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Duration
9 days
Activities
  • self guided walk
Accommodation
  • 8 nights in hotels / inns
Meals
  • 8 Breakfasts

Price

$1670USD

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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.

Trip Grading

moderate to challenging

More info about grading system

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. When you reach Villeneuve you'll continue on to the Rhone plain and follow an idyllic path along the Rhone. En route you can visit Montreux and before arriving in Aigle you'll marvel at it's impressive castle surrounded by vineyards. Overnight in a small hamlet before Aigle, Yvorne. Distance 23km/14mi, Ascent 450m/1476ft, descent 411m/1348ft.

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 475m/1558ft, descent 470m/1514ft

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 16km/10mi, Ascent 577m/1893ft, descent 519m/1702ft.

Meals:  B

Today's walk is along narrow tracks, which are often in the surrounding forest. There are some steep climbs today. 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 1152m/3780ft, descent 416m/1365ft.

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. Overnight on the Saint Bernard Pass. Distance 13km/8mi, +1'045m/3428ft, -305 m/1000ft

Meals:  B

After breakfast the trip concludes. Alternatively you can continue on the Francigena Way to Ivrea.

Meals:  B


Inclusions

  • 8 breakfasts: Breakfasts are usually continental inclusive of breads, tea, coffee & juices.
  • 8 nights in 3-4 star hotels and inns on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities
  • Information pack including route notes and maps per room booked
  • Luggage transfer from day 2 to day 8
  • Emergency hotline
  • Credenziale, the pilgrim passport

  • Travel to Lausanne and from Saint Bernard Pass
  • Meals not included (lunch and dinner daily)
  • Items of a personal nature including drinks, souvenirs, phone calls, internet and laundry etc.
  • Entrance fees (museums, galleries etc.)
  • Guide - this is a self guided tour
  • Travel insurance - mandatory
  • Hotel taxes - allow EUR13 pp (subject to change)

Grading

moderate to challenging  

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 11 hours a day (although most days are between 6 to 7 hours) in hot sun on dusty and stony tracks. 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 02 Jul to 25 Sep

Notes

H
High Season
DN1
High season is from 2 Jul to 9 Sep - supplement applies
DN4
Prices valid to 31 December 2021

Want to organise a private group?

Fundraising events, sporting groups, family treats; learn how you can organise a Private Group from just 6 travellers.

Total Priceper person from

$1670USD

Options & Supplements*
  • Single / solo SupplementUSD$470
*Prices listed are per person

Trip reviews


Why travel with us

Making Europe Affordable

We offer different levels of accommodation and comfort so that even the most budget conscious can treat themselves to active holidays on Europe's most celebrated tracks and trails. Our trips are great value for money because you only pay for what you want.  

Self-Guided Specialists

Our wide range of self-guided itineraries embody the UTracks philosophy of exploring Europe your way. We handle the logistics so all that's left for you to do is enjoy exploring Europe at your own pace. Most depart daily with a minimum of two people, meaning maximum flexibility.

Our Wide Range

With close to 400 trips in almost 50 countries, including the largest range of bike & boat holidays in Europe, we're confident that we can organise an Alps walk, Camino de Santiago or Via Francigena experience, Food Lovers' trip or a tour in a lesser-known pocket of Europe that you will love. 

Videos

Walking Italy's Via Francigena | Italian Camino | UTracks
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