today is May 21, 2022

20th February 2022 | James Cove, Aosta, Italy.

It’s an historic Roman city with a ski lift direct to the resort of Pila. Then there’s the variety of fabulous resorts in the Aosta Valley on its doorstep. Verbier, Zermatt and Chamonix are within easy reach. No surprise that PlanetSKI has been based there this winter as Covid-19 restrictions ease. UPDATED

PlanetSKI was in Aosta for a 3-month stay back in 2020.

That came to an abrupt halt after 6-weeks in early March as the pandemic took hold.

We packed in a hurry and left as the borders closed, the ski resorts shut and the virus spread through northern Italy and then beyond.

Yours truly, March 2020. Image © PlanetSKI

Yours truly, March 2020. Image © PlanetSKI

Now we have been back to finish off what we started.

With a new car too.

Yours truly, February 2022. Image © PlanetSKI

Yours truly, February 2022. Image © PlanetSKI

Our current 6-week stay is sadly almost up.

This week on PlanetSKI, as we prepare to leave, we are looking at each of its 5 main categories of attractions – we’ll be updating daily, so do keep an eye on our posts this week if you are interested to see why we rate it so highly.

  • 1. Skiing in the Aosta Valley
  • 2. Skiing Further Afield
  • 3. The City of Aosta
  • 4. Value for Money
  • 5. The Aosta Valley Itself

Skiing in the Aosta Valley. Courmayeur, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

Skiing in the Aosta Valley. Image © PlanetSKI

Category Two:

Skiing Further Afield

Zermatt can be accessed from Cervinia.

Verbier is just over an hour’s drive through the St Bernard Tunnel to La Chable.

Then it is a simple gondola ride up to the slopes of Verbier or Bruson.

Verbier, 4-Vallees. Image © PlanetSKI

Verbier, 4-Vallees. Image © PlanetSKI

I was there earlier this month.

  • Verbier: Just for One day

Verbier, 4 Valleys, Switzerland. Image © PlanetSKI

Verbier, 4 Valleys, Switzerland. Image © PlanetSKI

Chamonix is under an hour away via the Mont Blanc tunnel.

Skiing in Chamonix

Skiing in Chamonix. Image © PlanetSKI

The tunnel also gives access to a multitude of resorts in France.

On this stay I went to the Portes du Soleil for a day to ski Morzine and Les Gets with friends.

Morzine, France. Image © PlanetSKI

Morzine, France. Image © PlanetSKI

It is fabulously placed to access the resorts in the western Alps.

The southern Italian resorts of Sestriere and Sauze d’Oulx are also within reach, and the other resorts of Milky Way ski area of Claviere, Pragaleto and Sansicario.

The Aosta Valley really is at ‘The Heart of the Alps’.

The perfect alpine base if you want to ski some of the finest ski resorts in the Alps in our view.

Verbier, 4 Valleys, Switzerland. Image © PlanetSKI

Verbier, 4 Valleys, Switzerland. Image © PlanetSKI

Category One:

Skiing in the Aosta Valley

From the city of Aosta there is a gondola that goes straight to the ski resort of Pila – perfect for a day or just to head up for a couple of hours.

The ride takes 18-minutes.

Aosta, Italy

Aosta, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

Pila’s slopes are north facing and varied, with views to Monte Bianco (Mont Blanc) and Monte Cervino (The Matterhorn).

There are a total of 28 ski areas in the Aosta Valley with 800km of runs.

There are 300km of cross-country trails, and countless ski touring routes.

Some areas have special snow-shoeing trails, and at the other end of the spectrum is heli-skiing.

The resorts of the Aosta Valley.

The resorts of the Aosta Valley.

Our go-to resort has been La Thuile which is about 40-minutes away from Aosta with its links to the French resort of La Rosiere.

The skiing is mainly north-facing with some steep black runs just above the resort and a plateau of reds and blues at the top, plus some decent tree skiing.

Slightly further up the valley toward the Mont Blanc tunnel is Courmayeur.

The skiing is not as extensive as La Thuile, but there are some superb slopes and fabulous mountain restaurants.

Courmayeur, Aosta Valley, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

Courmayeur, Aosta Valley, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

Courmayeur, Aosta Valley. Image © PlanetSKI

Courmayeur, Aosta Valley. Image © PlanetSKI

It is the perfect place to, er, work too.

That is what PlanetSKI is in the mountains to do after all.

Honest.

Courmayeur, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

Courmayeur, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

There are some other fascinating small resorts to explore in the Aosta Valley including Crevacol, Torgnon and Cogne.

At the start of the valley are the linked resorts of the Monterosa area – Champoluc, Gressoney and Alagna.

Further into the valley are the resorts of Valtournenche and Cervinia that are also linked.

Cervinia needs no introduction, but Valtournenche is a real find.

Valtournenche, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

Valtournenche, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

Valtournenche, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

Valtournenche, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

We even had a PlanetSKI team meeting in the resort as I assembled the crew.

Valtournenche, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

Valtournenche, Italy. Image © PlanetSKI

All the resorts mentioned are between 40-minutes and an hour or so from Aosta.

Cervinia has direct links to Zermatt over the border into Switzerland.

That brings us on to Aosta’s proximity to some of the greatest resorts and ski areas in this part of the Alps.

Another reason why the Aosta Valley is perhaps the perfect alpine base.

We will cover that in our update on Tuesday – Skiing Further Afield.

Zermatt, Switzerland. Image © PlanetSKI

Zermatt, Switzerland. Image © PlanetSKI

Verbier, 4-Vallees. Image © PlanetSKI

Verbier, 4-Vallees. Image © PlanetSKI

Skiing in Chamonix

Skiing in Chamonix. Image © PlanetSKI

Update, Monday 21st AM:

Seems we are not the only ones to like Aosta.

There has been some swift reaction to this article on the PlanetSKI Facebook page:

Mike Scott – Stayed in Aosta 2 weeks ago, found a hotel for 30 quid a night inc breakfast, 3 min drive from the pila lift, great area and great town, and car hire from mxp airport is also great value. Will defo return 👌

Michelle Ryall – Fabulous resort. Gorgeous pistes. Great restaurants…..what’s not to like ?

© PlanetSKI