Verrès - Pontboset
Difficulties:E - Excursionist
March - November
Departure:Verrès (station) (366 m)
Arrival:Pontboset (746 m)
Difference in level:+745 m -366 m
Duration coming back:4h40
A stage in the flat valley bottom, accompanied by the murmur of the Dora Baltea river, among the castles, towers and churches of centuries of history in a land of solid farming traditions.
Description of the route
Verrès, a town ripe for discovery, with many stories to tell. Besides the fascinating manor house of nobleman Ibleto di Challant, whose austere bulk dominates the town from above, the ancient town centre conceals another treasure, the Abbey of Saint-Gilles. Its majestic bulk, its elegant crossed windows, its tall clock tower and its fascinating gargoyles cannot help but catch the eye.
From Verrès the route continues to Issogne, dominated by the sober elegance of the castle of George of Challant.
From Issogne the next stop is Arnad, birthplace of the renowned DOP fat bacon; this village will amaze visitors with its timeless atmosphere, its fortified houses, its splendid Romanesque church dedicated to San Martino and, lastly, the exquisite Vallaise Castle (currently undergoing restoration work and therefore temporarily closed to the public).
Crossing the river again on the picturesque Echallod bridge (18th century), the path follows the right-hand bank as far as the village of Hône. Worth a visit here is the parish church of San Giorgio, recently the site of an archaeological dig which brought to light the various periods dating back to the Paleochristian era.
From here a path ascends the sun-kissed rocky slopes overlooking the Ayasse river, to the charming village of Pontboset, nestled in the woods of the Champorcher Valley. Not to be missed is a walk in search of the lovely eighteenth-century bridges, boldly placed over the ravines carved by the river’s tumultuous waters.
Warning: in Arnad a short stretch of this stage, between the hamlet of Costa and the hamlet of Ville, partially overlaps a portion of stage 4 that comes from Donnas, therefore pay attention to the signs (follow the signs for the Vallaise castle and continue towards Pontboset).