La Thuile, Italy
How to get there
You may be surprised to learn that the French sounding resort, La Thuile, is actually located in Italy. It does, however, share an international ski area with the French ski resort of La Rosière. The beautiful resort sits in the Aosta Valley in northern Italy and is easily accessible by a combination of air and rail or bus travel.
The most convenient airport, in terms of service, for reaching the resort is Turin, which is well-connected to the UK by frequent flights. It will take you just one hour to drive between Turin and La Thuile. Geneva is located just 120 kilometres away and the airport there is served by a wide range of flights departing from airports across the UK. Good offers can usually be found if you shop around the budget airlines. You can drive from the airport in a hire car, via the Mont Blanc Tunnel. Alternatively, Turin is just 150 kilometres away from La Thuile and driving between the airport and the resort will take approximately two and a half hours. Finally, Milan is located 200 kilometres away and driving between the city and the resort will take about 3 hours. You may be able to find a better deal for a flight destined for Milan, since it is a more popular destination year-round.
The nearest train station to La Thuile is Pré Saint Didier. To get there, take the Eurostar to Paris and then transfer to the state railway, which will eventually take you to Pré Saint Didier. This station is about 10 kilometres away from the ski resort and a bus transfer, leaving from the town at frequent intervals, will take approximately 15 minutes.
If you want to drive to the resort, it is connected to the French region, Savoie, by state road number 26 and the Piccolo San Bernardo Pass. However, this connection closes after October when the pass becomes a ski run. Despite this inconvenience, the great highway system ensures that you can reach La Thuile from Turin and Geneva in just a couple of hours. If you do choose to drive from the UK via Calais, make sure that your snow chains and tyres are in good condition and that you have planned a good, safe route.
Who does the resort cater for?
Skiers of all abilities will be kept happy by the skiing on offer at the resort. Beginners have a dedicated ski area at the bottom of the mountain, with lifts separated from those used by intermediate and expert skiers. Intermediates can take advantage of the extremely long, yet relatively gentle runs, and experts will love the steep Le Defi run, which is extremely challenging. Expert skiers may also wish to take advantage of the great heli-skiing on offer at La Thuile. Heli-skiers are transported to the top of the Rutor glacier and are guided down by an Alpine guide, through amazing scenery and great powder snow. The season for heli-skiing does not start until late December or early January, however, but it does last until the end of May. For young children, there is a great ski school as well as a snow playground, which is guaranteed to keep youngsters entertained.
For those who do not wish to hit the slopes, there are many other activities to provide entertainment. The Planibel complex contains a sports club with a fitness centre, a swimming pool, squash courts, a climbing wall, and a sauna. For the more adventurous non-skier, there is ice climbing and snowshoe hiking on offer. Nightlife in the resort is not particularly lively, making it ideal for families with small children. However, there are many great restaurants and bars, as well as several small nightclubs.
What accommodation does the resort offer?
There is accommodation on offer at La Thuile to suit all budgets and tastes. Hotel Dora is located in a convenient central location and is less than a one minute walk to the free ski bus station. This new hotel is furnished to a comfortable standard and is a good-value option. It offers a very good buffet breakfast and rooms have satellite televisions, hairdryers, internet connection, and telephones. Another reasonable choice is the Hotel Piccolo San Bernardo. All rooms come complete with satellite television and telephone. The hotel has 1 suite suitable for 3 people, 1 suite suitable for 4 people, and a wide range of double and twin rooms. For those seeking more independence, try the Hotel 6795. These private apartments are located right on the slopes and directly next to a gondola. Guests can take advantage of a communal restaurant, a large lounge, and a discotheque.
There are 6 black runs (suitable for expert skiers), 14 red runs (suitable for intermediate skiers), and 13 blue runs (suitable for beginners). The slopes are served by modern lifts, including the popular bubble cable cars, and they take nearly 30,000 skiers per hour up the mountains. The resort also has 295 snow cannons which generate artificial snow to supplement the natural snow. As well as the great skiing on offer in La Thuile, the correct ski pass will grant you access to the other Aosta Valley resorts, including Etroubles, Pila, and Alagna Valsesia.
- Downhill Pistes: 146 km
- Cross Country Trails: 20 km
- Number of Ski Lifts: 16
- Maximum Vertical: 1170 m
- Highest Lift: 2610 m
- Altitude of Resort: 1450 m
- Lowest Piste: 1440 m