Dan Fox - Managing Director"At the other side of the famous Mont Blanc tunnel is the splendidly Italian resort of Courmayeur, the town has an ancient heart and pedestrianised shopping streets, wherever you stay you will find great hospitality. The ski area may not be the largest but there is plenty for a weekend and there is stunning scenery, whether you are on or off piste."
Located amongst dramatic scenery on the sunnier south side of the Mont Blanc is the famous old town of Courmayeur. Just across the Italian border, at the end of the Aosta Valley, this historic town combines great skiing with old world charm and superb, stylish Italian hospitality. The village was originally a 17th-century spa town and is split into three areas: Courmayeur, the main part of the town is on a south-facing ridge; Dolonne is just over the river in the valley; and Entrèves, a little way up the valley from Dolonne. Each of these areas has its own lift to the ski area. The skiing in Courmayeur isn’t the most extensive in the Alps, but it is perfect for a weekend/short ski break.
Although Courmayeur is only a short distance as the crow flies from Chamonix, with only 20km separating the two towns the weather can be completely different with sunshine in one and snow on the other. But it is not just the weather that is different in Italy; the skiing has a completely different feel to it, with more emphasis on fun and having a good time. It has an Italian charm and spirit and great atmosphere focussed around the Via Roma. The ski area has some fantastic mountain restaurants and the village itself is very charming with cobbled streets crammed with stylish bars and some lively après-ski. The centre has several nightclubs and is a popular destination for the rich and famous of Italian society, so it is a great place for people watching. When not on the slopes choose from swimming, ice-skating, bowling, paragliding or simply sample some fine Italian cuisine at one of the restaurants both on and off the mountain.
SKI AREA OVERVIEW
There are 2 distinct sections of the ski area in Courmayeur, both of which favour intermediates with mostly red runs. The main ski area is the east-facing Checrouit area, accessed by a series of large fast cable-cars, climbs to a paradise of open, well-groomed red runs all above the tree line, good for intermediates. The other side of the mountain, Val Veny has some more tree-lined skiing and has some great views of Mont Blanc. The skiing is a little more challenging in this area with more black runs, but these are not the most challenging blacks.
For more ambitious skiers the Punta Hellbronner cable car rises from La Palud up the Mont Blanc from which you can descend the famous Vallee Blanche run to Chamonix village (a bus ride is necessary back to Courmayeur). Other options for advanced skiers is the extensive off-piste skiing Courmayeur has to offer with several great runs off the top of the Cresta d’Arp lift. The ski area has an excellent snow record, with modern snowmaking technology used to top up any areas that may be lacking.
- With ski lockers at the top of the lifts for you to leave your skis in, you don’t have to take them up and down the cable car every day.
- If you want to go further afield your Courmayeur lift pass covers you for a day’s skiing in Flaine and Chamonix in France and six neighbouring Italian resorts including Cervinia.
- It is possible to ski the famous Vallée Blanche from the Italian side with trips departing from Courmayeur. A guide is highly recommended.
- How's your freestyle? The resort has a snow park at the top of the Aretù lift. The area has an airbag at the base of two different size jumps.
- Off the slopes visit the thermal baths of Pre St Didier, a great place to relax with a plethora of spa facilities including saunas, salt rooms, waterfalls and hydromassages!