Ski the Aosta Valley

Aosta Valley 
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Discover one of Italy's best kept secrets

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The Aosta Valley lies in the far north-western corner of Italy, bordered by France to the west, Switzerland to the north and the Italian region of Piemonte to the south and East. Surrounded by some of the highest peaks in the Alps, including Monte Bianco (Mont Blanc), Mont Cervino (Matterhorn), the Gran Paradiso and the Monte Rosa, this ski region benefits from fantastic, snowsure ski terrain in all Aosta resorts.

There are almost 30 ski resorts throughout the valley, but the best known are Courmayer, Mont Blanc and La Thuile (linked to La Rosiere in France) in the west, Pila – linked to the original city of Aosta in the centre, Cervina (linked to Zermatt in Switzerland) and the Monte Rosa in the east, made up of the resorts of Champlouc and Gressoney and linked to the off piste mecca of Alagna in Piemonte.

In total there are over 800km of pistes throughout the valley, and although each ski area has a separate liftpass, in most cases a 6 day pass buys you a days skiing in any other Aosta resort giving access to a huge variety of skiing. Although most of the piste skiing is very suitable for beginners, intermediates and families, Aosta also offers superb off-piste, enhanced by the most extensive heli-skiing opportunities in the Alps. This makes Aosta an ideal location for mixed groups and families, with something for every level of ski ability.

A notable feature of Aostas resorts is the relative emptiness of the pistes, especially in the Monte Rosa resorts of Champoluc and Gressoney where even in high season you can often have a run completely to yourself, especially on a weekday. This is all the more surprising when you consider the major northern Italian cities of Turin and Milan are less than 2 hours away, making access from their international airports extremely simple. Alternatively Geneva is also less than 2 hours away from the western resorts of Courmayeur and La Thuile, accessed via the Mont Blanc tunnel.

Aosta MapAosta is a region of considerable historic importance, given it’s strategic location at the meeting point of three countries. Consequently castles and other monuments abound giving the valley a unique perspective and drawing many visitors looking for more than just a wintersports holiday. The regional capital city of Aosta actually boasts some of the finest Roman monument outside of Rome itself, and with the direct gondola link from the city to Pila makes a perfect base for those mixed groups of skiers and non skiers.

Aosta offers excellent value for money, accommodation costs are typically 20% less than those in comparable Swiss and French resorts making it a great destination with the current exchange rates, especially considering you can still ski in France (if you stay in La Thuile) or Switzerland (if you stay in Cervinia) but pay Italian prices! Food on the mountain is also every good value, with a typical pasta costing less than 10 euros and a beer or coffee typically less than 2 euros. This being Italy, the food is superb, freshly made pastas, pizza and many regional mountain specialities including Soza, a filling dish of beef, potatoes and the famous local delicacy, Fontina Cheese.

In short the Aosta Valley offers extensive high altitude skiing, great off-piste, easy access, cultural and historical interest and fabulous food, all at lower prices than you will find elsewhere.

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