Snowshoeing in the Aosta Valley

Jenny and Christina have gone snowshoeing in the sunshine…

It’s a sunny Thursday morning in March and we are waiting with great anticipation for our guide, Marzia, and her energetic dog, Majul. Marzia arrives and starts by orientating us in the valley, driving us through the old villages, pointing out the boundaries of Ayas and describing the other municipalities that make up this beautiful area.

We arrive at the pretty patterned town hall of Antagnod and Marzia shows us how to kit ourselves up with snow shoes and poles. Off we go!

Ascending up through the trees, we feel invincible as we glide across the top of snow that would thwart the everyday snow boot. We emerge amongst attractive stone houses, which Marzia explains would have been used in the summer. Only houses with wooden parts were used in the winter, as the wooden sections were where fodder for livestock was stored.

stone house in the aosta valley

Continuing on upwards, we are greeted with spectacular views as we wind our way up to the Barmasc area, known for summer hiking and mountain biking and once frequented by Pope Jean Paul II.

Diving back into the woods, we walk along the banks of a 600-year-old hand built aqueduct, constructed in a time of drought to provide locals with the necessary water supply to survive in this mountainous environment.

Excited for the descent, Marzia explains that the best method is to walk like Bill and Ben the Flowerpot Men, adding a touch of dynamism to our steps and forging our own tracks through the fresh snow so as not to sink. It feels like a good bum workout and makes for a very attractive gait!

After a wonderful morning of exploring, we remove our snow shoes to find our feet feel as light as feathers. At Marzia’s recommendation, we take a short stroll through Antagnod and have a delicious bowl of Valle d’Aostan soup, followed by a well-earned ice cream. A morning well spent and a great alternative to skiing or snowboarding.

If you’d like us to help you organise an excursion, please let us know when you arrive in Champoluc. It is not possible to pre-book outings as we have found guests have the best time when we discuss the possible routes and weather/snow conditions together in resort.

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Easter at the 3* Hotel Castor

The Hotel Castor is a family-run hotel just a short stroll from the ski deposit and the bottom of the lift. It is very popular with our regular guests and is especially suited to family groups.

Champoluc offers great snow around Easter time, with most pistes situated above 2,000 metres.

Prices below are for 2 adults and 2 children using a family room or 2 adjacent rooms.

Saturday 8th April 2017 x 7 nights

Based on 2 adults and 2 children aged 11 or under sharing an open-plan family room.  £1,105 per adult, £420 for the first child and £320 for the second child

Castor2

Recent guest review

A fabulous hotel. Friendly, charming – rooms are cosy, warm, plenty of hot water! Staff are incredibly friendly, cheerful and helpful. Food is amazing – and amazing value: four courses every night for dinner, brilliant breakfast spread with home made cakes etc. We stayed over new Year and enjoyed the special meal – six courses, champagne, all the trimmings. Everything home made and delicious. Champoluc is a lovely village too

This price includes all of the following benefits:

  • Return transfers between any of the 6 airports listed on our website – Turin (90 minutes to resort), Milan Malpensa (2 hours to resort), Milan Linate (3 hours to resort), Milan Bergamo (3 hours to resort), Geneva (3 hours to resort), Genoa (3 hours to resort), Chambery (3 hours to resort) and Sion (2.5 hours to resort).
  • Half Board accommodation – breakfast and dinner.
  • Full area Monterosa lift pass covering the resorts of Champoluc, Gressoney and Alagna.
  • Snack lunches each day at a choice of mountain restaurants. Vouchers are valid in 6 mountain restaurants spread across the ski area and are valid for one dish from a choice of four or five – typically something like a bowl of pasta, toasted Panini, large hot dog or similar, all served with a hot or cold, alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink. Unused vouchers can always be used to buy après-ski drinks in the bar at the bottom of the main gondola.
  • Free use of our own ski deposit at the bottom of the main lift.
  • The services of our friendly and experienced resort team – 24 hours a day.

 

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Monterosa Terme Spa Complex

This week Christina and Jenny, part of our resort team in Champoluc, went on a little mission to check out the Monterosa Terme Spa and report back to you. If you’ve chosen to stay in Champoluc with Ski 2 you too will have access to Monterosa Terme – a luxurious spa with heated pools and relaxation rooms nestled in the valley at the end of the village.

Entering through the reception area, the girls’ first impression was of the local contemporary art hung around the walls. The reception staff are all multi-lingual and ready to help you to hire a towel, robe and slippers for just five euros or you can bring your own from your hotel.

Once inside, Christina and Jenny began with the thermal pool journey, dipping their toes in the salt water pool, then they stretched out in the large heated pool and dived under the water to emerge outside surrounded by snow and ice.

Monterosa terme spa

Next to the pools is a relaxation lounge where you can curl up with a good book and enjoy a view of the snowy mountains. There is a café/bar too, where you and your family can enjoy the complementary buffet or purchase something special with a tap of your wristband and pay later.

For just 12 euros, Ski 2 customers can escape the children and venture into the adults only ‘wellness suite’, where two wood-lined saunas, a Turkish aromatherapy steam room and a Hamman with salt scrub await you. Not to mention a circular hot tub with a domed ceiling, monsoon showers and hot and cold therapy pools. The girls would particularly recommend the second cosy relaxation room, which offers you a further quiet space with unbeatable views, free tea and fruit, loungers and swinging egg chairs to while away a few more hours in.

Jenny and Christina loved it so much that they treated themselves to membership for the season! So if you’d like to give the Monterosa Terme Spa a try, just pop into the office in Champoluc where the team will sort you out with your spa voucher.

A Week in the Life of a Ski 2 Penguin

What fun will your little ones have while you are skiing?

Arriving at the hotel

After a comfortable (and probably sleepy) journey from the airport, you and your little penguin will arrive at your hotel, find your room and get settled in for the night.

arriving at the Penguin club in Champoluc

Arriving at the Penguin Club

The next morning, one of our Ski 2 Resort Ambassadors will take you over the bridge and up the snowy road to the Penguin Club. Surrounded by trees and snow, there’s lots of outdoor fun to be had if you are lucky enough to have sunny weather.

Drawing at the Penquin club in ChampolucIndoor Activities

There are plenty of toys, games, jigsaws, books and DVDs to choose from. If your little penguin likes to get creative, they can colour in their own penguin to add to our penguin scene on the wall.

Outdoor Activities

Sledging anyone? There are plenty of sledges for all the penguins. There are also some strap on skis if they are too small for ski school, but would like to have a go. And, of course, lots of other fun outdoor toys to play with. Or they could always build a snowman!

Have a go at skiing?

For the bigger penguins, we offer Penguin Club + ski. Your penguin will spend most of the day having fun at the Penguin Club and then one of our dedicated nannies, who is also a qualified ski instructor, will take them up the mountain to learn how to ski. Your penguin will first need to get kitted up in ski hire…

…they will then take the gondola up to Crest, where they can play on the nursery slope.

taking the gondola

Tired?

After all that excitement, it might be time to curl up with a hot chocolate or have a nap in the Penguin Club cot room.

time for a nap

Find out more about our family ski holidays or if you would like to speak to one of our team, give us a call on 01962 713330 or email us

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Ski 2 Supports Youth Olympic Star

Valle d’Aosta is renowned for beautiful, snow-capped peaks such as the Matterhorn, Monte Rosa and Mont Blanc. It is home to the town of Champoluc, nestled in the Ayas Valley. Not only a fantastic place for a ski holiday, it’s also the perfect venue for training to become a future star.

Ryan BrownWe recently trained a team from Moreton Hall School who went on to win 8 medals at the British Schoolgirls’ Races in Flaine and are hoping for the same success for Simon’s son, Ryan Brown, who at the age of 17 has been selected as one of 17 future winter sports stars who will travel to Erzurum in Turkey from 11th to 18th February to compete for Great Britain in the 2017 European Youth Olympic Winter Festival (EYOWF).

The European Youth Olympic Winter Festival is a hugely important event for young alpine skiing athletes between the ages of 16 and 18 who hope to go on to compete in the Winter Olympics. This year, around 1300 participants will travel to Erzurum in eastern Turkey. At 1757m above sea level, it is the largest city in the region and has some of the best winter sports facilities in Turkey.

Ryan will compete in alpine skiing, which has been an event at the Winter Olympic Games since 1936. Currently training in Courmayeur, Ryan had the following to say “training is going really well, if a little cloudy. I’ve been focusing on keeping my top line still and making sure my movements are as smooth and streamlined as possible. I’m really excited to ski in a new country and looking forward to competing”. Ryan has raced before, but this will be the biggest event he has taken part in and hopefully the first of many. Good luck Ryan!

For more information on the event visit the European Youth Olympic Winter Festival site  or follow them on Twitter. For more information about race training with one of Ski 2’s expert instructors, do get in touch.

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