Valle d’Aosta is a triple threat – great history, delicious food and incredible skiing. And there is nothing quite like skiing in three countries in the same week. For those who love long pistes, glacial journeys and highest peaks while mixing it up multilingually, the shy and sumptuous Valle d’Aosta has you covered.
Where to ski in Aosta Valley
Italy, France and Switzerland, Valle d’Aosta is a gateway for tri-country skiers and snowboarders. The region is home to some of Europe’s best ski resorts in nine different locations, with a series of charming villages and an extensive range of pistes, easily reachable via train stations and airports in Turin and Milan. So the question is where to drop your bags and pick up your boots.
Courmayeur Mont Blanc is the Valle d’Aosta best-known ski area and its ritziest. The Alpine village is picture-perfect, exactly what you want for a weekend getaway – ski in/ski out luxe chalet, Michelin stars and Mont Blanc, Italy’s highest mountain. Italy’s oldest ski school is in Courmayeur as well as the World Cup Downhill and the International, a four-mile run on a 3,300 foot drop.
Pila is for the city skier. Just a twenty-minute gondola ride to Aosta, Pila has great views of the capital city from its peak slopes that reach up to 2700m. Experienced skiers are charmed by the wooded runs, and those who prefer ski over stature find the mid-sized resort quite personal.
Champoluc, Gressoney and Alagna make up the tri-valley Monterosa area, one of the world’s largest ski regions best known for its 10-plus miles in lifts and wide pistes. This is peak (every pun intended) ski life, so expect lots of parties, skiers and snowboarders.
Cervinia is a very well known destination for skiers from around the world, and for fans of heli-skiing. The village is connected to Zermatt on the Swiss border, so again – fondue in, cafe out. Nearby are the smaller resorts of Chamois and Torgnon. Left to explore are Charmporcher and Crevacol, two off-beat, hidden resorts great for the adventurers.
Apres ski enjoyment in Valle d’Aosta
Enjoying off piste Valle d’Aosta could be even more fun than skiing. The region is peppered with incredible castles and history to discover in Courmayeur’s The Duke of Abruzzi Alpine Museum and Jovecan’s Center for Ancient Remedies.
Another off piste favourite is relaxing at the historic wellness destinations and thermal springs of Prè Saint Didier and Saint Vincent, while others prefer to take in the views of Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn by heading up the Skyway (at Courmayeur) – yes, that crazy rotating cable car connecting to Pointe Helbronner that reaches an altitude of nearly 11,000 feet.
Centerpiece to it all is the region capital Aosta. Located closest to Monte Bianco, Aosta boasts Roman ruins from the 1st century BC, including Arco di Augusto, Porta Praetoria and the Roman theater, along with some ancient bridges and roads. The tiny city is charming throughout the year but the best time is by far December with its Christmas markets.