Its stunning mountain back-drop and great wildlife make Cogne and the Gran Paradiso National Park the best destination for outdoor lovers and cross-country skiers.
Cogne is situated at 1.534 metres, at the heart of the Gran Paradiso National Park, of which it is considered the “capital“. It boasts a rich historical, cultural and traditional heritage as well as the beautiful meadows.
- Cogne was an important old mining centre
- The cross country skiing capital of the Aosta Valley
- Home to the Paradisia Botanical Garden
More about Cogne
The town of Cogne is situated at the heart of the Gran Paradiso Park, of which it is considered the “capital“. With around 1500 inhabitants in the present day, Cogne boasts a rich historical, cultural and traditional past which is regularly celebrated through feasts and exhibitions.
Coming up the road from the central valley, you are instantly hit by the incredible width of the Sant‘Orso meadow – green and gently waving in summer, and a pure white wonderland in winter. The basin, protected by thick forests at the convergence of the tributary valleys, is very large and sunny. These amazing views can be enjoyed walking along various footpaths, or from a horse-drawn sleigh through the snow.
BEST FOR CROSS-COUNTRY SKIING
Between the vast, bright Sant‘Orso meadow and the nordic forests of conifers and birch trees, Cogne is one of the Aosta Valley’s prime spots for cross-country skiing. The long cross-country slopes wind under the peaks of the Grivola and the Gran Paradiso for more than 70km, some of which are illuminated. International competitions are held here like the Gran Paradiso March that winds around a 45km ring.
As well as Alpine skiing, ice climbing is also an option here at the right time of year, with more than 130 waterfalls in Lillaz and Valnontey. Home to more than 1000 mountain-dwelling species including Ibex, wild goat, marmots, royal eagles, the Paradisia botanical garden inside the oldest National Park in Italy is also worth a visit. There’s also a rock exhibition, a collection of lichen, and a butterfly garden. Pont d’Aël, a nearby Roman bridge that crosses 60m above the Cogne valley floor is also well worth a visit.