Historic routes

Activities

ViaFrancigena - Over the Alps to Rome

No sooner had Sigeric the Serious been made Archbishop of Canterbury than he had to undertake the arduous journey to Rome in order to receive the papal blessing. His return journey in 990 produced the oldest description we have of the ViaFrancigena. But the route had been used long before by the Romans as a road to the north. In mediaeval times it became an important trade and pilgrimage route. The ViaFrancigena has been designated a «Major Cultural Route of the Council of Europe».

Information

Starting point: Pontarlier
Destination: Aosta
Distance: 66 km
Vertical metres: +2645m, -557m
Hiking time: 18h25
Season: April - November

Available offers

Via Francigena south

The Via Francigena sud will lead you first from Martigny to the Great St-Bernard pass at the Italian...
From 749 CHF

Across the Alps into the Aosta Valley

The Via Francigena follows in the footsteps of Archbishop Sigerich, who on foot took on the march from Canterbury to Rome several times. The most arduous stages took him across the Alps. Mule tracks wind their way up into the mountains from Martigny and lead you to the Great St-Bernard pass at the Italian border.

The descent into the wildly romantic valley leads you in the footsteps of the Romans along old irrigation channels to the well-known town Aosta.

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Martigny | Martigny – Orsières

This stage marks the beginning of the ascent to the Great St-Bernard pass. From Martigny a partly steep path leads over the narrow Trappistes pass to the medieval village of Sembrancher. From there you follow the Napoleon trail.

Details : approx. 5.5 h / approx. 18 km / 745 m ascent / 335 m descent

Day 2: Orsières - Bourg-Saint-Pierre

The stage leads first along a forest path, first west then east of the river, on the historic path from Liddes to the small Notre-Dame-de-Lorette Chapel before Bourg-Saint-Pierre.

Details: approx. 4.5 h / approx. 15 km / 970 m ascent / 190 m descent

Day 3: Bourg-St-Pierre – Col du Gd St-Bernard

Undoubtedly the most symbolic stage on the Via Francigena! The way to the pass leads along a road which has served the whole of Europe for 2000 years. Countless archaeological sites line the ascent, above all at L’Hospitalet and on the Barasson Pass.

Details: approx. 4.5 h / approx. 13 km / 1'045 m ascent / 305 m descent

Day 4 : Col du Gd St-Bernard – Étroubles

The descent to the Aosta Valley begins immediately after the pass. A pilgrim's path leads down the valley flank to Italy and takes you to the small village of St. Rhémy. Shortly afterwards the roofs of the villages of Étroubles and Echevennoz come into sight.

Details : approx. 4.5 h / approx. 15 km / 60 m ascent / 1'275 m descent

Day 5 : Étroubles – Aosta

Old irrigation canals called "Rus" lie along your way today. In addition to the flat passages along these canals, steep descents await you today. In Roman times, Aosta was a flourishing trading town. Today, the village is famous for its alpine experiences.

Details: approx. 4.5 h / approx. 14 km / 240 m ascent / 890 m descent

Day 6 : Departure or extra nights

Tour characteristic

Good stamina is needed in the beginning of the trip, surefootedness in the end. From Martigny, the Via Francigena leads towards the peaks of the Alps of Valais. The walk up to Col du Gd St-Bernard and the descend down into Aosta valley are the highlights of this walking tour.

What’s included:

  • 5 overnight stays incl. breakfast

  • Daily luggage transfers

  • Pilger pass

  • Carefully elaborated route description

  • Detailed travel documents (1x per room)

  • GPS data available

  • Service hotline

Not included:

  • Tourist tax, if due, is not included in the price

Possibility of additional nights - booking after your payment (you will be contacted by our booking team):

  • Montreux: CHF 85.- (per person in double room)

  • Single room surcharge: CHF 35.-

  • Aosta: CHF 75.- (per person in double room)

  • Single room surcharge: CHF 35.-

Cancellation conditions:

  • Up to 29 days before start of the trip: 20%

  • 28 – 15 days before start of the trip: 50%

  • 14 – 08 days before start of the trip: 70%

  • 07 – 1 days before start of the trip: 90%

  • 0 day before start of the trip / No–show: 100%

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