Italy at your doorstep

Haute Maurienne Vanoise is located on the Italian border. Take advantage of your stay to taste "una gelata" in Susa, to discover the museums and monuments of Torino, or to feast your eyes on Saturday at the big market in the capital of Piedmont.


Access to Italy

Train, bus and car
By car, bus or train, Italy is very close, and it's easy to get to from Haute Maurienne Vanoise !
All year round via the Fréjus (Modane) road and rail tunnels

Fancy a quick taste of Italian architectural and gastronomic refinement? Take the 13.6 km Fréjus road tunnel (fee payable) between Modane and Bardonecchia. As soon as you exit the tunnel... you're in Italy! In less than 1h30, you'll reach the capital of Piedmont: Turin. From Modane, you can also take a bus or train to Bardonecchia, then Turin.

Summer via the Mont Cenis pass (Val Cenis)

When the Mont Cenis pass is open(mid-May to mid-November), we recommend you take the D1006 from Val Cenis-Lanslebourg (France). Cross the Mont Cenis plateau and follow the route once laid out by Napoleon to reach our neighbors in Piedmont as far as Susa (Italy).

The road between Mont Cenis and Susa is quite winding, but in less than 1 hour (41 km), you'll find yourself in Italy. Gelati, pizzas and dolce-vita are yours for the taking. At Haute Maurienne Vanoise, Italy will never have seemed so close!

Soft mobility

on foot, on horseback, by bike

For the more sporty, don't hesitate to take one of the many hiking trails once used by shepherds and other peddlers to reach our Piedmontese neighbors.

From Valfréjus: on foot or on horseback?

From Valfréjus, for example, you can take the GR5 and then cross over to Bardonecchia via the Col de la Roue. The Col de la Vallée Etroite is another way to reach Italy from Valfréjus. A wild area steeped in history (bunkers are a reminder of the tensions and battles of the 2nd World War).

Accompanied by a professional, you can also enjoy a multi-day horseback raid from France to Italy.

From Val Cenis: hiking or biking?

From Val Cenis, follow the tracks of Hannibal who would have passed more than 2000 years ago by the Col Clappier, above Bramans. A beautiful itinerary with preserved mountain pastures, high altitude lakes and a night in a refuge (unguarded bivouac) at the Italian border before going down to the Italian village of Giaglione.

Still from Val Cenis, the access to Italy is also done by bike: the ascent to the Mont Cenis pass is a must for all cyclists. The descent to Susa is longer and more technical: save your strength to go back up if you make a round trip.

From Bessans and Bonneval sur Arc: high mountain trails

Finally, on the Bessans and Bonneval sur Arc sides, numerous historic trails link Haute Maurienne Vanoise to Italy. For example, the long walk through the Ribon valley (every year, a pilgrimage follows this route to the Rochemelon summit at 3,538 m, where the Bessanais meet their Italian neighbors from Susa). Or the multi-day Tour de la Bessanaise, with nights in refuges. These are high-mountain itineraries reserved for seasoned hikers. These are also the areas through which shepherds used to pass with their flocks. And, more discreetly, smugglers who tried to evade customs officials to avoid taxes on tobacco and other products, which they bought more cheaply in Italy and then sold in France...

Un incontournable à Val Cenis, le fort de Ronce

A little history

High altitude valley of the kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia

Haute Maurienne became part of France in 1860. The region still enjoys a close friendship, thanks to twinning arrangements with our Italian neighbors (Val Cenis-Bramans and Giaglione, Modane and Bardonecchia). In summer, the Mont Cenis plateau, for example, takes on an Italian accent (it was Italian until the Second World War), with French holidaymakers and Turin residents in search of fresh air. These ancestral links are also reflected in the encounters that take place at the summits of our passes and mountains, such as the Rochemelon pilgrimage on August 5, or the Mont Cenis Alpage festival, which brings together people from both sides of the mountain every two years.

Visit Turin and Susa

Museums, Roman remains, squares and markets

Take advantage of your stay at Haute Maurienne Vanoise to visit the town of Susa, on the other side of Val Cenis (access via the Mont Cenis road). You'll be able to see Roman remains, including the superb Arch of Augustus, as well as Susa Cathedral and the market (Tuesday mornings).

Don't hesitate to continue a little further: the capital of Piedmont, Turin, is well worth a day's visit. With its superb museums (museum of cinema, museum of Egyptology...) its squares, its arcades, its churches... The market of Turin is also a must with hundreds of stands of clothes and accessories but also fruits and vegetables, Italian specialities, organic producers... The market takes place every morning and it lasts even all day on Saturday.

Information and tours of Turin and Piedmont