You don’t have to have skied before to feel the lure of fresh air, snow-covered mountains, blue skies and long lunches enjoyed on the sunny terraces of beautiful mountainsides restaurants. The truth is that, even as a beginner, you can experience all that if you pick the right destination.
While many resorts restrict their beginner slopes to the lower, less scenic parts of the mountains, Breuil Cervinia in Italy is famous for wide, gentle slopes which cover most of its skiing area. In fact in Breuil Cervinia even the red runs are more like the blues you would find elsewhere.
And, of course, this is Italy so expect great home-cooked food served at the many mountainside restaurants which line the resort’s pistes. The gentle runs here mean that even beginners can clock up some decent mileage during a morning’s ski so you’ll really feel you deserve that steaming bowl of fresh pasta come lunchtime.
Top of the World
With the snow in the Alps proving increasingly unpredictable, Breuil Cervinia has the advantage of (almost) being able to guarantee snow throughout its prolonged season thanks to its high altitude.
Set in the shadow of the Matterhorn (known locally as Monte Cervino), the village itself sits at 2,050m, while the highest lift reaches an impressive 3,480m. This means that while lower destinations may struggle with snow cover as we move into the spring season, Breuil Cervinia will be open through until May.
About the Resort
Opened as a resort in 1936 under the name Breuil, Mussolini decided it should be renamed to reflect the powerful Italian mountain above it and had it renamed, Cervinia. It’s youth as a resort does mean that it lacks some of the character and charm of the older Alpine villages – Cervinia’s architecture is mostly post-war utilitarian. But what it lacks in character it more than makes up for with its dramatic position beneath the Matterhorn and its seemingly endless gentle skiing.
On the Slopes
First timers will be thankful for the two areas of nursery slopes offered by the resort; the first served by the Crétaz lifts close to town, and the second at the top of the Plan Maison cable car. These are great places to master your first cautious turns with the resort’s experienced instructors but, guaranteed, by the end of the week you’ll have branched out to explore some of the resort’s long, gentle blues.
The blue runs that run from Fornet to Plan Torrette and Plan Maison are a perfect next step for novices thanks to their very gentle gradient. And the beginner’s route from Plan Maison to Cretaz gives stunning views of the Matterhorn.
If the weather is good then don’t let the advanced skiers have all the fun skiing the Swiss side of the mountain. There’s a fabulous high altitude blue from Plateau Rosa to Trockener (although you will need to get the cable car back down from Plateau Rosa to avoid a red run on your way home if you don’t feel up to it).
For a great beginner’s challenge, prove yourself with a run down the 11km blue Ventina. It may take a day to ski the entire length but the sense of satisfaction you’ll feel at the end will be priceless.
If you’re looking to party, you’ve probably come to the wrong place, but if what you want is a great selection of sedate bars and delicious restaurants you’ll be well satisfied in Cervinia. Everything from delicious wood fired pizza at Grivola to elegant fine dining at La Chandelle are available here.
Check out Grivola for great pizza and a cosy bar to relax in after a day on the slopes or spoil yourself with a gastronomic treat at the 5-star Hotel Hermitage’s La Chandelle where chef Roberto Pession creates local dishes with a fine-dining twist.
How to Get to Breuil Cervinia
Getting to Breuil Cervinia couldn’t be easier with direct flights from the UK to Turin Airport offered by a range of airlines. The quickest, and most comfortable, way to get from Turin to Cervinia is by private transfer with Shuttle Direct. Book online and let them know if you will be carrying any ski equipment and a driver will meet you at the airport and take you straight to your accommodation.
Where to Stay:
Chambres Mont Cervin – Put yourself at the heart of the action in this charming bed and breakfast done up in elegant Alpine style. Chambres Mont Cervin is just 90m from the central Crétaz chairlift in the resort’s pedestrianised centre. Make sure you ask for a room with a Matterhorn view.
Hotel Grivola – Surround yourself with elegant Alpine style at the Hotel Grivola. The combination of traditional wood and contemporary interiors in the hotel’s rooms, cosy bar and restaurant really make this a great, stylish place to spend your après ski time.
Hotel Bucaneve – If you think no ski holiday is complete without roaring log fires, rustic pine and cosy Alpine snugs then the four-star Hotel Bucaneve will be perfect for you. Unwind in the wellness centre with its indoor pool and sauna and then move upstairs to enjoy a relaxing dinner and then an evening in the sedate piano bar.
About Shuttle Direct:
A leading provider of airport transfers to destinations across Europe and North Africa, Shuttle Direct is the most luxurious way of getting from the airport to your resort. Book a private car online before you set off and you can relax knowing that your driver will be there to collect you when you arrive at the airport and drive you to the door of your chosen accommodation. Don’t forget to let Shuttle Direct know if you will be carrying any ski equipment with you so that they can supply a vehicle of just the right size for you and your gear.