Cervinia Glacier Early Season Skiing
Cervinia is a hidden gem of the alps for early season skiing. It’s largely overlooked but slowly but surely, the secret amongst us Brits has got out and we are glad it has. Cervinia has so much to offer in the way of early season skiing and we wanted to spread the word about why you should book our early season (Pre Christmas) to Cervinia. Besides, isn't the office already becoming tiresome? Don’t you deserve some early season skiing, fondue and local wine?
Pre Christmas Escapes
We have narrowed it down to the 3 tops points to note when considering pressing that elusive “book now” button on your flight comparison site; Places to ski, places to eat and places to stay. First things first though, flights to Milan are cheaper and although as the crow flies, Turin is closer, if you are taking public transport, the journey from Milan is easier. You take the airport bus to the Center, then a taxi to the bus station and from there, there is a direct bus to Cervinia. (During high season, there is a direct bus from both Turin and Milan to Cervinia) For more info on all, visit savda. Otherwise, car hire is very easy and the drive both scenic and tranquil.
Places To Ski
From the last weekend in October to May 1st you have km upon km of perfectly groomed piste, off-piste and park to enjoy. You may not be able to enjoy all 360km that Cervinia and Zermatt have to offer from the word go but if you are planning a long weekend in November or December, there is plenty to keep you occupied.
The glacier skiing is reliable, accessible and offers perfect corduroy. From Klein Matterhorn/ Plateau Rosa to Trockner Steg, the runs are impeccably well looked after, the views of the Matterhorn are completely undisturbed and the lifts run all day. The T-Bar lifts on the Italian side run smoothly, so despite them being the much less comfortable mode of transport, they allow you to ski runs higher than you can during high season, (They close the higher T-bars when the rest of the resort opens).
However, if you simply can't stomach the T-Bar and believe me, no one would blame you when the wind howls as it does on the glacier, you have the Trockner Steg chairlift and the Klein Matterhorn cable car. However, if there is one point to note, now this is the deal breaker, the guarantee. . . . its eerily quiet.
Perhaps the Weekends are a little busier but by busy we mean sharing the slopes with just a handful of people. If you are planning your visit from 1st December onwards, then you have access to most of the slopes on the Cervinia side down to “Plan Maison” and on the Swiss side to “Riffelberg”. Plenty to enjoy and new places to explore.
Places To Eat
The Italians are famous for their belief that you should live to eat rather than eat to live and one should embrace this mentality when visiting Cervinia. By December, all the best bars and restaurants are open but there are a few spots that are firm favourites with both locals and tourists alike.
On the mountain
Chalet Etoile is a famous spot for good reason. From their signature, Norwegian Salmon to their modern takes of classic Aosta Valley favourites like Wild Boar pasta and Tagliere of traditional meats and cheeses. It's perfect lunchtime ski- fuel and have it washed down with their homemade Grappa at the end, it will surely put fire in your step, or rather your skis.
For the best pizza, Sotto Zero is a must visit. The pizzas are to die for. They do vegan and veggie options, as well as show stopper pieces showcasing local ingredients. If you want a relaxed evening to wind down before another day on the hill, Sotto Zero is THE spot.
If you want to experience Italian charm, hospitality matched with incredible food and wine then Copa Pan is the spot for you. Their steaks are melt in the mouth and they also have a vegan menu which means everyone in your group is happy. Try their house red and sit by the fire downstairs and then try and tell me it isn't a little slice of heaven!
After Dinner Drinks?- There are 2 local favourite spots in Cervinia, one being a newcomer, Tasty and a well established oldy, Ymeletrob both offer expertly made cocktails, wealthy knowledge and reasonable prices. The perfect place to see the night off.
Places To Stay
There are a handful of wonderful spots to rest your weary head in Cervinia but there are some early season stand out favourites.
For mid-range ski in ski out luxury
Mon Reve- A warm, cosy and welcoming hotel, Mon Reve offers hearty breakfasts and traditional interiors. If they run isn't open yet, if you are visiting in very early November then they have a car service that runs from 8am to 11pm which allows you to spend time in town without the daunting prospect of a 20 minute uphill walk.
For in-town convenience
Hotel Punta Maquignaz, this hotel is right above the wonderful cocktail spot, Ymeletrob bar. The rooms are spacious, warm and welcoming. They too have a car service to access the telecabine if the run into town hasn't opened yet. A great long weekend hotel.
Hotel Compagnoni, right in the centre of town you have Hotel Compagnoni which famously has some of the best pre-skiing breakfasts, offset that against the price, you have a sure-fire win. It's only a 5 minute walk to the cable car or to the chair lift in the centre of town.
More information can be found on the Cervinia website, although early season ski passes are not highly competitive against the like of Verbier, Val D’isere or other high, snow-sure resorts, the balance against accommodation and the general cost of living still makes Cervinia a solid long weekend choice. Match the cost against the skiing and the undeniable charm and hospitality of the Italian alps and you will understand why Cervinia is becoming more popular.
I hope that some of this insider knowledge helps plan your early season trip, be sure to follow Cervinia on Instagram for real-time updates, If you have flexibility, you could find yourself checking their updates, then sitting on the cable car with your ski pass in hand in a matter of days.
Ciao for now!