The Alps feature so many assets, all year round. If you like italian food, french hospitality and Swiss skiing quality, have a look at the Aosta Valley and Cervinia, 2015 metres above sea level, peaking up to 3883 metres at the highest ski slope. There is much more to discover in the Alps than crisp, fresh air, sun and skiing year round. [Pic credits to Vallée d’Aosta tourism and Cervinia Valtournenche ski paradise.]
Cervinia is of course most famous for it’s heighs and snow guarantee in winter as well as summer, irresistebly attractive for skiers starting from the centre of Cervinia skiing all the way via – or rather around – Monte Cervino, called Matterhorn over on the Swiss side, to Zermatt and back again. Don’t miss the last lift back again. You do have a terrible bargaining position in your ski boots on the Swiss hotel side.
The glacier Monte Rosa, 3489m, offers skiing all year round, and is consequently one of the preferred training areas for the top teams of the Alpine Ski World Cup.
There is even somerhing called “Prima Traccia”, where you may leave your signature on the slope before the official opening time, descending from Plan Maison to Cervinia early in the morning. A good and strong espresso is included in the ticket price. http://www.cervinia.it
With their wonderful concerts of mythical bells, constantly ringing in all tonalities, the small but tough alpine cows are my favourites.
In summer, you will find the local species, such as the Valdostane breed, all over the lush hillsides. Wintertime, you’ll have to visit them in the farms.
There are popular festivals in Aosta called the “Bataille de Reines”, where the cow queens “reines” are the ones who win the fight when establishing the hierarchy in the group.
3. Walking, biking and hiking – plus golf
The Mont Cervin – or Matterhorn – dominates and gives an infinite beauty and strength to the Monte Rosa and Cervinia area. The summit is 4,478 metres high, making it one of the highest tops in the Alps, and Europe.
Some tourists do climb, but most visitors come for the nature walks: The Tour of the Matterhorn, Lago Blu, Monte Cervino Church and Sant’anna Path are just some of the attractions around Cervinia and Valtournenche.
There is a 18 holes golf course in Cervinia and several mountain bike slopes. Many mountain bikers gather here for the numerous tracks covering the hillsides. Among others, a bike track for experts starts at 3500 metres altitude on the Rosa Plateau and arrives in town after passing by glaciers, stonescapes and pastures. http://www.lovevda.it
4. The Aosta Valley
If you have one day to spare, do visit the town Aosta. Aosta is like an open air roman muséum, Italian forerunner in numbers of roman remainings, after Rome.
The Forte di Bardo in the valley is a tremendous and very ambitious cultural centre with five different exibitions. The Alpine history exibit is tremendous and interactive, the McCurry photos exposed right now arresting. http://www.fortedibard.it/
The brand new Hotel Marmore is to open end December.
Here are some views from and of the hotel.
I stayed at Chalet Francois, with four rooms, hosting 14 persons all in all. Perfect for a group of friends or la grande famiglia. Charming. http://chaletfrancois.com/
We ate so well at Mario’s in front of the golf course. It’s a family run, traditional italian restaurant that will not disappoint anyone.
PS First snow fall came last night, on the 10th of September. Looks indeed promising. DS