Italy’s Aosta Valley is undoubtedly one of Europe’s most spectacular family ski holiday destinations. It is surrounded by some of Europe's highest peaks, including Mont Blanc, while the soaring peaks of Monte Rosa and the nearby Matterhorn stretch out to the north.
Holiday specialists Interski’s chosen resorts are three of the best – Courmayeur, Pila and La Thuile. All are high altitude and have superb snow records. Each has areas that are perfect for beginners to find their ski legs safely, but also offer plenty to challenge intermediate and more advanced skiers – something for everyone - and all are within two hours of Geneva, Turin and Milan.
Pila sits a high-speed gondola ride above the town of Aosta, the region’s capital, and offers some of the finest views in the Aosta Valley, stretching from Mont Blanc to the Matterhorn.
It's also home to a tempting mix of tree-lined runs and wide open bowls, perfect for beginners, intermediates and those looking for greater challenges, including a snow park. This car-free, purpose-built resort is great for families with small children - it has a splendid nursery slope, play area and gentle tubing hill all located near the centre. There’s also childcare for children aged 2-6 , run and staffed by Interski, and older kids can slot into Interski’s own snowsport school.
Aosta itself is a busy and vibrant town with historic streets crammed with cafès, bars, restaurants and boutiques. The largely pedestrianised old town is enclosed by Roman walls, and there are many other remains such as a magnificent amphitheatre.
La Thuile is a small, charming border resort with mile after mile of open, uncrowded slopes. With 160 kilometres of runs including a link to the French resort of La Rosière, skiers are spoilt for choice.
There’s a great mix of blue, red and black runs. Beginners will find plenty of scope for confidence-boosting runs with endless blue runs which finish at the top of the gondola station, while advanced skiers and boarders will find a brilliant snowpark over in La Rosière! With its own special microclimate and a vast array of snow cannons, the snow in La Thuile is ever reliable.
The resort is an attractive mix of old and new with the narrow streets of the old mining village blending perfectly with modern apartments and hotels. There are cafés and shops to explore, including a particularly superb chocolate store! The village also boasts a wide choice of excellent restaurants.
Courmayeur is the best known of the Aosta Valley's winter resorts, enjoying a spectacular location, nestled at the foot of Mont Blanc.
The old village won‘t disappoint those in search of a traditional ski holiday ambience. Its narrow, cobbled streets and piazzas are home to chic boutiques, delicious patisseries and a wide choice of restaurants, pizzerias and bars.
On the mountain, there are more than 100 kilometres of exciting, varied runs, though while the Baby Bowl provides a safe haven for beginners, Courmayeur is steeper than its neighbours, with open runs, mogul fields and outstanding back country skiing to tempt the more advanced visitor. You can even arrange to ski the awesome Vallée Blanche over the shoulder of Mont Blanc down to Chamonix.
Throw in a great choice of mountain restaurants, perfect for a relaxing lunch, and maybe a hot chocolate or two, and you have a truly fantastic resort. And did we mention that the incredible Monte Bianco Skyway is included on the Courmayeur lift pass?
Because Interski focus on just the Aosta Valley, their local expertise and in-resort service is unbeatable, from their own Interski Snowsport School - the largest British-run snowsports school in the Alps - to their own purpose-built equipment hire centres, with row upon row of high-quality Atomic skis, boards and boots. Moreover, more than 45 friendly and enthusiastic staff are based in the valley for the entire season.
Interski can offer room-only accommodation, self-catering, bed and breakfast or half-board hotels, from 2 to 5 star. You can choose from air, executive coach or your own transport options, as well as the length of your stay – short breaks or full weeks.
And their expertise also enables them to offer incredible inclusive packages - all Interski prices include your lift pass and winter sports insurance. Half-board packages even include a hot snack lunch in a mountain restaurant every day - a real money saver for families! Interski also have their own ski clothing rental service which is free to 7-15 year olds and to everyone on short break packages. Short break packages also include equipment hire in the price!
If you’re travelling with children from around three years and upwards it’s well worth considering travel to the Aosta Valley on one of Interski’s silver service coaches. It’s much cheaper than flying, there’s no airport hassle (and a smaller carbon footprint) and you can relax in spacious seats with plenty of leg room. There is a choice of up to 23 pick up locations throughout the UK, which amounts to as close to a door-to-door service as you can get!