Italy’s Aosta Valley dishes up great snow, fantastic scenery and a delicious mix of Italian, French and Swiss food. Head to the western end of the valley to ski in sight of the majestic Mont Blanc (or Monte Bianco as it’s called in Italy) and stay in a traditional village like Courmayeur, or a purpose-built resort like La Thuile. Over on the east side, you’ll find charming Gressoney and beginner-friendly Cervinia on the doorstep of the Matterhorn.
Just so you know, this is a paid blog. We’ve worked with the Aosta Valley Tourist Board to bring you expert info and tips for holidays in the Aosta Valley.
SKI AREA STATS
Cervinia + Zermatt: 360km
La Thuile + La Rosière: 160km
- Beginners: Cervinia, Pila, La Thuile
- Après: Cervinia, Courmayeur
- Charm: Courmayeur, Gressoney
WHAT’S THE SKIING LIKE NEAR TURIN?
With links into Switzerland and France too, there’s no shortage of slopes in the Aosta Valley. After learning the basics in ski school, head out to practise your skills on the many blue and red runs. And there are a few black runs around for seasoned skiers, especially in Gressoney.
Ventina red run, Cervinia: This 11km slope winds down from Plateau Rosa to the village of Valtournenche. Like most reds in Cervinia, it’s gentle enough to be classed as blue elsewhere, so it’s ideal if you’re looking to step up your skills.
Grimod blue run, Pila: Don’t miss the resort’s longest run – it starts at the top of the Leisse chairlift and stretches 6km all the way down to the centre of Pila.
San Bernado red run, La Thuile: A gentle red that’s not too steep, this is a good pick for confident beginners. It’s 11km long and is actually a road in summer, so see if you can spot the snow-covered road signs on your way down.
THINGS TO DO
Glacier Palace Ice Grotto, Cervinia: Known as the Wonder of the Alps, this cavern is filled with impressive ice sculptures and carvings. Up at 4,000m, it’s the highest ice grotto in Europe, and it’s easy to get to on the Klein Matterhorn lift.
Ice Skating, Gressoney: If you’re after a fun, family-friendly activity, look no further than this natural ice rink. Grab a pair of boots and glide around, surrounded by mountain views. It’s floodlit too, so you can skate into the evening.
Skyway Monte Bianco cable car, Courmayeur: Enjoy 360-degree views of the Mont Blanc peak on a lift that whisks you up to 3,466m. Stop at the Mountain and Sky stations on the way to snap some photos of the views and warm up with a hot drink at the café.
Pizzeria du Tunnel, Courmayeur: This cosy restaurant has over 30 kinds of wood-fired pizza to choose from. Or try a regional speciality, like creamy chicken valdostana topped with prosciutto and fontina cheese. Wash it down with a refreshing Italian beer.
Taverna Coppapan, La Thuile: The place to go for Savoyard favourites – think charcuterie boards, bourguignon stews and pierrade hot stone grills. And if you’re a big fan of cheese, you’ve got to try the raclette, fondue or tartiflette.
Chalet Etoile, Cervinia: Head to Cervinia’s best-known mountain eatery to soak up the views on the terrace and sample gourmet meat and fish dishes. It’s a popular spot, so book a table in advance.
Disco Shatush, Courmayeur: This modern, chalet-style bar gets the party started with regular DJ nights and themed events. It’s a couple of kilometres north of the resort, but they run a shuttle bus to and from the centre – sit back and give your dancing feet a well-earned rest.
Castore Lounge, Gressoney: Sample a wide variety of Italian wines and beers, or choose from the happy hour menu if cocktails are more your thing. Expect live music, themed party nights, competitions and guest DJs alongside a warm, welcoming atmosphere.
Brasserie du Grimod, Pila: If you prefer a more relaxed kind of après, you’ll love this place – it’s known for its rustic vibe and friendly staff. Get cosy in one of the armchairs and choose a local beer, spirit or cocktail from the wide drinks menu.
WHERE TO STAY
Hotel Planibel, La Thuile: You can ski straight to and from the door of this popular hotel. And after a day in the snow, go for a dip in the indoor pool or unwind in the sauna and steam room. The complex also has its own bars, restaurants and shops to explore.
Hotel Petit Palais, Cervinia: This modern hotel is just a 10-minute walk from the resort centre. Head to the bar for views of the Matterhorn while you sip your drink, or pop along for a quiz night – it’s a great way to unwind after a busy day on the slopes.
Hotel Etoile de Neige, Pila: This place is five minutes’ walk to the lifts, so you can be on the slopes before you know it. When you’re ready for some down-time, grab a drink from the bar or put your feet up on the large sun terrace and enjoy the panoramic views.
Ready to hit the Italian slopes? Take a look at our Aosta Valley deals.