The village of Doues lies on a drumlin at an altitude of 1176 metres and, thanks to its optimal southern exposure, is the sunny terrace of the Valpelline valley, with a view of Mont Emilius and the Aosta plain. In Roman times it was known as “Dovia”, i.e. “Duae viae”: this name would indicate that two roads leading beyond the Alps met in this district. The first, which later became the most important, is the one to the Great Saint Bernard Pass, the second is the one climbing to the Fenêtre Durand, a pass situated in the Ollomont valley which once was a popular communication route with the Swiss Valais.
In this area, nature has much to offer to its guests and the alpine landscape has been actively preserved by the inhabitants of the village.
WHAT TO SEE
● The Parish Church of Saint Blaise: the present church, built in 1790, includes a small sepulchral chapel, dedicated to Saint Nicholas built by the family De La Crête, once Lords of Doues.
● The chapels: five chapels have been built in the village. The oldest one is that of Châtelair, dedicated to the Holy Trinity, situated at an altitude of 1430 metres on a hilltop overlooking the whole village. In the Champillon mountain pasture, at an altitude of 1680 metres, a Chapel dedicated to Our Lady of the Snows has been founded to protect shepherds and animals who spend the summer season in the mountains.
NATURE AND SPORT
Countless are the summer excursions that allow the tourists to discover an unspoilt natural environment: among the most beautiful ones, we can mention the climb to the Champillon Refuge, an ideal place for night-sky observation and, for the more trained ones, the ascent to the Champillon pass, from which people can enjoy a breath-taking view of the surrounding mountains. Furthermore, it is possible to walk along the old irrigation channels or along old paths often used by herds to reach the high alpine pastures.
In winter, the territory offers interesting ski-mountaineering trails which run from the last hamlets of Doues to the districts of Creux and Champillon. People can also discover the local wildlife, hidden in the forests surrounding the village, by snowshoes.
EVENTS AND TRADITIONS
● Polenta festival: in the past, polenta was prepared every day by our grandparents, while nowadays the opportunity to eat it is slightly less frequent. This festival therefore offers the opportunity to rediscover this typical dish, accompanied by many delicious local specialities.
● Coumba Freida Historic Carnival: according to tradition, this event was established in commemoration of the march through the Great Saint Bernard Pass by Napoleon and his troops in May 1800, during his campaign in Italy. The landzette, with their colourful traditional costumes, an allegorical transposition of the uniforms worn by the French soldiers, take possession of the village and invoke the arrival of spring.
● Italian alpine troppers’ feast in Champillon: this traditional event takes place in August. After the Holy Mass and a rich lunch, fun games for adults and children are organized.
FOR THE LITTLE ONES
In Doues, family holidays will be special thanks to the quietness of the village and the excellent sun exposure of the territory. Children can have fun at the sports centre with a mini-golf, a five-a-side football pitch and a playground, or walk along the old irrigation channels Ru de By and Ru du Mont. The municipality also offers a nice picnic area on the road from Doues to Champillon, where people can enjoy a beautiful view of the surrounding mountains.
● Altitude: 1176 m
● Inhabitants: 500
● How to get there by public transport: Doues is reachable by bus with the line “Aosta – Doues”. For timetables and more information, please visit the website of the SVAP company.