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Via Lattea, also known as the Milky Way, is a renowned ski area situated in the western Alps, straddling the border between Italy and France. With over 400 kilometers of interconnected slopes, it offers an extensive and varied terrain for skiers of all levels, making it one of the largest ski areas in Europe.
Rather than a series of parallel valleys like the 3 Valless in France or 4 Vallees in Switzerland, the 400km is spread over 2 main sectors so it's slightly harder to move efficiently over the whole area smoothly.
One sector is spread across the French-Italian boarder, served by the resorts of Montgenevre and Claviere, the other spreads across 2 valleys and covers the rest of the resorts, a huge web of (mostly) red runs.
Consult the piste map when you're considering where to stay. Cesana and Sansicario sit bang in the middle of the area, with connections to both sides, and the only way to pass across on skis.
Here's what the different resorts are like:
Sestriere is the largest and most famous village in the Via Lattea ski area. It was purpose-built for the 2006 Winter Olympics and features modern architecture with high-rise hotels and apartments. The après-ski scene here is vibrant, with numerous bars, clubs, and restaurants catering to a lively crowd.
Sestriere is well-connected to the ski area, offering easy access to a vast network of slopes.
Sauze d'Oulx is a picturesque village with a rich history and traditional Alpine architecture. It has a vibrant après-ski scene, offering a mix of lively bars and cozy pubs. The village is linked to the ski area via a gondola, making it easily accessible for skiers and snowboarders.
Claviere is a small and charming Italian village located at the border with France. It has retained its authentic alpine character, featuring traditional chalet-style architecture. The après-ski scene here is more relaxed and family-friendly, with a few bars and restaurants offering a cozy atmosphere.
Claviere provides good connectivity to the ski area, with chairlifts and gondolas linking it to the slopes.
Sansicario is a purpose-built resort known for its modern architecture and excellent ski-in/ski-out facilities. It offers a range of accommodations, including hotels and apartments. The après-ski scene is relatively quiet, with a few bars and restaurants providing a relaxed ambiance.
Sansicario is well-connected to the ski area, providing easy access to the extensive trail network.
Cesana Torinese is a quaint village with a charming atmosphere. It features a mix of traditional and modern architecture, blending old stone buildings with newer constructions. The après-ski scene is more subdued, with a focus on cozy bars and restaurants.
Montgenèvre is a French village located on the border with Italy. It has a unique blend of Alpine and Provencal architecture, with wooden chalets and colorful facades. The après-ski scene here is vibrant, with a variety of bars, restaurants, and nightclubs. There's a great collection of Green runs for beginners on the lower slopes, making it better suited than its neighbor Claviere.
(Airports, trains, shared options)
6 day pass
Euro / km
Beginners pass prices for certain lifts: 16-18 Euro.
Sestiere, Claviere, SANSICARIO
Train + Bus Option
The closest station to the area is Oulx which is a relatively short tranfer to the resort towns. It's pretty much Sauze d'Oulx, with a minimal bus journey slightly up the mountain.
It will take about 1.5 hours to get from Turin to Oulx. Once you reach Oulx, there is a regular bus service to the other towns on the Via Lattea:
Bus Line 285 / 275
Cesana (20 min)
You can even catch a high speed train from the Gare de Lyon in Paris and it will take you less than 5 hours to reach Oulx. The train goes direct to Oulx.
If timing doesnt work out then you can also get a train to Modane then a local train connection for 15min to Oulx.
Want to stay in Monginevro?
Head to Modane TGV (France) then hop on a ZOU! Bus [ Line 76 toward Briancon] for 1hr
Get a train from within France to Briancon, then a bus 76 or 550 (40min aprox) or 20min taxi
The easiest way to plan train travel is use The Trainline (click the logo below)
This is because it's the most comprehensive integration of all European train operators, so you can even plan cross-border travel.
On average you can book 3-4 months in advance, read our full Guide to European Rail travel
Shuttle service from Torino Caselle Airport provided by Cavourese Autolinee
55 euro each way (inc. luggage & skis)
Sat & Sunday only 11:15 / 14:30 / 7:30pm - Airport Departures 1hr 10min to Olux
Other stops in: Cesana Sestriere Pragelato
Other options run by the Arriva network (Turin West)
000011/1 TURIN Bus station – CLAVIERE [Stops: Oulx, Cesana & Claviere] aprox 2hr 15