Best Things to Do in Aosta Valley, Italy
Have you heard of Aosta Valley (Valle d’Aosta), Italy’s smallest region? Surrounded by Europe’s highest peaks and snuggled between France, Switzerland, and Piedmont (Italy), this Northern Italian region is brimming with historical, culinary, and natural treasures. This is the heart of the European Alps. Though a favorite alpine holiday destination among Italians, Aosta Valley is virtually unknown to the rest of the world.
Valle d’Aosta is made up of a central valley, from which branch 13 side valleys. You could spend weeks exploring the many hamlets and trails of these glacial and river valleys. Some of these side valleys branch into Gran Paradiso National Park, while others extend in the direction of Switzerland. The noteworthy Val Veny and Val Ferret lie at the foot of Mont Blanc.
When to Visit Aosta Valley
Valle d’Aosta is a seasonal destination. Italians vacation here chiefly in summer (hiking and cycling season) and winter (skiing season). If you come off-season, it might seem lifeless. Many properties in the region are second homes, which means that outside of those peak seasons, many areas in the valley are empty.
We visited Aosta Valley in May. While traveling to Aosta Valley off-season has its advantages, it also feels rather dead. Many restaurants and businesses are closed. From a weather standpoint, spring is a tricky time to visit. The weather isn’t stable and there’s a good chance that many trails are still covered in snow. That being said, we still had a great time in Aosta Valley in May. We just know we want to come back in summer.
We recently revisited Aosta Valley in early September whilst hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc. The weather was quite good and the trails weren’t overly crowded.