Thursday, 20 December 2012 7:54 AM
The Aosta Valley is one of the most stunning corners of Italy and boasts spectacular ski resorts that are suitable for people of all winter sports abilities. From quiet family-orientated slopes to those tailored to experts, there's something for everyone.
It can be tricky deciding which resort to book accommodation at since they are all fantastic, but with many of them linked, you might like to experience a couple of different ski centres during your holiday. Below is a guide to some of the best ones in the Aosta Valley.
Pila is around a 20-minute gondola ride from Aosta, a lovely Roman town. Its slopes stretch as high as 2,700 m, making it one of the Alps' most snow-sure resorts. You certainly won't wake up here to find the white stuff thin on the ground, meaning you are guaranteed to fit in as much skiing as possible when you book a chalet in Pila.
While it is a small resort that is relatively quiet during the week, it soon perks up at the weekend when Milan and Turin residents come here to practise their moves on the slopes. From Friday, you can expect a much livelier apres-ski scene, providing you with the best of both worlds – uncrowded midweek skiing and a fantastic weekend party atmosphere.
If you'd like to take a break from the slopes, Aosta is full of fantastic shops and ancient monuments, so make sure you take the time to explore what it has to offer.
Should you decide to book your holiday in the resort of Cervinia, you can also benefit from your ski pass allowing you access to the resorts of Zermatt and Valtournenche. Cervinia itself is located at 2,050 m and boasts 350 km of pistes, with cruising runs and wide slopes making them ideal for intermediates and beginners.
Cervinia is one of the most snow-sure resorts in Italy, while you can also take a ride on some of the highest ski lifts in Europe.
When not skiing, there's plenty to see and do here. You can indulge yourself and soothe your aching muscles in one of the spa centres, go for a swim or ice skate on the natural rink. The dining here is also spectacular, which is perfect for a relaxed family meal, catching up with friends or a romantic evening.
Gressoney is located in the middle of the so-called Three Valleys and is comprised of two villages; La Trinite and Saint-Jean. The ski resort has a warm atmosphere and is popular with locals. Despite this, it still remains a peaceful and unspoilt winter sports centre, which is brilliant if you want to enjoy uninterrupted skiing.
The Three Valleys – which is also known as Monterosa – is seen as something of a hidden gem within Europe, so if you like to tackle the slopes somewhere different each year, make sure Gressoney is at the top of your to-do list.
There are lots of other ski resorts where you can pack your waterproof snow jackets and other winter sports gear and head to within the Aosta Valley. Courmayeur is a characteristic resort that boasts a bustling village, while Cogne is the perfect destination if you want to try your hand at cross-country skiing and go on wildlife walks.