Chemin des villages et hameaux d'Entremont
A panoramic walk that links a string of charming historical villages on the sunny slopes overlooking the lower Val d’Entremont.
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The Val d’Entremont, which leads up to the Great St Bernard Pass, has been an important transit route for thousands of years. The historical villages and hamlets that overlook the valley are beautifully preserved and full of charm. This delightful trail links some of the prettiest: Liddes, Chandonne, Commeire, La Rosière, Chamoille d’Orsières and La Douay. The oldest and best-known trail through the valley is the Via Francigena historical pilgrimage route from Canterbury to Rome. Our hike, however, follows a higher path through sunny alpine pastures, forest – and sleepy mountain villages off the beaten track. The hike starts at Liddes, with its 13th-century church and attractive small museum created in 2007. Next comes Chandonne, a hamlet perched on a sunny terrace at 1,454 m: a haven of tranquillity, like all the villages. They all also boast a rich architectural heritage in the form of traditional alpine houses and wooden barns. Commeire is a special example: a hamlet of barns converted for an innovative sustainable tourism project called «Montagne Alternative». This welcomes holidaymakers and seminar groups and also hosts events focusing on sustainable lifestyles. The hamlet has another surprise: an underground artillery fort, built from 1940-43 to house up to 140 soldiers to defend this strategic valley. The complex was disarmed long ago, but can be visited by the public – and part is even available for rental. The next village, La Rosière, attracts pilgrims in its own right as the childhood home of Maurice Tornay (1910–1949), a Roman Catholic priest who served in missions in China and Tibet and was beatified in 1993 by Pope John Paul II. The house in which he was born is open to the public. After passing through sleepy Chamoille, the trail finishes at La Douay, down in the floor of the valley. Highlights: Beautifully preserved villages – traditional architecture, historical charm Sweeping views – over the Val d’Entremont and to the Mont Blanc massif