Val di Cogne in summer
When one thinks of Valle d'Aosta one immediately thinks of its national parks, its innumerable fairy-tale castles and its mountains, splendid and colossal such as the Matterhorn, Mont Blanc and then the Gran Paradiso. The best view of the latter can be enjoyed from Cogne, the main village of the same name Cogne Valley, among the most famous and iconic in the region.
It occupies the catchment area and rises right in the heart of the Gran Paradiso National Park: the valley has a horseshoe shape and peaks such as the Roc, the Becca di Montandayné, the Herbetet, the Cresta Gastaldi, the Piccolo Paradiso and obviously the Gran Paradiso stand out all around.
To discover the most flamboyant and luxuriant side of the valley, the ideal season is summer, when everything becomes an explosion of color and life.
What to do and what to see
The Cogne Valley is one of the most spectacular in the Aosta Valley, revealing a mountain pasture where fir, larch and pine forests alternate, lakes, roaring waterfalls, grassy slopes and monumental glaciers: this is what awaits the tourist who visits the Valle di Cogne during the summer, taking advantage of the temperatures and clean air to organize walks, excursions and outdoor activities such as sport fishing, mountain-bike rides or romantic carriage rides that will make the most romantic happy.
Families, on the other hand, will have the opportunity to spot stoats, chamois, marmots and above all ibexes. To see the latter, it is advisable to make an excision that gives Valnontey comes up to Vittorio Sella Refuge: it is one of the most famous routes in the Cogne Valley and passes through the beautiful Lauson lakes, for the village of Vermiana and for Paradisia Alpine Botanical Garden.
It is absolutely worth stopping to visit this garden to admire a rich collection of lichens, medicinal plants and alpine flowers not only from the area but also from other parts of the world. Many habitats have been rebuilt thanks to the favorable climatic conditions and there is also a beautiful Butterfly Garden.
Among the most evocative places in the Cogne Valley are the pastures of the Gran Nomenon pasture, located at the foot of the impressive northern wall of the Grivola: think that the glacier almost seems to fall on the green meadows, creating a chromatic contrast to be contemplated at the end of an easy walk.
Spending the summer in the Cogne Valley also allows you to organize excursions in the nearby valleys and in the Mont Avic Natural Park: among the most beautiful places to see are the White Lake and that Black, be more than 2300 meters high. They can be reached from Dondena, passing through Alpe Grand Cort and the beautiful Chamdepraz Valley.
Equally enchanting it is the Alpe Vercoche where, at an altitude of 2246 metres, rises the Vercoche lake, in whose waters the Bec Laris and the Bec Mulere are reflected. The pasture can be reached from Champorcher, about 88km away from Cogne: from the hamlet of Chardonney you can set off towards the Miserin Lake, a place full of beauty and spirituality, given that the Sanctuary of Notre Dame des Neiges stands on its banks. There is then the ravine of Ratus in the locality of Pontboset: this spectacular ravine can be reached via a path that runs alongside the Ayasse river and then the Brenve, until you reach the very foot of the gorge.
Among the most beautiful excursions to do in the Cogne Valley is the one to the farmhouses present on the Herbetet, reachable via an equipped path and with sections with fixed ropes that leave from Valnontey. you pass through Alpe David, the village of Vermiana and Alpe Mony.
The starting point for getting to know Valle di Cogne in depth is its town of the same name, Cogne, located at 1544 meters above sea level: whose historic center overlooks the famous Prati di Sant'Orso, one of the largest mountain meadows in all of Europe, where there are also play areas for children and from which you have the most beautiful view on the Gran Paradiso mountain.
Walking through Cogne you can visit the Church of Sant'Orso dating back to the 700th century, internally decorated with gilded wooden altars, an XNUMXth century organ and paintings by Pirlato. After a stop at Royal Castle, used by King Vittorio Emanuele II during his hunting trips in the valley, you can reach the Mining village, today the Gran Paradiso National Park Visitor Center.
Entering this sort of museum allows visitors to immerse themselves in the scents and sounds of Mother Nature, among highly effective sensory and multimedia devices. There are even displays dedicated to wolves and ibexes, two of the symbolic animals of the area's fauna.
Although summer is never stifling in the Cogne Valley, it can still be pleasant to immerse yourself in the galleries Cogne mines, from which magnetite was extracted and where the temperature is around 7°.
The mines are located at an altitude of more than 2000 meters in the Costa di Pino locality and are made up of about 100 km of tunnels located in the depths of the mountain, with a small train made up of trolleys that creeps into the areas frequented by the miners.
From Cogne you can reach the Lillaz waterfalls, among the most beautiful in the Aosta Valley. they are 150 meters high and are made up of 3 jumps, through which the waters of the Urtier torrent flow into a fresh and crystalline pool. A circular route, dedicated to the geology of the surrounding rocks, allows everyone to reach them, even families with very small children.
Spending the summer holidays in the Cogne Valley means having plenty of time to devote to walks, excursions in the open air and outdoor activities in the unspoiled nature of the valley and the Gran Paradiso National Park. This means that it would take at least ten days to not miss anything that the valley has to offer.
In fact, do not forget that the Cogne Valley also boasts a very rich cultural and gastronomic heritage: it is therefore not necessary to consume only frugal meals between one excursion and another in order not to waste time, but having more time available it is possible to dedicate a few in one of the many typical places to taste typical dishes such as the delicious Crema dolce di Cogne and the Seupetta de Cogne soup made with spices, fontina cheese, butter and bread.
In Cogne then, right at the end of summer, the "Stambecco d'Oro" festival takes place, dedicated to naturalistic films and documentaries that aim to underline and enhance the relationship between man and nature.
There are many accommodation facilities in the Cogne Valley and they meet everyone's needs, from those of the more sporty to the needs of families or simple couples looking for intimacy and romance.
There are hotels, B&Bs, holiday homes, residences or refuges: there is nothing better than sleeping at a high altitude, with the starry sky more brilliant than ever and the mountains as a backdrop to every sunrise and sunset, making an unforgettable summer holiday in the Cogne Valley.
Val di Cogne summer holidays
If you are considering a summer holiday in Val di Cogne, below you can find some useful links to find hotels and holiday apartments.
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