Champoluc, lying at an altitude 1568 m, is a genuine alpine village in the Italian Alps. It is the largest ski resort the region that is said to be the Italian “Three Valleys”. The heart of the village is an ancient part from the 17th century, a main square and a main road with hotels, shops and apartment houses. Rather than a typical, overcrowded touristic resort Champoluc is a cosy small town with familiar and easy feelings, where people live all year round.
The mountains around Champoluc and the valley offer spectacular views over the Monte Rosa Massif, a highly developed ski area - Monterosa Ski, a lot of off-pist, ski mountaineering in the wintertime, and a well developed trail system for all kinds of hiking, trekking and top touring during summer. The twenty 4-thousanders of the Monte Rosa with their glaciers and mountain huts are famous among mountaineers from all over the world.
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The easiest way is the flight to Turin that lies just 1,5 hour from Champoluc. Milan and Geneva are another possibilities (both within 2-3 hours from the village). From airports you can hire a car or simply write to us.
Champoluc is one of the three villages connected by slopes to the Monterosa Ski system. The area, Ayas Valley, is perfect for off-pist skiing in all weather and at all levels thanks to the wide open lansdcape and vast forests. It is easy to reach dozens of different offpist tours from lifts, starting in Champoluc-Frachey, Antagnod and Brusson.
Ski randonnée 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.
Take a tour with a mountain guide. 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 starting point for heliski. An helicopter brings you to completely unexploited areas, where there is a great chance to make 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 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 through 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”.
In the Champoluc area it is easy to find good off-pist skiing places. You have the wild and unexploited areas 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-pist 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 skies or snowshoes, or go on a heliski trip) or
3. you can go on your own adventure, with skis or snowshoes, to the close forests and open Alpin 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 beginners who 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-pist 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: email@example.com
Frachey and Rent & Play (+39 0125 307469) have the best inventory of all what you need for skiing, apart from clothing (better have your own). All kinds of skis, from carving to telemark, and ski mountaineering, mixed with the new models of helmets, poles, glasses, and security kits (transceivers). 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 wintertime, you can either randonnée or walk with snowshoes (or stay on the paved roads of course). In the village of Champoluc you can rent snowshoes in several of the various ski-rentals. There are specal snowshoe-trails but regular summer trekking-trails also work. For example a snowshoe trek to Lago Blu, 2211 metres, is beautiful and perfect for a full day on the snowshoes.
Summer in Champoluc offers incredibly beautiful nature that will accompany you during your more sporty or rather relaxing, lazy holiday. Trekking and hiking is the most popular activities between May and October in Champoluc. You can either choose more demanding, longer trail or just take a lift up and then walk around admiring amazing panoramas.
You can also try biking. A ride downhill on a MTB will provide thrilling experiences. Check out the bike map!
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 typical products of the Aosta Valley.
There are a wide range of tasty local wines, especially the red wines - Enfer and Fumin, and the white - Blanc de Morgex and Chambave Muscat. Many restaurant staff have great knowledge about Italian wine so ask for their suggestions.
Pizzeria Churen (+39 0125307518) is family friendly and offers the best pizza in the town, mixed with Italian and local food.
Le Sapin (+39 0125307598). Fine Italian cuisine with Champoluc's best ”tagliata”.
La Grange (+39 0125 307835) is very cosy 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 a car 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, with Himalayan influence because of the people that are in charge here and were travelling a lot to the highest region in the world. 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. It is also a place where people love the great Asian mountains, which is prooved by 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 let you stay in a good mood together with beautiful dogs going aroung to make you play with them.
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 the town! And fontina, the local cheese par excellence! Lucio is the butcher who will help you to collect 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 firstname.lastname@example.org). It is very clean and the food is great, with fresh vegetables even though it is so high up! People from all over the world 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 bring any 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.
Check with the Mountain Guide Organisation.
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 arranges a themed party every Friday so that is a "safe card" to get your party on! Otherwise there can be a party on Tuesday evenings, because of the Music night. 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 guests in the village join the owner Herman in a crazy singing long party. Much better than it sounds!
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. Book hotels in Half Board service, breakfast and dinner included.
Charmant Petit Hotel (+39 0125 307566, mail email@example.com) is one of the best hotels 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 1900s. 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 fourstarred hotel with charming mountain style atmosphere. The same owner has also set a trend of renovating old villages and rebuilt a few houses from the 17th century in the tiny village of Mascognaz into a wonderful hotel Hotellerie de Mascognaz (firstname.lastname@example.org). Here you come only by private car or a 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, and a feeling of being lost in the mountains far from cars and ”civilization”:
Consorzio Turistico Val d'Ayas - Monterosa
Route Varasc 16
11020 Champoluc - Ayas (AO) Italia
tel: +39 (0)125307392
We have selected a few reviews & stories from Champoluc. Check them out and try them out for yourself.
We are three guys from Sweden. We live ordinary lives with work and routines as everyone else back home in Stockholm. But one day, the three of us decided that we wanted to do something different for a while. All of us have a great passion for skiing and snowboarding, so we decided to do a season in the Alps. As we started to discuss where we should go, Italy and Monterosa soon became the obvious place for our visit.
[Read the rest of this article...]
Reach us directly at email@example.com or by phone:
+46 8 556 976 10
+46 705 77 13 05
+39 347 99 88 404
Read excerpts from the full descriptions taken from the book Polvere Rosa 3.