Terra Alpina is a former farmhouse that was completely rebuilt and converted to six luxurious holiday apartments in 2007/2008. Whether you are looking for a ski apartment or a base for a summer holiday in the Aosta Valley, Terra Alpina offers a uniquely stylish and comfortable home-from-home.
It sits 200 metres above the road to the St. Bernard tunnel, close to the village of Gignod and is equidistant between the centre of Aosta and the Swiss border (under 20 minutes in either direction). It is very convenient for the ski resorts of Pila and Crevacol and is in easy driving distance of Courmayeur, La Thuile, Verbier and Cervinia - see winter sports for more information.
Even by the standards of the Alps, the views are spectacular. From north to south there is a 30 km panorama across the Aosta Valley surrounded by dramatic Alpine peaks and, with 1.5 acres of garden, there are plenty of vantage points from which to enjoy the views. It sits at an altitude of 1,300 metres, so the environment is extremely lush in summer and relatively mild in winter. While moderate winter snow is normal, heavy blizzards are not common at this altitude.
The holiday apartments at Terra Alpina are equally suitable for winter or summer use. In winter, there are a number of ski resorts nearby and in summer, there is a huge variety of activities, from golf to white water rafting. The one thing that almost all our summer guests talk about is the fantastic selection of walking and hiking paths in this part of the Aosta Valley - see summer.
If you are planning a family ski holiday with friends, Terra Alpina is ideal. Up to four families can stay at once and the prices are far lower than taking a catered chalet. One group who stayed recently reckoned they collectively saved £2,500 by taking all apartments. For friends who do not ski, Aosta has more facilities for non-skiers than probably any other resort - see the city of Aosta.
Prices from €450 per week
P.S. All images on this page really are of Terra-Alpina
Finally, there is the original feature on Terra Alpina in the Sunday Times, December 10, 2008
Download the feature here
Summer and winter at the same time
The strange Alpine weather of spring 2013
Wines of the Aosta Valley
We visit some of the local vineyards
A very busy summer at Terra Alpina comes to a close and we look forward to a great winter skiing season. All three owner couples are now at Terra planning for next year and discussing how to improve the property. Thanks to all guests for your positive and constructive comments about your holidays here over the past year. We always welcome your feedback and will act on it where we can to improve your stay here in the future. Most recently we have widened the parking area and turning space. Our plans for next year include extending the seating areas in the garden with more tables and chairs and loungers.
Flats 1 & 2 have now been merged into a single apartment which is no longer available for rent. The remaining four apartments remain available and continue to be popular as ever. Great snow this season.
We are going to be running our first fitness camp at the end of May! We have linked up with an Anglo-Italian trainer who is going to take the course in the grounds of Terra Alpina. It will take place from 31 May - 7 June, and prices start from just £500 (€600). See Courses for more details.
We are very pleased to say that the whole of the path running from the road to the house has now been surfaced with tarmac. No more bumping along the rough track or sinking into the snow in winter. Together with the Wi-Fi we installed at the beginning of the year, Terra Alpina is now an even more civilised place to stay.
Easter turned out to be Christmas this year. In the days leading up to the holiday, we had another half a metre of snow. Given the unseasonably cold weather, the snow stayed in perfect condition for a week, with knee-deep powder across the whole valley. Some Russians we met reckoned it was the driest, lightest powder they had found outside Siberia - and we are in no position to argue about Siberian powder. The sad thing is that many of the resorts close soon, and there is enough snow to keep the lifts open for another month.
With the cold weather across Europe, it has been a good Christmas in Aosta. One of things we have discovered is that the more time we spend here, the more we ski in Pila. It is not nearlyas well known as Cervinia or Courmayeur, but it has lots of advantages. It is in a north-facing bowl, so the snow keeps remarkably well and it is protected from the prevailing winds. When other resorts are getting a bit wind-blown Pila tends to stay in better condition. It is hardly famous for off-piste, but there are some very good runs to the sides of the piste and, for the more adventurous, through the woods. Being a bowl, you cannot get lost and there are no cliffs, so you can try an unknown route with little danger.
It's been a bumper season for wild strawberries and raspberries. We must have picked a kilo of each as we hiked around the mountains, and we even found a meadow of blueberries at around 2500 metres on the slopes of Beca di Viou. At the time we were with some Canadian guests, and they said picking blueberries is a hazardous sport in Canada: they are one of the favourite fruits of bears, who don't take kindly to sharing their food with humans, apparently. We found another great hike up to Mount Saron at 2,700 metres, our nw hiking companion, Zippo, our neighbour's dog. She is inexhaustible and has the best nature of any dog we have ever met. Our neighbour found her abandoned as a puppy in the mountains, and she now seems to be the happiest dog in the world. See walking and hiking
We have negotiated a deal with the spa at Pre St Didier, on the way to Courmayeur, for a special rate for Terra Alpina guests. The spa is in a spectacular building with every conceivable facility - we counted over 20 pools, saunas, relaxation rooms and massage areas. It has additional pools in the beautiful gardens: the views from these, with the Alpine peaks towering above, are incredible. We haven't found a better spa anywhere. Just tell Terme di Pre that you are from Terra Alpina for a 10% discount. See Terme di Pre
We have made major improvements at Terra Alpina for this season. To make access much easier, we have put tarmac on the uphill track from the house to the road - it now provides much more grip for cars in the snow. We have also doubled the size of the parking area, so there is space for six cars to park, plus an area to allow cars to turn around easily. Finally, we have a completely new Internet system, which has replaced the previous satellite connection. This is the latest point-to-point radio wireless Internet. Since installing it in November 2011, it has been available 99% of the time and provides speeds of 3.5 MB.