Sauze d’Oulx has been one of the most popular resorts with skiers for decades, and with good reason; great skiing, fabulous nightlife, and great scenery are to be had in what remains a thoroughly pleasant little Piedmont town.
Personally, if you want good value and decent accommodation, I can really recommend you try to get a booking at The Hotel Gran Bosco. The problem with the Gran Bosco is that it is often fully booked for most of December and January.
As an alternative, and recommended by an Italian friend of mine, is the Hotel K2. He describes it as "modern on the outside and offering all the latest facilities, yet the rooms make you feel as if you are in a traditional mountain chalet, with lots of wood and stone used to beautiful effect."
Sauze's history dates back to pre-Roman days, with evidence of Celtic settlement having been found here, and its historical center exudes a timeless allure. Strolling through its narrow cobbled streets, visitors are transported to a bygone era, where ancient stone buildings, quaint squares, and charming chapels tell tales of centuries past.
The architecture reflects a harmonious blend of traditional Alpine design and elegant Italian style, creating a unique and captivating ambiance. One of the loveliest historical buildings is the 16th-century church of San Giovanni Battista, simple yet beautiful in its simplicity.
Sauze d'Oulx is not only a charming town but also offers exceptional ski facilities that attract enthusiasts from all over the world. As part of the renowned Via Lattea, or Milky Way, it boasts an extensive ski area encompassing over 100 kilometers of pristine slopes, making it a paradise for skiers of all levels.
With an impressive network of 13 ski lifts, accessing the slopes is a breeze, ensuring minimal waiting time and maximum time on the snow.
Sauze d'Oulx, often referred to as the "cradle of Italian skiing," and the home of Italian Alpine skiing holds a special place in the history of the sport. Its status as the "balcone delle Alpi" or "balcony to the Alps" is well-deserved, thanks to its prime location right in the heart of the Milky Way. This strategic position allows easy access to the nearby resorts, creating a seamless skiing experience for visitors.
One notable highlight is the spectacular chairlift that connects Sauze d'Oulx with the esteemed resort of Sestriere. This state-of-the-art lift not only offers breathtaking panoramic views but also provides convenient access to the varied slopes and facilities of Sestriere, expanding the skiing opportunities for enthusiasts.
Generally, I would rate the resort as ideal for intermediate and beginner-level skiers; however, if you're an advanced skier, don't despair. You can easily access the great black runs of Sestriere. Sestriere might have the more advanced slopes, but Sauze d’Oulx is the more characteristic resort.
Looking for a resort that caters to children? Then this resort is one of the best, and the child care facilities are excellent. Nearly all of them have English-speaking staff, which is something that is occasionally lacking in other resorts in Italy.
If you're looking to explore Sauze d'Oulx beyond the exhilarating slopes, there is a wealth of activities to keep you entertained. Lace up your hiking boots and venture into the surrounding mountains, where breathtaking trails await. From leisurely walks through scenic valleys to challenging treks that lead to panoramic viewpoints, the hiking options cater to all fitness levels and offer an opportunity to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Alps.
For the adventurous at heart, consider trying your hand at ice climbing, a supposedly thrilling sport that involves ascending frozen waterfalls. Experienced guides are available to provide instruction and ensure a safe and exhilarating experience as you conquer the icy heights. I have never done this, and I hope I will never have to, so I can't offer too many personal tips when it comes to ice climbing.
If a more relaxed pace suits your preferences as it does mine, head to the natural ice rink, where you can glide gracefully across the frozen surface and enjoy the timeless sport of ice skating. Whether you're a novice or a seasoned skater, the rink offers a fun way to spend an afternoon with friends or family.
Sauze d'Oulx also boasts a vibrant culinary scene, with an array of restaurants offering a diverse range of cuisines. From traditional Alpine and Piedmont dishes to international flavors, you'll find something to satisfy every palate. Indulge in a leisurely meal, sampling the local specialties and savoring the rich flavors of the region. If you enjoy a glass of wine you will love sampling Piedmont's finest wines like the famous Barolo reds. I have lots of personal experience with this and can highly recommend it.
Love shopping? Then a visit to the weekly market is a must, it's held every Friday in Viale Genevris. Browse an array of stalls selling fresh produce, local delicacies, artisan crafts, and souvenirs while enjoying the lively atmosphere and engaging with the friendly vendors, who are always happy to share stories and recommendations.
The good news is that the après-ski scene is hectic. Countless pubs and a couple of good clubs will keep you going until dawn. I only manage to make a great meal at a local restaurant these days and then go to bed, but ten years ago, it was a different story! Still, even if the louder and livelier pubs and clubs aren't your thing, you'll find plenty of quieter and cozier pubs where you can unwind and socialize with fellow skiers and snowboarders.