What’s it like?
Ski two countries in one day on the lift-linked Milky Way ski area. The area's 400km of pistes link a range of resorts – from the family-friendly to the party-hard – stretching across Sauze d'Oulx, Sestriere and Claviere in Italy, and over the border to Montgenèvre in France.
The Winter Olympics came to the Milky Way in 2006, bringing speedier lifts, which means less time queueing and more time on the slopes, plus Sestriere gained a board park that caters for all abilities.
Claviere is a little village on the border with France, with lots of mountain charm. And it's a great choice for families, thanks to the short transfer time of only 1 hour 45 minutes and our own Crystal Childcare, which is based in the resort. The village itself is very quiet, with just a small selection of après bars.
You'll find plenty of high, open slopes and lower, wooded runs in Claviere – mostly made up of red runs and lower-gradient black slopes, so it's good for intermediates and boarders. The resort is renowned for its snow coverage, empty slopes and short lift queues.
Purpose-built for Fiat car company employees to enjoy winter sports back in the 1930s, Sestriere is the highest resort in the Milky Way and home to two distinguishing circular towers – an homage to the Fiat factory. The après ski is fairly low-key but there's a handful of bars and clubs open until the early hours.
Home to the men's World Cup Downhill and offering slopes for all abilities, Sestriere is a great all-round resort. The beginners' area fans out from the centre of resort and there are easy areas to progress to. But really, Sestriere is an intermediates paradise with plenty of skiing in the Banchetta and Sises areas. Those looking for something more challenging can tackle the Kandahar runs used in the World Championship races, or head for the blacks at the top of Motta and Sises.
Experience old and new in Sauze d’Oulx, with the cobbled streets of the old town beside the buzzing après scene of the new town. The liveliest of the Milky Way resorts, it has après bars to cater for everyone, a great mix of restaurants and a number of late night bars and clubs for those wanting to dance the night away.
On the slopes, there's a real mix for all abilities right on your doorstep. A wide open plateau at the top of Sportinia, perfect for beginners; a huge choice of reds between Monte Triplex and Rocce Nere for intermediates; and the Moncrons and Genevris areas offering challenging pistes and off-piste possibilities for the more experienced.
Just over the French border, the pretty resort of Montgenèvre has great links into the Milky Way and boasts 300 days of sunshine a year. The resort has a traditional French alpine feel and a fairly large section of bars and restaurants, plus fantastic opportunities to ski the nearby areas.
The wide runs at village level are best suited for beginners and offer a good selection of greens to get you started. Intermediates are spoilt for choice, with tree-lined runs from Le Godrans and a long red from Le Chalvet at 2,680m. Exciting off-piste descents and bumps can be found in the Col de l’Alpet area, as well as challenging slopes and further off-piste opportunities in the wider ski area.