Flying in to Geneva Airport and taking a cross-border transfer to Courmayeur is totally possible with Mountain Drop-offs! Transfers take around two hours with usual traffic conditions and you’ll leave Switzerland and drive through France, to take the Mont Blanc Tunnel from Chamonix to Courmayeur.
On exiting this 11km-long tunnel, you’re in the Aosta Valley – and the views are stunning. This is alpine Italy at its finest, with slate-roofed chalets, Courmayeur’s cute town centre, the sweeping valley and, of course, Monte Bianco as your impressive backdrop. Mountain Drop-offs’ direct transfers to and from the popular resort of Courmayeur make flying into Geneva Airport very much a feasible alternative to further away Italian airports.Guide section
Courmayeur – land of pizzas, great coffee, Prosecco…oh and superb skiing too! The main ski resort in Italy’s Vallee d’Aoste, Courmayeur is a bustling and relaxed resort that suits all ages, all budgets and all levels of skier. Even the non-skiers are well-catered for, with a delightful town centre and easy access to the snow front, where you can join skiers for lunch in a plethora of good mountain restaurants.
Wonderful Italian hospitality
What we love about Courmayeur is the hospitality. Amongst the many bars, cafes, restaurants and refuges all over resort, you’ll never have a bad cup of coffee – and believe us, we’ve tried a fair few of them! You can eat like a king in one of the gorgeous and bijou Ristorantes, enjoy a delicious wood oven baked pizza on a sunny Pizzeria terrace, or devour some local polenta with fontina cheese in a classic Trattoria. And the prices (considering you’re in the middle of a top-class ski resort) are reasonable too.
And of course, this is a ski resort guide, so we’ll stop waffling on about the great food (did we mention the outdoor Prosecco bars at the main Checrouit concours where apres-ski kicks off?!) and tell you about the skiing.
There are various ways to access the many varied slopes of Courmayeur:
Courmayeur cable car – the easiest for those of you who are staying in Courmayeur itself, as the lift is right on the edge of the town centre and whisks you quickly and easily up to the main Checrouit snow front area. Ideal for pedestrians wanting to join friends and family on the slopes. This cable car stays open until midnight on weekend nights in the main ski season, so you can apres-ski the night away at the bars and restaurants that stay open after the slopes have shut!
Val Veny cable car – if you’re popping over from Chamonix for the day (Courmayeur is included on Mont Blanc Unlimited lift passes over a certain number of days) this is the closest area to access, as it’s just a couple of bends after the exit of the Mont Blanc Tunnel. The cable car takes you straight to the Val Veny side of Courmayeur, from where you can access the whole ski area via pistes and lifts. And of course, as well as operating airport transfers from Geneva to Courmayeur for guests staying in Courmayeur, we also offer bespoke transfers and between Chamonix and Courmayeur and beyond.
Dolonne bubble lift – the best choice for day visitors, as there’s a paying underground car park right under the lift and a huge free open-air car park a short walk away. The bubble lift brings you out at the main Checrouit plateau and you can ski right back down to the bubble lift as well, which is a pretty cool end of the day run.
Courmayeur’s extensive pistes
Courmayeur certainly has everything when it comes to slopes. Start with a few gentle laps through the trees around Pra Neyron lift, then move up to col de Checrouit and lap those long, wide pistes around Gabba chair lift.
When you’ve got your ski legs, take on the long, steep and narrow Internazionale piste. It’s a proper leg burner and often busy too, so it’s a challenge. From there drop down to Zerotta, the sunny clearing at the foot of the mountains where you can grab a drink and relax in a deckchair.
Powder hounds will want to do the queue to get the small Youla cable car, which accesses lots of off-piste. A word of warning if you take the even smaller cable car called Arp from the top of Youla, it only accesses unmarked and unpatrolled areas, so take a guide. If you don’t know where you are going, you could end up lost in the Vallon Dolonne or Val Veny…
Total beginners are spoilt for choice in Courmayeur. There’s a snow garden adjacent to the bottom of the Dolonne lift and there’s a little nursery slope served by a drag lift tucked away behind the (in)famous Maison Vieille restaurant. Both are accessible by the chair lift of the same name and you can go up and down this lift.
Back in Courmayeur town
After a hard day’s skiing, head to the main Via Roma in Courmayeur centre. This delightful pedestrian street is lined with boutiques, bars, delicatessens and restaurants. We love Bar Roma for the chic interior and free antipasti with your apero. A great place for a cheeky Aperol Spritz.
Look out for the hidden focaccia bars in the alleys just off the main drag for a slice of freshly baked Italian breads and make sure if you want to eat pizza, you head off the beaten track to Pizzeria du Tunnel. It’s cramped, it’s hot and it’s chaotic, but the pizzas are fab and so big they spill off the plates!
As well as the skiing and eating in Courmayeur, there’s so much more to do in and around the resort during both the summer and winter season. Here’s our pick of the best things to do around Courmayeur.content-activities.php
You pass under the Skyway Monte Bianco cables at Entreves when you’re on your Mountain Drop-offs transfer to Geneva. This is the world’s most expensive cable car and the round cabins do one full rotation with every trip. It’s pretty amazing. The first stop is Pavillon at 2173m and there’s a cafe, restaurant, wine cellar, galleries and lecture theatre showing films. Make sure you pop outside to alpine garden and kids will love the small adventure playground, that includes a raft across a pond!
The second stage cable car takes you up to Punta Helbronner at 3466m. There are viewing platforms galore and a cafe. This is where the Panoramic Mont Blanc lift take you across to the Aiguille du Midi, also accessible from Chamonix (open from summer 2019 after renovation works). Take the lift that plunges 78m down to an underground walkway to the Refugio Torino for a cuppa on the terrace.
On the opposite side to the Courmayeur ski area, Val Ferret is a 20km-long stretch along the lush green valley floor that is simply stunning. Dotted with restaurants along the way, there’s also trout fishing in the Dora di Ferret, biking and golf in the summer. It’s also the start of some lovely hiking trails up to refuges. Look out for little farms selling fontina cheese too. In winter it’s a paradise for cross country skiing and snow shoeing. Traffic is restricted in summer and the road is, for the most part inaccessible by car in winter, making it really peaceful.
A little further long the Aosta Valley from Courmayeur lies Pre St Didier. From here you have direct access via the cable cars to Les Suches, in the franco-italian Espace St Bernard ski area. From here you can access the skiing in La Rosiere, which is in France on the other side of the Col du Petit San Bernard. One ski area, two countries, 39 lifts and 85 pistes, as they say. And what’s more, there are the lovely QC Terme spa baths at the foot of the Pre St Didier lifts, for a relaxing soak after a day on the slopes. Well worth a day out!
In winter this snow park area a few minutes from the bottom of the Dolonne bubble lift station is a winter wonderland for kids. There are magic carpets and little drag lifts to access nursery and fun slopes just for the kids and it’s all well away from the main slopes, so very safe for little ones. In the summer the park is transformed into an outdoor paradise, with trampolines, sand pits, pedal karts and a whole lot more that toddlers will love.
Plunge into Europe’s highest heated swimming pool during July and August for a high-altitude swim at 1709m! It’s just a short walk from where the main Courmayeur cable car arrives at Checkout and combined return lift ticket and all-day entrance ticket costs 25€ for adults (18€ after 14:00). The pool is open 10:30 to 17:00 and there are sun loungers, deck chairs, changing rooms, a snack bar and children’s playground.
Summer or winter, there’s plenty to keep all ages happy in and around the bustling resort Courmayeur. Be it a traditional mountain festival, a gruelling trail running race, or a weekend fishing competition, there’s fun to be had all year round in Courmayeur.
Santa arrives in Courmayeur town centre on Christmas Eve, with a sackful of presents for all. It’s a lovely atmosphere and the whole resort is lit up for the festive period. Nothing beats a wander around those narrow cobbled streets after a hard day’s skiing, culminating in meeting the big man Santa himself!
Leaving from the main snow front at Checrouit at 17:45, you’ll all ski down together with the Italian Ski School instructors to Dolonne, where there’s a little party with milled wine served. You can bet your bottom dollar the colours will be red, white and green and it’s great way to start New Year’s Eve celebrations!
As well as being the patron saint of lovers, St Valentine is also the patron saint of winter on Courmayeur! So, it’s time to get romantic in Courmayeur with horse and carriage rides, strolls along the illuminated streets and drinking a hot choc or mulled wine together. Perfect for showing the one you love how much you love them..and Courmayeur!
Make your way to the church square in town for a warming cup of soup served with fontina cheese, sliced meats and wholemeal bread – all part of the tradition of Mardi Gras in Courmayeur. The day is rounded off with a woodcutting competition (like you do!), before partying way into the early hours!
On what is also the last scheduled day of the winter ski season on the slopes of Courmayeur, there’s a craft fair in the town centre. Things are kicked off by a music parade through the streets, where you’ll find around 300 stalls showing off their wares. The speciality around these parts is woodcraft and there are always lots of really lovely wooden articles for sale, along with other crafts and, of course, lots of foodie goodies too!
Famous cycle tour the Giro d’Italia comes to Courmayeur in 2019! In what is a bit of a coup for the resort, the world’s best road cyclists will be pedalling all the way along the Aosta Valley to the impressive Monte Bianco Skyway cable car. It’s going to be pretty epic, as we all know how much the Italians love their cycling!
Courmayeur is a brilliant destination. Combining superb hospitality with that stunning Aosta Valley backdrop, there’s something for everyone (both skiers and non-skiers) in Courmayeur. With a huge range or flights coming in to Geneva Airport, it’s actually often easier to transfer from Geneva to Courmayeur than the regional Italian airports. Mountain Drop-offs will be there to whisk you directly to Courmayeur with no stress or hassle. Book your Courmayeur transfers via our secure on-line booking system now.