Botanical Garden Chanousia

Chanousia, located at the Colle del Piccolo San Bernardo, 8000 sq.m. at an altitude of 2170 m, is one of the oldest gardens of Europe and houses 800 species and a small museum. Here you can appreciate varied and typical natural alpine environments, such as siliceous, alpine prairies and the rubble.
Abbe Pierre was, in 1897, rector of the Hospice of the Mauritian Order at the Pass, started to cultivate certain Alpine plant in order to allow the people to admire them, learn about them and respect them. A project which is still alive today. In the botanical garden, you can admire the siliceous rocks, the primroses, saxifrages and the very beautiful geographical Lichen, so called because of the patches yellow-green outlined in black that forms on rocks, which recall the appearance of antique geographical maps; the siliceous maceration environment, with its cushioned plants, such as the Pan di marmotta and the Purple Saxifrages; the calcareous rocks and the calcareous maceration zone with its rare Pyrenean Pheasant’s Eye, Mountain Alyson, Mountain Avens. Vast areas have been left as natural Alpine meadows which the Alpine Clover, the Trumpet Gentian, the Purple Gentian, the Mountain Arnica, the Alpine Willow and many more. The megaforbieto, which the Adenostyles and the Alpine Blue Sow-Thistle, the riverbank environment, the peat-bog with Water Crow-Foot and Bog-Bean, the wetlands with species such as the Marsh Marigold and the Bavarian Gentian, testified that for some environments, water is an essential element.


  • Hiking

    All trails within the site are exclusively walking trails. It is strictly forbidden to wander outside the marked paths and it is recommended to hold children by the hand. Dogs are not permitted.

Discover the site

The Chanousia Botanical Garden is open from the beginning of July until the third Sunday of September, snow permitting. Opening hours are from 9 a.m. until 7 p.m. An entrance fee required. You will find many trails within the garden which will allow you to pleasantly observe the re-created environments. In order to fully appreciate the beauty of the cultivated species, it is recommended to visit the garden in small groups, with a guided tour by our expert personnel.

How to get there

By car

To reach the Botanical Garden, take the Piccolo San Bernardo state road in direction of France. Once in Aosta, follow the direction for Courmayeur until the Pré-Saint-Didier village; the state road which begins here and takes you to La Thuile. After this village, continue for about 10 km, still in the direction of France.

By bus

To reach the pass, you can also use the “Alpis Graia” shuttle bus, still in its experimental phase, which picks up passengers at the dell of Valdigne and brings them to the Piccolo San Bernardo.

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.

Botanical Garden Chanousia

Information to reach the site 2
Accessibility from main roads 3
Parking for the disabled 2
Accessible restrooms 1
Information panels 3
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 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)

cartina Botanical Garden Chanousia


Municipality: Seez (Savoia - Francia)

Surface: 8.000 mq circa

Altitude: 2.170 m s.l.m.

Responsible forest station:


Objective: park

Objective: park
How can a passion for photography and nature be merged? By becoming news photographers for a day.

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

Saveurs du Val d'Aoste

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