Sestriere Ski Resort Italy
Sestriere Italy was one of the world’s first purpose-built ski resorts, way back in the 1930s, and is also one of the highest Italian ski resorts at 2,035 metres elevation. Sestriere ski resort is located west of Turin (T0rino) and is the main resort on the deliciously large Via Lattea
(Milky Way) ski pass which links Sestriere's neighbours Oulx
(Sauze d'Oulx), Sansicario, Cesana, Claviere and Montgenèvre
across the border in France.
Sestriere Ski and Snowboard Terrain
Whilst Sestriere sits on a sunny plateau, its mainly north facing slopes enjoy guaranteed quality snow cover thanks to reliable natural snowfall, altitude and one of the
world's most extensive snow making operations.
Sestriere and its nearby Via Lattea ski resorts hosted the World Alpine Ski Championships in 1997 and the alpine events in the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics. Despite this honour Sestriere is an area best suited to intermediates on the piste. Beginners have access to nice base area slopes and some higher trails but it is generally limited. Some great advanced piste is available but it is not extensive. Challenging off-piste terrain is available for the adventurous and fresh snow can lay unsullied alongside piste runs for days.
Sestriere's local ski area offers 58 pistes (as part of the Via Lattea's 238 runs total) and is served by a range of 19 button lifts, chairs and gondolas in two main sectors: Sises directly in front of the Sestriere village; and Motta above the little Borgata village down valley from Sestriere. Motta is higher than Sises, has more skiing options, and is best known for the 2.5km Kandahar Slalom Giovanni Alberto Agnelli run (700m vertical). Letting ti rip down this run is a wonderful eye watering experience. Sises’ equivalent world class run is the Col de Sises black which provides good off-piste action especially after fresh snowfalls. As the Sises area is mainly serviced by drag lifts, snowboarders may not find this area as user friendly as skiers.
Beginner runs and the pretty basic snow-park are above the ski school meeting point near the town centre, which is nice and handy if you are starting out. There are also easy blue runs in the Borgata ski area nearby.
Nearby Ski Areas
You can access all of the Via Lattea
ski resorts directly from Sestriere via the Fraiteve gondola using the basic ski pass. From the top of the gondola you can head left to Sansicario and Cesana (then eventually Claviere and then Montgenevre
in France) or right into the excellent Oulx
A supplement is required to be paid for the ski pass to cover the Montgenevre area in France.Also in France near the town of Briancon, Serre Chevalier
is well worth a visit (as is Briancon's old fort).
The Via Lattea gives Sestriere skiers access to 320km of ski runs serviced by 70 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 and is reasonably well signposted and straight forward to follow. Start early though
Where is Sestriere Ski Resort?
Sestriere is located 100km west of Turin, in the Piedmont region of Italy and close to the French border.
The nearest international airports are Turin and Milan, although train access is good meaning Paris is a viable option as well. Oulx is the closest gateway town to Sestriere, approximately 21km away, providing the train and bus transport links to the resort.
Trains from Milan, Turin and Paris all stop at Oulx. Regular buses link to Sestriere in about 30 minutes. Alternatively for private and shared direct airport transfers to Sestriere, click below.
From Paris, the train trip to Oulx takes about 5 hours before connecting with the regular bus service to Sestriere.
By car the best access to Sestriere from Turin is via Oulx off the E70 motorway (autostrade - toll road cost approx €12 ). One can also take the A55/SP23 road from Turin via Pinerolo.
A free ski bus service operates around the Sestriere resort at least every half an hour, and more often during peak times.
Sestriere Hotels and Accommodation
Sestriere is made up of four villages along the SP23: Sestriere Colle; Sestriere Borgata; Champlas du Col; and Champlas Janvier. Unfortunately due to the purpose built nature of the area, none have the charm and romance of a classic European ski resort. Sestriere Colle is best positioned if you want to enjoy the Sises ski area, and Sestriere Borgata is best for access to the Motta ski area.
The accommodation standard of many of the Sestriere hotels is commonly embellished, so it may be wise to consider apartment accommodation that was built for the 2006 Olympics. These are generally reasonably modern, have good facilities and better than average sized rooms at a good price. Other lodging options include various bed and breakfasts and private rental houses.
The stand out accommodation is Hotel La Torre
– literally – is the circular hotel tower designed by Giovanni Agnelli in 1930 when Sestriere began its history as one of Italy's major ski resorts.
See all Sestriere Accommodation Listings here.
Sestriere has 10km of cross-country ski tracks and ice-skating in the centre of Sestriere Colle village.
The aprés ski really only kicks in over the weekends when the locals from Turin and Milan come to play.
Why Ski or Snowboard at Sestriere?
Sestriere started as a resort especially for Italian skiers more than 80 years ago, and has hosted the Winter Olympics a few times, making it a world class region for skiing enthusiasts.
To get the best out of this high alpine Italian ski experience go to Sestriere during the week (not weekends), take your kids, get the Via Lattea ski pass to access all areas, and do a crash course in the Italian language.
Tours in or near Sestriere and the Via Lattea