Holidays in Aosta Valley: where to sleep and what to see

Who I am
Aina Martin
@ainamartin
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Valle d'Aosta is the smallest and least populated region of Italy. It is located on the northern border of Piedmont and in the extreme north-west of Italy. It borders the France to the northwest and the Switzerland North.

The Aosta Valley is made up of a large valley furrow, about 100 km long, crossed by the river Dora Baltea. Numerous smaller valleys branch off from the main valley of the region. But the flat areas make up only 4% of the entire regional territory.



The valleys are dominated by the magnificent mountain massifs of Gran Paradiso, the Cervino, the Monte Rosa he was born in Mont Blanc, whose main peaks exceed 4000 m. The latter represents the highest peak in Europe thanks to its 4.810 meters.

The southern part of this mountainous region is protected by the Gran Paradiso National Park, which was founded in 1922 and is one of the most beautiful places to see in the Aosta Valley.

The region also includes numerous greats sports centers such as La Thuile, La Rosiere, Pila, Alagna Valsesia, Monte Rosa and Courmayer.

With this orographic panorama, it is not surprising that climbing, skiing and trekking through the imposing alpine landscapes are some of the most important activities in the area and one of the main reasons why you visit the Aosta Valley.

This, however, does not imply that those who do not like to practice mountain sports cannot fully enjoy the wonderful local landscape, which can be visited thanks to cable cars such as the one located in Courmayeur, one of the most important ski centers in the world.


What to see in Valle d'Aosta

Valle d'Aosta is a wonderful land with enchanting landscapes and a rich historical heritage, consisting of imposing castles and fortresses, churches, ancient temples and museums. Let's find out below the highlights to see in the Aosta Valley:


Cervinia

Cervinia is one of the most famous ski resorts of the Alps. Located at an altitude of 2050m, it is very popular for its ski slopes, many of which are black, which are popular with professional skiers. Next to them there are also gentle slopes for beginners and children. Local ski schools have highly qualified specialists.

The Cervinia lifts are connected with those of Zermatt, on the Swiss side of the Matterhorn, and thus form a single ski area, the Matterhorn Ski Paradise, with over 350 km of slopes.

Find accommodation in Cervinia

Courmayeur

Near Cervinia, at the foot of Mont Blanc, is the tourist resort of Courmayeur, considered one of the best luxury resorts in Italy. In addition to luxury hotels, there are trendy shops and boutiques, fine restaurants and various entertainment venues.

Courmayeur is one of the world capitals of mountaineering and skiing, famous for SkyWay Mont Blanc cable car. This cable car takes you to 3466 m in a few minutes and from the panoramic terrace at Pointe Helbronner allows you to enjoy a 360 ° view of the Alps and admire the imposing beauty of Mont Blanc.


Find and book accommodation in Courmayeur

La Thuile 

At the foot of Monte Blanco is the town of La Thuile, una quiet and economical location. Originally a mining town, La Thuile now offers both a quaint village and a modern ski lift complex that accesses fabulous, peaceful ski slopes.

With wide easy slopes and various services dedicated to children, La Thuile is a particularly popular destination suitable for families. In addition, i ski links to the nearby French resort of La Rosier, offer skiers who want to venture a little further 150 km of pistes in total, served by 35 ski lifts.


Find accommodation in La Thuile

Aosta

The city of Aosta is the capital of the Aosta Valley and one of the oldest and most picturesque cities in the region. Its historic center houses buildings from different eras, from the Roman era to the early twentieth century.

In 25 BC, the Romans occupied the region and founded Augusta Praetoria, which is the current Aosta. Due to its proximity to the passes of the Grande and Piccolo San Bernardo, Aosta has always been a very strategic crossroads in the Western Alps. Remains of this glorious period can be seen throughout the city: the Roman Bridge, the Arch of Augustus, the Praetorian Gates, the Cryptoporticus Forum, the Roman Theater and the city walls.

The city also retains important vestiges of the Middle Ages, such as the Cathedral, located on the site of an early church from the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries, and the collegiate church of Saints Peter and Bear, a masterpiece of Romanesque and Gothic art.


Find and book accommodation in Aosta

Gran Paradiso Park

The Gran Paradiso National Park is the oldest Italian national park. This protected area, located both in the Aosta Valley and in Piedmont, welcomes five valleys with typical alpine environments, with glaciers, rocks, larch and fir woods. In the midst of them he rises the summit of the Gran Paradiso, the only peak over 4.000 meters entirely in Italy.

The history of the first Italian national park is linked to the protection of the alpine ibex, animal symbol of the Park.

There are many ways to experience the Gran Paradiso National Park. In summer and in early fall, you can embark on rewarding day hikes and multi-day hut-to-hut tours. In winter, it is possible to go with snowshoes and cross-country skiing. Climbing and cycling opportunities also abound.


Find accommodation within the Gran Paradiso National Park

Cogne

Cogne is a renowned tourist resort located at 1.534 meters, in the heart of the Gran Paradiso National Park. It is a goal famous for Nordic skiing but there are also some medium difficulty slopes for downhill skiing and a ski school field for beginners.

With over 150 waterfalls Cogne is also known for ice climbing. In addition, it offers an extensive network of paths, pedestrian paths in the snow and itineraries for snowshoes. Also The smallest they can have fun on an ice skating rink, on the snow park created for them or by taking beautiful horse rides.

Do not miss the Paradisia Alpine Botanical Garden, the magnetite mines inside the original galleries and the Maison Gérard-Dayné ethnographic museum.

Find and book accommodation in Cogne

Bard

Located 381 meters above sea level, the quiet and picturesque town of Bard is best known for its fortress, dating back to 1034, which attracts thousands of visitors a year.

Bard is located in the center of a narrow gorge at the head of the Aosta Valley, squeezed between the rock on which the famous Fort is located and the mountain at the beginning of the Champorcher Valley.

Due to its strategic position, Bard has always been a bulwark against invasions and was therefore fortified in ancient times, becoming the the most important medieval district of the valley.

Find accommodation in Bard

Pila

Pila is the easiest to reach high altitude station in the Alps. You don't need a car to get there you can take the cable car directly from the center of Aosta which in 18 minutes takes you to the wooded slopes of this location perfectly equipped for sporting and worldly fun. Its 70 km of slopes satisfy all skiers, from beginners to the most experienced.

Find and book accommodation in Pila

La Salle

La Salle is a village between Courmayeur and Aosta. The base of the village is at 891 meters, while the top is 1762 meters high. We recommend zigzagging up the village to admire the sunset on Mont Blanc and the surrounding mountains. In summer, there is a restaurant in Planaval, at the top of the village, which you can visit. It is also the starting point for many excursions.

Find and book accommodation in La Salle

champoluc

Champoluc is the largest resort in the Monterosa district, a huge ski area also known as the Italian "Three Valleys". Surrounded by wooded land and located at one end of the Monterosa ski area (with Gressoney in the central valley and Alagna on the opposite side), Champoluc boasts a spectacular views of the glaciers and on the spectacular peaks of the region.

Those who decide to stay here have access to the entire Monterosa circuit, renowned in particular for its uncrowded slopes and fabulous off-piste terrain.

Find accommodation in Champoluc

Historical monuments and castles

Fenis Castle in Aosta Valley -

There are also several historical monuments to discover in the region, including a large number of wonderful medieval castles like those of Savoy, Saint Pierre, Fenis, Issogne, Sarre, Cly, Ussel, Verrés, Chatelard and Aymavilles. Each of them has its own inimitable story.

Savoy Castle - Built between 1899 and 1904, the castle of Savoy in Gressonay-St-Jean was the place where Queen Margherita, widow of Umberto I, lived for many summers. Designed by Stramucci, who also designed the neo-baroque furniture in the Royal Palace of Turin and the Quirinale in Rome, the Castello di Savoia is divided over 3 floors consisting of lodgings, royal apartments and rooms of the lords.

Saint Pierre - One of the largest and most beautiful castles is that of Saint-Pierre which houses the Regional Museum of Natural Sciences of the Aosta Valley. Due to its very scenic aspect it has become one of the symbolic monuments of the region. Many travelers prefer to visit it in the evening, when the facade of the castle is decorated with spectacular lights.

Fenis Castle - Unlike the other castles, built for war and protection purposes, this castle was the prestigious representative office of the exponents of the Challant family. It is famous for its extraordinary architecture, organized concentrically around an internal courtyard, decorated with wonderful frescoes. Inside you can see collections of antique furniture, medieval works of art and other exhibitions dedicated to the culture of the past.

This is only a small part of the incredible historical monuments that can be visited during your stay in the Aosta Valley.

The main part of the medieval fortifications is located along the road that connects Aosta and Torino. In total, there are more than a hundred castles and fortresses, many of which are currently in ruins.

What to do in Aosta Valley

The landscapes of the Aosta Valley -

The area offers various activities throughout the year, so the Aosta Valley is one popular destination for summer and even winter holidays. You can do rock climbing, rafting, paragliding, horseback riding or play golf on five splendid 9-hole golf courses such as Courmayeur, Gignod, Pila, Gressoney-Saint-Jean and Cervinia.

The whole area is crisscrossed by a vast network of marked hiking and cycling trails offering unforgettable excursions in the midst of a paradise of forests and lakes.

Skiing in the Aosta Valley

Despite the fact that the Aosta Valley is the smallest region in the country, the range of entertainment options is simply huge. The length of the local ski slopes is about 1.200 kilometers; all ski centers are well equipped for skiers of different levels of experience.

The main feature of the local ski centers is that they border the popular ski areas of France and Switzerland. Guests have the unique opportunity to try the ski slopes of three different countries. The most famous ski resorts are Cervinia, La Thuile, Courmayeur, Monte Rosa and Pila.

Excursions

In the hot period, travelers can make an interesting one excursion between vineyards and historic cellars. The Gran Paradiso National Park is popular with ecotourism enthusiasts and offers a great deal of hiking trails. Tourists can admire the fascinating rural landscape and see plants, flowers and rare species of animals, which cannot be seen in any other region of the country.

Alpinism

The mountain areas attract not only ski enthusiasts, but also mountaineering enthusiasts. There top of Mount Blanco it is a very popular destination for experienced climbers; there is an excellent lift for those without special training.

Paragliding

Paragliding centers in different locations are common. After a short course with an expert instructor you can fly safely surrounded by the splendid alpine views of the Aosta Valley.

Other activities in Valle d'Aosta

Rafting, canoeing, kayaking, canyoning and fishing are among the watersports available in the valley.

With its spectacular alpine scenery, the Aosta Valley is one of the best places in Europe for cyclists who have endless opportunities to explore the surroundings by mountain bike.

Traveling on horseback is one of the best ways to experience the natural beauty of this stunning valley which is home to spectacular mountain peaks, charming villages, historic towns and vineyards.

Fly in a hot air balloon, try your luck in the Casino of the Valley, one of the largest and most important gambling houses in Europe, stargazing in theastronomical observatory of Saint-Barthélemy, go up to high altitudes thanks to the cable cars, to admire the most important peaks of the Aosta Valley up close
 In this region, the possibilities for having fun are endless.

How to move in the Aosta Valley

The region has an excellent bus system connecting all the side valleys with the central valley and the city of Aosta, but it would be a pleasure to travel by car as well. Renting a car is an ideal option for those traveling in groups or for those who want to visit different locations, moving independently.

Who loves travel by train can reach from Aosta, in less than an hour, the municipalities of Chñtillon, Verrùs, Hîne-Bard and Pont-Saint-Martin and then move by bus to other destinations. With the railway line “Aosta - Pont-Saint-Martin”, you move towards Ivrea, Chivasso and Turin, in Piedmont.

Alternatively, you can use the many cableways that serve the ski slopes and quickly connect even the places that are not easily accessible by other means.

Where to sleep in Valle d'Aosta

You can choose from more than a thousand solutions to sleep in Valle d'Aosta: the region has a large number of accommodations to stay. You can find hotels, farmhouses and apartments for any taste and budget; as a rule, the most expensive hotels are found in major cities.

Travelers on a tight budget prefer hotels in suburban areas from which they can easily get to major entertainment centers and ski areas.

See the complete list of all the accommodation facilities where to sleep in the Aosta Valley.

Discover all the facilities to stay in the Aosta Valley

 

How to reach us

By plane

To easily reach the Valle d'Aosta locations, you can land at the airports of Torino, Milan e Geneva. There are several airlines that fly on these routes and thanks to the short transfer times from the airport to the chosen destination, it is quite possible to spend a weekend or a short holiday in the Aosta Valley.

From the airports there are several scheduled buses during the winter or private transfers can be booked. Alternatively, you can rent a car.

In the car

The Aosta Valley can be reached from Turin which is directly connected to the A5 motorway and is only 55 km from Pont-Saint-Martin, 98 km from Aosta and 136 from Courmayeur.

Who starts from Milan (164 Km), you must take the A4 motorway and take the link road in SanthiĂ , towards Aosta.

You can also reach the Valley from Genoa or from the French or Swiss side through the two Mont Blanc and Gran San Bernardo tunnels, and in the summer, through the passes of the Piccolo and Gran San Bernardo.

Rent a car to visit the Aosta Valley

 

By train

You can reach Aosta by train starting from Milan or from the stations of Torino Porta Nuova e Turin Porta Susa. The Aosta railway station is located near the departure station of the cable car that connects the city to the Pila ski area.

The main Aosta Valley railway stations that you meet along the way (Pont-Saint-Martin, VerrĂšs and ChĂątillon / Saint-Vincent) are connected to the side valleys by bus services.

Find out about availability and book your train ticket

 

By bus

There is a daily bus service connecting Milan with Cervinia, Aosta, Courmayeur. There is also an active scheduled service from / to Torino (Turin Porta Susa railway station).

In summer there are bus lines that connect the Aosta Valley with some towns in the Liguria,Emilia Romagna and other Italian regions.

Valle d'Aosta -
add a comment of Holidays in Aosta Valley: where to sleep and what to see
Comment sent successfully! We will review it in the next few hours.