La Thuile

La Thuile mostly appeals to families and intermediates. Friendly, uncrowded and affordable, this attractive old mining village also has purpose-built accommodation next to the lifts. The Espace San Bernardo ski area which it shares with La Rosiere in France was recently expanded and is now big enough for most skiers for a week.

Initial impressions of La Thuile’s ski area can be misleading: often the first slopes that holidaymakers see are the steep black north-facing runs coming down from Les Suches to the resort. But these are the exception, not the rule. The vast majority of the pistes in La Thuile and La Rosiere are intermediate-friendly blues and reds, and it is intermediate-level skiers who have most to gain from a visit here.

The San Bernardo ski area that connects La Thuile to La Rosiere has treelined runs and open-bowl skiing, and a good mix of orientation (La Thuile’s runs mostly face north and east, whilst La Rosiere’s mostly face south).

Thanks to new lifts on Mont Valaisan there are now 40 lifts serving 85 runs and 150kms of slopes, and the top lift reaches 2800m, which will keep most intermediates entertained for a week. Also, there is more great skiing at Courmayeur, which is easily reached by bus and included on most lift passes. The only negative is that there are some long drag lifts (boarders take note).

Beginners get more of a mixed deal. La Thuile has a decent choice of ski schools and private instructors, and has nursery slopes at both village level and up the mountain at Les Suches. There are also lots of gentle blue pistes to progress onto. But the nursery slopes are not free, and there is no really easy run home, so novices have to come down in the lift. Overall, la Rosiere is more beginner-friendly.

Advanced skiers, however, will prefer la Thuile. The steep runs back to the resort include “Piste 3 / Franco Berthod”, a World Cup Downhill run that reaches 73% (about 37 degrees) in places. And whilst the Mont Valaisan lift is technically in La Rosiere, its north-facing off-piste (guide recommended) is on the La Thuile side.

There is also heliskiing, and the option of taking the bus to Courmayeur, which has outstanding freeriding and ski touring, including a run that guides can show you that takes you back almost all the way to la Thuile.

As a village, La Thuile is effectively divided into two: a purpose-built lift base with convenient but bland slope-side accommodation, and a more atmospheric old village about 10 minutes walk away, although the free ski bus service means you only have to walk between them if you want to.

There are enough bars and restaurants to make the centre a nice relaxing place to wander around in the evenings but La Thuile is not a resort for hard-core, late night party enthusiasts. Having a car in the resort is rarely an advantage, so the best way to come is via a short transfer from Geneva airport.

La Thuile Pros and Cons

+ Excellent intermediate skiing
+ Ski area just big enough for most skiers
+ Attractive old village centre
+ Lift queues are rare
+ Good value

– Weaker skiers have to return by lift
– Not enough tough terrain for experts
– Really keen skiers might prefer a larger area


La Thuile Resort Stats

Base: 1200 m
Peak: 2650 m
Vertical: 1450 m
Ski Area: 150 km
Longest Run: 4 km
Beginner: 33 %
Intermediate: 51 %
Advanced: 16 %
Number of ski lifts: 37
Lift Capacity: 54580
Nearest Airport: Geneva
Transfer Time: 2 hours

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La Thuile Resort Ratings

Ski Area star rating
Lift System star rating
Snowsure star rating
Beginner star rating
Intermediate star rating
Advanced star rating
Scenery star rating
Charm star rating
Apres Ski star rating
Other Activities star rating
Getting There star rating

Total Ratings = 11

Ratings sum = 34

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