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Hiking holidays Via Francigena

Hiking: Via Francigena

Archbishop Sigerich’s pilgrimage

In order to receive the episcopal dignities from the Pope, Archbishop Sigerich made a pilgrimage from the Benedictine monastery of St. Augustine to Rome in 990. Sigerich "the Serious", as he was called, documented a total of 80 stages on this journey. His description of this 1'600-kilometre journey is one of the oldest manuscripts on European pilgrimage routes and established the myth of the "Via Francigena".

His route took him past the Roman mosaics in Orbe and the collegiate church of Romainmotier. Pleasurable walks await you on the shores of Lake Geneva and in the Rhone Valley. Now some trials await the pilgrim. The ascent up to the Great St. Bernard is strenuous; the descent into the Aosta Valley, on the other hand, is a pleasure. Bishop Sigerich certainly did not get bored on his pilgrimage.

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Itinerary

Arrival and luggage drop-off in Ste-Croix. From the high Jura plateau of Sainte-Croix, the trail descends steeply on the historic salt road to the Jura plain.

It runs through fields, forests and wine-growing regions on flat terrain, passing authentic villages and medieval churches to reach the day’s destination in Orbe.

approx. 5 h
approx. 19 km
450 m
1'080 m

After Orbe, the ViaFrancigena reaches the medieval town of Romainmôtier with its Cluniac Abbey. You then reach the centre of the world, where one part of the River Nozon flows to the Mediterranean, the other to the North Sea.

approx. 6 – 7 h
approx. 26 km
630 m
555 m

French poet Gilles described the beauty of the Venoge, the river that this stage follows from Cossonay to Saint-Sulpice, sometimes high up, sometimes beside the water. The pilgrims’ path finally reaches Lac Léman and continues on via the Roman town of Vidy to Lausanne.

approx. 6 h
approx. 25 km
255 m
440 m

From the quay in Ouchy, the ViaFrancigena runs along the Lac Léman shores to Vilette. It then winds through the Lavaux terraces, a UNESCO World Heritage. Fantastic views over Lac Léman.

approx. 5.5 h
approx. 21 km
455 m
455 m

From Vevey the route follows the lake to Villeneuve. The Swiss Museum of Games in the castle at Tour-de-Peilz and famous Chillon Castle are worth a visit before you reach the Chablais wine region.

approx. 6.5 h
approx. 27 km
300 m
280 m

By train to Martigny. This stage marks the end of the climb to the Grossen Sankt Bernhard-Pass. From Martigny a steep path leads over the narrow Les Trappistes pass to the medieval village of Sembrancher. From here the route follows the Napoleon-Weg.

approx. 5.5 h
approx. 18 km
745 m
335 m

This stage leads first along a forest path, first west then east of the river, on the historic path from Liddes to the small Notre-Dame-de-Lorette Chapel before Bourg-Saint-Pierre.

approx. 4.5 h
approx. 15 km
970 m
190 m

Undoubtedly the most symbolic stage on the Via Francigena! The way to the pass leads along a road which has served the whole of Europe for 2000 years. Countless archaeological sites line the ascent, above all in L’Hospitalet and on the Barasson-Pass.

approx. 4.5 h
approx. 13 km
1'045 m
350 m

The descent to the Aosta Valley begins immediately after the pass. A pilgrim's path leads down the valley flank to Italy and takes you to the small village of St. Rhémy. Shortly afterwards the roofs of the villages Étroubles and Echevennoz come into sight.

approx. 4.5 h
approx. 15 km
60 m
1'275 m

Old irrigation canals called "Rus" lie along your way today. In addition to the flat passages along these canals, steep descents await you today. In Roman times, Aosta was a flourishing trading town. Today, the village is famous for its alpine experiences.

approx. 4.5 h
approx. 14 km
240 m
890 m

Tour character

Pilgrims' paths take you through the Yverdon-les-Bains region to Lake Geneva. Then through the Rhone Valley and over the Great St. Bernard into the Aosta Valley. Basic fitness is required at the beginning, and surefootedness towards the end. On pilgrims' paths and along old irrigation canals down to the Aosta Valley. The paths are easy to follow, but for the long stages a good basic condition and some experience in long-distance hiking are necessary.  

The ViaFrancigena on SwitzerlandMobility

Prices & Dates

All data for 2023 at a glance
Place of arrival: Ste-Croix
  Season 1
09.09.2023 - 24.09.2023

every day
Season 2
17.06.2023 - 08.09.2023

every day
Via Francigena, 11 days, CH-WDWSA-11X
Base price
1'445.-
1'549.-
Surcharge Single Room 539.- 539.-

Category: Middle class hotels and mountain inns 

Season 1
Sep 9, 2023 - Sep 24, 2023
every day
Season 2
Jun 17, 2023 - Sep 8, 2023
every day
Via Francigena, 11 days, CH-WDWSA-11X
Base price
Surcharge Single Room
1'445.-
539.-
1'549.-
539.-

Category: Middle class hotels and mountain inns 

Season 1
Sep 9, 2023 - Sep 24, 2023
Season 2
Jun 17, 2023 - Sep 8, 2023
Ste-Croix
Extra night double room (BB)
Extra night single room (BB)
Aosta
Extra night double room (BB)
Extra night single room (BB)
99.-
159.-
75.-
110.-
99.-
159.-
75.-
110.-
Additional nights
Place of arrival: Ste-Croix
  Season 1
Sep 9, 2023 - Sep 24, 2023

every day
Season 2
Jun 17, 2023 - Sep 8, 2023

every day
Ste-Croix
Extra night double room (BB) 99.- 99.-
Extra night single room (BB) 159.- 159.-
Aosta
Extra night double room (BB) 75.- 75.-
Extra night single room (BB) 110.- 110.-
Prices per person in CHF

Services & Information

Services

Included:

  • Overnight stays incl. breakfast
  • Daily luggage transfers
  • Pilger pass
  • Cost for luggage pick-up at the station (for direct arrival and departure)
  • Subsidy for arrival by train
  • Carefully elaborated route description
  • Travel documents (1 x per room) incl. SwitzerlandMobility Plus subscription
  • Service hotline

Note:

  • Tourist tax, if due, is not included in the price
  • Reservation fee of CHF 15 per adult (incl. legally required customer money protection)
  • Train ride Aigle -– Martigny not included, approx. CHF 12.- per person
Information

Arrival/Departure:

  • Arrival by public transport to Ste-Croix. Drop off your suitcase at the hotel by 10:00 a.m. at the latest.
  • Departure by Flixbus to Geneva. (3 hours, several connections daily, www.flixbus.ch)  
Travel documents

Travel documents "digital” 

In future we will reduce the amount of printed documents. You will receive instructions to help you find your way around using the SwitzerlandMobility app.  We will provide you with further information online. In advance you will receive a small package of documents with the following contents: 

  • Description of how to use the necessary apps 
  • Detailed programme for the individual stages 
  • Annual subscription to SwitzerlandMobility Plus 
  • Luggage tags 
  • Any vouchers

On the way, you can easily find your way with the SwitzerlandMobility app and other freely accessible aids. Background information and all other documents are delivered electronically and can be downloaded to your mobile phone in advance. 

Let us know if you don't want to do without maps. We will send them to you free of charge.

 

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