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The Val Ferret Talweg

Similarly to the Mont Blanc and Val Ferret Glacial Environments, the Val Ferret’s Talweg represents a true treasury of biodiversity. We are dealing here with a “natural system” which can be defined as unique in Valle d’Aosta, a true mosaic of habitats which differ one from the other but which are always strictly dependent on the element of water. Riverbanks and shores, marshlands, peat-bogs and spring water environments form important reservoirs for the preservation of hygrophilous species which are rare or in danger of extinction.
These singular natural environments, formed by diversified habitats and nourished by spring waters and lateral torrents collecting waters from the glacier thawing, extend towards the flooding plain of Val Ferret, from Tronchey to Arp Nouva, passing through Pra Sec, Lavachey, Frebouge and Ferrachet.
They consist of very small areas where their delicate and precarious equilibrium depends on the presence of water; peat-bogs, covering 35% of the land, are highly representative of the environment. The rarest and most interesting botanical species are in fact hydrophilous and/or hydrophitous plants, such as theUtricularia minor, an aquatic plant of small dimensions which lives in small puddles of stagnant water and which gets its nitrogen from the capture and digestion of small aquatic organisms. Borders of meadows insert themselves within peat-bogs where the earth, although humid, is not as impregnated with water and thus allows the development of an even richer and more diversified flora.


  • Hiking

    A very short walk, adapted to all levels, leaves from the parking area of Pra-Sec and follows trailmark 29 in its first part, and then continues on the right on the local trail which leads to Lavachey. Other trails whose destinations are the Elena Refuge and the Passes of Grand and Petit Ferret, depart from Arp Nouvaz and in their first section cross and run along a part of the Talweg.

Discover the site

The best time to visit the site is summer (June-July), when the valleys are beautifully coloured by the flowers in bloom. Because the environment is rich with rare species, some in danger of extinction, it is recommended to visit the site in small groups, to stay on the marked trails and to be particularly careful of this fragile ecosystem.

Behavioural conduct rules

We remind you that you can contribute to the preservation of these sites by following these simple rules:

visit the site on foot, with skis or snowshoes; avoid using motorized vehicles, boating equipment, hang-gliders, para-gliders or similar; mountain bikes and horseback riding are permitted only in specific authorized areas (external to the site): please respect hikers;

please stay within the marked trails, as trampling can ruin the fragile grass and undergrowth areas; in winter, please follow the recommended trails so as not to disturb animals which are fighting against hunger and cold;

please observe wild animals from a distance, do not capture them, do not disturb them nor feed them, and do not photograph occupied nests;

keep your dog on a leash and on the marked trails;

do not pick minerals or flowers;

do not make fires;

please bring your garbage back to the villages, where you will find many recyclable waste-collection points;

camping is permitted only for nightly bivouacs at an altitude of over 2500 meters; take care not to wash your dishware in springs or stagnant ponds of water; campers and trailers must be parked outside of the park, in specific authorized areas.

How to get there

By train

Many daily trains connect the stations of Pré - St. Didier and Aosta (Aosta- Pré Saint Didier line). From Pré - St. Didier a shuttle service, corresponding with trains’ arrival and departure times, will take you to Courmayeur.

By bus

Many buses reach the municipality of Courmayeur, from Aosta and other cities of Piedmont, Lombardy, Liguria and also France. During the touristic winter and summer seasons, the service is intensified. Since traffic access to the lateral valleys of Veny and Ferret is regulated, bus trips are multiplied to serve these destinations, with departure from Retegno Square in La Palud. In order to reach Val Ferret, take the Verrand - Courmayeur - La Palud - Planpincieux - Arp Nouvaz busline.

The following public parking areas are available:
- Monte Bianco parking area (with fee; first hour free)
- Grivel parking area, in Dolonne, next to the Sports Centre (free; no parking on Wednesday mornings)
- Retegno parking area, in La Palud, next to the Mont Blanc Cableway and at the entrance of Val Ferret (free)
- Volpi parking area, at the autoroute’s exit and in front of the cableways (free)
- Val Veny parking area in Entrèves (free)

Accessibility codification of sites

VIVA has chosen to supply everyone – youngsters, adults, the elderly and the disabled – with all the sites’ information so as to allow the visitor to choose a destination in an autonomous way.
An “Accessibility Codification”has thus been defined.

The Val Ferret Talweg

Information to reach the site 1
Accessibility from main roads 2
Parking for the disabled 2
Accessible restrooms 1
Information panels 0
Slopes (max 8%) 2
Trail width (min 90cm) 2
Road surface 1
Resting areas approx every 10 m 1
Safety and protection of trails 2
Periodic maintenance 2

0 corresponds to ABSENCE of the indicated parameter;
3 corresponds to the PRESENCE of the indicated parameter, in optimal condition;
1 – 2 are INTERMEDIATE VALUES: in general, they indicate the presence of the parameter which must however be improved (1 = sufficient, 2 = close to optimal)


More paths :

VIVA suggests:

Short path


  • Elevation gain : pochi metri
  • Travel time: 30 min
  • Signposting:

What to see:


Easy trails: routes that present no major technical difficulties or too challenging slopes. They can be covered in full or in small sections, allowing in both cases to come into contact with unspoilt nature, discovering its pace and balance …

Medium difficult trails: routes that can be covered in a day, varying considerably in terms of height differences and technical difficulty; the benefit is in being able to reach wildlife destinations of great impact.

Long trails: excursions lasting several days which provide for stopover places and catering along the route.

cartina The Val Ferret Talweg

SIC SIC IT1204032

Municipality: Courmayeur

Surface: 119,8 ha

Altitude: 1.623 ÷ 1.790 m s.l.m.

Responsible forest station:


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