When you are in Champoluc for one week, and you do not only want to ski, what could you do? How can you survive in this environment, which is so incredibly dedicated to skiing as Champoluc in wintertime? What else could possibly be done here?
Check the first part of this post!
Well, this is particularly in the field of food again: strolling in the village and getting into the shops of the main square for example, is one of the most delightful experiences, if you are curious about how many kind of Toma cheese and prosciutto there are. Each shop has a great variety of products available, many times not really typical for their own branch.
So you could find wines in a butcher shop or bread in the shop where they sell fruit and green. Lucio in the main square is one of our favorites.
Another good shopping tour could bring you to the sport gear shops. There are a couple in Champoluc that are worth a longer visit. Marisport, near the main square, has more chic brands as Moncler or Kjus, Millet for the real trekkers is to be found at the M9 shop, and Frachey Sport has the best poles and backpacks, and glasses (and yes, also skis and helmets) in town.
Car tour and old houses
Tourism in Champoluc valley has been developed from the 70s. People came first here to hike and trek or just have summer vacation at the beginning. Then lifts started to be build and the ski holidays were taking place. That resulted in a period when some condos and bigger villas were built. From the 90s on it has been a regulation plan for building here, saying it is not possible to build any new house anymore.
There is practically no land for this use. The villages in the Ayas valley (Champoluc) are from the Middle Ages with small, old centers, with houses like hanging to each other. The buildings are wooden and made of stones. The roofs are all of grey stone from the mountains around. Tourism is still increasing in Champoluc though, so people who wish to have a home here buy old houses in the ancient villages and rebuild them. The rules are very strict, but the results are beautiful, with an atmosphere of genuine alpine villages left intact.
So why not taking the car and travelling 10 kilometers around this fine open valley to see other towns like Antagnod, Lignod, Magneaz, Pallenc, Palouettaz, and Mandriou. All ancient names and in nearly all of them people live year around. There you can find nice places to stay for a coffee or a drink, and a dinner instead of just staying in the main center of Champoluc. Give it a try next time when the lift system is closed because of strong winds.