Turin (also known as Turin-Caselle) isn’t the first airport you think of when you’re planning your ski holiday in the Alps, but this airport in Piemonte is actually within reach of some of the best ski resorts in Italy, France and even Switzerland. What’s more, the ski resorts near Turin Airport generally boast high-altitude slopes with stunning mountain views and no crowds, making it a fantastic skiing destination no matter what your level. Turin itself is a lovely city worth spending a day or two in, and of course the mouthwatering Italian cuisine doesn’t hurt either! On a good day, all of these ski areas are less than a 2-hour drive from Turin Airport.
The sprawling Via Lattea (Milky Way) is one of Europe’s biggest linked ski areas, with almost 400km of slopes spanning the French-Italian border. The ski area is home to such well-known ski resorts as Sauze d'Oulx, Claviere, Montgenèvre and Sestrière, which hosted the 2006 Winter Olympics. The skiing is best-suited to intermediates, with an abundance of red slopes, but every level of skier and snowboarder can find something to suit them here. Thanks to the high altitudes and efficient snow cannons, the ski season is long and stretches from November to May. As for the villages, you can take your pick – night owls head to Sauze d’Oulx while those looking for something a bit more tranquil might be happier in San Sicario.
100km 1h10 min drive
Under the impressive heights of the Monte Rosa (4034m) lies the Monte Rosa ski area, three valleys of world-class, high-altitude skiing with 190km of slopes and magnificent views of Piemonte and the Aosta Valley. The best-known villages here are Champoluc and Gressoney, although neither of them have been invaded by the masses yet. In fact, despite the high quality of the slopes and the modern infrastructure, the resorts here have managed to maintain their quiet charm. The Monte Rosa ski area is situated in the Aosta Valley, which is home to some 25 ski areas including Breuil-Cervinia, Courmayeur, La Thuile-La Rosière and the resorts of Monte Rosa Ski. With the Aosta Valley ski pass you have access to all of them.
1h20 min drive, 100 kmSkiing at the Monte Rosa
The linked ski resorts of Valtournenche and Breuil-Cervinia offer access to glacier skiing with views of the Matterhorn, wonderful off-piste terrain, an excellent selection of snow parks and the chance to try your hand on the Reine Blanche piste, which is one of Europe’s longest pistes at 20km. The Breuil-Cervinia Valtournenche ski area boasts 160km of slopes plus a connection to Zermatt over in Switzerland, for a total of 360km of slopes. The ski season reaches altitudes of 3800m, ensuring a long ski season that generally lasts through mid-May.
1h30 min drive, 115kmBreuil-Cervinia (Photo: © Archivio fotografico Cervino SpA)
Just over the French border in the beautiful Parc National des Écrins is Serre Chevalier, beloved for its off-piste skiing, picturesque tree-lined slopes and long valley runs. 250km of north-facing slopes guarantee reliable snow cover, and the ski area has plenty of challenging pistes for advanced skiers and snowboarders. The two main resorts here are Serre-Chevalier and Briançon, the latter of which is the highest city in Europe at an altitude of 1326m. Briançon’s historic city centre makes a welcome change from the typical purpose-built French ski resort. Anyone driving to Serre Chevalier will be happy to hear that there are no hairpin bends to conquer on the road up!
1h40 min drive, 125kmSerre Chevalier (Photo: © Agence Zoom)
On the Italian side of Mont Blanc lies Courmayeur, a sunny ski area with around 100km of slopes. Courmayeur is known for its long ski days and relatively steep slopes, which are great for intermediate skiers looking to build their confidence. While the majority of the marked pistes are blue and red, there is great off-piste to be found at the Cresta d’Arp. On the other side of the ski area in the Val Veny area, you’ll find tree-lined runs with spectacular views of Mont Blanc. Courmayeur has a dynamic village centre with a good selection of shops and restaurants.
1 h 34 min (150 km)Courmayeur (Photo: © AIAT Monte Bianco)
The linked Espace San Bernardo ski area comprises the ski resorts of La Thuile in Italy and La Rosière in France, for a total of around 150km of slopes. Situated in the Aosta Valley, La Thuile is a quick drive from Turin Airport and offers skiing with views of Mont Blanc, as well as the possibility to try heli-skiing. In recent years the Espace San Bernardo has invested in its lift infrastructure and now offers fast, modern lifts that will whisk you around the ski area. Wide red runs at La Thuile and nice blue slopes for practising over at La Rosière make the Espace San Bernardo a good choice no matter what your level.
1h45 min drive, 155kmLa Rosière (Photo: © La Rosière Tourism)
Tucked in the corner of the sprawling 3 Vallées ski area is the quiet resort of Orelle, little brother of Val Thorens. Unlike the rest of the Les Trois Vallées ski area, Orelle is just an hour-and-a-half drive from Turin Airport, making it the perfect gateway to one of the world’s largest linked ski areas. Orelle itself is made up of 10 quiet hamlets which have preserved their authenticity, and a quick 15-minute gondola from the village centre gets you into the Orelle-Val Thorens ski area, which is connected to 600km of slopes in the 3 Vallées ski area. Once you’re there, the rest is history – high-altitude slopes, challenging terrain, bouncing après-ski and so much more.
1h45 min drive, 130kmSkiing towards Orelle from Val Thorens (Photo: © Danielle Pacheco)
Quiet Val Cenis and its neighbour Bessans are friendly on the wallet and offer beautiful descents through the trees with views of the Lac du Mont-Cenis. 125km of marked slopes plus freeriding terrain offer more than enough to explore on a ski holiday, and if you feel you need to branch out a bit from skiing, there are options for snowshoeing, hang gliding, dogsledding, ice climbing and free cross-country skiing.
2-hour drive, 140kmVal Cenis (Photo: © La Bessannaise)
Ryanair, EasyJet, British Airways and Jet2 all offer direct flights to Turin Airport from the UK. Car hire services are located inside Turin Airport and from there it’s easy to get to the motorway. Many of the villages in Sauze d’Oulx are also served by the Cavourese bus service from Turin Airport.
Check out other gateway airports to the Alps:
Ski resorts easily accessible from Grenoble Airport >
Ski resorts easily accessible from Chambéry Airport >
Ski resorts easily accessible from Lyon Airport >
Ski resorts easily accessible from Innsbruck Airport >
Ski resorts easily accessible from Salzburg Airport >
Ski resorts easily accessible from Geneva Airport >
Or check out our article on the best airlines for flying to the Alps >
Born and raised in the ski paradise of Vancouver, Canada, I learned to ski before I can remember, balancing precariously on my parents’ skis as they sailed down the hill. I started snowboarding in my teens and am now delighted to be exploring everything Europe’s ski scene has to offer!
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