The winter has already come to Europe and especially in the Alps. Abundant snowfall has covered the Pyrenees in Spain and France, especially at high altitudes, but the flakes have fallen much more in the Alps, the world’s most visited ski Resorts. A sudden change in climate has favoured the early start of the ski season in the Alps. And with great white pictures of some areas of the Alps, you can watch stunning panoramas especially in the Italian Alps: probably not the most popular destination of the European Alps, less known than Swiss Alps and French Alps, Italian Alps offer ski slopes all year (also during August!), panoramas that will leave you speechless, lively atmosphere at night and destinations for all tastes and for all skiing abilities. The choice is virtually limitless here: from the Aosta Valley, the region of Italy with the highest concentration of ski slopes per square kilometre, to the Dolomites, with a system of interconnected tracks, the Italian Alps have more than 700 miles of mountain range filled with ski resorts.
But with so many miles of tracks available, how to choose the best ski resort in the Italian Alps? You can use this guide to the ski slopes of the Italian Alps to get an idea of what you’ll find in each destination and so you can choose your favourite ski resort in the Italian Alps.
In this post you'll read...
- 1 Ski Resorts in the Italian Alps: Aosta Valley
- 2 Ski Resorts in the Italian Alps: Valtellina
- 3 Ski Resorts in the Italian Alps: the Dolomites in Alto Adige
Ski Resorts in the Italian Alps: Aosta Valley
One ski pass for 450 miles of ski slopes, it allows skiing also across the Italian border resorts such as Zermatt in Switzerland or La Rosiere in France. This is the business card of Aosta Valley, the smallest region of Italy which in winter is transformed into a unique and great ski resort topped by huge mountains of nearly 5,000 mt or 16’000 feet high. For many, skiing the slopes of Mont Blanc, Monte Rosa and the Matterhorn are unique in Europe.
Cervinia, located at over 2.000 mt, is perhaps the most frequented town and Breuil- Cervinia Valtournenche-Zermatt is the largest ski area with 350 km of slopes that become a challenge for even the most experienced in the Swiss side of the Plateau Rosa, at an altitude of 3500 meters. In Plateau, Rosa is possible to ski all year round and in fewer height slopes you can ski until May. Here you’ll also find the Indiapark, a ski park entirely dedicated to the snowboard, among the most beautiful in the Alps. And after a day of skiing, in Cervinia town, you’ll find a lively nightlife full of Italian jet-set personalities. If you do not go party you can recharge resting at one of the hotels in Cervinia.
Courmayeur is a small jewel settled at the foot of Mont Blanc, which offers 100 km of ski slopes on both sides, the Chécrouit and Val Veny. Skiing along the breathtaking slope of Vallée Blanche, which starts at 3500 meters above sea level, you can reach the French town of Chamonix. Here it is possible to practice off-piste skiing, with 24 kilometres of slopes, or relax trolling through the town of Courmayeur, known throughout Europe for its mix of alpine atmosphere and Italian style that attracts thousands of tourists both in winter and summer.
Near the border with France, La Thuile, together with the nearby La Rosiere, has more than 160 km of ski slopes, which also includes two snowboard ski parks, an area for Free- Style, one for boardercross and one for snowkiting. And for the more daring, the fearsome track 3 (Slope Franco Berthod) is a must, with slopes reaching 73%. This ski resort also provides a mini club for children between 3 and 11 years old.
The longest day on skis: only here you can ski for eight hours straight without descending the same track, through a circuit that develops between the Ayas and Gressoney Valley. Monterosa Ski resort allows skiing on the slopes of Monte Rosa along more than 200 km of slopes of different difficulty. Here you can ski even at night, in the 7 miles of Weissmatten track when track lighting illuminates David Leonardo slope. To ski in the Monterosa, you can stay in Gressoney or Champoluc.
How to reach the slopes of Val d’Aosta
The nearest airport is Turin, about 110 km from Aosta. Surely you can find cheaper flights landing at Milan Malpensa Airport, about 160 km from Aosta. From there you can get to Aosta via road, driving along the motorway A5 Aosta – Tourin renting a car or going by bus at this site. From Aosta is easy to reach all the major ski resorts of the Aosta Valley by public transport or by car.
Ski Resorts in the Italian Alps: Valtellina
In this ski destination in the Italian Alps, you can spend a vacation practising any type of winter sport, relax in a spa or enjoying the nightlife. Valtellina area is located in the Lombardy region, north of Milan, near Lake of Como and stuck to the Swiss border. Bormio, Livigno and Santa Caterina are the three most famous Resorts in Valtellina offering many opportunities for mountain and ski lovers.
Certainly, Bormio is the most popular destination of Valtellina; it has become better known in recent years thanks to the Ski World Championships on the famous Stelvio slope, universally recognized as one of the most beautiful in the world, perhaps only surpassed by the legendary Streif in Kitzbühel in the Austrian Alps. The town of Bormio, situated at 1225 meters, is a real gem in the Italian Alps with a pedestrian centre ideal for shopping after a few drops. You can ski from the 3012 meters of Cima Bianca, along 50 km of slopes with 16 lifts completely refurbished in recent years. The tracks are suitable for everyone, but some like the Stelvio run and Valbella slope are a real challenge for advanced skiers. Bormio is not the only ski: you can find here thermal bath, the ice rink and a vibrant nightlife which makes it one of the top ski resorts in the Italian Alps.
Livigno, also know like little Tibet, is the main ski destination in the Italian Alps dedicated to snowboard (but not limited to) with steep slopes and snow parks dedicated to snowboard lovers. The town is a typical mountain village at 1816 meters above sea level at the foot of an icy valley which gets very cold in winter with temperatures below freezing level, even reaching 25 °C under the zero. Besides the quality of its ski slopes, some of the features that make attractive Livigno is the vast shopping opportunities: Livigno is a duty-free zone, one of the two free ports of Italy, where so shopping is a bargain.
How to reach the slopes of the Valtellina
The nearest airport is Bergamo, about 120 km from Sondrio, the Valtellina main city. Also, the airports of Milan Malpensa and Milan Linate are enough close and offer more choice of flights. From there you can reach Sondrio driving along the road to Lecco and then along Lake of Como east side until you reach your destination. You can rent a car or go directly to Bormio or Livigno by bus from airports. You can check the timetable in this website
Ski Resorts in the Italian Alps: the Dolomites in Alto Adige
With 1,200 km of tracks covering 12 areas of skiing, the region of Alto Adige also called South Tyrol, is a paradise of skiing in the Italian Alps. In the shadow of the Dolomites (part of the World Heritage Site of UNESCO since 2009), the slopes of the Alto Adige are some of the best and most advanced in Europe. Enough is to say that in the whole area of the Dolomites you can ski with one ski pass.
For ski enthusiasts, the choice of amazing ski slopes and snowboard parks is huge. From the legendary Sella Ronda, a journey that connect four ski areas with 500 km of slopes to the Tour of the Great War, 80 km of snow-covered runways between nature and history of the battles of the First World War that were here fought, or ski tour Ladino legends, ranging from San Vigilio to Plan de Corones through fairytale landscapes or even the Marmolada ski Tour, a route from Arabba which reaches 3342 meters in the highest peak in the Dolomites, the Marmolada.
Alto Adige is where you will find the world’s largest skiing area, Alta Badia, with over 500 km of interconnected slopes in the mountainous area around the Sella Group in the Dolomites. Alta Badia is the most famous destination is Corvara, located at 1,568 meters, a great touristic town and a perfect base from which to enjoy the best ski and spend a weekend winter skiing in the Italian Alps.
For those wanting to experience the thrill of skiing at one of the World Cup ski slopes, the best choice is the Gardena Valley, with its beautiful towns of Ortisei, Santa Cristina and Selva Gardena. You can also search your hotel in Cortina D’ Ampezzo, the best place to stay in the Gardena Valley ski area if you also want to enjoy the shopping and a lively nightlife. Connected to the Alpe di Siusi, this is a paradise for lovers of winter sports. Among the most famous ski resorts in the region is the Plan of Corones, with lots of high-quality ski slopes.
Between the Sesto and Braies Dolomites is the Alta Pusteria Valley. The peaks that dominate the landscape are some of the most impressive of the Dolomites, with the famous Three Peaks of Lavaredo. For lovers of winter sports, the Pusteria Valley offers seven ski areas (Helm – Croda Rossa, Haunold, Waldheim, Passo Monte Croce, Dobbiaco and Braies). With 54 km of ski runs Pusteria Valley is probably the most scenic Valley of all the Italian Alps.
How to reach to the slopes of Alto Adige
The nearest airport is Verona, about 150 km from Bolzano, Alto Adige main city. Also, the airports of Venice and Bergamo are relatively close (about 240 km) and offer more choice of flights. From there you can reach Bolzano driving along the A22 motorway to the border between Italy and Austria. You can rent a car or you can reach Bolzano by train from major cities of Italy. Take a look at this website to find the best route for you.
Are you ready for your next holidays in the ski resorts in the Italian Alps? Lovely destinations perfect for unforgettable holidays skiing!