Route 7: A ride around Aosta Valley
In the shadow of Europe’s tallest mountain are roads that will be the highlight of any tour
If you could ride across the Colle del Nivolet (Route 6) you’d end up in the Aosta valley. It’s a fantastic place, snuggled down between the high peaks with France on one side, Switzerland on the other and Monte Bianco - aka Mont Blanc - sitting proudly at the end of the valley, like the head of the family presiding over a lunch table.
What delights get served up here - especially when you take the passes into the neighbouring countries. Our main route is the classic St Bernard loop over the - to give them their Italian names - Gran San Bernardino and Piccolo San Bernardino passes (coincidentally the locations for the opening scenes of The Italian Job).
This is one of the must-ride motorcycling routes in the Alps. As well as the Grand and Petit St Bernard passes, it include France’s Cormet Roseland and Col des Montets as well as Switzerland’s Col de la Forclaz. Sublime roads, amazing views… it’s a popular route.
Our alternative route is quite different. The views and corners are every bits as spectacular, but it’s a ‘spider’ route, extending legs to the quieter corners of the Aosta valley, using minor roads that only dedicated Alpinists normally explore. This isn’t so much off-the-beaten-track as stalking through the bushes beside it…
MAPS AND DOWNLOADS FOR A RIDE AROUND AOSTA
Route 1 (our route): start/finish: La Thuile. Distance: 200 miles. Riding time: 6 hours. Suggested stops: AM coffee: lac de Roseland, lunch: Chamonix, PM coffee: Col de la Grand Saint Bernard
Route one map, Route one GPX file
Please note: This page contains the route files for The RiDE Guide To Italy which came free with RiDE magazine in July 2015. These website page are not regularly updated, so please check all critical information before you travel. All route files are in .gpx format. Garmin and BMW users can download the main file, which contains all the routes and our recommended hotels as separate waypoints. TomTom users can download the individual routes and use the Tyre software to convert them. For many routes we also have Google Map links. However, as Google Maps will not plot routes over seasonally closed high Alpine passes (such as Stelvio) when they’re shut, these may not work for every route all year round.