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Courmayeur Mont Blanc: Italy at its peak
Nestled between France and Italy, Courmayeur sits beside the jewel of the Alps, Mont Blanc, which at 4810 m is the highest peak in Western Europe
1 Dec 2022

Pure, authentic, elegant, traditional, cosmopolitan, energetic and revitalizing: words that reflect the soul of Courmayeur Mont Blanc, a unique place to recharge, find yourself, and follow the rhythm of nature.

Tradition, good food, sports, fun, relaxation, entertainment, shopping, and mountain culture are the ingredients of the Courmayeur experience, framed by stunning surroundings. Mont Blanc, through which this location becomes the entryway to Italy, allows foreign visitors to begin experiencing the best of the Italian lifestyle. This is, literally, Italy at its peak.

Courmayeur is part of ‘Best of the Alps,’ a prestigious award which, for more than 25 years, has been awarded to the most internationally renowned and exclusively ski resorts of the Alps and embodies the highest quality of tourism. Courmayeur provides the opportunity to ski on the many slopes and find untouched runs that are an off-piste paradise, as well as to enjoy skating, snowshoeing, dog sledding, fat-biking, and much more. The area has hosted many competitions and Italian Olympic athletes, including medal winners such as Federica Fontana and Federica Brignone.

Beautiful views, breathtaking slopes, and off-piste powder runs mean fun at every level. There are two sides to enjoy the adventure: the Chécrouit side and the Val Vény side of the ski resort. The two ski and snowboard schools in Courmayeur are designed for everyone at all levels, even for those who want to go off-piste, and there’s plenty of equipment rentals in the many shops in the village and on the slopes.

However, skiing is not just a sport but above all an experience of sensations, emotions, and contemplation. In Courmayeur, for example, you can ski on the wonderful slope from Arp down to Youla, which consists of a section of a path, classified red, of about 700 m in length, which gives access to a north-facing slope with a very challenging 600 m-long black piste, with a gradient of 70%, in addition to the numerous off-piste trails already prepared in the past. To refine your technique, there is also a snow park for tricks, jibbing, jumps, and evolutions on the slopes. 

Courmayeur Mont Blanc is also a free-riders’ paradise, with people coming from all over the world to live a day full of adrenaline and fun, in different descents every time, enjoying an incomparable panorama. Perhaps the most special free-ride descent develops on the Mer de Glace glacier in the heart of the Mont Blanc massif. The route is 18 km, starting from Punta Helbronner at 3,466 meters and arriving in Chamonix, at 1,042 meters. It winds between granite spires, crevasses, and breathtaking seracs. The departure is from the spectacular Skyway Mont Blanc, then a short walk on the glacier to reach the Col Flambeau.

Cross Country Skiing in Val Ferret

The alpine guides of Courmayeur are always available to accompany skiers on their trips. The Società di Guide Alpine was the first to be established in Italy, and the second in the world. It was one of the first organizations to promote and raise awareness of the mountain, and in particular of mountaineering. In 1850, the forerunners of this noble profession came together and formed a society with the aim of formalizing, through a fixed structure, a profession that had become the bedrock of mountain tourism.

Courmayeur is also the only side of Mont Blanc where it is possible to heliski, for all those who want to experience the thrill of off-piste combined with that of a helicopter flight. In just a few minutes, you can reach the Mont Fortin area to ski breathtaking backcountry free-ride routes with the heliguides.

Cross-country skiing is also huge in Courmayeur, with Val Ferret among the most beautiful cross-country ski locations in Aosta Valley. With more than 20 km of slope, Val Ferret allows many variations that give the skier the opportunity to create their own ring every day, lengthening or shortening the basic routes. And for the novices, it is of course possible to request lessons with the professional ski instructors.

And after all the skiing, what about the food? Well, winter in Courmayeur wouldn’t be complete without it, so to properly welcome visitors there are over twenty restaurants that offer refined menus to suit varying tastes. Thanks to the evening opening — until midnight — of the Courmayeur cable car, you can enjoy an aperitif and dinner at high altitude while admiring the sunset on Mont Blanc. The area represents Italian excellence at its best, and Courmayeur’s century-long culinary tradition takes pride in local producers and suppliers who will provide the perfect gastronomic accompaniment to your perfect view. 

* Raffaella Scalisi is General Manager at Courmayeur Mont Blanc.
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