The Cervinia Ski Resort is located on the Italian side of the border, across from Zermatt, at the foot of Monte Cervino (a.k.a. the Matterhorn). Cervinia Italy was known as Breuil before it was established as a ski resort and the community became a base for mountaineering types. Although it is now officially named as Breuil-Cervinia, most people just refer to it as the Cervinia ski resort. Valtournenche is part of the resort, and there is a combined lift ticket and trail link with Zermatt.
Cervinia is a well-known ski resort in Italy. Cervinia provides access to Europe’s highest ski lifts, skiing and boarding in the summer and winter, and one of Italy’s largest ski regions with 350km of pistes.
Cervinia skiers and boarders may also access one of the world’s longest ski lines, a more than 20-kilometer drop from the Klein Matterhorn above Zermatt to Cervinia’s lift-linked neighbor, Valtournenche. There are two lift passes available: the Italian Area Pass, which covers all lifts in Cervinia and Valtournenche, and the International Pass, which also covers all ski lifts in Zermatt.
Throughout the season, Cervinia’s pisted runs are carefully defined and neatly groomed. The ski area, which boasts views of some of Europe’s most majestic peaks, is ideal for beginners and intermediates, while advanced skiers and boarders can take advantage of some excellent off-piste terrain and reasonably priced heli skiing, which provides access to some spectacular terrain and high altitude powder.
Cervinia is a good resort for mixed ability groups, with various central meeting and dining areas accessible to most abilities of skier and boarder. Off the mountain, Cervinia’s tiny center is mostly pedestrianized and delightful to wander around, with some fine stores, lots of convivial pubs, pizzerias, and restaurants, and some superb hotels.
Cervinia info card
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Cervinia Skiing and Snowboarding Terrain
Cervinia’s ski terrain is mostly made up of a big sunny bowl that lies under Monte Cervino’s southern face (Matterhorn). There are 19 primary lifts serving the ski area. The 150 kilometers of routes on the Italian side are great for beginners and intermediates, with beautiful long groomed slopes that are motorway wide. Off-piste fun for advanced riders, although Cervina skiing isn’t especially ideal for skilled skiers and snowboarders.
Valtournenche features a network of extensive, mostly intermediate piste paths that run all the way into the valley. Two sluggish chairlifts take you up to the beginner slopes from Salette. In all but the finest of conditions, the location is highly exposed and not suitable for novices. The 721m steep valley run from Salette to the gondola base and car park via the fringes of Valtournenche village is an amazing ripper – certainly the greatest run in the whole resort. A collection of restaurants and pubs just above town provide an excellent pit break on the way down.
Cervinia and Valtournenche both have a skiable vertical of roughly 1400m. From Valtournenche to Cervinia, there are direct piste trail connections. Skiing into Zermatt over the Swiss border requires either a trip up the windy Plateau Rosa Cable Car or a chairlift ride to the Theodul Pass.
Cervinia Beginner Skiing
Cervinia is an excellent ski resort for beginners and inexperienced skiers, who may learn to ski on the sunny nursery slopes serviced by the centrally positioned Cretaz lifts, which offer a magic carpet lift and other child-friendly amenities.
At the top of the Plan Maison cable car, there is a separate enclosed section for beginners and children, where a moving carpet and drag lift serve a simple, broad blue run where even the most hesitant novice will quickly master their first snow plough turn.
All of the blue pistes from Fornet to Plan Maison and Plan Torrette are easily accessible to most novices provided they have mastered the use of a snow plough. Beginners may ski down to Cervinia on slope 5, an easy blue run from Plan Maison to Cretaz that offers spectacular views of the Matterhorn.
Beginners may also try the high altitude blue slope from Plateau Rosa to Trockener in the Zermatt region, with the option of returning by cable car from Plateau Rosa rather than trying to ski the red piste down to Cervinia.
The Cretaz Play Park, which is centrally placed, has an enclosed children’s play area with adequate amenities and outdoor activities for children. The Biancaneve Mini Club, which is accessible to children aged 3 to 10, provides child care. Children above the age of 5 may also take advantage of packages that include morning ski instruction with the Cervino ski school.
Cervinia Intermediate Skiing
Cervinia is an excellent ski resort for intermediate skiers, with several long, well-groomed red routes, including the excellent Ventina piste, an 11.5km descent from Plateau Rosa, and the extra-long 22km red slopes from Klein Matterhorn to Valrournenche or Zermatt.
On the Italian side of the domain, there are 150km of piste skiing, more than half of which are broad, red lines ideal for carving and working on intermediate technique.
Zermatt’s Matterhorn region is closely connected with the Cervinia ski resort and features lots additional high altitude red slopes as well as the possibility to take Europe’s tallest cable car up to the Klein Matterhorn (3,883m). To access the Zermatt ski region and lifts, purchase Cervinia’s International Ski Pass, which provides unrestricted entry to Zermatt for the length of your stay, or purchase a daily extension ticket as needed.
The red lines in the picturesque and untouched region above Valtournenche between Cime Bianche and Salette offer good terrain for technique practice. These runs, with different grades and far-reaching vistas of the Monterosa region, may be done multiple times. Piste 24 from the Pancheron chairlift is the steepest of Cervinia’s red slopes, but it is still broad enough to enjoy some wide carving turns.
Cervinia’s lengthy red runs will appeal to those who prefer to cover a lot of area, with exceptionally long descents from the Klein Matterhorn to Valtournenche or Zermatt, both of which are around 22km from start to end.
Cervinia features a dedicated’slow ski’ slope for skiers who prefer a slower pace (number 9 bis). This slope connects with blue piste number 5 to reach the resort’s Cretaz region, which has spectacular views of the Matterhorn’s south face.
Cervinia Advanced & Expert Skiing
Cervinia’s black routes, which feature several steep descents and mogul fields, are ideal for advanced skiers. Advanced skiers in Cervinia should acquire the International lift pass, which allows them unrestricted access to Zermatt’s slopes.
The new black slope (number 59) at the top of the six-seat Pancheron chairlift is short but contains two steep and demanding portions. However, be cautious at the end of the slope, since it intersects Cervinia’s designated’slow ski’ piste!
Cervinia’s ski area and lift system are linked to Zermatt’s ski area, which has plenty to offer the more experienced skier, including some good long runs in the Furgg area, including the steep, narrow descents under the Furi cable car, which is realistically the farthest point to which it is safe to ski in one day to ensure a return to Cervinia before the lifts close.
The Furgg sector of Zermatt is readily accessible by the Cervinia lift system, and the two red pistes (numbers 63 and 64) are among the most difficult in the area, with some lengthy, steep parts. The two red pistes (69 and 70) from Furggsatel to Furgg are similarly steep, demanding, and a lot of fun. Two cable cars connect Furgg to the Klein Matterhorn for the return to the Cervinia ski resort on the Ventina slope, one of Europe’s longest pisted routes with a 1,800m vertical drop.
Skiing off-piste in Cervinia
There are numerous demanding steep lines and glacier descents off-piste that are readily accessible from the main lift system in the correct circumstances. Mountain guides are available for off-piste guiding as well as heli-skiing with a guide.
There are a few routes off the Ventina slope on the descent from Plateau Rosa to Cime Bianche when conditions are suitable and accompanied by a guide. The steep gulley to the left of the black piste (number 44) from Theodul pass to Fornet offers a more difficult alternative to the defined course. At the top of the Pancheron chairlift, there is also some decent, safe off-piste to the side of black piste number 59.
It is possible to abandon the red piste at the summit of the Klein Matterhorn and descend on the Theodul glacier, passing under the cable car line to reach the Gorner glacier, from where the trail extends to the Furi cable car station. Please keep in mind that crevasses may be encountered while traversing glaciers.
Heli-skiing in Cervinia
Heliski Cervinia provides a variety of magnificent heli ski experiences in the presence of an Alpine guide to reach more isolated, high altitude powder. The medium difficulty Roisette (3,300m) descent with fabulous views of the Monterosa chain from its south facing slopes, the north facing Chateau des Dames (3,200m) run with some steep gulleys and consistent powder, and the Porta Nera (3,750m) run for dramatic scenery and stunning natural ice sculptures on a north facing descent across the Schwarze and Gorner glaciers are among the reasonably priced heli-skiing itineraries in magnificent terrain.
Cervinia Boarding & Freestyle
Cervinia is a boarder-friendly ski resort with lots of wide routes for carving, few flats and traverses, and generally contemporary chairlifts and cable cars, so drag lifts are not an issue with a few exceptions.
The majority of Cervinia’s ski lifts are contemporary chairlifts or cable cars, with the exception of the lengthy drag lift to Cime Bianche from the Valtournenche sector. Beginners will appreciate boarding on the large slopes with ideal gradients above Plan Maison, which are arguably the greatest beginning slopes in the Alps. Boarders on the Zermatt side may want to avoid the Plateau Rosa T-bar.
Around the Pancheron chairlift and on either side of the highest stretch of black piste number 44 from the Theodul pass, there is some good off-piste terrain. The Chateau des Dames (3,200m) is the finest heli drop for boarders since the descent delivers steady powder with no traverses or flats.
The large Indian Park is located in the Fornet region and, at 3,000 meters, is one of Europe’s highest snow parks. It is 400m long and 100m wide, with a high-speed 4-man chairlift serving it. It has woops, parabolic curves, spirals, and jumps and is a popular hangout for boarders and freestylers. There are jumping lines for riders of all abilities, from novice to expert: 3m, 6m, and 11m kickers, as well as jumps that climb higher and tougher, ending in the famed 16m ‘Spitfire,’ which is only available for photo shoots and events! There is also a flat box and a set of rails.
The Gravity Park’s Half Pipe, located near the border on the Zermatt side, is available all year. The parks are free to enter, but helmets are required.
Cervinia Snow & Weather
Cervinia is positioned along Europe’s tallest mountain spine, guaranteeing a lengthy snow-sure season owing to high heights ranging from 2,050m to 3,488m. Cervinia is so snow-sure that it unites with Zermatt to create the world’s biggest on piste summer glacier skiing.
When the sun shines, the slopes are drenched in sunlight due to their strong southerly orientation. The sunny southerly aspect is a key lure for both novices and Zermatt skiers looking to build on their tan. However, the weather isn’t always nice, and since Cervinia ski resort is high and exposed, it may become extremely cold, windy, and generate skiing by braille conditions, causing in lift closures.
Interlinked with Zermatt Switzerland
The Cervinia ski resort is connected by lifts and slopes to the Valtournenche ski resort in Italy and the Zermatt ski resort in Switzerland (weather permitting). The combined sections constitute the Matterhorn Ski Paradise, a vast ski domain with 360km of piste and lots of off-piste terrain. You may either buy an Italian Area Pass, which covers the two Italian resorts, or a more expensive International Pass, which also includes Zermatt.
If you want to put your thighs to the test, take Europe’s highest cable car (to 3,883m) to the Klein Matterhorn (called Piccolo Cervino) and then saunter down a 20km and 2,359m vertical drop red (intermediate) run to Valtournenche. The route is interrupted by a very brief chairlift ride at the Cime Bianche immediately after entering the Valtournenche ski resort.
Summer Skiing at Cervinia and Zermatt
In the summer, Cervina ski resort is available for skiing on the Plateau Rosa Glacier as part of a combined ski area with Zermatt. Cervinia’s summer skiing season runs from late June to early September each year, with 5.5km of ski routes on the Italian side and 21km on the Theodul Glacier on the Swiss side near Zermatt. The Zermatt summer ski terrain is available all year round.
Cervinia hamlet has been primarily purpose constructed, therefore there are a few unsightly concrete structures as well as some more lovely hotels. It’s definitely middle of the road in terms of aesthetics, but a bonus is that it’s small and simple to meander about the mostly pedestrian-only streets.
Cervinia hotels range from opulent 5 star establishments to budget-friendly 2 star establishments. A Breuil Cervinia hotel is normally less costly than a Zermatt hotel, which may be prohibitively pricey, yet Cervinia can be more expensive than some other adjacent Italian ski resorts. Self-catering flats and chalets are also available in Cervinia.
Several Cervinia hotels are ski-in/ski-out or have extremely convenient access to the slopes and lifts. The Plan Maison cable car is situated towards the top of the hamlet, and there are also chair lifts from the town center.
Accommodation in Valtournenche is cheaper and in a more genuine town, but access to the slopes and lifts requires a bus or car journey from most hotels.
More than a dozen mountain eateries serve the Cervinia ski resort, many of which are self-service and reasonably priced. Après-ski begins at a few slope-side pubs. There are sophisticated restaurants, affordable pizzerias, and bustling pubs in town where you may enjoy some fantastic Italian merriment.
The community offers some commerce, including ski stores where you may rent skis or snowboards. There is a play area for youngsters that includes activities such as snow tubing.
Family Skiing in Cervinia
Cervinia is an excellent choice for a family ski vacation. For the more anxious skier, Cervinia’s milder slopes with broad open lines and fewer threats on either side of each piste are ideal. More difficult slopes may be found on the Zermatt side for the more daring skier.
Because of the resort’s high elevation, they can provide a natural ice rink, which is ideal for families to enjoy. Cervinia’s snow-sure terrain is a big draw for early and late season skiers. There are lots of restaurants and pizzerias to keep the whole family fed, stores to purchase new winter apparel, and even bowling if you need something to do in the evening.