Aosta Valley

///Editor's Picks

//Editor's Picks

Patrick Thorne

24 Oct 22

Aosta Valley

Patrick Thorne

24 Oct 22

A Land of Majestic Mountains & Amazing Skiing

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

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

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

Aosta Valley

There are several dozen ski areas to choose from including world-famous destinations like Cervinia and Valtournenche (which share a huge ski area with neighbouring Zermatt); La Thuile, which also shares a cross-border ski region, this time over to France and La Rosière, the incredible Monterosa region home to delightful ski villages like Champoluc and Gressoney, and then there’s fabulous Courmayeur with its ancient centre and spectacular skiing on the other side of Mont Blanc from Chamonix. 

Then there are the dozen or so smaller, enticing Aosta Valley ski areas and villages where you can have a very special holiday, perhaps not hearing another British voice during your stay, but with the Aosta Valley regional pass you can opt to ski in one of the bigger areas whenever you like. 

Whichever ski area you choose to visit first, throw into the mix an excellent snowfall record, the fabulous food there of the highest quality and a history stretching back to Roman times, and you begin to see why the Aosta Valley is so special.

A final piece of good news is that with Turin, Milan and Geneva Airports all within easy reach, the Aosta Valley resorts are among the easiest to get to from the UK. 

The Skiing and Snowboarding

With more than 20 resorts, over 800km of slopes, 10 snowparks and a single international electronic ski pass for direct access to all runs, Aosta is home to an array of skiing possibilities.

There are ski areas of all sizes from small, authentic and unspoilt off-the-beaten-track ski villages to some of the world’s biggest, most famous ski destinations. Whatever standard of skier and snowboarder you are – from absolute beginner to the most experienced – you’ll find something for you here. We must not forget the hundreds of kilometres of cross-country ski tracks, the world-famous off-piste freeride terrain and even the ski mountaineering and heli-skiing opportunities for the most experienced.

There are perfect, quiet beginner areas for first-timers, and some of the world’s most challenging steeps, even the option of heli-skiing, for experts. For everyone else, there are hundreds of kilometres of fabulous blue and red cruisers. Whatever level you’re at, we all enjoy the same spectacular scenery, wonderful snow and superb food when it comes to stops in mountain huts and all at much better-value prices than most other Alpine destinations. 

Aosta Valley

© Enrico Romanzi

The cross-border ski area shared by ​Cervinia and ​Valtournenche beneath Monte Cervino is one of the world’s largest with over 322km of inter-connected slopes and another 38km of ski routes available. More than 50 state-of-the-art high-speed lifts are available, and the region is so snow-sure it is open from October 1st 2022 till May 7th 2023, accessing Europe’s highest ski lifts. This autumn, it also hosts the first-ever cross-border FIS World Cup Downhill ski races for both men and women.

Courmayeur is one of the world’s most famous and most loved ski destinations. The historic heart of the resort, lined with boutiques, cafés and enticing restaurants, is a year-round draw. The ski slopes have something for everyone but are particularly famous for the freeride terrain that local guides can lead expert skiers and boarders to.

Something For Everyone

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

Pila is an unusual option, in that you can choose to stay in the ancient city of Aosta below, with its beautifully preserved Roman ruins, and take a gondola lift up to the ski slopes and back down in 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 slopes and lifts climbing high to 2,740m, helping its great snow record.

Aosta Valley

© Dario Mazzoli

La Thuile is another of the Aosta Valley’s most famous resorts, with a big ski area, the Espace San Bernardo, stretching across the French border.  There is wonderful skiing for all abilities on the wooded slopes above the village. They include though one of the world’s most famous World Cup Downhill ski slopes, the Franco Berthod, a must for good skiers to test their skills on.

Aosta Valley

© Consorzio Operatori Turistici La Thuile.jpg

Then besides these internationally famous resorts, there are smaller villages with their open small ski areas, perfect for first-timers or those who just like to have a ski area to themselves. Choose one of these but buy the full Aosta Valley ski pass and you can ski everywhere in the valley whenever you like.

There is something to discover for everyone in the Aosta Valley, from beginners to experts. Everyone is made to feel welcome in this land of abundant snowfall, majestic mountains, wonderful food, low-cost accommodations and clean air to regenerate your body and mind. 

Skiing The Aosta Valley

Most 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’s ski areas from most UK regional airports on airlines including BA, easyJet, Jet2, Ryanair, Alitalia and Swiss to Turin, Milan or Geneva Airports. You can also reach the Aosta Valley by train, changing in Paris and Turin, in around 11 hours, or self-drive in a similar time, plus stops.

Main Image © Pietro Celesia