Our complete guide to...

Champoluc

Italy

Champoluc is one of the three main resorts that make up the Monterosa Ski area in north-western Italy close to the Swiss border (the other two being Gressoney and Alagna).

 

Among the area’s chief attractions are its unspoilt and uncommercialised villages, its empty yet snow-sure slopes and the sheer extent of its lift-accessible off-piste, all under the gaze of some of the highest peaks in the Alps. 

Where is Champoluc?

 Transfer time:

Turin - 1hr30, Milan - 2hr, Geneva - 2hr30

 

Champoluc is in the Aosta region of north-west Italy and forms part of the Monterosa ski area, a ‘marketing umbrella’ for the resorts of Champoluc, Gressoney and Alagna.  

Champoluc - the resort

Resort height: 1580m

 

Champoluc is an unspoilt mountain village with a low key, family-friendly atmosphere. The resort is strung out along the valley, but has a concentration of shops and bars close to the main Champoluc-Crest gondola. 

Champoluc's ski area

 Altitude:

1200-3275m

 

 Pistes:

73km (Monterosa Ski)

 

Champoluc sits at the western end of the Monterosa Ski area, which is accessible by gondola from the village centre and a funicular 3km up the valley.

 

While the number of pistes may be modest, the area as a whole is vast, with several 1000m+ vertical descents that offer a real sensation of travel. The area also offers a good mix of open bowl skiing and more sheltered tree-lined terrain, which is ideal in bad weather.

 

Champoluc has another, smaller area of skiing on the other side of resort above Antagnod, which is also well worth visiting for a day.

Champoluc's snow record

Our snow rating:☆☆☆

 

The Monterosa ski region has a relatively dry climate, however, its average skiing altitude is quite high meaning that overall snow reliability in the area is good. 

Where to find the best snow in Champoluc

The high runs below both the Colle della Bettaforca and Colle Sarezza often have the best snow quality in Champoluc.

Where to ski in bad weather

The Monterosa Ski area’s lower runs have plenty of trees that offer good visibility in a storm. In really bad weather the Antagnod sector is probably the most sheltered. 

Champoluc for expert skiers

Our rating:☆☆☆

 

For expert and advanced skiers the Monterosa Ski region is all about the off-piste, with endless lift-accessible possibilities both above and below the tree-line. But always take a guide!

 

The Mandria forest area above Frachey is particularly good for skiing off the beaten track in bad weather. 

Champoluc for intermediate skiers

Our rating:☆☆☆

 

Champoluc has a good variety of red runs, best suited to confident intermediates, though with some easier pistes, especially above Gressoney and over in Antagnod.

 

One of the area’s chief attractions is the length of its pistes – there are several 1000m+ vertical descents in the area – as well as the opportunity to get away from the lift system. 

Champoluc for beginner skiers

Our rating:☆☆☆☆☆

 

Champoluc has some excellent, snow-sure beginner slopes up the mountain at Crest. Progression from there is not straightforward, however, with the easiest cruising runs across the valley at Antagnod. 

Champoluc for cross country skiers

Cross-country skiing is limited to 16km in and around Champoluc, with a further 30km available in Brusson, 15 minutes down the valley.

Mountain restaurants in Champoluc

Champoluc has a number of charming mountain restaurants, including the ever popular Rascard Frantze just below the gondola mid-station.

 

Other recommendations include nearby L’Aroula and the slightly more upmarket Stadel Soussun above Frachey. 

Champoluc for non-skiers

Our rating:☆☆☆☆☆

 

Champoluc has relatively few non-skiing activities on offer but there is an outdoor ice-rink as well as an abundance of winter walking, especially up the valley towards Saint Jacques. 

Champoluc's après-ski

Our rating:☆☆☆☆☆

 

Despite its reputation as a relatively quiet, family orientated resort, Champoluc still has some good après-ski options should you need them.

 

Two recommended bars near to the main gondola station are the Atelier Gourmand and Lo Bistrot. You could also try the Hotel Castor or Hotel California, both of which offer occasional live music.

Eating out in Champoluc

Many of Champoluc’s best restaurants are in its hotels, including the rustic Hotel La Rouja which serves traditional Aosta specialities.

 

Stand-alone recommendations include the Osteria Il Balivo, in the centre of the village, and La Grange in Frachey. 

Snow-wise's top tip

Don’t be put off by the relatively limited number of pistes on the ski map! Most of the runs are long, and the area packs in a lot of variety. 

Considering a luxury ski holiday or short break in Champoluc?

 

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