Courmayeur Ski Resort

Courmayeur is a chic ski resort on the sunny side of Mont Blanc with old churches, cobbled streets, lovely restaurants and spectacular views. Its pistes are comparatively few in number and gentle in gradient for a famous ski resort but its long off-piste runs will challenge anyone.

Intermediates will be happiest with Courmayeur's piste skiing, but there is also fabulous off-piste for more advanced skiers and boarders.

The piste skiing is almost entirely composed of blue and red runs with no shortage of wonderful views; this afterall is the sunny side of Mont Blanc or Monte Bianco as it's known in these parts. And you can follow the sun by starting in the morning on the open bowls of the North East facing Checrouit sector and finishing in the afternoon in the tree lined slopes above Val Veny sector. 

The pisted ski area is small, however, for a famous resort. Although Courmayeur claims over 100kms of runs, less than half are pistes. If you intend sticking to them, that's enough for a weekend, but not for a week unless you're going to be spending most of your time in the resort's fabulous mountain restaurants or soaking up the atmosphere on its cobbled streets. Keen piste-bashers will want more. Luckily La Thuile (20 mins), Chamonix (30 mins) and Pila (40 mins) are all a short drive away and can also be reached with a bit more difficulty by public transport too.

But rather than leaving Courmayeur, confident intermediate skiers should try leaving the piste instead, in the company of a guide. Whilst some of Courmayeur's epic off-piste descents will challenge an expert, there are also gentle ones including the famous, 24km long Vallée Blanche which goes all the way to Chamonix. This is accessed from an entirely different part of the mountain, Punta Helbronner (3,466m) which is reached via the ultra modern Skyway lift near Entreves.

Confident off-piste skiers are even more spoilt for choice. The Skyway lift is forbidden territory without a guide, but with one, it offers several 2,000m descents on both the French and Italian sides, including crossing the renowned Toula Glacier. Alternatively, from the top of the main skiing area at Cresta d'Arp at 2755m, there are long itineraries heading off to Zerotta, Dolonne, Pre St Didier and even La Thuile. And if you ever grow bored of all this lift-served off-piste, Courmayeur is also a noted heliskiing centre.

The skiing however, is only part of Courmayeur's appeal. Its mountain restaurants are not only plentiful, they represent everything that is great about eating in the Italian mountains: hot chocolate so thick that you have to finish it with a spoon, risottos with shavings of truffles, succulent fresh pasta, lavish spreads of home-made desserts and south-facing sun terraces full of Italians. And Courmayeur is also a charming old town with narrow streets, old stone churches, the best designer shopping in the Aosta Valley, and plenty of lively bars and stylish restaurants. It's also easy to reach particularly from Geneva Airport but also from Turin.

So can a ski resort located at just 1225m with less than 50kms of piste and no tough black runs, really be one of Europe's best ski resorts? If Courmayeur did not happen to back onto Western Europe's highest mountain, perhaps not. But with this setting, the answer is an emphatic 'yes'.

Courmayeur Pros & Cons

+ Fantastic off-piste

+ Atmospheric, charming town

+ Excellent mountain restaurants

+ Fun but stylish apres ski

+ Easy to reach from Geneva or Turin so good for weekends


- Not enough pistes and no tough ones

- Inconvenient: no slope-side accommodation

- Weekend crowds

- Strong skiers will need to hire a guide which is costly.

Courmayeur Rating

  • Ski Area star rating
  • Snowsure star rating
  • Advanced star rating
  • Intermediates star rating
  • Beginners star rating
  • Ski Lift System star rating
  • Lift Queues star rating
  • Scenery star rating
  • Resort Charm star rating
  • Apres Ski star rating
  • Non-Skiers star rating
  • Getting There star rating

Courmayeur Statistics

  • CountryItaly
  • RegionMont Blanc
  • Base1,224 m
  • Peak2,755 m
  • Vertical1,531 m
  • Longest Run10 km
  • Ski Lifts18 
  • Cable Cars
  • Gondolas
  • Chair Lifts
  • Surface Lifts
  • Riders per hour 26,700 

5 Day Snow & Weather Forecast

  • 23rd Sunny 28° 15° Sunny skies New Snow 0cm
  • 24th Sunny 28° 16° Sunny skies New Snow 0cm
  • 25th ModRainSwrsDay 26° 14° Moderate or heavy rain shower New Snow 0cm
  • 26th PartCloudRainThunderDay 27° 14° Patchy light rain with thunder New Snow 0cm
  • 27th ModRainSwrsDay 20° 9° Moderate or heavy rain shower New Snow 0cm

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