8 days
Duration
4: Moderate to Challenging
Difficulty grade
Italy
Location
June-October
Availability

  Challenging walks on ancient mountain trails

  Quiet, secluded mountains and beautiful, wild valleys

  Ancient, tranquil villages and expansive pastures

  Charming and comfortable accommodation in quiet mountain villages

  Delicious local food (Occitane and Italian cuisine)


Tucked away in the Southern Italian Alps near the French border, lies the beautiful Maira Valley with its tranquil villages, chapels and churches settled in an uncontaminated landscape. Valle Maira is now slowly being discovered as a walker’s paradise. You will not find busy roads, ski slopes and mass tourism, but pristine mountain scenery, lots of sun, small charming accommodation and delicious Italian food.

Traditionally, the inhabitants of the Valle Maira had more contact with France as the border is only a few hours walk away and is easily reached via the mountain passes, while the route to the Italian plains and Po Valley was difficult and went through a rocky gorge. Only when the road was built, more Italians arrived and the first language remains Occitan, a romance language also spoken in southern France.

8 DAY TOURFrom €899 per person sharing*

*A single supplement charge will apply for solo walkers

ACCOMMODATIONYou will stay in renovated and cosy farmhouses located in quiet little villages, all with spacious rooms with private bathroom. You will be warmly welcomed, and the accommodation owners can tell you all about the area and the walks. The accommodation in Viviere is a lovely hut and has a few rooms. If there is no availability there, we book a room in the village of Chialvetta that is 2 km and 200 m lower than Viviere. A large breakfast is served each morning and, on walking days, you get a packed lunch prepared by the accommodation. The trip is on half-board basis and a delicious dinner with local specialities is served every night at the restaurant of the accommodation.

During high season it is possible that you might sleep in different accommodation to the ones indicated above. In choosing alternative accommodation we try to maintain the same standards and quality.

AVAILABILITYYou can start on any day of the week, subject to availability, between June 1st and October 5th.
INCLUDED
7 nights in double rooms in very comfortable mountain huts
7 x breakfasts
7 x dinners
6 x picnic lunches
Day 1: Pickup from Prazzo Inferiore and transfer to San Michele
Day 3: Luggage transfer San Michele-Ponte Maira
Day 4: Transfer to start of walk in Chiappera & pickup at end of walk
Day 5: Transfer to start of walk in Sorgente Maira & pickup at end of walk
Day 6: Luggage transfer Ponte Maira-Viviere
Day 8: Transfer to Acceglio bus stop
Map of Valle Maira, scale 1:20.000
Detailed route notes and maps with tracks on
GPS tracks
Pre-departure Information pack
24 hour phone assistance
NOT INCLUDED
Flights and transfers to first accommodation
Travel Insurance
Travel to Prazzo and from Acceglio
Lunches & dinners, if not otherwise stated
Personal expenses (drinks, phone calls, tips, etc.)
City taxes
OPTIONAL EXTRAS
Additional nights before, during or after the walk
Singe room supplement
 Transfer from Cuneo train station to San Michele
 Transfer from Viviere to Cuneo train station

The walks are over mountain meadows, woodland trails, dirt tracks, stony paths and inevitable pieces of asphalt roads in the villages. Some of the walks are long and more demanding as the climbs can be quite steep.  All the paths are well marked and regularly maintained.

1

Day 1: Arrive in San Michele Prazzo

Arrive in the village of San Michele Prazzo at 1370 m altitude and take some time to visit the beautifully painted Parish Church. You will be picked up from the bus stop and transferred to the first accommodation.

Overnight: San Michele Prazzo

2

Day 2: Lou Viol Dal Genesté San Michele loop walk

Distance: 10 km | Ascent: 600 m | Descent: 600 m | 4½ hrs approx.

Today’s walk is on the southern slopes above San Michele and follows part of the “Lou Viol Dal Genestè“. This circular route takes you into contact with nature, from forests of larch and spruce to grasslands and rocky crags, and Genestè (growing broom). Along the trail it’s easy to spot a variety of wildlife native to the area, such as marmots and ibex.

Overnight: San Michele Prazzo

3

Day 3: Walk from San Michele to Ponte Maira

Distance: 18.5 km | Ascent: 1000 m | Descent: 1000 m | 7½ hrs approx.

A challenging hike high above the valley with beautiful views. The walk goes through woods and meadows and you will encounter only a few tiny hamlets. Arrive at the accommodation in Acceglio and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere of this place.

Overnight: Ponte Maira

4

Day 4: Chiappera loop walk

Distance: 11 km | Ascent: 700 m | Descent: 700 m | 6½ hrs approx.

A short morning transfer will lead you to Chiappera, the last restored village of Valle Maira at 1620 m altitude, where the day’s walk starts. The village has a bar and a church with astonishingly beautiful frescoes. The initial climb to the striking Rocca Provenzale is tough, but after Colle Greguri (2309 m) you have a leisurely walk back to Chiappera, where you will be picked up and taken back to your accommodation.

Overnight: Ponte Maira

5

Day 5: Sentiero dei Frassati loop walk

Distance: 17.4 km | Ascent: 900 m | Descent: 1100 m | 7½ hrs approx.

Another short transfer in the morning will lead you this time to Sorgente Maira, where today’s walk on the Sentiero Frassati starts. This itinerary goes past a few smaller and larger mountain lakes, such as the deep blue Lago Apzoi at 2300 m altitude, as well as a series of bunkers that Mussolini had built on the border with France. At the end of the walk you will be picked up and taken back to your accommodation.

Overnight: Ponte Maira

6

Day 6: Walk from Ponte Maira to Viviere

Distance: 11.5 km | Ascent: 800 m | Descent: 500 m | 5½ hrs approx.

Today you leave Ponte Maira for the tiny mountain village of Viviere, located in the cooler and more forested northern slope of Valle Maira. A long climb eventually brings you to the Colle Ciarbonet (2206 m), from where you descend to Viviere and your accommodation in a cosy and welcoming mountain hut.

Overnight: Viviere

7

Day 7: Colle Oserot walk

Distance: 15.5 km | Ascent: 950 m | Descent: 950 m | 7 hrs approx.

This final stage takes you up to Colle Oserot. This is a very nice walk along steep limestone cliffs and green meadows with great panoramic views. You can also stop for refreshments at the Rifugio Gardetta, on the Gardetta Plateau.

Overnight: Viviere

8

Day 8: Arrivederci Valle Maira!

The trip and our services end after breakfast, unless you have booked additional nights or services with us. From Viviere you will be brought to the bus stop in Acceglio.

Getting to Valle Maira

 The best airports to fly into are Nice (NCE) and Turin (TRN).
/The closest train station is in Cuneo.

From Nice airport (NCE), take the shuttle bus to Nice-Ville train station and get on the Train des Merveilles to Cuneo.

From Torino airport (TRN), reach the train station Torino Porta Nuova and take a train to Cuneo.

From Cuneo, there are only few direct connections to Prazzo: you need to reach Prazzo Inferiore by bus (with change in Dronero). In Prazzo Inferiore, you wil be picked up and taken to your accommodation.

Check train timetables on:

www.trenitalia.com
www.tendemerveilles.com

It is also possible to pre-book a transfer from Cuneo or Dronero to the accommodation.
Valle Maira hiking
Hiking Val Maira
Val Maira, Piemonte
Hiking Valle Maira
Valle Maira hiking trail
Valle Maira mountain hut
Rifugio Gardetta, Valle Maira

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