ORCO VALLEY …EVERYTHING TO DISCOVER
The landscape is the typical one of glacial valleys where the modelling action of glaciers is clearly visible over the millennia. On this theme focuses the permanent exhibition at the visitor centre of Noasca. Still in Noasca is located the Environmental Education Centre (C.E.A), pride of the Valley and unique throughout the Park, it offers excursions guide tours with workshop activities, and deepens awareness to environmental problems in the protected area stays. The CEA is open the whole year upon reservation (for info tel. 011 8606233). The valley offers all visitors the opportunity of walking, hiking and climbing routes in any season of the year. 3 hours walk from Noasca awaits the Royal hunting House of Grand Piano, restored by the Park. In Ceresole Reale the visitor centre "Homo et Ibex" has been newly opened, dedicated to the millennial relationship between mankind and the ibex (capra ibex), Park symbol. In the evocative Prascondù Sanctuary (Ribordone), is located the Visitors Centre focused on the Religious Culture in the Park valleys.
An imposing valley dominated by the overhanging walls of "Becco di Valsoera" and "Becchi della Tribolazione", it is characterized at its head by the artificial water reserve of Teleccio. It is a destination for mountain climbers rather than hikers, but either way it's worth visiting to get in touch with the high altitude environment.
Support structure the Pontese refuge.
Gran Piano - Noasca
Maybe one of the lesser known and less popular areas of the park, Gran Piano and its surrounding areas are the ideal destinations for those who wish to observe herds of grazing chamois and ibex. The green meadows are rich in water and in some places they are covered with the white blooms of cotton grass. A wonderful crossing allows you to get to Gran Piano starting from just under the Colle del Nivolet, with a continuous view down into the Orco valley.
From Ceresole Reale a beautiful mule-track winds up through forests of larches and firs to Colle Sià, which connects the top of the Orco valley with the solitary Vallone del Roc ravine. The route, which offers great views of the beautiful Levanne glaciers, also gives you the opportunity to observe the animals of the park.
Piano del Nivolet
This is one of the most interesting plateaus of the Alps, spreading out for more than six kilometres at a height of 2500 m. The area is very rich in water: apart from numerous ponds, embedded between the rocks, the green expanse of pastures is crossed by the "Dora di Nivolet" river which in its meandering forms marshes and peat bogs, is the ideal environment for the common frog and for many species of plants. During summer the Park rules the cars flow along the street that from the Lago Serrù leads to the Nivolet hill, this in order to protect the special habitat and offer its wholeness to hickers and alert visitors.