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4
moderate to challenging

Traveller Rating

 

Activities
  • self guided walk
Accommodation
  • 8 nights in hotels / inns
Meals
  • 7 Breakfasts

8 Days£1440GBP

Overview

Trip Code: FWS

Trip highlights


  • Walking through the alpine landscapes of the Valais valleys
  • Soaking up the history on the Great Saint Bernard Pass
  • Passing through the beautiful shores of Lake Geneva and the vineyards of Lavaux
  • Experiencing the last section of the route on the Via Francigena in Switzerland
  • Staying in warm, comfortable family-run hotels and delighting in their friendly hospitality

From Canterbury in England to Rome in Italy, the 1900km "Francigena Way" dates back to the 11th century when pilgrims travelled across Europe on foot to visit the site of Martyrdom of St Peter and St Paul in Rome. With the modernisation of Europe and the shifting of borders the route became obsolete, until a recent revival of the pilgrimage making it one of the most exciting pilgrimage trails in Europe today. The last stage in Switzerland begins on Lake Geneva, takes in the UNESCO-listed vineyards of Lavaux, the Rhone Valley and finally crosses the magnificent Swiss Alps leading to the historical Great St Bernard Pass. This section of the Francigena pilgrimage route will wow you with its spectacular views, delicious local cuisine and fascinating history.

Note: Due to the weather and altitude this walk is only possible during the summer months.

Countries:

Switzerland

Starting Point:

Lausanne

Finishing Point:

Saint Bernard Pass


Today you make your own way to Lausanne and check in at the first hotel. Lausanne is the second-largest city on Lake Geneva and there is much to explore. You can visit the charming old town, with its many small alleyways lined with cafes and boutiques. You can also take a cruise on Lake Geneva or visit one of the local museums.

Meals:  Nil

From the quay in Ouchy, your walk on the Via Francigena begins along the shores of the lake to Vilette. The trail winds through the UNESCO World Heritage listed Lavaux Vineyard Terraces, which date from the 11th century when Benedictine and Cistercian monasteries controlled the area. Enjoy fantastic views over the lake on your way to St-Légier Chiésaz. Distance 21 km/13mi, +455m/1492ft -455m/1492ft

Meals:  B

You continue walking today along the lake shore. The Swiss Museum of Games in the castle at Tour-de-Peilz and famous Schloss Chillon are worth a visit before you reach the Chablais wine region. From Villeneuve you'll continue on to the Rhone plain and follow an idyllic path along the Rhone. Arriving in Aigle you'll marvel at it's impressive castle surrounded by vineyards. Overnight Aigle, Yvorne. Distance 27km/17mi, Ascent 300m/984ft, descent 280m/920ft.

Meals:  B

The walk for today is generally quite flat, as you walk along the banks of the Rhone river. As you enter Saint Maurice you'll be able to see the town's famous cliffside Abbey. For pilgrims travelling the whole route from Canterbury to Rome, this is the half way point. Overnight Saint Maurice. Distance 19km/12mi, Ascent 500m/1640ft, descent 480m/1575ft

Meals:  B

Your walk today follows higher paths and roads to reach Martigny. Martigny, which is situated on the Rhone, has a history which stretches back over 2000 years. The town is home to a restored amphitheatre, Roman thermal baths, temples and living quarters which you can visit. Here you can also visit the St Bernard Dog Museum and learn of the role they played on the Francigena Way. Overnight Martigny. Distance 17km/10.5mi, Ascent 300m/985ft, descent 260m/853ft

Meals:  B

Today's walk is along narrow tracks, which are often in the surrounding forest. There are some steep climbs today. From Martigny a sometimes steep path leads over the narrow Les Trappistes pass to the medieval village of Sembrancher. From here the route follows the Napoleon-Weg. When you arrive in Orsieres you can take in its church and bell tower. Overnight Orsieres. Distance 18km/11.25mi, Ascent 745m/2444ft, descent 335m/1099ft

Meals:  B

Most of today's walk follows a steady climb but there are a few short, steeper sections. As you climb you're sure to be rewarded with the stunning alpine views. Bourg St Pierre is a small, alpine village with ties to Napoleon's Italian campaign. Overnight Bourg St Pierre. Distance 15km/9.5mi, Ascent 970m/3180ft, descent 335m/1099ft.

Meals:  B

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, in L’Hospitalet and on the Barasson-Pass. The pass is famous for its hospice and St Bernard dogs that were used to rescue weary pilgrims. Trip concludes. Accommodation is not included tonight - make your own onward arrangements or we can assist with booking the night at St Bernard pass - please ask for our rates. If you'd like to continue walking the Via Francigena, we offer multiple stages through Italy to Rome. Distance 13km/8mi, +1045m/3428ft, -305 m/1000ft

Meals:  B


Map

Elevation

The map and elevation chart are for illustrative purposes only and meant to provide general guidelines.
On self guided trips, actual route information provided before departure will be more detailed.


Inclusions

  • 7 breakfasts: Breakfasts are usually continental inclusive of breads, tea, coffee & juices.
  • 7 nights in 3-4 star hotels and mountain inns on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities
  • Digital information pack including route notes, maps, tourist information and navigational app access
  • Luggage Transfer, days 2 to 8. 1 piece maximum 20kg, supplement applies for excess
  • Emergency hotline
  • Credenziale, the pilgrim passport

  • Travel to Lausanne and from Saint Bernard Pass
  • Meals not listed as included, drinks
  • Travel insurance - mandatory
  • Guide – this is a self-guided walking holiday
  • A supplement will apply if you are travelling solo or book a single room
  • Entrance fees not listed as included
  • Transfers not listed as included
  • Transfers by taxi or public transport if you need to skip a stage
  • Excess Luggage
  • Hotel taxes if applicable – payable directly to the hotel
  • Items of a personal nature

Suitability

moderate to challenging

4

MODERATE to CHALLENGING – GRADE 4 This is a moderate to challenging grade walk along paths that are well defined and clearly marked. You should be an experienced walker and be able to walk for up to 27kms a day. There are some steep hills, and the terrain is mountainous in some parts. A good level of fitness is required. As with all of our trips it is important that you are well prepared. We suggest that you undertake regular exercise – swimming, cycling, and jogging, three to four times a week for three months prior to your departure. The walking times are calculated from town centre to town centre and may vary depending on the accommodations booked.


Departure dates

Daily from 15 Jun to 29 Sep

Notes

H
High Season
Note:
High season is from 15 Jun - 13 Sep, supplement applies

Priceper person from

£1440GBP

Options & Supplements*
  • Single supplementGBP£340
  • Solo traveller supplementGBP£360
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Personal Experience

We've been walking and cycling the planet for over four decades and are passionate about delivering exceptional service. Combined, we’ve travelled to virtually every corner of Europe, and are eager to share the many benefits of travelling on foot or by bike.

Great Value & Quality

Our well priced trips offer great value for money. Included in your package are comprehensive route notes, maps & guide books along with bag transfers and locally run accommodation. We take the stress out of organising your holiday.

Self-Guided Specialists

We have been operating active self guided holidays since 1973. We handle all the necessary logistics so that you can relax and explore your destination at your own pace. Many of our tours depart daily, giving you even greater flexibility.

Videos

Walking Italy's Via Francigena | Italian Camino | UTracks

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