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Long Weekend in Italy

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi All,

Posted here last year and got some great advice.

A friend and I are looking at some flights to Turin in late Jan, 4 nights 3.5 days skiing. I'm after some help picking a resort, not for the skiing as much, but more for transfer/accommodation costs as there will only be 2 of us.

The transfer options to the closest resorts (Sauze and Sestriere) seem more expensive and less plentiful than from Geneva for Avoriaz last year. Perhaps renting a car is the way forward, never done it before and quite nervous at the thought of it really.

Also hoping to find some relatively inexpensive accommodation - we used Andy at Avoriaz lettings last year which was very basic, but perfect for us.

All help and advice greatly appreciated - sorry for another load of questions this year!
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
If you are nervous driving in snow ;

Snow chains essential
daytime driving easier

When we drive and Ski , generally stay in a hotel 5 to 10 km away from the main resort, and more importantly at a lower altitude. The idea being if you stay at low altitude, less chance of heavy snow, hairpins etc. Some hotels will have a minibus service to the nearest ski lift.

Of course if the weather is sunny , easy to drive from your hotel to the lift each morning

"Satelitte " towns tend to have better value hotels
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Are Sauze and Sestriere closest? I would think Champoluc and Gressoney...

Why be worried? Driving is easy... just make sure you have chains that fit the tyres...
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whilst https://www.linkbus-alps.com/en/turin-airport/ don't go into Sauze or Sestriere, they will get you very close for 25euro pp each way.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
add Cervinia to the mix -- similar distance from Turin
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But Cervinia is dull ...
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@WillowWilson, What are you nervous about renting a car, is it:

The rip off companies you read about in the press - check the trust pilot reviews
Driving in Italy - yes Italians are bad drivers just remember the car coming from the minor road always has priority and will not look to see if there is anything on the main road.
Finding somewhere to park it in the resort. There will be somewhere.
Driving on snow and ice. Its not really that bad just take care. There is plenty of advice on the internet.
Finding the car hire depot at the airport. Good luck

It really isn't really that difficult. My biggest problem hiring a car in Italy was that they wanted a mobile phone number. I didn't have a mobile phone, but in the end they accepted 44 1234567890
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
I've done exactly this for the last two years. First in Sauze, then Sestriere. We got transfers through Sauzeonline the first time, and rented a car the second. Renting a car was much cheaper, and pretty straight-forward, about £70 i think. The drive is 90% motorway, some tolls, about £10-15 from memory. It takes around an hour. The road to Sestriere from the motorway was a bit hairy at night, but not terrible. Sauze is easy. We booked a flat on Airbnb which had parking in Sestriere. I personally prefered the town of Sauze, but Sestriere is more convenient as a resort. It has a vast open area in front of the town which makes it easier to get to lifts etc. where as Sauze just has lifts coming into the town, sounds good in theory, but can be a faff to get to. Also, Sauze is on a steep hill which can be a trek to the accomodation. There is also a train from Turin to Oulx, which we looked into, but it seemed a pain to get from Airport to station. I loved the Skiing there, Sauze has the more gentle Red runs and Sestriere a bit steeper.
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Thanks for all the replies, seems renting a car and driving to the resort is the best option, then finding somewhere to park up. Guess I'll need something a bit bigger, maybe an estate, to fit the skis in - will need to make sure the back seats fold down too.

Just been on a comparison site and there doesn't seem to be a mention of snow chains, but maybe that will change closer to the time, looking to be around £100 for 4 days, plus whatever insurance that will be added on no doubt. Better than a 300 euro transfer from Sauzeonline.

Cheers!
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@WillowWilson, rent a small car, and rent skis ? it's only a short trip and won't be too expensive.
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@WillowWilson, Turin Caselle is a great airport to fly in/out of. It was given a real re-vamp for the Turin Winter Olympics and the road access to the motorways either direction to France or Italian Alps is really pretty good. I've done fly-drive from here many times and reckon I can reach Courmayeur within 1 hour 30 mins. The car rental section is across the drive through from the arrivals hall, best to send one guy ahead to beat the possible queues. I've booked direct with Hertz and Avis, but also through the holiday autos site with Budget. Very easy to get cars with "winterisation", ie; with "catane" (snow chains) obligatory in winter months.


If you are looking for a base to ski several resorts Aosta is a little too far from actual ski resorts. Best choose something like either Champoluc or Gressoney to ski the Monta Rosa. Champoluc being my preferred resort only because of Lo Bistrot and Le Frantze Rascard. Otherwise head for Courmayeur, stay just outside the town itself in Entreves, some pleasant and reasonable hotels here, plus access to the skiing via the quieter Val Veny lift. La Thuile is an easy drive from Courmayeur, its defo worth a day's skiing.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
@WillowWilson, In Italy,having snow chains at least in your car is compulsory when driving on roads around the alps between November & April.
@johnE, I think your comment that all Italians are bad drivers is a little unfair! Yes, they're often on the phone, and ok, they usually drive too close to you, but in our neck of the woods anyway, they happily get out of the way if you're overtaking on a 2 lane road that just has space for 3 cars. They expect to meet people overtaking on blind bends & react quickly! Takes a bit of getting used to, I admit, but I am wink
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@genepi, I don't think I said all Italians are bad drivers.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@WillowWilson, we always hire a car and skis. On a short weekender we find it far easier to have as little baggage and faff as possible. It also gives you more control of events. And if the snow cover is not great you can head out to other resorts with no hardship.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
+1 for Champoluc. Lovely little resort with fab skiing. We did a weekend break there after an earlier longer trip a couple of years ago. There are plenty of good value family run hotels in the village-within a short walk of the main lift. We stayed at the Hotel Villa Santa Anna-cosy and quaint, somewhat old fashioned with squeaky floorboards. Looking online, I'm not quite sure whether it is operating this coming season though.
As far as hiring cars are concerned-you probably won't need an estate if there are just 2 of you. As long as you can put the seats down, skis invariably fit in diagonally (take them out of the ski bag-it's easier).
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Had a question on Pila ski area. how busy does it get on a typical saturday or sunday during peak season? we'll be travelling march 1st and I'm wondering if we should look to ski there (and stay in aosta) or head to a bigger ski place like courmayeur or cervinia or monte rossa, which can probably better deal with crowds.

And maybe a question for the foodies. What's THE area for amazing/gastronomic mountain restaurants and dinner? Razz wink

I went to Cortina for a weekend few years ago. worked very well although the drive back to Venice airport on sunday was a bit congested and we made it to the gate something like 3mn before it closed! With that in mind, we booked the latest flight, after 10pm.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Montgenevre is great for a weekend
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Update

Flights are now booked 25th - 29th of Jan, including ski luggage.

Have reserved an apartment in Sauze with parking for £40pp per night - seemed reasonable, but can cancel it free of charge if needed, depending on snow conditions etc. we wanted a bit of apres so seemed a good base.

Will look at car hire a little closer to the time, noted about snow chains, so will make sure they are supplied.

Plan on having at least 1 day skiing at another resort, what are the the closest options driving from Sauze?

Thanks again!
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If you are hiring a car do it as early as possible, prices only go up near the time. I think snow chains would be an extra charge, I've never had them with a hire car before.
From Sauze you can ski the whole Milky Way so should be plenty there for a long weekend..
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Technically you can ski to Montgenevre but I would take the car. For something a little further away a day in Serre Chevalier is an option.
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Bardonecchia is close by, never been there but you can see the slopes across a valley. Even Sestriere and Sansicario are kind of different resorts, even though they're on the same pass. I spoke to a couple of people that had been to Montgenevre and they all said it was great fun. The road to Serve Chevalier has some serious hairpin bends!
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
I skied Bardonecchia in maybe 04/05. Think I'll try Montgenevre, as I've never been before - google says it's 30mins from Sauze by road, happy days!
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
@WillowWilson, There's a lift from Sauze up to Claviere, that then is an easy ski that links into Montgenevre. There's some pretty skiing above Claviere, and a very pretty hamlet consisting of a number of millionaires private chalets. Cute!
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
One note about car hire in Italy: unlike in CH, italian hire cars don't necessarily come with winter tyres, which can cause an issue when there's not enough snow to warrant chains. Hired a car in italy a few years back, queried this at the desk, was told it would be fine. Without relaying the whole story: there was a lot of swearing until in the end (ironically) increasingly heavy snow made chains viable.

Having driven a lot on winter tyres previously, definitely would have reduced the stress level a fair bit, so I would say definitely worth requesting in advance if they are an option with your hire company
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Sauze d'Oulx is connected to the world's 4th biggest ski area.

Plenty to keep you occupied for weeks.
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Quote:


Sauze d'Oulx is connected to the world's 4th biggest ski area.

Plenty to keep you occupied for weeks.


+1 for a weekend trip why would you even consider driving to another resort with 400km on your doorstop?
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Per, @hollando, and even if you can select them, and pay for them, make sure they are actually fitted to the car you are offered...
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
@WillowWilson, re other resorts really does depend on conditions.

I've skied all over the place in the Milky Way except Bardonecchia Melezet though cycle through numerous times in a year.

I personally would not bother with Montgenevre (though has some great skiing) as why pay French prices when you're in Italy and you'll have more than enough to do on the Italian side.

Nearer the time when conditions are firming up then post a question in the snow reports section for Sauze / Milky Way.

With the car you'll have the added bonus of if it's windy (links from Sauze to Sestrierre can be closed) of driving to Sestrierre, and where we always go Sansicario then you know you will get back if they happen to shut the links in the afternoon.

And re travel from Turin, as another option - just get the train from the airport into Turin then train to Oulx and there are numerous buses up to the stations.

Friends do it all the time and I'm picking up some from Oulx in a couple of weeks time who are staying with us.
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