The Val d’Entremont, which leads up to the Great St Bernard Pass, has been an important transit route for thousands of years. The historical villages and hamlets that overlook the valley are beautifully preserved and full of charm. This delightful trail links some of the prettiest: Liddes, Chandonne, Commeire, La Rosière, Chamoille d’Orsières and La Douay.
The oldest and best-known trail through the valley is the Via Francigena historical pilgrimage route from Canterbury to Rome. Our hike, however, follows a higher path through sunny alpine pastures, forest – and sleepy mountain villages off the beaten track.
The hike starts at Liddes, with its 13th-century church and attractive small museum created in 2007. Next comes Chandonne, a hamlet perched on a sunny terrace at 1,454 m: a haven of tranquillity, like all the villages.
They all also boast a rich architectural heritage in the form of traditional alpine houses and wooden barns. Commeire is a special example: a hamlet of barns converted for an innovative sustainable tourism project called «Montagne Alternative». This welcomes holidaymakers and seminar groups and also hosts events focusing on sustainable lifestyles.
The hamlet has another surprise: an underground artillery fort, built from 1940-43 to house up to 140 soldiers to defend this strategic valley. The complex was disarmed long ago, but can be visited by the public – and part is even available for rental.
The next village, La Rosière, attracts pilgrims in its own right as the childhood home of Maurice Tornay (1910–1949), a Roman Catholic priest who served in missions in China and Tibet and was beatified in 1993 by Pope John Paul II. The house in which he was born is open to the public. After passing through sleepy Chamoille, the trail finishes at La Douay, down in the floor of the valley.
- Beautifully preserved villages – traditional architecture, historical charm
- Sweeping views – over the Val d’Entremont and to the Mont Blanc massif
At La Rosière, visit the house where Maurice Tornay was born.
Use of the trails and the information on this website is at hikers’ own risk. Local conditions may entail changes to routes. Valais/Wallis Promotion accepts no liability for the accuracy and completeness of information on this website.
For all hikes:
- Bring a map. Download full description of this route including large-scale map by clicking on «Print» icon, top right of this page.
- Use marked trails only, and observe all signposting – for your own safety, to safeguard grazing animals and to avoid disturbing wildlife.
- Close gates after passing through.
- Please be considerate to other trail users, and to the plants and animals.
- Do not leave any waste in nature.
For mountain hikes:
- Take extra care protecting yourself from the sun at altitude. UV radiation can be exceptionally strong, even in cloudy weather.
- Plan hike carefully: take into consideration fitness level of each participant, weather forecast and season.
- Weather conditions can change quickly in the mountains, without warning. Appropriate clothing is therefore essential, along with adequate supplies of food and water. In uncertain weather, turn back in good time.
For high-altitude hikes:
- Inform others of the route you plan to take. Whenever possible, avoid going alone.
- Do not venture onto glaciers without a mountain guide.
- Take note of the warning signs that point out the constant danger in river beds and along watercourses below dams and reservoirs: water levels may rise rapidly without warning.
Tips, hints and links
More information about the destination:
Getting thereA9 motorway, exit 22 (Gd St-Bernard). Follow signs for Col du Grand-St-Bernard until Liddes.
ParkingFree parking at the entrance to the village of Liddes (near the school). Follow the car park routeing in Liddes.
Book recommendation by the author
Author’s map recommendations
- good footwear
- clothing suitable for the weather: always carry a waterproof jacket
- hat or cap
- bottle for water
- binoculars (optional)
- hiking poles (optional)
- printout of this hike (click «Print» icon, to download)
For certain walks: