Foliage in the Aosta Valley
THE COLORS OF AUTUMN IN AOSTA VALLEY: PLACES NOT TO BE MISSED
Autumn brings shades and nuances to the foliage of the trees, creating utterly captivating panoramas. The magic of autumnal colours has also sparked interest in leaf peeping or fall foliage in the Aosta Valley too. This is the hobby that involves viewing and gathering leaves to create “seasonal paintings”.
The variety of tree species and the presence of broad-leaved trees alongside conifers, that stay green even during the winter, guarantee an autumn filled with bright nuances in all the valleys of the region. However, we would like to recommend some must-see places for foliage in the Aosta Valley.
IN AUTUMN ALONG THE “CAMMINO BALTEO” HIKING ITINERARY
On foot, at medium and low altitude along the central valley, among sunny vineyards that in autumn are spattered with warm shades: the Cammino Balteo crosses several areas famous for their wine production, where autumn colours also frame suggestive medieval castles and other important historical vestiges:
- Hiking along the Cammino Balteo way in autumn, in particular stage 18 between Aymavilles and Aosta, stage 20 in the territory of Chambave or stage 3 of, in the area of Donnas, allows you to admire the colours of the vineyards, frequently cultivated on terraces supported by dry stone walls that characterize the landscape.
- In Châtillon , between stages 20 and 21 of the Balteo way,Passerin d’Entrèves Castle Park is an amazing observation point thanks to the monumental trees. A multitude of maple trees colour it red in various areas, right up until the French Renaissance garden (open until mid-November). In Châtillon, you can also visit the Castle Gamba Park which is home to over 150 trees, including colourful maple and beech trees, as well as some monumental plants.
- At the Lake Villa nature reserve in Challand-Saint-Victor, near stage 6, you can find the warm nuances of autumnal colours that accompany visitors during their strolls along the lake. The protected area can be reached by car, however hiking enthusiasts can get there by taking the hiking route starting from Torille (Verrès).
- In Verrès, connection between stages 21 and 22 of the Balteo way, going back up the regional road of the Val d’Ayas, you can visit the arboretum Borna di Laou (the place of the wolf); the varied vegetation is described by signs containing their scientific and common names. In addition to native species, there are also cherry, ash, chestnut and medlar trees.
- In Verrayes, junction between stages 8 and 9, you will find the arboretum Abbé P.L.Vescoz with many varieties of plants including non-native ones like cedar, Douglas fir, Italian cypress and sequoia trees.
- In the village of Entrebin, above Aosta and not far from Arpuilles, a locality between stages 11 and 12 of the Balteo way, you can find the site of Parque d’Euntrebeun which is home to around 200 tree species with alluring colourings provided by the yellow of the ash and elm trees and the orange of the chestnut trees.
CYCLING AMONGST VINEYARDS
- For cycling lovers a ring route through the colours of the vineyards spreads across Gressan and Villeneuve, not far from Aosta city → Mountain Biking Amongst Vineyards
AUTUMN REFLECTIONS IN THE LAKES OF MONT MARS
- During beautiful autumn days Mont Mars Nature Reserve in Fontainemore (village crossed by stage 2 of the Cammino Balteo trail) offers hikers breathtaking views of Plan Coumarial and, higher up, of the forests and shrubs that surround Vargno Lake and the lakes of Lei-Long and Lac de Barme →Excursion to Colle Della Barma
AUTUMN REFLECTIONS IN THE VALPELLINE LAKES
- The large lake of Place Moulin, at 2000 meters above sea level in the municipality of Bionaz, in the Valpelline valley, is famous for its intense colour and for the surrounding natural landscape which in autumn offers truly impressive shades. The village of Prarayer can be reached in an hour’s walk along the dirt road that runs along the lake for about 4 km. The refuge at the bottom of the lake is usually open, in absence of snow, until November 1st.
- Also in Bionaz, Lake Lexert, reachable by car, allows you to stroll in the quiet and among the autumn colours reflected in the small stretch of water.
AUTUMN WITH VIEW ON THE MONT BLANC
- At Lake Arpy in autumn, on clear days, the view sweeps over the mountain range of Mont Blanc and the colour palette that surrounds the lake, from the red of the blueberry undergrowth to the golden yellow of the larch trees.
- In the Val Ferret , above Courmayeur , the cross-country pistes transform into lovely paths and the broadleaf plants gradually give way to the evergreens, while the larch offers a pop of contrast with its golden-yellow tones. Also in Courmayeur, in the hamlet of Plan Gorret, you’ll find Abbé J.M. Henry Park where you can see privet, blackthorn, dog rose and burnet rose, hawthorn, viburnum and honeysuckle, as well as exotic species such as a Douglas fir and a giant fir.
THE COLORS OF THE “COL DI JOUX”
- Between Brusson and Saint-Vincent you come across the mixed forest of the Col de Joux composed mainly of conifers that surround the coppery and purple foliage of the wild cherry trees in bright green.
Note - this information is not directly connected to the Cammino Balteo path but it is part of the Aosta Valley tourist offer.