Gran Paradiso Adventure

Gran Paradiso Adventure

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7 Days
From

$1283

$1219

Gran Paradiso Adventure

7 Days Starting in Bourg St Maurice and ending in Bourg Saint Maurice

Visiting: France, Italy

Tour operator:

UTracks

Tour code:

GPA

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

8 - 14

Physical rating:

moderate to challenging

From:
$1283
$1219 (USD) The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$64

This tour is no longer available, please see similar tours below or send an enquiry

Tour Overview

Deep in Italy's Aosta Valley on the border with France, is Italy's first national park, so declared by King Victor Emmanuel III in 1922 in the tradition of his grandfather who had named it a Royal Game Reserve in 1856 to protect the ibex and chamois populations. As a direct result of this decree, encounters with these animals occur daily in Park, in the valleys and high on alpine passes. With much of the walk over 2000m (up to a maximum altitude of 3152m), it is not suprising that the scenery is exceptional with views to Mont Blanc, Monte Rosa and the Matterhorn ranges from the high passes and lookouts encountered. Rugged valleys carpeted in wildflowers, rocky snow covered passes and glacial lakes are typical of this alpine paradise. At night the hosts of the rifugi (mountain refuges) welcome you with good quality mountain cuisine and a dining room brimming with atmosphere.

Highlights

  • Trek through stunning alpine scenery in Italy’s first national park

  • View ibex and chamois as you walk

  • Stay in atmospheric refuges with superb views and hearty cuisine

  • Share your walking day with a group of like minded travellers

Itinerary

Expand All
Day 1 : Meet Bourg St Maurice, Transfer To Ste Foy En Tarentaise, Ascend To The Refuge (4Hrs)
Meals Included: L, D

After meeting in Bourg St Maurice (at 10:30am), the last major town before the Alps in the Tarentaise Valley, we transfer to Ste Foy en Tarentaise, a pretty ski town in the heart of the French Alps. It is close to here that we begin our walk up the Tarentaise Valley past verdant green pastures and grazing animals to our overnight refuge, Refuge de l'Archeboc (2030m/6660ft). The refuge is set amongst the pastures with lovely views to the surrounding peaks. Shower available. (+600m/1969ft)

Day 2 : Cross Border Into Italy Via The Col Du Mont To Arrive In The Gran Paradiso Np (6Hrs)
Meals Included: B, L, D

After breakfast, we ascend the Col du Mont (2636m/8648ft), marking our departure from the Vanoise National Park (and France) and into the Gran Paradiso National Park and Italy. The ascent is sustained yet the views from the pass are breathtaking to Pointe d’Archeboc (3272m/10,734ft) in the south and Becca du Lac (3405m/11,171ft) in the north. Long descent to the refuge for overnight accommodation. Overnight Refuge de l'Epée (2370m/7776ft). Shower available. (+1200m/3937ft, -850m/2789ft)

Day 3 : A Stunning Traverse Of The Flanks Of The Grande Rousse To Refuge Bezzi (5Hrs)
Meals Included: B, L, D

A great day trekking in Italy with views of the stunning Grande Rousse (3607m/11,834ft) which resembles a leaning Matterhorn. The walk from the refuge takes you through marshlands and farmlands, to woods of Larch trees beneath which you may find the pink alpenrose and some bilberry shrubs. Soon you reach a trail junction at 1850m/6099ft from which you head south along the Dora di Valgrisenche (small river) to ascend to Refuge Bezzi (solar heated free showers, 2284m/7493ft). (+798m/2617ft, -1340m/4395ft)

Day 4 : Ascend Permanently Snow Covered Col Du Bassac, Descend To Refuge Benevolo (5Hrs)
Meals Included: B, L, D

A rewarding day today if the weather is good. Ascending a rocky path awash with wildflowers and with small waterfalls on the side of the trail. On the ascent to the pass you may need to cross small streams. The valley opens out as you near the pass and there are stunning views of the alps to the north including the distant Mont Blanc. Soon you reach the narrow saddle of Col Bassac Déré (3082m/10,112ft) with its awesome view of the Ghiacciaio di Glairettaz which is an enormous expanse of ice filling the valley, to the west the Grande Sassière and to the east the sweeping view from the Gran Paradiso to the Grivola in the northeast. It is possible to ascend further up to the Becca della Traversère (3337m/10,948ft) depending on weather conditions and group fitness. Descending switchbacks and past the Lago Goletta, you continue down through a rocky landscape with possible sightings of Ibex. Cross a small stone bridge before you ascend to the refuge Benevolo (2285m/7497ft). (+750m/2460ft, -797m/2614ft)

Day 5 : A Sustained Ascent To Col Basei Or Col Rosset And Descent To Rifugio Savoya (5-6Hrs)
Meals Included: B, L, D

The morning is the best time to view the towering Granta Parei (or Great Wall) which is lit up with the sun. There are two options for our walk today. Either a challenging route via the Col Basei (3176m/10,420ft) or a less challenging route via the Col Rosset (3023m/9918ft). Both options offer superb alpine views of tumbling glaciers and snowy peaks. Just after passing by Lago Leytaz, the two trail converge and you descend further to reach Rifugio Savoya (2534m/8314ft). Shower available. This evening you may be offered to try the 'grolla' or friendship cup which is passed around the group until all the drink is finished - an Aosta tradition. (+500m/2297ft, -500m/1640ft or +738m/2420ft, -491m/1607ft)

Day 6 : Descend To The Historic Rifugio Vittorio Emmanuele Ii (2732M) (5Hrs)
Meals Included: B, L, D

Descend along the valley of Piano del Nivolet dominated by Mont Taou Blanc and Punta Basei where small glaciers and snowy peaks are the norm. Entering a new valley you ascend to Gran Collet Pass (2832m/9291ft) which has views of Gran Paradiso and on the descent from the pass, clear views of Ciarforon, Tresenta and the glistening metal roof of Rifugio Vittorio Emmanuele II. From Pont you ascend from the valley floor up a wide landscape to the Rifugio. The distinctive barrel shaped Rifugio Vittorio Emmanuelle II was established in 1884 and the original small hut is still used as an annex (2735m/8973ft). On the surrounding ridges you may spot ibex while chamois will almost certainly be grazing on nearby pastures.
Shower available.(+700m/2297ft, -500m/1640ft)

Day 7 : Descend To Roadhead Then Transfer To Bourg Saint Maurice (4Hrs), Trip Concludes
Meals Included: B, L

On the last day of our trek, we follow an undulating trail through a rocky valley (with more descents than ascents), crossing over alpine streams to a wooden bridge. We may detour to Rifugio Chabod (2750m/9022ft), before continuing our descent past chamois and ibex and through larch forest to the Alpe de Lavassey farm at 2194m/7198ft. The final stage is through farm land to the roadhead at Pont (Valsavarenche) at around 1:30-2pm. From here the group is transferred back to Bourg Saint Maurice where the trip concludes around 5pm. (+300m/984ft, -900m/2953ft)
** Option (to be confirmed during the week and dependent on weather conditions and your fitness: climb Gran Paradiso peak 4061m from Victor Emmanuelle hut. This is an excursion at high altitude, suitable for beginners, there are no particular technical difficulties. Price: 500€/guide for 4 maximum participants + pack 14€/pers (harness, rope, etc) - payable locally (subject to change).

What's Included

  • Accommodation
    6 nights in mountain refuges/gîte-hostels

  • 6 nights accommodation in mountain refuges in dormitory style accommodation. Alternatively you can upgrade to 2 nights dorm, 2 nights double room and 2 nights quad - supplement applies.

  • 6 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 6 dinners (does not include drinks) – continental breakfasts are served and usually consist of breads, jams, coffee, tea and juices. Lunch is picnic style. Dinner will consist of 2 or 3 courses which include regional specialties

  • Experienced certified mountain guide

  • Luggage transfer by mule – 7kg limit

  • Luggage transfer by mule, 1 piece maximum 7kg

What's Not Included

  • Travel to and from Bourg St Maurice

  • Drinks

  • Items of a personal nature and storage of luggage

  • Travel insurance

  • Transfers

  • Optional climb of Gran Paradiso peak on the last morning (subject to weather conditions and fitness).

  • Travel insurance - mandatory

  • Transfers by taxi or public transport if you need to skip a stage

  • Storage of luggage

  • Items of a personal nature

Accommodation

6 nights in mountain refuges/gîte-hostels
Accommodation is on a full board basis starting from lunch on day 1 and finishing at lunch on day 7. The mountain huts that you stay in are dormitory style mixed sex rooms with shared bathrooms and usually with showers.

Grading

This trip is graded moderate to challenging and includes daily walks of up to 6 hours with ascents of up to 1200m in a day (average of 800m). There are some stages during the walk with steep uphill, descents, and at times sections of the trail will require care. The accent is on keeping a steady pace with time to stop and take photos (subject to weather conditions). You will need a good level of fitness to participate fully in this adventure. It is considered suitable for experienced walkers only. Some passes are permanently snow covered and the snow may be quite deep which makes the trip more challenging. There is also a glacier crossing. At any time during summer, weather conditions may be variable and you should be prepared for all conditions including snow, ice, strong sun and extreme winds. distances walked range from 12 to 15 km each day. As with all our moderate to challenging programs, we expect participants to be regular outdoors people, enjoying aerobic sport around four or five times a week over some period of time. Preferably this has been a long term interest but if not, you have set a program of fitness preparation with at least three months lead in time to your trip. The fitter you are for your trip, the more of a holiday it will be. Activities as close to the actual activity on your trip are the best training; in this instance walking with and without a pack. This builds leg strength, aerobic capacity and confidence in your ability to travel comfortably with a pack for extended periods. At the same time, you are also comfortable with the layers you like to wear and footwear. Important note: good quality walking boots with ankle support are a pre-requisite for your participation. Runners or shoes without ankle support are not suitable for the conditions encountered on this walk.

What You Carry

As the walks are fully supported you only need to carry a daypack with your daily requirements including wet weather gear, lunch supplies, water bottle, warm top, phone etc

Reviews from Travellers on this Tour

L. Pettingill(VIC, Australia)  

Gran Paradiso Adventure

04 Aug 2017

The walk was difficult, the guide was excellent, the country was magnificent. The accommodation in mountain refugios was somewhat dependent on the refuge, some better than others, we paid the supplement for double room where available, it mostly was and this assisted extra sleep. The meals were good.

S. Grover(VIC, Australia)  

Gran Paradiso Adventure

10 Sep 2016

This was a magical trip. It was above our expectations in terms of the scenery. Snow covered mountains, glaciers, lakes and wildlife were part of each day's walking. While walking up col's was hard work, each time we reached the top, the views were outstanding and worth every bit of effort. Refuges were a very welcome sight at the end of each day and to have a shower each night, was a real bonus. Thank you for such an incredible experience.

K. McCourt(Blackrock, Ireland)  

Gran Paradiso Adventure

11 Jul 2023

This was a great and convivial trek from start to finish. Our happy band saw ibex, marmots, foxes, choughs, carpets of wild flowers and ice-blue alpine lakes. The final night in the Vittorio Emanuele II hut, below the peak of Gran Paradiso, was spent in the company of real mountaineers, including a Nepalese Sherpa, and we woke to spectacular views. Our guide was knowledgeable, attentive to the few English speakers, maintained a steady unhurried pace in challenging terrain and was ready to meet any difficulty thrown up by trail or weather.

R. Hyman(Edge Hill, Australia)  

Gran Paradiso Adventure

27 Sep 2022

Superb walk, mostly through the Italian Alps. The 7 day walk called "Gran Paradiso" is located in the Aosta region of Italy, though started from Bourg St Maurice in France. The Italian refugio's each had a character of their own, however all were warm and friendly with good evening meals. The trekking required a reasonable level of fitness and the advertised rating was "moderate to challenging" which I felt was realistic. One of my challenges were the high set bunk beds which was my least favourite aspect & difficult to pre-book single supplement on these trips.

Dates & Availability

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Sunday - Saturday

Jun 23, 2024 - Jun 29, 2024
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The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$64 (USD)

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The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$64 (USD)

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Jul 28, 2024 - Aug 03, 2024
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Sep 08, 2024 - Sep 14, 2024
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Book with Confidence

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    UTracks allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform utracks, 70 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    UTracks requires a minimum deposit of 150 GBP per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 70 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of utracks charges.

    Up to 70 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 69 days before tour starts: Forfeit 50% of booking price.

    At 35 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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