La Via Francigena - in the swiss and Italian Alps
La Via Francigena
17 - 26 June 2023 FULL - waiting list
19 - 28 June 2023 Full - waiting list
21 - 30 June 2023 Full - waiting list
10 day accompanied walk from Lausanne Switzerland to Pont St Martin in Italy
Cost: €1 061 in shared rooms - €258 single supplement, luggage transfers included
Applications are now closed.
We can put you on the waiting list for a place in one of the groups
Day Place KM
1 Meet in Lausanne
2 Gr St Bernard train to La Douay
3 Walk to Bourg St Pierre 15.5
4 Gr St Bernard Pass 11.5
5 Etroubles 13.5
6 Aosta 16
7 Nus 15
8 St Vincent 17
9 Arnad 17
10 Pont St Martin 12
We have specifically reduced the stages to suit people who are fit walkers but who prefer to take their time and walk at a slower pace. Walking shorter stages might not suit ultra-fit mountain hikers or race walkers who can hike double the daily distances!
There is no technical hiking or mountaineering involved on this walk. You will need to be reasonably fit and able to walk an average 15 km per day, which includes two days of steep ascents to the Gr St Bernard Pass (the shortest day).
The Saint Bernard dogs still live at the hospice on Great Saint Bernard, a shelter founded in the Middle Ages, led by Augustinian monks. The hospitality of the monks is legendary. The Saint Bernard dogs have been bred on this Alpine pass by the monks, first with the attribute of being able to carry loads, later also as an avalanche search dog. The most renowned and legendary of these dogs, Barry, is supposed to have saved the lives of over 40 people. You can visit the dogs in ther kennels behind the hospice.
The walk down into the Aosta Valley includes steep descents to Pont St Martin. The trails shadow the road so if you have any difficulty on the paths you can walk on the roads to each town and village.
Sunrise is around 05h50 and sunset at 21h30 so you have lots of time to reach your destination without rushing. The trail is on often on mountain tracks, stones, gravel, riverine trails and asphalt paths which, although not technically difficult, require a moderate level of fitness.
With this in mind, we have had many people between the ages of 60 and 75 walking this section in our groups. Its not an age thing - its up to you to do the training!
You need to train on hills! If there are no hills near to you to train on, use the stairs in your local shopping mall, public buildings or underground, or at the gym on a treadmill or StairMaster.
The group will meet in Lausanne, initially a Celtic and Roman settlement on the shores of Lake Geneva.
In the 20th century, Lausanne became a focus of international sport, hosting the International Olympic Committee
From European countries and Britain, you can fly to Lausanne. International flights to Geneva and then
you can take a train or lake cruise to Lausanne.
In the Middle Ages multitudes of pilgrims, soldiers, merchants and travellers used a system of roads known as the “Via Francigena” – or roads of the Franks - to travel from England and other northern countries to Rome.
The bishops of Canterbury used the road to travel to Rome to receive their pallium or stole of office from the Pope when they became Archbishops.
In 994 AD Archbishop Sigeric’s clerks kept a diary of his return journey to Enlgland titled 'From Rome to the Channel'. In the 1990s the diary was discovered by Italian researchers and is now in the British Museum. The Archbishop's descriptions of places along the route proved to be very accurate and generated academic research, tourism promotion and restoration of the actual route for modern walkers. In 1994 the Council of Europe designated the Via Francigena as a 'European Cultural Itinerary.'
As religious and cultural tourism grows in popularity, modern day pilgrims once again walk the old pilgrim roads to Santiago in Spain, Jerusalem in the Holy Land, nd to Rome.” Quote from ‘La Via Francigena, Five Pilgrims to Rome
Pilgrim passport and guide book
Lightfoot Guides – Paul Chinn and Babette Gallard
Via Francigena Pilgrim Trail - Sandy Brown
Italian (and English edition)
La Via Francigena 1000km a Piedi dal Gran San Bernardo a Roma : 2020
http://www.viefrancigene.org/en Download APP