Pragelato Ski Holiday Resort
Pragelato is a small village next to Val Troncea National Park in Italy's northwestern Piedmont region. The settlement has more than 20 surrounding hamlets and is 60km (37 miles) west of Turin, close to the French border.
At first glance, despite some stunning scenery, Pragelato ski resort seems a fairly standard, traditional Italian mountain village with a mid-sized ski area, just like several hundred others across the country. But Pragelato has a handful of aces up its sleeve that the others don't possess; and that's why it's been attracting skiers and boarders from far and wide for decades.
Firstly, a modern cable car was built linking the fairly limited local ski area to one of the world's biggest ski resorts, the Via Lattea (Milky Way), with its 400km (250 miles) of linked pistes stretching over the border to Montgenevre.
Then, there is the fact that Pragelato, which was a major venue during the 2006 Turin Winter Olympics, has tapped into attracting weekend skiers from the local Turin/Piedmont catchment area, and has moved upmarket as a result.
Add luxurious accommodation such as the Club Med Pragelato Vialattea into the mix, and it's easy to justify its popularity. In fact, with all the facilities and high service standards for which Club Med is famous, for many guests Club Med Pragelato is Pragelato - most never really finding the need to leave the development.
A brand new state of the art cable car connects the village to the 440km of skiing that is accessible here in just 8 minutes. In addition, they constructed a home run through the trees to ensure that the resort is now ski in/ski out.
Pragelato offers a huge ski area and is suitable for all abilities. Beginners will enjoy staying here as they will really looked after by the fantastic ski school that is attached to the village hotel. The beginners slopes are at the top of the cable car and couldn't be more conveniently situated. For those complete beginners they can download via the cable car rather than skiing down.
Intermediates have over 400km of piste and they can explore this vast area taking different itineraries each day and aiming for different destinations. The trip to the far side of the Milky Way will take you across the border into France at Claviere and drop into the resort of Montgenevre. There is a huge variety of red runs and a few easier blacks for those intermediates wishing to test their skills.
There isn't a huge amount of strong black runs in the area but there are a few tests with narrow chutes and mogul runs. Experts are best to head off piste to get the most out of this ski area.
Boarders will generally enjoy the area as much as skiers but it should be noted that there are quite a few drag lifts around Sestriere.
Non-skiers will have lots of off-slope diversions in the sense of what the hotel has to offer. The fantastic pool and spa complex complete with a huge range of treatments is on offer. Other activities include winter walking, parapenting, snowshoeing, etc. In reality there is no nightlife in Pragelato other than that organised and accessible via the hotel. The hotels bars/club do have a great atmosphere with very friendly staff.
Purpose built ski in/lift out resort in the enormous Milky Way ski area with top quality accommodation and spa facilities. A resort under one roof.