Winter Sports in Aosta Valley

Written by on October 6, 2020 in Other winter sports, Sport and Adventure

Love written on the snow

During the winter months the Aosta Valley offers winter sports for everyone. Whether you are young or old, beginner or expert, skier or non-skier. So, which winter sport would you like to try in Aosta Valley?

Alpine skiing & snowboarding

The first snow arrives normally at the beginning of November. The ski resorts tend to open at the beginning to mid-December and keep going until the mid to end -April. Cervinia has a longer winter season due to its altitude and special micro-climate. It also operates glacier skiing in the summer on the Plateau Rosa glacier that it shares with the Swiss resort of Zermatt.

These are the most popular and biggest Aosta Valley ski resorts. Courmayeur, on the Italian side of Monte Bianco. La Thuile, which is linked to La Rosiere across the border in France. Pila, which is connected via cable car to the ancient Roman valley town of Aosta. Champoluc in the very beautiful Val d’Ayas. Gressoney, in the equally beautiful Valle del Lys. And last but by no means least, world-famous Cervinia, from where you can ski down into Zermatt in Switzerland.

We have tried all of the resorts over the last 5 years. They each have their own charm and special characteristics. I would have to say that Pila is our favourite, probably followed by Cervinia. Pila is our local resort and has become an important part of our life. Cervinia comes second because it has been the scene of many brilliant skiing days with friends staying there on holiday.

Cross country skiing – sci di fondo

There are hundreds of kilometres of cross-country ski trails dotted around the Region. The Aosta Valley is world-famous in cross country skiing circles and hosts numerous important cross-country ski competitions, both international and national.

These are the best-known locations for cross country skiing. Cogne, queen of the cross-country skiing, with its 80 km of trails in the Gran Paradiso National Park. Brusson in Val d’Ayas which hosts international ski and biathlon competitions. Courmayeur with its magnificent Val Ferret and Val Veny that hug Monte Bianco. Saint-Barthelémy. Torgnon. Lago di Arpy, with trails especially for children. Rhêmes-Notre-Dame whose track winds through beautiful woods and charming villages. Valsavarenche with slopes right up at 2000 meters in the heart of the Gran Paradiso national park. Bionaz in beautiful Valpelline. Saint-Nicolas, which has an illuminated slope. And there are many more.

cross country skiing is for everyone and one of the favourite winter sport in the Aosta Valley

Ski touring – sci alpinismo

For those with a passion is ski touring, or back country skiing, the Aosta Valley is one truly massive adventure playground.

The most popular locations are maybe Torgnon, Chamois, Champorcher, Brusson, Cogne, Antagnod, Gressoney-Saint-Jean, Crévacol and Pila. As well as in Valgrisenche and Val de Rhêmes. But the possibilities are endless. The Aosta Valley is the scene for some epic ski touring competitions. Such as the Tour du Rutor or the legendary Mezzalama Trophy, that follows a route from Breuil-Cervinia to Gressoney-La-Trinité.

To cover the fascinating subject of ski touring properly we are going to put together a little group of enthusiasts and guides and ask them to contribute their thoughts and ideas about their favourite itineraries.

For beginners, Anita had the urge to try out ski touring for the first time this year in Champoluc. Hopefully, she will continue with it next season and will keep us updated on how she is finding it.

Please note, is always advisable to go into unknown mountain territory with a local guide!

ski touring

Snowshoeing – ciaspolata

Snowshoeing is a very enjoyable winter activity that is accessible to everyone. It is also relatively cheap to do. It is perfect for anyone who loves walking in nature and is an easy way to experience being out in the mountains in the snow.

Just like for cross-country and ski touring there are endless opportunities all over the Aosta Valley. The routes are of varying difficulty meaning there are plenty of options regardless of your ability.

As with ski touring, we shall be asking guides and enthusiasts of snowshoeing to offer us their suggestions and advice about where to go.

Anita got a sexy pair of snowshoes for Christmas so will be going on some adventures herself which she will hopefully also share with us

There are many reasonably priced guided snowshoe tours available. Your guide will talk about the nature and history of the places you are passing through. They often end up at a restaurant or a picnic spot for lunch. There are even some night time tours under the stars, followed by supper.

Please note, is always advisable to go into unknown mountain territory with a local guide!

snowshoes - winter walking - winter sports in Aosta Valley

Family snow parks

There are 26 snow parks scattered throughout the Aosta Valley, of varying sizes and with different features. They are all great for a few hours relatively cheap family fun on the snow without all the rigmarole of getting everyone kitted up with ski or snowboard gear. Our two favourites are the ones at Pila and in Cogne, because they are close to home. But all the main resorts have them.

Their slopes are usually served by a moving carpet so there is no climbing back up to the top. You slide down on a variety of innertubes and snow trays. They also often have other attractions for small kids such as bouncy castles.

Ice skating

Every winter an ice-skating rink is set up in the centre of Aosta, in Piazza Chanoux. Aosta also has a larger, permanent indoor ice skating centre located in Corso Lancieri, not far from downtown.

The largest outdoor natural ice rink is in the lovely village of Brusson, in Val d’Ayas. Other similar natural ice rinks are Logo Gover in Gressoney-Saint-Jean, Edelboden, near Gressoney La Trinite, at Breuil, near Cervinia, in Cogne and in Courmayeur.

All of these ice rinks are floodlit so are a good option for an evening’s entertainment after a day up on the mountain.

Other winter entertainment ideas

Ice go-kart driving in Champoluc. A snow-kiting course in La Thuile. Snowmobile driving for adults and children in Cervinia. Dog-sled driving in Courmayer.

Dinner at a mountain restaurant

If would like to have a special dinner up the mountain after all the lifts have closed, a number of restaurants organise to have you and your party transported there and back in a special snow-cat or with snowmobiles.

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