Outstanding alps view, unparalleled winter sport activities, and excellent tourist accommodations make Courmayeur one of the leading alpine towns in Northern Italy. Located at the foot of the famous Mont Blanc, this charming little alpine village is often considered Italy’s best ski resort town.
During the era of mountain climbing, the town became a top tourist destination due to its proximity to Mont Blanc. Today, it is one of the best weekend retreat destinations in all of Europe. Heading to Courmayeur soon? Read on to learn more about this amazing little ski town.
Courmayuer is located at the 4,016 feet-marker of Mont Blanc. It is surrounded by glaciers, mountain peaks, and traditional villages along the Dora Baltea River. It has astounding views of Mont Blanc and its surrounding peaks.
The town center is completely car free. The sights are accessible only through cable cars and hiking, which makes the whole experience so unique. Courmayeur is a lively little town full of ski shops, bars, and restaurants for locals and travelers. Within the town, you’ll find a cable car that goes to a local ski area, which is the main attraction of Courmayeur. In this ski area, professional snowsports and beginners enjoy sliding on the slope surrounding Mont Blanc.
Early Courmayeur History
The history of Courmayeur is heavily influenced by its geography, especially the mountains that surround it. Courmayeur is located in the autonomous region of Aosta. In the Middle Ages, France and Italy both controlled the area which is why the alpine town inhabitants remained bilingual until today. Since Roman era, the village was already a bustling area where villagers farmed rye and produced meat. In the 17th century, Courmayeur was known for its thermal tourism because of its sulphurous springs.
During the 19th century, the study of the Mont Blanc massif made it a dream peak to conquer in all of Europe. With three countries sharing the view of its peak, Mont Blanc has been the most climbed mountain for centuries. Its glistening glaciers, beautiful luss valley, and steep slopes inspire a challenge for every climber who gaze upon it. It’s no wonder why Mont Blanc was considered the birthplace of mountaineering and alpinis.
The history of Courmayeur isn’t complete without the people who made it famous, the climbers and scientists who fell in love with Mont Blanc. Adventurous climbers and scientists who wanted to study the highest peak of Europe stayed in Courmayeur. Courmayeur is known as the place of the first school for Alpine guides. Its development as a ski resort happened only in the 20th century. In fact, Courmayer was the first ever ski resort in Aosta Valley. Through time, it became the world’s best alpine town garnering thousands of visits each year.
In 1908, the Gilberti, Donzelli, and Lora Totino families funded the first ever cable transport. The founding of the Mont Blanc tunnel in 1965 made the place even more accessible from northern Europe. In 2015, the first modern cable car in the Alps was opened. It was called “Skyway Monte Bianco” and it linked Courmayeur with Pointe Helbronner on the southern side of the Mont Blanc massif. Based on records, it cost around 110 million euros, making it the world’s most expensive cable car ever built.
Courmayeur “Pearl of the Alps”
Today, Courmayeur is an important tourist destination for skiers and climbers all over the world. But it’s not just the skiing and the hike to Mont Blanc that makes travelers come back each year. The place is as tourist-friendly as it is beautiful. For Europeans, Courmayeur is a popular weekend retreat.
Courmayeur is a town built for lovers of winter sports. People often go to Courmayeur during winter to enjoy the glacial ski runs of the Vallee Blanche. They also enjoy shopping in Courmayer’s town center where there are numerous gourmet restaurants.
If you want to learn more about the history of Courmayeur, simply walk in Courmayeur’s nearby villages. You’ll feel like you’re traveling into the past as you get to see the charm of its old buildings, cobblestone streets, and picturesque scenery. Most local homes in Courmayeur are built in chalet style. You’ll also enjoy the rustic Italian hospitality whenever you come here.
During fall, most people who visit Courmayeur stop for hiking the Tour du Mont Blanc. This is one of the most popular hiking treks in the area. There are also plenty of accommodations here that will fit the typical Alpine atmosphere you are searching for. Here you’ll find all kinds of places to stay, from great Courmayeur hotels and luxurious accommodations to huts and camping sites to spend the night in. In Courmayeur, you can also find mesmerizing traditional towns found along the Dora Baltea River.
Courmaeur’s charm and elegance is the reason why many tourists visit the area at least once each year. What are you waiting for? Put this Italian pearl on your bucket list! If you’re looking for a ski paradise in the heart of Europe, head to Courmayeur today!