Courmayeur (also called Courmayeur Mont Blanc) is an alpine town at the foot of the towering Mont Blanc (Monte Bianco) massif in Aosta Valley (Valle d’Aosta), Italy. Facing the highest mountain in Europe, Courmayeur is a dramatic destination in the Italian Alps for hiking and walking. It’s also located along the famous multi-day Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) trek.
We traveled to Aosta Valley in May to look after two adorable dogs (thank you Trusted Housesitters). Though snow was still present at higher elevations and some roads were closed (e.g. to Val Veny), we were still able to explore Courmayeur and the Valle extensively. We’ve compiled our favorite things to do in Courmayeur for spring, summer and early fall travel.
Planning a trip to Valle d’Aosta? Read our guide to the best things to do in Aosta Valley.
Where is Courmayeur
How to get to Courmayeur
The closest airports to Courmayeur are Geneva (118km), Turin (151km), and Milan Malpensa (214km). So if you’re flying, the closest airport to Courmayeur is Geneva. Aosta Express provides direct transfers from Geneva to Courmayeur. If you’re driving to Courmayeur, you can head to Aosta Valley from:
- Switzerland via the Great San Bernard Tunnel
- Chamonix, France via the Tunnel du Mont-Blanc
- Haute-Tarentaise, France via the Little Saint Bernard Pass
- Italy via the Autostrada E25 (highway).
Best Things to Do in Courmayeur in Summer and Spring
- Hike to La Suche
- Hike to Rifugio Giorgio Bertone
- Ride the Skyway Monte Bianco
- Explore Val Ferret
- Explore Val Veny
Hike to La Suche (1810 m)
Short Day Hike
La Suche (1467 m) is a mountain hut situated on a high plateau above Courmayeur. From the plateau, you’ll have staggering views of Mont Blanc and the many peaks that mark the French border. The trail begins at Ermitage, where you’ll find Ristorante Baita Ermitage of Courmayeur. To reach Ermitage from Courmayeur village, drive up Strada Grand Ru in the direction of Villair Inferiore and Plan Gorret. The easy-to-follow trail ascends steadily through the forest for 50-minutes. This is a suitable excursion for families. We hiked here in Mid-May, and the trail was in good condition.
Hike to Rifugio Giorgio Bertone (1989 m)
Short Day Hike
Courmayeur is also one of the starting points for the well-known Tour du Mont Blanc (TMB) trek. This 170 km route traverses Italy, France, and Switzerland, and is typically completed in 10 days. To sample the route, you can hike from Courmayeur to Rifugio Giorgio Bertone (1989 m) along trail No. 42. This picture-perfect hut is located above the bushline on a high alpine pasture. The hike begins in Villair Superiore (GPS: 45.801075, 6.983907), where you’ll find a small parking lot and trail signage. It takes 1.5 hrs to reach Rifugio Bertone, which is open from early June to late September. Though the trail is continuously uphill, it ascends gently and is easy to follow. This is also a family-friendly hike.
Ride the Skyway Monte Bianco
Open since May 2015, the Skyway Monte Bianco is the Courmayeur cable car that connects Courmayeur town (The Valley Station, 1300 m) to the Pavillon (The Mountain Station, 2173 m) and Punta Helbronner (The Sky Station, 3466 m). At the Punta Helbronner station, there’s a 360-degree observatory, Bistrot Panoramic restaurant, and a number of other experiential rooms. There are many things to do in Courmayeur, but this should make your short-list. Though ticket prices are steep (52 EUR to Punta Helbronner), you’ll quickly forget the price when you’re riding this state-of-the-art cable car to one of the highest points in Europe. Go on a clear day.
Alpine Valley at the foot of the Grandes Jorasses
Val Ferret offers up some of the most stupefying views of Grandes Jorasses (part of the Mont Blanc massif) from the Italian-side. You can drive, bicycle, or walk the length of the valley. To reach the Val Ferret, head to the hamlet of La Palud. The valley road stretches from La Palud to the hamlet of Arnuova. The valley itself continues to Col Ferret (2,490m) on the Italian-Swiss border. Here are a few hikes in Val Ferret to consider:
- Hike from Lavachey village to Rifugio Bonatti (2026 m), which is located along the TMB and Tour de Grand St. Berhard.
- Hike from Arnuova village to Rifugio Elena (Helena), located at 2061 m. It’s situated opposite the thousand-year-old Prè de Bard glacier. From the refuge, it takes 1-hour to reach the Swiss border.
You can also go trout fishing and golfing in Val Ferret.
Alpine Valley at the Base of Mont Blanc
Val Veny is usually the first destination on visitor’s Courmayeur itineraries. Keep in mind that the road leading into Val Veny is usually closed from mid-October until end of April. When we arrived in May, it was still closed. The tourist office said they were planning on opening it by June 1st. Our plan was to hike to Lake Combal, eat Lunch at Cabane du Combal and then continue the hike to Lago del Miage. Next time!
Where to Stay in Courmayeur
Budget | Hotel Locanda Belvedere is a charming hotel in Val Ferret with unbeatable mountain views. Locanda Belvedere serves an Italian breakfast and offers private parking (free).
Mid-Range | Villa Novecento Romantic Hotel is a 4-star boutique hotel in Courmayeur with cozy rooms, spa facilities, and delicious food. Opt for their half-board (breakfast and dinner) option during your stay.
Luxury | Hotel Auberge De La Maison is the best hotel in Courmayeur. Rooms are decorated in a refined-rustic style. Views are phenomenal. And, you can enjoy top-rated Valdostana cuisine in a wood-paneled dining room, warmed by a large fireplace. Located in the Entrèves neighborhood, this Courmayeur hotel is also only 300 meters from the Sky Way Mont Blanc cable car. Guests have access to a heated outdoor pool, sauna, Turkish bath, and solarium.
You May Also Like
Italy: Dolomites Travel Guide
Switzerland: Appenzell Travel Guide
Austria: Austria Travel Guide
Austrian Alps: Schladminger Tauern High Trail
Slovenian Alps: Triglav National Park Traverse
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