Situated at the Italian entrance to the Frejus tunnel, this was one of the early popular Italian destinations (visitors included the last Italian king, Umberto). It is now enjoying a renaissance and hosted snowboarding events at the 2006 Winter Olympics. The rail link is also a major attraction for environmentally-conscious skiers. There are two bus-linked main ski areas - below Mt Jafferau (2807m) and a second area accessed from outside the town.
Skiing in Italy originated in the Piedmont region and Bardonecchia was one of the country's first ski areas. It now rates as one of the top ten Italian resorts with an excellent snow record, most of its slopes are north/north-west facing so the snow tends to last longer (south-facing slopes get more sun). The skiing is spread over 3 areas - Melezet, Jafferau and Campo Smith, the main area where the base facilities are located. The resort itself is at 1312m with the skiing extending up to 2800m at the top of Jafferau and a total of 100km (63 miles) of pistes, the majority of which are intermediate. The main beginner slopes are on the lower slopes of Campo Smith and Melezet which are fully lift linked. Snow cannons ensure good snow cover both at the beginning and end of the season. These areas have a good variety of terrain ranging from wide open clearings to treelined forest trails and cruisers will find plenty to enjoy on the long, wide motorway runs. The Jafferau area is also included on the lift pass, its skiing is varied with a good mix of terrain ideally suited to those who enjoy cruising with some great open motorway runs. For freestylers the Olympic Park at Melezet has plenty of challenges to enjoy. There is a free skier bus service around the area which takes around five minutes from Campo Smith to Jafferau where the pistes are slightly more difficult. It has a treeless bowl with bumps and good off-piste as well as wide trails and narrower runs through the trees.
There are currently no comprehensive childcare facilities in Bardonecchia, however children from the age of five have special classes in the local ski school.
Bardonecchia has a wealth of mountain restaurants, an important priority in Italy. Long lunches are almost too tempting to resist especially when you add a high balcony with stunning views. Bardonecchia has been an important mountain town since Roman times so has a colourful history and loads of character. There is an old quarter with cobbled streets, ancient church, and lots of cafes including one of Italy's most famous creperies.
Excellent choice of restaurants serving delicious pasta dishes and local specialities. Nightlife in the local bars is friendly and relaxed becoming more lively at the weekends.
There's plenty of long, wide cruising runs on Colomion and Melezet while if you're into steeps and bumps then Jafferau is the area to head for. A new 130m long Olympic Pipe opened for the 2006 Turin Olympics. The Olympic Snowpark has 14 rails, a box, 12 jumps and two boardercross courses. There's also a beginners area with kicker, big air and DJ music.