We traveled to Aosta Valley in May a few years ago and returned last summer, when we hiked the Tour du Mont Blanc. We recommend visiting Courmayeur between June and mid-September, when hiking trails are mostly clear of snow.
How to Visit Courmayeur, Italy
- Elevation: 1224 meters
- When to Visit: June to September for Hiking, January – March for skiing
- Must-visit Mountain Huts: Rifugio Bertone, Rifugio Bonatti, and Rifugio Elena, and Cabane du Combal
- Where to Stay: Hotel Croux (midrange), Hotel Walser Courmayeur (midrange), Villa Novecento Romantic Hotel (midrange), Gran Baita Hotel (luxury), or Hotel Auberge De La Maison (luxury)
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Midrange | Hotel Croux is advantageously located in the pedestrian zone of the Courmayeur town center, close to many shops and restaurants. Stay here for the location, clean private rooms (single, triple, family), and tasty breakfast.
Midrange | Hotel Walser Courmayeur is a simple family-run hotel with a great restaurant, close to the center of town. You can book double/twin, triple, and quadruple rooms. The food is excellent.
Midrange-Luxury | Villa Novecento Romantic Hotel – Estella Hotels Italia is a boutique hotel in Courmayeur, walking distance to the town center (8 minute walk). Guests love the spacious rooms, the ambience, the helpful staff, and the meals (breakfast and dinner).
Luxury | Gran Baita Hotel & Wellness Resort is a welcoming hotel with an on-site restaurant, bar, and wellness area (heated indoor-outdoor swimming pool, sauna, hot tub). Rooms are rustic, yet elegant. The hotel is a 10-minute walk to the pedestrian zone of Courmayeur. Half board available.
Luxury | Hotel Auberge De La Maison is the best hotel in Courmayeur. Rooms are decorated in a refined-rustic style. Views are phenomenal. And, you can enjoy top-rated Valdostana cuisine in a wood-paneled dining room, warmed by a large fireplace. Located in the Entrèves neighborhood, this hotel is also only 300 meters from the Sky Way Mont Blanc cable car. Guests have access to a heated outdoor pool, sauna, Turkish bath, and solarium.
What to See and Do in Courmayeur
Baita La Suche Hut
Baita La Suche (1467 m) is an alpine pasture hut, situated on a high plateau above Courmayeur. From the plateau, there are sweeping views of Mont Blanc and the many peaks that straddle the French-Italian border.
This short hike begins at Ristorante Baita Ermitage.
To reach Ermitage from the Courmayeur town center, drive up Strada Grand Ru in the direction of Villair Inferiore and Plan Gorret.
The easy-to-follow trail ascends steadily through the forest for 50 minutes. This is a suitable excursion for families. We hiked here in mid May, and the trail was in good condition.
Skyway Monte Bianco
Open since May 2015, the Skyway Monte Bianco is the Courmayeur cable car that connects Courmayeur town (The Valley Station, 1300 m) to the Pavillon (The Mountain Station, 2173 m) and Punta Helbronner (The Sky Station, 3466 m).
At the Punta Helbronner station, there’s a 360-degree observatory, Bistrot Panoramic restaurant, and a number of other experiential rooms.
There are many things to do in Courmayeur, but this should make your short-list. Though ticket prices are steep, you’ll quickly forget the price when you’re riding this state-of-the-art cable car to one of the highest points in Europe. Go on a clear day.
Courmayeur to Rifugio Bonatti Hiking Trail
One of the most beautiful stretches of the Tour du Mont Blanc is between Rifugio Bertone and Rifugio Bonatti.
To start the hike to Rifugio Bertone, drive to the Val Sapin car park.
If you’re traveling without a car, locate Church of Saint Pantaleon in the center of town and then turn left on Strada del Villair. Follow this road all the way to the Val Sapin car park.
The trail climbs up the forest steadily. Follow the TMB waymarks at the various intersections. It takes 1:30 hours to reach Rifugio Bertone (1989 m).
From the refuge, follow the trail uphill. Soon you’ll reach a signed junction. Turn left to Refuge Bonatti (2:15 hours).
The trail eases and traverses the flank of Mont de la Saxe, high above Val Ferret. For the next two hours, you’ll follow this balcony trail across patches of forest, mountain pastures, meadows, and streams.
Rifugio Bonatti is a lovely place to take a break, drink a coffee, or eat lunch. After a break, continue following the Tour du Mont Blanc trail. Hike up the slope to the Malatra alp huts and turn left.
After a few stream crossings, continue northeast towards the head of Val Ferret.
After about 1 hour from Rifugio Bonatti, the trail swings left and drops down to the bed of Val Ferret.
Chalet Val Ferret is located just off the trail and is another great option for lunch and/or refreshments.
Return to Courmayeur by bus.
Val Veny is a scenic valley at the foot of the Mont Blanc massif, west of Courmayeur. It stretches from Courmayeur all the way to Col de la Seigne (2516 m), the saddle at the border of Italy and France.
There are a few ways to visit Val Veny. You can walk through the valley to Cabane du Combal, Lago Combal and Lago del Miage. From Lago Combal, you can extend the valley hike to Rifugio Elisabetta and even all the way up to Col de la Seigne.
Alternatively, take the bus to the La Visaille bus stop and follow the valley trail to Lago Combal. Just beyond the bridge (which leads to Cabane du Combal), turn left and climb up to Alpe inférieur de d’Arp Vieille and Alpe supérieure de d’Arp Vieille. Follow this high trail all the way to Col Chécrouit, and Rifugio Maison Vieille.
From the refuge, descend to the Dolonne Gondola mountain station and take the gondola down to Dolonne/Courmayeur. For a detailed trail description, read TMB Stage 5: Cabane du Combal – Courmayeur.
Val Ferret offers up some of the most stupefying views of Grandes Jorasses (4208 m). You can drive, cycle or walk the length of the valley.
To reach Val Ferret, head to the hamlet of La Palud. The valley road stretches from La Palud to the hamlet of Arnuova. The valley itself continues to Col Ferret (2,490m) on the Italian-Swiss border. Here are a few hikes in Val Ferret to consider:
- Hike from Lavachey village to Rifugio Bonatti (2026 m), which is located along the TMB and Tour de Grand St. Berhard.
- Hike from Arnuova village to Rifugio Elena, located at 2061 m. From the refuge, it takes 1-hour to reach the Swiss border.
You can also go trout fishing and golfing in Val Ferret.
How to Get to Courmayeur
The closest airports to Courmayeur are Geneva (118km), Turin (151km), and Milan Malpensa (214km). If you’re flying, the closest airport to Courmayeur is Geneva.
Aosta Express provides direct transfers from Geneva to Courmayeur.
If you’re driving to Courmayeur, you can head to Aosta Valley from:
- Switzerland via the Great San Bernard Tunnel
- Chamonix, France via the Tunnel du Mont-Blanc
- Haute-Tarentaise, France via the Little Saint Bernard Pass
- Italy via the Autostrada E25 (highway).
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