Via Lattea: places to stay and ski, how to get there

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Aina Martin
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wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

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The Milky Way is a conveniently located ski area on the Piedmontese Alps on the border between Italy and France. With 410 km of pistes, the Via Lattea ski area is one of the largest international ski areas in the world and the second in Europe for km of skiable slopes.

The area develops from 1.350 meters of altitude of Cesana Torinese at 2.823 meters of Monte Motta, with almost 1.500 meters of difference in height between the highest and the lowest area. This allows you to have one wide choice for any type of skier, from beginners who prefer short and not very steep slopes, to long and steep ones for expert skiers.



Locations, slopes and ski lifts

Oulx is the gateway to this splendid ski area. The seven ski resorts forming the Milky Way are: Sestriere, Sauze d'Oulx, Pragelato, Claviere, Cesana Torinese, San Sicario and Monginevro in France.

The Milky Way has 250 slopes of varying difficulty:

  • 10 green slopes for beginners
  • 82 easy blue runs
  • 116 medium difficulty red slopes
  • 42 difficult black runs for expert skiers

As for the lifts, the Milky Way has 70 ski lifts:

  • 37 chairlifts (23 fixed and 14 detachable)
  • 8 conveyor belt
  • 19 ski or ski lift
  • 2 chairlifts
  • 4 telecabine

To ensure excellent snow cover, the Milky Way also has more than 1.000 snow cannons. For fans of cross country over 100 km of slopes are available.



Where to stay and ski

Le best locations in the Via Lattea area where to stay and ski are the Sestriere, which in addition to being the main ski resort, is the most central and the one that offers the most tourism, e Sauce the Oulx for the ease of reaching the town and the good tourist accommodation offer. A good choice can also be a ski resort Pragelato or the locality of Montgenevre in France.

Find a hotel or accommodation for skiing on the Milky Way

Sestriere: the main town

The Sestriere ski resort is the most famous place of the district. Located on a high pass at 2.035 meters above sea level, it is one both summer and winter holiday resorts. The winter period it is the one where the town sees its maximum splendor, also for the possibility of practicing any type of winter sport.

In addition to being a renowned ski resort, Sestriere is one of the most fashionable places. In addition to the ski slopes and the snow park, there is a wide offer of outdoor activities, but also the possibility of indoor activities, such as the large ice skating rink and the large heated communal swimming pool.

In total the Sestriere has 35 slopes and 25 ski lifts. The total length of the ski slopes is 164 kilometers, of which 50 equipped with artificial snow systems. Sestriere also has one of the few locations where it is possible skiing at night on a lighted track. Its slopes host each year important races World Cup of Alpine Skiing.



To stay there are over two accommodation facilities, among many tourist apartments and holiday homes, more than twenty hotels and various campsites, chalets and lodges. The best choices where to stay and sleep are hotels, the best choice for both short and long ski holidays.

Find a hotel or accommodation in Sestriere

Sauze d'Oulx: easy to reach

After Sestriere, Sauze d'Oulx is the second most important ski resort of the Milky Way district. It is a favorite destination for skiers for its natural location and for ease of reaching the area. The resort is acclaimed for its vivacious après-ski.

Located 80 km from Turin, in the Val di Susa at the foot of Mount Genevris and 1500 meters above sea level, is part of the important tourist area of ​​the Alta Valle di Susa. The locality is divided into two areas: in the lower part the old typically alpine village and in the upper part the new area made up of villas and hotels, and where the ski lifts begin.

Also for Sauze d'Oulx, the presence of many hotels makes the stay in hotels the best choice to spend a pleasant ski week, but also for a short weekend in the snow. There are also tourist apartments, holiday homes, chalets and bed & breakfasts.

Find a hotel or accommodation in Sauze d'Oulx

Pragelato: for cross-country skiing and off-piste

Pragelato is a popular ski resort with approx 50 km of slopes and 7 ski lifts (two chairlifts and five ski lifts), and numerous hotel facilities. It is the best location for lovers of cross-country and off-piste skiing. The Pattemouche-Anfiteatro cable car connects Pragelato to the Milky Way area.



With almost 200 thousand visitors per year, is one of the Alpine resorts with the greatest tourist presence. Most of the accommodations are tourist apartments and holiday homes, but there are also some good hotels. The offer for the evening entertainment.

Find a hotel or accommodation in Pragelato

Claviere: a good alternative choice

Claviere is a small one summer and winter holiday resort, located on a pass that connects Italy to France. For winter sports are available various slopes and ski lifts, and one ice rink.

This small ski resort it offers few slopes for beginners, a little more are those of medium difficulty. In the area there is also a Tibetan bridge with steel ropes. For accommodation, the town hosts 5 hotels and some tourist apartments.

Find a hotel or accommodation in Claviere

Cesana Torinese: one of the most beautiful areas

Cesana Torinese is a small holiday resort located at the center of the Milky Way. The station is well connected with the other ski areas of the district. The splendid larch and fir woods that line the slopes make Cesena one of the most beautiful alpine areas to ski. As the hotel offer is small in this town, very early booking is recommended.

Find a hotel or accommodation in Cesana Torinese

San Sicario: for those seeking tranquility

San Sicario is one summer and winter tourist resort with some hotels, residences and holiday homes. In summer you can practice various sports and outdoor activities. In winter the various lifts also allow you to ski across the entire Milky Way area. It is a good choice where to stay for those looking for tranquility as well as skiing.

Find a hotel or accommodation in San Sicario

Monginevro: in Francia

Montgenèvre is the only locality in the area on the French side. The ski resort offers a large ski area with well 85 km of slopes served by 23 ski lifts and over 300 days of sunshine a year.

In summer you can practice many sports and outdoor activities. One of the main attractions is one rail toboggan run over 1.400 meters long, the longest in France. The locality has a good tourist hotel offer with many tourist apartments and some hotels.

Find a hotel or accommodation in Montgenèvre

How to reach us 

By car

Reaching the ski resorts of the Via Lattea by car is quite simple, thanks to the proximity of the A32 motorway which connects Turin to the Fréjus tunnel.

Once you leave the motorway at Oulx, you can reach Sauze d'Oulx in 15 minutes, Sestriere in 30 minutes, Cesana Torinese in 10 minutes, San Sicario in 15 minutes, Claviere in 20 minutes and Montgenèvre in 25 minutes.

By train

To reach the Via Lattea ski area, it is advisable to reach the Oulx train station. From the town of Oulx, an excellent area also to stay, you can then reach the various ski resorts by bus.

By plane

If you prefer by plane, the Sandro Pertini Turin Caselle airport is about 90 km away, just over an hour by car. To reach the various ski resorts, you can rent a car or reach the Oulx train station by train.

Sestriere, Piedmont -
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