Apartments

Welcome to

Courmayeur

We have to ‘fess up straight away, Courmayeur is not a big ski resort. Indeed, with just under 50km of groomed pistes it is relatively small but...wait...hold your horses before you click away from this elder statesman of the European snowsports and Alpine climbing scene! Situated up and over from Chamonix, on the Italian side of Mont Blanc – known locally as Monte Bianco - Courmayeur is a stalwart of Italian skiing.

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Skier's Guide

For beginners, there is a nursery slope area with free lifts at Plan Chécrouit and another one at Pre de Pascal at the top of the Entrèves cable car. Another plus for those new to skiing is the fact that Courmayeur gets a lot of sunshine!

The resort also has a whole lot of vertical and, with skiing up to 2755m, plenty of snow-sure skiing. For intermediate skiers, there are plenty of red and black runs. If you’re looking for a challenge, head for the runs on the Val Veny side including a non-stop descent of 1400m from the top of the Cresta Youla lift down to the hamlet of Dolonne.

And proximity to Chamonix, lots of vertical and snow all combine to create one obvious outcome: great off-piste terrain. For those of a more courageous persuasion, Courmayeur boasts an impressive 100km of off-piste skiing with some fantastic routes (Cresta d’Arp to Dolonne or to Pré St-Didier). But the best of the backcountry itineraries are accessed from the Monte Bianco Skyway which links the village of Entrèves at 1300m to Punta Helbronner at 3466m. A lot of this skiing & riding will take place on a glacier so hiring a guide to keep you right is recommended.

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Getting to

Courmayeur

Given its location close to Geneva Airport, Courmayeur is very popular for those looking for a long weekend. And flying is the best way to cover off the largest part of your journey to Courmayeur. There are a few options when it comes to your destination airport; which are considered below:

  • Geneva (recommended): 116km, 1h
  • Turin: 147km, 1h42m

Geneva is the recommended option because there is a greater volume and a great flexibility of ground transportation options onto Courmayeur from Geneva Airport.

Taking the train is another option and the nearest station is Aosta which is 35km away. Regular buses run between the station and the resort.

Drivers will find the roads through France faster and emptier than those in the UK and this is largely down to them being toll roads…so there is a price to pay! With passage through the Eurotunnel + petrol + tolls, you should expect the journey to cost around £175 each way. Total journey time from London is about 11h 15m…90 minutes to Dover, 30 minutes in the tunnel and 9h 15m from Calais to Courmayeur.

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Food and Drink at

Courmayeur

If you are planning to self-cater during your time in Courmayeur, it may be a good idea to keep this quiet as, in most guides to Courmayeur, the local gastronomic scene gets a ten out of ten rating. This is Italy after all - every mouthful is taken very seriously! And one thing to remember is that the main lift from town to the skiing (at Plan Checrouit) operates until midnight and so you can take evening meals up on the mountain (or carry on your apres-ski and then head down later than you may have expected!)

Up there, Refugio Christiania has been a good option for cheap, cheerful but very good lunches and dinners since first firing up the hobs in 1957! Chateau Branlant is also very popular and provides an authentic Italian Alpine experience – the restaurant has been created out of a chalet – with fantastic local dishes from the Aosta Valley. For a unique experience, Rifugio Maison Vielle is a must. From the main station, the restaurant can arrange for a snowmobile pick-up! The food (local Valdostane cuisine) is incredible and the traditional sharing cocktail, aka the friendship bowl, is very moreish!

Back down in town the range of options is wider still. With its Michelin star, the Petit Royal (in the Hotel Royal e Golf) is always worth a mention. It only seats twenty-four guest and so booking is essential. Italian food with a twist and incredible service. Other less expensive but recommended options include La Terrazza which serves regional & mountain cuisine (including fondue and raclette) and has atmosphere to spare. And, if you agree that wood-fired pizzas tend to go down pretty well with a cold beer after a long day on the slopes, La Pizzeria du Tunnel, the oldest pizzeria in Courmayeur, should be your first port of call!

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Non-Ski Activities at

Courmayeur

As was made pretty clear in the previous section; if you are not on your skis whilst in Courmayeur, you are expected to be sampling the fantastic restaurants in the town! But if you are as keen to shed the calories as take them on, there are plenty of activities for those that do not love skiing as much as myself! For a start, in the Val Ferret area, there are plenty of cross-country skiing trails with mountain huts and picturesque refuges. Not a bad place to give the sport a try. If you seriously want to avoid all manner of skiing but still love the mountains in winter, you could try snow-shoeing. Or fat-biking. Or sledging.

If you’re beginning to think I am not quite getting the spirit of this, fear not...there are plenty of non-snow, non-mountainous pursuits for the visitor to Courmayeur. The nearby village of Dolonne has a large sports centre with a full size ice rink, squash & tennis courts, a climbing wall and gym as well as table tennis, table football, sauna and steam facilities. And the nearest public swimming pool is in neighbouring Pré-St-Didier, which is accessible by local bus.

For the more relaxed of mind, most of the hotels in Courmayeur have Spa facilities – in Au Coeur des Neiges, there is a lovely wellness area with swimming pool (with hydrojets, waterfalls and counter-current swim), relax area with Himalayan salt lamps, hammam with chromotherapy, sauna and a multi-sensory shower. Massages and treatments are also available by appointment.

But, for many, the best way to while away a few hours in Courmayeur is by checking out the local shops. There is a fantastic range on offer; designer clothing shops, high-end sports & equipment shops interspersed by traditional antique shops, art galleries and amazing delicatessens.

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Apartments
Courmayeur Statistics

The Slopes

Total Runs

50

Longest Run

5

Skier Summit

2755

Number of Parks

1

Skiable Terrain (Acres)

Average Annual Snowfall

13

Vertical Drop

3650

Terrain Breakdown

Hard

15%

Easy

33%

Medium

52%

Weather

Min Average
Winter Temp

-2C (28.4F)

Max Average
Winter Temp

4C (39.2F)

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