There’s one place in Italy with the highest concentration of alpine ibex and alpine chamois. It’s called the Gran Paradiso National Park and is the “Grandpa” of all Italy’s protected areas, both in name and in fact. Gran Paradiso (the “Great Paradise”) was indeed the first one to be recognised as a National Park in 1922 and still today survives as a protected area for research and conservation of wildlife and alpine flora.
70,000 hectars of jagged mountains, extensive glaciers, larch trees and fir forests, lush alpine meadows and glistening glacial lakes divided between the Aosta Valley and Piedmont regions. An amazingly varied territory comprising five valleys that stretch around the Gran Paradiso Massif which is the only mountain over 4,000 meters entirely within the Italian border. A fascinating land, which for years has been the Royal Hunting Reserve of the italian former kings. Today instead, the perfect getaway for hiking and nature lovers seeking for peace and majestic views!
Our itinearary develops in the southern portion of the National Park – the one included in the region of Piedmont – using as a base the Savoia or Chivasso Hut. Rooms may be shared depending on availability. Shared bathrooms.
Day 1 – Jervis Hut and Nivolet Pass
We leave early the city of Milan heading towards the village of Ceresole Reale located in the Orco Valley (3h), our gate to the Gran Paradiso National Park. We start our day hiking to the Jervis Hut, set at the foot of the Levanne mountains, peaks of over 3.000 metres. Lunch in the mountain hut enjoying the traditional cusine. After getting back to the car we start the very scenic drive to the Nivolet Pass (2.651m/8,700ft) along one of the most spectacular mountain roads you could ever imagine. The scenery is stunning from start to finish. A winding road, one of a kind, that snakes at the side of two turquise and blue lakes in a picture perfect mountainscape. After crossin the pass we reach the hut that will be our home for the next two days.
Day 2 – Basei Pass
A day out exploring the westernmost part of the National Park and aiming at the Basei Pass (3.175m/10,400ft), a balcony overlooking the peaks and glaciers on the border with France. We start our hike reaching the higher meadows just above our hut and the crystal-clear water of Lake Leytà. From here we continue walking up on stony ground till the base of the Basei Peak (reaching the summit is optional). The landscape is lunar-like. A real spectacle for the eyes that can see as far as Mont Blanc and, of course, Gran Paradiso.
Day 3 – Lenyr Pass
From the hut we start hiking northbound in direction of beautiful Lake Rosset and from there again north all the way to the pass that marks the border between region Piedmont and Val d’Aosta. The Lenyr Pass takes the name from the adjacent pyramid-like mountain, Lenyr Peak. Down on the other side the view opens up to the green valleys of Val d’Aosta and Mont Blanc. Again a spectacular view in one of the most spectacular corners of Italy! Always keeping our eyes open and ready to spot some wildlife we start our descent planning to be back at the hut in time for lunch. In the afternoon we start our drive back to the city of Milan.