Review of Sauze d’Oulx

11th February 2017 by DHFULTON 

Finally visited the Milky Way in Jan 2017 (after many years of being put off by reports of poor snow and slow lifts) to be pleasantly surprised. Stayed with Crystal at Hotel Martin in Jouvenceaux which is an excellent value friendly family run 2* albergo conveniently located a few mins from fast Jouvenceaux lift and return via Gran Pista red run. Snow cover was very good and we had 2 days of powder skiing at end of our week.

Runs generally overgraded (so, flattering to early intermediates) but powder & bumps on last 2 days added variety, as did some tree/glade skiing. Plenty of treeline stuff in Sauze if weather poor. One day on lift pass to Montgenevre - bit of a slog to get there as need to lift down to Cesana & 3 lifts back up other side to Claviere area including very old slow 2 man (but only 1 at a time if no snow in valley as we had - Qs build very quickly!)

Need to be careful if in Sestriere as only 1 gondola back which stops if windy (there are tannoy announcements)! Runs down to Sansicario good and quiet - like most of area. Excellent value lunch spots - enjoyed newish Chalet Mavie (superb pizza), Ciao Pais (charming), Raggio di Sole (cosy) & Baita Coche (friendly). Many bars in town all serving wide variety of drinks inc some craft beers. Plenty of free antipasti/nibbles all over - you could go B&B and not have to pay for dinne! Derby bar is quite cool with nice bar/lounge & good variety of music. Special mention to Jouvonceaux bar/tabacci - superb!

Italians very friendly & welcoming - what a contrast to France! Overall enjoyed it but can see the need to invest in lift system & snow-making. I am sure if they spent some money they would attract more people - chicken & egg I think! They need to decide if they are happy only being busy at weekends or want to attract skiers all week/season - the Sella Ronda has done it. We would go back however having said all that as it is a big area (enough for 1 week), good value, good rood & drink, and friendly. Stay in Sauze (some charm & sheltered skiing), not Sestriere (bleak), nor Sansicario (too quiet).

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