Champoluc is a genuine alpine village in the Italian Alps. The heart of the village is an ancient part from the 1700th century, a main square and a main road with hotels, shops and apartment houses. It is a cozy small town where people live all year round - not only a touristic resort - with a familiar and easy feeling.
The mountains around Champoluc and the valley are inviting with open views, a big ski system, Monterosa Ski, a lot of off pist and ski mountaineering in winter time, and a well developed trail system for all kinds of hiking, trekking and top touring during summer. The twenty 4000 meter peaks of the Monte Rosa with their glaciers and mountain huts are famous among mountaineers from all over the world.
Champoluc is one of 3 villages connected by the slopes of Monterosa-Ski system. The area, Ayas Valley, is perfect for offpist skiing in all weather and at all levels., because of the wide open lansdacpe and big forests . It is easy to reach dozens of different offpist tours from the lifts, starting in Champoluc - Frachey, Antagnod and Brusson.
Ski-Randonnee and touring in the area of Champoluc takes you to unspoiled and wild parts of the mountain and can be done even late spring when the lift system is closed.
Tack a tour with a mountain guid. Champoluc Mountain Guides are all authorized UIGAM and very experienced of the area. They always put security first!
Among freeride specialists, Monterosa has been the top spot in the south of the Alps for many years. It offers a wide variety of heliski terrains including the highest in the Alps, pushing off as high as 4500 metres. Monterosa, with more than 25 landing sites and around 60 runs based in 3 valleys, is the largest heliski spot in the Alps.
Champoluc is a great start point for heliski. The helicopter brings you to completely unexploited areas, where the chance is big to be the first track in fresh powder.
In Champoluc the closest ski system is the one of Monterosa-Ski, which includes around 200 kilometers of piste, 88 slopes and reachable through 44 lifts. There is a range of difficulties on the slopes, with the majority of red slopes, which makes it perfect for the whole family. The mini systems of Antagnod, Estoul, Gressoney-Saint Jean and Brusson are also included in the system of Monterosa-ski when you buy a ski pass for more than one day.
From Champoluc you have the possibility to ski past the village of Gressoney-La Trinité and all the way to the village of Alagna. This makes a great day trip for the whole family, with a mix of blue, red and black slopes. If you are not interested in skiing too far, or if you are a beginner and maybe a little slower (it will take almost a whole day to go all the way to Alagna and back, with stop for lunch and coffee) you can have a lot of fun on the slopes of “the Champoluc side” of the system.
In the Champoluc area it is easy to find good off piste skiing. You have the wild and unexploited at your doorstep, even during busy season it is not too hard to find places to make your own fresh lines. When you are going off piste there are three options:
1. You can go by yourself to the nice terrain that is close to lifts and slopes
2. you can go with a guide (either walk uphill with skins or snowshoes, or go on a heliski trip) or
3. you can go on your own adventure, with skins or snowshoes, to the close forests and open alp fields (for example near the village of Saint Jaques or Mascognaz)
See the off-pist ski map for Monterosa Ski here.
Read about freeride in Champoluc from the guide Polvere Rosa!
There is a ski school for those that are beginners but are eager to learn or for those who wish to improve a little. Snowboarders can also get a lesson in jumps and playing, or off piste lessons. The school offers both ski teachers and snowboard teachers. Most of them know English and can adjust the lessons according to that.
To book a lesson you will either have to go to the office or email them at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fraschey and Rent & Play (+39 0125 307469) have the best inventory of all what you need for skiing, apart from clothings (those bring you best with you from home!). All kinds of skis, from carving to telemark and ski mountaineering, mixed with the last fashion in helmets, poles, glasses and security kits (transceivers). The guys at the ski rent speak better Swedish than Italian (English will be fine). In summer you will also find bikes and climbing gears here.
In order to be able to hike in the mountains during winter-time, you can either randonnee or walk with snowshoes (or stay on the paved roads of course). In the village of Champoluc you can rent snowshoes at a few of the various ski-rentals. There are specal snowshoe-trails but the regular summer trekking-trails also work. For example a snowshoe trek to Lagu Blu, 2211 metres, is beautiful and perfect for a full day on the snowshoes.
There are some 30 hotels, B&B, and guesthouses in Champoluc, most of which are managed by the same family who ownes the house. Good Italian food tradition makes it worth to book hotels in Half Board service, breakfast and dinner included.
Charmant Petit Hotel (+39 0125 307566, mail email@example.com) is the best hotel in Champoluc, proved by the fact that the 13 rooms are often fully booked. The kindness and good mood of the people who manage the place make you feel at home around the inviting fireplace. The restaurant, Casa Nostra, is absolutely one of the best in the Valley.
Hotel Castor (+39 0125 307117, mail firstname.lastname@example.org) is the oldest hotel in town, founded at the beginning of the 1900. Now partly renovated, it preserves the charming character of the typical wooden mountain hotel. It is one of the places where both tourists and ”seasoners” go for a drink at night or take part in the very popular ”Music Nights” organized by the owners on Tuesdays.
Hotel Breithorn (+39 0125 308734, mail email@example.com) is also one of the old hotels in Champoluc, but has been completely rebuilt and is today a beautiful small four star, with charming mountain style atmosphere. The same owner has also set a trend of renovating old villages and rebuilt a few houses from 1600 in the tiny village of Mascognaz into a wonderful hotel Hotellerie de Mascognaz (firstname.lastname@example.org). Here you come only by private cat or jeep transfer. The place is enchanted and very romantic, or could be used for exclusive use by a small company for a special meeting.
You will also find other refuges of great charm and quality, few rooms but a feeling of being lost in the mountains far from cars and ”civilization”:
Many of the hotels in Champoluc also have good restaurants, but if you want to have a look at the town in the evening you can find some places with good Italian food mixed with the typical products of the Aosta Valley.
There are a wide range of tasty local wines, especially the red; Enfer and Fumin, and the whites; Blanc de Morgex and Chambave Muscat for the white. Many restaurant staff have great knowledge about Italian wine so ask for their suggestions.
Pizzeria Churen (+39 0125.307518) is familiar and offers the best pizza in town, mixed with Italian and local food.
Le Sapin (+39 0125 307598): fine Italian cuisine with Champoluc's best ”tagliata”.
La Grange (+39 0125 307835), is very cozy and layed back with the best ”antipasto” of small dishes. Do not eat too much of it so you can even taste their pasta and the delicious meat of the two brothers, the chefs Chicco and Gio.
There are few places in the Alps with so many gorgeous restaurants on the slopes as Champoluc. No plastic and self service. Here is everything home made and genuine. Most of the restaurants arrange evenings with dinner and cat transfer to and from. Or why not stay after the closing of the lift system and enjoy the last rays of sunset?
Campo Base (+39 347 3780565) is on top of the Mandria lift, and has an influence of the many travels to the Himalaya of the people in charge of the place. It is environment friendly and has Tibetan lunch every Tuesday. Try their special tea, when you are tired of ale and wine.
Rifugio Ferraro (+39 0125 307612) is a bit away from the pist but it is worth the effort of coming back on track on the narrow trail in the woods that brings you from Resy to the lift. Also a place where people love the big mountains of Asia, which is prooved by the hundreds of small things coming from far east, mixed with old handicraft from the mountains around Monte Rosa. Their ”polenta dei vecchi” the elders polenta is delicious with salsiccia and cheese.
Belvedere (+39 349 4915130) is the place to stop at the end of the day to drink a Bombardino (hot egg liquor with Brendy and cream), something you really appreciate only here! Good music to underline your feeling and beautiful dogs to play with.
Crai is the supermarket where everyone goes after skiing, so avoid to be there around 5 pm. You will find a good choice of wines. If you want to go to a typical local shop you might go to the one on the right side after the church towards the lift station, with no name. Best fruits and vegetables in town! And fontina, the local cheese par excellence! Lucio is the butcher and is an experience you must have if you want a real gorgious steak melting in your mouth!
When you want to do a top tour in the Monte Rosa you should stay at the Rifugio Guide d’Ayas, also called Lambronecca (+39 0125 308083, mail email@example.com). It is very clean and the food is great, with fresh vegetables even though it is so high up! People from all over meet here in a friendly atmosphere. Breakfast at 4 am is not so bad as it sounds. The people who like trekking have some of the nicest huts to stay at, and do not need to bringa ny heavy foods or gears for the night; you will find small guest houses on the trails for resting and enjoying the quiet near the stars and off the road.
Mountain Guide Organisation: www.guidechampoluc.com
Well, Champoluc is not the place where you could go out and party all night so easily, unless you know exactly where and when. There are two (!) pubs but they are not so hot every night. Golosone, as of this year, arrange a themed party every friday so that is a "safe card" to get your party on! Otherwise there can be party on tuesday evenings, because of the music night. Best you ask at the ski hire what is going on that evening if you want to have some fun. Pachamama is more crowded during festivities like Christmas or during schoolbreaks, but also after Music night, open until you want to leave. (and of course during weekends) Remember the Hotel Castor’s famous ”Music Night” on Tuesday nights, where all the guests of the village join the owner Herman in a crazy sing a long party. Much better than it sounds!
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