Skiing Holidays in Courmayeur
A chic resort situated on the southern side of the foot of Mont Blanc at an altitude of 1224m, the Italian ski resort of Courmayeur lies in the Aosta Valley close to the French border.
This traditional Italian ski resort oozes charm and character, with cobbled streets snaking through a marvellous car-free medieval centre, complemented by bustling cafes and bistros where you can refuel after an exciting day on the slopes and while away a relaxing few hours in good company.
There’s 100km of pristine piste here for skiers and snowboarders of all styles and abilities, with high-altitude skiing accessed via a top lift set at a lofty 2763m and an efficient lift system including gondolas, chairlifts and draglifts, all of which help maximise your time on the powder and minimise hanging around.
The main skiing area is at Plan Checrouit and most of the slopes are northeast and northwest facing therefore reasonably sheltered for snow retention, but an arsenal of snow cannons can cover 80% of the slopes if necessary. As you’d expect, the scenery is sublime, and the panoramic views of the Trail of the Giants afforded by the glass gondola at Mont Blanc are truly awesome.
There are some lovely long runs for experienced skiers here, including the off-piste Valle Blanche, which at 22km is a real thigh-burner, but the on-slope mix here is dominated by cruisy blues and slightly tricker reds, making Courmayeur a savvy choice for intermediate skiers. There’s some good carving and basic freeriding here to keep snowboarders occupied and heli-skiing and other off-piste adventures are all on offer for advanced enthusiasts. You’re also close to the French resort of Chamonix (half an hour away through the Mont Blanc tunnel), so if you really want to explore varied terrain you can purchase a Blanc Unlimited lift pass and indulge in some cross-border escapades. If you’re travelling with your kids in tow, this is a very family-friendly resort with fab facilities and ski schools for youngsters and lots of suitable accommodation, eateries and off-slope activities.
Last but not least, grown ups can look forward to lively apres-ski in a range of bars and pubs where locals and visitors mix in the most amicable manner.
Book your customised Courmayeur ski holiday with Erna Low and look forward to an Italian ski holiday you’ll cherish.
Skiing in Courmayeur
A prime position at the foot of Mont Blanc, a reasonable resort height of 1224m, a top lift set at 2763m, plenty of well-tended north-facing runs for all abilities, off-piste attractions and optional access to the varied terrain at Chamonix on the French side of the ski area mean that skiing in Courmayeur is top class. Here’s the lowdown on hitting the powder in this elegant Italian ski resort:
A 100km skiable area isn’t large compared to some of Europe’s major ski resorts, but it actually comprises a reasonable variation in terrain ̶ accessible from the resort and a couple of stations further up the valley, you’ll find wonderful tree-lined runs on the Val Venis side and expansive slopes on the Plan Checrouit side.
Although the majority of the pistes are best suited to intermediate skiers, there’s plenty of outstanding off-piste terrain which local mountain guides can help you explore. If you’re a hardcore powderhound, there’s lots of thrilling terrain accessible from the Helbronner cable car.
If you’re looking for good snow late in the season, the north facing Val Veny side of the ski area is the most accommodating and the trees here also provide shelter in inclement weather.
There are nursery slopes for beginners at Pre de Pascal and Plan Checrouit, wide and gentle intermediate runs below the high-altitude Bertolini chair lift and a clutch of short, black mogul runs on the Val Veny section of the mountain. The red Cresta Youle piste is another highlight for intermediates and the view is amazing from 2624m!
There are several off-piste routes here that freeriders adore, with 20km of ungroomed powder at Vallée Blanche, a 2700m vertical drop and a heli-skiing company that will drop you off at many of the most spectacular peaks here and leave you to find your own way down to the valley floor. Famous freeride areas include the Dolonne gullies, Cresta di Youla, Aro Vielle and Vesse.
As you can see, if you’re an intermediate, expert downhill or advanced off-piste skier, you’ll be in your absolute element in Courmayeur!
Snowboarding in Courmayeur
Courmayeur snowboarding holidays have plenty to satisfy freeriders and there’s also a well-equipped snowpark where you can perfect your freeriding tricks. Here are a few tips on carving up the slopes here:
Courmayeur’s reputation for enjoying fresh dumps of deep pow thanks to Mont Blanc blocking southerly weather systems means that it’s a favourite for pro riders and has featured as a destination on the Swatch Freeride World Tour.
Hiring a guide keeps you safe here while freeriding (especially if you’re a first-timer at the resort) and but there’s a little bit of everything off-piste here, including cliffs, chutes, tree runs and massive off-piste runs from the Arp top station.
Some hotspots for freeriders can be found off the back of the Pra Neyron lift and under the Plan de la Gabba chairs.
The snowpark is located at a 2000m altitude and features fab lines for novice and advanced riders, the former being a rail-based line that moves through various progressions, and the advanced line has various obstacles for jibbing, large jumps up to 8m and a big air bag which is always popular.
As you can see, Courmayeur has plenty of delights for riders ̶ both off the piste and in the park.
Snow conditions in Courmayeur
No weather forecast available
At 1224m, Courmayeur’s resort height is modest compared to sky-high locations like Val Thorens, but its skiable area stretches up towards 3000m and the strategic position of Mont Blanc (Monte Bianco to the Italians) protects it from southerly weather and greatly enhances its snow retention. Here are a few more tips in snow conditions in Courmayeur:
The ski season in Courmayeur lasts from November through to April and there are plenty of slopes with northerly aspects which keep their snow right through until the late season.
In the event that natural snow cover doesn’t suffice, there’s an armoury of 280 snow cannons which can cover 70% of the area with manmade snow.
Weather conditions can vary dramatically from the bottom to the top of the resort, so be sure you’re appropriately dressed and equipped to stay warm, safe and comfortable.
A majority of slopes facing northeast and northwest further enhances Courmayeur’s snow reliability and average yearly snowfall here is 700cm.
Snowfall stats in the most recent season here show 15 total snowfall days, a 378cm total snowfall, 182cm average summit depth, 285cm maximum summit depth, 54cm average base depth, 100cm maximum base depth and 100cm largest snowfall.
Apres-ski in Courmayeur
Enjoying an entertaining soiree is part and parcel of the Courmayeur ski holiday experience and there are plenty of options for adults after dark here, ranging from traditional pub-type establishments to swish bars. The main strip for a pub crawl is the pedestrianised Via Roma in the town centre, but other options are also available in the surrounding satellite ski villages. Here are a few exciting establishments supporting the Courmayeur apres-ski scene:
SuperG is situated at Plan Checrouit and hospitality is an all day affair here, with fab brekkies and lunches served on a sit-in or takeaway basis, then drinks in the bar or on the elegant outdoor terrace in the evenings. There’s always a DJ spinning great tunes and live bands often make an appearance too. Do you like lounging on plush sofas and armchairs while quaffing quality wine and beer and being fed tasty free antipasti? Who doesn’t, right? You can expect all this and more at the fabulous Bar Roma.
ClubHaus 80’s is the place to go if you’ve got a penchant for day-glo spandex, acid wash jeans, big hair and brilliant retro music ̶ it’s always a fun night out at this 80’s club which specialises in fancy dress themed events.
Buvette is a laid-back joint with a wide range of beers, wines and cocktails on offer. The décor is cool and contemporary, it’s open til 10pm and fresh salads and light snacks are also served.
If you really fancy a glam evening, head to the village of Dolonne, for an evening in the salubrious surroundings of The Club, a high-end nightclub which is the place to be seen in the Courmayeur area. Make sure that your credit card is fully loaded.
There’s a little something for everyone in Courmayeur’s compact and bijou night time economy and you’re sure of a warm welcome wherever you take a seat and raise a glass.
Facilities in Courmayeur
Although Courmayeur ski resort is a small but well-organised ski village which is run efficiently and where things are done with a dash of Italian style and elegance. Whether you’re here as a solo skier, active couple, adventurous family or group of thrill seeking friends, you’ll find the facilities, amenities and customer service completely satisfying.
Ski hire in Courmayeur
There are many ski equipment shops in Courmayeur, but rather than trouble yourself by organising your own gear, let us make all the arrangements for you and include ski hire in your comprehensive Courmayeur ski holiday package. We have great connections in the resort so it’s no problem to source the best quality equipment for the skiing style and ability of every group member, all for a great price.
Ski passes in Courmayeur
There are various Courmayeur ski pass options available and we can secure great prices on child, family and group passes at any time of the season and roll the cost into your economical ski package holiday. For the immediate resort area you can opt for weekday, weekends, afternoon, two day and six day Courmayeur ski passes, but if you also want to explore Chamonix and the other ski villages in the wider cross-border Mont Blanc area, the Blanc Unlimited ski pass offers you the freedom of the mountain.
Spa & pool in Courmayeur
Some accommodation options in Courmayeur have their own spa and pool facilities but there’s also an excellent wellness complex at Plan Checrouit which boasts the highest heated swimming pool in Europe. The facility also has a sauna, snack bar and adjacent playground for kids.
Shops in Courmayeur
The main drag at Via Roma is also the place for some serious retail therapy ̶ in fact, it’s actually known as ‘the 5th Avenue of Mont Blanc’. Stroll along the elegant boulevard here and you’ll find luxury perfume shops, stylish sportswear outlets, designer fashion boutiques and artisan delis packed with fresh local goods.
Facilities for children in Courmayeur
Kids can have a great time in Courmayeur, with a variety of activities on and off the slopes that keep them healthy and happy.
Ski schools in Courmayeur
There are several excellent ski schools in Courmayeur, including the Scuola Sci Monte Bianco, which is one of Italy’s longest established. You’ll find the Dolonne Fun Park close to the resort centre and this is usually where the ski schools meet.
Children’s entertainment in Courmayeur
Off-slope activities for kids in Courmayeur ski resort include horse riding and dog sledding, and for indoor entertainment, the Club des Sports in Val Ferret has tons of suitable activities under one roof, with lovely views of the famous Mont Blanc. If your young ones are very active, there’s everything from acro-bungee to mini-golf and trampolining to try.
Childcare in Courmayeur
The Baby Club at Courmayeur caters for kids aged 0-10 years in a safe and secure facility that has a well-equipped indoor play area and an outdoors section where they can frolic in the snow. Located at Plan Checrouit, this is a stone’s throw from the ski school office and cable car. With reliable childcare in place, the adults in your group can take off for a skiing session or lunch date with perfect peace of mind, confident in the knowledge that youngsters are safe and happy.