Maira valley trekking
Maira Valley (in Italian Val Maira or Valle Macra) is a valley in south-west of Piedmont region.
It is quiet and for many still unknown and offers totally unspoilt Alpine tourism. It is crossed by the Maira river: the first part of the valley is rather narrow with a series of narrow gorges and sections, the upper part is wider, opening out into vast basins. From there one can enjoy wonderful views over the highest peaks of the Cottian Alps. In Maira valley you will discover local traditions, the provençal language, craft woodworking workshops, dairies and Merens horse breeding farms.
Duration: 8 days
Departure: May - October
Price: 695,00 eur per person / min. 2 pax
- 8 overnights in small hotels, lodges or B&B
- HB – breakfasts and dinners (drinks excluded)
- luggage transfer
- transfer Ussolo – Frere on day 5
- costs of transportation for getting to Macra
- anything not mentioned under “the price includes”
individual arrival in Macra
Arrival in the Maira Valley. Dinner and overnight in Macra.
Macra – San Martino Inferiore
From Macra you take the Cyclamen Path that leads to Caricatori and Langra, in an evocative setting among a thousand flowers. From Langra you can take the uphill path between the dilapidated houses and continue to the west; the mountain ridge leads you to the basin of Centenero and Caudano, in the territory of Stroppo. Continuing on the path, you get to the church of San Peyre; from here, a steep mule track reaches Ruata Valle: take it and continue for 15 minutes. Passing through Cucchiales you arrive at Ciamino and from here you reach San Martino.
San Martino - Elva
The excursion starts from San Martino Superiore and heads towards Colle Bettone, with a splendid view from the top over the Elva valley. You continue through a basin leading to the chapel of Colle (Pass) San Giovanni. After the Pass, continue downhill to Elva. You find as many as 28 villages scattered throughout the territory. Following a small road you get to the hamlets of Isaia and Mattalia and you can already see the church of Elva.
Serre – San Michele di Prazzo
The journey starts from the square of the hamlet Serre: take the asphalt road and go a little back on the road that leads to the valley. Then continue on a secondary road to the hamlets of Villar, Clari and Dao. Go up a curvy road and climb to the Vallone di Gias Vecchio, then go on the other side of the valley through a stream. Climb further 300 meters up to Colle San Michele. Walking along an easy path halfway up the hill you descend into the valley of San Michele, reaching Borgata (Hamlet) Allemandi and Borgata Chiesa and, as an alternative, Borgata Cesani, Borgata Villa and Borgata Chiesa.
San Michele di Prazzo – Ussolo - Frere
From the hamlet of Villa, go up to Castiglione and change again the side of the lateral valley. Climbing through the woods you reach the highest point of the excursion, Passo 1942. From Albeno you can see the path that leads through steep pastures to Ussolo. Descend through the hamlet Vallone passing through Draio. You arrive on the road and within walking distance you will find Ussolo.
From Ussolo, Transfer to Frere (Acceglio).
Frere - Preit
From Frere reach Chialvetta hamlet and then follow the uphill stream towards Pratorotondo and continue to Viviere, with the same route as the previous day. Instead of turning towards Colle Ciarbonet, tay along the main valley up to the beautiful basin of Prato Ciorliero and Grange Resplendino. With the remains of the barracks on the other side of the stream, begin to climb to the left starting from a votive pillar. Along the slope there are military forts excavated inside typical chalk outcrops, with the characteristic sinkholes produced by the karst process. Reached the Gardetta Pass, on the horizon you can see the sharp ridge of Rocca la Meja, while behind the summit of Mount Oronaje stands out. The view from the Gardetta Plateau is another of the shows that most satisfies the excursionist gaze in the Maira Valley. Taking advantage of the brevity of the stage we still recommend the detour to the right on the military road that reaches the Rocca Brancia Pass and the Oserot Pass: many remains of bunkers and barracks of the Second World War are silent witnesses of a historical era.
7 Preit Pass – Borgata Vernetti
From the Preit Pass, continue on the side of Rocca La Meja. Not far away, with a short detour, you reach the headstone that reminds the company of “Alpini” that in January 1937 was overwhelmed and killed by an avalanche. Following the wide mule track you reach the Margherina and Ancoccia Passes. Beyond the crossing place, descend briefly on the beautiful pastures of the Bandia and then go up again to the Mulo Pass; from here descend into the Marmora valley using the path that runs along the road that connects the hamlets of Marmora with the Esischie Pass. From the hamlet Ghetto, turn left to follow the beautiful Lake Resile and reach the Marmora valley. Possibility of a stop in the Finello and Vernetti hamlets. From Marmora comes off a variant: just before Torello hamlet, which descends to Canosio and, after passing the San Giovanni Pass, reaches Prazzo Superiore.
Borgata Vernetti – Macra
The first part of the itinerary takes place through some of the hamlets of the municipality of Marmora: leave the town, consisting of agglomerations of characteristic and well-restored houses that preserve interesting architectural and artistic evidences, from Borgata Superiore (Upper Hamlet), proceeding through the valley in the direction of Bassura. Following the ridge of Mount Buch, reach the Encucetta Pass, where a variant comes off and descends on Bassura di Stroppo through the medieval bridge over the Maira stream. Instead, following the classic route we arrive at Albaretto, an ancient municipality that today is part of Macra and where, in the Palent hamlet (1,463m), we find the waypoint. For those who wish, from here a variant of the route comes off: through the township Aramola it leads to Bassura di Stroppo. Another variant, from Serremorello hamlet, descends to Bedale, the “capital” of Macra (bus stop).