The advices and tourist information in this mini-guide will be useful for planning your stay in Gressan, a small town near Pila, in the Italian mountains of Valle d’Aosta, at the foot of Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn and inside the Gran Paradiso Natural Park.
When you will be on holiday in Gressan, at the Club Esse Pila 2000, you can leave the hotel and find yourself just 30 meters from 70 kilometers of white slopes, thus realizing the dream of every expert skier and neophyte curious.
If you love the mountains, you will love skiing in Gressan in Valle d’Aosta, on the snow of the Italian Alps, with a Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn view, right inside the Gran Paradiso Natural Park.
The show is guaranteed!
But even if you are not a skier on a holiday in Gressan and Pila you will find many other interesting and fun activities, especially if you are traveling with your family. For fashionable shopping, with major international brands and the best sports equipment, you will need just over 15 minutes by cable car to reach the center of Aosta, where you will find the best shops concentrated especially in the central streets, like via Croix de Ville and via de Tillier.
And why not try some good dog sledding and take a pack of sled dogs in the uncontaminated nature of the Valle d’Aosta, admiring the peaks of Mont Blanc, entrusting the Dog Sled Man school, that after some short and easy theoretical concepts, the instructors will allow you to personally lead a sled pulled by 3-4 husky dogs. Recommended activity for both, the most adventurous ones and for the whole family.
Have you thought about riding a bicycle on the snow? Yes, you did not read wrong. The secret lies in having the right tires! In many Valle d’Aosta locations, a very popular mountain destination among the bikers, you can experience the thrill of a descent on the snow, using studded or sculpted tires. But beware, not along the ski slopes, there is strictly prohibited. Here are some cycling routes on which you can experiment with your skills.
Gressan is a small village at over 1050 meters, near Pila, one of the most important ski location in Italy. The origins of the village are very old and some historians even date it back to the period of Roman domination.
The most beautiful ski slopes of the Valle d’Aosta
Gressan is in the middle of the Pila ski area, and is renowned for its location, since it offers a unique panoramic view of Mont Blanc, Monte Rosa, the Grand Combin and the Matterhorn, with a scenario where the whiteness of the fresh and compact snow that contrasts with the intense color of a pure turquoise sky.
You will find 4 black slopes (with significant sections of inclination of more than 40% and therefore for expert skiers), 21 red (slopes of medium difficulty, with a slope between 26 and 40 percent), 4 blue slopes (with a level of difficulty considered low), at an altitude between 1,540 to 2,750 meters.
Do you have doubts?
If the weather does not help, you will not have to worry, there are 480 snow cannons, ensuring a coverage of at least 80% of the slopes. The presence of 15 winter facilities will ensure a comfortable ride back.
And if you still can not ski, but you would like to start, in addition to the many alternative activities, you will find two ski schools, with over 170 teachers ready to teach you and your whole family how to learn this fascinating sport.
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What to do and what to see on holiday in Gressan and Pila
Of course, as you think at every self-respecting stay in the mountains should be, if you choose a holiday in Gressan and Pila, you ‘must’ start from the snow. Pila is one of the most desirable ski destinations by every skier of any dexterity, because of the over 70 kilometers of slopes on which to practice or do acrobatics.
You will have the opportunity to practice downhill skiing at any level of difficulty, do snow tubing and run at high speed on the bobsleigh and to measure your skills in snowboarding with half pipe.
The best part of it?
You will ask yourself: “what can you do in Pila and Gressan if you don’t know how to ski?”. Good question, to which you can find several answers. For example, you can take a nice snowshoe hike in the woods. Or take a sledging race, this time without the dogs, which you may have taken on a skiing holiday with you.
The cable car which connects Aosta to Pila, is certainly one of the reasons why the Club Esse Pila 2000 in Gressan, is the perfect “refuge” for your holidays on the snow, since in just 17 minutes it allows you to get off in the Valle D ‘Aosta regional capital (avoiding 17 kilometers of hairpin bends with the car), offering many alternatives to those who regional capital is not a fan of skiing, but only a curious admirer.
Also, if you like walking in the woods, don’t forget you’re in the Italian Alps of Valle d’Aosta! Put on your hiking shoes and choose one of the many routes available, obviously following the basic rules that will keep you safe. For example, you can take the route that leads to the hermitage of San Grato which, today, has remained the end point of the Route des jeunes (the Way of the Young).
And that’s not all!
If you do not know or do not want to ski, but love the heights and the thrill of flying, you can paraglide, and why not, even a panoramic ride in a hot air balloon!
And for you who are passionate about architecture, culture and history, Valle d’Aosta will be a stop-over and a region full of places of interest that you can visit from top to bottom. For this reason, if you decide to take your holidays on the snow in Gressan, you will certainly not be disappointed. La church of Sainte-Marie-Magdeleine, dedicated to Mary Magdalene, has one of the most beautiful Romanesque bell towers in the entire region.
Not to mention the Parish Church of Gressan, built between 1871 and 1879, whose bell tower still rests on the foundations of the De Graciano medieval castle, today no longer visible.
In short, your holiday in Gressan and Pila, will give you many ideas and endless opportunities for fun and entertainment.
On holiday in Gressan with kids in the Alps of Valle d’Aosta
If you choose to go on holiday to Pila with kids, and to explore its surroundings, Gressan is certainly an excellent strategic starting point.
You can first of all opt for a tailor-made trekking route for the little ones, where, in addition to the sumptuous mountains that with their peaks design perfect whitened triangles that contrast with the clear and blue skies, this itinerary is suitable for families, called the Path of the marmots, lets the little ones come into contact with nature, and naturally the main attraction: the marmots.
In Valle d’Aosta with kids in winter there are many activities that you can practice, especially if the weather is gracious and gives you both the spectacle of the snow, and a calm day.
And for the most dynamic?
Of course, if we are talking about a holiday with kids in Valle d’Aosta, you could plan a family rafting along 5 km of navigation in the waters of the Dora Baltea, in its simplest stretch, to share a dynamic experience together, where the jolts and the pungent sketches of the icy water that descends from the sources of the mountains down to the valley, will make your day a “reckless” and adventurous memory to take with you.
Finally, between a toboggan run, a hot chocolate and a battle of snowballs, you can take your little ones to take a ride on horseback through the Aosta Valley Alps. Horses VDA for example, in addition to teaching classical horseback riding, offers you to teach your children the correct way to relate to the horse and to be in contact with nature.
Typical Valdostan dishes to taste on holiday in Gressan and Pila
Valle d’Aosta is a region with a rich culinary and enogastronomic tradition, so you will not miss the opportunity to taste some of the most delicious and tasty dishes of the Aosta Valley.
Be sure to let yourself be surprised by the enveloping and deep flavor of the fondue, made with the probably most classic ingredient that you can find in this region: the Val d’Aosta fontina.
Another dish that you absolutely must not to lose is the polenta concia, the typical polenta of yellow flour cooked in the oven with slices of fontina (strictly from Valle d’Aosta) and melted butter.
To say that you have finished a meal typical of these areas, it is ‘mandatory’ to finish your lunch or your dinner, sharing with your guests the typical Valdostan Coffee, which should be served and drunk as a rule, in the “Friendship Cup”.
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How to reach Gressan and Pila
How to get to Gressan by car
- From Italy: take the A5 Turin-Aosta motorway (118 km) and exit at Aosta Est. Then follow the signs to Pila in the direction of Aosta, then at the roundabout in Charvensod follow the signs for Gressan.
- From France: take the Mont Blanc tunnel, then the A5 motorway towards Aosta and exit at Aosta Est, and even here, follow the signs to Pila towards Aosta, then at the roundabout of Charvensod follow the signs to Gressan.
- From Switzerland: once you have passed the Gran San Bernardo or Colle Tunnel (open only during the summer season), take the SS n. 27 towards Aosta and at the roundabout of the regional hospital follow the signs for Gressan.
How to get to Gressan by train
- Aosta Train Station – Gressan taking the Aosta-Chivasso-Turin line
How to get to Gressan by bus
To reach Gressan from Aosta take the urban line n. 5 “Aosta-Aymavilles”. To consult all times and transport routes, visit the page SVAP, the Valle d’Aosta public transport service company.
Where to stay on your holiday in Gressan, on the ski slopes of Pila?
If you are looking for a hotel on the ski slopes in Pila, the Club Esse Pila 2000 it is only 30 meters from the over 70 kilometers of downhill and pure adrenaline.
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