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Aosta Valley

Bordering the French and Swiss Alps, the Italian Aosta Valley is incredible and has some of the best skiing in Italy, if not Europe. Its ancient Italian villages, lively towns and purpose built resorts are all connected by an 800km ski area that has incredible views and crowd-free slopes all round and the food... well that really is something else.

Beginner

Intermediate

Advanced

Snowboard

At a glance: • Awesome scenery • Uncrowded pistes • Family Friendly resorts

Great for: • Heli-skiing • Foodies • Families

Bordering the French and Swiss Alps, the Italian Aosta Valley is incredible and has some of the best skiing in Italy, if not Europe. Its ancient Italian villages, lively towns and purpose built resorts are all connected by an 800km ski area that has incredible views and crowd-free slopes all round and the food... well that really is something else.

Aosta Valley Resort

Italy’s amazing Aosta Valley rubs shoulders with Valais in Switzerland (to the west), the French Rhône-Alpes (to the north) and the Italian Piedmont region (to the east & south). It’s surrounded by some of the biggest peaks in the Alps, including Monte Blanc, Monte Rosa and the legendary Matterhorn. The valley radiates from the central town of Aosta and with a hefty 800km of piste, its ski resorts include world famous Cervinia and Courmayeur and lesser known (but well worth getting to know) La Thuile, Pila and the Monterosa ski region where you’ll find Champoluc and Gressoney.

Snow Sure Cervinia has the best après ski scene, with a lovely mix of local boutiques and late night party spots along its traffic free village centre. It’s on the Italian side of the Matterhorn which connects it to the legendary Swiss resort of Zermatt.

Courmayeur is another popular ski town. The car-free centre is a mismatch of sports bars, cocktail lounges and family friendly restaurants. Thanks to it being on the Italian side of the Mont Blanc tunnel, you can pop over the mountain to ski the classic French resort of Chamonix.

La Thuile is made up of a historic village and purpose built area called Planibel, which gives you the best of both worlds. You can ski 2 countries in 1 day here too, thanks to it being connected to the French resort of La Rosière by the Little St Bernard Pass.

Pila is a purpose built mountain resort above the historic town of Aosta. The resort itself is a mismatch of ski-in / ski-out hotels and you can catch a 20 minute gondola ride down to Aosta.

The Monterosa is a region basked in history and its quaint resorts of Champoluc and Gressoney have a quieter social scene but nonetheless fantastic skiing and scenery.

Stats & FAQ

Location: North West, Italy, Alps.

Open: Dec- April everywhere except Cervinia Oct-May

Downhill:

  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
Highest Altitude:3480m
Lowest Altitude:1224m
Slope Orientation:N, NE, S, E, SE, W, NW, SW
Night Skiing:Yes (Cervinia only)
Glacier:Yes
Snow Parks:6 (plus a further 1 in La Rosiere and another in Zermatt.)
Lift Pass Price: 295 Euro (adult 6 day)
Resorts: Cervinia, Courmayeur, Champoluc, La Thuile, Gressoney, Pila

Skiing/BoardingSkiing in Aosta Valley

Skiing the Aosta Valley is worth it just for the views. Monte Blanc, the Matterhorn, Castore, Monte Rosa, Lyskamm, Mont Dolent and Pointe Helbronner are just some of the huge peaks that line the northern border of this region.

Cervinia, Champoluc and La Thuile have a good variety of blues for beginners, who will enjoy the lengthy Plan Torrette in Cervinia. Champoluc has some long winding runs like Del Lago and Belvedere; and in La Thuile, an all-blue line down from the international border along Fourclaz and Promenade drop all the way to the Les Suches gondola.

Intermediates can roam heaps of terrain from all the ski resorts. With the exception of the Grimod and La Nouva blues, Pila is nearly all red. You’ll have loads to play with, like Pre Noir descending down the treelined piste and into the gully of this bowl shaped resort. Gressoney is only really skiable if you are an intermediate as reds line the whole valley, and lengthy reds in Courmayeur have everything from open drops to tight treelined roads.

All resorts have a mixed level of difficulty in blacks, with tight turns and open and steep descents offering some variety. The lack of blacks in numbers is made up for by the extensive off-piste and heli-skiing throughout the area. Whether you want to ride through trees, descend the Vallee Blanche or hop in the chopper and drop right onto the massifs, the Aosta Valley is a beacon of extreme skiing in the Alps.

Adrenaline junkies will never be too far from the action packed fun, with each resort having its own snowpark.

While the Aosta ski pass includes the French resort of La Rosiere (attached to La Thuile), and the Alagna valley, it would be a missed opportunity to not at least consider extending it with world famous Zermatt and Chamonix easily accessible from Cervinia and Courmayeur.

Aosta Valley Apres Ski

Compared to their French counterparts, the après ski is less about the partying and more about relaxing in the Aosta resorts. That said, each resort has its credentials and whatever your mood, the Aosta Valley is more than happy to accommodate.

For livelier après, Cervinia, La Thuile and Courmayeur are your best bets, being popular choices for the weekend skiers from Milan and Turin. Top venues include La Bricole in La Thuile (their cocktails are awesome), Bianconiglio in Cervinia and Bar Americano in Courmayeur.

For those content with a quiet sherry by the fireside, Pila, Champoluc and Gressoney are more low key (you can always show off your karaoke talents in Champoluc’s West Road Bar if you fancy upping the pace a bit).

No one does food quite like the Italians. Pizza is not so much a staple part of an Italian ski trip, but more of a dietary requirement while visiting the Aosta Valley. Every resort does pizza to an incredible standard, some even being cooked in old-school wood burning ovens, like in Kremer Thal just outside of Champoluc. Fondue is of course a popular dish in this area- we loved the stuff in Il Principe in Gressoney.

For non-skiers, Aosta is famous for its fresh spring water and high altitude, making it the perfect location to soak away the stress. Many hotels and chalets have wellness facilities and the Pre Saint Didier spa is just a short drive from Courmayeur, La Thuile and Pila. Aosta town is bursting with medieval and Roman history; while Cervinia, Champoluc and Gressoney have some beautiful historical buildings and monuments. There are good quality sports facilities within each resort, meaning if you still fancy some intense exercise, things like 5 a side football or indoor climbing are never too far away.

Best time to go

Best time to ski Aosta Valley

When is the best time to ski Aosta Valley?

High altitude skiing means Aosta is known for snowy conditions throughout the region from December through to April. Naturally the very best conditions are in February and early March and as many head to France, the region stays comparatively quiet even during the peak dates.

Most of the piste across the region is above 2000m, so conditions are very reliable for much of the season, and the off-piste and heli-skiing opportunities will guarantee some good skiing for anyone with the skill and will to travel.

Courmayeur is the lowest resort, at a mere 1224m above sea level- but has much of its piste rising above 2000m to a height of 2755m. It also easily accesses the Valle Blanche descent, starting at more than 3400m. Snow sure Cervinia, by comparison, is the highest at 2050m, and has the highest skiable piste reaching 3883m, making this your best option for later in the season.

Peak Dates

If you love skiing at Christmas, you have to do Italy at least once. Spend Christmas in the Aosta Valley and join the locals for midnight mass and local markets. There’s no better excuse than Christmas to feast on the amazing food you’ll find here!

Food food food! Spending New Years in the Aosta Valley ensures you will be fed, and fed well. Hotels will stuff you with multi-course meals, most resorts have torchlit descents and the livelier villages will be buzzing all night.

Great ski conditions, snowparks, loads of fantastic food and best of all, few crowds! Spending February half term in the Aosta Valley is a hidden gem, especially if you’re bored of the crowds across the border.

Late season skiing over Easter in the Aosta Valley is an understated choice as far European skiing goes. With high altitude resorts like Cervinia and oodles of terrain over 2,000m, skiable conditions should be easy to find.

Families in Aosta Valley

Families are welcomed to resorts in the Aosta Valley in an almost God-fatherly manner, as Italian hospitality knows how to treat their clientele.

Ski schools in each resort are well respected and have highly qualified staff meaning children will be taught to a very high standard. Cervinia and La Thuile have the widest selection of blue runs, and both are lively towns with great kids programs like freestyle competitions in La Thuile during February half term.

Pila is a very popular choice among families and school trips due to its long windy blue runs- Grimod and La Nouva- meaning the kids can make friends and hang out in the large hotels, while the parents ski to the sun terraced bars like Bar Yeti.

The car-free village centres of Courmayeur, Pila and Cervinia are perfect for letting the children wander and small villages like Champoluc, La Thuile and Gressoney are quiet and tranquil.

Courmayeur has bus shuttle runs throughout the resort, so you can very quickly get onto the piste without much difficulty, and then relax in one of the many family friendly restaurants either on the mountain side or in the village centre. Champoluc and Gressoney are great for children who won’t mind kicking back with a book as the après ski for children is quite old-school.

On the piste, snowparks with a good mis-match of kickers and rails of varying size and difficulty are located in each of the resorts, or within lift access, so the kids can have more than enough fun burning off their energy on the mountain. Sports centres and outdoor activities can also be organised throughout the resorts, including snow shoeing, sledging and cross-country skiing.

GroupsGroup Holidays Aosta Valley

Groups wanting to make tracks in the Aosta Valley, will do just that. A haven for intermediates especially, groups will have a great time skiing, regardless of which resort. Experienced snow lovers wanting a good nightlife should check out Courmayeur, with a good social life, amazing food, loads of red runs and access to the Vallee Blanche. If there are some newbies among your group, Cervinia has a wider scope of blues and an all-round huge piste attached to Zermatt.

La Thuile is also very good for beginners looking to improve and move onto reds; and the village centre has enough bars and après ski to keep everyone entertained. With the best access to the large town of Aosta, you can all stay in Pila and head to the town for some night life, and return to the quiet resort before getting up and out on the uncrowded piste.

If your group want to take in some culture, Champoluc and Gressoney in the Monterosa ski area are gorgeous authentic villages. Hotel bars and a handful of restaurants in each resort make up the laid back après ski, meaning you’ll be able to stay level headed in the morning for the challenging reds and blacks which face you across this glorious mountain range, dubbed the Italian Les Trois Vallee.

Spa and sports centres dot across the Aosta valley for those looking for something that doesn’t involve getting out on the slopes, and there are enough bars and restaurants to keep everyone entertained. Family friendly restaurants are happy to receive large groups, and Italian dining being what it is, you are sure to find something which fits everyone’s taste buds and lots of it.

More Aosta Valley Holiday Resources


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