Champoluc is beautifully located, just south of the Monte Rosa massif. It’s this perfect Alpine location that makes Champoluc a great holiday destination for keen mountaineers as well as ski enthusiasts.
While it’s often thought that the name of this massif translates to “Pink Mountain”, perhaps due to the magnificent rose glow that bathes the slopes in a certain light, it’s actually a Franco-Provencal etymology and refers in fact to the abundance of glaciers in the area. Its highest point is over four and a half thousand metres high, and the massif’s craggy peaks and sweeping valleys make it hugely popular among hikers. If you’re an adventurous type, don a pair of snowshoes, hire a guide and strike out on any of the area’s unforgettable routes.
Champoluc is located within one of the several north-south valleys leading to the massif, meaning that hikers can make directly for Monte Rosa. Should you want to try summiting the massif, while the climb itself is relatively easy, the conditions can be treacherous, so every member of the party should be familiar with adverse conditions as well as safely traversing glaciers. If you do manage to summit the mountain, you’ll be rewarded with unparalleled views of the surrounding ridges, glaciers and valleys, and you might want to treat yourself to a day at Plateau Rosa, which is the year-round ski resort atop the mountain.
Other Routes Near Champoluc
If you’ve already summited the massif or you don’t fancy it, then the ridges and valleys, which radiate out from the summit and pass close to Champoluc, make for some beautiful hiking and even cross-country skiing. Strike out east, past Cuneaz, and hike to the top of the ridge to have beautiful views of both the valley you’ve just left and a hidden mountain lake. Alternatively, move north along the east side of the valley, before crossing through the town of St. Jacques and travel up the westward ridge. The options are endless, between climbing the ridges, hiking up and down the valley and making horseshoe or circular routes up and down the sides.
Whether you’re considering a walking holiday or perhaps just thinking about throwing in a day or two of hiking amongst the skiing, Champoluc is a great place to spend a few days. Please do be safe on the mountains, however, especially during winter: never ascend or descend alone, ensure that every member of the party is familiar with crevasse rescue protocol, and if in any doubt at all, hire a guide. If you see or feel bad weather moving in, or if you have any physical complaints, don’t let your pride trump your safety: if you can’t safely continue, then turn back.
How to Get to Champoluc
Champoluc is easily accessible from Turin Airport, the closest airport to the ski resort. A flight from London to Turin takes an hour and forty-five minutes, and once you’ve touched down at Arrivals, you can let Shuttle Direct take it from there! Private and shared Turin airport transfers to Champoluc take only an hour and a half, and include plenty of storage for your winter sports equipment. On the tricky alpine roads, trust your transfer to an experienced professional driver who knows the area! All you have to do is sit back and watch the mountain scenery go by.
Alternatively, rent a car at Turin Airport and make your way up to Champoluc. Follow the A5 north for 49 miles, then exit at Verres, where you will pick up the SR45. Follow this winding road for 17 miles until you arrive at Champoluc.
If you’re thinking of driving the whole 730 miles from London to Champoluc, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, you will have to traverse the Eurotunnel, which you cannot do without booking a timeslot ahead of time. The Eurotunnel costs a minimum of £23 per vehicle each way to cross. Also keep in mind the different driving laws as you pass through the UK, France and Italy. France requires drivers to have a breathalyser, warning triangle and reflective jacket in the vehicle at all times, while Italy requires only the latter two. You could face on-the-spot fines for failing to carry any of these items, so check and double-check before you depart!
Where to Stay
Rifugio Belvedere – its country inn atmosphere and locally sourced breakfast make this a firm favourite among regular visitors to the region. Rifugio Belvedere also rents its rooms at excellent prices, making it highly recommended.
Villa Americana – a perfect location and free parking make Villa Americana one of the most convenient places to stay for those visiting Champoluc. The villa itself also boasts beautiful rooms and balconies, tapping into the traditional Alpine comfort of the region.
Meublè Lo Miete Viei – in an authentic, chalet-style wood-beamed building, Meublè Lo Miete Viei is one of our favourite hotels in the region. The rooms are perfect and the hotel’s communal relaxation areas give you a place to sit by the fire with old and new friends.