Skiing in La Thuile Italy

La Thuile Italy

La Thuile Italy

Feb 2013 Skiing Trip to La Thuile in Italy

Some photos from our half term trip to La Thuile in Italy. Won’t waste time with too many words but suffice to say that it’s a great place – superb skiing, not too busy, very friendly and we were blessed with superb snow and great weather. So if you want info then feel free to peruse the text, otherwise just scroll down and enjoy the photos!

Snowdrift in La Thuile

Real Snow – A Proper Snowdrift

The Resort

The Planibel La Thuile

The Planibel

La Thuile is a small ski resort on the Italian/French border. The transfer from Turin should have been a pleasant 2 hour trip (see below!). We were staying in the Planibel Hotel Apartments – ideally located at the bottom of the slopes and perfectly servicable accommodation for what you want on a ski trip – warm, enough room to store your gear (altho’ we could have done with a few more coathangers!). Obviously the accommodation was not up to our own Lake District Cottages standards (!), but the resort has great facilities on site including a supermarket, ski-hire shops, charcuterie, swimming pool, pub, shops and restaurants. It was also just a 10 minute walk down into the village itself which has some great restaurants and contrary to some reviews I’ve seen is actually quite scenic and immensely friendly. No it hasn’t got 101 nightclubs and bars, but for a family friendly resort it certainly ticked all our boxes. For what it’s worth our favourite places to eat our were La Fordze, the Brassiere, and La Grotte. Just remember to book a table on a Friday and Saturday night as it’s very popular with Italian weekenders – a good sign in itself…

The Skiing

La Thuile Skiing

Blue Skies and Empty Pistes

With 3 under 8s in the party we were looking for somewhere with a good range of beginner slopes, plus enough variety and challenges to keep our resident Franz Klammer super skier amused. La Thuile delivers on both counts. The nursery slopes are right outside the Planibel with a bubble and chair lifts to take you up to the main ski area which has a great range of blues and reds. We also skied over to La Rosiere in France on one of the days. Great for the “I’ve skied in 2 countries today” bragging rights but frankly very busy compared to La Thuile!

French Italian Border

On the Border!

Empty Pistes - Bliss

Empty Pistes – Bliss

Skiing in La Thuile

Not a bad place for a lesson

View from a Chair Lift

View from a Chair Lift

Lessons

All three of the youngsters had lessons in the morning. Other than the somewhat chaotic Italian organisation at the start of the day the lessons themselves were great and certainly by the end of the week 3 novice skiers were skiing like demons. Again the friendliness of the instructors helped a great deal. 3 of us slightly older folk also had lessons, in my case for the first time in 20 years. Suffice to say my skiing probably didn’t improve quite as much, but we had a great group and it’s always good to be guided around the resort. My instructor Franco was also superb. Some of my fellow learners had been to the same resort 11 years on the trot and had had Fraqnco teaching them for many of those times. He’s an old school instructor – permatan, supercool, very friendly and of course he skies like he was born with 2 planks attached to his feet, which he probably was -like many of the instructors he’s born and bred in the area. He was also an effective weather barometer. When Franco turned up in the morning with his goggles and balaclava, you knew it was going to be a tad cold on the chair lifts. When he turned up in his shades and (almost) in his shorts – you knew it was going to be a scorcher..

Ski Lesson in La Thuile

Franco puts the group through their paces

The Views

Living in the Lake District, I’m pretty used to great views and spectacular mountain panoramas. However with the weather we had I have to say the scenery was truly breathtaking. Anyway judge for yourself…

Mont Blanc View

Mont Blanc

Italian Alps

Nice View

Towards the Matterhorn

Towards the Matterhorn

Mountain Walking in Italy

Spot the man walking up the ridge

View from the Gondola

View from the Gondola

Our Ski Package

A few words on our tour company, Neilsens. I’m always a little cynical about ski reps and I know the job isn’t as easy as it should be but just cos it needs to be said here are a few pointers for them if they happen to chance across this blog:

  • Don’t make the punters site for 2 hours in the coach at Turin airport waiting to depart for the resort when there’s only 1 seat left on the coach and yet you tell them “we’re waiting for a family of 4”
  • Don’t arrange for people to arrive in resort at lunchtime when you know their apartments aren’t going to be ready until 17:00, or if you do then prewarn them and make sure they have somewhere to store their luggage in the interim
  • Don’t hand out green vouchers for ski lessons and tell people to hand them over to the instructors when the instructors respond saying “they should know by now these are the wrong vouchers” and so you end up having to spend 2 days tracking your rep down to get the right voucher.
  • Don’t at the end of a great holiday make people wait outside in -10 degrees at 5 in the morning in the wrong place for a bus that’s actually in a completely different place.

Simples. Anyway soap box safely stored for another year…

All in all though I can’t recommend La Thuile highly enough – great location, great facilities, superb skiing and above all a warm, welcoming and friendly place. We shall return!

Us looking the part...

Us looking the part…

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