Aosta Valley, Italy

One of the other great things about Chamonix is that Italy is right on the doorstep.

Fantastic  food, even better coffee and some brilliant skiing too.

As well as day trips we also offer a fantastic range of Italian experiences, from skidoo adventures to mountain peaks! Read on to find out more...

Italy

Where else but Chamonix could you be enjoying French croissants for breakfast and Italian ice cream for lunch?

Chamonix enjoys a wonderful location right on the French/Italian border, bringing us the best of both cultures. This can be seen in resort, with more than a couple of fantastic Italian restaurants and cafés. However, while the real thing is so close, why not take a quick trip through the Mont Blanc tunnel and tick off another country while you're over here?

Courmayeur
Courmayeur is a beautiful little village at the foot of an excellent ski resort, if you have chosen the Mont Blanc Unlimited lift pass you can ski here at no extra cost – just remember to validate your lift pass before you get on the cable car.

If you are here to see the sights you will find no shortage of stylish boutiques, craft shops and delicatessens. Make sure you take a decent sized shopping bag for all the goodies you'll be bringing home!

Aosta
A little further on is the ancient town of Aosta, where you can see Roman ruins. Bigger and more modern than Courmayeur, Aosta is a bustling town with plenty of Italian character. There are plenty of good shops and restaurants to pass an afternoon in.

Getting there
In winter Mountain Lifestyle offers a twice weekly bus service to Courmayeur, via our partner company Haute Transfer. Buses run every Tuesday and Thursday for 30€ return, picking you up from the door of your accommodation. There are a number of departures each day, so you can book a time that suits you. Bookings must be made a day in advance by phone +33 486 68 87 16, email or simply call into our office in Chamonix Sud.

There is also a regular SAT Mont Blanc bus service that runs every day from in front of Chamonix train station to Courmayeur and on to Aosta. A return ticket to Aosta costs 28€ and the journey takes around 2 hours each way, you can see the timetable here, tickets must be booked in advance.

Handy hints from Mountain Lifestyle

  • Stock up on lots of Italian wine and antipasti to make your self-catered holiday more gourmet.
  • Take your camera, Mont Blanc is just as photogenic from the other side.
  • Don't forget your passport! It's unlikely that you'll be asked to show it at the border but better safe than sorry...
  • Remember, if you have a Mont Blanc Unlimited pass, skiing in Courmayeur is included.
Contact us now to book your trip to Italy

Select Courmayeur or Aosta as your destination or contact us for a tailor-made day trip to Italy

Courmayeur

You know as soon as you emerge from the Mont Blanc tunnel that you've crossed a border - even though it's less than an hour from Chamonix we still feel like we're on our holidays every time we arrive in Courmayeur!

Included in the Mont Blanc Unlimited, Courmayeur has a fantastic ski area with over 100km of groomed pistes and acres of easily accessible off-piste.

A large ski area with slopes that face in all directions, you can find sunshine somewhere no matter what time of day. There are dozens of fantastic restaurants ranging from bustling pizzerias with big terraces to little stone huts that make their own pasta and limoncello.

In the summer the ski area becomes a paradise of rolling meadows full of long grass and wildflowers, a network of hiking trails shared with donkeys and cows! Courmayeur is a stopping point on the legendary Tour du Mont Blanc and from here you can trek into Switzerland and France, staying overnight in mountain huts.

The town itself is a small welcoming cluster of old stone buildings and narrow streets lined with wonderful delicatessens, cafés, restaurants and typically glamorous boutiques stocking all the famous Italian designer fashions.

Handy Hints from Mountain Lifestyle:

  • Be sure to call into Bar Posta on the main street for one of their delicious hot chocolates beside the massive stone fireplace.
  • Book The Italian Job for an unforgettable experience of Courmayeur at night!
  • If you are using your Mont Blanc Unlimited lift pass to ski in Courmayeur you still need to go to the lift pass office before you queue for the lift, just to validate your pass and pick up a piste map.

Select Courmayeur as your destination or contact us for a tailor-made day trip to Italy

Aosta

An ancient Italian town with ruins and old castles, Aosta is the Rome of the Alps.

Colonised by the Romans in 25BC, Aosta is a fascinating place to spend a day. A Roman theatre, ancient walls, the remains of the city gates and traces of Roman roads all tell tales of the past. You can wander round many of them for free and there is a half-day walking tour you can do that takes in many of the sights.

There are countless restaurants, pizzerias, cafés and ice cream parlours in Aosta - you could easily spend all day just wandering from one to next, trying all the delicacies that Aosta has to offer!

A much larger town than either Courmayeur or Chamonix, Aosta is great for shopping. If you want to treat yourself to some Italian fashion or take home some gifts then this is the place to do it.

Handy Hints from Mountain Lifestyle:
  • The Aosta Valley is famous for its excellent wines and Fontina cheese, make sure you take some home with you!
  • With the most elevated vinyards in Europe, Aosta is a major producer of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Gamay varieties despite being Italy's small wine-making region. Find out more and sample the goods on a wine tour.

Select Aosta as your destination or contact us for a tailor-made day trip to Italy

Pré Saint Didier

Pré Saint Didier, Italy, is the ultimate in spa days, as soon as you are handed your bathrobe and flip-flops you are immersed in a cocoon of relaxation.

Just a short drive through the Mont Blanc tunnel on the other side of Courmayeur, Pré Saint Didier has everything you need; outdoor pools with stunning mountain views, treatment rooms inside a classic Italian villa, sensory chambers, hot/cold plunge baths, healthy buffet with freshly squeezed fruit juices...

The architecture of the building has been preserved and integrated into the function of the spa. Long corridors house trenches of soothing warm and freezing cold water, which you alternately wade through to give your circulation a kick start; cellars have been turned into water treatment rooms with fierce showers that pummel your muscles, floating pools with coloured lights and scented saunas where you scrub your skin with coarse salt before you enter.

Included in the entry fee is the buffet; an array of fruit, vegetables, cereals, bread and yoghurt with herbal teas and fresh fruit juices. The Italians know how to eat well, even in a health spa!

There is plenty here to keep you occupied for a good few hours, the building is huge and it takes a while to find all the features of the spa. However, if you want to make your trip really special you can indulge in a massage or relaxation treatment with one of their therapists – enquire at the reception desk on entry.

Handy hints from Mountain Lifestyle
  • Mountain Lifestyle offers a twice weekly bus service to Courmayeur in partnership with Haute Transfer. Contact us to enquire about transport to and from the spa.
  • If you have chosen the Mont Blanc Unlimited lift pass you can ski/snowboard in Courmayeur for free – a visit to Pre Saint Didier makes a wonderful end to the day.

Select Courmayeur as your destination or contact us for a tailor-made day trip to Italy

contact us
Prices
44€ on weekdays
49€ on weekends & public holidays
Massages and treatments from 38€ to 130€,  consult the Pré Saint Didier website for full details.

Val Ferret

An idyllic valley on the other side of Mont Blanc, cut down the middle by a crystal clear river and lined either side with hiking trails in summer and cross-country ski trails in winter.

Popular with everyone from families with snow shoes and sledges to lycra-clad winter sports athletes, Val Ferret is a fantastic day out that is just over half an hour's drive from Chamonix.

You'll experience the usual warm Italian welcome in all of the restaurants, enjoy a super-rich espresso and an ice cream on one of the many terraces and go for a magical walk alongside the river.

Our partners at Haute Transfer offer scheduled trips to Courmayeur with the option to be dropped off and picked up in Val Ferret every Tuesday and Thursday for just 30€ return. If you want to include other options such as exploring the nearby ancient town of Aosta or going for dinner in Courmayeur we can offer tailor-made trips to suit you, just ask and we're happy to arrange it!

Handy Hints from Mountain Lifestyle:

  • Cross-country skiing is a great option as an alternative to going up the mountain, equipment can be hired inexpensively from a shop right opposite the start of the trails in Val Ferret.
  • Take cash as some of the restaurants and cafés don't accept cards - especially not for a small purchase like coffee.
  • Don't forget your passport! Although it's unlikely that you'll be asked for it at the tunnel you are passing into another country and it's better to be prepared.

Select Courmayeur as your destination to book a trip to Val Ferret or contact us for a tailor-made day trip to Italy

The Italian Job

Even we get jealous when we book people on this adventure. There are no Minis in this Italian Job, just high-speed skidoos and mouth-watering Italian food and wine.

You leave Chamonix at around 5pm and head through the Mont Blanc tunnel into Courmayeur. Put your head torch on and jump on the back of a skidoo, ready to race up the mountain to 2000 metres where a cosy restaurant and sparkling champagne awaits.

Salads, roasted vegetables, crispbreads, amazing pasta, grilled meats: the food is, as you would imagine, as special as the journey!

Much later, after endless wine and a boogie (to some classic 80s tunes), it’s time to head down. Did we mention that you’d be doing this on your skis, via the stars and your head torch?

If there is ever an adventure not to be missed, this is it.


Handy hints from Mountain Lifestyle
  • Don’t worry non-skiers can use the skidoos to get back down
  • Leaves Chamonix at 17:00, return approx 23:30
  • Minimum group sizes apply - please check first

Italy