Referred to as one of the best hiking routes in Italy, the Sella-Herbetet traverse grants hikers an authentic and all round experience of the alpine environment. An itinerary that winds from the forest to the high altitude meadows which are a favourite habitat for the animal symbol of the Gran Paradiso National Park, the ibex. A trail that takes us across breathtaking landscapes, near jewel-colored lakes and some of Italy’s highest mountains, including the Gran Paradiso 4.061 m mountain.
The itinerary starts from the village of Valnontey (1.682 m/5,518 ft), following at first the Alta Via 2 (“Hight Altitude Route Number 2”) to the Sella Hut (2.584 m/8,477 ft), a former hunting lodge of Italy’s first king Vittorio Emanuele II. We start early from the city of Milan and heading to Valnontey (3h). Here we stop exploring the Paradisia Alpine Botanic Garden, home to around 1,000 species of plants and flowers. After lunch in Valnontey we start hiking uphill to the Sella hut (2.5 h) which will be our home for the night. The trail develops along a well-marked mule track and covers most part of the elevation gain of the traverse.
From the hut it’s a long but very panoramic way (most of which downhill) to close our loop itinerary in Valnontey. The path takes us across the western side of the valley, towards the source of the stream that gives the name to Valnontey and the glaciers from which it gets its origin. The views are stunning: peaks of over 3.000 m and the Tribolazione Glacier below the Gran Paradiso itself. A long-distance itinerary not to be taken lightly and that includes some exposed stretches with chains for protection. Participants must have good balance and be confident on their feet.
Experienced hikers with a good training level can cover the itinerary in one day (22 km/13.6 mi), saving money but sacrificing a couple of hours of sleep the night before the hike. Departure from Milan should be scheduled around 5.30am. Contact us for more details.