Courmayeur may be known for its grand snow mountains, ski resorts, and igloo villages, but it’s not only the winter activities that people look forward to. Courmayeur has some of the best hiking trails complemented by its pleasantly cool summer weather. In fact, hiking in Courmayeur is one of the top activities for many tourists who want to escape the fast-paced, modern life in the city. What better respite than a hike on a local trail?
We’ve rounded up some of the best hikes near Courmayeur below. All the locations listed are accessible year-round.
There are several amazing point-to-point trails in Courmayeur, but if you’re looking for the best, we highly recommend Rifugio Bonatti. Rifugio Bonatti is a 5-kilometer trail that sites in the foot of Alpe de Malatraz. It has an altitude of around 2025m above Val Ferret.
Beginners to medium hikers are welcome to attempt this trail. It features stunning views of the Mont Blanc massif from the base of Vallee de Malatra. The picturesque scenery is a photographer’s dream. Unlike other trails that are closed off during various times of the year, Rifugio Bonatti is one of the few you can still enjoy even during off season.
The refuge was built in 1998 and is named after the great Italian alpinist Walter Bonatti. Accommodations here can be booked before your hiking day. There are available beds, blankets, and pillows but most hikers are recommended to bring their own sheets and liners for hygiene reasons. Hike here with your partner, group of friends, or go solo for the most memorable hiking experiences.
Rifugio Giorgio Bertone
Another one of the several 8-kilometer back trails in Courmayeur, Rifugio Georgio is a family-friendly hike trail that features blankets of forests and different fauna and flora along its trail. Here you can find large stretches of untouched nature in the middle of towering peaks. Hiking here is great during summer where the wind is cool and there’s plenty of plants and animals to observe.
It can be found 2000m above sea level in the Val d’ Aoste in the Pennine Alps. Built-in 1982 to commemorate climber Giorgio Bertone who died in a plane crash, the trail is one of the most recommended because of its great views of the Alps. Don’t forget to bring your sunscreen during your hikes here.
This easy short hike which starts from Val Veny and ends in Lago Miage is another all-time favorite. Featuring the “Miage Glacier”, the biggest glacier in the Italian side of Mont Blanc, this trail offers some of the best glacial views and of the beautiful and lush Northern Italy. Hiking here is like hiking to paradise, the views are just amazing. You’ll see fabulous alpine views, green meadows, and snow-covered mountains.
If you’re not a hiker and doing this for the first time, Lago Miage is a great first hike. It’s so easy that you can even take your children or dog with you here. Just make sure they’re wearing appropriate hiking gear. During summer months and on dry days, this hike is often busy with lots of tourists in the trail. If you want to hike in peace, try going here during the months of July and August.
For an easy hike, without sacrificing views, heard to Val Ferret. Val Ferret is a panoramic trail filled with flowering pastures and surrounded by towering peaks. It’s one of the most scenic hiking trails around Mont Blanc and is perfect for anyone looking to take great photos of the valleys up close.
It’s also a popular area for cross country skiing during the winter months, with its own designated area for skiing and hiking. Val Ferret can be hiked from Courmayeur if you’d like. It will be a day’s hike from the town to the trail. But if you want to save time and get to the valley right away, you can also drive closer. Driving the narrow and windy road is dangerous during winter so you can only go as far as the hamlet of Planpincieux.
The Col Ferret trail is an 8-kilometer trail located near the Petit Col Ferret alpine pass which stands at an elevation of 2480m. The trail features a river and is often the most recommended trail for beginners who wish to go sightseeing and nature trekking.
Compared to other longer, and more difficult trails, Col Ferret is a medium hiking trail you can finish in less than a day. The trail is also crossed by the route of Tour du Mont Blanc (this is the hike you’d want to attempt if you want to test yourself). The best months for this trail is from May to October.