The pretty village of La Thuile sits 1440 metres above sea level. It’s tucked at the end of the Aosta valley, less than 3 miles as the crow flies from the French border.
The route to the Piccolo San Bernardo pass winds its way above the village. As a result of its strategic location, La Thuile has welcomed travellers and visitors to the area since Roman times.
1. Modern convenience and traditional village charm
I like to describe La Thuile as a hidden gem, combining the modern convenience of the Planibel centre with traditional village charm. The Planibel centre includes a hotel, self-catering apartments, a shopping centre and restaurants and is located just 2 minutes from the main gondola and chairlift.
Just 5 minutes’ walk from the Planibel will bring you to the charming, old village centre with its stone-roofed architecture and cobbled streets. Around the church you’ll find speciality shops, local bars and restaurants.
2. Great cuisine and friendly Italian hospitality
The Aosta Valley is justifiably proud of its locally produced charcuterie, cheese and wine. Add in a dash of friendly Italian hospitality and you have all the ingredients for a great holiday.
High quality ‘Valdostan’ cuisine can be found in many of the restaurants in La Thuile and on the mountain. It’s hard to recommend one restaurant over another as they are all good! You can feast on pizza, experience Italian fine dining, go local with a raclette or cheese fondue or tuck into an excellent, juicy steak.
3. Extensive ski area with stunning views
Just how many kilometres of ski runs do you need for a week’s holiday? The San Bernardo ski pass has 160 kilometres of pisted runs, stretching from the village of La Thuile in Italy over the border to the resort of La Rosiere in France. There’s something very tempting about the idea of skiing over to a different country for lunch!
Give yourself time to take in the views on the way. From the top of the Chaz Dura on a clear day you can see the Matterhorn, Grand Combin and Mont Blanc. Once over in La Rosiere you overlook the Tarentaise Valley and the Les Arcs ski area and beyond to Val d’Isere and Tignes.
If this is not enough skiing to satisfy you, you can also visit two other ski areas in the Aosta Valley with your San Bernardo ski pass: Courmayeur and Pila are just a bus ride away.
4. Good snow record with no lift queues
La Thuile has always had plenty of snow cover. What’s the secret? As the slopes are north facing, any snow that falls will remain and stay in much better condition than a resort with south facing slopes. Its location, close to the Mont Blanc massif, also encourages heavier snowfall.
One reason many return to La Thuile year after year is because there are virtually no lift queues! You may not believe me…but it is true. Even during the high season weeks of February half term, no-one has to wait more than 5 minutes to get onto the gondola to take you up the mountain first thing in the morning.
Once up at Les Suches, skiers disperse in different directions across the mountain, meaning that the pistes are rarely crowded. La Thuile caters for all standards of skier with plenty of wide blue runs, red pistes of varying gradient for intermediates and black runs to challenge more experienced skiers.
5. On piste pick me ups – Hot chocolate and ‘il Bombardino’
When I said I was coming to work in La Thuile for the season, I was told to look out for two things – the hot chocolate which is so thick that you are given a spoon to help you finish it and the ‘Bombardino’.
Meaning ‘the bomb’ in Italian, ‘il Bombardino’ rewards exhilarating skiing at any time of the day! It is made by mixing Advocaat or eggnog and brandy, served hot and topped with a generous amount of whipped cream and a sprinkling of cinnamon. There are several variations which add coffee, rum or whisky (if you need anything stronger)!
So if you fancy going somewhere new for your next ski holiday, why not come to La Thuile?