Lying on the sunny side of Mont Blanc, Courmayeur is a pretty and easy-going town, with a thoroughly Italian atmosphere...
For many of its visitors, skiing and snowboarding in Courmayeur isn't nearly so important as posing in cafes and wandering in and out of shops, which makes a welcome change from the single-mindedness you'll find in many ski resorts. The mountain restaurants are first-rate too.
Resort height: 1,224m
Offering only 100km of pistes, Courmayeur is never going to hack it as a seven-day destination for serious skiers. But for a long-weekend, there's more than enough to do in Courmayeur - provided you're comfortable on the steeper kind of red-rated piste. There are some classics here, especially off the back of the mountain, skiing away from the resort into the Val Veny. There's an added bonus to skiing in this part of Courmayeur: the views onto the southern face of Mont Blanc are awe-inspiring.
This is where you'll also find some excellent mid-level off-piste routes, but for the really tough stuff you need to take the cable car from the neighbouring village of Entrèves, up to the Punta Helbronner on the Mont Blanc massif, to tackle such classics as the Toula Glacier route.
Wherever you go, don't let the skiing or snowboarding in Courmayeur distract you from lunch. Maison Vieille, at the top of the chairlift of the same name, is one of the best mountain restaurants. It makes the tricky business of serving simple, fresh, high-quality food at 2,000m seem easy.
Courmayeur can be reached in just 90 minutes from both Geneva and Turin...
This short transfer time from the airport is one of the reasons Courmayeur works so well as a weekend destination.
Scoring a massive 10 out of 10 for advanced skiers, Courmayeur offers some fantastic opportunities for diehard ski fans...
It's not quite such a great choice for intermediates, though, while beginners are not that well catered for at all - whether they are on one or two planks.
The small ski area aside, Courmayeur is a great all-round resort offering a fun après-ski scene and lots of options for non-skiers...
It's not as super-charged as the likes of Verbier or St Anton, but all the same the after-hours scene in Courmayeur is one of its main attractions - courtesy of the bar Roma and the bar Americano in the middle of town. Both lay on a free buffet for their clients, and the atmosphere is lively and good-natured.
For a weekend, Courmayeur is a lovely spot - the shops in the Via Roma are a treat (fashion, food and furniture are all well covered), and there are plenty of cafés at which to sip inky black espressos while you watch the Italians being, well, very Italian. A visit to the spa at Pré St Didier, will add just enough variety to make the stay interesting.
Cost of living 8/10
There are several very reasonable hotels in Courmayeur, as well as more luxurious ones. As is the case throughout Italy, the mountain restaurants tend to be cheaper than they are in the north, and private ski tuition on the slopes is, by the standards of Méribel and Val d'Isère, a steal.
Attractiveness of the resort 7/10
The one drawback to Courmayeur is the traffic on the bypass carrying the traffic from the Mont Blanc Tunnel - at least it doesn't go through the middle of town, but all the same, it's a shame to see it. Otherwise, Courmayeur has lots of Alpine atmosphere, and magnificent scenery.