It was the Pope's first long excursion from the chalet since his arrival in Valle d'Aosta on Monday.

The destination of the six-hour-long outing was not immediately made known. Details are not reported, to avoid attracting tourists to places the Pope is visiting, Vatican Radio explained.

Fifteen excursions by car have been planned this vacation, with possibly as many destinations, according to the Pope's wishes.

In general, gamekeepers' paths are chosen that are not open to tourists, to ensure greater privacy for the Holy Father.

This is the 10th year the Pope is spending his holidays in Les Combes. His vacation is scheduled to end July 17.