The valley takes its name from this village, located at an altitude of 1427 metres.
The village centre has held onto all its old customs from feudal times: it is built around the local lords’ castle, even if all that remains is a turreted tower, after it was destroyed in 1212.
Around 1400, the church of San Nicola was built on the ruins of the castle. The church houses valuable wooden altars elaborately adorned in gold.
Close to the church is a small panoramic viewpoint overlooking the waterfalls that the Ayasse river forms when flowing spectacularly into the ravine below. In the XIX century, the valley was king Vittorio Emanuelle II’s favourite destination and he owned a royal hunting lodge at Dondena.
At Champorcher, you can see the hand made hemp products, all worked on a wooden loom – sheets, towels, table covers, bags, all done with hemp materials and finished off with delicate handmade lace and trimmings produced by the “Lou Dzeut” Cooperative.
Rye bread is typically found in this area and even comes in a enriched version with chestnuts, cumin and dried fruit. It is baked once a year on the first Saturday in August, in the town’s communal ovens. Eaten fresh, it gives off a delicious fragrance but can also be preserved on special wooden racks, known as “ratelë” for some months.
Once dried, the bread is cut using a special tool known as a “Copapan”.
>From Champorcher, the valley rises up as far as Dondena, to open spectacularly onto a vast basin dominated by Rosa dei Banchi (3164m) and ending with the Miserin Lake, one of the most enchanting in the Graie Alps. The Notre-Dame des Neiges Sanctuary overlooks the lake and is an ancient oratory that became famous for the miracles that took place there during celebrations in 1630. From then onwards, it became a pilgrimage destination and acquired the title of Sanctuary.
The Alta Via no. 2 in Valle d’Aosta, starts from here: it is an excursion route that covers a winding itinerary at various altitudes and runs from Champorcher to Courmayeur.
In winter, the Champorcher resort, equipped with modern lifts, offers Alpine ski slopes that run for more than 20 kilometres.
Its resort spreads out at the foot of the Cimetta Rossa, a panoramic balcony on the Dondena gorge and on the peaks of the Rosa dei Bianchi and Mont Glacier, at more than 3000 metres. The lifts take you to the slopes where even the most expert skiers can try their hand on exciting stretches.
A little easier would be the cross-country route on the Cimetta Rossa hillside, connected to the Dondena slopes.
With its pure air, some peaks can be reached with Alpine skiing.