***Due to the COVID-19 pandemic this itinerary has been cancelled. Watch this site for our upcoming 2021 itineraries.***
Spanning 1800 kilometers between Canterbury and Rome, the Via Francigena is a World Heritage pilgrim walk. The most challenging and beautiful section is its transit of the Alps at the Grand St Bernard Pass between Switzerland and Italy. This unforgettable Alpine walk features snow-capped mountain peaks, towering waterfalls and majestic forests, interspersed with castles, Roman bridges and spectacular mountain scenery. The walk is also the most difficult section of the Via Francigena, making a group excursion the safest and most enjoyable way to travel.
- September 6, 2020 – Gather in Lausanne, Switzerland– Home to the International Olympic Committee, Lausanne sits on the north shore of beautiful Lake Geneva. Tonight, meet your fellow travelers and prepare for your first day of walking.
- September 7, 2020 – Lausanne to Vevey (21.0km/13.0miles)– Leave Lausanne on charming lakeside trails, then head up onto vineyard-covered mountain sides on the way to lakeside Vevey.
- September 8, 2020 – Vevey to Aigle (25.8km/16.0miles) – July’s annual Jazz Festival put Montreux on the map. Enjoy its lakeside promenade and then beautiful Chillon Castle before saying goodbye to the lake and heading up the Rhône Valley to Aigle.
- September 9, 2020 – Aigle to St Maurice (16.6km/10.3miles)– As the valley narrows and the track slowly climbs, mountain towns like Ollon exude Swiss charm. Set along tall cliffs, the town of St Maurice holds one of Europe’s oldest monasteries.
- September 10, 2020 – St Maurice to Martigny (16.7km/10.4miles)– The valley continues to narrow while the boulder-strewn route traverses mountainsides in quiet forests to the accompaniment of waterfalls cascading down steep cliffs.
- September 11, 2020 – Martigny to Orsieres (18.4km/11.4miles) – The path continues to ascend on narrow mountain paths under tall forests. The valleys are just wide enough for a two-lane road, a train track, and your pathway.
- September 12, 2020 – Orsieres to Bourg St Pierre (14.0km/8.7miles)– The last night in Switzerland is spent above the tree line in the sparse settlement of Bourg St Pierre after the truly first steep climb of the walk.
- September 13, 2020 – Bourg St Pierre to Col St Bernard (12.6km/7.8miles)– The climb concludes in an enchanting land of heather, cool streams and tall, snowy peaks. Summit at the historic St Bernard Hospital where dogs are still trained to rescue stranded hikers.
- September 14, 2020 – Col St Bernard to Echennevoz (14.8km/9.2miles) – The first steps follow cattle trails down the green peaks and then a path alongside a delightful wayside canal that feeds vast, irrigated fields far below.
- September 15, 2020 – Echennevoz to Aosta (13.9km/8.6miles) – Italian Alpine towns like Etroubles dot the countryside as the road continues downhill to the Roman city of Aosta, now capital of the Italian Aosta Valley region.
- September 16, 2020 – Aosta to Chattillon (27.7km/17.2miles) – Castles stand like silent sentinels on hilltops below tall peaks whose steep slopes end at the green valley floor below.
- September 17, 2020 – Chatillon to Verres (18.5km/11.5miles) – A day
- September 18, 2020 – Verres to Ponte-Saint-Martin (16.0km/10.0miles) – The town of Bard relives its medieval roots each day as its trendy shops welcome tourists and pilgrims both. Roman bridges cross the blue-green waters of the Dora Balthea River.
- September 19, 2020 – Ponte-Saint-Martin to Ivrea (23.4km/14.5miles) – Widening out into the Po River Plain, the Aosta Valley ends at the castles of Ivrea, while the Italian National Kayak Team practices its maneuvers on the cascading currents of the Balthea River in the heart of town.
- September 20, 2020 – Depart Ivrea– Catch a train to Milan or Torino to return home, or continue your holiday with a stop in Venice, Florence or Rome.