Châtillon - Verrès
Cammino BalteoStage 21
Difficulties:E - Excursionist
from 01/01 to 31/12
Departure:Châtillon (586 m)
Arrival:Verrès (366 m)
Difference in level:+ 648 m - 797 m
Duration coming back:6h05
due to restoration work on retaining walls, temporary ban on transit at the level of the locality Balmas – Montjovet
This long walk is of average difficulty, mainly due to the frequent changes in incline, and overlaps the trail of the Via Francigena until the gates of Verrès where, instead of entering into the hamlet, you’ll move towards the right side of the river to get to Issogne.
Adjacent to this stage, the Mont Avic Natural Park is worth a detour: a protected area of great environmental interest dotted with alpine lakes and known for its hook pine woods. The park area includes the upper valley of the Chalamy stream, in the municipality of Champdepraz, and the valley of Dondena, in the territory of Champorcher.
Description of the route
From the Church of Châtillon, you immediately start to climb to get to the hamlet of Conoz with its tower houses. From here you’ll turn in the direction of Saint-Vincent, following the route of the ancient ru (an irrigation canal) that extends over flat ground alongside the mountain. From the thermal spa town, where we recommend visiting the Romanesque Church of S. Vincenzo with its archaeological site, you’ll continue on towards Cillian, where you can stop and appreciate the monumental ruins of a Roman-era bridge along the Via delle Gallie.
Continue on, halfway up the slope, walking by small villages, isolated homes, rocky outcrops and enjoying views over the valley floor below – at certain points it looks remarkably like a deep canyon surrounded and protected by the rocks.
Following along the Via Francigena you’ll get to Montjovet, passing the castles of Chenal and Saint-Germain. A series of small ascents and descents take you to the hamlet of Torille, which is not very far from Verrès.
Here you switch slopes, going under a motorway viaduct and arriving to Issogne, which announces its presence with the refined stately residence belonging to the Challant family, which is well worth a visit.
Warning: there is a partial overlap with stage 7, in the stretch upstream of Saint-Vincent up to the thermal baths, therefore in the hamlet of Verley be careful not to follow the signs for La Magdeleine.