Walking, hiking, skiing: Rhêmes Valley offers you a wide range of possibilities.
Warm days have come and willing to stay outdoors is growing more and more, although in Aosta valley is possible to enjoy outdoor activities all the year round.
What’s better than breathing pure air walking among forests or crossing last snow fields at high latitudes?
In this time of the year you can witness a natural show: late snow dominates high latitudes, while brilliant fields in bloom brighten up the surrounding villages.
Rhêmes Valley is a perfect example for practising outdoor activities all year round. The area is easily accessible from the highway exit Aosta Ovest. Driving through the lower part of the valley, you can see abandoned farms and small groups of houses, as well as uncontaminated nature. The main urban centre is Rhêmes Notre Dame, 1725 mt, in front of Grand Paradiso group.
Here, there are listed some walking trails, simple or longer, hikable at almost every time of the year.
If you are not well-exercised, you can start from the small village of Chanavey, where a paveled road takes you to Rhêmes Notre Dame. Alternatively you can follow a footpath at the border of a larch forest, along the river. From Rhêmes Notre Dame, a road open to vehicles (only in summer) leads you to the head of the valley, before passing by Pellaud Lake and the homonym refuge and finally ending at Thumel Refuge. The whole tour takes about 3 hours.
If you prefer more challenging trails, you can go up to Benevolo Refuge at 2,285mt , hiking 1h30 more. From here the view is amazing and the Granta Parey glacier dominates the landscape. If you have still strenght enough, 2 hours of walking separate the refuge from the Goletta Lake. The show is breathtaking!
In winter/early spring this path is more than challenging, both with snowshoeing and alpine skiing, above all for the lenght of the whole tour. Remember that you cannot reach Thumel Refuge by car.
All the area, being part of Gran Paradiso National Park, is particularly interesting for its fauna. It is not unusual to gaze marmots with their unmistakable whistle as a danger warning, or ibex and chamois hiding among rocks.
Don’t forget one basic thing: after every mountain effort, you can regenerate yourself with rich local specialties meals.