Tracks and Trails / Walking / Scheduled Departures / Tour del Gran Paradiso

Tour del Gran Paradiso

Gran Paradiso National Park

Hiking in Heaven

A trip offering some of the best hiking in Italy! The Gran Paradiso National Park offer some of the most beautiful views in the Alps.

The area, which lies 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. The result today is a spectacular landscape rich in flora and fauna: truly a hiker's heaven.

  • Glaciers, summits, tumbling rivers and wild land
  • Wildlife heaven with herds of ibex and chamois
  • Six Days of High Trekking, maximum altitude 3336m
  • Total Distance 95km / 6640m Ascent / 6656m Descent
  • Excellent Italian food, hospitality and culture
  • An unspoiled, less frequented alpine area
  • All meals included

 

Departures

Trip Departure date End date Price Status
TGP1 17 Sat 29 July 17 Sun 6 August 17 £1245 Places available | Make a Booking
TGP2 17 Sat 19 August 17 Sun 27 August 17 £1245 Places available | Make a Booking

Itinerary

We always aim to complete the itinerary as outlined below, however, the following itinerary will be followed only when conditions and weather make it appropriate, both in terms of safety and enjoyment. Your guide will make a decision on your route based on those conditions.

Day 1 Arrival

Our group will meet in Chamonix, France, which offers both easy access from Geneva airport and to Italy via the Mont Blanc tunnel. On the evening before we start our walk your guide will meet you at your accommodation to brief you on the trip ahead and answer any questions. Chamonix is home to Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Western Europe, and offers plenty of shops for any last minute trekking needs. Please contact us if you'd like extra nights at either the start of end of your tour.

Day 2 Pont to Refuge Chivasso

We begin our day with a trip through the historic Mont Blanc tunnel which has just marked it's 50th anniversary. We drive under Mont Blanc, and enter Aosta Valley, before taking a mountain road into Valsavarenche.The spectacular twists and turns take us high into the valley to the hamlet of Pont, at 1952m. This is our starting point for our circuit of the Gran Paradiso National Park. After an Italian coffee we begin our climb steadily along this steep sided valley to reach the Col Grand Collet at 2832m. Rock spires and ridges follow us on our climb as we head under the Pointe de la Roley, before 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 refuge at Chivasso at 2603m where we are spoilt by both views and a mountain library! We spend the night here. Distance: 11km. Ascent 1275m. Descent 550m. Walking time: 6hrs. Max altitude: 2840m.

Day 3 Chivasso Refuge to Refuge Benevolo

From the Chivasso Refuge we set off through grassy meadows, covered 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 to pass over either the Col Rosset (3025m) or Col Basey (3174m). Your guide will decide on which pass according to the conditions at the time. Look out for the iconic edelweiss here! En route we pass between rocky cliff bands as the terrain becomes steadily wilder, and the feeling of remoteness grows. From either Col we descend steeply at first as we traverse across the mountain side to reach the Refuge Benevelo at 2287m, our accommodation for the night. The 'Rifugio Gian Federico Benevelo' was built in 1930 and is a traidtional Italian mountain hut offering 60 beds but now offers hydro-electricity and a newly added wing with excellent washing and showers facilities! Of an evening it's a cosy and characterful place to spend the night with plenty of wine available! Distance: 13km. Ascent 780m. Descent 1060m. 6-7hrs. Max elevation: 3030m.

Day 4 Col Bassac Dere to Refuge Bezzi

Out the door and straight up the mountain this morning as we climb steadily to the Col Bassac Dere which sits at 3085m. There are edelweiss to be found growing on this slope, and a photo opportunity not to be missed! 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 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 views in the distance of 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 you 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. The Bezzi is always a highlight on the tour as it's more like a hotel than a mountain 'hut'. There are hot showers and the meals are fantastic. Distance: 13km. Ascent 800m. Descent 806m. Max Elevation: 3085m (or 3336m to summit the Becca della Traversiere). 7-8.5hrs.

Day 5 Colle Finestra de Torrent to Rhemes Notre Dame

An relatively easy start from the Rifugio Bezzi as we take pick up a high traversing mountain path and begin our journey across the mountain side. We have an easier day in terms of ascent as we wind our way in and out of gully lines obtaining fine views of the length of the Valgrisenche as we head for the Chalet de l'Epee taking about 4.5hrs. If the guardian is in residence we will stop here for lunch. An easy climb then follows over the Colle Finestra de Torrent at 2875m, watch out for the Chamois and Gran Paradiso icon the ibex here! A short but steep descent follows to reach the tiny community of Rhemes Notre Dame (1723m) where we check into a local hotel. Distance: 21km. Ascent 1000m. Descent 1500m. 8-9hrs. Max Elevation 2875m.

Day 6 Col d'Entrelor to Eaux Rousses

Leaving Rhemes Notre Dame we set off for the high pass of Col d'Entrelor at 3007m. We first walk through the woodland, which on a hot morning is a welcome relief. We eventually break out of the larches and firs to reach several alpine meadows at Plan de Feya and some old shepherd huts. The trail becomes rocky here with a short section of chain that helps us gain the Col at 3007m as we come full circle and once more look down into Valsavarenche which is where we began our journey. Here we are rewarded with fine views of Italy's highest peak the Gran Paradiso summit, 4061m. We spend the afternoon descending and traversing the mountains side steadily via lakes, more high summer meadows to reach the village of Eaux Rousses and our hotel for the night. Distance: 15km. Ascent 1300m. Descent 1420m. Max Elevation: 3007m. 8-9 hrs.

Day 7 Eaux Rousses to Pont & transfer back to Chamonix

After a hearty breakfast 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 (2750m) arriving for midday. We often wander past herds of Chamois and Ibex as many of these mountain animals are to be found grazing above the refuge. 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 refuge, built in the 1970's, is used as one of the starting points for the summit bid on the Gran Paradiso summit and offers us spectacular lunchtime views. It's likely we will see climbers returning from their climb here. We the spend the afternoon traversing with some short sections of climbing across the mountainside towards the second summit starting point the Rigufio Vittorio Emanuele - a rather space age looking building. We then descend from the Emanuele refuge through the forest to our starting point at Pont and can enjoy some 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 to Chamonix to our hotel and celebratory meal. Please note that unessential items for today's walk can be stowed at the hotel in Eaux Rousses for a lighter day walk. Distance: 22km. Ascent: 1485m. Descent: 1270m. 7-9hrs. Max Elevation: 2750m.

Day 8 Departure

Today is departure day. The package finishes after breakfast. Chamonix is an excellent base for further hiking. If you would like to add on extra days to your itinerary please let us know.

Price

Included: An experienced professional English-speaking qualified International Mountain Leader. Hotel accommodation for 4 nights and mountain refuge accommodation for 3 nights. All meals, including breakfast, picnic lunch and dinner. Transfers from Chamonix to the start of the trek in Italy, and the return transfer back to Chamonix at the end of the trek.

Not Included: Travel Insurance, airport transfers, snack food, cable cars as not part of the itinerary, personal expenses such as alcohol, souvenirs etc. No single supplement is available on this trip.

Luggage

Please note that due to the altitude we cross on the passes (cols) although this trip is run in the peak summer Alpine season you can still expect to find old and new patches of snow so pack appropriately. Do contact us if you need further advice on the conditions. This trip involves carrying a few basic extra items of clothing and comforts for your overnight stays. Please do not be put off by the fact this trip does not include the daily transfer of luggage, as in reality it is simply a case of spare trousers, top, small wash kit, some antibacterial hand gel, headtorch, sheet sleeping bag, hut slippers if preferred, a small towel, clean socks and underwear! Walking poles are highly recommended due to the possible old snow patches and steeper paths. It is a very satisfying experience to complete a trip 'pure' like this, carrying everything you need. Any extra luggage/spare clothes can be left at the starting hotel in Chamonix.

Minimum numbers

This trip will run once a minimum number of 4 clients have booked. We will take a maximum of 10 clients. We advise you not to make your travel arrangements until the trip is guaranteed to run.

Accommodation

For this tour 4 nights will be in hotel/chalet style accommodation and 3 nights will be in traditional mountain refuges. It's normal in the Alps to share accommodation whilst in the mountains. The refuges on this tour are remote and in some cases only offer non-segregated dormitory style rooms. Many good friends have been made this way! The refuges themselves tend to be full of character and serve tasty local dishes. They are always situated in stunning locations and 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 provide a really special mountain moment. All of the refuges offer fresh drinkable running water and 2/3 of them have hot showers. For many of our guests the refuges literally prove to be a highpoint of the trip. Due to the nature of the accommodation on this trip; we cannot offer a single supplement.

Weather

In mountainous terrain the weather can vary considerably. Temperatures can reach over 30°c in the height of the summer (July/August), but can be as low as 5°c on the passes. It is often sunny with good clear days, but it can rain and snow (even in July or August) so you should be prepared for any eventuality. The average temperatures range from 15-25°c in the valleys and 5-15°c on the passes.

Further Information

This trip starts and ends in Chamonix France but the walking is in Italy. You will only require Euros for this trip. Chamonix is easily reached from other European and worldwide destinations by road, rail, coach or plane. For suggested travel links please refer to our Booking & Information pages for further details. Geneva is the closest international airport, only 75 minutes away by road, making shared transfers, buses or trains easy to arrange. Please contact us if you need further advise on your specific travel requirements.

More information on how to reach Chamonix at www.chamonix.com Please do not hesitate to get in touch to chat through the details. Once you have booked we will send you a list of suggested equipment and clothing for the trek. Group transfers are available from around 25 Euros per person each way. We recommend Mountain Drop-Offs. You can book your transfers direct online, just click on the link. Please note that transfers are subject to availability and your flight details are required a minimum of 72 hours before your arrival in Geneva. Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your joining instructions 3 to 4 weeks prior to departure.

Our Partners

As our niche trips such as the Tour del Gran Paradiso are of a specialised nature we work with our partner companies to attract sufficient clients to reach the minimum number of participants to allow these trips to go ahead, meaning you are more likely to have your chosen holiday 'guaranteed'. Tracks and Trails in these instances may, in collaborating with our associates, make use of their guiding services. If you have any queries with regard to this please contact us.

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