A trekking suitable for every season
Arrival in Verrès and start of the services.
After visiting the collegiate church of Saint-Gilles in Verrès, we walk across the "Borna de Laou" arboretum with its exotic plants, until we reach the Saint-Gilles cross. From this belvedere we can note the distinctive sharp skyline of Mont Avic’s peak, in the homonymous nature park. Steeply beneath us is the Verrès village, where we slept last night. We continue climbing until reaching the ruins of the Ville Castle, one of the oldest in Aosta Valley, from which our eyes wander to the low Ayas Valley. Once entered in the Ville Lake Nature Reserve, we’ll have the possibility to admire the works of Land Art on the path leading us to the gorgeous lake. We still go on and attain Col d'Arlaz, where we can observe the remainings of a prehistoric grave. At this point we begin walking along the irrigation canal “ru” d'Arlaz, which brings us to the Sant'Anna church, whose panoramic position allows us to see the whole low Ayas Valley. We finally arrive in Challand-Saint-Anselme for the deserved dinner and overnight stay.
After the hard uphill from Verrès to Challand-Saint-Anselme, we claim a short stage to recover our energies, estimating the wonderful landscape and savouring the pleasures of food. Indeed, today’s path is disseminated with some farms, where sampling local products. Along the way we can stop at the gold mine of Bechaz and follow the explanatory boards leading us in a circular path in the site. Walking for a long track beside the original path of “ru” d'Arlaz, we finally find the Evançon river again, until we reach Brusson, where we taste a delicious dinner before enjoying night’s rest.
Today’stage develops prevalently downhill, but it also includes two uphill slopes. The first one leads to the ancient village of Salomon, enchanting place overhanging Brusson village, from which we can admire the lower part of the Ayas Valley and most of the hike that we will go through on next days. The second ascent brings us to the ancient Chamousira gold mines (reservation is required to visit the mine inside). The rest of the stage doesn’t present any other engaging ascent, therefore we’ll be free to focus on landscape. Along the paths leading us to our today’s destination we come across the ruins, restored and open to visitors, of Graines Castle, an example of Aosta Valley primitive manor dating back to 516 AD. We come to Arcesaz where we can enjoy a tasty dinner and a soft bed.
Today we walk along Evançon river, over which we find some Roman bridges from medieval origin. Overpassed Challand-Saint-Victor’s vineyards, we find ourselves on the only climb of the stage, bringing us to the village of Omens from where we can overlook the central valley. In Omens begins our day’s last descent on a nice mule track leading us to the Verrès castle, whose visit is a must. Once we come in the village, if time permits, it is advised to visit the nearby Issogne castle, one of the most beautiful in Aosta Valley. In Verrès, after having visited the old village centre, we can relax for dinner and overnight stay.