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Overview

The alps form a solid wall separating Italy and France, rising to Europe’s highest peak, Mont Blanc – or Monte Bianco in Italian. High on its shoulder sits the chic resort town of Courmayeur, best known as a ski center, but with plenty of active sport options all year round. Shops cater to a well-heeled crowd and the sightseeing possibilities by Funivie Monte Bianco cable car to the ridgeline at an altitude of more than 12,000 feet are eye-boggling. Action seekers flock here for climbing, trekking, mountain biking, canyoning and for white water rafting and kayaking in the Dora Baltea, sometimes called Europe’s Colorado as it rushes down off ...

The alps form a solid wall separating Italy and France, rising to Europe’s highest peak, Mont Blanc – or Monte Bianco in Italian. High on its shoulder sits the chic resort town of Courmayeur, best known as a ski center, but with plenty of active sport options all year round. Shops cater to a well-heeled crowd and the sightseeing possibilities by Funivie Monte Bianco cable car to the ridgeline at an altitude of more than 12,000 feet are eye-boggling. Action seekers flock here for climbing, trekking, mountain biking, canyoning and for white water rafting and kayaking in the Dora Baltea, sometimes called Europe’s Colorado as it rushes down off the mountains and through the valley. Local outfitters can arrange all these, plus bungee jumping, hydro speed (like bobsledding on water), parachuting and less adrenaline-pumping activities such as trout fishing and horseback riding. Year-round resorts offer tennis and there is a 9-hole golf course along the river in the Val Ferret. It’s not the greatest challenge for serious golfers, but one of the most scenic. Known for its lively nightlife, the town itself is worth a daytime stroll to relax in cafes and visit the good little Alpine museum and the 14th-century San Pantaleone church.

Stillman Rogers
About the Expert

Stillman Rogers has written more than two dozen guidebooks, including Adventure Guide to Canada's Atlantic Provinces, Guide to Eastern Canada, and Adventure Guide to the Chesapeake.

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Mountain trails and high roads are usually clear of snow from late May through September, the best times to go for active sports.