After an incredible first hike along our taste of the Tour de Mont Blanc (TMB) into Courmayeur’s Val Ferret, we were thrilled to be doing our second hike in her neighbor, Val Vény. Val Vény is a pastoral valley of the Mont Blanc massif, that like Val Ferret lies southwest of Courmayeur. Val Vény was formed by two glaciers, the Miage Glacier and the Brenva Glacier which literally cut off the valley like an island by two massive moraine walls of the glaciers on each side. Val Vény is quite a magnificent place to hike.
After a filling breakfast of local cheese, cotta ham and fruit, we headed out to grab the local bus in the direction of Val Vény. This time we rode in the opposite direction of Val Ferret and followed the bus through yet another winding path inching us through the lush wide valley. About twenty minutes later, we reached the end of the line and got off at a tiny hamlet called La Visaille.
From La Visaille, we crossed a bridge and began our hike down a wide path sliced within a valley to the Rifugio Elisabetta, another stop along the TMB. It was another postcard-perfect day and I couldn’t have felt more alive. There is something about hiking and being surrounded by mountains that always makes my heart sing.
The hike is relatively easy-going as it is basically flat for about an hour and a half until you start going up to reach the Rifugio Elisabetta. The good news is that you can focus on the stunning scenery without really breaking a sweat and stop to take a lot of pictures. I especially loved all the alpine wildflowers and butterflies.
As you approach the Rifugio Elisabetta, the landscape dramatically changes. On one side of the valley, it is vibrant green with slivers of white snow cutting down the mountain. It reminds me of being somewhere in Iceland. On the other side of the valley, it is filled with jagged peaks, glaciers, and ice.
The other side of the valley is quite different.
You can stay and eat at Rifugio Elisabetta but we had packed a picnic lunch and there was no better place to enjoy it than here with this breathtaking view.
Lunch at our perch outside of Rifugio Elisabetta at 2195 m with the stunning Glacier de la Lée Blanche behind it and the peak of Aiguille des Glaciers (3816 m) and Tré-la-Tête (3930 m) overlooking the lower valley of la Lée Blanche.
You can continue on for hours past the rifugio towards Les Chapieux as part of the TMB. For us, it was time to head back to Courmayeur walking the same way we came. Once back at La Visaille, we caught the bus again back to town.
After two surreal days of hiking in Courmayeur, it was time to pack up and continue on our very own tour of the Mont Blanc massif. Instead of sticking strictly to the TMB, however, we made a tour a little off-piste towards the lovely Aosta Valley of Italy where we would find a unique farm stay in the tiny village of Pollein and yet another absolutely incredible hike (this one all to ourselves without the TMB crowds). We were in for a nice surprise.
If you go:
For planning your own tour, check out this amazing interactive map to find hikes along the Tour de Mont Blanc and beyond, by zooming in and out of the TMB route in red and also searching by city. We used this very site to find our treasured hike in the Aosta Valley.
Like it? Why not PIN for later?