I HAVE always considered myself someone who goes skiing to ski and not to apres-ski. If any resort was going to change this attitude, it would be Courmayeur, in Italy, where the bars have armchairs and open fires and the restaurants place gastronomy second to a festive sense of occasion. The Caffe Roma in the high street is a favourite.

PLUS POINTS: Jolly traditional village. Access to Mont Blanc massif. Good off-piste and heli-skiing. Extensive artificial snow.

MINUS POINTS: Base of ski slopes is a cable-car ride from village. Limited skiing area.

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