Long before welcoming skiers from all over the world to its resorts, this fertile area in the Alps was frequented by men and their various goods – dating back to the Neolothic period – and perhaps even by Hannibal during his passage through the Alps in 218AD, with his elephants.
Strategic for the Roman Empire, the conquest of Gaul built a path to connect Milan to Vienna and many of the royal houses of Italy sprang forth – this is the area you will explore on this incredible riding week. It’s a magical week filled with truly spectacular views, deep valleys with babbling streams and long fun canters through high meadows. Along the way, you will stay in excellent accommodation and dine like royalty.
Welcome to Mont Blanc!
Dates: June 25-July 1
Rates: $3,905.00 USD per person sharing. Single Supplement $895.00 USD
Non Rider Rate: $3,405.00 USD (must share with a rider)
***Note: There is a small group supplement as follows, we are happy to advise on the size of the group at any time.
2 people: $980.00 USD per person
3 people: $425.00 USD per person
4 people: $230.00 USD per person
- 7 nights accommodation
- 6 days of guided riding and visits
- All meals as outlined in the itinerary
- Horse and all tack
- Guiding services
- All local taxes
- Travel Insurance
- Alcoholic beverages
- Airport/Train Station transfers
- Gratuities for the riding staff at the end of the stay
Day 1: Arrival
Arrive to the Geneva Airport of the SCNF train station at Landry and transfer (independent) to the hotel de la Vanoise *** in Peisey Nancroix.
Day 2 : La Chenarie - Alpages de Rossaix
After breakfast, you'll meet your horse for the week and head out for about two hours on horseback. Your ride starts from la Chenarie where you explore the forested paths of Carroz blanc. It's a perfect way for the horses to stretch their legs and for you to become acquainted - and also one that offers a sublime view of the Bellecôte massif.
Opening up to wide open landscape of the Rossaix pastures, you'll enjoy your first fun canter.
Along the way, you'll see the charming little Tarine cows - quintessential Switzerland, and all so curious about you and your horse. You'll visit a Beaufort-made alpine pasture and enjoy a wonderful lunch on site.
After lunch, your ride is approximately another two hours and you'll return back by the Carroz Blanc forest path again.
Dinner and overnight at the Vanoise hotel.
Day 3 : La Chenarie- Mines d'Argent de Peisey - Rosuel
Another fun two hour ride awaits you this morning. The silver veins of Peisey, renamed the "Silver Mount", were discovered in 1644. We visit the site on horseback then ride in the Rosuel Valley before stopping for a traditional lunch at "Chez Felix".
After lunch you'll ride for another two hours - this time an enchanting ride in the Vanoise National Park, discovering its high peaks, waterfalls, forests and animals living in the Park : marmots, vultures including the very rare Gyapète, eagles, chamois, ibex ...
We will stop and have a visit with a naturalist guide from the Vanoise National Park. Dinner at the Rosuel refuge in the heart of the Park and then overnight at the Vanoise hotel.
Day 4 : La Chenarie - Les Vernettes - Nancroix - Landry
Our ride this morning is a bit shorter, about one hour. Savoy baroque art is at the heart of the reconquest of souls during the counter reform. And we will discover and learn about this. Our journey begins at Chenarie and a hike to Parcompuet, to the Baroque chapel of Vernettes.
We have a chance to visit the Chapel, then we descend into the valley to Nancroix where we enjoy lunch in a typical Swiss restaurant.
After lunch, we mount up and head out for about a three hour journey - starting along the Ponthurin to the village of Moulin then Peisey Nancroix, which we pass through on horseback, then descend into the Tarentaise Valley to the Baroque church of Landry, located at the foot of the Roman road.
We have a wonderful chance to visit Landry church after which we will transfer to Angèle's farm, a charming Savoyard chalet in Seez. Dinner and overnight at Angèle's farm.
Day 5 : St Germain - Col du Petit Saint Bernard
AM - about 4 hours on horseback
The frequent alpine passes by men and their various goods goes back to a very ancient time (3000 to 2500 BC). In the bronze age there were already important trade flows. Some invaders from Italy crossed the Alps before the Gallo-Roman period, the Gauls of Bellovese around 309 BC, the Carthaginians with Hannibal in 218 BC, Hasdrubal around 207, Cimbres in 101 BC
The construction of the road we ride today - that passes through the Petit Saint Bernard pass - (In Alpe Graia) - probably dates back to the period of Julius Caesar around 45 BC, its completion was around the year 2 or 3 AD.
This was the main road that linked Milan to Vienna, in the Rhône Valley. Around the year 18 AD the Greek geographer Strabo indicates that it was passable by horse carriage for most of its route. It's amazing history and here we are riding in the same footsteps!
From Seez, we will find the Roman road to Saint Germain, which we will follow to the pass. It is well marked at the border near the "Cromlech" and the Colonne Joux (Columna Jovis). We've earned our lunch break and visit to the Petit Saint Bernard hospice museum.
After our lunch and visit of the museum about the Petit Saint Bernard pass we go on to discover the Roman ruins. A truly amazing piece of history! After this, we transfer by minibus to the Pré Saint Didier thermal baths where we have a sublime view of the Mont Blanc chain. We then transfer to the medieval charming Hotel Dolonne at Courmayeur ***.
Day 6 : Minibus excursion in Valle d'Aosta
AM - Visit of Aosta (Italy).
The new colony of Augusta Praetoria Salassorum (Aosta) was founded in 25 BC. at the very place of the headquarters (praetorium) of the old fortified camp, at the crossroads between the road of Grand-Saint-Bernard (Mons Jovis or Mont Joux), and that of Petit-Saint-Bernard (Columna Jovis or "Colonne de Joux", or Alpis Graia).
At the end of the Roman Empire, the strategic position of Valle d'Aosta was the object of much lust. Successively conquered by many: Burgondes, Ostrogoths, then occupied by the Lombards. In 575, peace between the Merovingian king of Burgundy and Orleans, and the Lombards was proclaimed.
The Aosta Valley is incorporated into the kingdom of the Franks, who reserve control of the Alpine passes. The border between the kingdom of Burgondes and Lombardy is fixed at Pont-Saint-Martin. This change of orientation towards Lyon and Vienna fixes the toponymy, where we often meet Martin de Tours, as well as Denis de Paris (Saint-Denis) and Remi de Reims (Saint-Rhémy-en-Bosses). The feudal nobility has long had a preponderant weight in political and social history, and built many castles and forts of military function, and were political, economic and cultural centers.
The first viscount, known to this day as Boson I was named in 1100. One of his successors, Ebal I of Challant renounced this title in 1295 in favor of the House of Savoy. Learning about all of this history, we will visit Arc of Triomphe, la porte Prétorian door and the numerous Roman remains of Aosta, as well as its medieval buildings. After which, we will have a fine typical Italian lunch in Trattoria al Dente.
PM - In the afternoon we will visit the medieval and renaissance castle of Fenis, and will discover its magnificent frescoes.
Dinner and night at hotel Dolonne in Courmayeur.
Day 7 : Departure or optional extra day/night with visit to Val ferret at the foot of the Mont Blanc chain
If departing, breakfast is independent and you may choose to visit Courmayeur and enjoy some shopping before departing to the Geneva airport.
If adding the extra day, you have 3 options for your enjoyment:
Option 1 : Easy guided hike to enjoy the area and learn more of the history. About 4 hours of hiking.
The hike on a balcony path offers breathtaking views of at the foot of a dazzling series of ridges, peaks, glaciers created by unleashed Gods, who made, and are dreaming of mountaineers around the world. The rich history, flora and fauna all narrated by your guide. During the hike, l will be taken in a mountain refuge or a nice picnic will be arranged - according to the weather conditions...
Option 2 : Electric bike ride in Val Ferret - about 4 hours
If you'd rather pedal than hike, you can avail yourself of an electric bike ride in Val Ferret, or with a guide in Val Venis and Val Ferret (extra fee). You'll find plenty of choice for lunch in one of the restaurants of the valley or you may opt to carry your items and make your own picnic.
Option 3 : Courmayeur - Pointe Helbrooner in cable car
AM - This morning is reserved for perusing the local market and/or shopping in Courmayeur
PM - In the afternoon, take a cable car and climb to Pointe Helbronner 11371ft and enjoy the views in all directions - we recommend you take lunch in the Bistrot to further enjoy the views in all directions.
Dinner and night at hotel Dolonne in Courmayeur.
Day 8: Departure
Breakfast on your own and then time to depart. If you need help with transfers to Geneva airport, we are happy to assist.