Champoluc is popular with Italian weekenders from Milan and Turin, but is hardly heard of on the international market. As a result, it retains a friendly, small-scale, unspoiled Italian ambience. The village is a pleasant but not notably pretty place and the centre is lacking in bars, shops and much ski resort atmosphere. The quickest way into the area starts at Frachey, a few minutes up the road and reached by bus. The three-valley network of lifts and pistes is anything but small-scale. Champoluc is at one end of it and Alagna at the other - they are 17km apart - slightly further apart than Courchevel and Val-Thorens. But it's around a four-hour trip by road to get from Alagna to Champoluc if you miss the last lift. Gressoney is in the central valley. But a glance at the piste map reveals that the Italian network between the two extremes is skeletal compared with the full-bodied French one. Outside the piste network, however, is a lot of great off-piste terrain, some lift-served, which has long attracted experts. Champoluc is the largest of the resort villages and is at one end of the three-valley network. Although it has drawbacks, it's an attractive all-round base. Champoluc is strung out along the one-way street running from the centre past various hotels to the gondola base station, where a cluster of shops and bars forms a kind of distinct micro-resort. About 3km up the valley, a short funicular goes up from Frachey (with parking right at the base). Down-valley from Champoluc are Antagnod and Brusson. Antagnod is a good alternative for bad-weather days, and has some decent off-piste.
Relaxed, traditional-style village
Excellent beginner area at mid-mountain, but ...
Progress to longer runs tricky
Some tricky red runs
Resort spread out along road