The High Way n.1, called THE GIANTS HIGH WAY, is a hiking trail with an incomparable scenery: it develops at the foot of the highest massifs of Europe, such as Monte Rosa, Matterhorn and Mont Blanc. This itinerary offers, alongside the superb examples of natural architecture in the Alps, incomparable examples of rural architecture, closely linked to the pastures life.
It goes along the left bank of the Dora Baltea river, The High Way n.1 is viable by anyone since it follows well-marked and fully signaled footpaths. It develops in 17 daily stages, from Donnas to Courmayeur (requiring on average of 3/5 hour walk each) providing hikers resting stops and dining options for every need.
The high natural value of these environments and the high and famous mountains, full of history and companies, which act as a superb setting, offer a picture of the past that the hiker will simply have to admire and appreciate.
5th STAGE: Niel - Gressoney-Saint Jean (18.2 km)
The itinerary begins in Niel on a beautiful mule track; after a short steep stretch, it passes by a series of mountain pastures up to Stòvela’s. Here the route becomes steep until you reach the flatter valley, where there is the Grekij pond; the trail passes on the right of the lake and meets a pyramid signal: here, if you wish, you can break the stage:
1- You can go up to the Mologna Grande hill and reach, with a short descent in Piedmont, the Rivetti mountain refuge.
2- Continuing on the left, you reach the Lazouney hill (2400 m.), you enter in a vast plateau surrounded by mountains, and, with an alternation of soft hills and grassy plains, you descend until the seventeenth century chapel of the Ober Loo village. Once crossed the stream, the trail continues up to the pasture of Onder Loo (1875 m.), where, after passing on a small wooden bridge, begins the steep descent that quickly leads downstream, in the typical Walser village of Lommatto.
The route then continues to the below hamlet, Steina, and, after a short stretch on a regional road, you enter on a dirt road that runs alongside the river Lys up to the Weissmatten’s ski slopes departure area. On a varied route, through meadows, woods, stretches of mule tracks and dirt roads, you reach the entrance of the Savoy Castle to take the easy "Walk of the Queen" and reach the Gressoney-Saint Jean square
The building, despite the title of "castle", is actually a large three-floors villa erected in 1899 by Queen Margherita of Savoy as a holiday home. It is characterized by the presence of five neo-gothic towers and a mixture of styles that still gives it a harmonious aspect. The villa has a broad view on the Lyskamm glacier and Monte Rosa and it is surrounded by a large park. The residence hides a special feature: the absence of the kitchens, the Queen wanted to build them outside the building.
This is the path that the Queen Margherita of Savoy used to go to the center of Gressoney-Saint Jean from his summer residence in Savoy Castle. Its a plain and relaxing route through shady forests, waterfalls and meadows. The walk ends in Tschemenoal.
Vast plateau crossed by the river Loo, surrounded by several scenic peaks. Here there are characteristic pastures - including the striking Ober Loo (upper Loo) - where you can walk among meadows, grassy hills and little known peat bogs.
City of departure: Gaby
City of arrival: Gressoney Saint Jean
Arrival: Gressoney Saint Jean
Length (Km): 18
Type of Itinerary: Short routes - Half day
Difference in height (m): 1395
Difference in downhill (m): 1565
Highest point (m): 2397
Lowest point (m): 1326
Duration (h.): 7