Nordic Walking

Ossola Valley is really the perfect place to practice Nordic walking. The wealth of its natural environment and the valuable historic and cultural background are unveiled at Nordic walking pace along well maintained cycle and footpaths, agricultural roads surrounded by green, quiet paved back roads, old smugglers’ routes and footpaths.

Nordic walking is the ideal discipline to explore along the plains, paths and nature trails of Ossola Valley.
The Nordic walking technique isn’t just a variation on walking with poles, but brings major benefits to your whole body.

Nordic walking requires a biomechanically correct walking style, with movements derived from the discipline of Nordic skiing, providing healthy motor activity and allowing great relaxation and integration of body and mind through walking. It is a full body workout suitable for everyone, regardless of age, gender or physical condition.
This section gives, along with the benefits of the practice and useful advice from experts on how to approach Nordic walking properly, a comprehensive overview of the routes that you can take in Ossola Valley, discovering unique landscapes and beautiful locations, from the lower Ossola up to the plateaus at higher altitudes.

Finally, we highlight the courses organised in Ossola Valley, a perfect opportunity to learn about the practice of Nordic walking with qualified and competent instructors.

There are so many routes worth mentioning: VisitOssola, with the valuable contribution of Jessica Mazzocco and Nori Botta, qualified Nordic walking instructors, has a great selection of 16 routes that combine terrain well suited to walking with poles with the chance to admire points of cultural and natural interest dotted across the entire Ossola Valley that are well worth seeing for yourself.

We recommend choosing the length of your Nordic walking excursion by assessing your level of preparation and training and bearing in mind that they can be split into stages.

Nordic walking routes over 10 km – can be split into stages
Toce Cycle Track, Ossola Valley: Nordic walking among waterways
Toce Cycle Track, Ossola Valley: Nordic walking among villages and woodland
Toce Cycle Track, lower Ossola: Nordic walking among flowers
Vigezzo Valley: Nordic walking along cycle and footpaths
Macugnaga, Anzasca Valley: Nordic walking at Fairies’ Lake and the Dead City
Formazza Valley: Nordic walking from Toce Waterfall to San Giacomo Pass

Nordic walking routes between 5 and 10 km
Bognanco Valley: Nordic walking from San Bernardo to Monscera Pass
Ornavasso, lower Ossola: Nordic walking among faith and forts
Antigorio Valley: Nordic walking from Verampio to Terme di Premia
Formazza Valley: Nordic walking – around the Morasco Dam
Vigezzo Valley: Nordic walking among geological wonders
Antrona Valley: Nordic walking – around Lago di Antrona
Alpe Devero Natural Park: Nordic walking – Alpe Devero-Crampiolo-Alpe Devero Loop

Nordic walking routes up to 5 km
Trasquera, Divedro Valley: Nordic walking on Alpe Fraccia
Alpe Veglia Natural Park: Nordic walking on the Alpe Veglia plain
Villadossola, Ossola Valley: Nordic walking at the Collina dello Sport


  • It involves around 90% of the muscles in the body, around 600 muscles
  • It’s 40% more effective than just walking, burning 400 Kcal/h rather than the 240-280 Kcal/h used in normal walking.
  • It helps to improve spinal column mobilisation
  • It firms up and sculpts the muscles of the whole body
  • It improves aerobic capacity even when done at low speed
  • It encourages rebalancing of lung function
  • It increases oxygenation of the entire body
  • It allows even people with heart problems to practise a sport
  • It works actively on endurance, strength, mobility and coordination
  • It releases tension in the shoulder and neck area


Learn good technique
As in all sports, in Nordic walking it’s important to learn good technique from the beginning. Completing a Nordic walking course with a professional instructor is a very good idea.

Nordic walking is an affordable discipline. If you start to really get into it, technical clothing may also become important, but to start with all you need is a good pair of walking shoes and a pair of poles.

Poles are the only piece of equipment specific to Nordic walking. We recommend you buy a good pair of poles, avoiding any that are too cheap.

Layers are particularly advised. The base layer’s function is crucial as it needs to absorb sweat and carry it away from the body. We therefore advise you to buy clothing in technical fabrics that allow total perspiration.
The mid-layer is used to insulate and maintain the body’s heat (a lightweight fabric or micro fleece is recommended). Finally, the outer layer needs to protect against rain and wind, so breathable clothing with good ventilation is a must.

You should choose shoes very carefully: they should fit well, have excellent flexibility and a well sculpted sole.

Lightweight rucksack
Small rucksacks are particularly practical for outings lasting a few hours as they don’t restrict arm movement.

Remember to drink
If your Nordic walking excursion is around 45-60 minutes long, a glass of water before you leave should be sufficient, but if the temperature is high or if you’re going out for longer it’s a good idea to carry a full water bottle with you to compensate for intense sweating. Good practice requires at least 100 ml of water for every 15-20 minutes of activity.

Where to go
You can go Nordic walking anywhere and Ossola Valley, with its well-marked paths, historic mule tracks and endless cycle paths along the Toce River, really is the perfect place for it!

With Nordic walking, you can decide for yourself how much energy you want to consume by measuring the load, the thrust force and your pace of walking. A flat dirt track is the ideal terrain to learn the basic technique: good posture, coordination alternating arms and legs, proper use of poles and, once you’ve mastered the technique, you can start to take hillier routes.

Happy walking in Ossola Valley, at Nordic walking pace of course!


The SPORT SERVICE CSI Sports Society organises Nordic walking courses in Ossola Valley run by qualified instructors Jessica Mazzocco and Nori Botta.

Find inspiration here