Lausanne is a buzzling Swiss city in the French Canton of Vaud, on the shore of Lake Leman. Your alpine adventure on Via Francigena starts here: first along the lake, then through the Rhone valley, gradually working your way towards the Alps.
From Bourg Saint Pierre, located high up on the Swiss Alps, scrambling along mountain trail you reach the historical hospital of the Agostinian Friars founded more than 1000 years ago, who along the centuries saved so many lives of pilgrims with their famous dogs.
The superb scenery of the Pass with the small lake and the crown of high mountains greet us at the end of the walk. This segment has a symbolic value as you cross the Alps.
This itinerary is carried out with funding of Routes4U, joint programme between the Council of Europe and European Union. Its contents are the sole responsibility of Sloways and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Routes4U joint programme.
You start the journey from Lausanne, a vibrant Swiss city on the shore of Lake Leman; explore this multiethnic city home of the Olympic committee, the gothic cathedral and the Palais de Rumine.
This leg runs partially along the Lake Leman and partially crosses vineyards of "Lavaux". This incredible wine region of more than 800 hectares is a symbol of the passion and hard work of mankind when talking about the wine production, it’s a perfect example of integration between man and nature. In fact it is one of the very few UNESCO heritage site wine region. Stop by one of the numerous wine cellars to sample it. Cheers!
The route skirts around Lake Leman, crossing Montreux and proceeding until Villeneuve. Leaving the lake behind, the course continues levelly till it arrives at the entrance of Aigle. It then rises to pass Yvorne and a lovely panoramic point of the Rhône Valley, before descending to Aigle.
Leaving Aigle, the route passes a beautiful area of vineyards as it shortly arrives at the castle, Chateau d’Aigle, home of the wine museum, constructed in the 13th Century. Proceeding through vineyards and woods along the coast, the path reaches Ollon. It leads beyond Antagnes, where the route briefly follows the Gryonne till it arrives at Massongex and Saint Maurice, where since the Middle Ages, pilgrims have paused at on their journey to Rome.
Just after Saint-Maurice you reach Vérolliez, where a tiny chapel commemorates the martyrdom of St Mauritius and his companions. On the path into the Rhone valley, you meet the famous Pissevache waterfall and the 200-metre-deep Trient gorge.
This stage marks the begin of the climb to the Great St. Bernard pass. From Martigny a steep path leads over the narrow Les Trappistes pass to the medieval village of Sembrancher. From here the route follows the Napoleon trail.
In Orsières, don't forget to visit the church, the bell and its "Saint Gregoire Mass" and inside the church, the exhibition about Maurice Tornay, born in Orsières.
This stage leads you first along a forest path, west then east of the river, on the historic path from Liddes to the small Notre-Dame-de-Lorette Chapel before Bourg-Saint-Pierre.
Undoubtedly the most symbolic stage on the Via Francigena! The way to the pass leads along a road which has served the whole of Europe for 2000 years. Countless archaeological sites line the ascent, above all in L’Hospitalet and on the Great-St-Bernard Pass.
The trip and our services end after breakfast unless you have pre-booked extra nights with us or other extra services.