Unscathed by the urban development that has characterised Val d’Aosta’s biggest tourist destinations, Champorcher Valley has remained the purest and wildest corner of the larger valley.
Here you’ll find characteristic villages constructed from wood and stone perched atop rocky slopes, with small family-run hotels and restaurants.
The star of Champorcher Valley is, without a doubt, nature.
In the summer, your gaze will get lost amidst the infinite shades of green of the woods, forests, and Alpine pastures. You’ll be astounded by the silence and intoxicated by the fragrance of mountain flowers. You’ll be able to relax next to 60 Alpine lakes and recharge your spirits while admiring waterfalls and babbling brooks.
THE BREATH OF SUMMER
Summer is that time of year in which, as one contemplates nature, every day seems different from the next. It’s possible to watch its evolution, its slow changes day by day, hour by hour.
We like to think of summer as a long inhalation and an equally long exhalation: an incredible moment of oxygenation and an explosion of energy. The inhalation begins in June, culminates in mid-July, and slowly transitions to the exhalation phase as August progresses and September arrives.
CHAMPORCHER VALLEY IN JUNE: MILD TEMPERATURES, LODGES, AND ANIMALS
Given that we’re at a higher elevation, winter lasts much longer than it does in the hills and lowlands.
In June the meadows turn a tender green and a sunny yellow. This is the period when dandelions bloom (providing us with a spectacle worthy of an impressionist painting) and in which you can admire streams flowing at their maximum capacity due to the snow melting on the mountain top – it’s power creating incredible waterfalls.
The first lodges open in June and one can hike up to 2500m asl. This is also one of the best periods to observe marmots, chamois, and ibex because these animals haven’t yet moved to a higher elevation and aren’t disturbed by crowds of tourists.
Starting in June, if you wish, you can explore the area’s many trails in the company of our donkeys, Geppo and Martino. It would be our pleasure to organise the hike accompanied by donkeys that’s right for you.
JULY AND THE 3000M HIKES
In July the yellow of the dandelions gives way to the blues and purples of the gentian and forget-me-nots. Everything transforms before our very eyes.
The forests are absolutely brimming with an intense green that soothes and calms your gaze. The streams slow down, allowing the bravest among you to take a dip in their cool water.
At this point the mild temperatures have melted all of the snow and it’s therefore possible to venture up to the top of the valley which, at more than 3000m asl, offers a unique view of the entire Valle d’Aosta. The peaks of Champorcher are like an incredible panoramic terrace: Gran Paradiso, the Matterhorn, and Monte Rosa Massif are laid out before you.
Expert hikers can climb up Mont Glacier by themselves, where, from its 3150m asl, on a clear day the view can stretch all the way to the city of Turin.
AUGUST DEDICATED TO TRANQUILLITY
The green of the forests becomes more intense, ushering us into the month of August: this is in fact the start of our summer’s exhalation phase.
Despite the fact that August is the most popular month for holidaymakers, this valley doesn’t experience a mass invasion of tourists. The mountain trails are always viable without fear of coming upon bottlenecks of hikers. The typical visitor to this valley – thanks to the intrinsic nature of the place – is generally a conscientious tourist who is careful and responsible when it comes to nature.
CHAMPORCHER: SEPTEMBER, THE FAVOURITE MONTH AMONG HIKERS
When September begins, the green of the Alpine meadows starts to give way to shades of yellow and brown. At around 2500m asl autumn is knocking at the door, offering us landscapes full of contrasts and moments in which time seems to stand still.
At lower elevations green still prevails, and thanks to the angle of the sun, typical of this time of year, the undergrowth is filled with light and extraordinary shapes.
Many agree that September is the best month for hiking, maybe because the September sky is awash in that incredible blue that inspires us to be outside as much as possible and soak in the last moments of summer.
WHERE TO GO IN THE SUMMER IN CHAMPORCHER VALLEY
Up to here we wanted to describe the colours, details, and sensations of summer for you, in order to help your imagination explore this wild valley. If our descriptions have won you over, then you’ll be happy to know that we’ve selected four experiences which – we believe – are not to be missed:
Exploring Mont Avic National Park in the Summer
The nature reserve of the Mont Avic National Park is one of the primary attractions of Valle di Champorcher. You’ll be able to explore circular trails that allow you, in one day, to admire some of the most famous lakes in the valley, like Lago Muffè, Lago Bianco, Lago Cornuto, Lago Nero, Gran Lago… and many more!
Visiting the park is an experience that’s within everyone’s capabilities. We recommend starting your visit from the visitors’ centre, where the staff can suggest the most suitable trails based on your experience.
If you’re looking for more information about the park, then you might enjoy reading our article “The Mont Avic Nature Park”.
OUR RECOMMENDATION: Don’t miss the hike up to Lago Misérin, one of the most enchanting locations in all of Valle d’Aosta!
A valley within Champorcher Valley, a place that can be described as simply magical.
The biodiversity of the fauna and flora, like none other in all of Valle d’Aosta, will give you an experience that’s comparable to that of a tour through a tropical jungle. The tall conifers compete with another to reach the sky and the undergrowth is so rich in flora that your eyes won’t know where to look. In the meantime, the wild strawberries and blueberries will delight your palate! Let the melody of the water guide you as you follow the Bois river in search of its waterfalls and small crystalline lagoons.
At the top of Valle dell’Alleigne, lakes Vercoche and Chilet look they’re touching the sky and will give you the sense of victory and achievement that only a mountain can.
OUR RECOMMENDATION: If you walk quietly, you may be treated to the presence of roe deer and many squirrels. Seeing them is an experience that you’ll never forget.
Les Balades des Villages
The best way to admire the local architecture and immerse oneself in the ancient lifestyle is definitely to walk the three rings of the Balades des Villages: three trails of varying levels of difficulty, which wind through the entire Champorcher Valley.
These rings will allow you to explore the many villages perched upon the slopes and hidden in the woods. An unusual way to experience the mountains and a new way to immerse oneself in history, nature, and culture.
If we’ve sparked your curiosity, then we recommend reading the article that we’ve dedicated to “Les Balades des Villages”.
And when night rolls around…
The Champorcher Valley is considered the second-best place in all of Valle d’Aosta from which to observe the night sky.
Thanks to the absence of light pollution and its position, on new moon nights you’ll see a sky that will take you breath away, with the Milky Way and the many summer constellations front and centre.
Don’t forget to ask us where the best spots for star gazing are. We’ll be happy to give you all the directions for making your night beneath the stars unforgettable.
As you look towards the heavens, if you have a little bit of patience, you’ll definitely get to see a shooting star on which to make a wish and crown your vacation with joy and hope.