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Picture Lausanne, a lively city snugly tucked in the Swiss canton of Vaud, right by the calm waters of Lake Leman. This is where your alpine escapade along the Via Francigena kicks off – a journey that's like opening a treasure map of adventure.
Starting out, you stroll along the lake's edge, the peaceful vibe a prelude to the excitement ahead. Winding through the Rhone valley, you gradually make your way up, step by step, as if nature herself is pulling you towards the majestic Alps. And there it is, the alluring call of Italy, promising an unforgettable ride.
From Bourg Saint Pierre, high up in the Swiss Alps, the trail becomes a bit of a scramble, guiding you through mountain paths that have stood the test of time. Your destination? The old hospital cared for by the Agostinian Friars – a place that's been a safe haven for pilgrims for more than a thousand years. These kind folks and their trusty dogs have saved countless lives along the way.
As you soak in the scenery, a stunning pass comes into view. Imagine a little lake reflecting the towering mountains around it – a reward that's worth every step. And here's the cool part: with that next step, you're officially in Italy. The Italian stretch of the Via Francigena begins, inviting you to follow its ancient route to Rome and Brindisi, a doorway to the Holy Land.
This itinerary is carried out with funding of Routes4U, joint programme between the Council of Europe and European Union.
|Day 1||Arrival in Lausanne|
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.
|Day 2||From Lausanne to Vevey, 21 km|
This leg runs partially along the Lake Leman and 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!
Distance: 21 Km
Ascent/Descent: +455/-455 m
|Day 3||From Vevey to Aigle, 27 km|
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.
Distance: 27 Km
Ascent/Descent: +300/-280 m
|Day 4||From Aigle to St. Maurice, 19 km|
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.
Distance: 19 Km
Ascent/Descent: +500/-480 m
|Day 5||From St. Maurice to Martigny, 17 km|
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.
Distance: 17 Km
Ascent/Descent: +300/-240 m
|Day 6||From Martigny to Orsieres, 18 km|
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.
Distance: 18 Km
Ascent/Descent: +745/-335 m
|Day 7||From Orsieres to Bourg St. Pierre, 15 km|
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.
Distance: 15 Km
Ascent/Descent: +970/-190 m
|Day 8||From Bourg St Pierre to Col Grand St. Bernard, 13 km|
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.
Distance: 13 Km
Ascent/Descent: +1045/-305 m
|Day 9||Arrivederci Gran San Bernardo|
The trip and our services end after breakfast unless you have pre-booked extra nights with us or other extra services.
The nearest airports to Lausanne are Geneva or Bern. On departure from Grand St Bernard, it would be convenient to depart from Turin or Milan airports. These airports are served by both major and low cost international carriers and can be easily reached by local transport, which is affordable and offers a frequent service. On arrival, from Geneva or Bern you can take a train and to Lausanne. On departure, you can get a bus or ask for a private transfer from Grand St Bernard to Aosta, and then a train to Turin or Milan.
Thanks to our special APP, you will be able to follow the track of the whole trip on your mobile phone, with no need for internet. GPS tracks are available on request.
What is included
What is not included
These services can be added to the ones included in the base price of the tour: