the Gran Paradiso National Park. First opened in 1930, the rifugio was built by the Italian Alpine Club of Turin, in memory of Gian Federico Benevolo, a mountaineer who had died in 1927 on Bionassay pass near Mont Blanc. In 2013 the hut changed hands and renovation work was done to install toilets, and showers. 

As with many of these high mountain huts it has an interesting history and In the last years of World War II, it was seriously damaged by the Nazi-Fascist armies. Today it is a lovely place to stay and the surroundings are wonderful, high snowy glaciated peaks, alpine meadows and waterfalls.

Rifugio Mario Bezzi

Refuge

The Rifugio Bezzi is a lovely place to spend the night, high in a meadow at 2282m (7484ft) in the mountains with a lake nearby, and surrounded by wild peaks. There is a cosy bar where you can enjoy excellent cappuccino, or local wines from the Aosta valley. There are also showers which are always welcome! The accommodation is dormitory style. 

The rifugio has an interesting history and is named after Mario Bezzi (1868-1927) who was a grammar teacher, and professor of zoology at the University of Turin. He was also director of the Museum of Natural Sciences of Turin. Even today he is considered one of the world's leading entomologists, specialising in studying flies and mosquitoes.

The rifugio was started in 1925 as a mountaineering and military support and completed in 1927, and was built as a replica of the nearby Rifugio Benevelo which is located at the same altitude. In 1982 the Bezzi was taken over by the Barrel family who then bought it in 1991, and extended it to its current size. 

Albergo Galisia, Rhemes-Notre-Dame

Auberge

Tonight we stay in the tiny village of Rhêmes-notre-Dame with its traditional buildings and a population of only 120 souls. The Albergo Galisia is a comfortable and cosy albergo, which is situated right in the heart of the village. 'Albergo' is simply the Italian term of an 'inn', or small hotel. The Galisia serves good tasty local dishes, and has a sunny corner to enjoy a drink. 

Tonight your accommodation will be in bedrooms, with ensuite facilities. 

Hostellerie du Paradis, Eau Rousse

Hotel

The Hostellerie du Paradis has been welcoming mountaineers, and hikers for generations. It sits right at the end of our trail and our first stop is often the terrace for a 'refreshment'. It is very traditional in terms of decor and style and a cosy overnight stop. The bedrooms are comfortable and en suite, and dinner is very Italian.

The name of the hotel 'Paradis' represents a long tradition of hospitality started in the last century by the manager of the old hotel, that tradition was continued by his son who was the builder of the present hotel in 1932. Completed after the war by his heirs it re-opened as the Hostellerie du Paradis. We love staying here. 


  • End your trip with a challenge, and climb to the summit of the highest mountain entirely in Italian territory? The Gran Paradiso is only surpassed in Italy by Mont Blanc which reaches 4810m (15,776ft) and has a shared frontier between France and Italy.

    After a week of hiking you should be in good shape to attempt the summit which sits at 4061m (13, 323ft). This mountain is one of the easier 4000m (13,120ft) peaks and is often used as an alternative to Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Western Europe, when the weather is poor.

    It is a relatively straightforward climb, but is nevertheless a glaciated peak and you will be joined by a professional IFMGA Mountain Guide for the ascent. The majority of the climb is on a steeply ascending glacier, there is an airy rocky scramble the final 60m (197ft) to the summit, but you may be able to sit this out if you prefer to. It is an excellent option if you aspire to learning the basic techniques for mountaineering.

    For safe travel on glaciers you will use a harness, and crampons, and be roped to the guide. You should have a good level of fitness that allows you to climb at a slow but steady pace.

    The guiding ratio is a maximum of 1:4. If more than 4 people in the group wish to attempt the summit then a second Mountain Guide will be booked. You would summit on the Saturday, and return to Aosta that evening for a final night in our hotel with departure on the Sunday. The price for 2024 is 230 Euros per person if there are 4 in the group. The cost will be more for less than 4. 

    What's included in the price for the Gran Paradiso ascent:

    • the guiding of an experienced UIAGM Mountain Guide
    • use of equipment for the group (ropes, pitons, karabiners)
    • accommodation in Aosta on the Saturday evening, this replaces the Friday night when you would have returned to your hotel

    What's not included in the price for the Gran Paradiso ascent:

    • accommodation at the Rifugio Chabod on the Friday evening for yourself (approx 55€) and the Guide (approx 40€); to share between the participants
    • return travel from Pont to Aosta on Saturday afternoon to collect any luggage left - a local bus can be used
    • the personal technical equipment: ice axe, harness and crampons; these can be hired at the Rifugio Chabod, approx 16-18€

    Suitable Boots:

    You need hiking boots that will take a 'strap-on' crampon. In other words boots that are graded 'B1' and described as all-round four season walking boots, whereby the midsole is stiffened, with uppers of leather or fabric, often supported by rubber and or synthetic leather reinforcements. A fully 'stiff' alpine boot is not necessary. Contact us for further details if required.

    An example of the type of B1 boot is the Scarpa Triolet GTX seen here.

     

  • This trip starts and ends in the historic town of Aosta, Italy, which is easily accessible from the cities of Milan and Turin. 

    Travel between Aosta and Milan by train (3h00) or bus (2h10). Travel between Aosta and Turin by train (1h45) or by bus (1h30).

    If travelling by train we recommend booking through RailEurope or Trainline.  For coach travel we recommend using Flixbus. For more information on travelling by public transport, please see our travel blog.

    Turin and Milan are easy to access via rail from across Europe, with the high speed TGV and Frecciarossa trains. These provide fast and reliable travel options. Link in the Eurostar services from London to Paris and train travel can be considered a far more environmentally friendly alternative to flying. 

    If travelling by plane, Milan or Turin are the closest international airports and are served by a number of carriers from within Europe and the UK. Please contact us if you need further advice on your specific travel requirements.

  • When booking a trip we ask you to acquire insurance to cover you for the following:

    Mountain Rescue Insurance

    It is a condition of booking that you are insured against medical expenses, injury, illness, death, mountain rescue, cost of repatriation and personal accident risks. Please ensure that your insurance covers you to the maximum altitude given on your trip itinerary. The maximum altitude for any trip can be checked on the 'At A Glance' box on each trip page. Most of our trips have a maximum altitude of 3,000 metres. If you are unsure or are joining a bespoke trip, then please ask us for specific details.

    Trip Cancellation/Curtailment Insurance

    You should also have insurance to cover trip cancellation and curtailment. Please note that your deposit and balance payments are non-refundable, unless it is Tracks and Trails who cancel the trip due to a failure to reach the required minimum numbers. In this case we will offer you a refund or the option of transferring to another trip if one is available. We also advise that you should have insurance which covers baggage loss/equipment damage as Tracks and Trails will not be held responsible for loss/damage to baggage/equipment.

    COVID-19 Insurance

    As well as medical cover, we recommend that you have appropriate travel insurance so that if you fall ill and test positive for COVID-19 prior to (or during) your trip, you will be financially covered for cancelling your trip. You should also consider booking a policy that covers you if you have to cancel or curtail your holiday because you have to self-isolate. If you choose to cancel, cancellation charges will be payable, but if the reason for your cancellation is covered under the terms of your insurance policy, you may be able to reclaim these charges. Please read the clauses below detailing trip cancellation and curtailment.

    Travel Insurance covering COVID-19 is now available from a number of suppliers, Campbell Irvine, Trailfinders and Staysure. Please check their websites for the latest information on what is and isn't covered. It is likely that more companies will offer COVID related cover in the future.

    All of the above insurances are detailed in our Terms and Conditions

    If you are joining a trip in the UK helicopter/mountain rescue insurance is not required as this is a free service.

    For further details, please read the Insurance section on our website.

  • Summer mountain weather in the European Alps can vary considerably, and in this respect it is no different to any mountain environment where the terrain influences the weather and it can change from valley to valley. 

    However, in the summer months it is generally good in the Alps, but it can deliver everything from glorious sunshine, to rain, fog, high winds and even snow. Temperatures can reach over 30°Celsius (86°F) in July and August, but can drop to 5°Celsius (41°F) on the high passes, or 'Cols' as they are known in the Alps. Essentially, as with all mountain journeys, you should be prepared for any eventuality. The average temperatures range from 15-25°Celsius (59-77°F) in the valleys and 5-15°Celsius (41-59°F) on the passes.

    Even in mid-summer we can be faced with overnight snow especially when we have spent the night in a mountain refuge/rifugio/hut at higher altitude. 

  • When packing for a trip in the mountains it is important to have appropriate equipment and clothing. This kit list features items we believe are necessary for the weather you might encounter and accommodation you will be staying in. If you have any questions with regards to what to bring, do not hesitate to get in touch with us.

    Equipment

    • Walking boots - comfortable & waterproof, with a good tread. We have no objection to ‘low cut mountain walking shoes’ if they have a stiff sole for rough terrain. Be aware that early season snow can remain on the high passes and boots may be necessary!
    • Walking Poles – optional, but highly recommended
    • Rucksack – 30-35 litres, ideally with a chest and waist strap, try using it loaded before your trip
    • Rucksack liner or cover - to keep the contents of your rucksack dry
    • Water container - 1 to 1.5 litres, or hydration system
    • Short gaiters – useful, but not essential
    • Umbrella - useful for shade on very hot days/rain showers

    Clothing

    • Waterproof jacket - this MUST be waterproof. We can encounter heavy rain in the mountains and you need to be able to stay dry and warm
    • Waterproof over trousers - we consider these vital items for the reason given above. We reserve the right to ask you to purchase waterproof trousers if we deem them necessary, or to ask you to miss a day of the trip if you are not properly equipped for the weather
    • Trousers - comfortable walking trousers allowing free movement
    • Shorts/skort
    • Sun hat
    • Warm hat
    • Hat - sunhat
    • Gloves x 2 - one thick, one thin
    • Base layer e.g. t-shirt, thermal tops
    • Fleece jacket/shirt
    • Socks - technical walking socks 2/3 pairs
    • Duvet jacket/second warm jacket
    • Thermal leggings - optional

    Comfort

    • Sunscreen
    • Lip salve
    • Sunglasses - eye protection is essential
    • Tissues
    • Antibacterial hand wash - small bottle
    • Supplementary snack bars/chocolate/trail mix
    • Book/Kindle/Music

    Documentation

    • Passport, plus a paper copy
    • Mountain Rescue Insurance - compulsory
    • Travel Insurance
    • Credit Card
    • Cash - Euros 
    • Waterproof bag for documents

    Personal First Aid

    • Personal medication - if required
    • Antiseptic cream/spray
    • Painkillers/anti-inflammatories
    • Glucose tablets
    • 2 x Rehydration sachets – like Dioralyte
    • A few throat lozenges
    • Blister plasters 
    • Blister tape eg. Strappal
    • Bandaid plasters

    Items for the nights in mountain huts/refuges

    • Sheet sleeping bag 'liner' - lightweight ‘silk or cotton liner’ to be used under the blankets/duvet provided by the huts/refuges
    • Pack towel
    • Ear plugs - optional, but advised
    • Head torch - plus batteries
    • Teabags – optional, tea is expensive, whereas ordering hot water is less so

    Additional Items

    • Slippers for use in huts/refuges
    • Clothing for use at huts/refuges
    • Camera
    • Padlock - for luggage being left in storage

    **Supplementary snacks if you follow a gluten free or coeliac diet**

    Leaders are all first aid trained and will carry their own first aid kit

  • On many of our trips there will be an element of 'group kit' which will be shared amongst our guests. As mountain people you will be used to team work and working together to the mutual benefit and safety of the group.

    The 'group kit' will be minimal and usually just a case of sharing a few lightweight 'survival shelters'. For example on a week-long trip you may carry a small shelter for just one day before passing it on to the next person. 

    If you are booking a trip in winter there will be a few additional safety items. These will be distributed in such a way that no one is over burdened. 

    Other group items necessary for safety and comfort will be carried by your guide/instructor.

  • For each of our trips a minimum number of guests is required before we can confirm that your trip will go-ahead. The minimum and maximum number of guests on your trip is displayed in the 'At a Glance' box on the righthand side of the trip page. 

    We strongly advise you do not book travel until we have confirmed your trip is 'guaranteed' to run. If you book travel before we have confirmed it is 'guaranteed' we cannot be held responsible for any financial loss if the trip does not go ahead.

  • When booking a holiday as a solo traveller a twin bedded room comprising of two single beds, is booked as standard. This will be with someone of the same gender unless you request to pay extra for your own room. On this trip single rooms are limited and early booking is required. There is the possibility of a single room on 4 nights on this trip, with a single supplement of £300.

  • Tracks and Trails go to great lengths to work with first class guides and instructors who are passionate about their work. They are all fully qualified, insured, and hold the correct documentation for the countries that they work in.

    Note your guide has complete discretion to make a daily decision on whether or not to take the advertised route based on the weather and the ability of the members of the group. They have our authority to make any route changes they believe are necessary in the interests of safety and enjoyment. 

    Your hiking guide will be a fully qualified and experienced International Mountain Leader. International Mountain Leaders are not only qualified to ensure the safe management of the group, but are also a source of knowledge about the local flora and fauna, and traditions of the area which you are visiting. You can learn more about our guides and instructors on the About Us page.

  • On this particular trip, due to the inaccessible nature of the Rifugio’s there will not be any luggage support. In other words, when we leave on the morning of the first day you will carry what you need for the entire trip in your rucksack. In reality this is not much more than what you would carry each day, just a few additional items. This type of trip is can be a satisfying and rewarding experience allowing you to ‘cast aside’ unrequired material possessions for the duration of the trip. We are happy to discuss this with you. Your trip begins and ends at the same hotel and you will be able to leave any unwanted luggage at the hotel for your return.

  • We do not include lunches in your trip fee for various reasons, the most important of which is food waste. In general our guests have particular tastes and requirements for 'trail' or 'hill' food and it is better you purchase your own snacks rather than throw away items from the picnic lunch which we would supply.

    Lunches on our trips are 'picnic' style lunches, in other words you take a packed lunch with sufficient snacks, food and fluid to sustain you throughout the day. Buying snacks and trying local specialities is a great way to inter-act with local people and to practise your language skills.

    If there is the possibility of lunch being taken at a restaurant/farm/cafe beside the trail, your guide/instructor will advise you of this. Each evening you can order a picnic or a sandwich from the hotel, or your guide/instructor will advise you of other options such as a local shop or market. In all cases we would ask you to settle any 'bill' for lunch or drinks the evening before you depart, and not in the morning when there may be a queue.

  • On your itinerary you will find an indication of the amount of ascent and descent you can expect each day. This offers a guideline to how much effort might be expended each day and allows you to decide, based on previous experience, if your fitness and stamina are correct for the trip. 

    We make every attempt to ensure these statistics are as accurate as possible, but ask you to note that the most modern of technology used to record these details can show considerable variations in terms of ascent, descent, and in particular distance. In other words no two people using GPS devices on the same route will have exactly the same details recorded at the end of the day. 

    The statistics given should be used as a 'general' indication of the effort required. 

  • Your leader will carry the correct maps and you are not expected to navigate, but if you would like to have maps of the itinerary you will find that those listed below cover the route:  

    Carta dei Sentieri 3: Valgrisenche Val di Rhemes Valsavarenche ovest 1:25,000

    Carta dei Sentieri 10: Valle di Cogne 1:25,000 - approximately 4 kms of your route are on this map

    Or this map covers the entire route:

    Blu Edizioni - Carta dei Sentieri Cartoguida 4: Parco Nazionale del Gran Paradiso 1:50,000

  • It is useful to arrive at your destination with some cash in the local currency, however, on most occasions it is relatively easy to visit a 'cash machine' after arrival and withdraw money on a credit or debit card. Some of our locations are an exception to this in particular Norway, where the accommodation will often have no facilities for withdrawing cash, but they will take a credit card. 

    On many of our trips we will visit remote cafes/farms where it is wonderful to enjoy a drink and a cake, at places such as these they will often only accept payment in the local currency in cash.

  • Food

    We encourage you to experience local tastes and dishes and for this reason many of our accommodation options will be family run with a reputation for traditional food. 

    If you have a 'special' diet because of an allergy or intolerance which will make you ill then the accommodation will cater for this as best they can, eg gluten free, nut free, lactose free. Gluten-free diets will be possible with regard to the evening meals, but we would advise that you bring along some gluten-free snacks for your breakfasts and lunches.

    If you are vegetarian his is not a problem as the hotels/refuges are used to being asked for vegetarian meals. Our accommodation will try to cater for those with vegan diets but in remote refuges in the mountains this is more difficult. If you would like to discuss the suitability of a trip for a vegan diet contact us

    If you have a 'special' diet which is NOT because of an allergy or intolerance, and is not 'veggie' then we apologise, but we cannot cater for this. The accommodation on the popular routes will be catering for many people each evening, in some cases up to 70/80 meals per night, 7 days a week, and realistically they cannot produce many different meal options unless the food will result in illness.

    We request that you do not CHANGE your dietary requirements during the trip as we will have pre-ordered your meals.

    Water

    The countries we visit all have tap water which is drinkable. If for any reason a particular hotel or mountain hut is having a problem with a remote mountain water supply they will normally post a sign over the tap indicating that you must not drink the water.

    Due to rising temperatures in the summer months some mountain huts are having to restrict water usage. Which may mean that you are unable to shower in some mountain refuges.

    At all times you are welcome to ask your guide/instructor if the water can be drunk. We would ask, for environmental reasons, that you avoid using single-use plastic bottles, and bring a water bottle that can be used repeatedly.

  • A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for the country you are visiting, paying attention to your citizenship. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice.  

    We ask that you carry a paper copy of your passport with you on your trip. We suggest keeping your passport in your rucksack, and a paper copy of your passport in any luggage you might have. If your trip is without luggage transfers then keep a paper copy somewhere in your rucksack, separate from your original document. 

  • We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

    Plug, Socket & Voltage by Country

    Note that if your trip involves staying in a mountain refuge/rifugio/hut that electric sockets may be in short supply and for that night you may not be able to charge any items. Although the accommodation will have electricity this will often be supplied by solar panels or a generator and limited to use by the staff. For this reason we advise that carrying a small slimline and lightweight 'battery pack' can be very useful for recharging phones which many of you will also use as your camera. 

  • Summiting the Gran Paradiso, the highest mountain entirely within Italy, is a stunning finale to your trip. After a week of hiking you should be in good shape to attempt the summit which sits at 4061m (13, 323ft). This mountain is one of the easier 4000m (13,120ft) peaks and is often used as an alternative to Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Western Europe, when the weather is poor.

    It is a relatively straightforward climb, but is nevertheless a glaciated peak and you will be joined by a professional high mountain guide for the ascent. For safe travel on glaciers you will use a harness, crampons, and be roped to the guide. You should have a good level of fitness that allows you to climb at a slow but steady pace. 

     

    B1 boot required. 

  • Before booking consider whether you expect to be in the appropriate physical condition on the date of your  departure to allow you to fully participate in and enjoy your holiday. If you have any doubts because of an illness or injury it would be advisable to check with your doctor.

    For UK residents travelling to an EU country you should obtain and bring with you a free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment in certain European countries, but is not a substitute for medical travel insurance.

    If you have a UK European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) it will be valid until the expiry date on the card. Once it expires, you’ll need to apply for a GHIC to replace it. The UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) lets you get state healthcare in Europe at a reduced cost or sometimes for free. Please check this before departing. We advise that you always carry your insurance documents with details of the Emergency Medical telephone number for your insurance provider, and your policy number. 

  • We feel strongly about protecting the environment and do not encourage the use of single-use plastic items. We would ask that you arrive with a ‘water bottle’ or ‘hydration system’ that can be used repeatedly. We would point out that we operate a ‘zero tolerance’ for rubbish, and would ask you to remove all your rubbish items from the mountain even those you consider to be bio-degradable. In particular we ask that you remove any toilet tissue.

    You can read our full policy here.

  • Working across international boundaries, and with various currencies means that the price of our trips can change overnight. We have, however, undertaken to guarantee that once you have paid your deposit the price of your trip is fixed. In this respect we urge you to book early to ensure that you receive the price advertised on our website. The website price may increase due to currency fluctuations, but we guarantee that the price advertised on the date of your booking will be maintained in your individual case. 

  • We believe in team work, and enjoy working with other small high quality companies. In this respect due to the specialised nature of our holidays, we co-sell a number of trips with 'partner' companies. All the trips being sold by Tracks and Trails are organised by Tracks and Trails, but you may find guests from other companies on your trip. Partners are carefully selected to ensure they reflect our ethos and standards. By encouraging other companies to sell our trips it means your chosen holiday may reach its 'minimum' number earlier, allowing us to guarantee the trip and to give you the go-ahead to book your travel arrangements. We guarantee that companies with whom we work will offer the same price package. If you have any questions about this policy contact us and we will be happy to discuss it with you. 


What's Included

  • Experienced, professional English-speaking International Mountain Leader
  • Four nights half board; breakfast and dinner in 2* hotel or similar, based on two people sharing
  • Three nights half board; breakfast and dinner in mountain huts based on dormitories
  • Lunches on all hiking days
  • Return transfers from Aosta, Italy to the start/end of the trek

What's Not Included

  • Travel insurance
  • Airport transfers
  • Snack food and drinks
  • Summit Day Option - contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for details
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Grade: Expert

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At a Glance

From Price £1575
Holiday Type Walking
Duration 8 Days
Group Size 4-10
Minimum Age 18
Maximum Altitude 3336m (10,942ft) 4061m (13, 323ft)  if doing the Gran Paradiso summit
Countries Visited Italy
Meet In Aosta, Italy
View all Walking Holidays

Wildlife of the Gran Paradiso National Park

Why book with T&T?

  • Highly professional guides
  • Personal service guaranteed 
  • Attention to detail throughout
  • Explore off the beaten track
  • Single rooms on request
  • No surcharge guaranteed
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