The Italian side of the Matterhorn
When most people think of the Matterhorn mountain they think of Zermatt, Switzerland ‘the most photographed mountain in the world’ but did you know that the Matterhorn is situated in both Switzerland (Canton of Valais) and Italy ( Aosta Valley ). Not only this but the Italians have their own resort called Breuil-Cervinia Ski Resort and know the Matterhorn Mountain as Monte Cervino.
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About Breuil-Cervinia Ski Resort
I have skied in some beautiful places around the world but Breuil-Cervinia Ski Resort is one of the most stunning ski resorts that I have skied in. At an altitude of 2,050m, Breuil-Cervinia Ski Resort is one of the highest resorts in Europe and it literally feels like you are on the Matterhorn (cervino) as soon as you come out of your accommodation and start skiing.
There is so much going for this resort from ski in and out accommodation to having one of the longest ski seasons in Europe, from October to late May with guaranteed snow.
I cannot fault this resort in any way, instead, all I can do is tell you about all the reasons why you should go there. Combined with the Valtournenche and Zermatt ski areas, you have over 300 klms of groomed ski runs and they are looking to expand this within the next couple of years.
They already say that if you ski continuously for 4hrs every day for 6 days that you would not do the same run twice. If the new gondola goes through it will make it the biggest ski area in Europe.
Overview of the Ski Runs & Area
Breuil-Cervinia Ski Resort is located in Italy’s Aosta Valley, one of the highest resorts in the Alps. It’s high-altitude ski area links with both Valtournenche and Zermatt in Switzerland, offering over 300klms of groomed runs and guaranteed snow during the ski season.
- Lift systems: 19 in Breuil-Cervinia/Valtournenche (combined) + 34 in Zermatt.
- Groomed Ski runs: 72 in Breuil-Cervinia/Valtournenche (combined) + 78 in Zermatt.
- Three children’s ski areas
- 3 Snowparks. Please note though that you CANNOT use the Snowpark without wearing a helmet!
- Do the famous number 7 slope from the top to the bottom, where it ends in the Breuil area. It has some of the most amazing views, especially of the Matterhorn (Cervino). So make sure you have your camera ready.
A Family Resort
This is a great resort for families with children to enjoy together, especially while learning. A lot of blue & red runs are wide and in gullies, which makes a great place for children to learn and not to be scared of going over the edge.
A few of the chairlifts have child proof locks so they won’t fall out, which would be a great piece of mind for any parent.
- There are also other activities off the slopes for children like Ice-skating and is FREE if you hold a ski pass for more than 3 consecutive days.
Ski Passes for Breuil-Cervinia
Breuil-Cervinia/Valtournenche offers various promotions and discounts during the ski season. They allow you the flexibility to use a ski pass for a couple of hours, half days or over consecutive days.
Below are a couple of main things to know about the ski pass. A full list of prices and promotions are available on the tourism website under tariffs
- You can get a ski pass just for the Breuil-Cervinia / Valtournenche ski area or an international pass for Breuil-Cervinia/Valtournenche and Zermatt.
- You can track where you ski on the tourism site with your ski pass here
- Buy your ski pass online to miss the queue and pick it up from the ski office.
Location of Breuil-Cervinia village
The closest international airport is Turin Airport (also known as Torino), which is an hour & half drive away. Both the Geneva and Milan Malpensa airports are also alternative arrival points but you will need to add an extra hour driving.
There are no direct trains to the resort and the public bus does not run every day. The best way to get to the resort is by private transfer, shared transfer or hire a car We hired a car for our 4 days, which was cheaper than a private transfer going just one way.
There a lot of car rental companies available from the airport, so I would suggest booking one online beforehand to get the best price.
We hired our skis from Sports Centre in the middle of Cervinia Village, which was recommended to us. We also received a discount with our ‘Winter Card’ (refer to the tips for more info), which is around 10%-15% off your rental. The staff were really friendly and the skis were of high standard.
- Beware though if you are skiing half a day during the week the shop closes for 2hrs over lunchtime for a Siesta (most of the Cervinia Village is closed), so you will need to get your skis back before 12.30pm. If it is going to be later, I would suggest talking to the shop.
Breuil-Cervinia Ski Resort has an exceptional range of accommodation available, from basic apartments to luxury hotels with spas and swimming pools. The best bit is that most of the accommodation is either within walking distance to a chairlift or they are ski in-ski out hotels (something I definitely love).
Where I stayed – Hotel Excelsior Planet
We stayed at the beautiful 4-star family run Hotel Excelsior Planet right across the road from the ski slopes and with views of the Matterhorn. This place had everything you need for a holiday, warm hospitality, a four-course dinner mixed between traditional Valle d’Aosta and Italian gastronomy and a Wellness area to relax in the afternoon.
- Accommodation is also available in the nearby village of Valtournenche, which is a little cheaper option and is connected by the chairlifts and gondola. This is not an additional cost, as Valtournenche is part of your ski pass.
Where to eat on the Mountain
Chalet Etoile is renowned for making some of the best food on the Breuil-Cervinia Ski Resort slopes, which has made them very popular over the years. You will have to book in advance during the peak period to get a table for lunch. Even skiers from Zermatt, Switzerland ski over to have lunch here for the day.
It is also a great spot to stop for a drink with the Matterhorn (Cervino), as your backdrop and Breuil-Cervinia Ski Resort as your view. It is definitely one of those views that you have to see to believe.
I usually do at least one (or maybe two/three) afternoon’s Apres ski but unfortunately, I was unwell when I was in Breuil-Cervinia Ski Resort (not the resorts fault), so I didn’t venture out. However, I did stop at a place called Bait Cretaz just above the Breuil-Cervinia Ski Resort Village on the blue run home for a few glasses of prosecco.
It’s a cosy place with a small adjoining hotel run by a lovely Italian couple with a dog, who occasionally would come over for a pat.
The bit I loved about this place and I found surreal was that they were also a sushi restaurant that delivered to your hotel. Now usually, I would be a little bit funny about these things but I tried the sushi and it was fresh and really nice.
Top Tips for Breuil-Cervinia Ski Resort
- Check with your hotel to see if you are eligible for the ‘Winter Card’, which gives you all sorts of discounts in the Ski Resort
- Beware that a lot of the restaurants and shops close in Cervinia Village for a Siesta
- Catch the cable car from Laghi Cime Bianche to Plateau Rosa and stand on the yellow line, which is the border between Italy and Switzerland.
- Ski over to Schwarzsee on the Swiss side for lunch, if you are looking for some additional amazing shots of the Matterhorn Mountain (Monte Cervino).
- Do the ski run over to Zermatt for the day, if you have time and you are a moderate skier. It takes you around the Matterhorn (cervino) if you do the number 69 or 70 towards Zermatt village. Most of the run is red but to be honest, I didn’t find it too hard to do but this is my personal opinion.
- If you do decide to head over to Zermatt or vice versa make sure you get home before the last chairlift. Otherwise, it will end up costing you a small fortune to get back via a taxi (Cab) and will take around 4 hours one way.
- My understanding is that you are not allowed to use a drone on the ski slopes and in the ski area.
You can never have enough ski goggles for a ski weekend
Other Resorts in Europe
- The Italian side of the Matterhorn, Breuil-Cervinia Ski Resort – Cervinia Italy
- Ski Resort -Where the Season Starts Early and Ends Late – Val Thorens France
- Davos Ski Resort – A Guide on Things to Do – Davos Switzerland
- Jahorina Ski Resort Sarajevo – Combining History & Adventure – Bosnia and Herzegovina
Thank you for reading this article ‘The Italian side of the Matterhorn, Breuil-Cervinia Ski Resort Italy’, I hope it helped you to decide where to go for your next ski trip. Breuil-Cervinia Ski Resort is definitely a great gem of a ski resort in Italy.
Have you been to Breuil-Cervinia Ski Resort Italy before? I would love to hear your experiences in the comments below.
Disclaimer: Even though I was invited by the Breuil-Cervinia Tourism Office Italy. All views are my own and based on my own experience
Video Highlights – Cervinia Ski Resort Italy