The Canavese Valleys are a unique natural gym to practice a multitude of sports in contact with nature: hiking, mountain climbing, rock climbing, cycling and mountain biking, equestrian disciplines, Nordic and Alpine skiing, snowshoeing, and for the more daring, ice climbing, paragliding and hang-gliding and canyoning. All you have to do is take your pick…
All of the Canavese Valleys offer hiking trails (including the famous royal hunting roads in the Gran Paradiso National Park, once used by the Savoy family for hunting ibex) with different degrees of difficulty, from simple day walks to challenging treks lasting several days.
The Gran Paradiso area includes the only four-thousand meter peak that is entirely Italian and some classic climbing routes. This area is a true mountaineering school that allows ascents with different degrees of difficulty, some suitable to teach beginners some basic techniques and others that are fascinating and challenging even for experienced mountaineers. From the Orco valley it is possible to climb the Gran Paradiso (4061 m), the Punta Fourà (3411 m), the Ciarforon (3642 m), the Tresenta (3609 m), the Punta Basei (3338 m), the Levanne (all above 3500 m) and the Great Auguille Rousse (3438 m). The valley of Piantonetto is a good starting point for ascents of the Torre del Gran San Pietro (3692 m), the Becco della Tribolazione (3360 m), and Punta d’Ondezana (3492 m). From the Soana valley, on the other hand, it is possible to climb the Rosa dei Banchi (3614 m) and the Torre Lavina (3308 m).
Important pages in the history of free climbing were written on the walls of the Caporal and of the Sergent in the Orco Valley, where the Nuovo Mattino [New Morning] climbing style was born which favors the aesthetic gesture, deepens the philosophical aspect of the moment and includes new technical solutions. It is possible to climb extraordinarily adventurous walls in Ceresole, Locana, Noasca, Pont, Ronco and Valprato or easier walls like that of Sparone. Settimo Vittone in Montestrutto (where you can refer to our partner Vertical Rock), and Traversella all have bolted routes that are very popular and where introductory classes are conducted.
CROSS COUNTRY SKIING
Ceresole Reale in the Canavese is a cross-country skiing paradise with nearly 17 km of trails of varying difficulty. The trail that skirts an artificial lake and covers the whole length of the dam is particularly striking. Anyone wishing to learn all the secrets of Nordic skiing can contact our partner ski instructor in Ceresole Reale: Marco Rolando. A small cross country skiing trail can be found in Piamprato in the Soana Valley.
The small ski resorts in the Canavese valleys are well suited for families and for ski schools. You can ski in Ceresole Reale, Locana, Alpette, Piamprato and there is a small ski lift in Santa Elisabetta di Colleretto Castelnuovo. At the Alpe Cialma of Locana there is also a small snow park for snowboarders. There are countless and challenging routes for ski touring enthusiasts as well as relaxing snowshoe excursions for everyone.
AIR AND WATER
The area also lends itself to in-flight activities (hang-gliding or paragliding) with take-off points in Santa Elisabetta di Colleretto Castelnuovo and Brosso; while water activities are centered around the alpine streams of the Orco Valley and Valchiusella which are a paradise for canyoning and river jumping; you can go kayaking on the Soana river, while some sections of the Dora Baltea and the Orco rivers are suitable for rafting. On Lake Ceresole at 1600 meters above sea level you can go windsurfing and a yacht club has recently been inaugurated.
The area of Ceresole Reale, just outside of the tunnel near Lilla, and also the Soana valley (in Piamprato and in Val di Forzo) are home to numerous ice falls suitable for ice ax or piolet traction climbing which is becoming successful among the most daring climbers. In Ceresole, Piamprato and Locana it is possible to ice skate in the winter.
ON TWO WHEELS
Road cyclists have many options to choose from as all the valleys offer magnificent itineraries for bikes. A demanding and well-known classic route from June to September takes you up to 2600 meters to the colle del Nivolet above Ceresole Reale, in the heart of the Park. There are numerous mountain bike paths that wind through woods and some trails, particularly between the Sacra and Chiusella valleys, that have been equipped for downhill biking.
ON A HORSE
The Sacra Valley area is particularly well suited to horseback riding. Here you will find our partner Equin’Ozio which focuses on teaching children about horseback riding by offering targeted courses and hospitality.
The streams of the Canavese Valleys and in particular the Orco, Soana and Chiusella streams feature numerous reserves and no kill areas and are a paradise for fishermen who appreciate the crystal clear waters rich in fish: the native brown trout and rainbow trout, grayling and pike.
THE RAINBOW ZIPLINE
Arcansel – the rainbow zipline – is a spectacular outdoor recreation facility built in the Municipality of Frassinetto with the contribution of the Canavese Valleys LAG. The structure allows you to experience the thrill of flying while hanging from a metal cable with a special pulley and harness. The system consists of a main wire and a signaling cable anchored to the start station (1298 m above sea level) and to the arrival station (1040 m above sea level) for a total length of 1800 m of free flight. The flight is taken in a horizontal position with the head facing downhill thanks to the use of special harnesses, very similar to those used for paragliding. The harness is hooked to a special pulley that runs along a 24 mm steel cable (the main wire is 1800 m long); the maximum height above the ground is about 400 m while the elevation difference between the start and the arrival is approximately 260 m. The flight takes an average of 70 seconds with a top speed of 140 km/h. Time and speed vary based on weight and wind.