With all this glorious hiking,
no wonder italians are obsessed with boots.
start: Sunday, August 27, 2023 end: Wednesday, September 6, 2023
per-person cost estimates (usd)
$1850 per person (full group of 8 to 10 hikers)
$2100 per person (partial group of 6 to 7 hikers)
$725 per person: round-trip, non-stop with Delta, from NYC (JFK) to Milano (MXP)
$870 per person: round-trip, one-stop with IcelandAir, from Seattle (SEA) to Milano (MXP)
$1000 per person: round-trip, one-stop with British Airways, from Seattle (SEA) to Milano (MXP)
accommodation for 10 nights, including buffet breakfast
$450 per person (double room)
$800 per person (single room)
$500 per person (10 dinners, and 2 lunches on rest days)
car rental for 11 days
$470 (Hertz) to $680 (EuropCar) per person, from Milano airport, based on 2 people sharing. Includes $260 for gas. Does not include insurance.
$4270 per person (double room, full group of 8 to 10 hikers)
$4620 per person (single room, full group of 8 or 10 hikers)
Medical insurance. Trip insurance. Accommodation and meals before and after our trip together. Trail-lunch ingredients purchased for you. Walking-tour of Aosta. We recommend each person have €400 available to cover these costs and pay for restaurant dinners.
Your airfare will depend on the airline you choose and when you purchase. The accuracy of our USD cost estimates will depend on fluctuating exchange rates. Our scout fee will not change.
booking & payment
You will book and pay for your flights between North America and Italy. We will book your accommodation and pay the lodge. You will reimburse us the exact amount the lodge charges. We'll first get a deposit from you, then—one month before the trip—we’ll request your final payment. All else (rental car, meals, etc.) you’ll for pay directly. Thus there's zero markup on any of your costs.
securing your reservation
Tell us you’re interested. We’ll arrange a phone conversation to answer all your questions. When you're ready to commit, we'll give you the transfer details for our bank. Sending us the $1850 or $2100 per-person scout fee via check or wire transfer is the first step to securing your reservation. Make your check payable to Utah Slickrock Guides. If you wire the scout fee to us, add $25, so the wiring fee on our end is covered.
commit before april 30, 2023
This scout-fee is due April 30, 2023. That's about four months before we begin hiking together in Italy. The sooner you commit, however, the sooner we can establish a full group of hikers, giving everyone ample time to confidently reserve flights.
As soon as we know, we'll tell you (1) the final day by which the agriturismo must receive your deposit, and (2) the last day it will be possible to cancel your reservation with them.
The Italian Alps are such a popular travel destination that much of Val 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 April 30, 2023. If, at that time, your group has at least seven hikers but fewer than eight, we'll ask you and the others if you're willing to pay an additional $250 per person to cover the higher scout-fee.
If you must cancel due to illness, injury, or family-health crisis, and you do it by March 31, 2023, we will refund all but $300 of your scout fee. If you must cancel, and you do it by July 15, 2023, we will retain $1200 of your scout fee and refund $650. If you cancel after July 15, 2023, your scout fee is nonrefundable unless we can find a hiker capable of replacing you, in which case we will retain $300 of your scout fee.
By early July, after talking with everyone who committed to the trip, if Craig & Skye decide a new, aggressive, virulent, COVID variant makes international travel unacceptably risky, we will cancel the trip and send you a refund of all but $300 of your scout fee. We will then negotiate the best possible cancellation terms with the agriturismo. As for your airfare, the trend during the height of the pandemic was for airlines to allow passengers to cancel a flight with full credit toward another flight within a year. But such leniency might not be repeated.
(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 seven 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 seven 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.
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 agriturismo is simple, clean, comfortable, and small: only eight rooms. It's luxurious compared to a mountain hut. But it's not an elegant hotel. After scrutinizing many Aosta accommodation options, we chose the agriturismo because it feels isolated (no city or traffic noise!) yet its location allows easy access to the city and our trailheads. It's family owned and run. The staff is kind, gentle, caring, always willing to help.
Each room has a private entrance, a safe, a full bathroom including a spacious shower, and a kitchenette with a stovetop and small fridge. Many of the agriturismo's walls and ceilings are wood, giving it a cosy atmosphere. Views are to the forested mountainsides, and down the river valley. The price of each room covers a buffet breakfast including fresh bread and baked goods, boiled eggs, deli meats, cheese, tea, coffee, and juice.
A double room costs €90 per night. A single room costs €80 per night. If you're willing to share with two friends, some of the agristurismo's rooms are suites with lofts: one double bed on the main floor, two single beds in the loft. Triple occupancy in one of these suites costs €110 per night, or €37 each person — far less than any mountain hut!
The average cost for a full dinner will be about $45 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 dessert 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.
To recover from jet lag, you should arrive in Italy at least one day before our group convenes in Aosta. This will allow you time to buy ingredients for your trail lunches. (Yes, you’ll have a fridge in your room.) Conad grocery store has two locations in Aosta, and it's comparable to U.S. grocery stores in terms of abundance, variety, and prices. The cost of your trail lunches is not included in our "dining out" cost-estimate stated above. If you rely on sports-nutrition bars while hiking, pack as many as possible of your favorites in your luggage: even more than you think you'll need. You won't find nearly the selection in Italy that's available to you at home.