Courmayeur Italy…Skiing here is FAN-TAS-TIC!
We all consider Courmayeur as well worth the trip and is one of the main reasons why you’d buy the Unlimited Mont Blanc Ski Pass. The best value of skiing in France is getting access to resorts in France, Italy and Switzerland .
The first thing to note is this is quite large. It’s almost as big as several of all of Chamonix's groomed areas put together. It’s a vast groomed terrain with lots of variety and great fun for intermediates and advanced skiers.
Courmayeur Italy: Getting There
Courmayeur is about 20 km away through the Mont-Blanc Tunnel. The start of the Mont-Blanc Tunnel is just outside of Chamonix Mont Blanc, and the journey takes only about 20 minutes.
Bus transport to this Italian resort is no longer free for skiers with the full access Resort ticket. The Unlimited Pass gives you access to the resort and the right to book a seat on the bus, but that's it.
You must book your seat ahead of time, at least 2 days beforehand. The buses fill quickly as this is a hugely popular destination. Getting a casual seat is next to impossible unless there’s a last minute cancellation.
You book your transport at the main train station at Chamonix Mont Blanc. You’ll find a booth outside and right next to the train station building. It’s on the street on the right-hand-side looking at the main entrance to the building.
This is also where you leave on the nominated morning of your departure. Arrive a few minutes early – it is always packed.
Courmayeur Italy: On Arrival
When you arrive in Courmayeur, the bus will make a stop at the bottom of the village – you don’t get off here but make a note of this place as this is where you get the bus back to Chamonix. The bus then goes on to the cable car building which also houses the ticket office.
Be sure to remember this route as you’ll have to walk back to the village to get the return bus. It’s a solid 10 minute hike back along the footpath beside the main road. Take care as the footpath is icy, better still, wear your cat tracks.
There are limited return buses and at the time we were there, it was just one bus at 2, 4 and 5 pm.
Courmayeur Italy: Co-Ticketing
The co-ticketing system between Chamonix and Courmayeur is extremely efficient. All you have to do is present your Unlimited Mont-Blanc Pass, at the Courmayeur ticket booth. It’s validated for the duration of its validity. So, you only do this once, and you don’t have to go back to the ticket office again, when you next visit.
Courmayeur Italy: The Pistes
Take the Courmayeur cable car – it takes you over the valley to explore the resort on the other side of the valley from the village.
There are extensive areas suitable for mid to upper intermediate skiers. This resort is really quite large, there are twice as many lifts here than at Les Grands Montets and the snow cover here was superior. Some of the world cup snowboarding events were moved from Cham to Courmayeur.
To ski from the highest point, go up Telecabine Checrouit. You then catch a smaller cable car, Youla and then Arp, the smallest cable car we’ve come across. It’s like a large telecabine.
The run from the top is black – it’s a very steep but regular run which joins up with runs to Plan de la Gabba. This black run is broad and smooth but steep, exciting and fun.
Advanced skiers will go to the challenging parts, around Youla and Arp. Courmayeur is mostly red runs for high intermediate skiers.
The resort’s fall is 700 m from Col Checrouit at 2256m to Zerotta at 1526m. This resort is of a similar height to most of Cham, other than Les Grands Montets.
We did a lot of runs down Peindeint. They’re beautifully groomed runs in excellent condition. It’s a slower lift, actually, an automated 2 person chairlift.
The lifts in the principal skiing areas at Courmayeur are mainly chairs lifts.
We enjoyed lots of runs on this northern side of the resort, the Bertolini side, as the snow was holding up better.
Eating on the Mountain
Our favorite place was at a café at the bottom of Zerotta with exterior seating only. At one end of the restaurant was a window that sold paninis, for eating on the outside deck. It was excellent value and enjoyable in good weather.
Courmayeur Italy: The Village
Talk about classy. The main shopping area in the village has retained its medieval charm, with cobbled streets, charming olde-world little boutiques with high quality goods. There were lovely stores selling homewares, high fashion clothing, high end sports stores, jewelry, and some very nice eateries.
You may want to have a look here for more information on Resorts in Italy.
Courmayeur: Overall impression
There was a huge amount of choice of pistes. It was so much fun we and lots of other Cham skiers returned again and again to ski Courmayeur Italy. We enjoyed this resort in Italy so much, our teenagers returned on their own to Italy, armed with their passports.
It’s highly recommended.
TIP: Book your bus to Courmayeur Italy, early as there were
lots of skiers disappointed because they weren’t able to get a casual
seat on the bus.
More on skiing in Italy and Switzerland on The Unlimited Pass