Our complete guide to

Cervinia

Italy

Set dramatically beneath the Matterhorn (known as ‘Monte Cervino’ in Italy), Cervinia is one of the highest and most snow-sure ski resorts in the Alps.

 

It also offers some of the best intermediate cruising around, with lots of long gentle runs and easy access to Zermatt’s equally flattering Klein Matterhorn area, just across the border in Switzerland.

Where is Cervinia?

 Transfer time:

Turin - 2hr, Milan - 2hr30, Geneva - 3hr

 

Cervinia is located in the Aosta region of the north-western Italian Alps, close to the border with Switzerland. Its ski area is linked with Zermatt’s, just across the border.

Cervinia - the resort

Resort height: 2050m

 

Originally an old climbing village, Cervinia has grown over the years to become one of Italy’s premier ski destinations.

 

Although it is essentially modern in appearance, its resort centre retains a degree of historic charm with an animated traffic-free main street jammed full of shops, bars and restaurants.

 

The impressive array of high mountains surrounding the village adds to its Alpine feel. 

Cervinia's ski area

 Altitude:

1525-3480m

(1525-3820m incl. Zermatt)

 Pistes:

150km 

(350km incl. Zermatt)

 

Cervinia’s high open slopes are divided between three main sectors. The Plan Maison area is ideal for confidence building, with lots of long gentle runs of up to 1400m vertical.

 

The Laghi Cime Bianche sector is slightly steeper but with even longer pistes of up to 1800m vertical from the top of the Klein Matterhorn, high on the Swiss border. This area is also connected to a network of runs above the village of Valtournenche, down the valley from Cervinia.

Zermatt’s slopes can be reached via both Plan Maison and Laghi Cime Bianche, both of which take you to the Klein Matterhorn glacier area where the skiing is again mostly easy. Zermatt’s other more challenging areas are easily reachable in a day, but an early start is advisable.

 

Although Cervinia does have one or two challenges dotted around, the resort is best suited to intermediates, especially those looking for lots of long, wide, easy cruising. 

Cervinia's snow record

Our snow rating:☆☆☆

 

Cervinia has one of the best snow records in the Alps with an exceptionally long season that stretches from October to May. It is also open again for summer skiing from late June to early September.

 

Cervinia is particularly good for late season ski holidays, when bad weather is less likely to affect lift operations.

Where to find the best snow in Cervinia

The sheer height of Cervinia’s ski area makes it one of the most reliable for snow in the Alps. The final few hundred metres of the runs into resort can occasionally be a bit worn but above Plan Maison snow cover and quality is usually excellent.

 

Cervinia’s extensive glacier terrain (shared with Zermatt) is an added bonus, with skiing possible for around nine months of the year.  

Where to ski in bad weather

Cervinia’s slopes offer very little shelter in bad weather. Our advice is to stay as low as possible or start off down the valley in Valtournenche, whose local area is less prone to lift closures in high winds. 

Cervinia for expert skiers

Our rating:☆☆☆

 

Options for expert skiers in Cervinia are relatively limited, with just a smattering of black runs and very few moguls.

 

The off-piste here can be good, but the nature of the high mountain terrain means that a guide is absolutely essential. 

Cervinia for intermediate skiers

Our rating:☆☆☆

 

Cervinia is one of the best ski resorts in the Alps for early intermediates, with mile upon mile of gentle cruising.

 

More adventurous intermediates will enjoy the epic Ventina red run down from Plateau Rosa, as well as the moderate blacks above and below Plan Torrette.  

Cervinia for beginner skiers

Our rating:☆☆☆☆☆

 

Cervinia is an excellent resort for beginners with gentle, snow-sure resort level nursery slopes and lots of long easy runs to progress above Plan Maison.

 

Quick learners might even be able to tackle the 1200m vertical from Theodulpass (Colle del Teodulo in Italian) on the Swiss border back to resort within a few days.

Cervinia for cross country skiers

Cervinia is not a great resort for cross-country skiers with just one three kilometre long circuit in resort, and three more short loops down the valley in Valtournenche. 

Mountain restaurants in Cervinia

Cervinia has a number of excellent mountain restaurants. One of the most popular is the Chalet Etoile above Plan Maison, with a wide-ranging menu, friendly service and huge sun-terrace overlooking the pistes. It can get crowded though.

 

Another excellent (but quieter) option is the Ristorante Bontadini just below Theodul Pass (Colle del Teodulo). 

Cervinia for non-skiers

Our rating:☆☆☆☆☆

 

Cervinia has an ice-rink, fitness centre and reasonable array of shops but otherwise does not have a huge amount to offer non-skiers.

Cervinia's après-ski

Our rating:☆☆☆☆

 

Cervinia is relatively quiet during the week but can come to life at weekends with its decent array of bars. Livelier options include the bar at the Hotel Grivola, as well as the cosy Lo Copa Pan.

Eating out in Cervinia

Cervinia has an excellent array of dining options, ranging from simple pizzerias to serious gourmet restaurants.

 

At the budget end, the ever popular Lo Copa Pan in the centre of town does excellent pizzas, pasta and steaks. A good mid-range option is La Nicchia in the Hotel Meynet, with friendly service and hearty local dishes from the Aosta region.

 

For a more upmarket, ‘rustic chic’ experience, La Chandelle in the 5 star Hotel Hermitage is not to be missed.   

Snow-wise - Our complete guide to Cervinia, Italy - Eating out in Cervinia - La Chandelle La Chandelle at the 5 star Hotel Hermitage

Snow-wise's top tip

Cervinia is best visited later in the season when the weather is likely to be more amenable, allowing you to better appreciate the magnificence of its high mountain terrain. 

Considering a luxury ski holiday or short break in Cervinia?

 

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