After a mining past, Champdepraz has demonstrated its vocation for hospitality in the last decades thanks to the Mont Avic Regional Park, which appeals hikers and visitors attracted by a superb nature and by an incomparable variety of landscapes: the widest mountain pine (Pinus uncinata) forest in the Italian Alps, several streams and lakes - including the Gran Lago, one of the largest natural basins in the Aosta Valley – peat bogs, pastures and high-altitude rock sites.
This municipality is characterised by the high number of chapels, present in every hamlet, and for the numerous community ovens in the villages.
WHAT TO SEE
● The Mont Avic Park visitors centre is located in the hamlet of Covarey and is an information point about the particularities of the protected area and on the various walks. It houses an interesting naturalistic museum describing the rocky environments, wetlands and forests of the park, through captivating and exhaustive interactive systems. A multipurpose hall hosts conferences, educational activities and temporary exhibitions.
● The villages of the Chevrère area have kept their original architectural features, stone houses and typical wooden “rascard”, such as in the mining village of Hérin, perched on the mountain.
NATURE AND SPORT
The Mont Avic Regional Park offers to hikers a rich trail network which let to discover animal and vegetal particularities, sometimes unique in the Aosta Valley. Some of these itineraries are suitable also for snowshoes.
Along the Chalamy stream sport fishing enthusiasts can find a privately managed riserve, with some stretches catch and some others no-kill. This stream is also one the preferred ones for the practice of canyoning, especially in the lower part.
In Crest there is a climbing wall while a via ferrata was realized on a spur above the hamlet of Covarey.
EVENTS AND TRADITIONS
Champdepraz Patron Saint's Day: celebration of the patron saint of the village with the traditional auction sale, the gift of the ‘Puette’ (small dolls) to newborn babies and the awarding of prizes in the nativity scene competition.
FOR THE LITTLE ONES
In the hamlet of La Veulla, beyond Covarey, shortly after the end of the road, there is the Mont Avic wildlife park where children can observe various animals from the alpine environment up close. They are specimens coming from recovery centres which, being unable to be freely reinserted, find an adequate habitat in the wildlife park.
● Altitude: 523 m
● Inhabitants: 717
● How to get there by public transport: by the bus of the line Pont-Saint-Martin/Aosta you can reach the municipality of Champdepraz along the National Road 26; by the shuttle bus Carema/Montjovet you can also reach some hamlets of the municipality. For the timetables visit the website of the VITA Group company.