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.
Drag lifts 5, Chairlifts 16, Cablecars 3
Things to do in resort
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.
For more information on travel and transport visit our Champoluc page