Sestriere is built for skiing; high, north west facing slopes and plenty of snow cannon cover in the heart of the 400km Milky Way ski area. Europe's first purpose built ski resort. Back in the 1930's Fiat's Giovanni Agnelli decided the factory workers needed some mountain air and a little adrenaline to increase productivity or maybe he just fancied a mountain retreat, who knows. We have high altitude Italian skiing to thank him for.
The village may not be the prettiest but there's plenty of bars and eateries to choose from and the après is surprisingly lively, especially at the weekends. Sat between peaks the resort's lift infrastructure was vastly improved in 2006 when Sestriere hosted the Winter Olympics and leapt into the international limelight.
Skiing in resort
In the heart of the Milky Way, or Via Lattea in Italian, Sestriere gives you access to a treasure trove of piste possibilities. Unlike neighbouring Sauze d'Oulx, Sestriere has slopes suitable for all levels with wide open runs making way to woodland facing the village. The artificial snow cover combines with wonderful grooming to give decent piste cover all season long.
For beginners, the nursery slopes around the village and long local progression slopes make getting to grips with the mountains a piece of cake. Yet, there's still plenty for the expert skiers out there with particularly steep pistes and designated mogul fields as well as good off-piste if you fancy hiring a guide after a fresh snow dump.
For the intermediates, Motta offers a good area to explore, but if you fancy eating up some miles you should get to grips with the piste map - the Italians don't make it easy, but once you find the links to neighbouring resorts you have quick access to Sauze d'Oulx as well as snowy Montgenèvre and 400km of groomed terrain.
It's a small-ish village so the après isn't insane, but when the Turinites roll in for the weekend it certainly ramps up the atmosphere. During the week it can become a little quiet but if you know where to go there's always some life in Sestriere. Pinkies is a great little place, a Brit hangout but with great pizza and après drinks what's not to love. Black Pepper is also often lively with a decent cocktail menu.
What we like
- In the heart of the Milky Way's 400km of pistes
- High altitude with good snow making facilities
- Local slopes suitable for all ski abilities
- Views across the Milky Way to the peaks on the French border
- The après tends to be at its liveliest over the weekends, though it's certainly not dead during the week
- You may have to queue at the bottle necks over the busier weekends
- For a purpose built village, it isn't the best layout, but nothing is too far away
- Short transfer
- Short breaks
Accommodation in Sestriere
Resort height - 2,035m
Highest point - 2,825m
Via Lattea (Milky Way) - 400km of piste
With a good range of high altitude slopes to suit all ski abilities, Sestriere is a very attractive option for mixed ability groups. In the heart of the Milky Way, you have quick access to Sauze d'Oulx as well as across the border to Montgenèvre.
Blue runs 28%
Red runs 54%
Black runs 18%
Lifts - 72
Season length - December to April
Beginners - 3/5
Intermediates - 4/5
Experts - 3/5
Piste extent - 5/5
Snow reliability - 4/5
Scenery - 3/5
Queues - 3/5
Convenience - 3/5
Fast lifts - 3/5
Ice rink | shopping | sports centre with pool | dog sledding | fitness centre | cross country skiing
Turin - 1.5 to 2 hours
Via Lattea area lift pass
3 day lift pass from £99
6 day lift pass from £187
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