Duration: 1 day
Duration: 1 day
Crissolo is the closest town to the source of river Po in Piedmont. From there the ascent into the Cottian Alps begins. A narrow road still leads via Pian Della Regina to the Pian Del Re. The road ends there and you can only continue on foot. The suggested tour starts in Crissolo. The easy-to-walk path always leads uphill to the Pian del Re in the Po Valley. The Mountain Inn Pian del Re is located there at the foot of the Monte Viso (Monviso in West Piedmont). The rewards are magnificent views and clean nature.
The hike leads from Crissolo, the last township in the Po Valley, to the source of the largest Italian river, the Po River in Piedmont. The source is located at an altitude of 2020 meters on a plateau of the Monviso Mountain, the Pian del Re.
It’s a relatively easy tour along the river through forest and across meadows. The crystal clear Po River jumps downhill over sticks and stones. The tour leads relatively easy uphill through a piece of forest.
A small detour on the way brings you to the Grotta di Rio Martino which is easy to explore without special equipment. You only need a good torchlight.
You can take a break at the Pian della Regina Refuge serving tasty mountain food.
On the second part of the route it gets steeper. You will find many tributaries that feed the Po. And finally, when you arrive at the plateau Pian del Re, you discover the official source of the Po River.
The starting point of the hike is Crissolo at an altitude of 1368 meters, at Piazzale “La spiaggia” a little above Crissolo in the Serre district. To the left is a bridge over the Po that you will cross. The forest path runs parallel to the Po up to the Ponte Riondino, where you cross the Po again. From here, follow the signs for Pian Melzè on the hiking trail that now runs on the right side of the Po. The trail is marked with GTA (Grande Traversata delle Alpi). You will arrive directly at the Pian Della Regina. You don’t have to be specially trained to master this route. This first segment takes about 1.5 hours.
Your 3 hour tour is easy to be extended to a full day experience in this beautiful nature area of Piedmont. Our guide will take you to this hidden cave, that can be explored on foot without any special equipment. The whole route is really attractive. You can see stalactites and stalagmites, with significant chromatic variations. There is a spectacular waterfall at the end of the route. Here you will be glad to have carried the torchlights and a rain cape standing in the spray of the waterfall smashing into a lake in the cave. Humidity 100%, temperature 5C. Expect the detour to the last 3 hours.
The plateau Pian Della Regina (in French, Pian Melzè) at 1740 meters offers the first opportunity for a rest at the Locanda Della Polenta. From here we start the second segment of the tour. You need another hour to climb up to the Pian del Re. The difference in altitude is 275 meters. The climb is now steeper. The path first crosses the extreme southern bends of the Truc Battaglia and then climbs over two hairpin bends. You have to cross a small mud slope and take the path on the left to Pian Fiorenza. The last bends you have to climb the grassy slope next to two waterfalls. You pass the chapel of the Blessed Virgin of the Snow. The small chapel is in a dominant position with a great view of the valley. The last stretch of the path leads to the Pian del Re on the paved road. The asphalt road runs a few hundred meters to the left to the high plateau, past the Colle Delle Traversette junction (path V16). In the end you cross the wooden bridge. With a little search you can find the stone with the chiseled font QUI NASCE IL PO, here is where the Po River in Piedmont rises.
We provide a Piedmont authorized Nature Guide that speaks your language. Our guide will accompany you on this hike. He or she will give you interesting details on the way and draws your attention to the special features of the region and the special mountain cuisine. This will give you some insight into the culture in the Piedmont Cottian Alps near the French border to Savoy.
– Detour to Grotta di Rio Martino with a guide, 3 hours
– Overnight stays with breakfast and dinner in a comfortable hotel
– Pre-paid lunch at Mountain Inn Pian del Re (reservation required)
– Tour extensions with a regional wine tasting tour
– Private transfers
The hiking tour is organized only for you and your fellow travelers. They are conducted in the language you choose. We have experienced local guides for Italian, English, French. Other languages on request or with an interpreter.
The above price has been calculated for a group of 8 participants on a 3-hour hike. Please let us know the number of participants and special wishes with your request. For the detour to the Grotta, we need an additional 3 hours, but we need to check if it is open. There are bats, like in most caves.
Your guide can meet you at Pian del Re or at your hotel in Piedmont. We can organize transport to the meeting point and collect you from the endpoint.
Crissolo is a well-known Piedmont winter sports resort. Here is the ski station of the upper valley of the Po with 10 km of downhill slopes and three lifts that lead up to the Monte Ghincia Pastour at an altitude of 2300 meters. The chair lift starts in Crissolo and continues to the Granero Lungo slope. This is also equipped with artificial snow. International ski competitions are held in Crissolo and there is a 10 km area for snowboard free ride.
In the district of Villa, there is an ice rink with natural ice of 700 square meters, which is only open on weekends in winter. Natural ice cascades are suitable for climbing for the particularly daring.
At Pian Regina, there is a beautiful cross-country ski run of medium difficulty of 3 km in length. A treadmill 180 meters long serves as a feeder to the green slopes, which are a total of 500 m long. There are also playgrounds for children.
The official source of the Po is at Pian del Re. The inscription “Qui nasce il Po” is found on a stone. The sources of the tributaries from the higher glacial lakes converge on the Pian del Re. A little further uphill you come to the glacier lake Lago Fiorenza and the azure alpine lakes further up.
You are welcome to get inspired by our description of this hike. However, we recommend to not hike alone and do not go without an experienced local licensed guide. Mountains are dangerous and you can get lost or surprised by weather. Also, our description might have small errors, be incomplete or outdated. Therefore, we recommend you book the tour with us and let us take care of the organization.
Please contact us if you don’t find what you are looking for. Our strength is to develop bespoke itineraries for individual travelers and private groups
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