Situated at the foot of the Mont Blanc, the traditional Italian resort of Courmayeur forms part of the Aosta Valley near the French border. The charming medieval village has a picturesque mix of French and Italian influences which can be seen in its cobbled streets, stylish boutiques and authentic cafés.
The resort has incredible views of Europe’s highest summit, lovely wide open pistes for intermediate skiing and some excellent mountain restaurants. Its close proximity to both Geneva and Turin make it an ideal destination for a ski weekend or short break.
New in 2015 the Mont Blanc Skyway, a three staged cable car takes you all the way up to Punta Helbronner in 360 degree rotating glass cabins for some fabulous views and a panoramic terrace at the top – a mere 3,466m. The off-piste runs from here are divine but make sure you hire a guide.
Skiing in the resort
Located on the sunny side of the Mont Blanc, skiing in Courmayeur is divided into two sectors. The main ski area of Checrouit is best for sunny morning skiing whilst Val Veny on the opposite side of the ridge is popular in the afternoon - you can follow the sun over.
Absolute beginners have a couple of nursery slopes to get to grips with snow plough turns but ski holidays in Courmayeur are best suited to intermediates with the majority of the runs being red. Slopes are varied, tree lined and offer stunning alpine scenery.
Advanced skiers have a few black runs on the Val Veny side, as well as the off-piste runs from the summit of Cresta d’Arp. Courmayeur used to have a much larger ski area until 64 of their runs were re-classified as off-piste itineraries meaning there is plenty to explore, enough for a season let alone a short break.
The main lift up from the village runs until midnight allowing skiers to take in the sunset and enjoy a couple of après drinks before descending. Others can make their way up from the town to sample a fine choice of restaurants for an evening on the mountain.
Courmayeur exudes a cosmopolitan atmosphere, especially at weekends when the resort is bustling with guests from Milan who have popped by for a weekend on the slopes.
The best après-ski is in the town where you will find a handful of sophisticated bars and cafés dotted around the pedestrianised centre off the main street Via Roma. Restaurant options are plentiful and authentic bars with large sofas and fireplaces create the perfect setting for relaxing after a day on the mountain.
Typical of Italy, the evenings tend to be low-key until the midnight hour approaches and then the town begins to liven up.