Without a doubt, the most popular resort in the little-known Monterosa ski area in Italy, Champoluc is a haven for those who are looking to take their skiing and snowboarding off the beaten path.
Three extensive ski areas are covered with one lift pass- Champoluc and its neighbouring ‘satellite’ villages of Gressoney and Alagna are all easy to access with swift, modern chair lifts and cable cars. From one end to the other (Champoluc-Alagna) the resort stretches about 10 miles and the whole area is filled with rustic Italian charm.
One of the main delights about Champoluc and the Monterosa ski area/Aosta Valley is that during that week it is relatively uncrowded so you can ski and snowboard on freshly groomed pistes in the morning that don’t become carved up by heavy traffic throughout the day. At the weekend, it is a popular destination with the Italian locals who travel up from Milan and Turin, and the whole resort comes to life with après culture.
Champoluc and the Monterosa ski area are possibly best known as being a hotspot for off-piste skiing and snowboarding, and is especially suited for the more advanced skier or snowboarder. There are some easily accessible resources for beginner skiers, including a few easy runs dotted about the village, but a vast majority of the resort is made up of more intermediate and advanced red and blue runs.
Off-mountain, the village is unmistakably Italian with some delicious restaurants and wine bars dotted throughout the cluster of buildings along the long high street. While shopping is limited beyond a choice of stores that sell sporting goods, there are plenty of exciting excursions available in the village for those who want to combine their skiing with a little something else.
The best facilities for beginners are centres around the base stations at Champoluc, but they are limited. The gondola from Champoluc goes straight up to Crest, a mid-mountain nursery area with further gondolas and chair lifts feeding other areas. There is an Italian ski school available in-resort and you can pre-book your lessons with Inghams, but advancing beyond the nursery slopes for absolute beginners can be a challenge.
Timid intermediates are better off starting at Frachey if they want to avoid some bumpy red runs. If you can tackle a blue run with confidence and feel like advancing on to reds to improve your skills then Champoluc, Gressoney and Alagna is a great place to build up some confidence. The Monterosa resort is made up of a majority of red runs, varying in difficulty so you are sure to find something that suits your needs where ever you go.
Champoluc is famous for its off-piste skiing. There are a variety of off-piste trails, both marked and unmarked and thanks to the snow-sureness of the Monterosa ski area and the relative emptiness of the resort during the week, there is sure to be untouched powder somewhere, just waiting to be skied through! In bad weather, head to the Mandria forest area about Frachey for powder.
There are also some facilities that are good for those with an interest in slalom racing- for a local price there are public race courses with time measurement at the Pain de la Sal piste.
Freestyle and terrain parks
Unfortunately there is no established freestyle park in the resort. A few rails, kickers and boxes are sometimes bought in but proceed with caution for these may be for private use.
The Monterosa area has up to 32km of cross country pistes.
8:45 - 17:00 depending on time of season.
This stunning and centrally located hotel has been beautifully designed with no expense spared. Its unique designer touches of wood panelled walls, antique furniture, Murano glass lightning and sumptuous Turkish carpets create a luxurious setting, centred around an open fire.
Champoluc restaurants, food and drink
All across the town of Champoluc are some fabulous authentic Italian restaurants serving classic and contemporary food. One of the great things about the Monterosa ski area is that the fabulous food isn’t restricted to Champoluc; the mountain restaurants are also delicious and serve unique a la carte menus. To mention a few places worth visiting: La Grange, situated between the village centre and Frachey, has received some fantastic reviews, and Osteria Il Balvio is a slightly more contemporary restaurant but boasts of an excellent wine list.
The Rascard Frantze is a great place to stop off and refuel at lunch time while out on the mountain (and grab a tipple too- we hear great things about the limoncello). The menu is simple but delicious and serves up some real hearty Italian classics.
We thoroughly recommend that you seek out some of the limited production Aosta Valley wines during your stay. Some delightful and authentic Italian wine bars are dotted throughout the village, which we will cover in our next section...
Champoluc après, bars, club and nightlife
Champoluc is arguably the best resort in the Monterosa ski area for après drinks and cocktails off the slope. You’ll find bars with live music, delicious wines and great company but yet still; the atmosphere remains a lot calmer and more relaxed than other alpine resorts. The Il Golosone wine bar in Champoluc has received some great reviews as an ideal, central après ski location with a notable wine menu. Based at the bottom of the main gondola leading back into the village is Atelier Gourmand, which is renowned for its wines, beers and good cheer, and there is also The Bistrot worth mentioning.
Champoluc offers the usual sporting goods stores, a few souvenir shops and supermarkets in the small village (please note: there is no weekly market). If you are interested in a shopping trip, then a day excursion to the nearby cities of Milan and Turin, or even the nearby town of Aosta is bound to be more successful. Popular souvenirs to take back home include hand-carved wooden clogs!
Champoluc spas and relaxation
In the centre of Champoluc and very close to the centre of the town is the Hotel Relais des Glaciers, the only hotel in the town that has their doors open to guests who want to come and use their extensive spa and wellness suite. Treatments and use of the spa are bookable at a local price, but include use of indoor and outdoor heated whirlpools, saunas, steam baths, aromatic showers and an icy cold plunge pool.
If you have the means of travelling further afield, stop by the Saint-Vincent Thermal Water spa near the village of Saint-Vincent. The spa is supplied by a precious spring of mountain mineral water, the waters have been heralded as therapeutic. There is a mixture of indoor/outdoor swimming pools, and saunas, as well as a Turkish hammam bath. There is also an outdoor terrace with panoramic views (and a heated swimming pool) for when the weather is pleasant.
Champoluc arts, culture and events
Champoluc is relatively subdued on the arts, culture and events front, but sometimes this can be a blessing- the resort remains quiet and uncrowded and when there is an event or festival happening, it attracts a calmer ski crowd.
If you have the means of doing so- the Aosta Valley and town is well worth a visit for museums. There are also some Roman ruins dotted throughout this ancient area, and a rich and fascinating Italian culture.
Guided ski tours will take you through the untouched back country of the Monterosa area with a trained expert who knows exactly where the best runs are, where the fresh powder lies and is trained to make sure that you are having the best ski touring experience possible.
Your ski touring adventure is bookable locally so consult with your representative or with our reservations team before you go.
As they always say- if you can walk, you can snowshoe! One of the more relaxing of the winter sports and a great way to taking the beauty and majesty of the rugged Italian Alps is to go for a leisurely walk through them, aided with snowshoes. You can decide on how difficult your walking programme will be, with a variety of different options for different abilities.
Enjoy a guided tour of the Monterosa ski area, away from the hustle and bustle of the ski slopes. Snowshoe excursions are bookable locally, so ask your Inghams reps and reservations team for some advice on how and where to book.
The helicopter assisted backcountry skiing in the Monterosa region is well documented and highly praised by many travel journalists internationally. Thanks to the resort being relatively quiet during the week but yet still snow-sure because of the Monterosa glacier, it remains a fantastic destination for off-piste and backcountry heliskiing.
Heliskiing sits on many bucket lists for the advanced and seasoned skier, and there is no better place to do it! A helicopter, along with a professional guide will drop you at the top of the mountain and from there you can ski and snowboard down untouched back country areas.
Heliskiing excursions are available in Champoluc if you book locally, and they are some of the cheaper heliskiing excursions available in the Alps. Chat with your Inghams rep or our reservations team about heliskiing options.
NB: Check with your insurance policy that you are allowed to take part in such excursions.
If you’re not sure about being dropped off at the top of the mountain by a helicopter, but still wouldn’t mind the thrill of flying over the snow-crested peaks, then perhaps a birds-eye view tour of the Monterosa ski area from the safety of the helicopter is much more up your street.
Tours and guides of the mountain are available to book locally, so chat with your Inghams rep or our reservations team before you go.
There is a large outdoor ice skating rink in the small town of Champoluc, that is open during the winter months for skating and fun. You can hire skates at a local price and enjoy some time on the ice. It makes a fabulous family activity to enjoy in the evening when you’ve hung up your skis and boots for the day.
The Aosta Valley has been regarded as a ‘ski paradise’. While the classical definition of skiing refers to classic downhill/Alpine skiing, cross country skiing is still extremely popular and there are some brilliant routes in and around Champoluc which you can take at a leisurely pace. Catering for a variety of tastes and levels, you can enjoy the unspoiled beauty of the Monterosa ski area and Champoluc when it’s not rushing past you!
It is best to enjoy cross country skiing with a guide who knows the most beautiful trails in the area and will introduce new cross-country skiers to the sport. This activity is only bookable locally, so chat with our Inghams reservation teams, or your in-resort rep if you are interested.
Pre-bookable Lift Passes, Ski Hire & Tuition
|Youth 15-18yrs††||Youth 8-14yrs†||Child 2-7yrs*
Area Lift Pass (Does not include Indren lift)
Includes Gressoney, Champoluc, Alagna & 2 days skiing in Courmayeur, La Thuile, Pila or Cervinia. L (15-21 Dec, 12 Jan - 1 Feb & 9 Mar-end of season), H (22 Dec-11 Jan & 2 Feb - 8 Mar). †born after 01/11/04. ††born after 01/11/00. **born before 31/05/54. *born after 01/11/10 when parents pre-book same pass
|Adult||Skis / boots||£68 / £40||£83 / n/a||£118 / n/a|
|Skis & boots||£79||£100||£128|
|Snowboard & boots||-||£78||£95|
|Child (6-12yrs)||Skis / boots||-||£49 / £29||-|
|Skis & boots||-||£52||-|
|Snowboard & boots||-||£80||-|
Equipment Hire (6 days) – Please see here for description of hire categories.
*Child helmet is free when skis/snowboard are hired (it is obligatory that children under 14 years wear a helmet on the slopes).
|Days||Hours||Adult 13yrs+||Child (4-12yrs)†|
Beginner classes start on Sunday.
Other abilities may start on Monday with a double session on Thursday.
Classes start at 10am.
Prices, times and supplements are correct at time of publishing but may vary up or down; correct prices will be advised at the time of booking.
Resort Code: ITCH
Languages spoken: Italian/English
Time difference: GMT+1
Flights depart Saturday
Transfer 1¾hrs by coach
Flight supplements may apply.
Car hire available: Yes
Evening resort bus service: No
Local bus services:
Nearest Rail Station:
Parking available: No
Resort Ski bus available: Yes