Aosta Valley – InTheSnow

A land of majestic mountains and incredible skiing

Considering it’s the smallest region in Italy, Valle d’Aosta really punches its weight when it comes to its ski areas.

Located in the high Alps in the northwest of the country, on the border of France and Switzerland (you can even ski both on a day trip if you wish), the Aosta Valley offers spectacular scenery as well as world-class skiing and snowboarding.

Located in the heart of the Alps, the Aosta Valley is surrounded by some of the highest peaks in Europe: the Matterhorn (also called the Matterhorn by the Swiss), Monte Rosa, Gran Paradiso and the king of them all, Mont Blanc, which at 4,809 m is the highest mountain in Western Europe, the roof of the old continent.

There are several dozen ski areas among which world famous destinations such as Cervinia and Valtournenche (which share a huge ski area with neighboring Zermatt); La Thuile, which also shares a cross-border ski area, this time to France and La Rosierethe incredible region of Monterosa which is home to charming ski villages like Champoluc and Gressoney, and then there are fabulous Courmayeur with its old center and spectacular skiing on the other side of Mont Blanc from Chamonix.

Then there are the dozen or so smaller and attractive Aosta Valley ski areas and villages where you can spend a very special holiday, perhaps without hearing another British voice during your stay, but with the Valle d’Aosta regional pass, you can choose to ski in one of the larger areas whenever you want.

Whichever ski area you choose to visit first, add to that an excellent snowfall record, fabulous cuisine of the highest quality and a history dating back to Roman times, and you’ll begin to see why the Aosta Valley is so special.

One final piece of good news is that with Turin, Milan and Geneva airports within easy reach, the Aosta Valley resorts are some of the easiest to get to from the UK.

Skiing and Snowboarding

With over 20 resorts, over 800km of pistes, 10 snowparks and a unique international e-ski pass for direct access to all slopes, Aosta is home to an array of skiing opportunities.

There are ski areas of all sizes, from small authentic and unspoiled ski villages off the beaten track to some of the biggest and most famous ski destinations in the world. Whatever your level of skier and snowboarder – from absolute beginner to the most experienced – you will find something here for you. Not to forget the hundreds of kilometers of cross-country ski trails, world-renowned off-piste freeride terrain and even ski mountaineering and heli-skiing opportunities for the more experienced.

There are beginner areas perfect and calm for beginners, and some of the most difficult slopes in the world, even the option of heliskiing, for experts. For everyone else, there are hundreds of miles of fabulous blue and red cruisers. Whatever your level, we all enjoy the same spectacular scenery, great snow and delicious food when it comes to stops at mountain huts and all at far better prices than the most other alpine destinations.

Aosta Valley

© Enrico Romanzi

The cross-border ski area shared by ​Cervinia and ​Valtournenche below Monte Cervino is one of the largest in the world with over 322 km of interconnected pistes and a further 38 km of ski slopes available. More than 50 state-of-the-art high-speed lifts are available, and the region is so snow-covered that it is open from October 1, 2022 to May 7, 2023, accessing the highest lifts in Europe. This fall it is also hosting the first-ever cross-border FIS World Cup alpine ski races for men and women.

Courmayeur is one of the most famous and beloved ski destinations in the world. The historic heart of the resort, lined with tempting shops, cafes and restaurants, is a year-round draw. The ski slopes have something for everyone, but are particularly famous for the freeride terrain where local guides can lead expert skiers and boarders.

Something For everyone

The Monterosa region, including the villages of Champoluc and Gressoney, is another area that once skiers have visited for the first time they end up returning year after year, so be warned: you’ll be hooked! Again, it’s the authentic nature of this spectacular region, the fabulous food, the welcoming locals and the great snow and skiing.

Pila is an unusual option, in that you can choose to stay in the ancient town of Aosta below, with its beautifully preserved Roman ruins, and take a gondola up to the ski slopes and back down into the afternoon, or you can choose to stay on the mountain and use the gondola for a day trip to Aosta. Either way, it’s a great family ski area with over 70km of pistes and lifts culminating at 2,740m, which contributes to its excellent snow record.

Aosta Valley

© Dario Mazzoli

La Thuile is another of the most famous resorts in the Aosta Valley, with a large ski area, Espace San Bernardo, which stretches across the French border. There is wonderful skiing for all abilities on the wooded slopes above the village. They do, however, include one of the most famous downhill ski runs in the world, the Franco Berthod, a must for good skiers to test their skills.

Aosta Valley

© Consorzio Operatori Turistici La Thuile.jpg

Besides these internationally renowned resorts, there are smaller villages with their small open ski areas, perfect for beginners or those who just like to have a ski area to themselves. Choose one of them but buy the complete Aosta Valley ski pass and you can ski anywhere in the valley whenever you want.

There is something to discover for everyone in Valle d’Aosta, from beginners to experts. Everyone is welcome in this land of abundant snowfall, majestic mountains, delicious cuisine, cheap accommodation and clean air to rejuvenate body and soul.

Skiing Aosta Valley

Many of the UK’s largest holiday companies including Crystal, Inghams and ski travel agencies and several smaller niche companies offer holidays to most Aosta Valley ski resorts.

There are routes to the Aosta Valley ski areas from most UK regional airports on airlines such as BA, easyJet, Jet2, Ryanair, Alitalia and Swiss to Turin, Milan or Geneva airports . You can also reach Valle d’Aosta by train, changing in Paris and Turin, in around 11 hours, or by car in the same time, plus stops.

val-d-aoste.fr

Main image © Pietro Celesia

About George Dailey

Check Also

New England has 5 of the best ski resorts in North America, according to Condé Nast Traveler

New Englanders don’t have to travel far to find the best ski mountains in North …