Courmayeur - “The quiet side of the Alps”, although perhaps it does not always feel like that in its narrow streets in summer.
Courmayeur needs little introduction to the keen mountain enthusiast. Its superb location at the foot of Mont Blanc, or Monte Bianco as it is called on this side and has plenty to offer you if you feel like a rest day here.
Courmayeur is a charming old town with narrow streets, old stone churches and an attractive pedestrianised centre. The streets come alive in the evenings as the Italians take their 'passegiata' along Via Roma while hikers and climbers enjoy a well deserved drink.
Shops are varied and interesting with plenty of high quality clothing, climbing gear and equipment shops alongside more traditional antique shops, galleries, delicatessen and other specialist food stores.
Since the 18th century, Courmayeur has been a favoured destination with climbers and mountaineers, but the origins of the town lie in the Roman era, when both gold and silver were mined locally. In the 17th century the therapeutic spring waters attracted visitors and the opening of the Mont Blanc tunnel in 1965 ensured a good flow of traffic, and expansion of the town. Despite the addition of some modern buildings, Courmayeur still retains its Italian charm and character.
Courmayeur becomes very busy with Italians during peak holiday periods such as New Year and the Carnival week in mid February, but the nationalities of the guests outside these periods is fairly mixed with visitors coming from all over Europe, as well as further afield.
Courmayeur offers a a wide range of sporting and other leisure activities as well as a broad range of accommodation to suit all budgets.
The Tourist office in Courmayeur is situated in the main square, is open all year round, and will give you all the information you need to pass an enjoyable day here.
Skyway Monte Bianco
If you do have a bit of time a visit to the Skyway, and all the way up to Pointe Helbronner, is just amazing with spectacular views of Mont Blanc and the Vallee Blanche.
A hard to beat view! But tomorrow you will start again on what is possibly one of the most spectacular days of the TMB - Courmayeur to the Bonatti hut........