Superb On Piste and Apres Scenes Promise An Incredible Ski Holiday
Nestled in the Italian Alps, Sauze d’Oulx is one of five ski resorts which links into the infamous Milky Way plateau. The ski area was chosen for the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin and gives advanced skiers a chance to test their skills on courses that put some of the world’s most elite skiers to the sword.
That’s not to say, Sauze d’Oulx is only reserved for advanced skiers. Far from it. With 400km of sculptured ski areas, 100km of cross-country tracks and ample opportunity to go off-piste, there is no shortage of options for skiers of all levels.
Sauze d’Oulx Resort
Located on the ‘Sunny Balcony’, Sauze d’Oulx receives plenty of sunshine, and with a wide expanse of tree-lined runs to explore, the conditions are designed for a perfect skiing holiday. Even when there is a shortage of snowfall, the excellent snow-making facilities ensure the circuits are in peak condition for skiing and snowboarding.
The charming village, with its friendly locals and penchant for exquisite cuisine, is also regarded as one of the most diverse and best apres-ski scenes in Europe, further enriched with gastronomic delights.
Mountainside restaurants give skiers the chance to take a break for light refreshments and enjoy spectacular views to accompany a sumptuous lunch. In the evening, you will find chilled-out cocktail bars, balconied cafes, lively party bars and family-friendly hangouts.
The cobbled Old Town is also worthy of exploration. With its rustic Italian townhouses, quaint boutiques, central piazza and family-owned trattorias, visitors are spoiled for choice when it comes to shopping, authentic Italian cuisine and a selection of delectable wines.
Should you need to take a break from the slopes, you will find plenty of things to do in the Susa Valley region. Ice-skating and snowshoe excursions through the woods are ideal for families, or for something more relaxing, why not treat yourself to an afternoon in the spa.
Further afield, but in close driving distance, there is the national park, the impressive Fortress of Fenestrelle and a children’s adventure village where you will find the longest rope bridge in the world.
|No. of Pistes:||140|
|Total Piste:||110 km|
|Cross Country:||100 km|
|Gondolas/ Cable Cars:||4|
Sauze d’Oulx Ski Areas & Slopes
Sauze is mainly orientated towards intermediate and advanced skiers, although there are ski schools and slopes for beginners so young families are well looked after.
The mountain slopes are predominantly carved between the forest, and many runs wind through the trees. The hardest runs are on Mount Motta and Mount Sises in Sestriere.
The ski area at the heart of Sauze d’Oulx is Sportinia, a mid-way resort just above the nursery slopes at Clotes or the faster drag lifts on Mount Moncrons.
Intermediate-Advanced: Long and winding intermediate runs link Sauze d’Oulx with neighbouring slopes and the Milky Way ski area. Get to grips with the terrain with an easy red run on 11 then explore the rest of the piste from the lift.
Beginners: Beginners will find the nursery slopes at the foot of the Clotes chair and the lift takes you to the main ski area at Sportina where lessons also take place and several blue runs start from.
Sestriere caters for all-comers. There are plenty of well-groomed runs ranging from the nursery slopes at the centre of the resort to long steep runs used in the Olympics. Most skiing takes place on the north and west facing slopes.
Intermediate-Advanced: Plenty of red runs all the way to the main entrance. Advanced skiers should head to the top of Mount Motta and Mount Sises for the black runs or test your ski skills by tackling the runs of Kandahar Slalom and Kandahar Barchetta which were designed for elite skiers competing in the Olympics.
Beginners: The foothills of Sestriere is the best place for beginners. There is a large carpeted area reserved for nursery slopes and several enjoyable blue runs including Sestriere Borgata.
Monte Fraiteve is the main junction from where you can reach the more challenging slopes of Sestriere or venture further afield to Sansicario, Cesana Torinese, Claviere and then Montgenevre in France.
Intermediate-Advanced: Monte Fraiteve is a playground for advanced and intermediate skiers. For those with the bottle to tackle 1000m drops, piste 21 is where the women’s world cup downhill races took place.
Beginners: Not the best ski area for beginners. The nursery slopes at the bottom of Monte Fraiteve has the worst snow in the resort due to the amount of traffic it receives on the way in and the way out.
Ski Holidays in Sauze d’Oulx
Sauze d’Oulx Ski Passes
Default ski passes at Sauze d'Oulx give you access to all the resorts in the Milky Way ski area on the Italian side. A six-day pass will also gain you access to Montgenevre on the French side for one day.
You can purchase half day or full day passes individually, but if you are visiting Sauze d’Oulx for a week’s skiing holiday, a five or six-day pass is recommended.
To purchase ski lifts passes for Sauze d’Oulx, head for the ticket offices stationed by the two chair lift entrances, or buy them from the main ABC office in the town centre.
High season ski passes cost €38 for adults for one day and €10 for children. This can increase to €229/€70 for seven days.
Low season ski passes cost €38 for adults for one day and €10 for children. This can increase to €161/€70 for seven days.
Beginners will have no problem finding English speaking ski instructors in Sauze d’Oulx. Snowboarding lessons are available too. Ski schools have separate child and adults classes together with private lessons. Lookout for online discounts.
If you’re not already equipped for a ski holiday, the logical solution is to hire the equipment when you arrive in Sauze d’Oulx. Head for the rental shops around the central square for some excellent deals for skiing, snowboarding together with tuning, binding adjustments, and maintenance.
Family Fun in Sauze d’Oulx
Sauze d’Oulx is orientated towards intermediate skiers that enjoy a dynamic apres-scene. However, families are also well-catered for with a range of ski schools, safe runs and family-friendly restaurants with children’s menu.
The nursery slope is located at the foot of the Clotes chair lift and parents can drop the kids off with ski school instructors whilst you head out to test the terrain for the morning.
Once beginners have some confidence, head up to piste 53, an easy run that starts from the top of the mountain and rejoins the 52 back to the main ski area.
Off the slopes there are plenty of activities to keeps the kids entertained including ice-skating, tobogganing, Chaberton adventure park, rafting and the wildlife park. If you have the nerve, and a stomach for heights, why not brave the 486m walk across the longest Tibetan Bridge in the world in nearby Claviere.
When to Go?
The best time to visit Sauze d’Oulx for a skiing holiday is between Christmas and Easter. During the holiday season, hotels, restaurants and bars are busy in the modest town centre, although with such a vast wealth of piste, the runs are never overcrowded.
Just before Easter is arguably the best time to visit. This period often experiences a bit of snowfall and the sunny conditions make it ideal for a snug skiing experience on the Italian slopes.
Snowfall in the Italian Alps is erratic which makes it difficult to give a definitive answer for the best time to visit. Fortunately, all the ski resorts in Sauze d’Oulx have excellent snow machines so there is always a guarantee of fresh powder on the slopes. Keep an eye on our webcam snow report for the latest conditions.
Boasting an above average sunshine record, the weather in the Italian Alps is clement and staves off the icy cold on the highest peaks. Don’t forget to take sunblock.
The ski resorts open between mid-December and late April.