Via Lattea Ski Region

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The Via Lattea (Milky Way) in Italy has some cream for everyone!
The Via Lattea (Milky Way) in Italy has some cream for everyone!
The ViaLattea fully connects Sestriere by gondola to other resorts.
The ViaLattea fully connects Sestriere by gondola to other resorts.
Unique Sestriere, the heart & soul of the Via Lattea.
Unique Sestriere, the heart & soul of the Via Lattea.
Via Lattea is easily accessed by fast train to Oulx.
Via Lattea is easily accessed by fast train to Oulx.
Great off piste powder in the Via Lattea.
Great off piste powder in the Via Lattea.
Montgenevre has awesome terrain, valid on a Via Lattea International ski pass
Montgenevre has awesome terrain, valid on a Via Lattea International ski pass
Via Lattea border crossings from France to Italy can be high (Roche de l
Via Lattea border crossings from France to Italy can be high (Roche de l'Aigle) or low on a flat trail into Claviere
Claviere, one of the Via Lattea
Claviere, one of the Via Lattea's villages.
Sansicario
Sansicario's massive terrain is part of the Via Lattea.
A huge area of high alpine terrain awaits in the Via Lattea.
A huge area of high alpine terrain awaits in the Via Lattea.
Explore the local villages on the Giro (Tour) Della Via Lattea.
Explore the local villages on the Giro (Tour) Della Via Lattea.
Challenge yourself on the off-piste steeps at Sestriere.
Challenge yourself on the off-piste steeps at Sestriere.
Snowboarders will find loads of fun terrain in the ViaLattea.
Snowboarders will find loads of fun terrain in the ViaLattea.
Village of Montgenevre in France, part of the Via Lattea.
Village of Montgenevre in France, part of the Via Lattea.
Via Lattea easy powder lines in Oulx (Suaze d
Via Lattea easy powder lines in Oulx (Suaze d'Oulx).
A modern gondola connects Cesana to Sansicario, bridging the gap in the region
A modern gondola connects Cesana to Sansicario, bridging the gap in the region's ski trails..
All trails lead to somewhere in the Via Lattea.
All trails lead to somewhere in the Via Lattea.
Claviere skiing looking across to Sestriere in the distance
Claviere skiing looking across to Sestriere in the distance
Powder is untracked for days at the Via Lattea ski resorts.
Powder is untracked for days at the Via Lattea ski resorts.
It
It's not called the Milky Way for nothing!

Via Lattea Ski Region

Readers Ratings

Via Lattea

Via Lattea4/52
Via Lattea4 out of 5 based on 2 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
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Via Lattea Ski Resorts

Cesana Sansicario
Claviere
Montgenèvre
Sauze d'Oulx
Sestriere

    Via Lattea - Voie Lactee Ski Trail & Piste Map
  • Via Lattea Ski Trail Map
  • Vertical (m)
    1,350 – 2,823m (1,473m)
  • Average Snow Fall
    6 m+
  • Lifts (70)
    6 Gondolas/cable cars
    34 Chairlifts
  • Opening Dates & Times
    Dec to late April
    9:00am - 5:00pm
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs – 400km
    Longest run – 9km+
    Advanced - 19%
    Intermediate - 47%
    Beginner - 34%
  • Lift Pass Price
    Day Ticket 20/21
    Via Lattea (Italian Sector)
    (Valid in Cesana-Sansicario, Claviere, Sauze d'Oulx & Sestriere)
    Adult - €39
    Child – from €10

    Montiluna-Montgenevre
    (Valid in Claviere, Montgenevre)
    Adult - €42.50
    Child – from €10

    Via Lattea International
    (Valid in Cesana-Sansicario, Claviere, Montgenevre, Sauze d'Oulx & Sestriere)
    Adult - €50
    Child – from €10
    Montgenevre & Monts di Lune Ski Trail Map
  • Montiluna-Montgenevre Ski Trail Map

Via Lattea Ski Resort Italy / France

Follow the Milky Way for a grand ski adventure in the Val di Susa near Turin Italy. The Via Lattea combines 5 ski resorts into the best value lift pass in Western Europe & possibly the world!

On the Italian side, the brash & visually challenging Sestriere, lovely old Oulx with its higher elevation (& tired looking!) ski resort village of Sauze d'Oulx, & traditional, perfectly located Cesana links beautifully to the utilitarian Sansicario & beautiful, snow-sure Claviere. From Claviere, the magnificent ski domain at Montgenevre is literally a few steps just across the border in France. Combined, they form the wonderfully diverse, interlinked ski region called the Via Lattea, or in English, The Milky Way (or in French, the Voie Lactee).

Pros & Cons for Vialattea Ski Area

Pros

  • Best value ski lift pass in western Europe (& potentially the world).
  • High elevation, snow-sure base villages (particularly Sestriere, Montgenevre & Claviere)
  • Long, Olympic standard piste trails throughout the ski area.
  • Massive terrain both on & off piste.
  • Heli-skiing, tree skiing & backcountry touring is exceptionally good.
  • Includes international skiing at Montgenevre France (supplement on lift pass).
  • Quiet during the week.
  • Numerous après ski options.
  • Ski-in ski-out accommodation available.
  • Excellent mountain huts.
  • Public transport access is fabulous via fast train to Oulx or car/bus from Turin.

Cons

  • Some old, outdated lift infrastructure.
  • Snow in some low elevation, south-facing areas can be poor.
  • Busy on weekends & during school holidays.
  • Snowboarders may not like the long traverses connecting different areas.

Pro or Con (depending on your perspective!)

  • Many small, quiet villages of varying architectural styles – choose wisely.
  • Accommodation standard (in the Italian sector) is generally lower than similar sized ski resorts.
  • Après can be quiet during the week.

Skiing & Snowboarding, Lifts & Terrain

The Via Lattea's bargain basement lift ticket provides Powderhounds with a plethora of sensational skiing & snowboarding. The off-piste is the tastiest cream in the Milky Way. Vast freeride terrain, with powder stashes days after the last snowfall, includes fantastic larch forest tree skiing and quality high-altitude alpine bowls. The tree skiing in Sauze d'Oulx and Sansicario is amongst western Europe's best. The high alpine zones of Montgenèvre & Claviere provide excellent freeride & backcountry options amongst the Monti delle Luna (Mountains of the Moon) & deeper into France around Le Chalvet. Take some time to explore!

On the piste, with nearly half of the gargantuan 400km of ski trails rated red, the Vialattea is an intermediate’s paradise. Steeper pistes in Montgenevre & Sestriere provide challenge for the more advanced. Three Olympic event pistes, two in Sestriere and one super-long run into Sansicario, will test everyone's strength, speed & endurance. Beginners will find the best lifts, trails & facilities at the high-altitude ski resorts of Sestriere & Montgenevre and the long cruisy trails at Claviere.

If we had to choose a single lift that gives the ultimate access in the Via Lattea, it would be the gondola from Sestriere village up to the 2,700m summit of Monte Fraiteve. This single lift & the central peak provides unfettered access to the main Italian Vialattea resorts & a direct ski run to the linking gondola for Claviere & Montgenevre.

See here for the Via Lattea ski trail map.

All the ski resorts that make up the Via-Lattea provide a different riding experience and a journey through them is indeed a pleasurable voyage of discovery. The resorts are fully lift AND piste trail linked except for a low elevation section in the valley near the village of Cesana Torinese, where a gondola or chairlift ride is the only option. If one can ignore or avoid the seriously pushy weekend lift queues & the few poorly designed lift & piste choke points in Sauze d'Oulx, all the skiing and snowboarding in the Via Lattea is great fun.

The Via Lattea gives skiers & snowboarders access to nearly 400km of ski runs & a multitude of lifts. For those up to the challenge, skiing the entire Via Lattea in a day is possible following the 'Giro Della Via Lattea'. Much like the famous Sella Ronda in the Dolomites, the tour will showcase the entire region & is reasonably well signposted & straight forward to follow. Start early though, it is a long day!

See the individual ski resort overview pages via the links above or in the left column for more detailed information on skiing & snowboarding the region.

Lift Passes

Whilst there are always a mass of lift pass permutations these days in ski resorts, there are basically five options in the Via Lattea that one needs to be aware of. The cheap, standard ViaLattea pass is for the 305km of trails in the Italian sector for the resorts of Sauze d’Oulx, Sestriere, Cesana-Sansicario & Claviere. For another €10 or so, a Via Lattea International pass will get you the 95km of trails in Montgenèvre, France as well. Alternative passes include a local pass for the Grand Montgenevre area, which includes half of Claviere (only the half near the border!). In Claviere another cheap local pass is called the Monts de la Lune (Moon Mountains or Monti della Luna) which is only valid in the immediate Claviere-Cesana sector. And then there is the Monts de la Lune - Montgenevre ski pass which includes all the lifts and trail from the bottom at Cesana, through Claviere & into Montgenevre. Simples!

See here for the Monts de la Lune ski trail map.

And then there are extensions available on multi-day passes to include further areas (i.e. add the Via Lattea to a Grand Montgenevre pass for a day), plus free days in Bardonecchia etc. on passes greater than 6 days......... You get the idea. There are alot of options. Choose wisely.

Where is the Via Lattea Italy?

The Via Lattea is conveniently located in the Val di Susa, 79km west of Turin in Italy. Gateway international airports include Turin (TRN), Milan (MXP), Lyon (LYS) and surprisingly (because of the direct train to Oulx), Paris (CDG) & Geneva (GVA). Search & book here for private transfers direct to all Via Lattea locations.

The Vialattea gateway town is Oulx, only one hour by car from Turin via the E70 motorway. Oulx also has a major train & bus station with direct links to all parts of the ViaLattea ski region & nearby Briancon in France (part of the excellent Serre Chevalier ski resort).

Oulx is on the main TGV train line that runs between Paris and Turin (at least 3 trains per day). It is 1hr 12min by train from Turin's Porta Nuova station (trains every hour), around 5hr from Paris and less from Lyon. Search & book here for train tickets to Oulx.

For detailed information on the best ways to get there, see our Travel to the Via Lattea page.

Via Lattea Accommodation

If nothing else, the Vialattea is diverse and so is the accommodation. Older village areas like Oulx, Cesana and the high elevation border post town of Claviere ooze charm. The centrally located Cesana is the best place to explore the entire region, but Claviere has some fantastic hotels backing onto the ski slopes & Oulx has close proximity to the train station.

Purpose built ski resort lodging & base areas at Sestriere, Sansicario & Sauze d’Oulx offer convenience & some good après ski sessions, but are generally charmless. Sauze d'Oulx is looking worn but has some lovely newer hotels & a quaint old sector. Sestriere is in a high alpine pass & has the best services, accessibility to the slopes plus variety of hotels & apartments. Sansicario has excellent ski-in ski-out convenience in a central resort location but with uninspired, utilitarian architecture that does however blend in nicely with the pleasant, forested surrounds.

The Via Lattea is generally lacking in high-end (5-star) lodgings. If searching for such, try Sestriere ski resort or perhaps head elsewhere like Courmayeur - this is not a glam location! A plethora of interesting little hamlets dotted throughout the region offer a more authentic overnight experience in traditional guesthouse lodgings, farm stays (agriturismo) & holiday homes.

Search & book here for Via Lattea ski accommodation.

Across the border in France the high-altitude village of Montgenevre has the best combination of old village & new resort lodgings in a ski area with great variety in its own right.

Search & book here for Montgenevre ski accommodation.

For more information on the best places to stay, see our Via Lattea Accommodation Info page.

Ski Rentals & Lessons

Ski rentals are available from our partners at Skiset in the Vialattea villages of Sauze d’Oulx, Sestriere, Sansicario (Cesana Torinese) & Montgenevre. Receive a discount when you search & book via our Via Lattea Ski & Snowboard Rental page.

For regular & off-piste ski lessons or mountain guiding, see our Via Lattea Ski Lessons & Guiding page.

One BIG Reason to Ski the Via-Lattea

A reiteration is perhaps required. The Via Lattea is far & away the best combination of size, terrain, snow & monetary value in the world. Yep we are calling it. We challenge anyone to throw up a reasonable priced challenger. Enough said!

Review

The Powderhounds have visited the Milky Way on numerous occasions, most recently in season 2020. We always have fun, safe in the knowledge that we have not had to re-mortgage the house to do it! Click on the review link in the left column (or top of the page if on a mobile) to read the latest inciteful & witty prose!

See how the Via Lattea compares to the rest of the European ski resorts on the Europe ski resort ratings page.

Follow Powderhounds Europe on Facebook or Instagram to see where we are currently skiing.

Ski Tours in or near Via Lattea

Safari (Road Trip) Tours

La Grave-Sestriere Powder Skiing Safari France-Italy
GUIDED OFF-PISTE ADVENTURE
8 Days | 7 Nights | 6 Ski Days | 3+ Resorts
Ability: Advanced to Expert
Skiing between the French & Italian alps over the southern alpine glaciers, this exceptional tour begins in La Grave, France, passes through Serre Chevalier & ends in Sestriere, Italy. Great off-piste combination of high alpine & tree skiing, plus beautiful villages & accommodation.
Price p/p From price based on twin/double-share room occupancy, min group of 7 on an 8 day trip.
Base/invoice currency is in EURO inc taxes.
*Displayed price may vary due to currency fluctuations.
AUD 3,230
View Details
 
See all Safari (Road Trip) tours that visit Via Lattea here
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