La Thuile Ski Resort
La Thuile is a quiet, old mining village snuggled in the Aosta Valley in Northern Italy. Bordered by both France and Switzerland, La Thuile, along with La Rosiere, forms part of the Espace San Bernardo, a recognised ski area that stretches across France and Italy. It is a picturesque village surrounded by stunning beauty further enhanced by the majestic vies of the Monte Rosa, Matterhorn and Mont Blanc mountain range. Recent developments to the resort have seen it steadily grow and emerge into a very attractive ski resort with quality bars, restaurants and accommodation choices across the village. Despite the recent developments, the resort still maintains its old Italian charm. On arrival at the resort, La Thuile exudes a warm and welcoming feeling across the village. Full of character and tradition, the resort is unpretentious and authentic.
As one would imagine, La Thuile is a small village well known for its family-friendly atmosphere. The queues at the lift are few and far between, giving lots of space on the pistes to skiers to go at their own pace. There are 152 kilometres of pistes to explore across the Espace San Bernardo ski terrain which is renowned to have excellent snow conditions. The resort sits at an impressive altitude of 1440 metres with the ski terrain ranging from 1175 metres to 2610 metres; with majority of the skiing taking place above 1,880 metres.
The resort is split into two; the old village situated across the river which runs through the village and the modern and recently developed Planibel complex located at the base of the gondola. Both areas of the village are surrounded by local amenities in their respective areas. The accommodation selection ranges largely between hotels and apartments. The resort is child-friendly and offers a good selection of non-ski activities for all.
The Espace San Bernardo ski terrain presents a mixed bag of exciting skiing opportunities across both resorts of La Thuile and La Rosiere. It has a bit of everything from open-bowl skiing to treelined runs and north and south-facing slopes. Both resorts share 150 kilometres of slopes which peak at up to 2,800 metres altitude and are serviced by a network of 38 lifts across 85 runs in total.
Beginners will find a good choice of ski schools and nursery slopes at La Thuile. There are two easy slopes at the resort level which can be accessed via travelator carpet. There are additional nursery slopes located further up at Les Suches (2,200 metres). After confidence is built on the nursery slopes, beginners will find easy blues to progress unto at Les Suches. There’s an easy wide-open blue just below Gran Testa at 2,379 metres which is the perfect test for beginners.
There are is an exhaustive list of reds and blues perfect for intermediates on La Rosiere, which is a popular destination for skiers in La Thuile however, there is a long 11-kilometre run which is perfect for intermediates that runs down the Petit San Bernard pass.
Advanced skiers will be pleased to find a few challenging blacks more suited to their ability at the Col de Forclaz as well as several off-piste opportunities nearby however, there are some proper challenges in La Thuile. The “Runway 3” or “Piste 3 Franco Berthod” is a very steep black run that is considered to be one of the most difficult slopes in the Italian Alps due to its 76% maximum slope which is usually further made difficult by the hard and often snow on this run. This run has snow sporting history as it has previously been part of the World Cup Downhill run. There are other tree-lined black runs that lead straight back to the village such as the Diretta and Muret. Even though La Thuile is generally seen as a haven for beginners and intermediates, advanced and expert skiers can still get a decent adrenaline rush on some of the black runs mentioned. Additional off-piste opportunities can be found on the Rutor glacier and further down at the wooded terrain bordering piste 4, eastward of the Chalet Express. As always, we would strongly recommend hiring a local guide when exploring off-piste terrain.
There are up to 2 snowparks in the Espace San Bernado ski area, one of which is at La Thuile and the other at La Rosiere. It comes fully equipped with the usual obstacles such as kickers, boxes and rails.
Freeriders can find a few black runs at La Thuile including the Diretta and the Muret. The terrain is well known to pose a challenge to any There are also a significant amount of off-piste opportunities in La Thuile and La Rosiere.
Important notice for learners and early beginners. If you have moved on from the nursery slopes at the resort and are further up at Les Suches, it may be too much of a challenge to ride back to the resort due to the steepness of the slope, so you may be better of taking the cablecar back down.
Snow Conditions in La Thuile
Thanks to its high altitude and north-facing slopes, La Thuile ski resort maintains very good snow conditions throughout the season. The resort also is renowned for having reliable snowfall all season with its northern orientation, is able to hold and accumulate fresh dumps of snow on its pistes. Powder days are particularly excellent ( part of which can be attributed to the low traffic at the resort) as the snow on some of the pistes can retain its powdery integrity and remain untouched for days after a powdery snowfall. There are 400 snow cannons at the ready to supplement any shortages when needed.
La Thuile is a very relaxed ski resort with an even more relaxed apres-ski scene. In general, the nightlife and party atmosphere is subdued and largely focused more on quiet rustic bars, dining and enjoying a taste of the local delicacies and cuisine; if anything, it resembles a cultural experience. There are of course a number of bars and pubs to visit on a night out but you may not experience the raucous table dancing and wild parties on the slopes as you would in other resorts. A significant number of the bars are within the hotels. If you were desperate for a bit more atmosphere, you may need to head over to La Rosiere which is over an hour away.
La Cage aux Folles
One of the popular hangouts in La Thuile, Cage aux Folles is a pub and restaurant with a very friendly and welcoming atmosphere, located a few yards from the slopes ( hence making for a very convenient pit stop). It actually has a cage-like area for drinking apres customers featuring great music. You can expect occasional live band performances as well as great music. You can also catch up on current sporting events from the 4 screens in the pub. The Cage aux Folles is open every day from 4 pm until early hours.
Mood Pub & Music
A small, family-owned cosy bar with friendly staff and great music. The owner and staff are music lovers and have often put up impromptu jam sessions and acoustic performances for the bar visitors. A favourite among visitors who leave rave reviews on the hospitality of the hosts, Mood Pub and Music feels like your local away from home. Chilled atmosphere, darts board and a good selection of drinks ranging from beers, wine and cocktails. Feeling hungry? The food menu features a few local delicacies. Best place for a chilled but fun evening.
Maison Blanche is a small traditional Alpine Italian restaurant in La Thuile. Perfect spot for a nice quiet evening of Italian cuisine. Featuring quite an extensive menu and wine list, Maison Blanche epitomises what La Thuile is all about; calm, rustic and traditional.
The development of the resort which took place in recent years has since seen steady growth in local facilities and amenities including shops, spas and wellness centres. We have put together a short review of some of the facilities available at La Thuile.
There are a few ski hire equipment shops in La Thuile and La Rosiere to select from, however, the most convenient way of securing your ski equipment is to hire them from us online as part of your ski holiday package. We have excellent long term relationships with ski hire operators in La Thuile as well as other ski resorts around the Alps which enables us to secure your ski equipment at very good prices. Save yourself the hassle of going from shop to shop and leave the trouble to us. Another advantage of placing your ski hire with us is that it saves you a lot of precious time when you get to the resort as you will have your equipment waiting for you when you arrive. We can secure top-quality equipment from well-known brands and at very top quality. Contact us for any additional information.
Ski passes can be purchased at the resort in La Thuile but you can also purchase them from us online as part of your holiday package. Buying your ski passes from us allows you to travel in with the comfort of knowing you have one less thing to worry about when you get to the resort. It saves you time as well as all you will need to do when you arrive is simply pick up your pre-booked pass and you are all set to hit the slopes. Feel free to contact us regarding your ski pass purchase in La Thuile.
For a small and quiet resort, La Thuile has an impressive amount of spa and wellness centres to choose from. The Montana Lodge is host to the 5-star Mineral spa which is well equipped with fantastic facilities to provide an amazing relaxing experience. The spa offers a host of options and services including a private spa which can be hired out for a few hours or up to a full day; the perfect option for a group of friends or a couple on a romantic getaway. The heated indoor swimming pool offers a stunning view of Mount Ruitor from within the spa. The list of spa treatments at the Mineral Spa is extensive. They offer everything from classic massages to face and body gemology rituals; they also offer sports massages and couples massages. Facilities include a hydro pool, saunas and steam rooms. Re Delle Alpi is another option for a fantastic spa experience in La Thuile. A self-styled “sanctuary of wellness for body and mind”, the spa has an extensive range of spa treatments and facilities, presented in a very modern and chic interior. Located in the Re Delle Alpi Hotel, the facilities include an indoor heated swimming pool, a cervical waterfall, Hot tubs and reaction showers. There is also a panoramic finish sauna, ice waterfalls infusion corners in addition to a traditional sauna, steam rooms and hammams. Private massages and other treatments can be booked from an extensive list. There are several other hotels at the resort that host highly-rated spas. Quick mentions include TH Hotel, Chalet Eden and Le M Club amongst others.
The Panibel centre in the resort has a great selection of shops to check out. The shops in La Thuile include grocery shops, traditional arts and crafts shops selling souvenirs, ski sports equipment shops and few clothing stores. There is also a pharmacy, a few bakeries, cafes, butchers and a cigar shop.
La Thuile is well equipped with childcare and entertainment facilities for children. You can get everything from ski schools, childminders and entertainment activities to keep the little ones very well occupied. Read on for more information on this.
There are a number of ski schools and ski instructors at La Thuile. You can book your children’s ski lessons at the resort or very easily book them through us as well. We can secure recognised English speaking instructors. This service can be added to your holiday booking. Please do not hesitate to contact us directly for more information and any additional queries or requirements you wish to address.
There are a few non-ski activities to keep the kids entertained and active on your ski holiday. The Planibel Residence complex has gym and fitness facilities but more importantly, a kids swimming pool. The facilities are open to the public and not exclusive to residents. Villaret sport and wellness centre has great sports facilities for the family including a play area for the children. There is also the Up and Down Boulder Point, an indoor climbing facility with dedicated kids areas. Take the kids to ice skating at Swice La Thuile; which has a 300-metre ice rink. A particularly fun experience especially if you are visiting around Christmas time and get to see the lovely decorations.
There are fantastic childcare facilities available at La Thuile. In Planibel, there is the Bambino mini club which looks after children from ages of 4 to 12 years old. There is also the "Il Grande Albero" kindergarten which looks after children from 3 years old and above. You can also find independent childcare operators by enquiring at the tourist offices when you arrive. Please ensure you request for English speaking operators.
There are 152 kilometres of pistes across the Espace San Bernardo with the longest run at 11 kilometres. The pistes range between an altitude of 1,175 metres and 2,610 metres. There are 33 blue runs, 35 red runs and 14 blacks across the ski area which are serviced by a network of 38 lifts ( 19 drag lifts, 16 chair lifts and 1 gondola and cable car). The majority of the pistes are north facing with a few south-facing slopes. There is a mix of wide-open bowls and tree-lined runs which can be found on the lower levels.