Bionaz, one of the largest municipalities in the Aosta Valley, lies at an altitude of 1600 meters, at the head of the Valpelline valley, and is surrounded by an amphitheatre of beautiful peaks reaching 4000 metres and culminating in the Dent d’Hérens. The resort offers some views of splendid and unspoiled nature, some tasty gastronomic specialities to discover ancient flavours, some amazing crafts linked to former traditions and some proud forms of agriculture and livestock farming handed down from generation to generation. In the village there are also several small hamlets built on the sunniest slopes.
WHAT TO SEE
● The Parish Church of Santa Margherita: it is a simple and elegant church, built in 1694. The eye is drawn to the three baroque altars, recently restored, in painted and partially gilded wood.
● The Place Moulin dam: the area of Bionaz is surrounded by twenty glaciers that feed several Alpine lakes and this artificial basin, one of the largest in Europe, which contains 105 million cubic metres of water.
● In the small hamlets of the village, people can admire several chapels, the old community ovens once used to prepare the traditional black bread and the typical wooden rascards.
NATURE AND SPORT
Guests of the resort will have the opportunity of experiencing an adventure in the calm of the nature in an unspoiled environment, where a vast natural reserve was established.
Summer season is ideal for several sport activities, such as excursions of various difficulty levels to reach lakes or mountain huts, rock climbing and vie ferrate, mountaineering, mountain-bike trails and trout fishing in lakes and streams.
In winter, the village offers beautiful cross-country skiing slopes, also equipped with a biathlon shooting range. Various options for snowshoeing and ski mountaineering are possible, while daring people can face the climbing of an ice fall.
EVENTS AND TRADITIONS
As in the whole area of the Great Saint Bernard and the Valpelline, Bionaz celebrates a Carnival full of mystery and history. According to tradition, this festivity was established in commemoration of the march through the Great Saint Bernard Pass by Napoleon and his troops in May 1800, during his campaign in Italy. The landzette, the curious masks of this carnival, wear colorful costumes and are traditionally an allegorical transformation of the uniforms originally worn by the French soldiers. They take over the village and, with their accordions and sympathetically provocative gestures, invoke the arrival of spring.
FOR THE LITTLE ONES
Families find in Bionaz peace and quiet, but also child-friendly activities. The young guests can climb rock and trees in the ”Rebel Park” adventure park, unique for the panorama that it offers, or go on a trip to the Prarayer Refuge, along a flat path, accessible for strollers, which runs along the emerald green waters of the Place Moulin lake. For a different day than usual, families can also have lunch at the Lexert picnic area, on the shore of a pretty little lake. During the winter season, Bionaz offers a small baby snowpark for fun bobsleigh rides.
● Altitude: 1600 m
● Inhabitants: 230
● How to get there by public transport: Bionaz is reachable by bus with the line “Aosta – Bionaz”. For timetables and more information, please visit the website of the “SVAP company”:https://www.svap.it/it/31/linee-e-orari/..
Note - this information is not directly connected to the Cammino Balteo path but it is part of the Aosta Valley tourist offer.