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Val d'Ayas: The enchanted villages and hidden secrets in the heart of the Alps


Monday 22 january 2024

Known for its picturesque villages, the Ayas Valley offers a unique experience for those who wish to immerse themselves in the unspoiled nature and charm of small towns in the Aosta Valley

Val d'Ayas: The enchanted villages and hidden secrets in the heart of the Alps

Lake Pinter - Ph. lucianoro1.photo/flickr

Val d'Ayas is an enchanting area located in the beautiful region of Valle d'Aosta. This area, characterized by a rich history and breathtaking scenery, is especially popular with nature lovers and travelers in search of authenticity. The Ayas Valley has a long history dating back to Roman times and features a wide variety of attractions and places of interest. One of the most fascinating elements of this area are its charming villages, which offer an authentic glimpse into traditional mountain life.

Prominent among the best-known villages in Val d'Ayas is Champoluc, a true paradise for lovers of skiing and mountain hiking. With its majestic peaks and breathtaking views, Champoluc offers unique and unforgettable experiences for those who wish to enjoy alpine beauty.

Champoluc: the most important tourist center in Val d'Ayas

Champoluc is undoubtedly the most important tourist center in Val d'Ayas and one of the three villages that make up the capital of Ayas, along with Antagnod and Saint-Jacques. This charming alpine village enchants visitors from all over the world with its natural beauty and authentic atmosphere.

Located at an altitude of about 1,560 meters above sea level, Champoluc is surrounded by majestic mountain peaks, covered with snow during the winter and covered with lush pastures during the summer. This makes the village a paradise for winter sports enthusiasts and mountain hikers.

Sciare a Champoluc
Ph. Lasse Gustavsson/flickr

Champoluc is famous for its system of modern and efficient ski lifts, which provide quick access to the ski slopes of Monte Rosa. This impressive mountain, which sits on the border between Italy and Switzerland, offers a wide selection of slopes suitable for all skill levels, from beginners to advanced skiers.

But Champoluc is not just about skiing. During the summer, the village transforms into an ideal starting point for scenic hikes, mountain biking and relaxing walks. Well-marked trails lead visitors through breathtaking views, green pastures dotted with colorful mountain flowers, and pretty alpine villages.

Champoluc's atmosphere is unique and welcoming. Here you can savor true Valdostan cuisine, characterized by traditional dishes such as polenta, fontina cheese, and local cured meats and cheeses. Restaurants and farmhouses offer culinary delights to satisfy every palate.

Champoluc
Ph. Domenico Lucà/flickr

Villages to see in Val d'Ayas: Brusson, Antagnod and Verrès

Val d'Ayas, in the Aosta Valley region, is a land rich in natural beauty and charming villages. Among these, three must-see places are Brusson, Antagnod and Verrès, each with its own uniqueness and charm.

Brusson is a charming village, best known for its imposing Graines Castle. This medieval castle, possibly dating back to the 11th century, offers a compelling insight into the history and culture of the region. Placed on the top of a cliff, in a strategic position to control both the Ayas Valley and access to the upper Gressoney Valley, the castle of Brusson is of the "primitive" type and austere in appearance. Its main elements include: the tall crenellated tower with a quadrangular plan, the chapel, and a wall built along the natural undulation of the land enclosing a large space formerly home to residential buildings.

Brusson
Ph. Domenico Lucà/flickr

Antagnod, a hamlet of Ayas, is a charming mountain village that boasts extraordinary views of Monte Rosa. Its medieval atmosphere is still intact, with cobblestone streets, stone houses and charming flowered balconies. Here, you can stroll through the picturesque streets, discover centuries-old churches and savor the authenticity of a mountain village.

Antagnod
Ph. Alberto Della Beffa/flickr

Verrès, located at the mouth of Val d'Ayas, is another must-see village. Its main attraction is the famous Castle of Verrès, one of the best examples of castle architecture in the Aosta Valley. This imposing medieval fortress, built in the 14th century, offers a fascinating journey through time through its historic halls, majestic towers, and imposing walls.

Castello di Verrès
Ph. Davide Oreglia/flickr

Each village has something unique to offer visitors. Brusson with its imposing castle, Antagnod with its breathtaking view of Monte Rosa, and Verrès with its charming castle. In each of these places, you can immerse yourself in the rich history and charm of the mountain villages of Val d'Ayas, discovering the authenticity of this wonderful region of the Aosta Valley.

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