We haven’t been everywhere, but Italy’s magnificent Valle d’Aosta (Aosta Valley) just has to be one of the most beautiful places in the world. A lot of people consider it to be the true heart of the Alps. Located in northwestern Italy, France lies on its western border, Switzerland is to the north, and the Italian Piedmont region is to the south and east. You might not be familiar with the name “Valle d’Aosta,” but we’re pretty sure you’ve heard of a few of its more famous attractions.
The region is best known for its extremely close proximity to Mont Blanc and a couple of top-rated ski resorts: Chamonix, the renowned resort located on the French side of the mountain’s base; and Courmayeur, an equally good (but not quite as famous) resort on the sunnier, Italian side. Both ski resorts offer more than enough accommodations for their visitors, but it’s usually easier to book rooms in Courmayeur hotels. Courmayeur is also a bit on the friendlier side due to the traditional Italian hospitality and everything that comes with it.
The Valle d’Aosta is the home of several of the tallest peaks in the Alps and Western Europe. Among the area’s towering mountains are beautiful Mont Blanc (Monte Blanco) at 4,810 meters (15,781 feet); the jagged Matterhorn (Monte Cervino) at 4,478 meters (14,692 feet); and majestic Monte Rosa (Dufourspitze) at 4,634 meters (15,203 feet). Scattered throughout all these mountains, glaciers and Alpine valleys, there are more than 800 kilometers (almost 500 miles) of ski trails and 160 lifts to serve them.
As you can imagine, the Valle d’Aosta is a ski lover’s paradise. If you’re a died-in-the-wool ski buff, there probably aren’t too many places you’d rather be. So many pistes to try to conquer, so many mountains and glaciers to see, so many drinks to lift après-ski, so much to do.
Of course, you’ll need a place to stay while you’re visiting the beautiful Aosta Valley. May we suggest using one of the Courmayeur hotels as your base? As we mentioned before, they’re usually easier to book and the service is typically friendlier than at Chamonix. Many of the village’s hotels are also a better value, and the restaurants serve some pretty fabulous Italian dishes. The village itself is quaint and charming, and the locals are friendly. You could do a whole lot worse.
From Courmayeur you’ll have easy access to the southern (Italian) slopes of Mont Blanc, but Chamonix is just on the other side of the Mont Blanc tunnel. The Matterhorn and Monte Rosa are farther away, but both are well within an easy day trip.
As it turns out, Courmayeur ski resort is a pretty handy (and friendly) place to stay if you’ll be visiting the beautiful Valle d’Aosta. It’s not the only destination there, but it might be the best.Google+