With all this glorious hiking,
no wonder italians are obsessed with boots.
start: Wednesday, August 26, 2020 end: Friday, September 4, 2020
per-person cost estimates (usd)
$1100 per person (full group of 8 or 9 hikers)
$1400 per person (partial group of 6 or 7 hikers)
$1400 per person (round trip from western USA to Torino, Italy)
$1000 per person (round trip from western Canada to Torino, Italy)
accommodation for 9 nights
$520 per person (double room, buffet breakfasts included)
$630 per person (single room, buffet breakfasts included)
$400 per person (9 dinners, and 2 lunches on rest days)
car rental for 9 days
$360, plus $200 gas (total $280 per person, based on 2 people sharing)
$3700 per person (double room, full group of 8 or 9 hikers)
$4090 per person (single room, full group of 8 or 9 hikers)
medical insurance, trip insurance, accommodation and meals before and after our trip together, trail-lunch ingredients purchased for you
Your airfare will depend on the airline you choose and when you purchase. The accuracy of our USD cost estimates will depend on ever-fluctuating exchange rates. Our scout fee will not change.
booking & payment
You are responsible for booking and paying for your flights between North America and Italy. We will book your accommodation for you, and you will pay for it through us, but you’ll pay only what we’re charged. All other costs—rental car, meals, etc.—you’ll pay directly. That’s what makes this trip affordable: There’s no markup on any of your expenses.
securing your reservation
Tell us you’re interested. We’ll send you questions about your hiking experience and fitness level. Let's follow up with a phone conversation. If you and we agree you can comfortably handle the hiking in the Italian Alps, and you're ready to commit, we'll give you the transfer details for our bank. Sending us the $1100-per-person scout fee via e-mail transfer is the first step to securing your reservation. If you wire the scout fee to us, make it $1125, so the wiring fee is covered.
commit before march 20, 2020
This $1100 scout-fee is due March 20, 2020. That's five months before we begin hiking together in Italy. The sooner you commit, however, the sooner we can establish a full group of eight or nine hikers, giving everyone ample time to confidently reserve flights.
Also due March 20, 2020 is the full cost of your accommodation. The Italian Alps are such a popular travel destination that much of Valle d'Aosta's best accommodation is booked far in advance. Intense competition for lodging allows hoteliers to demand non-refundable deposits and full payment several months in advance.
cancellation & refund
We’ll keep you posted as hikers commit to joining us. Your deposit (covering scout fee and accommodation cost) is refundable should your group fall short of six hikers as of March 20, 2020. If, at that time, your group has at least six hikers but fewer than eight, we'll ask you and the others if you're willing to pay an additional $300 per person to cover the higher scout-fee, or if you prefer to cancel and receive a full refund. Only if six hikers agree to pay the scout-fee increase will we carry on with the trip.
non-refundable after march 21, 2020
As of March 21, 2020, your scout fee is no longer refundable. If you cancel on or after that date, we will—on your behalf—try to obtain a refund for your accommodation payment. Whether or not we're successful will depend entirely on the goodwill of the hotelier. A full refund is unlikely. Even a partial refund is uncertain. So you should assume the cost of your accommodation is also non-refundable as of March 21, 2020.
(a) whopping price of a tour company
(b) guesswork, mistakes & wasted time on your own
(c) small group of compatible hikers led by a couple who knows the way
We require you to buy emergency hospital and medical insurance to cover you while you’re hiking with us in the Italian Alps. Should an insurance company ask if you’ll be climbing or mountaineering while you’re there, you can honestly say “no.”
We also recommend you buy trip-interruption/cancellation insurance. For a small fee, it covers an emergency return to your home country. Your need to return could be due to a foreign affairs office traveler-safety advisory, for example. Or it could be due to a family emergency—if you are the primary caregiver. A reliable travel-insurance company is Allianz Global Assistance (800-461-1079 / www. allianz-assistance.ca/en). Ask them for details.
Bear in mind, if fewer than six people commit to our group trip, we’ll have to cancel it. No insurance policy covers that. So if you purchase your airfare before we confirm your group has at least six hikers, you must be confident you’ll want to continue with your own vacation in Italy for the same dates. We cannot refund your airfare.
Book through the consolidator www.autoeurope.com. They’ll compare prices from all the prospective rental-car companies, then offer you the best deal. A distinct advantage of AutoEurope is that their rates—in addition to having the option of a no-deductible CDW (collision damage waiver)—always include insurance coverage for theft and third-party liability. We’ve rented through AutoEurope numerous times in various countries. Never were we able to find a better option on our own. We’ve also appreciated that AutoEurope agents have consistently provided excellent phone service. When we published this website, AutoEurope's price for renting a compact, 4-door car with manual shift, such as a Fiat 500, was $360 for 9 days in August, 2020. That price included full insurance, theft, third-party liability, and zero deductible.
driving in Italy
If you’re comfortable and confident driving throughout North America, you should have no trouble in Italy. It’s essential, however, that you or your partner be confident and capable motoring through aggressive, urban traffic and on twisting mountain roads.
The average cost for a full dinner will be about $40 per person. A simple dinner of pizza and salad costs about $20 per person. These estimates do not include wine—excellent yet inexpensive in Italy. When you're hungry after a long hike, the lavish desert trays at Italian restaurants are irresistible. Expect to pay about $7 for a divine serving of tiramisu or panna cotta. Unlike in North America, tipping at restaurants in Italy is not expected. A coperto (cover charge) of 1 to 3% is always included on the bill. If the food and service are good, round up the total. If it's exceptional, tip a few Euro more.
Prior to your arrival in Aosta, we—Kathy and Craig—will purchase a variety of lunch ingredients for our entire group for the first two days of hiking. We'll offer these buffet-style after breakfast at our agriturismo, enabling you to make sandwiches and choose from a variety of healthy snacks. This will save you from having to do any shopping initially. After the first two days, you can decide if you want to do your own shopping for subsequent trail lunches, or if you want us to continue doing it for you. Either way, you can reimburse us for the trail-lunch ingredients we purchase on your behalf whenever it's convenient during our time together. The cost will be comparable to what you'd pay at home for similar items. This minor expense is not included in the "dining out" cost estimate stated above. If you rely on sports-nutrition bars while hiking, pack as many of your favorites in your luggage as you think you'll want. You won't find nearly the selection in Italy that you're accustomed to in North America.