the Ayas Valley and the Gressoney Valley, which is also known as ‘Lys Valley’: if you haven’t visited them yet, now it is high time to put it right!
The Ayas Valley is a nice and open valley which includes the towns of Challand-Saint-Victor, Challand-Saint-Anselme and Brusson before reaching the municipality of Ayas and its famous hamlets Antagnod and Champoluc.
This valley proposes a particular and wide tourist offer, from the typical ‘Ru’, some irrigation canals which have recently become picturesque hiking tours, to handicraft and dairy products. You can’t help buying a pair of ‘sabots’, the traditional wooden clogs produced in the Ayas valley, or some Fromadzo, a Valdôtain kind of cheese that owns the PDO label which is produced right here!
Brusson, which has been chosen by the Italian writer Paolo Cognetti to live and which was appreciated by the famous singer Joan Baez, who spent here various summers, is a family-friendly destination, perfect in every season and where you can practice both cross-country skiing and hiking.
Champoluc, at the bottom of the valley and at the foot of the natural amphitheatre that goes from Breithorn to Castore peaks, is a true paradise for mountain, sport and nature lovers. From climbing to hiking, from MTB to ski: you only have to choose! Champoluc is linked to Gressoney-La-Trinité, in the Lys Valley, through the stunning Monterosaski resort that stretches until Alagna, in Valsesia (Piedmont). The two valleys are linked not only in winter thanks to the ski slopes, but in summer too by various hikes, suitable for everybody, which also link many mountain huts. And coming back is cosy thanks to the Trek-bus!
On the other side, the Gressoney valley is ‘another world’. This is the valley of Walsers, a Germanic population which started to inhabit this area between the XII and the XIII century. Here they left a deep cultural heritage, which still survives today in language with titsch, the local German dialect which is currently spoken, in typical architecture and in traditions.
But Gressoney is not only the land of Walsers: it was the summer residence of Queen Margherita of Savoy who had her castle built right in Gressoney-Saint-Jean: we are speaking of the famous Savoy castle, which is surrounded by a thick wood and a botanic garden, two real must-sees.
If Gressoney-Saint-Jean is the ideal spot to relax and to chill out with your family and kids, Gressoney-La-Trinité is the kingdom of sporty people: peaks higher than 4,000 metres, the vast Lys glacier, a stunning view over the Monterosa chain, mountain huts that are part of the history of Italian alpinism, all lie here. And here, downhill skiing, ski-tourism, climbing, and trekking are all brought to the next level.
Ayas Valley and Gressoney Valley, a cultural and traditional heritage at the foot of Monterosa!