The Milky Way or Via Lattea ski area in Italy's Piedmont region, is vast! Centered around the famous resort of Sestriere, there are more than 400km of marked runs to ski, across the resorts of Sauze d'Oulx, Sansicario, Claviere and even Montgenevre over the border in France. For school skiing groups the Milky Way will keep you busy and has absolutely every type of skiing you could wish for.
As you will notice on the photos below, the slopes in this part of the Italian Alps are quite heavily wooded and have pistes bordered by pine trees, making for some very atmospheric skiing. You are also never too far from a mountain restaurant serving everything from burger and chips to traditional Piemonte cuisine.
Getting to the Milky Way
Turin and Geneva are the closest airports, though if you are prepared for slightly longer transfers, you may get flights into Milan too. If your school ski group prefers to travel by coach, you are looking at around 14 hours of travel from Calais.
You don't create a ski area the size of the Milky Way without providing plenty of options and variety for new skiers. Sestriere is the highest resort in the Milky Way at a little over 2000m and its north west aspect provides enough shadow to keep the snow from melting until well into Spring. That said, the snow can often be better on the Sauze d'Oulx side of the mountain.
Near the centre of Sestriere there are plenty of nursery slope areas, and a number of fun blues in the Borgata area.
The lift system is modern and fast enough to prevent queues during the week.
Ski passes here are great value when you consider that you can essentially ski in a different resort across two different countries on each day of your school trip!
Milky Way accommodation
There are lots of different places you could end up staying while on a school ski trip to the Milky Way, but if we take the resort of Sestriere as your most likely accommodation location, we can tell you that while the town isn't pretty compared to some resorts, it does have plenty of amenities to keep your group busy. Hotels are pretty good value, especially compared to over the border in France, but the best value is in the apartments that were build to house guests during the 2006 Winter Olympics. Make sure you are back in time for the evening meals - the Italian food is always part of what makes a school ski trip to Italy that little bit more special.
If you want somewhere a bit more quiet and peaceful then ask to stay in Sansicario. Somewhere a bit more lively, try Sauze d'Oulx.
The best bits about Milky Way
© Sestriere TO
© Sestriere TO
© Sestriere TO
Suitability for School Groups:
Beginners 5/5 Intermediates 5/5 There is so much to offer across the five resorts that make up Via Lattea or the Milky Way ski area.
Milky Way Resort Location:
Sestriere 2000m Snowfall 4/5 If the snow isn't great in one area, you always have the option of heading to another resort on your ski pass.
Approximate Travel Times:
Turin or Geneva are the best flight options. Transfer in around 2.5hrs
Use the following short form to begin planning your school skiing trip. Tell us your basic requirements and we will gather the best prices from the ski operators who take school groups to Milky Way.
For school groups looking for the perfect skiing trip, Bormio ski resort, part of the wider Alta Valtellina ski area, has good snow and plenty of variety.
© Adamello Ski
Passo Tonale is a high altitude resort with amazing views. For school ski trips, the pistes are snowsure with excellent, well groomed snow all season long.
© Aprica Skipass
Aprica in the Italian Alps has around 50km of runs. As ski resorts go, Aprica is pretty small with a welcoming atmosphere, perfect for school ski trips.
The Folgaria ski area in the Trentino Dolomites has 100+ kilometers of runs, and a very traditional atmosphere. School groups are made to feel very welcome.