Courmayeur

Ski Resort in Italy

Introduction

Courmayeur is a skiing and mountaineering resort at the head of Valle d’Aosta, in northern Italy. At 1224 m elevation, it has a spectacular location near the foot of Mont Blanc (called Monte Bianco in Italian). The village has been settled since Roman times, and was a spa resort as early as the 18th century, because of its sulphurous springs. It began to grow during the 19th century's fashion for alpinism, and Italy’s first alpine guide society was established here. The 20th century saw it develop as a ski resort, and the opening of the Mont Blanc tunnel in 1965 greatly improved road access from northern Europe.

Intermediates will be happiest with Courmayeur's on piste skiing, but there is a fabulous range of off-piste and heli-skingi for more advanced skiers and boarders. The views across to the massif are awe-inspiring. Three cable cars service the ski area on the Italian side of Mont Blanc, all of which is off-piste and forbidden territory without a guide.

The descents available here include the Toula Glacier  and the Vallée Blanche, with its 15 miles (24 km) of intermediate off-piste from the Punta Helbronner (3,462 m) all the way down to Chamonix. Courmayeur also offers some of the best heli-skiing in Europe with the option of skiing either glacial or non-glacial terrain.

The compact nature of the ski domain means that Courmayeur is a great resort for mixed ability groups and it has plenty of central meeting and eating places that most levels of skier will be able to reach. With numerous excellent mountain restaurants on offer, here, more than anywhere is the place to take long lunches!

The restaurants are not only plentiful, they represent everything that is great about eating in the Italian mountains: hot chocolate so thick that you have to finish it with a spoon, risottos with shavings of truffles, succulent fresh pasta, lavish spreads of home-made desserts and south-facing sun terraces full of Italians.

Courmayeur is also a charming old town with narrow, cobbled streets, old stone churches and the best designer shopping in the Aosta Valley. The streets come alive in the evenings and there are plenty of stylish bars as well as some excellent restaurants in the centre of town.


Courmayeur info card

Resort Altitude1224m
Highest Lift2763m
Total Piste100km
Longest Run20km
Directions of SlopesN/E, N/W
Uphill Capacity8400
Total Lifts16
Gondolas/Cable cars5
Chairlifts8
Drag Lifts3

Monte Bianco Tourist Office, Courmayeur
Piazzale Monte Bianco,13
Tel: +39 0165.842060
E-mail: [email protected]
Web: www.aiat-monte-bianco.com


Best time to visit Courmayeur

Situated at 1224 metres above sea level, and with a top piste altitude of 2755m, the resort is snow sure for a large proportion of the season. This is aided by more than 300 snow cannons throughout the village to offer a little man-made support should mother nature decide to take a break. With access to the Vallee Blanche as well, starting at 3812m and leading down to Chamonix, there’s nearly always access to snow if you are willing to travel, and you don’t mind a spot of off-piste.

January and February usually offer the best helping of snow here, and with the high altitude the temperature should keep it in place between fresh powder dumps. The ‘Click on the Mountain’ event which usually happens in February is also a great time to see the village come alive and see the work of true professionals. March and April have also been known to see some fantastic snowfalls, and with the flexibility of the premium ski pass, you can usually find some good snow in the local resorts.


Snow and Weather

This resort tends to enjoy good levels of snow each winter. The majority of the slopes face towards the northeast and northwest and so does not experience a lot of freezing and thawing, which helps snow conditions. The average snowfall is about 280 inches yearly. Watch for avalanche warnings that will be posted on lifts.


Courmayeur Lifestyle


Courmayeur Town

Courmayeur needs little introduction to the keen skier and mountain enthusiast. Its superb location at the foot of Mont Blanc ensures wonderful skiing in spectacular scenery, and the chic mountain town has plenty to offer skiers and non-skiers alike.

Courmayeur is a charming old town with narrow streets, old stone churches and an attractive pedestrianised centre. The streets come alive in the evenings as the Italians take their 'passegiata' along Via Roma and the skiers head to the bars to enjoy a well deserved drink. Shops are varied and interesting with plenty of high quality clothing, sportswear and equipment shops alongside more traditional antique shops, galleries, delicatessen and other specialist food stores.

Since the 18th century, Courmayeur has been a favoured destination with climbers and mountaineers, but the origins of the town lie in the Roman era, when both gold and silver were mined locally. In the 17th century the therapeutic spring waters attracted visitors and the opening of the Mont Blanc tunnel in 1965 ensured a good flow of traffic, and expansion of the town. Despite the addition of some modern buildings, Courmayeur still retains its Italian charm and character.

Courmayeur becomes very busy with Italians during peak holiday periods such as New Year and the Carnival week in mid February, but the nationalities of the guests outside these periods is fairly mixed with visitors coming from all over Europe, as well as further afield.

Courmayeur offers a good range of pisted runs, easily accessible off-piste itineraries, heli-skiing, fabulous cross-country ski routes, pleasant walking and a wide range of sporting and other leisure activities as well as a broad range of accommodation to suit all budgets and good après ski.


Courmayeur Ski Resort

Situated on the North Western corner of Italy and rubbing shoulders with France and Switzerland, Courmayeur is one of the more popular resorts in the Aosta Valley.

Famously founded as a spa town in the 17th Century for its natural outlets of pure alpine water, it became a top destination for the mountaineering community around the 19th century and has maintained its traditional image and beauty ever since. With a car-free village centre, this stylish, family friendly resort is perfect for anyone who wants a challenge on the slopes followed by relaxing evenings enjoying good food and vino.

As the weekend skiing choice of the social elite of Milan and Turin, the town has a very fashionable feel alongside its alpine heritage. The historic village oozes charm with cobbled streets, old wood and stone buildings and the central Via Roma housing designer boutiques, cafes and some of the best restaurants in the Alps. The surroundings don’t disappoint either - take in stunning views with 14 mountain peaks over 4000m visible on a clear day, including the graceful giant of Mont Blanc.

Thanks to the village being small and easy to travel around, you have the luxury of never being too far from the slopes here. With regular bus shuttles running throughout the village and the outlying areas like Entreves, getting from your bed to the piste is as easy as pie.

The local ski area has 39km of piste and 100km off-piste, but if you do fancy getting out of town, the ski pass includes access to the legendary French resort of Chamonix. Cham is accessible either from the Vallee Blanc descent, or a 45minute drive and has 173km of slopes and two days in other Aosta Valley resorts are also included. La Thuile is only a short drive and getting to the historic town of Aosta and its attached resort Pila is also a breeze.


Skiing in Courmayeur

Courmayeur has two main areas: the Chécrouit-Val Veny is by far the biggest, serviced by a cable car from Plan Chérouit, a gondola in Dolonne and a cable car in Entrèves for those staying out of town. The Mont Blanc lift network makes up the second area, which includes the legendary Vallee Blanche.

The two ski schools (Societa Guide Alpine Courmayeur and Scuola di Sci) maintain a solid reputation in tuition and with a number of blues on either side of the ridge, beginners can experience a variety of terrain. There’s a small selection of nursery and blue runs such as Chetif, near the Entrèves cable car and the Pra Neyron chair lift also has access to two of the longer blues: Val Veny down the Entreves side, and Pra Neyron on the Dolonne side.

More confident snow lovers have heaps to ski. Lavenchon is one of our favourite reds, with plenty of open space before an open and smooth descent down to the Le Greye button lift. Internazionale is another which is both challenging and friendly, as well as being long, with connections to a number of blacks including Des Eves, Rocce Bianche and Diretta if you fancy cranking things up a bit.

The Bertolini chairlift serves the Rocce Bianche and Des Eves black runs, both of which have awesome views of the Mont Blanc massif. The black Diretta has everything from wide open areas, to tight tree lined steeps, and leads to the Zerotta lift, which accesses the Pista Dell’Orso black.

Off piste, the Vallee Blanche is a legendary must ski, while Cresta d’Arp and the Toula glacier are best taken on with a guide. For a bigger challenge, book a heli trip.

The snowpark on the red Aretu run is amazing, with a good mixture of easy rails and trickier jumps up to 8 metres high and an airbag with jumps for beginners.


Courmayeur Apres Ski

While this is the ski destination for the natives of Turin and Milan, with shopping to match their tastes including the likes of Cartier and Hermes, this isn’t to say the town is only for the elite. Courmayeur is the perfect place to relax in an armchair with a cocktail and canapés in bars like Prive. Bar Americano is perfect for late night snacking on crepes, sandwiches and burgers. Roma is also a popular destination – in the past they’ve given out free canapés with drinks.

Courmayeur is a hub of Italian mountain dining and one of the best resorts in the world for foodies, with classic pizza and pasta dishes on every menu. La Terrazza, just off the pedestrian town centre serve reasonably priced meals including the best pizza you’ll eat. For a bit of mountain dining, we like Alpetta at the top of the first set of cable cars, whether you’re looking for a mountainside lunch, or just a quick drink and sugar boost (it’s worth visiting for their fantastic chocolate cake alone). For something different of an evening, Rifugiuo Maison Vieille usually organise regular torchlit descents and skidoo races – dinner and drinks included.

For a change from the slopes, check out the indoor sports centre for a variety of different activities. Kids can have a go at the indoor climbing wall and ice skating, while those looking for a run around can play some five-a-side-football; or book the tennis, squash, volleyball and basketball courts. If all you need is a wind down, head down the road to the Pre St Didier, for a mountain spa experience to die for.


Families in Courmayeur

A small mountain resort with a car-free centre, this town prides itself as being a family friendly and welcoming place. With many hotels, apartments and restaurants being family owned businesses, kids are welcomed and in true Italian hospitality will be well looked after.

The area’s best suited to those with children who have already had a couple of weeks on the slopes but if you’re looking for a place to get kids started, fear not - there are two ski schools with fantastic reputations, with the Ski School Monte Bianco Courmayeur widely considered as one of the best in Italy. The Ski and Snowboard School Courmayeur is great if your youngsters have conquered skis and want to test out the dark side. The snow park off the Aretu red slope is also a perfect area for the kids to get some adrenaline souring highs without venturing too far out of their comfort zones. For the very young, there are also excellent childcare facilities and nurseries if parents want to spend some time on the slopes. While some hotels and chalets offer their own childcare services, the ski school has one of the best mini clubs for kids up to 10, and provides indoor and outdoor activities in a safe environment. Based just in Plan Checrouit, it’s perfectly located for parents to drop them off and collect them on their way to and from the piste.

If all else fails, the non-ski activities are very well suited to all ages, with the indoor climbing wall and ice rink easy to keep the kids entertained. The tennis and squash courts might just inspire their summer sports choices for the year while the lovely shops and boutiques will satisfy any need for retail therapy.


Group Holidays Courmayeur

Courmayeur is heaven for experienced groups looking to improve their skill and push themselves on the piste and enjoy the chic village charm and world famous food later on in the day. With a wide selection of hotels throughout the village and in the surrounding areas, self catering apartments and chalet hotels, groups of all shapes and sizes are catered for really well.

Those who are beginners or need a refresher can book tuition with the Scuola di Sci ski school. The inclusion of a snow park on the Aretu red run is superb for the more experienced, who can get to know the area with a local instructor (Giorgio Bisotti does great on-piste tours). If adrenaline pumping powder is what you’re looking for, the Societa della Guide Alpine di Courmayeur do heli-skiing and off piste tours.

The après ski is sure to tickle the taste buds regardless of when in the season you come. Arrive at the weekend and enjoy the nightlife come alive as the Italians get out and party before hitting the slopes in the morning. Bar Americano plays major European sports, so you can watch some football or rugby while having a burger and chips. The welcoming and hospitable Italian village has a great balance of fine dining and reasonably priced restaurants to suit all budgets; with all kinds of pizza, pasta and grilled meat. Cadran Solaire is a great option if you are in the village centre and fancy some fine food.

Transportation - Get In


By air

The closest airport is GVA Geneva, 100 km via the Mont Blanc Tunnel. Most tour operators fly into TRN Turin Caselle (150 km). About 220+ km away are the Milan airports of MXP Malpensa and LIN Linate. All these have good connections across Europe, and Geneva’s reach is global.


By road

Autostrada A5 (toll) comes up Valle d’Aosta from Turin past Ivrea and Aosta – above Aosta it’s mostly in tunnels, bad for views but good for weather-proofing. After the Courmayeur exit, it continues north to the last exit for Italy at La Palud then into the Mont Blanc tunnel (cars 44 euro single, 55 e return), emerging 11.6 km later above Chamonix in France. This is the obvious route to Geneva, and the recommended route to eastern Switzerland, Austria and Germany. (The short cut from Chamonix to Martigny via Col de Montets may be closed by winter weather, in which case take the long way around via Thonon & Evian.) Switzerland can also be reached via the Great St Bernard Tunnel (open year-round, but the historic road over the pass is only open in summer). The Little St Bernard Pass (open summer only) crosses into France via La Thuile towards Val d’Isere and Annecy.

Savda buses run four times a day between the Turin railway stations and Aosta, taking two hours, change there for the local bus to Courmayeur (see below).


By train

From Turin, change at Ivrea for the train to Aosta. A connecting Savda bus runs between Aosta station and Courmayeur. Until 2016 trains continued up the valley to Pre St Didier, but this link has been cancelled, citing low passenger numbers for the cost of running it.

There is of course no railway under Mont Blanc, nor any plans to build one. It’s arguably the biggest missing link in the European railway network.

Transportation - Get Around

Savda buses run every 30 mins between Aosta and Courmayeur, taking one hour. They also do a circuit of Courmayeur (as far up as La Palud) every half hour. There’s a direct service between Courmayeur and La Thuile, 3 times in the morning and 3 late afternoon.

Their direct bus between Courmayeur and Chamonix runs six times a day, just 45 minutes via the Mont Blanc Tunnel. Other destinations will usually mean changing in Aosta.

Accommodation & Hotels


Property Location Located in Courmayeur (Entreves), Auberge de La Maison is minutes from Val Veny Cable Car and Mont Blanc Cable Car. This 4-star hotel is within close proximity of Skyway Monte Bianco and Notre Dame de Guerison Sanctuary.

Rooms Make yourself at home in one of the 33 individually furnished guestrooms, featuring minibars and LCD televisions. Rooms have private balconies. Complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected, and satellite programming is available for your entertainment. Bathrooms have designer toiletries and bidets.

Amenities Relax at the full-service spa, where you can enjoy massages, body treatments, and facials. You're sure to appreciate the convenience of ski-in/ski-out access at this hotel, which also features a health club and an outdoor pool. Additional features at this hotel include complimentary wireless Internet access, concierge services, and babysitting/childcare (surcharge). The complimentary ski shuttle makes getting to the slopes a breeze.

Dining Grab a bite to eat at the hotel's restaurant, where you can enjoy drinks at a bar, take in a garden view, and even dine alfresco (weather permitting). You can also stay in and take advantage of room service (during limited hours). Quench your thirst with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge. A complimentary buffet breakfast is served daily.

Business, Other Amenities Featured amenities include a computer station, complimentary newspapers in the lobby, and dry cleaning/laundry services. Planning an event in Courmayeur? This hotel has facilities measuring 753 square feet (70 square meters), including a meeting room. A roundtrip airport shuttle is provided for a surcharge (available 24 hours), and free valet parking is available onsite.

  • WHAT KIND OF HOTEL
    • Guests think this is a family-friendly hotel.
    • Guests say the hotel is perfect for a romantic getaway.
  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Friendly service
    • Great view
    • Nice building
    • Professional service
  • AUBERGE DE LA MAISON SUMMARY
    • With an excellent TrustScore of 95, this hotel is one of the top 1% in its city. Guests highly recommend it because of its service, rooms and food.


Property Location: With a stay at Hotel Au Coeur Des Neiges, you'll be centrally located in Courmayeur, steps from Ski In and minutes from Courmayeur Cable Car. This 4-star hotel is within close proximity of Fun Park Dolonne and The Duke of Abruzzi Alpine Museum.

Rooms: Make yourself at home in one of the 16 guestrooms featuring refrigerators and flat-screen televisions. Rooms have private patios. Satellite programming and DVD players are provided for your entertainment, while complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected. Private bathrooms have jetted bathtubs and hair dryers.

Amenities: Enjoy the convenience of ski-in/ski-out access at this hotel, which also features a health club and an indoor pool. Additional features at this hotel include complimentary wireless Internet access, concierge services, and babysitting/childcare (surcharge).

Dining: Enjoy a meal at a restaurant or in a coffee shop/café. Or stay in and take advantage of the hotel's room service (during limited hours). Quench your thirst with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge.

Business, Other Amenities: Featured amenities include a business center, complimentary newspapers in the lobby, and a 24-hour front desk. Event facilities at this hotel consist of conference space and meeting rooms. Guests may use a roundtrip airport shuttle for a surcharge, and self parking (subject to charges) is available onsite.

  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Friendly atmosphere
    • Friendly service
    • Nice building
  • AU COEUR DES NEIGES SUMMARY
    • With an excellent TrustScore of 95, this hotel is one of the top 6% in its city. Guests highly recommend it because of its service, rooms and Vibe.


  • WHAT KIND OF HOTEL
    • Guests recommend this hotel for budget travelers.
    • Guests say the hotel is perfect for a romantic getaway.
    • Guests think this is a family-friendly hotel.
  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Friendly service
    • Good management
    • Near city centre
    • Clean rooms
  • HOTEL BOUTON D'OR - COURMAYEUR SUMMARY
    • With an excellent TrustScore of 92, this hotel is one of the top 3% in its city. Guests highly recommend it because of its service, rooms and breakfast.


Property Location: When you stay at Villa Novecento Romantic Hotel in Courmayeur, you'll be near ski lifts and minutes from Courmayeur Forum Sport Center and Parco Avventura Mont Blanc. This 4-star hotel is within close proximity of The Duke of Abruzzi Alpine Museum and Dolonne Cable Car.

Rooms: Make yourself at home in one of the 26 air-conditioned rooms featuring minibars. Complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected, and satellite programming is available for your entertainment. Private bathrooms with bathtubs or showers feature complimentary toiletries and hair dryers. Conveniences include safes and desks, and housekeeping is provided daily.

Amenities: Spend the day on the slopes, or enjoy recreational amenities including a spa tub and a sauna. Additional amenities at this Beaux Arts hotel include complimentary wireless Internet access, concierge services, and babysitting/childcare (surcharge). The complimentary ski shuttle makes getting to the slopes a breeze.

Dining: Enjoy a meal at a restaurant, or stay in and take advantage of the hotel's room service (during limited hours). Quench your thirst with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge.

Business, Other Amenities: Featured amenities include a business center, dry cleaning/laundry services, and a 24-hour front desk. A roundtrip airport shuttle is provided for a surcharge (available 24 hours).

  • WHAT KIND OF HOTEL
    • Guests recommend this as a luxury hotel.
    • Guests say the hotel is perfect for a romantic getaway.
  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Friendly service
    • Near city centre
    • Friendly atmosphere
    • Beds need improvement
  • VILLA NOVECENTO ROMANTIC HOTEL SUMMARY
    • This hotel has an excellent TrustScore of 89. Guests highly recommend it because of its service, rooms and location.


Grand Hotel Royal & Golf is conveniently located in the popular Courmayeur City Center area. The property features a wide range of facilities to make your stay a pleasant experience. Facilities like free Wi-Fi in all rooms, car power charging station, casino, 24-hour front desk, facilities for disabled guests are readily available for you to enjoy. Each guestroom is elegantly furnished and equipped with handy amenities. Enjoy the hotel's recreational facilities, including fitness center, sauna, golf course (within 3 km), outdoor pool, massage, before retiring to your room for a well-deserved rest. For reliable service and professional staff, Grand Hotel Royal & Golf caters to your needs.

  • WHAT KIND OF HOTEL
    • Guests say the hotel is perfect for a romantic getaway.
  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Professional service
    • Friendly service
    • Hotel could use some updating
    • Great view
  • GRAND HOTEL ROYAL E GOLF SUMMARY
    • With an excellent TrustScore of 90, this hotel is one of the top 8% in its city. Guests highly recommend it because of its service, location and breakfast.


Property Location: Located in Courmayeur (Dolonne), Stella del Nord is minutes from Fun Park Dolonne and Dolonne Cable Car. This hotel is within close proximity of Courmayeur Cable Car and The Duke of Abruzzi Alpine Museum.

Rooms: Make yourself at home in one of the 12 air-conditioned rooms featuring flat-screen televisions. Rooms have private balconies. Complimentary wireless Internet access is available to keep you connected. Private bathrooms with bathtubs or showers feature complimentary toiletries and bidets.

Amenities: Take advantage of recreation opportunities such as ski-in/ski-out access or take in the view from a terrace and a garden. This hotel also features complimentary wireless Internet access, ski storage, and a television in a common area.

Dining: Take advantage of the hotel's room service (during limited hours). Quench your thirst with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge.

Business, Other Amenities: Featured amenities include express check-in, multilingual staff, and luggage storage. Free self parking is available onsite.

  • WHAT KIND OF HOTEL
    • Guests recommend this for traveling with friends.
  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Friendly service
    • Accessible parking
    • Great reception
    • Great view
  • HOTEL STELLA DEL NORD SUMMARY
    • This hotel has an excellent TrustScore of 90. Guests highly recommend it because of its service, rooms and location.


Property Location: With a stay at Hotel Dente del Gigante in Courmayeur, you'll be near ski lifts and minutes from Mont Blanc Cable Car and close to Skyway Monte Bianco. This ski hotel is within close proximity of Val Veny Cable Car and Notre Dame de Guerison Sanctuary.

Rooms: Stay in one of 13 guestrooms featuring flat-screen televisions. Complimentary wireless Internet access keeps you connected, and digital programming is available for your entertainment. Bathrooms have showers and hair dryers.

Amenities: Take in the views from a garden and make use of amenities such as complimentary wireless Internet access and ski storage.

Dining: Quench your thirst with your favorite drink at a bar/lounge. A complimentary breakfast is included.

  • WHAT KIND OF HOTEL
    • Guests say the hotel is perfect for a romantic getaway.
    • Guests think this is a family-friendly hotel.
  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Friendly service
    • Great desserts & fruits
    • Wonderful housekeeping
    • Nice building
  • HOTEL DENTE DEL GIGANTE SUMMARY
    • With an excellent TrustScore of 90, this hotel is one of the top 19% in its city. Guests highly recommend it because of its service, rooms and breakfast.


The Gran Baita Hotel lays in one of the most elegant residential areas of Courmayeur Mont Blanc just 10 minutes walking distance from the downtown and less than 5 minutes drive from the new fast cable cars by free hotel ski bus. This splendid alpine hotel was designed in a typical Valdostano (Aostan) style. Special attention to detail was given in the common areas with a stylish feel resulting in a blend of comfortable elegance and a warm ambience. Facilities at the Gran Baita include a lobby with 24-hour reception free Wi-Fi Internet access room service a laundry service and a car park. A garage is offered for additional fee. The fully equipped 54 rooms are all tastefully decorated and feature satellite TV an in-room minibar safe and free Wi-Fi access. Most of the rooms have a balcony offering a panoramic view of the surrounding Alps. The Gran Baita wellness area boasts an indoor/outdoor swimming pool (unforgettable the hot bath under the snowfall) a beauty farm with esthetic and relax treatments and a sauna. Extra fees apply for wellness services. The popular in-house restaurant offers an array of local dishes as well as national flavours. The American bar enriched by a marvelous fireplace has a spacious terrace which offers guests an astounding view of the Mont Blanc and the surrounding alpine range.

  • GOOD TO KNOW
    • Modern Hotel
    • Beautiful architecture
    • Stylish hotel
    • Near city centre
  • GRAND HOTEL COURMAYEUR MONT BLANC SUMMARY
    • This hotel has a very good TrustScore of 86. Guests recommend it because of its rooms, service and Vibe.

Ski Area

Courmayeur offers crowd-free skiing, well-groomed pistes and stunning scenery. Ski days can be divided into two halves: the morning rays of Checrouit and the afternoon sun of Val Veny, with a delicious lunch in between.

The main ski area is situated directly across the valley from the town of Courmayeur and can be roughly divided into two areas, conveniently illuminated by the path of the sun. The first area is that of Checrouit blessed by the morning rays and the second is Pre de Pascal / Val Veny.

Although there is a red run from the main ski area back to Dolonne, most people return to Courmayeur by cable car, and there are facilities to leave ski and board equipment at the top of the lifts, which is definitely worth doing.

The Courmayeur and Dolonne ski lifts arrive in Plan Checrouit, a focal point in the Courmayeur ski area and the normal starting point for Ski School lessons. The Biancaneve Mini Club for children is also found here, along with ski school booking offices, and a choice of hire shops, restaurants and bars. The easier blue runs for beginners are accessed from Plan Checrouit.

The Val Veny cable car arrives in Pre de Pascal, which also has a ski hire shop, ski school booking office and a good bar and restaurant. From Pre de Pascal the first descent is on the long blue run towards Zerotta, which though not difficult, has a couple of steep sections.

There are moving carpet lifts for beginners in both Plan Checrouit and Pre de Pascal, though due to space limitations, the one in Plan Checrouit can only be used when accompanied by a ski instructor.

The 6-man Pra Neyron chairlift is a good place to start the days skiing, as it is close to the arrival point of the Courmayeur cable car and the Dolonne gondola. From the top choose either the pleasant blue run back to Plan Checrouit, the short easy red towards Tzaly, or descend towards Val Veny and the Zerotta chairlift on the black Diretta piste. For an easier route to the Val Veny, take the old Dzeleuna chairlift from part way down the blue Pra Neyron piste.

The old two man chairlift, the Maison Vieille, will also transport you to Tzaly, which is a popular place for beginners. At Tzaly there is a new drag lift with a lovely blue run and spectacular views of Mont Blanc. Non-skiers are allowed in both directions on the Maison Vieille chairlift and there is a fabulous restaurant/bar with indoor and outdoor tables at the top.

The Chiecco drag lift to the south of the area serves a pleasant blue run bordered by several mountain restaurants, all of which are good! The Checrouit bubble takes you onwards to the top of the Col Checrouit (2,256 m), from where you can either continue your journey up the small antique cable car to Cresta Youla (2,624 m). Like Russian dolls, there is an even smaller cable car running to the top of the Cresta d'Arp (2,763 m) which accesses a couple of off-piste itineraries and a splendid view. The Cresta Youla is only worth queuing for the views and the off-piste, as the one pisted run down is a steep but short, unremarkable red.

The intermediate red runs around Checrouit are very pleasant, wide and moderately pitched. The fast Aretu chair might only achieve 380 metres of vertical but eases the pressure on the main lift and is good for a few quick runs. Remember you're skiing in Italy, so by now you have done more than enough to earn the right to your first mid-morning pit-stop. Fanning right from Checrouit there are a few nice runs on the Checrouit side of Monte Chetif (2,343m). For quiet slopes and excellent snow head up to the north facing Plan de la Gabba lift and the red runs to either side of it.

In the afternoon, the sun and the crowds move around to the Val Veny flank where there are some very pretty runs down through the trees both on and off the piste. The black dell'Orso piste is left ungroomed and offers an alternative, fun route down to the Peindeint and Zerotta chairlifts. The views from all over the main ski area are very dramatic: across the floor of the Val Veny rises the inspiring mass of the Mont Blanc range, stretching from Mont Blanc to the Grands Jorasses, the two giants of the range. Between these two points is a mass of off-piste terrain.


Courmayeur Beginner Skiing

Courmayeur is one of the most inspirational beginner areas in the world, with Mont Blanc cheering you on, but the first couple of days can be difficult for beginners in Courmayeur and joining ski school is highly recommended.

Courmayeur has a number of moving carpet lifts for beginners to get started on, but due to the limited space, the one at Plan Checrouit can only be used when skiing with the ski school and accompanied by a ski Instructor.  Those in Pre de Pascal and Dolonne are less accessible, but open to everyone.

The Chiecco draglift services a short blue run which is accessible from Plan Checrouit, but following on from their first moves on the carpet lifts, beginners normally take the old chairlift up to Tzaly, which has to be one of the most inspirational learning areas in the world. The Tzaly area, with its easy drag lift is high enough to guarantee good snow, and the views of Mont Blanc are sensational.

Mont Blanc looks down inspirationally from on high, the view opens up the entire valley and if you don't catch the bug here, you never will! The famous 'Maison Vieille' restaurant is situated at the top of this chairlift and at the end of the day beginners can take the lift to return to the Plan Checrouit area. Beginners who progress reasonably well will be able to try the long blue run from the Pra Neyron chairlift, and the blue Val Veny run, accessed via Pre de Pascal.

The Dolonne beginners' area with its three good sized moving carpet lifts is not covered by the Courmayeur ski pass and therefore requires payment of an additional charge. Though it is a good place for children to learn to ski, it may be limiting for those accompanying them! Facilities here include a good children's play area, snow tubing and tobogganing alongside a bar which has deckchairs to rent.


Courmayeur Intermediate Skiing

Virtually all the on-piste skiing in Courmayeur is intermediate and while those who like to ski a long distances may find the ski area slightly limiting, the skiing in Courmayeur is extremely pleasant and the scenery outstanding.

Courmayeur is a great resort for mixed ability groups as there are plenty of central meeting places and mountain restaurants that most levels of skier will be able to reach.  Courmayeur, more than anywhere, is the place to take long lunches!

The Checrouit reds are all enjoyably different ways down the same flank. The high altitude red runs to either side of the Plan de la Gabba lift are very pleasant, have good snow conditions throughout the season, and tend to be quiet as well!

The runs above Zerotta offer more of a challenge, as do the lower runs down through the trees. The long, winding 'Internazionale' red run, is the best descent on this side of the valley.

The 6 day Courmayeur lift pass includes two days access to neighbouring Aosta Valley resorts. To add an extra dimension to your skiing, make sure you purchase a lift pass which includes days in the neighbouring Aosta Valley resorts,  and will allow you to ski La Thuile.

La Thuile is easy to visit, being just 40 minutes away by local bus. It incorporates the French ski area of La Rosiere and has an abundance of long and varied runs for intermediates. The longest of the runs is an 11km red from the Col du Petit Saint Bernard back to La Thuile.

Strong intermediates and advanced skiers should not miss the opportunity of skiing the Vallee Blanche, which is a once in a lifetime experience for enthusiastic, experienced skiers. The descent begins at Punta Helbronner (3,462m) and ends in Chamonix (1,037m), an off-piste descent of 24km. When you ski the Vallee Blanche from the Italian side you avoid the scary ridge walk that forms the start on the Chamonix side.

The Vallee Blanche is a breathtakingly panoramic run in the heart of the Mont Blanc massif. The Society of Mountain Guides in Courmayeur organise group excursions (between 4 and 8 people per group), and will supply all the necessary equipment.


Courmayeur Advanced & Expert Skiing

Courmayeur offers limited on-piste skiing for the advanced skier though the four black runs have some steep sections and testing mogul fields. The Pista dell’Orso, which is not groomed, is a fun and very bumpy descent on the Val Veny side.

The main attraction of Courmayeur for advanced and expert skiers is the superb off piste and opportunities for heli-skiing, partly on the Mont Blanc itself, as the many day trippers from Chamonix will testify.


Courmayeur Off-Piste

There is some excellent tree-lined powder off the side of the blue Val Veny piste as it descends to the Zerotta chairlift. Higher up in the main ski area, you can drop into Val Veny by heading skier's left from the side of Aretu, or by descending under the Cresta Youla cable car towards Plan de la Gabba. The other off-piste in this area is mainly accessed from Cresta d'Arp (2,755m), the top of the resort, and there are dedicated itineraries far from the pistes. Either head skier's right round the back of the main range through Arp Vielle to Val Veny, a superb, long descent with wonderful views over the south face of Mont Blanc and the Miage glacier (may involve a short walk at the end) or alternatively, reach the Col d'Arp and descend to Dolonne through the woods and a wide gorge (1,500m of vertical).

When conditions are good on the Mont Blanc flank, the terrain here is magnificent. It is steep, sometimes treacherous, always testing and there is the added psychological edge of knowing you're skiing on the side of the highest mountain in Western Europe. Access is via the Mont Blanc cable cars from La Palud. There are many different routes down from Punta Helbronner (3,462m), including what is probably the most interesting downhill run in the Courmayeur area; the 7 mile (12 km) Toula Glacier. There are alternative gullies and couloirs like the appropriately named 'Canale del Cesso' or 'Toilet Couloir',  the Mont Fréty and the Marbrèe glaciers with average 40° pitches, but these should only be attempted when conditions are appropriate.


Heli-Skiing in Courmayeur

The head of the Val Veny is the main destination for heliskiing in the Courmayeur area, and drops can be made on both sides of the valley:

The glacial terrainincludes various landing points, all above 3,500m in altitude, offering descents with vertical drops of around 1,500m. The Aiguille des Glaciers (3,816m), Aiguille de la Lex Blanche (3,686m), Aiguille de Trèlatéte (3,930m) and Aiguille de l'Aigle (3,512m) departure points, offer breathtaking routes over the stunning Lex Blanche, Estelette, Bionassay and Miage glaciers. Route difficulty ranges from the easy Lex Blanche to the extremely challenging Canale Bonatti.

The non-glacial Mont Fortin area offers magnificent non-glacial terrain on slopes facing Monte Bianco. There are various peaks of around 2,700m, among which Mont Fortin (2,758m) is the most famous offering rare views over the south west face of Monte Bianco. All the descents in this area are north facing and after a good fall of snow the powder is perfect. Though all descents start in steep gullies, they soon lead on to more gentle terrain, and return eventually to Val Veny and the Zerotta chairlift.

Heli-skiing is available through Heliski Courmayeur Mont Blanc in Entreves or the Courmayeur Society of Mountain Guides. Avalanche and mountain safety equipment including an avalanche beacon, spade and probes, and a harness (when on glaciers) is essential when skiing off-piste.  Avalanche beacons can be checked at Col Checrouit, Pre de Pascal and Pavillon (Mont Blanc cable car).


Courmayeur Boarding & Freestyle

Courmayeur has a snow park, boarder-friendly lifts and mostly intermediate pistes as well as masses of excellent off-piste, which is a major attraction for experienced boarders and freeriders.

The Courmayeur snow park which is in Dolonne has jumps, rail and box, but no half pipe.  The park has a 15m x 15m air mattress for landing which allows beginners and non-beginners alike to try new tricks in total security.

Most of the domain is served by boarder friendly cable cars and chair lifts.  On piste boarding is mainly intermediate and there are many alternative routes for boarders to the sides of the piste, including the excellent tree-lined powder to the side of the blue Val Veny run, as it descends to the Zerotta chairlift.

Stronger riders come for the off-piste and can try the Toula Glacier as well as the Courmayeur area off piste itineraries, accessed from the Cresta d'Arp (2,763m). Heading right from Cresta d'Arp, take the superb long run through Arp Vieille to Val Veny. The bottom stretch of this run is flattish, and you may like to carry some poles for pushing!  Alternatively, reach the Col d'Arp and descend to Dolonne through the woods and a wide gorge (1,500 m of vertical).

The Vallee Blanche is suitable for snowboarders but you are advised to carry ski poles for the flatter stretches.

Ski lifts & pass

Courmayeur itself has 21 lifts, 100km of ski pistes and an uphill lift capacity of 25,209 people per hour. Despite a couple of antiquated cable cars and some slow chairlifts, queues are not generally a problem in Courmayeur.


Courmayeur Ski Lifts

Courmayeur itself is located at an altitude of 1,224m and the highest lift arrives at an altitude of 2,755m (3,462m at the Punta Helbronner for off piste descents) The ski ifts run from early December until mid April. The ski area is quite compact which makes Courmayeur a great resort for mixed ability groups.  Serviced by a mixture of new and older lifts, the pisted runs are clearly marked and well groomed throughout the season. Though the area can become busy at peak holiday periods and some weekends, for the most part queuing is not an issue.

There are three lifts from the valley to access the Courmayeur ski area, the Courmayeur cable car, on the western fringe of the town, the Dolonne gondola from the hamlet of Dolonne and the Val Veny cable car, close to the hamlet of Entreves.

The Courmayeur and Dolonne lifts arrive in Plan Checrouit, which is a focal point in the Courmayeur ski area and the normal starting point for Ski School lessons. The Biancaneve Mini Club for children is also located in Plan Checrouit along with ski school booking offices and a choice of hire shops, restaurants and bars. The easier blue runs are accessed from Plan Checrouit and beginners, as well as families with young children are advised to choose accommodation which offers reasonable access to either the Courmayeur or Dolonne lift.

The Val Veny cable car arrives in Pre de Pascal, which also has a hire shop, ski school booking office and a good bar and restaurant. From Pre de Pascal the first descent is on the long blue run towards Zerotta, which though not difficult, has a couple of steepish sections. The views from Pre de Pascal towards Mont Blanc and the glaciers are spectacular.

There are moving carpet lifts for beginners in both Plan Checrouit and Pre de Pascal, though due to space limitations, the magic carpet in Plan Checrouit can only be used when accompanied by a ski instructor.

The Monte Bianco cable cars give access to some of Courmayeur's off-piste ski and board areas, including the Toula glacier and the famous Vallèe Blanche descent to Chamonix. Departing from La Palud, the three cable cars transport you to Punta Helbronner, at a height of 3,462m. On a clear day it is well worth taking the trip, even without planning to ski, just to admire the spectacular views from the top.


Courmayeur Ski Lift Passes

Lift passes can be purchased at the bottom of all 4 valley lift stations. The cheapest of the available lift passes covers the 21 ski lifts and 100km of pisted runs in Courmayeur itself, and a 6-day Courmayeur pass allows for two days in neighbouring Aosta Valley resorts.  Alternatively the Mont Blanc Unlimited pass covers the lifts in both Courmayeur and Chamonix which offers a further 67 lifts and 155km of pisted runs.  This pass is most suitable for advanced skiers with transport.

Reduced rate passes are available to the over 65's and under 14's. Children under 8 years of age qualify for a free pass where an accompanying adult buys one of the same duration.  Proof of age is required for free or reduced rate passes. Beginners can purchase a daily pass which covers the cable car to Plan Checrouit and use of the easiest blue runs in that area. Non-skiers can buy reasonably priced return tickets for the cable cars and the Dolonne gondola.


Day tickets

Peak seasonLow season
AdultSeniorTeenagerChildAdultSeniorTeenagerChild
Day ticket
€45.00 ($52.22)
€36.00 ($41.78)
€31.50 ($36.56)
€22.50 ($26.11)
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
2 Days
€86.00 ($99.80)
€69.00 ($80.07)
€60.00 ($69.63)
€43.00 ($49.90)
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
3 Days
€124.00 ($143.90)
€99.00 ($114.89)
€74.50 ($86.46)
€62.00 ($71.95)
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
4 Days
€160.00 ($185.68)
€128.00 ($148.54)
€96.00 ($111.41)
€80.00 ($92.84)
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
5 Days
€194.00 ($225.14)
€155.00 ($179.88)
€116.50 ($135.20)
€97.00 ($112.57)
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
6 Days
€227.00 ($263.43)
€181.50 ($210.63)
€136.00 ($157.83)
€113.50 ($131.72)
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
7 Days
€257.00 ($298.25)
€205.50 ($238.48)
€154.00 ($178.72)
€128.50 ($149.12)
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
13 Days
€412.00 ($478.13)
€329.50 ($382.38)
€247.00 ($286.64)
€206.00 ($239.06)
n/a
n/a
n/a
n/a
 

Season tickets

Season ticket

Nov 26, 2016

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Apr 17, 2017
Pre-selling
AdultSeniorTeenagerChildAdultSeniorTeenagerChild
Season ticket
€860.00 ($998.03)
€688.00 ($798.42)
€602.00 ($698.62)
€215.00 ($249.51)
n/a
n/a
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Activities & Things to do

In a dramatic location at the foot of Monte Bianco, Courmayeur is an attractive town and a great all round resort with plenty of activities for skiers and non-skiers alike amid stunning views.

The local scenery is simply stunning with spectacular mountain peaks and pleasant wooded valleys. The Courmayeur ski area offers a good range of pisted runs, easily accessible off-piste itineraries, heli-skiing, fabulous cross-country ski routes, pleasant walking and a wide range of sporting and other leisure activities.

An Italian style 'passegiata' with optional shopping, is a popular evening pass time, and there is also an Alpine Museum. Dolonne houses a large sports centre with a full size ice rink, squash, tennis, climbing wall and gym as well as table tennis, table football, sauna and steam facilities. The nearest public swimming pool is in neighbouring Pré-St-Didier, which is accessible by local bus.


Ski

The resort is good for beginners and intermediates, who for a one-week holiday will be well-served by the Courmayeur six-day pass (in 2016/17 this was 234 euros for adults, reductions for under 18 and over 65). All the skiing is on the two sides of the ridge above Plan Checrouit, mostly blues and reds with limited black runs. Uplift is good and queues are seldom significant except for the cable-car up to Youla, at 2624 m the highest piste. A final cable-car climbs from Youla to Arp (2755 m) but it’s off-piste only from here, or admire the view from the terrace then ride back down to Youla.

As the resort is high, the snow is as reliable as you’ll find in Europe, but this does mean a risk of avalanches: the pistes are well-monitored but fatal incidents off-piste are not uncommon. On 1 March 2017 three people were killed on an off-piste route into Val Veny.

The Courmayeur area does not link into any other ski domain, so you have to return to the valley and jump in the car to get elsewhere. However the six-day pass is also valid for two days skiing anywhere in Valle d’Aosta (La Thuile or Pila being the obvious choices), or one such day and one trip sight-seeing up the Monte Bianco Skyway as described earlier. Expert skiers, and intermediates staying longer than a week, should consider buying the Valle d’Aosta pass, or the Mont Blanc Unlimited pass which covers an enormous domain including Chamonix, Megeve and Verbier. You need your own transport to benefit from these.


Events 

Courmayeur Noir film festival takes place in mid-December. Check local media and hotel noticeboards for other events and fiestas. Mardi Gras 2017 took place in heavy snowfall, with the brass band, morris dancers and giant papier-mache head of Donald Trump looming out of the swirling snow.


Cross-Country Skiing in Courmayeur

The cross country skiing is found in the Val Ferret, which is easily accessible by bus from central Courmayeur. The trails are easy to follow and well groomed, and the scenery is outstanding. Equipment can be hired and lessons booked, close to the entrance to the pistes.


Ice Skating in Courmayeur

There is a large ice skating rink in the sports centre in Dolonne.


The Monte Bianco Cable Cars

On a clear day it is well worth taking the three stage ride in the cable car from La Palud up to Punta Helbronner (3,462m). The views of the mountains and surrounding area from the top are quite breathtaking. Europe's highest botanic garden is to be found part of the way up, but needless to say there is not much to see during the winter months!


Shopping in Courmayeur

Shopping comes high on the list of non-skiing activities in Courmayeur. Shops are varied and interesting with plenty of high quality clothing, sportswear and equipment shops alongside more traditional antique shops, jewellers, galleries, delicatessen and other specialist food stores.


Swimming, Sauna & Spa Facilities in Courmayeur

Many of the hotels have saunas and spa areas that are open to the paying public, one of the best being the spa at Le Grand Chalet Apartments. The Hotel Gran Baita also has a small swimming pool which is open to the public.

There is a large public swimming pool in neighbouring Pre San Didier and the thermal baths in Pre St Didier offer a wide range of indoor and outdoor spa pools and treatments in superb surroundings, with views towards Mont Blanc. Hotels will arrange for transportation.


Children's Play Areas

The fun park in Dolonne offers a playground and other facilities for children, including a bouncy castle.  Snow tubing and tobogganing are also available!

Sights & Landmarks

In Courmayer village centre, the Duke of Abruzzi Alpine Guide Museum documents the craft of mountain guiding. The Duke himself was an early alpinist, founding the guides’ society in 1850, and together they made many exploratory ascents, nearby in the 19th century and then globally in the 20th century. It was always primarily a recreational activity here, and client-driven, as Courmayeur isn’t on a historic transalpine route. Entry 3 euros, the opening times posted are just a statement of good intentions but usually daily from 5 pm.

Opposite the museum, look into the early 18th century Church of St Pantaleon & St Valentine. The other notable church, at the foot of Val Veny, is the Sanctuary of Notre Dame de Guérison.

On a clear day, ride up the Monte Bianco Skyway, the cable-car which ascends from near La Palud. At the midway station of Pavillon (2173 m), in summer take the short walk to Saussurea Alpine Botanical Gardens. The lift continues up to the terrace at Punta Helbronner (3462 m) on the border with France. From here there are off-piste trails down the glaciers, for expert skiers only, and a guide is essential. The lift system then descends into Chamonix but the Skyway ticket doesn’t give access to the Chamonix ski lifts, and it isn’t a practical route into that ski area – drive through the Mont Blanc Tunnel instead. A return trip up the Skyway is 45 euros for an adult, unless your ski lift pass covers it.

If it’s clear-ish but not clear enough for the Skyway (the summit is often mist-shrouded), instead ride up the Courmayeur cable-car to Plan Checrouit. An adult return is 16 euros if you don’t have a lift pass.

Restaurants & Nightlife

Courmayeur is an attractive town for après ski and has a great evening atmosphere. It offers a selection of stylish bars and some excellent restaurants. A couple of the centrally located bars stay open until late.


Courmayeur Apres Ski Bars

Courmayeur has a great evening atmosphere with a selection of stylish, traditionally furnished bars to choose from. Both the Caffe  della Posta and the Cadran Solaire have a sophisticated but relaxed atmosphere, whereas the Bar Roma is more lively. Features of all the bars are the comfy furnishings and the delicious free canapés served with drinks before dinner.

The back room at the Caffe della Posta is very popular for drinks in the early evening, and usually has a roaring open fire.  It is also good for a civilised cup of tea and cake, or a tasty day time snack. Bar Roma is a beautiful stone-walled bar full of ornate Italian furniture. It's a hive of activity around 5 o'clock and later into the evening when a lavish, complementary spread is laid out, and after a drink here you may not actually need dinner!

The bar at Le Grand Chalet, close to the bottom of the Courmayeur cable car, is a popular stopping off point after the day's skiing. The centrally located Bar delle Guide is relaxed, informal and offers satellite TV.  The American bar also airs many of the major sporting events throughout the season, and is another popular choice which is open until late.  The Prive is a more sophisticated cocktail bar.


Courmayeur Restaurants

Courmayeur is world famous for its food - both on and off the mountain. The town offers a number of excellent restaurants as well as some good value pizzerias and traditional restaurants.  In many cases, and especially at weekends, advance booking is advised.


Courmayeur Mountain Restaurants

Courmayeur offers a choice of many excellent mountain restaurants and only so many days to eat in them, so it is important to choose wisely.

Courmayeur is justly famous for its mountain restaurants and eating on the mountain is one of the highlights of skiing in Courmayeur. The restaurants get busy at peak times and advance booking is recommended in the most popular of the restaurants. Most menus will include dishes based around polenta, soup, pasta, local sausages, and the local Fontina cheese, but  will also include pizza, sandwiches, salads, burgers, hot dogs and chips.

Some of the restaurant highlights on the Checrouit side include the Refuge Maison Vielle, the Christiana, Chateau Branlant, Chiecco and the Alpetta, all of which serve great food and are deservedly popular.

The Maison Vieille, has great food, a cosy Alpine ambience and stunning views of Mont Blanc from the outdoor eating area. Celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal, owner of the three Michelin star Fat Duck restaurant, has been spotted here on more than one occasion. The Christiania offers good food including pizza and pasta dishes and is in an ideal location for when ski school finishes at Plan Checrouit.

The charming Chateau Branlant and the delightful Chiecco and are both very popular choices, close to the Chiecco drag lift. The Alpetta is a new and more modern restaurant/bar, also close to the Chiecco drag lift. Advance booking for lunch is advised for these restaurants, but drop in for a hot chocolate and you will not be disappointed.

Restaurant highlights on the Val Veny side include the Pre de Pascal self-service restaurant and bar offers good food, good value and a superb location. The Petit Mont Blanc at Zerotta is also worth trying, and often has an outdoor barbeque on the go.  The Cai Uget, en route to the Val Veny, is an old style refuge with a panoramic terrace. It also provides basic accommodation.

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