Courmayeur is undoubtedly linked to Mount Blanc: it is a modern, Alpine city renowned around the world, as well as one of the most frequented mountain resorts in Italy.
In a big valley, at 1,224 metres above sea level, at the foot of the gigantic massif that is Mount Blanc and among the fir and larch trees, the mountains and the glaciers that make it unique, Courmayeur boasts first class tourism-accommodation at international level.
It developed around the ancient church of Saints Pantaleone and Valentino. Courmayeur has been considered the capital of mountaineering and mountain touring since the 1800’s, even if in those days the spa baths were much more important and widely frequented, offering mineral water treatments.
Today, like back then, the hotels meet the high expectations of tourists visiting this district.
In the town centre Via Roma, the beating heart of the city with its narrow, winding streets, is the fashionable, shopping area.
Worth visiting, the Casa delle Guide, the location of the Duca degli Abruzzi Museum, with a collection of documents, relics and materials used by mountaineers whose undertakings have gone down in the history of mountaineering.
Among the hamlets in Courmayeur we recall La Saxe, famous for its mineral water spring; Dolonne, the district in which one of the first ski lift systems was built in Valle d’Aosta; Entrèves which is at the start of the valley, at the meeting of the Dora della Val Veny and the Dora della Val Ferret, whose town centre hosts an ancient fortified house dating from 1391.
The Mount Blanc tunnel was opened on the 16th July 1965, a huge engineering undertaking measuring 11,600 metres long that passed through the Mount Blanc chain (the vertical slope of Aiguille du Midi has granite rock measuring 2,480 metres thick, a record measurement for a road and rail tunnel). It leaves Italy, at the foot of the Brenva glacier, and arrives in France, at the foot of the Bossons glacier, both of which are spectacular perennial casts of ice.
The Ferret and Veny valleys are the destination of sporting types and mountain enthusiasts in summer and winter, due to the multitude of sports on offer.
Val Ferret offers a much used and appreciated regional tourist fishing reserve; there is a famous 9 hole golf course surrounded by spectacular landscape.
For lovers of winter sports Courmayeur offers a valid variety, so much so that it is one of the most loved mountain resorts in the world: the complexes in Chécrouit and Val Veny, with connecting pistes, offer over 100 kilometres of pistes available to lovers of Alpine skiing. Val Ferret offers 35 kilometres of pistes prepared for Nordic skiing. Furthermore, there is a cable system available in front of Mount Blanc and due to the splendid scenery it crosses has also become known as the “Eighth wonder of the world”.
Mount Blanc, with its mass structure, has always evoked feelings of respect, attraction and fear; in ancient times it was even called “Mont Maudit” – the cursed mountain.
It is the highest mountain in Europe, and its magnificence has always fascinated. It therefore goes without saying that plenty of mountaineers, deep down in their hearts, want to climb it: however, the Mount Blanc ascent requires good preparation and knowledge of mountaineering techniques.
The Valdostane Alpine Guides know their mountains very well and, through their professionalism, offer you the possibility to complete ascents and crossings in absolute safety.
The “Vallée Blanche” crossing is an important attraction, however it is only accessible during springtime to fairly good skiers and offers picturesque scenery in front of Mount Blanc.