Overview of Sauze d'Oulx
Located 80km from Turin in the upper Susa Valley of Piedmont, Sauze d’Oulx ski resort in the Italian Alps is 1509m above sea level and is part of the extensive Milky Way Ski Area, which has a huge 400km of slopes connected efficiently by 72 lifts and is a cross-border domain that includes French resorts.
The most vibrant of the five ski villages which comprise the Milky Way, Sauze d’Oulx has lots of long, lush, serene slopes, with a great mix of open runs at a higher level, terrific tree-lined slopes a little further down, and outstanding off-piste. The snow range here is 1350m-2832m and there are plenty of excellent intermediate runs, a few nice slopes for beginners and, at the other end of the scale, a smattering of black runs for experts.
Your ski pass unlocks access to the French resort of Montgenèvre as well as Claviere, Sansicario and Sestriere, so there’s a great variety of terrain, several snow parks for boarders and ample ungroomed areas for freeriders. If you want to maximise your time on the powder, you’re not restricted to the local slopes but can explore all the Milky Way’s wide open space.
Sauze d’Oulx is a pedestrianised village with a contemporary centre full of bustling bars and restaurants and a charismatic old town with cobbled streets and charming buildings like the 16th Century Church of San Giovanni Battista, which has a gorgeous Romanesque bell tower and elegant carved wooden columns. Popular with British snowsports fans because of its quality pistes (it’s a former 2006 Turin Winter Olympics host site) and awesome apres-ski, there’s a brilliant balance of activities on and off the slopes and plenty of entertainment and activities for solo skiers, couples, families and groups of friends.
If you’re a bit of a culture vulture who appreciates aesthetic beauty, you’ll appreciate the lovely wooden sculptures that pepper the area as part of the innovative Art in the Forest programme, but the stunning natural scenery will blow your socks off too ̶ there’s nothing like swooshing down the slopes and taking in a blast of fresh air in the natural Alpine amphitheatre.
The accommodation mix includes well-appointed hotels, comfy apartments and B&Bs, so there’s something to suit everyone and you’ll be delighted by the warm hospitality, delicious cuisine and amazing atmos by day and night.
Sauze d’Oulx ski holidays from Erna Low have quality and value packed into every component ̶ we can’t wait to welcome you home to the Italian Alps!
Skiing in Sauze d’Oulx
A decent resort height of 1509m, skiing available up to 2832m, and decent snow retention (particularly on the upper slopes) mean that there’s lots to offer skiers in the resort and the surrounding Milky Way. Here are a few great tips on skiing in Sauze d’Oulx:
The Clotes four-person chairlift is the main lift out of the resort and this then connects you to a high-speed chair which whisks you to Sportinia ̶ the central hub where more connections plug you into the skiers paradise of the Milky Way.
The local Sauze slopes are located at the east side of the Milky Way and when you combine them with what’s on offer at nearby Sestriere, they comprise over 300km of skiable terrain, which means that, at least if you’re planning a break of a few days or a week, there’s more than enough variation to keep you satisfied in this area alone.
There’s a slope for novices at resort level that’s served by a convenient magic carpet, but ski schools normally meet halfway up the mountain at Sportinia and it’s easy for beginner skiers to access via the chairlift.
Sauze d’Oulx has the most to offer intermediate skiers, with a great network of expansive, cruisy blue and red runs through the trees at the lower levels and in more open terrain nearer the top of the mountain. If you’re a strong intermediate skier, you’ll find more challenging runs in the Moncrons area, including a few with considerable vertical drops. For a black run that’s not too steep if you’re just edging towards advanced competency, try the Olympic Women’s Downhill route to Sansicario which moves from black to red as you descend through its 1000m vertical.
If you’re an expert skier, you’ll find tricker black runs over at Sestriere, including three mogul fields and one extended black run that goes right from the top of the mountain down to the bottom. There’s some nice freeriding terrain between the pistes and heli-skiing is also available if you’re really feeling adventurous.
As you can see, skiing in Sauze d’Oulx has much to recommend it to all levels and styles of skiers, although intermediate downhill enthusiasts might get the most out of its powdery pleasures.
Snowboarding in Sauze d’Oulx
Prefer snowboarding to skiing? You won’t feel left out in Sauze d’Oulx and its environs, where there are snow parks packed with gnarly freestyle obstacles and plenty of off-piste powder for freeriders to carve up. Here are a few Sauze highlights for riders:
The biggest concentration of runs are at mid to lower level in Sauze itself and intermediate riders will have a whale of a time weaving through the dense forests here.
Freeriders looking for a challenge will find thrilling black runs in the Sestrieres and Borgata areas. The Rio Nero is an extensive off-piste trail that takes you all the way down to the road between Cesana and Oulx, but you’ll need to hop on a bus back up to the ski lifts area.
The local terrain park at Sauze has three lines for riders of different abilities, the Sestrière snow park is 300m long and has two lines with kickers for different aptitudes and a job line with rails and boxes. There’s also a terrain park at Montgenèvre which is 500m long and had obstacles and features for novice and advanced riders, including various kickers and boxes.
It’s evident that although there are some great intermediate pistes and ungroomed areas for freeriders to carve up, Sauze d’Oulx has slightly more to offer freestyle terrain park riders.
Snow conditions in Sauze d’Oulx
No weather forecast available
A decent resort altitude and plenty of sunny slopes mean that Sauze is always a pleasant place to take to the slopes and although conditions can be unreliable late in the season, there’s decent snow-making capacity to ensure that you’re not disappointed at any time of year. Here’s the lowdown on historical snowfall in Sauze d’Oulx:
In the past, Sauze suffered from a reputation for unreliable snow at the start and end of the season, but vastly improved snowmaking facilities mean that 60% of the slopes are equipped with snow cannons and resort authorities are constantly improving on this capacity.
Neighbouring Sestriere has higher and more shaded terrain where the runs tend to be a little more snow-sure than in Sauze itself.
If you’re skiing on the top slopes in Sauze d’Oulx and experience bad weather, head down into the tree-lined runs to take shelter.
In the most recent ski season, Sauze experienced an 80cm total snowfall, average summit depth of 135cm, maximum summit depth of 180cm, average base depth of 40cm and maximum base depth of 80cm, with a largest snowfall of 40cm.
Facilities in Sauze d'Oulx
Sauze is a special blend of contemporary convenience and old world charm, with all the facilities and amenities you expect from a modern resort, combined with the awesome authentic ambience of ancient architecture and Alpine tradition.
Ski hire in Sauze d’Oulx
You won’t struggle to find ski hire outlets in Sauze d’Oulx, but why bother putting yourself to the trouble when we can organise your ski gear for you and grab a great deal on the perfect kit for the skiing style and level of every member of your group? Include ski hire in your Erna Low package ski holiday and the entire experience is hassle-free.
Ski passes in Sauze d’Oulx
The Milky Way lift pass covers you for every resort on the Italian side of the border and if you purchase a six day pass, one day in Montgenevre on the French side is thrown in for free. Alternatively, if you want the freedom of multiple cross-border trips, and international pass is perfect. There are also beginner’s passes, half-day passes and even passes which allow non-skiers to access the restaurants and amenities in the ski area. We can often secure special deals for passes for children and various types of groups, so please ask us what’s on offer and we’re happy to help.
Spa & pool in Sauze d’Oulx
Some of the hotels here have onsite spas and pools, but Spa Regeneration Besson is another excellent option. At this plush wellness facility you can take a dip in the pool, enjoy indoor and outdoor spas, cleanse yourself in the sauna and book special treatments such as massages ̶ bliss!
Shops in Sauze d’Oulx
You’ll find several clothing shops in Sauze selling sports and fashion garments, supermarkets, bakeries and delis, household goods, hairdressers and newsagents.
Facilities for children in Sauze d’Oulx
Kids are well catered for in Sauze and there’s plenty to keep them entertained on and off the mountain. Read on for more info on what’s available to keep your whippersnappers occupied.
Ski schools in Sauze d’Oulx
Scuola sci Sauze Sportina and Scuola sci Sauze d’Oulx are just two terrific ski schools in the resort and both offer a high level of instruction and multilingual lessons. You can choose group or individual lessons and children as young as five are welcome.
Children’s entertainment in Sauze d’Oulx
Off-slope activities include ten-pin bowling, dogsledding and skidooing, while the Sauze sports centre is a well-equipped complex with a fully-furnished gym, sports court for volleyball, badminton and tennis, and classes in the likes of pilates and yoga.
Childcare in Sauze d’Oulx
La Libellula is a creche for kids aged 13 months to six years old and it’s open from 830am to 5pm daily. This is an English-speaking facility which also offers babysitting services.