The gorgeous Aosta Valley in northern Italy invites families on great value ski holidays, from historic Gressoney to chic Courmayeur, all winter long.
High altitude Alpine resorts, high mountains, high-speed lifts, high snow fall and high excitement are exactly what families can look forward to on a ski holiday anywhere in Italy’s breathtakingly beautiful Aosta Valley this winter.
The only lows are costs for everything from great value family lift passes to wonderful places to stay: whether you’re in the mood for a cossetting catered chalet, cute mountain refuge, or luxury spa hotel.
But with dozens of resorts to choose from; skiing styles from beginner to fearsome off-piste and a mesmerising mix of purpose-built towns, historic villages and quaint hamlets, where do you even start?
Easy, just follow the excellent advice of Aosta Valley. Here are five of their top family resort picks this season, plus a selection of other holiday ideas you might like to think about too.
Courmayeur – the perfect Aosta Valley choice for five to 10 year olds
Courmayeur’s cobbled streets, smart little shops, award-winning restaurants and charming traditional architecture, hark back to origins as an elegant 19th century spa town. Today, it’s one of the prettiest ski resorts in the Aosta Valley and, under the good looks, couldn’t be more family friendly.
It’s on the Italian side of Mont Blanc, with fast lift access to Vallée Blanche, and exciting off-piste for advanced skiers. But beginner and intermediate terrain is where Courmayeur really excels, so it’s great for younger kids.
Ski School Monte Bianco is one of Italy’s best and starts lessons from age five. And the fantastic Baby Snow Park lets your snow babies get up to anything from fat biking and bobsleighing to junior snowmobiling, cross-country, and beginner freeriding.
Minclub Biancaneve offers supervised childcare from new-born to age 10. And Club Lo Tatà keeps three to 12 year olds busy all winter long with outdoor activities, events, workshops, entertainment, and general all-round excitement. There’s never any fuss at bedtime in Courmayeur.
Good for families
- Baby Snow Park and Courmarider Snow Park
- Miniclub Lo Tatà for kids from age three to 12 years
- Miniclub Biancaneve childcare, from new-born to age 10
- Ski School Monte Bianco Courmayeur, group lessons from age five
- Home to Skyway Monte Bianco
- 100km of runs from 1250m to 2755m
- Car-free and good for family-run hotels and catered chalets
- Just over one hour and 30 minutes from either Turin or Geneva Airport
La Thuile – fantastic for festive fun, all winter long
La Thuile is known for good value, popular with UK families, and one of the most festive resorts in the entire region.
Christmas is magical for younger kids here, with living nativities, torchlit parades, and entertainment. Fireworks and lamplight processions make New Year a real family event too, and colourful Trambelle Sulla Neve brings Italian carnival spirit to La Thuile in February.
Ski-wise, varied runs are great for independent teens. The resort also links to La Rosière, so you can ski France and Italy in a single day. And advanced skiers have some thrilling red and blacks, with forest in the mix, for extra challenge.
Good for families
- Ski-in-ski-out accommodation minutes from nursery slopes and ski-school.
- Multi-lingual La Thuile Ski School starts lessons from age five.
- La Poletta and Espace San Bernardo Snow Parks.
- Funivie Piccolo San Bernardo Baby Snow Park in La Thuile
- Lively, but with reliably uncrowded slopes.
- High percentage intermediate terrain for teens.
- 150km of runs in Italy and La Rosière in France
- Two hours drive from either Geneva or Turin Airport.
Pila – the snow-sure Aosta Valley resort for first time family ski holidays
Peaceful and small-scale Pila is famously snow-sure all season. It also comes with amazing views of Mont Rosa, Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn, as well as sitting at a nicely high altitude only a short gondola ride from historic Aosta Town.
It’s a friendly, car-free resort and a good choice for first time family ski holidays. Most of the accommodation’s ski-in-ski-out. Local ski school, Scuola Sci Pila starts lessons from age five, and there’s an excellent kid’s club for three to 12 year olds; plus the dedicated Baby Pila children’s slope.
Welcome as the uncrowded beginner and intermediate terrain is here, the resort’s après-ski is still plenty lively, and restaurants treat kids to true Italian cooking. It’s also said that Pila’s hot chocolate is the best in Aosta Valley.
Good for families
- Uncrowded, car-free, wide range of ski-in-ski-out places to stay.
- Multi-lingual Scuola Sci Pila starts lessons from age five.
- Il Cubotto mini-club for three to 12 year olds.
- Il Cubotto childcare for new-born to age three.
- Lively après-ski and good local restaurants.
- 20 minutes scenic gondola ride from medieval Aosta town.
- 70km of runs from 1765m to 2700m
- Two hours, 15 minutes from Geneva Airport, and an hour and a half from Turin
Cervinia – amazing for teen free-riders and boarders
Cervinia is a magical, mountain wonderland with Europe’s highest ski lifts, links to Zermatt, and the best snow-record in Italy.
Experts looking for exciting off-piste along with plenty blacks and reds, love it here. There’s also a nice balance of beginner and intermediate terrain to keep less intrepid skiers happy. But the resort really comes into its own for teenagers. The snow park is huge, and all young boarders need to know is: Cervinia hosted the Snowboard Cross World Cup in 2017. It’s that good.
The characterful, traffic-free village has an easy-going atmosphere, along with plenty of shops and restaurants. Plus, places to stay range from family apartments to luxury catered chalets and spa hotels, so it works well for most budgets.
Good for families
- High mountain resort with excellent snow record
- Multi-lingual Scuola di Sci Breuil starts lessons from age five.
- Scuola di Sci de Cervino Mini Club mixes morning ski lessons and afternoon childcare.
- Cervinia Snowpark AKA Indian Park offers four hectares freeriding, rails, kickers, Big Air, and a pumping, non-stop soundtrack.
- Links to Switzerland’s Valtournenche and Zermatt on one pass.
- 350km of pistes from 1525m to 3480m
- Good range of non-ski family sports and activities.
- One hour, 40 minutes from Turin Airport: two hours, 20 minutes from Geneva: two hours, 40 minutes from Milan.
Monterosa – Italy’s ‘Trois Vallées’ is perfect for younger families
Monterosa is Italy’s own ‘Trois Vallées’, only without the crowds, and with several impressive mountains to admire. Think Monte Rosa, Mont Blanc, the Matterhorn, and Gran Paradiso, all in one view.
Gressoney village is a great base for young families, combining fast access to widely varied slopes and a quiet, gentle atmosphere. Plus, you’ll find interesting history and Alpine prettiness in the mix here too. Ski School Gressoney starts lessons as young as three. And fun Baby Snow Park Weismatten, designed for beginners and kids, offers lots of room to practice.
Accommodation at Gressoney ranges from dramatic mountain refuges to four-star hotels, with everything from self-catering apartments to residences in between. Après-ski has a family feel and local restaurants are cosy and welcoming. However, if you want something livelier Gressoney is also well placed for visiting other Monterosa resorts.
Champoluc is the largest Monterosa resort and its huge ski area is the one which compares in size to ‘Trois Vallées’ in France. Although in Italy, you won’t have to navigate the French legend’s busy pistes. So you’ve more room to ski and enjoy the stunning views.
If Alpine cosiness is a priority when it comes to accommodation, Champoluc is also a good choice. The resort specialises in charming, family-run hotels either in the village centre or in pretty woodland settings nearby.
Good for families
- Part of the Monterosa ‘three valleys’, close to both Champoluc and Alagna.
- Multi-lingual Ski School Gressoney starts lessons from age three.
- Authentic mountain village with peaceful, family atmosphere.
- Baby Snow Park Weismatten for kids and beginners.
- Range of cross-budget accommodation.
- Excellent area for snowboarding, freeriding, and cross-country.
- Good intermediate and beginner runs locally.
- One hour, 30 minutes from Turin Airport, and two hours from Milan.
Secret Aosta Valley resorts for authentic family holidays
Less well known Aosta Valley resorts still hold a lot of appeal for families. Torgnon is actually known as the land of children and toys and it’s also home to an enormous Winter Park. Then there’s Crévacol which is the Valley’s sunniest resort and features the Flassin playground. Alternatively, you might like Chamois. It’s the only car-free Italian village and great for beginners as well as a bit of a snowshoeing legend. Even the more traditional villages in Aosta Valley have access to large ski areas. So alongside authenticity you get a mix of spacious runs, gentle and gradual slopes, as well as Alpine skiing tracks and easy children’s slopes.
Which Aosta Valley secret do you want to discover?
- Torgnon is a family favourite and known for its Winter Park which is one of the largest and best equipped playgrounds in the entire Aosta Valley.
- Choose Crévacol for lots of sunshine and the Flassin playground where kids can have fun with sleds, bobs and bicycles.
- Antagnod in Monterosa is a charming baroque village, with lovely traditional architecture, interesting museums, and a fun baby snow park for kids.
- An hour from Gressoney, Brusson is a lovely scenic resort, and if older kids are keen to try cross-country for the day, this is where to head.
- Brusson’s next door neighbour, Col de Joux, has one of the region’s best snow parks for kids, beginners and intermediates.
- For some of the valley’s finest Nordic skiing, visit Cogne, the little Alpine beauty in the heart of Gran Paradiso National Park.
- Just 40 minutes from Courmayeur, Valgrisenche has fantastic children’s slopes, and it’s one of the sunniest small resorts in Val d’Aosta.
- Chamois is the highest Aosta Valley village and known for pure mountain air and gentle pace of life. Often called the Pearl of the Alps, it’s another resort that’s ideal for first time skiers.