The Other Courmayeur

Courmayeur is a charming, pedestrianized resort village snuggled into the base of Mont Blanc, on its Italian side.  When blanketed by snow in the winter, the village almost looks like a scene from a picture postcard.

Naturally, most people come to Courmayeur in order to ski Mont Blanc.  Over 140 kilometers (almost 87 miles) of downhill and cross-country ski runs are easily accessible to Courmayeur’s visitors.  Plus, an incredible 14 mountains with peaks soaring higher than 4,000 meters (more than 13,000 feet) are visible from the village. 

That being said, it would be a mistake to think that the only thing to do at Courmayeur involves ski slopes, tobogganing, snowboarding, dogsledding and other snow sports.  For one thing, the village has the liveliest après-ski scene in the entire Valle d’Aosta.  And during the summer, there are 280 kilometers (almost 175 miles) of beautiful hiking, biking and walking trails tucked in among the hills and dales.  Other popular outdoor summer activities at Courmayeur include rock climbing, whitewater rafting, fishing, and playing golf at a scenic 9-hole course.  Indoors, you can play volleyball, squash, tennis, or basketball.

If summer or winter sports aren’t something you’re really into, you might want to check out Courmayeur’s vibrant night scene.  European ski resorts are famous for their après-ski experience, and Courmayeur isn’t an exception.  Numerous clubs, bars, cafés and restaurants along pedestrianized cobbled streets are waiting to serve up a wide assortment of delicious foods and hot and cold beverages.  The town really gets hopping on the weekends, which is when natives coming from Milan and Turin pop in for a day or two.  If clubbing is your thing, you’ll feel right at home in Courmayeur.

Shoppers won’t feel left out either.  The village streets are lined with designer boutiques, bookstores, and little shops stocked with all sorts of interesting arts and crafts.

Most history buffs will be fascinated by the area’s background.  You can still see an ancient Roman road and other Roman ruins in the Valle d’Aosta, and the valley is home to multiple medieval castles.

As you can see, as fantastic as the skiing there is, Courmayeur isn’t just about that.  The area offers a wide array of indoor and outdoor sports, hiking and biking, restaurants, nightclubs, cafés and bars, shopping, and other activities to keep you busy while you’re visiting this charming mountain village.  It’s easy to get to from Milan, Turin or Geneva, and it has a special blend of skiing, history, fashion, food and Italian personality that many of us find compelling.

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One Response to The Other Courmayeur

  1. SimonUS says:

    We have just returned from a wonderful week’s skiing in Courmayeur. Much work has been done to improve the runs and to expand the skiable area. All the runs were very well maintained. The beautiful old village of Courmayeur and the beauty of the surrounding area greatly add to the enjoyment of a holiday here but it is the amazingly warm-hearted, friendly peoples that make it so special for me! Sitting outside in the dark, in steaming bubbling waters, with the peaks above you, surrounded by animated Italians, with only stars and flares for light is a novel experience!