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Aosta Valley: most valleys and where to sleep

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The Aosta Valley is Italy’s smallest region and borders Switzerland to the north, France to the west, and Piedmont to the southeast.

It is surrounded by the four highest mountain massifs in Italy: Mont Blanc (4,810 meters is the highest mountain in Europe), Monte Rosa (4,634 meters), Cervino (4,478 meters), and Gran Paradiso (4,061 meters).

The region is traversed by the Dora Baltea, which marks its main valley from which the numerous secondary valleys branch off.

In these articles we will tell you about the most beautiful alpine valleys where you can enjoy easy but extremely scenic child-friendly hikes, and give you some advice on where to sleep.

Aosta Valley: most valleys and where to sleep

As great lovers of mountains and nature walks, over the years we have collected various treks in the region, more challenging when our girls were not yet born, and easier later.

Below is a list of the valleys where, in our opinion, the best hikes with children can be enjoyed.

Aosta Valley most valleys and where to sleep: Val Ferret

Val Ferret lies at the foot of the Mont Blanc massif, just a stone’s throw from Courmayer, and lends itself to beautiful hikes surrounded by picture-postcard scenery.

For example, with a simple one-hour, one-and-a-half-hour hike you can reach the Walter Bonatti Refuge at 2025 m. Continue reading

 Bonatti refuge
Walter Bonatti Refuge

Rhêmes Valley

The Rhêmes Valley offers alpine landscapes of great beauty. Here you can take easier walks such as the one to Lake Pellaud or more challenging, but still doable with children, walks to the Benevolo Refuge. CONTINUE READING

benevolo Refuge
Benevolo Refuge

Cogne Valley

Here, too, we are in the beautiful Gran Paradiso National Park.

From the Prati di Sant’Orso, one of the largest grasslands in the Alps, there are exceptional views of Gran Paradiso. A wonderful children’s playground is located here.

In summer it is not difficult to see dozens and dozens of kites held by children, of all shapes and colors, fluttering in the sky; in winter, on the other hand, the Meadows of Sant’Orso are transformed into cross-country ski trails.

You can take a nice hike to the Lillaz waterfalls – The simple path from the village leads in about 40 minutes to the base of the falls. If you wish, you can continue to observe the falls from above by taking a loop trail (1h30 total). Continue reading

Trail connecting Epinel to Gimillan – This is a beautiful panoramic walk with views of the valley of Cogne and the Gran Paradiso massif. From the village of Epinel (1496 m) take trail No. 23; the mule track reaches the ruined tower of “Mougne” and, past the Cogne-Pila railway underpass, continues through coniferous forests and pastures to the village of Gimillan (1795 m). A nice children’s playground can also be found here.

It is a 3 km walk with an elevation gain of 350 m, count about 1h30.

Cretaz/Cogne Trail – Cretaz is a hamlet located between Cogne and Epinel. Very nice is the path of about 1 km and 500 m that runs along the Grand Eyvia River and leads to the meadows of Sant’Orso.

It can also be walked with a stroller and goes all the way to Epinel (3 km in total). If you wish on the way back, you can take the free shuttle bus back to Cogne.

Cogne prati Sant'Orso
View of Cogne
Lillaz Waterfalls
Lillaz Waterfalls

Aosta Valley most valleys and where to sleep: Valpelline

Also in the beautiful Valpelline you can find several interesting and child-friendly hikes such as the trek to the Champillon Refuge with a well-deserved lunch at the refuge (4 km with an elevation gain of 400 m) and the walk on the Place Moulin Dam (a little less than 5 km, the route is almost flat) which can also be done with a stroller. Continue reading

Excursion to the Champillon Refuge
Excursion to the Champillon Refuge
Place Moulin Dam
Place Moulin Dam

Great San Bernardo Valley

The Valley of the Great St. Bernard is easily accessible from Aosta and is one of the Valle d’Aosta’s most historically rich valleys.

There are several interesting places in the valley, such as that of Etroubles, a picturesque village that has become an open-air museum, and Saint-Rhémy-en-Bosses, where the prized Jambon de Bosses PDO ham is produced.

It is possible to go as far as the Great St. Bernard Pass (2473 m), which is passable only in summer and provides a link between the Aosta Valley and the Swiss canton of Valais.

In the year 1045, St. Bernard built a hospice on the pass to give hospitality to the many travelers, including pilgrims traveling along the Via Francigena.

On the hill you can see the Hospice with the Treasure Museum, the archaeological remains of the Roman road, the St. Bernard dog breeding farm and the museum dedicated to them. You can take nice walks even with a stroller, but remember that temperatures at high altitudes can drop quickly, even in the middle of summer!

You might be interested in How to dress in the mountains.

More walks

Walk to the Church of Saint Michel – The route starts at the Crevacol lifts: leave your car in the parking lot and follow the flat farm track until you reach the small church where there are also picnic tables.

It will take about 20 minutes and can also be done with a stroller. From there the trail continues to Col Serena but is a hike suitable for older children who are walking.

Walk with children in Saint-Rhemy – The trail starts in the village of Bosses: leave the car in the parking lot behind the castle and walk up between the houses of the hamlet Predumaz Falcon.

Next we take the farm road that reaches Saint-Rhemy, a tiny hamlet where there is a De Bosses ham factory. You cannot miss a tasting of the crudo and other local specialties! It will take about 45 minutes, the route is uphill and in most does not offer shelter from the sun.

Trail to the Font du Citrin – The Citrin Fountain is a spring from which flows a ferruginous water with many properties. The fountain is well marked and there is also a table nearby where you can have a picnic.

There are several routes to get to the Fountain, both of which can be walked with children: one from the hamlet of Cerisey with a path with a few ups and downs, almost entirely flat (can be walked with trekking baby carriages); the other is a paved path so can be walked with regular baby carriages, which starts from the parking lot near Bosses Castle and arrives near the stream.

Aosta Valley most valleys and where to sleep: where to sleep in Aosta Valley

After this excursus on the most beautiful valleys in the Aosta Valley, we will give you some advice on where is best to stay.

There is no place better than another in our opinion because every valley in the Aosta Valley offers beautiful nature walks, visits to characteristic villages, sampling of typical dishes… You just have to decide how you want to organize your vacation.

For example, if your idea is to visit the Gran Paradiso Park exclusively, it would make sense to stay in the surrounding area, so Cogne might be a good choice.

If, on the other hand, the idea is to hike a bit here and a bit there, then you might choose a location that stays in the middle a bit of everything such as Gressan.

You might be interested in What to do in Gressan and where to stay.

Below you will find some hotels tested by us that are particularly suitable for families

Hotels in Aosta Valley

Hotel La Barme – Cogne – Has family rooms and a small spa with sauna and hot tub, the use of which is free of charge. Free crib on request and half-board option. Book here.

Eco Wellness Hotel Notre Maison – Cogne – With a spa and indoor pool, it’s the perfect place to relax. Crib on request at an additional cost. Book here.

Affittacamere L’Abri – Etroubles – Family rooms with very good breakfast. Crib on request at an additional cost. Book here.

Chez Bruna – Doues – Family rooms with very good breakfast. Crib on request at an additional cost. Book here.

To see where to sleep in Gressan – click here.

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