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Hikes

Tour des villages (Val d'Entremont)

Hikes · Valais
Responsible for this content
Valais/Wallis Promotion Verified partner  Explorers Choice 
  • Hamlet La Rosière
    / Hamlet La Rosière
    Photo: Gaëtan Tornay, CC BY-ND, Pays du Saint Bernard
  • / Commeire
    Photo: Pascal Gertschen, Valais/Wallis Promotion - Pascal Gertschen
  • / Hamlet Commeire
    Photo: Gaëtan Tornay, CC BY-ND, Pays du Saint Bernard
  • / Village Liddes in Pays du Saint Bernard region.
    Photo: CC BY-ND, Pays du Saint Bernard
  • / View to the village of Orsières.
    Photo: Gaëtan Tornay, CC BY-ND, Pays du Saint Bernard
  • / Village Chandonne
    Photo: Gaëtan Tornay, CC BY-ND, Pays du Saint Bernard
900 1200 1500 1800 2100 m km 2 4 6 8 10 12 Liddes Commeire La Douay

A panoramic walk that links a string of charming historical villages on the sunny slopes overlooking the lower Val d’Entremont.

easy
13.9 km
4:00 h
405 m
910 m

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.

 

Highlights: 

  • Beautifully preserved villages – traditional architecture, historical charm
  • Sweeping views – over the Val d’Entremont and to the Mont Blanc massif

Author’s recommendation

At La Rosière, visit the house where Maurice Tornay was born.

 

Difficulty
easy
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
Forêt de Vernay, 1643 m
Lowest point
La Douay, 797 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

 

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.

 

Equipment

We recommend: 

  • good footwear
  • clothing suitable for the weather: always carry a waterproof jacket
  • hat or cap
  • sunscreen
  • bottle for water
  • picnic
  • camera
  • binoculars (optional)
  • hiking poles (optional)
  • printout of this hike (click «Print» icon, to download)  

For certain walks:

  • Swimwear

 

Tips, hints and links

More information about the destination: 

Start

Liddes (1333 m)
Coordinates:
Geographic
45.992476, 7.185340
UTM
32T 359468 5094812

Destination

La Douay

Turn-by-turn directions

From Liddes, follow the path through the fields northwards all the way to the village of Chandonne. Continue climbing steadily across the pastures and then through forest to reach Commeire. The trail then leads northwards once again, largely following the edge of the forest before descending via the hamlet of La Rosière. The path continues zig-zagging down to Chamoille d’Orsières, crosses the road and then turns south-west for the final descent to the valley floor. Cross the bridge over the Drance d’Entremont to reach La Douay and its railway station. To return to the starting point of the walk, take a train (St-Bernard Express) to Orsières, and change on to a postal bus for Liddes.

Public transport

Train to Martigny; change on to St-Bernard Express, direction Le Châble. Change platform at Sembrancher for train to Orsières. Change on to postal bus for Liddes. At end of walk, travel onwards from La Douay by train (St-Bernard Express). Find full timetable information at sbb.ch

 

Getting there

A9 motorway, exit 22 (Gd St-Bernard). Follow signs for Col du Grand-St-Bernard until Liddes.

 

Parking

Free parking at the entrance to the village of Liddes (near the school). Follow the car park routeing in Liddes.

 

Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

Book recommendation by the author

The tourist office in Orsières has got brochures and information material about hiking in the region.

Author’s map recommendations

SwissTopo maps 1:25’000: 1345 Orsières / 1325 Sembrancher


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Photos of others


Difficulty
easy
Distance
13.9 km
Duration
4:00 h
Ascent
405 m
Descent
910 m
In and out Scenic With refreshment stops Cultural/historical value Insider tip

Statistics

: h
 km
 m
 m
Highest point
 m
Lowest point
 m
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