Courmayeur, in the autonomous Aosta Valley region of Italy, sits one side of the Mont Blanc road tunnel ? Chamonix in France, the other side. It is hardly the biggest skiing resort in the word ? sporting just 21 ski lifts and 27 pistes. What it does have is Italian charm, spectacular scenery, the opportunity to ski in the sun throughout the day, and plenty of off-piste skiing options, including an impressive 20 kilometre ‘top to bottom’ run.
At 1,200 metres, the village resides below its two ski areas ? Checrouit and Val Veny ? which sit either side of the mountain ridge. So it is possible to take the morning sun in the first, eat in one of the resorts 23 mountain restaurants, and take to Val Veny for a sunny afternoon.
Regular lifts take skiers as high as 2,760 metres. There is also a cable car going up as high as 3,450 metres that gives access to the Toula Glacier. From here there are a variety of off-piste options.
It is also possible (for intermediate skiers and above ? preferably with guide) to access the Vallee Blanche, a 20 kilometre continuous cross border run that ends in Chamonix. The 2,800 metre descent includes traversing the Toula Glacier. There are also some more testing route options for those so inclined.
If snow conditions are good it is possible to ski all the way to Chamonix although many stop at Montenvers and take the train.
Chamonix and Courmayeur are linked by cable car and bus.
Heli-skiing is also available with many possible drop-off points including those providing access to glacier and cross border routes.
Those not wishing to be so adventurous are also well catered for on the groomed slopes. While there are only three designated green runs these are wide and gentle. Longer, not too testing trails, are also available.
There are 22 kilometres of cross country pistes.
Lift passes can also give access to other Aosta Vallee resorts.
Other winter activities available include ski touring, paragliding, snowshoeing, ice climbing and mountaineering, and dog sledding.
Possible simmer activities are also extensive and include trekking and hiking, mountain biking, trail running, mountaineering, golf, horse riding, fishing, and white water sports.
Getting to Courmayeur is relatively easy. There are a number of airports within reach. Geneva is 80 kilometres away ? the other side of the Mont Blanc tunnel. Turin airport is 87 kilometres away, Milan just under 140 kilometres away. It is possible to book transfers from each online.
|Height of village||1,210m|
|Number of ski runs||Courmayeur 27 (3 green, 6 blue, 14 red, 4 black)|
|Aosta Valley||180 (3 green, 36 blue, 97 red, 44 black)|
|Number of lifts||21|
|Nearest airport||Turin (87km),
|Useful websites||www.lovecourmayeur.com, www.aosta-valley.co.uk, www.courmayeur-montblanc.com|
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