La Thuile Ski Holidays - Long runs and endless ski slopes
La Thuile has excellent skiing for all ability levels with north facing slopes, which along with its proximity to Mont Blanc, normally ensuring good snow conditions. There's a range of passes to suit all needs and a variety of terrain which can cater for everyone from beginner to expert. The resort has an on mountain TV system, with views of the various areas at the top of the mountain broadcast back to the base gondola station, along with constantly updated temperature and wind condition information, so it's possible to get a pretty good idea of conditions before you hit the top of the mountain. For beginners there are two gentle nursery slopes right next to the Planibel complex at the base of the resort, these have their own drag lifts and are separate to the main ski area. Intermediates will enjoy the terrain the most, accessing the slopes via the ultra modern DMC eight seater gondola with an hourly capacity of 3000 people and then returning at the end of the day on the 6km (4 mile) long red back down from the Fourclaz chair. In the interim covering seemingly endless blues and reds that radiate out to the peaks of Le Belvedere and Chaz Dura. From there you have a variety of routes over to La Rosière which sometimes offers the sunnier skiing.
Look out for the Napoleonic Fort at the top of the Mountain (on the border) which is an interesting feature.
Ski Holidays in La Thuile - Uncrowded off piste fields
The Petit St Bernard Pass comes over the mountain here and in winter the road is actually a ski run. Bizzarely you ski past a road sign with speed limits on it (though apparently no road in sight, so it appears as if it's a ski speed limit sign!). The other way up is the new Bosco Express high speed quad Experts have twelve blacks to choose from, some of the steepest down through the woods above La Thuile itself. The runs are graded according to their steepest, with the best (worst?) a rather intimidating 72% plunge (although that steep bit is rather short and wide, so you can traverse it if you prefer to). An added bonus are the relatively safe and uncrowded off piste fields which tend to stay unskied for longer than at more crowded resorts on the other side of the border.
Cheap Ski Holidays in La Thuile - Cross border ski passes and long cross country loops
Finally, La Thuile also has an efficient and reasonably priced (comparatively, again) heli-ski service by which it is possible to reach the snow fields of the Rutor glacier. Apart from the local and cross-border ski passes there's an option of the Aosta Valley pass which covers 800km (500 miles) of terrain served by nearly 200 lifts in over a dozen ski areas, including Cervinia, linked to Zermatt and other famous resorts in the area such as Courmayeur (a 30 minute bus ride away) which is linked to Chamonix (lift ticket there at an additional cost, but just about physically possible to ski over if you set off on the early bus) and Pila. There's no ski bus so your own transport is most useful to make the most of that one although there is a free bus service within the resort itself. Cross country skiers have four loops covering a total area of 12 km.
Snowboarders have a fun park to enjoy in La Rosière and the predominance of chair and gondola lifts makes getting around the big and varied area pretty well hassle free. The long blues and reds up above the treeline is great terrain and then down in the trees there are natural features to hit on. The only possible downer to be wary of are some flat sections on the La Rosière link.
The rental shop in the Planibel complex is staffed by boarders who usually ensure that the best kit is available on rental and can also give advice on the best places at the time of your visit. Additionally the Snow Team La Thuile are a group of dedicated 'boarders who can be seen around the resort, occasionally organising events, and who can also offer advice.
The Scuola di Sci La Thuile organises three and six day courses (Beginning on Mondays for beginners) of two hours per day.
When the lifts close some of the better informed head first to the Gelateria for legendary cakes and ice cream. I
In the early evening the various bars start to get lively, particularly establishments like Cage Aux Folles. Late night entertainment is provided in the Videodiscopub La Bricole in Entrèves and the Discoteca Fantasia in the Planibel complex.
A good bar until the lifts close is the on mountain Roxy.
The best of the off-slope sports facilities are to be found in the Planibel Sports Club where there's a gymnasium, indoor pool with sauna and solarium - most of them free to Planibel guests. Elsewhere in the village there's a public library, games room and you can try winter hiking.
A regular bus service runs to the provincial capital of Aosta as well as to Courmayeur for shopping and sightseeing.
There are about a dozen restaurants in La Thuile and a further dozen bar-restaurants. Most are good family run Italian restaurants serving both local specialities and traditional Italian fayre. The choice includes Lo Creton, La Grotta, Le Rascard and La Lisse which are good pizzerias whilst A La Lune is popular for its local Aostan as well as Tuscan cuisine in Planibel. La Raclette and La Bricole have a slightly more French feel and are the places for fondues and the like. The Piccolo San Bernardo and la Fordze are perhaps the most highly regarded establishments in the resort and offer the best choice.