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General Information

Valle d’Aosta is one of the most under rated regions in Italy. Unlike the Dolomites, Valle d’Aosta is less advertised and maybe less known than other areas in Italy. That is maybe what makes this region special and unique. However it is home to the highest peaks in Italy – Monte Bianco and Monte Rosa. The oldest Italian National Park is also located in this tiny region – Parco del Gran Paradiso.

Getting There

This region may be small in size – it is actually the smallest one in Italy, but it packs a punch when it comes to natural beauty, cultural heritage, and outdoor adventures. It is located in the northwestern corner of Italy bordering France. There is no commercial airport serving this region however it can be easily reached from Turin or Milan airports.

Getting Around

Travelling by car is the easiest option if you wish to get around easily and reach the most remote villages and photographic spots. Otherwise buses or taxis may be an option, however you would need to base yourself in Aosta, the biggest city in the region. Train stations are located along the main valley in the main towns like Verres, Chatillon and Aosta.

Where to stay

This region is entirely composed of mountains and valleys, and planning your trip depends on which valleys you wish to explore. The main valley along which the highway is located starts from Pont Saint Martin and ends in Entrèves where the Mont Blanc Tunnel leads you to the French border. If you wish to visit multiple valleys during your trip I would suggest staying somewhere close to the highway maybe in the area around Châtillon.

A beautiful location that we stayed at and I highly recommend is a bed & breakfast in Montjovet – La Majon de Fohten. The location is excellent as it is not far from the main road. You will be able to reach all the valleys in the region within an hour or so. The views are outstanding if you wish to stay in a peaceful setting and the breakfast consists of local products, carefully chosen from nearby producers. The hosts are very helpful and extremely nice and will assist you with any of your requirements.

Planning your Valle d’Aosta trip

With this guide I will help you plan your trip to Valle d’Aosta with a special attention to photography. There are a total of 13 valleys in Valle d’Aosta and 2 natural parks: Parco Nazionale del Gran Paradiso and Parco Regionale del Mont Avic. If you are constrained by time, you may wish to choose some valleys and dedicate a day to each valley. I would suggest a minimum of 5 full days to visit the main attractions in the region. I have actually visited more than once and there are so many other places I would like to visit.

In this guide I have chosen some of the most beautiful valleys and their top attractions, focusing on the natural attractions that abound in this region. If you wish to save some time when planning your trip to Italy make sure to check out my pinned map below – all these beautiful photos are pinned on a map with the exact location where each photo was taken.

Valtournenche and Breuil-Cervinia

This valley is home to one of the top skiing-resorts in the region – Cervinia. This town is maybe the one which I liked less in the region since I found it overdeveloped. The surroundings are spectecular and the views of the Cervino/Matterhorn mountain are without a doubt breathtaking. However the large blocks of apartments and hotels contrast with the peaceful setting that the rest of the region offered. Luckily, Cervinia is not the only place to visit in this valley. From Cervinia you may also take the cable car across the Alps and reach the swiss town of Zermatt. Moreover driving along this alley will not cease to amaze you with every curve you take as the above photos below demonstrate. Lago Blu, Lago di Maen, Chamois are just some of the lovely places you can add to your itinerary.

Courmayeur and Mont Blanc

Another must visit place is without a doubt Courmayeur. It is a charming mountain resort town renowned for its breathtaking scenery and world-class skiing opportunities. Situated at the foot of Mont Blanc, Europe’s highest peak, Courmayeur offers visitors not only unparalleled access to pristine slopes but also an authentic alpine ambiance rich in culture and history. Beyond skiing, you can explore quaint cobblestone streets lined with cozy cafes, boutique shops, and traditional trattorias serving delectable Italian cuisine. Apart from the village centre, one of the main attractions is the Skyway Monte Bianco cable car. This modern cable car allows you to reach the majestic peaks of the Mont Blanc massif, you can also proceed to the French side and go to Chamonix. Whether indulging in adrenaline-pumping winter sports or simply soaking in the serene mountain vistas, Courmayeur promises an unforgettable experience for nature lovers and adventure seekers alike.

Valle di Gressoney

Gressoney-Saint-Jean was without any doubt my favourite place in the entire region: this village looks like coming straight out of a fairy tale. Flowers decorating the houses, waterfalls along the sides of the valley, lago di Gover and the romantic Castel Savoia. Surrounded by majestic peaks, including the iconic Monte Rosa, the valley boasts a serene ambiance ideal for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Home to the picturesque villages of Gressoney-Saint-Jean, Gressoney-La-Trinité, Fontainemore and Issime, the valley offers a blend of rich cultural heritage and breathtaking scenery. Whether hiking through lush meadows in the summer or skiing on pristine slopes in the winter, the Valley of Gressoney captivates with its timeless allure and authentic mountain experience.

Val di Cogne & Parco del Gran Paradiso

A visit to Valle d’Aosta cannot be considered as such without visiting Parco del Gran Paradiso. This place is a haven for nature enthusiasts and outdoor adventurers alike. Established in 1922, it is Italy’s oldest national park and encompasses a diverse range of landscapes between Valle d’Aosta and Piemonte regions, from rugged mountain peaks to lush valleys teeming with wildlife. Named after the iconic Gran Paradiso mountain, the park offers visitors a chance to explore pristine alpine environments, home to rare species such as ibex, chamois, and golden eagles. With an extensive network of hiking trails, visitors can wander through tranquil forests, alpine meadows, and glacier-carved valleys, immersing themselves in the park’s natural beauty and rich biodiversity. Whether seeking panoramic vistas from high mountain passes or simply enjoying the tranquility of nature, Gran Paradiso National Park offers an unforgettable experience for all who venture into its breathtaking wilderness. If you wish to know more on this park I have another blog post from our previous visit in the area which I suggest you to check out.

Vallone di La Thuile

This valley is the other means of reaching the French border. More picturesque than the Mont Blanc Tunnel since it involves driving up the mountains and being able to admire the stunning scenery. The pass only opens during the summer months though and you won’t be able to drive through if you visit between october and may. Every year there are celebrations when the mountain pass opens (usually during the first weeks of June) and a small feast is held every year either on the French side in Seez or on the Italian side in La Thuile. We were lucky enough to be there when this celebration took place and we really enjoyed this event.

Purchase the Valle d’Aosta Map

If Valle d’Aosta is on your upcoming travel plans make sure to check out my newly launched Valle d’Aosta Travel Map.

Purchase your lifetime access to my Valle d’Aosta Google Map which includes:

  • Top photogenic locations in the region grouped by vicinity to easily plan your trip
  • Precise location where all the photos on my blog have been taken
  • Bonus: Tried & tested accommodation suggestion
Learn More

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