Italy’s smallest region has been making history at least as far back as the Romans, but in more recent times it has been drawing in skiers, attracted by its world-class facilities, fabulous food, authentic atmosphere and spectacular scenery, all around.
Located in the Northwest of the country, the Aosta Valley is home to no less than 19 ski resorts and 25 winter playgrounds, including both world-famous destinations and equally enticing, unknown villages where skiers can have the slopes almost to themselves. Altogether there are over 800 kilometres (that’s 500 miles) of ski runs along with eight snow parks. All are included on a single international electronic ski pass for direct access to all runs.
Positioned at the heart of the Alps and bordered by France and Switzerland, Aosta Valley is surrounded by some of the highest peaks in Europe: the Matterhorn (or ‘Cervino’ to Italians), Monte Rosa, Gran Paradiso and the biggest of them all, Mont Blanc, the tallest mountain in Western Europe.
Along with stays in world-famous resorts, The Aosta Valley is also home to a host of traditional villages with access to the same large ski areas as those well-known destinations. Either way you’ll find plenty of space on the ski runs with everything from gentle and gradual slopes to some of the most challenging slopes in the Alps.
Not Just Skiing
Although there are world-famous resorts here like La Thuile, Courmayeur, Pila, Cervinia, Champoluc and Gressoney, at several of which you can even ski over the border into France or Italy, the Aosta Valley is also home to many smaller, less well-known destinations, and also offers lots of winter activities besides skiing.
Family-friendly activities like sledging and dog sledding are available here and villages like Torgnon, have a particularly strong family focus. It’s known as a land of children and toys and home to the famous Winter Park playland. Or Crévacol has a reputation as the sunniest resort in the entire region where kids can have fun with sledges and bobs in the Flassin playground. It’s famously the only Italian municipality without cars and the ideal place for long walks on snowshoes or for those who want to try skis for the first time in a beautiful, peaceful environment.
The Smaller Ski Areas of the Aosta Valley
Located at the foot of the Gran Paradiso, Cogne is very popular with families thanks to its perfectly proportioned ski areas of seven ski runs (2 blue, 4 red, 1 black). You can also find a dedicated beginners slope as well as a kid’s snow park complete with trampolines, inflatables and a mini bobsleigh fun run. There’s lots to do besides downhill too with a huge 80 km of cross-country skiing as well as activities like horse-drawn sleighs rides past frozen waterfalls.
Crévacol ski resort has a reputation as the sunniest destination in the Aosta Valley so you can enjoy the 22 kilometres of slopes here (3 blue, 8 red, 1 black) in the sunshine, usually. Snowboarders and freestyle skiing will particularly enjoy the special terrain features designed for them. Cross-country skiers have 18 km of tracks to enjoy from Etroubles, continuing the valley and passing Saint-Oyen, where there’s a well-equipped foyer de fond, eventually reaching Saint- Rhémy-en-Bosses. Ski mountaineering is also popular here and there are great snowshoe trails too. Again, there are great facilities for children in the Flassin playground where there are sleds, bobs and bikers to play on.
Chamois is the highest municipality in Aosta at 1,800m is also the only car-free destination in Italy and this combination of height and peace makes it a very special destination. Chamois can be reached from the valley by a cableway from Buisson (Antey-Saint-André). The village’s ancient architecture, typically of the Valley, further adds to its charm. It’s no surprise really, therefore that the village is designated one of the ‘Pearls of the Alps’ (places recognised as the most beautiful in the mountains that also seek to protect themselves). Although there are no cars there are ski lifts here serving 10 runs, most of them reds but with two blues, adding up to 16km of slopes. It’s also a great place for snowshoeing.
It sounds like a film or a fairytale but Torgnon has built a reputation as the land of children and toys! Sheltered from the cold winds, Torgnon had for years been a favourite destination for families with children but decided to try to do still more and so has created its famous Winter Park, a large, well-equipped playground complete with huge slides and endless attractions so that kids can have fun all day long. There’s skiing too of course, with 23 km of slopes of varying difficulty (2 blue, 6 red, 1 black and a special beginners’ area) and for freestylers and boarders an area with jumps and rails. Torgon is also famed for its excellent cross-country ski trails.
Champorcher’s 12 km of slopes (3 blue – 12 red – 5 black) have an unusually high number of steep options for a smaller ski area, but there’s something for everyone and always perfect snow. There are two training slopes of such high quality that Italy’s national teams train here and at the other end, a fun baby snow park for the little ones. Other attractions include a 5km cross-country loop and ski touring is popular in the area.
Located in a scenic area with stunning views over the Lyskamm glacier and the magnificent Monte Rosa massif, Gressoney St-Jean has its alpine ski area on the Weissmatten runs but is also part of the Monterosa ski region. The local slopes come complete with a baby snow park where children can learn to ski but have loads of fun doing it! It features two magic carpet lifts, a merry-go-round, snowtubes, ski bikes and routes with a large, inflatable castle and various games. Besides the downhill slopes, there are 22 km of Nordic Skiing tracks that host the Monterosalauf cross-country race every year.
Although there is a full Aosta Valley ski pass, the separate and more economically priced Magic-Skipass is designed to allow holders to discover the many out-of-the-ordinary itineraries at quieter/smaller resorts at great value for money. The Magic Pass includes 11 small resorts (excluding Torgnon), for full list of what the Magic Pass includes, click here.
Turin, Milan and Geneva airports are all within easy reach, so the Aosta Valley resorts are among the easiest to get to from the UK making it an ideal destination for a weekend or short break.
Book your trip to Aosta with Interski! Plan your winter ski trip today and be among the first to explore the exciting new developments at Pila. Whether you’re a seasoned skier or just looking for a fabulous winter getaway, there’s something for everyone in the Aosta Valley. Interski have more than 40 years’ experience in the region and is the only company with a team of 40 staff in place for on-the-ground assistance as required on your holiday. The Interski team is ready to help you online or on the phone with any advice you may need and to help you book your perfect Aosta Valley holiday.
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