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Glacial environments of the Mont Blanc

Climb to 4.000 meters and find yourself surrounded by an imposing glacial complex, with majestic peaks and vast valleys, and you will live a breathtaking experience. The area extends along the entire Italian slope of the Mont Blanc, from the Seigne pass to the Ferret pass, in the municipality of Courmayeur, and also includes a part of the valley of Chavanne, in the municipality of La Thuile. A natural heritage which still today houses intact habitats, animal and plant species which are characteristic - and in some cases very rare - of the high level of the site’s biodiversity.
The surprising richness of this glacial environment can be seen through the very beautiful blossoming of alpine Columbines and the famous Lady’s Slipper orchids, and the presence of marmots, stein-bocks and Chamois. Here live a rare albino colony of marmots and one of stein-bocks - the highest in Europe, which contributes to safeguard important migratory cross-border passages. While peaks offer ideal habitats for large rapacious birds such as the Golden Eagle and the Chough, the shrublands and the meadows welcome the Forked Cock and the White Grouse.
The Saussurea Alpine Botanical Garden makes this site all the more spectacular, with its 7.000 sq.m. of land which houses 800 plant species, both local and exotic, which come from other national and European gardens and universities. The Mont Blanc site is a true heritage of nature.


  • Hiking

    For hiking lovers, trails are numerous, very beautiful and well indicated, and are provided with many refuges; in some segments, they are facilitated by ski installations which are present in the municipality of Courmayeur. In summer, in proximity of the Seigne Pass, you will find a singular visitors’ centre, built according to principles of sustainability, which offers complete information services for hiking tourism.
    All itineraries are described in the TRAILS section.

  • Mountain biking

    There are many possible mountain bike itineraries, including those along the farm road of Val Veny which reach the base of the Calcareous Pyramids, and those to the Elena, Bonatti and Bertone refuges.

  • Horseback riding

    As in the case for bikers, riders can also enjoy many itineraries, including those along the farm road of Val Veny which reach the base of the Calcareous Pyramids, and those to the Elena Refuge.

  • Snowshoe trekking

    A trail which leads to Lake of Miage, departing from La Visaille, can be undertaken with snowshoes. Please consult the regional weather and snow forecasts before your departure, as the area is subject to avalanches.

Discover the site

The best time to visit high-altitude mountain environments such as this one is undoubtedly in summer, especially for their magnificent blossoming from mid-July to mid-August. Autumn also offers a very pleasant landscape with its contrast of colours between larch and evergreen conifer forests.
In its vastness and variety, the site is accessible to everyone thanks to the diversity of trails, surveyed to satisfy all demands, from those of school groups, families with children and expert hikers. It is recommended to strictly follow the trails’ paths, without ever leaving them, be it on foot or especially on mountain bikes or horses.

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 car and camper

The municipality of Courmayeur can easily be reached by the S.S. 26 state road or by the A5/E25 autoroute, Aosta-Monte Bianco direction, exiting at Courmayeur.
The municipality of Courmayeur has always been actively engaged in the protection of its natural heritage, and for this reason it invites visitors to use the bus service, especially during the summer when parking is limited.

By train

Many daily trains connect the stations of Pré-Saint-Didier and Aosta. A convenient shuttle service connects Pré-Saint-Didier to Courmayeur.

By bus

Many buses reach Courmayeur from Aosta and other cities of Piedmont, Lombardy and Liguria. During the winter and summer seasons, this service is intensified, especially in the valleys of Veny and Ferret.

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 (free)
- Volpi parking area, in front of the cableways (free)
- Val Veny parking area in Entrèves (free)
To reach Val Ferret, use the Verrand-Courmayeur-La Palud-Planpincieux-Arp Nouvaz busline (in Arp Nouvaz, you can park your car). Val Veny can be reached in summer with a shuttle service which stops at La Visaille, at the foot of the Miage Glacier.

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.

Glacial environments of the Mont Blanc

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

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

Lago del Miage

  • Elevation gain : 384 m
  • Travel time: 1h30
  • Signposting: 7-8-9-12-13-14-15-16-18-18A

What to see:


Long path

Tour Monte Bianco

  • Elevation gain : 1.320 m
  • Travel time: più giorni
  • Signposting: TMB-AV1-AV2

What to see:


Average path


  • Elevation gain : 790 m
  • Travel time: 2h - 2h30
  • Signposting: 20

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 Glacial environments of the Mont Blanc

SIC SIC IT1204010

Municipality: Courmayeur

Surface: 12.557,3 ha

Altitude: 1.400 ÷ 4.810 m s.l.m.

Responsible forest station:


Val Veny By bike

Val Veny By bike
Ciclo-escursione con pedalata assistita

Tour all’ombra dei 4000

Tour all’ombra dei 4000
Le  cime più alte d’Europa, tra  paesaggi mozzafiato e natura senza confini

I Talweg della Val Ferret

 I Talweg della Val Ferret

Cicloescursione con mountain bike a pedalata assistita

Face to face with the glacier

Face to face with the glacier
Walking at the foot of the great glaciers of Mont Blanc, taking a tour of the Pyramides Calcaires.

VIVA recommends the premises belonging to the network “Saveurs du Val d’Aoste

Saveurs du Val d'Aoste

Discover the surroundings