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Via Francigena – Lausanne to Aosta 9/16 HIGHLIGHTS

Walking Section 9 of 16

  • Lake-Geneva-vineyards-Switzerland-Via-Francigena-camino-walking-holiday-Francigena-ways-highlights
  • Lausanne-Cathedral-Notre-Dame-Switzerland-Via-Francigena-Francigena-ways
  • chateau-chillon-lake-geneva-switzerland-via-francigena-francigenaways
  • Chateau-de-Chillon-lake-geneva-switzerland-via-francigena-francigena-ways
  • Martigny-Switzerland-Via-Francigena-Francigena-ways
  • st-bernards-pass-alps-walking-via-francigena-francigenaways
  • alps-via-francigena-francigenaways
  • Bourg-St-Pierre-Switzerland-Via-Francigena-Francigena-ways
  • alps-goats-switzerland-walking-via-francigena-ways

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Via Francigena – Section 9: The ninth section of the Via Francigena takes pilgrims from Lausanne to Aosta, from Lake Geneva in Switzerland, across the Alps and into Italy.

Some truly spectacular landscapes await on this section of the Camino to Rome, first as you walk by the shore of Lake Geneva, Chateau de Chillon and the UNESCO-listed vineyards of Lavaux; then as you climb up to the Alps and the Great St Bernard’s Pass and finally as you head into Italy and the Aosta Valley.

After Lake Geneva, the Rhone Valley and their relatively easy terrain behind, you will start to steadily climb to Bourg Saint Pierre, but breath-taking Alpine views will be your reward. Pilgrims have been travelling the Via Francigena across the Great St Bernard’s Pass for centuries but bear in mind, due to altitude and weather conditions, this route is only open to walkers in the Summer months. Talk to the FrancigenaWays.com specialists if you need advice.

Trip highlights

  • Admire the natural and architectural beauty of Lausanne
  • Visit the fairytale Chateau de Chillon by Lake Geneva
  • Treat yourself to the famous Swiss cheese 'fondue'
  • Enjoy the peace at the Great St Bernard Pass in the Alps

1 Lausanne

Lausanne-Cathedral-Notre-Dame-Switzerland-Via-Francigena-Francigena-ways

You will start your trip in Lausanne, also known as the ‘San Francisco of Switzerland’, with the nickname coming from the fact that Lausanne is scattered along incredibly steep hills, above Lake Geneva. Highlights include the Notre-Dame cathedral, views of Lake Geneva and the old town, the Olympic Museum and Beaulieu Castle. You will be booked in an en-suite hotel room in the centre of town.

2 Lausanne to Vevey - 20km

lake-geneva-lavaux-vineyards-francigena-ways

6h | +467m / -459m
Today, the Via Francigena takes you out of the city of Lausanne and along Lake Geneva. Right before you reach Vevey, the route will climbs sharply into the impressive UNESCO-listed terraced vineyards of Lavaux, before leading you again to the lake shore and Vevey.

3 Vevey to Aigle - 27km

Chateau-de-Chillon-lake-geneva-switzerland-via-francigena-francigena-ways

8h | +257m / -230m
Today, the first part of your walk will follow the path (Route 70) by the lake shore. On your way, Montreux is a cultural hub, home to a famous Jazz Festival and many other events during the year. You will also see the fairy-tale Chateau of Chillon on this section of the Via Francigena.

4 Aigle to Saint-Maurice - 14km

Saint-Maurice-Switzerland-Via-Francigena-Francigena-ways

5h30 | +158m / -150m
This entire section of the Via Francigena, from Aigle to Saint Maurice takes pilgrims along the Rhone River, which means that the trail is quite flat and easy today. In Saint Maurice you should visit the beautiful abbey, built against the cliff.

5 Saint-Maurice to Martigny - 16km

Martigny-Switzerland-Via-Francigena-Francigena-ways

5h | +297m / -245m
Today the Via Francigena route will follow higher paths and roads to the village of Martigny, after a few kilometres following the Rhone. In Martigny, look out for Roman archaeological sites, particularly the amphitheatre.

6 Martigny to Orsières - 20km

Orsiere-Switzerland-Via-Francigena-Francigena-ways

6h | +872m / -460m
Today is a climbing day all the day tol Orsières. Right after leaving Martigny, the Via Francigena route will take you on narrow tracks, mainly in the forest, with steep ascents. Once you have reached your destination for the night: Orsières, make sure you visit the church and its bell-tower.

7 Orsières to Bourg-St Pierre - 15km

Bourg-St-Pierre-Switzerland-Via-Francigena-Francigena-ways

4h30 | +1039m / -304m
Today, you will be climbing steadily from Orsières to Bourg-St Pierre, on off-road sections with some short, steep parts. Bourg-St Pierre is a small classic alpine village, and was an important staging point for Napoleon’s Italian campaign.

8 Bourg St Pierre to Col Du Grand San Bernardo - 12km

Col-du-Grand-San-Bernardo-Switzerland-Via-Francigena-Francigena-ways

3h45 | +1123m / -300m
Today will see you follow a route that has been taken by pilgrims and in constant use for over 2,000 years. After leaving Bourg St Pierre, the Via Francigena takes you south towards Colle del San Bernardo, the Great St Bernard’s Pass. Along the way you will pass Lac des Toules and its dam. Sitting at 2,469m above sea level, the Col du Grand St. Bernard has been used over the centuries by the armies of Rome and Napoleon as well as pilgrims on their way to the ‘eternal city’. The pass is perhaps most famous for its hospice where the famous St. Bernard dogs were originally bred. Due to weather conditions and altitude, this section of the Via Francigena is only open to pilgrims during the Summer months. Ask our team for advice.

9 Col Du Grand San Bernardo to Aosta - 29km

Aosta-Piazza-Chanoux-City-Hall-Italy-Via-Francigena-Francigena-ways

7h | +617m / -2485m
Your last walking day on this spectacular section of the Via Francigena will see you gradually descend to the town of Aosta along the banks of the Torrente Buthier river. Aosta was originally founded by an alpine tribe known as the Salassi and the town’s position as a gateway to the Alps saw it change hands many times over the centuries. It was held by the Romans, Burgundians, Ostrogoths, Byzantines and the Frankish before it finally became part of the Kingdom of Italy. As a result, there is an abundance of archaeology and historic sites in the town, including the Augusta Praetoria Roman ruins.

Easy Walking Option Stay in Etroubles - 13km & 16km

Etroubles-ViaFrancigena-Francigena-ways

3h30 | +308 / -1242m
Split the long walking day above, from Great St Bernard’s Pass to Aosta, into two stages of 14km and 16km instead of 30km, staying in the village of Etroubles.

10 Aosta

Aosta-Italy-Via-Francigena-Francigena-ways

Take some time to explore the interesting ancient sites in the town of Aosta before the end of your trip.

We have hand picked our hotels on the Via Francigena, the Camino to Rome, based on their character, facilities and comfort. You will usually arrive at your accommodation in the afternoon giving you plenty of time for a refreshing shower and a visit to the local village, or maybe just to unwind and relax yourself. Please note: Accommodation is subject to availability. Hotel Upgrades are available in most cities and larger towns. Ask the FrancigenaWays.com team.

Lausanne - Standard

We have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Via Francigena for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the trail.

Villeneuve - Standard

We have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Via Francigena for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the trail.

St Maurice - Standard

We have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Via Francigena for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the trail.

Martigny - Standard

We have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Via Francigena for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the trail.

Orsières - Standard

We have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Via Francigena for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the trail.

Bourg-Saint-Pierre - Standard

We have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Via Francigena for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the trail.

Col du Gran Sand Bernardo - Standard

We have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Via Francigena for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the trail.

Aosta - Standard

We have hand-picked family-run hotels and guesthouses along the Via Francigena for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to the trail.

Lausanne Average Temperature & Rainfall
Lausanne-average-temperature Lausanne-average-rainfall

Aosta Average Temperature & Rainfall
Aosta-average-temperature Aosta-average-rainfall

Flying IN and OUT

Hot to get to Lausanne:
There is no international airport in Lausanne, so you can fly to one of the three other Swiss International airports (Geneva, Zurich, or Basel)
Best option: Geneva International Airport – Cointrin (60km)
Geneva Airport has direct flights from many international destinations, see www.gva.ch for airlines, schedules and information.
Alternative option (a): Zurich Airport – Kloten (230km)
Zurich Airport has direct flights from many international destinations; including routes operated by Aer Lingus, American Airlines and EasyJet. For more information visit: www.zurich-airport.com.
Alternative option (b): Basel Airport – EuroAirport (207km)
Basel Airport has direct flights from many international destinations; including routes operated by British Airlines, Lufthansa, KLM, EasyJet and Ryanair. For more information visit: www.euroairport.com.

 

How to get back from Aosta:
Best option: Turin Airport (117km)
There are many direct flights to Turin. Ryanair, Air France, Alitalia, British Airways, Iberia and Lufthansa are among the airlines flying to Turin. Thomas Cook Airlines and Thomson Airways also operate seasonal flights from Ireland and the UK. Airport info www.turin-airport.com.
Alternative option: Milan airports (179km)
– Milan Airport (Malpensa)
Milan (Malpensa) is the main international airport for Milan and virtually all airlines operate there. It is located 30km north-west of Milan. For airport info, see: www.sea-aeroportimilano.it/en/malpensa/index.phtml
– Milan Airport (Orio al Serio)
Milan (Orio al Serio) serves most destinations in Europe with Ryanair being the main operator. It is situated about 30km north-east of Milan. For airport info, see: www.sacbo.it/Airpor/portalProcess.jsp
– Milan Airport (Linate)
Milan (Linate) is the closest airport to Milan city centre. Most destinations in Europe are connected with Linate Airport with Alitalia being the main operator. It is located 5km to the east of the city centre. For airport info, see: www.sea-aeroportimilano.it/en/linate/

TO and FROM the airports

How to get to Lausanne:
From Geneva International Airport: you can take a train from the airport to Lausanne (45 minutes travel time), there are 3 departures per hour. Most connections are direct and there is no need to change. Full timetable details are available at: www.sbb.ch.
From Zurich airport – Kloten: the train journey from the airport to Lausanne takes 2h. and there are 2 departures per hour. Some trains require changing in Bern or Zurich main station. To check information and timetable see: www.sbb.ch.
From Basel airport – EuroAirport: the railway station is not in the airport but there is a shuttle service that gets you to the main train station (Basel SBB), in 20 minutes. From the train station, the journey to Lausanne takes about 2h30. There are 2 trains per hour and most trains require changing in Bern or in Biel/Bienne. To check schedule, see: www.sbb.ch.

 

How to get back from Aosta:
To Turin Airport:
Trains operate from Aosta to Turin Train Station, also called Torino Porta Nueva, but you will need to change either at Ivrea or Chivasso. The trip takes roughly 2 hours. For timetables and details see: www.trenitalia.com. From Turin Train Station various bus services run to the airport located 16km away. SADEM Bus stop is located at Torino Porta Nueva. Travel time is approximately 40 minutes. For more information, see www.sadem.it

Or SAVDA Bus Service connects Aosta and Turin Airport, and has various stops along the way. The bus journey takes from 90 minutes to an hour and 20 minutes, depending on traffic conditions and the length of the stops. One-way fare costs €7.00. The SAVDA buses operate a twice daily, in the morning and in the evening. For information and schedule, see: www.savda.it

To Milan:
The best way to travel from Aosta to Milan is by bus as many bus companies operate in the valley. The fastest is SAVDA Bus Service, see www.savda.it. The trip takes roughly 2h45.
You can also take the train but it will require a couple changes whether at Chivasso, Ivrea or Navaro. See www.trenitalia.com.
– Milan Airport (Malpensa): There are direct transfers from Aosta to Milan Malpensa Airport taking approximately 2 hours. See www.shuttledirect.com.
There are also trains from Aosta and Milan with couple changes either at Chivasso, Ivrea or Navaro. The journey takes approximately 2h30. For timetables and details see www.trenitalia.com. If you get off at Navaro, STN Bus service provides a service to Milan Malpensa Airport taking approximately 50 minutes. Se www.stnnet.it.
– Milan Airport (Orio al Serio): You can either take SAVDA Bus Service or the train. From Milan Central take the Orio Shuttle Bus to Milan Orio al Serio Airport, running every 30 minutes. Travel time is approximately 50 minutes. See www.orioshuttle.com
– Milan Airport (Linate): There are direct transfers from Aosta to Milan Linate Airport, taking approximately 2 hours. See www.shuttledirect.com.
OR once you reach Milan Central, you can take one of the many shuttle bus services available to Milan Linate Airport such as STARFLY or ATM. See www.milanolinate-airport.com/en/directions-and-parking for more information. Urban buses also connect the city with the airport, see www.atm.it

Please select from our available tours below and proceed to booking. Contact the team if you have any special requests.


Select your trip

1. Tour options - Select your trip type

  • Stay in our hand-picked accommodation, all rooms en-suite. Price pp, half board.

    Single Room
    €1429
    Double/Twin Room
    €1155
  • Split the last day from the Great St Bernard's Pass to Aosta, staying in Etroubles. Price pp, half board.

    Single Room
    €1594
    Double/Twin Room
    €1290

2. Select Date

3. No. of rooms

  • Single (1 bed)
  • Twin Rooms (2 beds)
  • Double (1 large bed for 2)

What's Included

  • Accommodation and two dinners
  • Luggage transferred from hotel to hotel
  • Rooms en-suite
  • Holiday Pack including: walking notes, maps, practical information and pilgrim passports

We also offer

  • Airport transfers, hotel upgrades (when available)