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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Skiing Near Stresa


I’ve received a few mails from readers who are planning to visit the Stresa area this winter with the intention of skiing. I’m pleased to see there is such interest in this, and that people recognize the year-round appeal here. In light of these mails I thought it would be a good idea to gather together some information and sites that may prove helpful.

Mottarone has already been covered, you can read about it here, and then link to its own homepage. But if you’d now like to explore some other areas there are many choices available to you. Let’s separate the choices into two categories, ski resorts in the Italian Alps, and ski resorts in the Swiss Alps. In addition, for the purposes of this post, let’s limit the discussion to resorts to the north of Stresa, not those to the west, toward France

Andiamo a sciare! Let's go skiing! First let’s talk about resorts in the Italian Alps. All of these locations can be reached taking the motorway for Domodossala. I suggest these particular resorts for their excellent conditions, full services, and because they offer a high quality at a reasonable price. Overall in fact, I find skiing in Italy and Switzerland to be far more economical than in the United States. For example, a one-day adult lift ticket at Vail at the time of this writing is going for near $100; this makes skiing prohibitive for most families. By comparison, a full-day adult lift ticket at San Domenico this season is 21 euro/27 on the weekends, and parking is free. You’ll find all services, including rentals and food, to be also proportionately lower. But the snow, and the views, on the other hand, well, there’s nothing lesser at all about them.

Here are three places I like in the Italian Alps near Domodossola, all about 45 minutes from Stresa:
San Domenico: A full-service resort easily reached from Milan and Lago Maggiore, in the Italian Lepontine Alps. Here's their English website: www.sandomenico-ciamporino.it
Domobianca: Only 10 km from Domodossola, offering 17 km of ski trails for all levels from green to double-black. Website: www.domobianca.it
Macugnaga: Skiing in sight of magnificent Monte Rosa, in a beautiful Italian mountain village filled with Walser atmosphere. English website with information and links: www.j2ski.com
Now, further afield to Switzerland. To reach these resorts in the Swiss Alps we’ll continue on this road past Domodossola, crossing into Switzerland over the famous Simplon Pass. Without traveling too much further, there are resorts I think worthy of a visit. Here are two in particular that are approximately two hours from Stresa:
Leukerbad: A true year-round vacation resort, with natural thermal hot-springs and every type of winter activity. http://www.leukerbad.ch/en/welcome.cfm
Fiesch-Eggishorn: A large resort with 99 kilometres of piste, ski runs, best suited to the intermediate skier or snowboarder. http://www.eggishorn.ch/jwa/en/news.jsp
These Swiss resorts are doable as a long day trip from Stresa, but should you want to make a longer skiing vacation Domodossola is a good central location in which to stay to visit a variety of these resorts. Another plus... you'll be close to the wonderful PremiaTerme Hyperthermal Spa, when you need to soothe those muscles.



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