PONTECHIANALE - THE MONVISO – THE VARAITA VALLEY
Visiting the upper valley don't miss the Alevé wood: the largest native swiss stone pine forest in Europe with its network of tracks and paths among grand and ancient trees and a rich array of flora and fauna. Squirrels, marmots, chamois, ibex, deer and over 70 species of birds recorded in the forest.
Those who prefer placid pedalling can take their wheels from the campsite to the pretty hamlet of Chianale along the river, or the gentler mountain bike ride around the lake and enjoy the many picnic stops and the beautiful views over the lake for contemplation. Street lamps are dotted along the path so that in the evening you can enjoy a romantic walk in the moonlight.
An unforgettable experience not really ideal for the faint of heart is the paraglide adventure...launching from the Tre Chiosis Peak without much effort, you can float over the lake and the village enjoying a huge panoramic vista. Involves taking the chairlift (8 euros a return ticket) reach 2400 metres of high and walk till the top of the peak.
Hop on your bike and enjoy riding up the amazing curves of the Agnello Pass, one of the most challenging cycling roads you can get in the Alps. Actually the third highest road pass in Europe (2744 m.) which marks the border between Italy and France.
With the mountains literally on your door step you can take full avantage of the many walking and cycling opportunities Pontechianale offers or just take a stroll in the village where you'll might hear natives speak in Occitan, the local language spoken in the upper valley. Certainly worth visiting is Chianale, a tiny village surrounded by fields,green pastures bare rock faces, considered one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.