7 nights
49 mls (km)
North West Italy
Moderate to Hard
Jun to Oct
£1050

High-level Mountain Trails in the Italian Alps

  • Explore Historic Villages of the Italian Alps
  • Stunning Mountain Lakes, Forests and Meadow Routes
  • Breathtaking Views from High-level Mountain Trails
  • Delicious Local Food (Occitane and Italian Cuisine)
  • Exceptional Lodging in Picturesque Settings
  • Visit Roman and Gothic Churches

Why this walk?

Experience unforgettable scenery each day out among the fresh Alpine air, returning each night to the beautifully preserved villages and the relaxed, welcoming culture of the Italian Alps via the Val Maira. This is a route that links stunningly beautiful historic villages with scenic routes that offer incredible views over the peaks and valleys that give Piedmont their distinctive Alpine character. The Val Maira crosses paths with cavernous lakes, vibrant wildflowers and the architecture and old frescoes that are found among the traditional Italian villages you visit. Here you’ll find well-marked paths, some of which are sections of larger, cross-country paths, taking you through an area that is alive with wildflowers in the springtime, and temperate in the summer months, where the mild mountain air promises a more conducive environment for summer walking than other areas in southern Europe.

The Path

Walkers can expect clearly defined paths that are regularly maintained, leading over meadows, pine woodland and old mule tracks. This is a landscape that has remained largely unchanged over the ages, with arch stone bridges that have stood for centuries, old military roads and farming tracks forming the basis of the expansive route network that covers the valley. Some sections can prove quite taxing, with occasional steep inclines as the route climbs around the valley – however, there are some particularly stunning views on these more high-level sections walking along the steep limestone cliffs.

The Accommodation

One of the more secluded, remote area of Northern Italy, you can expect your lodgings for the journey to be typical of the houses and architecture of the valley. These are renovated farmhousescolourfulcosy places situated among the quiet villages you visit, with spacious rooms and en-suite bathrooms. You can expect a warm welcome from your hosts after a day spent out exploring the beautiful alpine scenery, as well as useful information on the local area. A generous breakfast is served each morning, and you’ll leave each day with a packed lunch prepared by your hosts with an evening meal (made with local specialties) prepared in the restaurant of the accommodation you stay in each night. 

Our Val Maira Itineraries

  • Walking Val Maira
    Distance: 49 miles (78.5km)
    ITA-PVM1
    7 Nights, 6 Days
    from £1050 pp
    ITA-PVM1 ~ Walking Val Maira ~ 7 / 6 classic
    • Day 1
      Arrive in San Michele di Prazzo

      Your destination for the start of your journey is the delightful commune of San Michele di Prazzo, situated in the mountains at an altitude of 1370m. Before your transfer to your first accommodation, you may decide to stay a while and observe the beautifully painted parish church. Your hosts will warmly welcome you in later that evening, where a delicious dinner will be waiting for you.

    • Day 2
      Selection of Walks

      Today you have two itineraries to choose from.

      Walk A: Lou Viol Dal Genesté Michele Round Walk | 6.2 miles/10km |↑564 ↓592 | 4 hours

      This circular route winds around the southern slopes above San Michele, following a section from the ‘Lou Viol Dal Genesté’. Walkers can expect a profusion of nature and a bucolic alpine landscape of forests, grassland and rocky crags.

      Walks B: Campiglione to San Michele di Prazzo | 8.9 miles/14.4km |↑779 ↓1106 | 5 hours

      Take a short transfer to the hamlet of Campiglione for a short, but stunningly beautiful route that offers panoramic views over the main peaks of Val Maira, as well as the Monviso, from where the longest river in Italy (the Po) has its source. Here you follow paths and dirt runs to an impressive height (2481m) - giving you an enviable vantage point over the alpine landscape.

    • Day 3
      San Michele to Ponte Maira
      10.5 miles/17km |↑1046 ↓986 | 7 hours

      Today’s walk is one of the more challenging of your itinerary, though you’ll find that the beautiful views featured on this walk are more than a just reward for the effort involved. Walking through woods and meadows, you’ll encounter a few abandoned ‘granges’, buildings farmers used in times gone by to store wheats and cereals. The summit of the mountain leads to a gentle descent that brings you into the tiny village of Ussolo (we can arrange a transfer from there if required), before meeting the more challenging ascent to the Colle Sarasin, offering truly memorable views over the surrounding valley. Th e route then takes you through a descending woodland trail before arriving in Ponte Maria to your next stay and a well-earned break with some home-made cake

    • Day 4
      Selection of Walks

      Today you have two itineraries to choose from.

      Walk A: Chiappera and Rocca Provenzale Loop | 6.2 miles/10km|↑564 ↓592 | 4 hours

      Take a short transfer to Chiappera, the last restored village of Val Maira (at an altitude of 1602m), with a small bar, and a beautiful, frescoed church. From the village square, your walk takes to the striking Rocca Provenzale, a walk that is initally demanding, but becomes a great deal more leisurely after you pass the Colle Greguri (2309m) where the route leads back to the village of Chiappera where your transfer is waiting to take you back to your accommodation.

      Walk B: Ponte Maira to Chiappera Circular | 6.5 miles/10.5km |↑489 ↓489 | 4 hours

      This is the easier option, taking to the routes around the village to select viewing points over the valley. The forested route offers some shade in summer; and a short detour brings you to the Maira springs – a tributary of the great Po river.

    • Day 5
      Ponte Maira Circular
      8 miles/13km |↑945 ↓932 | 6 hours

      A short transfer takes you to Sorgente Maira for today’s route following the Sentiero Frassati. The route skirts the deepest blue water of Lago Apzoi (situated at 2300m altitude), as well as series of bunkers built by Mussolini on the French border. From here it is possible to walk back to Ponte Maira, or you can take a transfer from Sorgenti Maira (not included in price).

    • Day 6
      Lago Nero Loop
      6.2 miles/10km|↑564 ↓592 | 3 hours

      A car transfer (about 35 minutes) will drive you to the parking lot 2 km after the hamlet of Preit, in front of Grange Selvest, from where you will start today’s walk to one of the most beautiful lakes of the Val Maira, the “Black Lake”, beautifully set at 2227 meters in a panorama with stunning views over Rocca La Meja and the Monviso. The path is well marked, you will walk through pastures surrounded by larches; the descent from the lake passes along a gravestone in honour of 23 young “Alpini” soldiers whom were killed by an avalanche on the 30th January 1937. The walk ends on the same parking lot from where you started; a short transfer will lead you to your next accommodation in Marmora.

    • Day 7
      Borgate di Marmora Loop
      5.6 miles / 9km

      The “tour of the hamlets” of Marmora is an easy walk on ancient mule tracks and in small part, on asphalt. From Vernetti, the bigger hamlet of Marmora, the path winds through a beautiful mountain landscape with meadows, fields and forests, touching eleven of the seventeen small villages of the municipality, most of them inhabitated, where you can admire hidden painting masterpieces of local paintes, like Giovanni Baleison and Giors Boneto and the typical architecture of the valley. San Sebastiano, Tolosano, Urzio, Reinero are only some of jewels that you will encounter along the way. After you reach Brieis, a descent will gently lead back to the start point, offering you wonderful sights of the valley of Canosio.

    • Day 8
      Departure

      Transfer to Prazzo bus stop and departure.

    What's Included:
    6 walking days
    7 nights accommodation
    7 breakfasts , 6 lunches, 7 dinners
    Prices
     Two people sharing (price per person)Single personSolo person
    01/06/2020 - 10/06/2020£1050£1250£1435
    11/06/2020 - 15/09/2020£1075£1280£1465
    16/09/2020 - 30/09/2020£1050£1250£1435

    Extras
    • 7 nights’ accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis
    • 7 evening meals
    • 6 packed lunches
    • Luggage transfers
    • Personal transfers where indicated in the itinerary
    • Destination Manual and Road Book (route notes) showing directions to your accommodation
    • Map
    Price Does Not Include
    • City taxes (per person) only payable direct to accommodations – The prices below indicate the total to pay per person, rather than per night.  Please consider city tax can vary during the year and new taxes can be introduced  (Prazzo 3€, Ponte Maira 4.5€, Marmora 3€)
    • Travel to San Michele di Prazzo / from Marmora.

    You choose which day you would like your holiday to start on. We will book your holiday in accordance with your requirements.

    Our Val Maira holidays are available to walk June to October.

    Travel arrangements for arrival/departure ~

    Nearest airport is Turin (served by both major and low-cost carriers) and Nice (Nizzi)

    Turin (TRN)  http://www.aeroportoditorino.it/en

    Nice(NCE https://en.nice.aeroport.fr/

    You are responsible for booking your air travel to airports and onward travel to your first

    accommodation and from your accommodation on departure.

    FROM TURIN AIRPORT

    • Take the bus from airport to Porta Nuova railway station (main Turin station)

    The SADEM bus service between the city centre and Turin Airport has several stops enroute including Porta Nuova railway station.

    • Train from Turin to Cuneo (approx. 1 hour 10 minutes)

    FROM NICE AIRPORT

    • Take the bus from airport to Nice-Ville railway station

    A special airport express bus 99 connects both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 with the station twice per hour in 15 minutes.

    We would then recommend a taxi transfer from Cuneo to your first accommodation which we would be pleased to pre-book for you.  There are only a few direct buses from Cuneo to Prazzo.  So you have to take a bus to Dronero (20km) and change here for a bus to Prazzo Inferiore (30km) from where you will be picked up and taken to your first accommodation in San Michele (5km).  Transfers available from Cuneo and Dronero.

     

    Train timetables - http://www.trenitalia.com/tcom-en

    We can organise additional nights/rest days, as well as transport options. Please contact us to discuss how we can help you with your specific requirements. Call one of our helpful team on +44 (0)1291 689774 or e-mail us here.
    Booking Request - Val Maira
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    What Happens Next?

    We will check your details and come back to you within two working days with a personalised estimate based on your requirements. We will then formally request a deposit of £150 per person (£100 per person for a single centre break) and book all your arrangements - find out about our full booking process here.

    Please note this does not constitute a booking confirmation, we kindly ask you to refrain from booking any travel until we have confirmed all your arrangements.

    Still Have Questions?

    If you are still unsure on any of your requirements, please do enquire with us first and one of our friendly team will be happy to help you with any queries you have.

    Enquire About Val Maira
    +44 (0)1291 689 774
    Our lines are open: 9am to 5pm (GMT), Monday to Friday
    E-mail
    Sample Accommodations

    Please note: exact accommodation booked will depend on availability.