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Valtournenche and Cervinia / late season skiing

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Hi everyone. I’ve seen some great tips on here but not quite managed to find the answers to all my questions, so hoping you can help!

I’m looking to book a trip to Italy in (early) April 2020. I was planning to stay in Cervinia initially, as I understand it’s a great late season option due to altitude - however prices are now tempting me to Valtournenche. We will have a car.

My questions are:
1) is staying in Valtournenche recommended, as a nice resort?
2) will the skiing be very limited in Valtournenche in April, so we’d have to drive up to Cervinia to have chance of decent snow anyway?
3) if we didn’t want to drive, how frequently and how late does the bus run between the two resorts? It might be nice on at least one day to have some drinks after skiing, so not to take the car on that day and get the bus home.

My option in Cervinia is Cielo Alto, from which I understand I’d have to drive down into the main village anyway - so if im already driving - does it make sense to stay in Val rather than Cielo Alto? All so confusing! Thanks in advance for any help on these two resorts.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Hi @Mattyc14,
I am by no means an expert and I'm sure there are plenty of others who can give you a more detailed response, but I have stayed in both resorts late season and off season (for Glacier skiing).
I do like Valtournenche and it is a prettier, more authentic village than Cervinia (not difficult some might say). However, it is situated along the main road up the valley which snakes up a pretty steep hill. The gondola is at the top end of the village, so depending or where you stay you might well need a bus or car to access it anyway- in which case you might be tempted to stay on for another 10 minutes and get to the Cervinia gondola instead, as this takes you to a higher, more central area.
The skiing in Valtournenche is a fair bit lower and was a bit slushy in mid March when we visited. At least it is often not affected as badly by winds as the top slopes. When I was there, there were still plenty of drag lifts though and we didn't ski locally that much. Personally, I would probably look at Cervinia for accommodation, especially at that time of year. I would have thought you could find a reasonable deal in the main town, where access to lifts is walkable?
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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?
Thanks for your reply and the information, really appreciated.

Yes for me too the ideal and the hope was for a central location in Cervinia. I’ve looked extensively for our dates and time period and there really is nothing comparable. The difference is well >1000 in the centre (for something pretty average at best) compared to 600-800 for something nice further out. Generally I’d be happy to pay a premium for location, but for me that’s too much of a difference in quality and price for a short drive each day. So it’s really coming down to a head to head Cielo Alto vs Valtournenche!

The only other aspect to consider is 2 of our party are beginners (2nd week on snow).
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Ok, if 2 of your group are beginners I would say that's all the more reason to stay close to the lifts and near to the main area. There are beginner slopes in the centre of Cervinia and another at Plan Maison, where the gondola drops off (in case it's slushy near the bottom). But I guess you understand the issue and if you are happy to drive and don't mind a small village location with little available socially in the evenings, then Valtournenche may work OK. I don't know much about the buses I'm afraid either. If it's a good season there may still be decent snow down to the village and access to Cervinia may not be imperative.
Without wanting to tear up your current plans, you could also wait a while and look out for bargains You will also know what the snow is like for Spring skiing. Some lower resorts might still be going strong at that point, which would open up a lot more options but might mean all your research starts again from scratch!
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
I've read this thread and given the details, I would look for accommodation in Cervinia.
Convenience, nursery slopes and time. Smile
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Staying in Cervinia for me. I know it's not on your either or but it should be. You don't say what accommodation you are looking for but I would think you would pick up something for a decent price their at that time. I have done in the past.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Late to this thread - however I am staying at the same time - 4th April for a week and I got some decent accommodation in Cervina, just before the main carpark as you approach the village - prob about a 5 min walk. All at a good rate on Booking.com
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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 wouldn't bother with Ciel Alto. nothing there, and would be a slog of a walk up to it if you ventured down into Cervinia town at night.

Just back from a week in Valtournenche and did 10 days early April last year there.

Val itself is pretty small. There's a couple of very small supermarkets. A couple of bars. Bar Berthod is highly recommended and the other climbing bar in the small square is decent too. There's a few restaurants - Big Ben for pizza, Le Coq Rouge for higher end dining. A few other smaller places dotted up the main street. it'll be very quiet early April so no problem getting a table.

it's 10 minutes up the road to Cervinia with car and if you have a car then it's a no brainer. There's a ski bus but the service is laughably bad. We had 3 timetables for it, none of which matched up, and none matched the actual schedule.

Assuming the link from Val to Cervinia is open you can of course ride over however there's a t-bar to get there which can cause problems for beginners or the nervous. Saw a lot of people fall off last week. if the wind is high the link wont be open anyway so you have to drive up to cervinia if you want to ride there.

Snow wise, when we were there in April we got about a metre of fresh snow so can't comment on typical spring conditions. We had full cover right to the bottom lift in Valtournenche. As a general comment, the riding in Cervinia, Valtournenche and Zermatt is exceptional. Huge wide open pistes, easily accessible off piste, little to no queues and a really good lift infrastructure. It's my favourite place to ride now and I struggle to justify going elsewhere now.
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@boardinbob, Welcome to SnowHeads -- useful report ..
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