Courmayeur is a charming medieval resort that extends a warm Italian welcome and can be reached in just 90 minutes from Geneva airport. The journey time from Turin airport is only marginally longer. This resort makes a very attractive weekend ski destination and the Mont Blanc tunnel also makes day trips from here to Chamonix — possibly to ski the Vallee Blanche — very feasible.
On the mountain, skiers are sure to enjoy excellent conditions thanks to the high altitude, with pistes above 2,500 metres. There is something for everyone in Courmayeur making it a particularly good choice for families and groups with mixed abilities.
For those advanced off-piste skiers interested in hiring a guide, Courmayeur makes a very good base, with plenty of challenges in its surrounding mountains - particularly those accessed via Entreves, which include the Italian version of the Vallee Blanche and the Toula glacier.
The centre of Courmayeur, which was originally a medieval market town, is a cosy collection of narrow streets, some of which are notionally for pedestrians only. In the main square, several of the village worthies park their little three-wheeler Ape trucks in a semi-circle and brewing up vino Brule in huge cauldrons and then dispense it with great charm to all-comers. Everywhere in Courmayeur, the locals are all extraordinarily friendly towards visitors.
Resort Altitude: 1,205m
Resort Skiing: 2,755m
Blue Runs: 16km
Red Runs: 21.5km
Black Runs: 4km
Travel date 23/01/2019
Booked by: Steve Graham
Travel date 21/03/2019
Booked by: Mark Fotheringham
Travel date 02/03/2019
Booked by: James Eliot
Travel date 16/02/2019
Booked by: Steve Graham
Travel date 14/03/2019
Booked by: Sophie Wylam
Plan Checrouit is the main base of Courmayeur’s ski area and is reached by cable car from a station on the outskirts of the resort. The front of the ski area benefits from the sunshine in the mornings, but in the afternoons skiers can move over into the Val Veny side and ski many of the runs through the trees found here. There is also access to the Monte Bianco ski area with access to 42km of routes available.
The skiing in Courmayeur is especially good for intermediates, with brilliant red runs located across the Plan Checrouit and Monte Bianco areas. There is also a generous amount of off-piste skiing for the more advanced skiers in the group. Beginners will also be able to learn, with a number of moving carpet lifts and gentle slopes to ease them in.
Although there is terrain for all boarders, Courmayeur is best suited to freeriders, carvers and beginners with its off-piste, tree-lined areas and wide, groomed slopes. There is also a terrain park by the Aretu Chair-lift with jumps and a giant airbag.
There are two ski schools in Courmayeur, the Ski School Monte Bianco Courmayeur and the Courmayeur Ski & Snowboard School. Both offer programs for all ages and abilities in both skiing and snowboarding. In addition, there is also the Courmayeur Mountain Guides which specialise in off-piste skiing, free-riding and also offer heli-ski excursions.
The main kindergarten in Courmayeur is the Kinderheim Biancaneve, which offers a mini club with ski lessons and daycare services for children up to ten years. The club is located in Plan Checrouit, next to the cable-car station. The club offer care on an hourly or daily basis. A supervised lunch may also be booked.
The best restaurant in town is Pierre Alexis, which has a magnificent collection of wines lining the walls of the establishment — try one of the Barbarescos. Cadran Solaireis a high-quality establishment much frequented by discerning Italian visitors. La Terraza and Mont Frety do the best pasta and pizzas and the Vieux Pommier is the place for fondues.
Courmayeur offers a lively and varied après scene, with a combination of traditional and stylish bars. Bar Roma is known for its après with comfortable sofas and a large buffet spread laid out in the evenings. Caffe della Posta is perfect for a more sophisticated yet relaxed après, which can prove very popular in the early evening.
Courmayeur is well geared to cater for non-skiers. The old village itself is very attractive and its streets are lined with shops, bars and cafes. It is very easy for non-skiers to go up to Plan Checrouit to meet skiing friends and family for lunch. There are some pleasant walks along the valley floor, not to mention excursions to Aosta. Day-trips to Chamonix, on the French side of the Mont Blanc tunnel, are also an option.