We’ve all heard of Chamonix. It’s the world-famous ski resort that sits on the French side of beautiful Mont Blanc. The skiing there is terrific – that’s why it was picked as the site of the first-ever Winter Olympics, way back in 1924.
Compare Chamonix and its winter sports history with Courmayeur, the ski resort on the Italian side of the same mountain (it’s called Monte Bianco if you’re in Courmayeur). Not all that long ago, Courmayeur was just a sleepy little mountain village. Now, even though it’s nowhere near as famous or crowded as Chamonix, it’s one of the magnificent Valle d’Aosta’s top ski resorts.
Both resorts draw skiers from throughout the world. And both resorts are popular with travelers who just want to see the majestic raw beauty of Mont Blanc and the surrounding area. It’s just that for whatever reasons, Chamonix is much more popular.
Who knows why more people go to Chamonix than Courmayeur? The scenery at both resorts is very similar (lots of mountains with a different angle on Mont Blanc, is all), the skiing’s terrific at both places, and they’re only about a half an hour apart. There are plenty of Courmayeur hotels, restaurants and shops, just like there are at Chamonix.
Both resorts are terrific. If you look at the two objectively, though, you might actually prefer Courmayeur over Chamonix.
There are several reasons. Many, although not all of them, relate to Chamonix’s great popularity and Courmayeur’s status as an unknown, comparatively speaking. Let’s face it – Chamonix is the celebrity in the Mont Blanc area. It has the “star power,” so to speak. In contrast to Chamonix, you won’t find huge crowds at Courmayeur. The lift queues at Courmayeur are much shorter – if there’s any waiting time at all. The pistes at both resorts are perfectly groomed, but you wouldn’t be skiing elbow to elbow at Courmayeur like you might be at Chamonix. Instead, the slopes are often wide open.
That’s not all. Courmayeur is smaller. It’s friendlier. It’s not as “corporate.” In fact, many of the village’s restaurants and hotels are owned and operated by local residents, not some big impersonal company. As a result, the service in Courmayeur is better and way friendlier.
The food served in Courmayeur’s restaurants and cafés is truly fantastic. You just won’t find anything more delicious than the cuisine served at Courmayeur’s scenic mountainside restaurants. The Italians really know how to do it right.
Courmayeur is only about 90 minutes from Geneva’s airport, so it’s not a difficult trip. Courmayeur Hotels can help you make your travel arrangements.Google+