One of the first purpose-built resorts, Cervinia is blessed with plenty of high-altitude, snow-sure skiing and easy access to the slopes of neighbouring Zermatt.
Cervinia is one of the most popular Italian destinations for British skiers, probably down to its price (in comparison with neighbouring Zermatt, it's by no means a cheap Italian resort) and truly magnificent snow record. Because of the altitude of the resort, with the village itself sitting above 2,000m, you're virtually guaranteed great conditions, with the season itseld running from November to May and the glacier opening up the opportunity to ski in the summer as well.
Resort Altitude: 1,600m
Resort Skiing: 3,480m
Total Ski Area: 160km
Blue Runs: 72km
Red Runs: 226km
Black Runs: 64km
Cross Country: 3km
Cervinia is one of the highest ski resorts in the Alps, with a village height of 2,050 metres and a ski area (linked to Zermatt's) that rises up to 3,480m - or even 3,820m if you are returning from an excursion into Zermatt's terrain. Thus it is virtually guaranteed to have snow from early December until late April, despite the fact that many of its slopes have a southerly exposition. In addition, snow-making helps ensure season-long snow-cover on the lower slopes.
Cervinia’s ski area is best suited to beginners and intermediates. Advanced skiers will need to do a little detective work to find suitable challenges. However, it is a great place to learn to ski as well as for those that simply like cruising on well-groomed pistes. Day trips to the Zermatt ski area are fun, but it is important to allow plenty of time for these since getting stranded on the Swiss side for the night can be expensive.
This is a great place to come to learn to snowboard, partly because the snow is usually in very good condition, however, there are no great challenges for expert boarders. The Carosello area is now a fun park with a half-pipe, a boarder-cross course and other attractions.
With four ski schools in the area, you are sure to find one that's right for your group. Catering for all types of abilities, all schools offer private or group lessons in skiing and snowboarding. In addition, there is also the Association of Alpine Guides that offer mountain guides, specialising in off-piste.
Scoula di Sci del Cervino offers a 'mini-club' for children, incorporating skiing, sledging and lots of fun. Other ski schools also offer private and group lessons for children and supervised lunches are available too. Information on babysitting can be obtained from the tourist office.
The cosy little Il Capriccio is the best restaurant in town and it is also worth considering for lunch on a bad weather day. The Hotel Hermitage's dining room can confidently be recommended to non-residents and La Maison de Sausure is the place to try Valdostana specialities.
Sophisticated drinking places include the very agreeable Ymeletrob cocktail bar beneath the Punta Maquignaz, and the Bar des Guides. The jolly, railway carriage-shaped Pession American Bar is generally full of locals and has good bar snacks. The Scotch is the place for Karaoke. After the bars draw to a close there are two discos, the Chimera and the Garage. The latter is a lively place, but since it is out of town you need to take one of the free shuttle buses that run to and fro until the early hours.
Many Italian winter visitors who come to Cervinia are more interested in worshipping the sun than the snow, so non-skiers will not feel alone. There are plenty of restaurants around the village, on the lower slopes or around Plan Maison where non-skiers can meet up with their skiing or boarding friends at lunchtime. Excursions to the market town of Aosta and other places in the Aosta Valley are also possible.