If you’ve ever wanted to follow in the footsteps of Olympians, then you can test your own skills on a holiday to Sestriere. Found in the heart of the Italian Alps, the village of Sestriere has been attracting holidaymakers for years. It was one of the first purpose-built ski resorts in the Italian Alps. Sestriere has become such an established skiing destination that it hosted the 2006 Winter Olympics. Now, you’re not suddenly going to reach Olympic standard by plunging down the slopes here. But it shows the quality of the skiing that is available. It’s not just experienced skiers or snowboarders who will enjoy a holiday to Sestriere either. There’s plenty of nursery slopes and beginner lessons available. If you’re looking for a family trip to the slopes, then Sestriere is a top notch choice.
There’s much more to Sestriere than just skiing. There are plenty of shops to enjoy some retail therapy, while you can also splash the cash in the town’s restaurants. Many foodies head to Sestriere for its combination of snow and great grub. You’ll enjoy some of the best of Italian cuisine here. If you’re heading to Sestriere during the summer, there’s plenty to do for active holidaymakers. Hikers can explore the mountains and there’s also Europe’s highest golf course in the town. Sestriere is almost as famous for cycling as it is for skiing too. It’s a regular spot on the Tour de France.
Nightlife in Sestriere tends to involve nursing a beer in front of a roaring fire. If you’re after something a little more lively, then make the short journey to Sauze d’Oulx. There are plenty of bars here that stay open into the wee hours. You can enjoy everything from a sophisticated cocktail to a pint of Guinness. As well as the winter sports in Sauze d’Oulx, there’s plenty of summer fun to be had on the mountains. It’s a brilliant town for hiking, mountain biking or road cycling.
After a few days on the the slopes or walking up mountains, you might be in need of something a little different. If you feel like learning more about the history of the Italian Alps, then head to the nearby town of Fenestrelle. Here you’ll find the Fenestrelle Fort. This is Europe’s version of the Great Wall of China. It’s an Alpine castle which guarded the route between France and the Italian kingdom of Savoy.
Culture vultures can get their fix of local colour by driving through the mountains and valleys to the town of Pinerolo. It’s a medieval town, with Pinerolo’s cathedral dating back to the ninth century. It’s well worth getting out of the cold and popping inside to take a peek around. If you fancy getting a unique souvenir from your holiday in the Italian Alps, then head to Pinerolo’s twice-weekly market.
Sestriere is found in part of the Italian Alps known as the Milky Way area. Which means that there’s good access from the resort to all of the ski runs. Seasoned skiers will relish a trip to Sestriere. There are plenty of challenging slopes and it’s a top place for cross-country or off-piste skiing. Beginners can enjoy a more leisurely run on the beginner slopes. There’s a ski school too with English-speaking instructors.
If you’ve ever wondered what a round would be like high in the mountains, then Sestriere boasts Europe’s highest 18-hole course. Those who have packed the clubs will find a challenging course with broad fairways and a few off-limit areas. But just as good as the golf are the views from here. It can be tough to concentrate on the hole when there’s the sight of the Alps in the background.
The challenging mountain passes of the Italian Alps have made Sestriere a fixture on the cycling scene. Sestriere features regularly on the Tour De France and the Giro d’Italia. If you time your holiday right, you’ll be among thousands looking to catch a glimpse of the leading riders on these races. Many cyclists simply want to test themselves on the same course though. If you’ve packed the lycra, then you’re in for a real challenge.
You don’t have to be plunging down a mountain to enjoy winter fun in Sestriere. There’s an outdoor skating rink at the bottom of the slopes which is open day and night. There’s a bar if you want to warm up over a hot drink or snack. If you’ve never skated before, you can both rent a pair of skates or get lessons to bring you up to speed.
Italian Alps cuisine
It’s definitely time to ditch the diet when you arrive in Sestriere. Preserved meats are one of the most common ingredients on the table, as is the local cheese. While the French and Swiss favour fondu, on the Italian side of the border, you’ll often find dishes topped with oodles of melted cheese.
Restaurants in Sestriere
There’s a better range of restaurants in Sestriere than in many resorts in the Italian Alps. There are around 50 local eateries, which include international cuisine, as well as the Italian favourites of pizza and pasta.
Active holidaymakers can enjoy world class ski slopes and cycling routes in Sestriere. When you’re looking to take a break from the slopes, then hop in the car and take a short ride to discover cultural and historical landmarks elsewhere in the Italian Alps. Look no further than easyJet holidays to book your holiday to Sestriere. You can even save money by booking a hotel and flight together with easyJet holidays. Still in two minds? Take a look at our other destination guides for the Italian Alps.