The small resort of Bardonecchia sits right on the border between France and Italy, making it Italy’s westernmost town at the heart of the Alps. In 2006 it hosted the Turin Winter Olympics snowboarding competitions, and still includes many features from the one-time-only event.
Made up of 3 areas- Campo Smith, Melezet and Jafferau, there is over 100km of piste to tackle in the area, all linked by free buses. The majority of the pistes in the area are a close mix of easy cruising blue runs, and some red runs that offer more of a challenge. The resort is quiet and relatively uncongested with other skiers and snowboarders so it is easy to enjoy your time on the snow uninterrupted.
There are only 5 black runs throughout the entire resort, but this is compensated for with an outstanding freestyle terrain park located on Melezets which includes the Olympic half pipe from 2006 as well as 80 rails and jibs, and 20 jumps. The park is suited to all abilities, regardless of their freestyle experience so take some time to ski past, or through the park itself.
Off the pistes, one of Bardonecchia's highlights is the excellent array of restaurants. Restaurants serve up delicious Italian comfort food that is not to be missed, and for a small resort there is a huge variety of venues on offer. Après-ski culture is on the quiet side, attracting smaller crowds who want to socialise and take it easy. But if you’re in the mood for some classic live music and dancing in your ski boots, then Chesal bar and restaurant at the top of the Melezet-Chesal chair lift hosts ‘Crazy Chesal’ après-ski from 14:30 onwards.
Bardonecchia snowpark is located in the Melezet area. The park is divided into 5 different zones based on the difficulty of features and jumps
Drag lifts 13, Chairlifts 9, Cablecars 0
Things to do in resort
Bardonecchia restaurants, food and drink
One of Bardonecchia’s secret delights is the impeccable quality of the food and mountain restaurants on offer in the resort. Delicious Italian cuisine, the food on offer in Bardonecchia is excellent and you can expect some hearty regional classics.
Chesal restaurant is marked on the map at the Melezet mid-station and is notably very tasty, as is Ristorante Pizzeria Waikiki at the base of Melezet, overlooking the snow park.
Bardonecchia après, bars, clubs and nightlife
Bardonecchia celebrates a much more relaxed and quieter après ski lifestyle compared to some of the other resorts in Italy and just over the border in France. There is still live music and dancing (on or off the table - up to you!) to be had at Chesal at the end of the day, hence the après ski hour being dubbed ‘Crazy Chesal’!
Off the pistes, the bars are a perfect place to make friends with the small ski crowds that gravitate towards Bardonecchia. It may please some people to know that there are no nightclubs in Bardonecchia, and the resort goes to bed quietly at the end of the day.
In Bardonecchia there are some classic sportswear stores lined up along the high street selling clothes, equipment and accessories. There are also a few local craft stores, supermarkets and deli’s selling food and drink (very handy to have if you are opting for a self-catered apartment for your stay). The town is small and most of the people who live there are locals so you can expect to find some wonderful local specialties.
Bardonecchia spas and relaxation
If you stay the Campo Smith Apartments or Hotel Rivè you can enjoy the indoor pool, gym, spa and sauna area available (payable locally for Apartment guests). Elsewhere, there is a public swimming pool and gym at the local sports centre, Piscina Comunale di Bardonecchia.
Bardonecchia arts, culture and events
Despite Bardonecchia being a somewhat quiet resort, it celebrates an action-packed events calendar throughout both the summer and winter seasons. The local Ski Games 2016 takes place at the end of January and is a fun event for spectators, and there is also Born to Ride snowboard weekends taking place throughout the season. Most events are participated by local athletes, but also attract an international crowd. All around, they are great fun to watch and be part of.
For more information on travel and transport visit our Bardonecchia page