The ski resort of La Thuile sits right on the French border and is one of only two Italian ski resorts to share a ski area with a French resort, that of La Rosiere. On the west side of Northern Italy La Thuile is in the Aosta Valley and is a combination of old and new grown from several small Aosta hamlets.
La Thuile offers skiing for all standards and many of the runs have magnificent views of the Matterhorn, Mont Blanc and Monte Rosa. The queues here are minimal, there is plenty of room on the pistes and the aprï¿½s ski takes place in quiet traditional surroundings.
The resort can cope with twenty six thousand skiers an hour on its 38 lifts and has one hundred and fifty kilometres of run at its visitors disposal. The resort has 77 runs, over 30 of which are covered in manmade snow, offering guaranteed skiing whatever the weather conditions.
The resort is home to a ski school which employs no less than sixty instructors offering group and individual lessons in a variety of styles including boarding. The school has two centres, one in La Thuile itself and one in Les Suches which is actually on the slopes.
Skiers with younger families can relax when visiting La Thuile as the children are well catered for.
There is a free miniclub available in the resort giving the adults the chance to try some more adventurous sport whilst the children are well cared for, a playground built on the snow, a games arcade room at Planibel and the novel “Snowtube”.
The Snowtube is a moving walkway for little skiers to get them used to the sensation and balance of proper skiing. There are two tracks and the tube is open daily. There are also two companies offering equipment rental.
For the truly adventurous the Compagnie des Guides Rutour offer a wide range of action packed activities including snow shoeing (at night as well as by day), ice fall climbing, high altitude hikes and an off piste ski clinic.
They also offer heliskiing, where small groups are flown to areas off piste by helicopter then making their way back on trails they would not normally be able to access. So that the adults can try all these pastimes the children can stay in the Ski Fantasy care centre and have some of their own fun in the snow.
For a different view of the Alps try a sled-dog experience. After a short technical guide you will be able to take your own mini team of dogs (with a guide) on the trails, children from the age of seven are also allowed to drive the sled.
For a day with a difference try the Parco Adventure Mont Blanc which is a pine forest with floating stairs, nets and moving tree trunks. Visitors to the adventure park must wear the correct safety gear. The park is open all year.
Many ski resorts now offer spas and wellness centres as an alternative to a day’s action. La Thuile is no exception. The spa at Pre Saint Didier offers all the usual pampering treatments including massage. There are also a number of beauty salons in the resort.
Accommodation in the La Thuile area is diverse. There are many Alpine style hotels including the four star Miramonti Hotel and wellness centre.
Set right on the banks of an Alpine river (which is likely to be frozen in winter) this pretty hotel is in the centre of the historic part of the resort and is finely furnished in a traditional style. At the other end of the accommodation range is the camping and RV park in Rutor.
For those who want a complete break from alpine sports there are a number of stylish shops in La Thuile. Remember that, despite the French sounding name you are still in Italy where style is the name of the daily game. From Liquorlandia (spirits) to Ancien Bazar Martinet (furniture and ornamental objects) you can expect a graceful, smooth shopping experience.
Good food is another Italian pastime and even on the slopes of the resort you will be tempted by bars and restaurants. Back in the town there is a range of tasty options for that evening mean.
Chocolat does what it says on the tin and offers a range of pastries, chocolate, gelato and special coffees. The Conver music cafï¿½ is open all afternoon and evening until the early hours with music from its resident DJ. Many restaurants offer take away as well as eating in options and there are plenty of Aosta valley specials on the menu to try. La Creche is a stylish place to spend an evening serving excellent food and a selection of fine wines.
La Thuile may not be the largest resort in Italy but it has a charm of its own and caters for all the family. For those who want something a little quieter and want a more relaxed aprï¿½s ski experience then this is a definite candidate to go on the list.
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