Ten Great Reasons to Ski the Dolomites
750 Miles of Pistes on One Pass . . .
Surely the number one reason for skiing the South Tyrol and Skiing in the Dolomites?
This vast area, comprising 30% blue, 60% red and 10% black runs, has so much skiing to offer you, including the famous 36k circular route, the Sella Ronda. From Cortina, the famous sheik ski resort in the eastern Dolomites, you can ski, on piste through 12 areas, including the famous Val Gardena, home to Selva Gardena and the Men’s World Cup Downhill to Alpe di Siusi, Europe’s highest largest plateau in the west, a point-to-point distance of 30 miles.
Imagine, our Dolomites Ski Safari claims, never ski the same run twice! That’s how much skiing the Dolomites has to offer you!
Snow Sure . . .
90% of the Dolomites 1200km of slopes, are to be found at an altitude of 1,500 to 3,269 metres.
Nearly 100% of the Dolomite Super Ski slopes have modern snowmaking systems. It is not so much a case of artificial snow, but of pure crystal-like water originating from mountain streams and torrents being transformed into fine snow particles free from any additives – “guaranteed snow”.
Ski Touring . . .
Don’t just ski, go somewhere! It is not a ski resort. It is many ski resorts. It is not a ski town or village. It is many of them. Explore different ski resorts with well detailed maps or a take an Inspired Italy Ski Leader and discover new areas. Starting with the famous Sella Ronda, which at 36km is not particularly difficult, but is none the less a gratifying ski tour.
There are a number of spectacular tours to choose, including the First World War Tour. Austrian mountain troops and the German Alpine corps along with the Italian ‘Alpini’ were present in the Dolomites from May 1915 until November 1917, engaged in a bitter struggle for survival. Or the not to be missed Hidden Valley, starting from La Gazuoi. The Fanes range, to the right of the run is majestic. The valley walls to the left are smaller and scattered with frozen waterfalls. The run twists and turns for 7 km, creating a mysterious, secret ambience. At the bottom of the trail, you have the option of taking the horse drag, a great experience, where you hold on to ropes pulled by a pair of horses as they take you along the flat frozen river bed to the next lift. Just a few of the tours available.
DOLOMITE SKI SAFARI INFORMATION …
90 Minute Transfer from Innsbruck . . .
The South Tirol, Italian Dolomites, is so easy to get to. In fact, irrational as it may sound, you need to fly to Austria! Innsbruck airport, which has a great selection of destinations, is only 90 minutes by car or taxi, from the Val Gardena. Verona and Munich airports under 3 hours and Venice and Milan less than 4 hours. For those of you wanting a more “personal” arrival, Bolzano Airport is ideal for private flights and helicopter transfers direct to Ortisei. Some hotels offer sleigh and skidoo transfers too.
Marvel at the Scenery . . .
Every single one of our Ski Safari veterans has, at some point, simply stopped in their tracks to marvel at the scenery.
My favourite comment, “Why did they go to New Zealand to film Harry Potter? This is far more spectacular!” The Dolomites is one of the most stunning places in the world, breath-taking vista’s and beautiful unspoilt villages and a truly worthy recipient of the Unesco World Heritage award. From the UNESCO WebSite: The Dolomites are widely regarded as being among the most attractive mountain landscapes in the world. A great diversity of colours is provided by the contrasts between the bare pale-coloured rock surfaces and the forests and meadows below. The mountains rise as peaks with intervening ravines, in some places standing isolated but in others forming sweeping panoramas. Some of the rock cliffs here rise more than 1,500m and are among the highest limestone walls found anywhere in the world. So imagine yourself skiing amongst this landscape.
Something for Everyone . . .
Cross-country skiing, winter walking, sledging/tobogganing and horse drawn sleigh rides are amongst the other winter activities that give the Dolomites and the area around Selva Gardena an edge over other ski areas.
In particular, cross country skiing, with trails in the Dolomiti Superski territory covering more than 1,177km! In contrast to other European ski zones, walkers are positively encouraged as are tobboganists. There are over 20 snow parks, guided snow-shoeing trips, sleigh rides, ice-skating, local museums and some of the most fantastic Spa’s in the world, including the Alpina Dolomites Lodge and Spa, Alpe di Siusi, provides a winter wonderland for families, wide slopes, gentle lifts and witches tours!
The Food . . . & Wine & Bombardinos & Spritz Veneziano
Many ingredients are required to create the perfect ski holiday and for Italians food is as important as the snow! Regional cuisine is now almost as coveted in the South Tyrol as the towering Dolomite Mountains themselves.
The guaranteed sunshine, high pastures, rich mineralised soil and adherence to traditional farming methods combine to make the local produce something really special – and it has even been awarded its own quality mark, Sudtiroler Qualitat. The top-quality local ingredients have no doubt played a role in attracting so many talented chefs to this ruggedly beautiful area – the South Tyrol currently glitters with no fewer than 18 Michelin stars sprinkled over 15 restaurants, some in the little alpine resorts or hotels, some in the rustic cabins high on the ski slopes – and you can be assured, that we know them all!
No Queues . . .
The area is just so relaxed, there is such a great atmosphere. At the moment with only 2% of visitors coming from the UK, the South Tyrol is a secret ski spot, waiting to be discovered, so this is definitely the place to come escape crowded slopes and lift queues.
Sunny Days . . .
8 out of 10 days are sunny, and after 9 seasons skiing in the region we can support this. Snow generally starts to accumulate in December, although 2012 has seen snow beginning to lay from October. The average daytime temperatures range between +4º and -15º C in the shade. These temperatures can feel surprisingly comfortable, largely because the air is very dry. Part of the joy of skiing is to eat lunch outside in the sunshine and the Dolomites has the perfect combination of sun and great food.
Lift Systems & Snow Making Facilities . . .
The Dolomiti Superski ethos, is all about re-investing in the region. New or upgraded lifts and snow making facilities have been the norm over the last few seasons, along with widening of existing slopes and pistes. For the 2012 season, a number of new runs have been introduced as well as new and upgraded ski lifts.