Day 51 Estaod to Pont-Saint-Martin – 21st July

Distance: 26.1 km – Elevation +280 m -580 m

Weather: Cloudy. Temperature: High 20 degrees

Thunderstorms during the night had helped to clear the humid conditions of yesterday. So it was cooler as we set out after a good breakfast at 7.30 am for our day’s walk.  First passing through Montjovet and then steep up and down paths to reach Reclou before the descent into Verres. Where we crossed over the Torrente Evancon and then briefly followed the Dora Baltea opposite Issogne before reaching Clos de Barme and its impressive 1804 renovated wine press (Torchio Vinario). There were more vineyards now as we passed through Arnad where we crossed the Dora Baltea via the ancient Echallod Bridge. Next, we arrived in Hone and Bard, the entrance to the Aosta Valley. There have been fortifications here since the 5th century. The existing Fort Bard was built between 1830 and 1838, and now houses the Museum of the Alps with its Fort. Passing through the narrow streets of Bard we pressed on and just before Donnaz we came to a 200 metre original section of the Roman Road to the Gauls, dug out of the rock face including an impressive arch. We walked on through the narrow streets of the ancient town of Donnas with its terraced vineyards on the steep slopes above the Dora Baltea. The town gives its name to the red wines produced here from the Nebbiolo grape. We reached Pont-Saint-Martin our destination for the day where Jean Pierre had again arranged the accommodation in the Hotel Ponte Romano. It was a comfortable hotel, a single room with twin beds, but I was again a little disappointed that Jean Pierre had arranged it without prior discussion, and this time it was comparatively expensive at 60 euros each including dinner and breakfast. After dinner and on a beautiful evening we took a stroll through the town including the beautiful Roman bridge built high above the River Lys.

river Evanon Verres
Wine press – Arnad
Pont Di Echallod – Arnad


Dora Baltea

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