The Monterosa ski area is one of the most popular ski destinations in Europe. Tucked away in the top of the most westerly valley the town of Champoluc has been described as an “undiscovered gem”. A very traditional Italian village, Champoluc oozes character and at the centre of the pretty village there is a church and a fast flowing river.
The skiing out of the resort is as varied as you would expect of a resort in the renowned Monterosa. One of the highlights of skiing out of Champoluc is that you have the challenges of the Monterosa at your disposal but the slopes near the resort are always quiet giving plenty of space for all.
The facilities for beginners are excellent here, plenty of nursery slopes and an open bowl at the head of the Crest Gondola to get used to the whole thing in the first place. There are a selection of blue runs on the Frachey slopes which the more confident beginners can access by crossing an easy red run.
The intermediate skier has the biggest choice of all here. In spectacular scenery they can traverse the mountain on the valley links and ski for long distances to try out different slopes.
For families there’s a new children’s ski area being created and most of the hotels offer excellent childcare facilities so that the adults can go and explore the valley in safety. The valley links mean that the more expert skiers can try their hand at the more testing slopes of the Monterosa.
There are also endless possibilities for off piste skiing in the Monterosa and late season there is also the chance of touring. This takes you across the peaks and passes off the Monterosa with a guide and is a unique way of taking in the scenery of this beautiful area.
There is also an ice rink in Champoluc and Heliskiing is available. Boarders will find enough jumps and runs off piste to keep them happy but there is no dedicated park here.
The atmosphere in pretty Champoluc feels as if it’s locked somewhere back in time. Wake every morning to the smell of wood smoke and the sound of children playing in the streets. This really is a piece of alpine get away from it all heaven.
Despite being small the village is full of good quality hotels. You can even choose to stay on the mountain itself in the tiny wooden hamlet of Stadel Soussun. The best hotel in the town itself is the five star Breithorn.
This hotel offers a spa and wellness centre as well as a library for those times when the mountain air is just too much to take on. For something a little different try the Hotel California.
The owner is a big fan of sixties and seventies rock music and will proudly show off his Wurlitzer to anyone who is interested. All the rooms are named after a different singer or group from that era. There are only twelve rooms in this quirky little hotel and it is a must for someone looking for real diverse accommodation.
Apres ski here is a quiet affair. Informal and friendly, seat yourself in front of an open fire and enjoy a drink with the locals in one of the many local bars or hotels. The Cafe du Centrale makes excellent cocktails.
Most of the bars sit at the foot of the last run home, so you can drop in the way back to the hotel to relax before contemplating dinner. Most of the nightlife centres around the hotels but there are a good selection of places to eat out here.
De Martino is a good place to sample a pizza, Ateleier Gourmand offers Nouvelle cuisine. The most popular places to mingle with the locals are the La Grange and Le Sapin. There are a couple of bars that stay open late and two discos, but on the whole the theme here is relaxation. If you want a lively night scene and a late start on the slopes then Champoluc is not the place for you.
Shopping here is confined to local supermarkets, local craft shops and of course sports shops, but the main reason people come to Champoluc is to get away from it all and sample a stay in a ski resort as it used to be. Traditional, quiet, picturesque.
If you are looking for breathtaking scenery, access to the best skiing in Europe but a base that is calm and relaxing and full of home comforts then Champoluc is the place for you.
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