Breuil, Cervinia is in the Italian Alps, with a glorious view of the Matterhorn (that’s the one on the Toblerone packaging). This place has everything – stunning views, a range of great ski runs, the best snow in the Alps and delicious food. Well, what do you expect? It’s Italy!
I had the privilege of skiing in Breuil, Cervinia a few weeks ago in January with my boyfriend, my twin brother, his girlfriend and my cousins and it was brilliant! I had never heard of Cervinia before we went, but the town is one of those quaint little ski towns you dream of, with wooden buildings painted in picturesque colours and a river running through it that was frozen the whole time we were there. Add in the mountains that surrounds the town of Breuil and it’s a picture postcard.
Seriously, this place is BEAUTIFUL. Up in the mountains, the Matterhorn is the centrepiece, with ski runs going right past it, so you get the best view. At the top of the resort, you can even see into the Swiss Alps! And there is snow everywhere, as far as the eye can see. The mountains are magical. I can’t emphasise that enough.
One of the best things about the resort of Cervinia is that it’s empty, for a ski resort. I’m one of those people who gets intimidated by a load of skiers whizzing past me, but this wasn’t a problem because the resort is so big that everyone can ski in their own space. We had two beginners with us and they were confident enough to go on a blue run on the first day, because we had it basically to ourselves. Another great thing (and what attracted us to the resort in the first place) is that it caters to every type of skier. Plenty of blue runs for people just learning, but also red and black runs for more experienced people (I made it to red runs and was proud of that). This makes it a resort for everyone. Cervinia is one of the highest ski resorts in the Alps, and begins at 1,524 metres – which means you’re always guaranteed snow! The altitude can take some getting used to, but usually by the second day you’ll be fine.
Every day was a ski adventure, with us breakfasting, putting on our gear, getting the chair lift up the mountain and skiing all day. The sense of wonder you get from being in this beautiful environment, plus the thrill from skiing makes it one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. Nothing beats casually sliding on skis, bombing it at full speed to get up a hill, or mastering a tricky curve or steep part. At lunch, we would eat some amazing Italian food and recharge our batteries, before heading out to tackle the mountain again. Be careful not to miss the cable car down to town if you’re not confident enough to ski all the way down the mountain – the cable car stopped at 4pm in January.
We had our mishaps. I think part of a ski holiday is suffering, loving life, then suffering some more before you get another high point. For one thing it was cold. -14 degrees celsius up the mountain. Obviously you know it’s going to be cold when you book a ski holiday, but you just don’t process how cold it really will be. Dressing in warm, thermal layers is essential in January. We wore thermal tops and leggings, with a roll neck, thermal fleece, ski jacket, ski trousers, a snood and balaclava. Luckily, skiing all day keeps you fairly warm as it is a sport, but on the first day my hands were ice. Hand warmers saved me, and I couldn’t believe it but they stayed warm from 8 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon. What a relief for my icicle fingers!
Now the part we’re all thinking – what about apres ski? There were loads of great bars in Breuil, and a few clubs and pubs too. Crystal Ski, our travel company, organised some good events, with a bar crawl on our second evening to introduce us to all the best places! If you can handle the exhaustion and hangover the next morning, you can party all night (we didn’t – our best try was partying until midnight and then we gave in and slept). The town is small enough that everywhere is within walking distance if you wrap up warm, and there’s some great bars! The Dragon pub was a favourite of ours. Girls, leave the heels at home, bring some snow boots and they will be all you need.
Our home away from home was Hotel Breuil, a three star hotel in the heart of the town. It was a lovely place with nice, clean rooms, a kitchen that served delicious food, and a warm welcome. They have a boot room to store your ski or snowboarding gear and it’s next to a hill where we tobogganed and had snowball fights when we weren’t on the mountain! The bars, restaurants and shops were round the corner and the chair lift to the mountain was only 5 minutes away.
If you’re looking for a great place to ski, Cervinia is the one!