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Val Maira in the Italian Alps

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Homepage > Italy > Val Maira in the Italian Alps
  • Duration: 7 Nights
  • Difficulty: Level 3
  • Tour Type: Self Guided
  • Availability: Daily from 1st June to 5th October
  • Location: San Michele Prazzo
Tour Details

Val Maira Italy plays host to this fantastic week-long walking holiday in the Southern Italian Alps near to the French border. This self-guided hiking vacation in Italy set in the wonderful region close to Cuneo where you shall come across stunning unspoilt landscapes with quaint villages.

Until so not long ago access to valmaira for walking was easier from the French side as the Italian side you had to navigate around a rocky gorge. Now access from Italy is much easier and more and more Italians now live in the region.

This walking holiday in Italy has been graded level 3 on a self-guided basis making use of renovated farmhouses and a mountain hut; as close to natural accommodation as it’s possible to get for your trip to the Val Maira.

On your walking holiday in Val Maira, you shall now encounter ancient villages with nice churches and chapels, on the nature side a large variety of flora and fauna and a distinct lack of mass tourism, a walker’s paradise!

Starting Location

San Michele Prazzo

Price Includes

  • 7 nights bed and breakfast and dinner
  • Information Pack
  • Maps and walking instructions
  • 6 picnics
  • Luggage transfers
  • Renovated farm houses and a mountain hut
  • GPS Files on request
  • Transfers on walking days where mentioned.
  • Transfer from bus stop to accommodation on arrival
  • Transfer to bus stop on departure
  • Smart Phone App
  • GPS files on request

Price Excludes

  • Transport before and after tour
  • Single Rooms
  • Flights
  • Public Transport
  • Private Transfers
  • Travel Insurance
  • Optional transfer on Day 5
  • Luggage supplement if bag weighs more than 15kg or more than one bag. (Please advise upon booking)
  • City Tax
Trip Info

Route Characteristics

The walks are over mountain meadows, woodland trails, dirt tracks, stony paths and some tarmac roads. Some of the walks are long and more demanding due to the climbs being steep. All paths are well maintained and marked.

Travel Insurance

It is a requirement of booking this tour with Hooked on Walking that you have suitable travel insurance which covers you for the chosen activity and for emergency evacuation and hospital care.

Itinerary

Day 1Arrive in San Michele Prazzo

Today you make your way to the village of San Michele Prazzo located at 1370m altitude in the Italian Alps. Take some time to visit the beautifully painted Parish Church. You will be picked up at the bus stop and transferred to the first accommodation.

Day 2 Lou Viol Dal Genesté San Michele round walk 6.2 miles 10km up/down 564/592m walking time 4 hours.

The day’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.

Day 3Walk from San Michele to Ponte Maira 10.5 miles 17m up/down 1046/986m walking time 7 hours

A challenging hike high above the valley with beautiful views. The walk goes through woods and meadows, you will come across only a few tiny hamlets on this walk. You will arrive at the accommodation in Acceglio and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.

Day 4Transfer to Chiappera round walk 6.2 miles 10km up/down 906/723m, 4 hours walking time.

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

Day 5Sentiero Frassati round walk 8.1/9.9 miles 13/16km up/down 945/932m 6 hours walking.

First, a 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 2300m altitude, as well as a series of bunkers that Mussolini had built on the border with France. It is possible to walk back to Ponte Maira or you can opt to take a transfer from Sorgenti Maira (to be paid locally)

Day 6 Walk from Ponte Maira to Viviere 5.6 miles 9km up/down 603/509m 5 hours walking time

Today you leave Ponte Maira for the tiny mountain village of Viviere, located in the cool and more forested northern slope of the Val Maira. A long climb brings you to Colle Ciarbonet (2206m), then you start descending to Viviere where you will be staying in a cosy welcoming hut.

Day 7Colle Oserot loop walk 8.1 miles 13 km up/down 1007/876m 5 hours walking time.

This final stage takes you up to Colle Oserot (highest point 2640m). This is a very nice walk along steep limestone cliffs and green meadows with great panoramic views. You can also make a small trip to Rifugio Gardetta (at 2380 m), situated on the Plateau Gardetta.

Day 8Departure

Departure after breakfast where from Viviere you will be taken to the bus stop in Acceglio.

Map

How to get there

The best airports to fly into are Turin and Nizza airports and then by train to Cuneo.

From Turin airport
Take the train to Torino Porta Nuova (city centre) and change there for the train to Cuneo.

From Nice (Nizza) airport
Take the shuttle bus to the Nice Ville station and then get on the Train des Merveille to Cuneo.

From Cuneo to the first accommodation
There are only a few direct buses from Cuneo to Prazzo.

So you have to take a bus to Dronero (20 km) and change here for a bus to Prazzo Inferiore (30 km) where you will be picked up and taken to the first accommodation in San Michele (5 km). It is possible to pre-book a transfer from Cuneo  to the accommodation.

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2022 Prices – For complete tour price breakdown please click the book now button and select your holiday tour date. Prices will then be listed.

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