Monterosa and Val d’Ayas
The Ayas, Lys and Sesia valleys extend at the foot of Mount Rosa. The Ayas municipality has a number of outlying districts (such as Champoluc) and is located at the mouth of the Evancon valley, in a marvellous basin dominated by the Mount Rosa Massif, with its high peaks reaching up to more than 4000 m (4374 yd.). The landscape is very varied, with snowy glaciers flanking lawns and pastures that slope smoothly to the valley.
The hamlet of Antagnod, the chief locality of the town of Ayas, is on the western slope of the valley. Its name comes from the local language and means “before the forest”, a reference to the great forests that probably stood here when the town was founded. Strolling through the town’s narrow streets, you can still admire the ancient rural homes in stone and wood, as well as the old barns. The Challant family home, an ancient rustic building, which now hosts the Val d’Aosta Artisan Institute as well as the local library, stands at the beginning of the road that leads to the parish church. At the side of the road, the building still preserves a handsome wooden balcony supported by struts; on display is the paw of what is said to be the last bear ever captured in the Val d’Ayas. The building was lived in by the lord of the Challant family in the XV century, and its cylindrical tower with three inverted arch windows – the ancient communal ovens – is still standing.
The most important monument to visit is the San Martino parish, where you can admire a splendid, pure gold altar in the baroque style, one of the most beautiful altars preserved in the region. The cemetery chapel flanking the church hosts the small Museum of Sacred Art. Local traditions and craftsmanship live on in Antagnod, thanks to the efforts of the cooperative “Li Tsacolè d’Ayas”, which manufactures the famous “sabots”, typical wooden footwear.
Antagnod is one of the most typical localities available to people who come to ski at Monterosa Ski, as well as a desirable destination for suntan-lovers. Two modern chair lifts serve the 18 km of wide, gentle and fairly unchallenging slopes. A “ski-bus” that runs every 10 minutes connects the Antagnod area to the rest of the ski slopes that are part of the Monterosa Ski area.
Where to ski
In the Monterosa Ski complex, Antagnod is among the most characteristic resorts for skiers and is also a preferred destination for lovers of sunbathing. Two modern chairlifts serve a total of 18 km (11 mi.) of spacious ski runs with mild and easy slopes. The Antagnod sky runs are only 100 m (109 yd) away from the Gresil complex and can easily be reached on foot.
Champoluc is the most important sky resort of the Ayas valley, with ski runs as long as 180 km (112 mi) that interconnect three major ski resorts (Ayas, Gressoney La Trinité and Alagna Valsesia). The cableway departure station is only 3 km (1.86 mi) away from the Gresil complex. For further information, see www.visitmonterosa.com
The Gresil complex partners with the new Wellness and Spa Centre Monterosaterme. For further information, see www.monterosaterme.com
Walking, trekking and mountaineering:
From April onwards, visitors will have several itineraries to choose from e.g. walking in the forest, climbing to glaciers and more. The Gresil complex is also signatory to the Monterosa Rando project for trail location. We invite you to download the geo-referencing app to locate trails with the highest degree of accuracy.
Places of Marian adoration:
At only 2 km from the Gresil complex is the Barmasc area. Here visitors will find a Sanctuary of Mary with a water source flowing from it. This place has always been worshipped by locals and is also a destination for pilgrims asking for graces. In the past, it was assiduously frequented by St. John Paul II during his holidays in Valle d’Aosta.
Way of the Cross of Mount Zerbion
In addition, Barmasc is the departure point of the “Way of the Cross of Mount Zerbion”, an excursion with high religious value that consists in reaching Mount Zerbion after stopping over at all Stations of the Cross. The peak of the mount is dominated by a magnificent statue of the Virgin Mary, who protects the Valle d’Aosta region.
Hiking and trekking
From Residence Gresil you can reach the most beautiful hiking trails in the Ayas Valley.
The residence adheres to the Monte Rosa Rando project where you will find interesting tips for your mountain hiking.
Info & Booking
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Route Barmasc - fraz Antagnod 11020 Ayas (AO) GPS: 45.818078,7.688452