Dolomites | South Tyrol | Alto Adige Resort Guide
A UNESCO World Heritage site and the true jewel of the Alps, the Dolomites are an incredibly scenic and imposing area in the northeastern Italian region of Trentino/Alto Adige. Owing their name to the French geologist Déodat Tancrè de Gratet de Dolomieu who is credited with discovering the specific composition of these stunningly beautiful rocks, the Dolomites are very much distinct from the rest of the Alps. "Enrosadira" is the name of the phenomenon which causes the pink glow at sunrise and sunset, a glorious act of nature that never ceases to impress visitors. Culturally half-way between Italy and Austria, this region is a joy to explore with hundreds of hidden corners, alpine lakes and valleys. Whether you come in summer or winter, the spectacular mountain range of the Dolomites provide the best place to properly unwind and disconnect from day-to-day life.
- Total Ski Runs Dolomiti Superski 12 resorts / over 1,200km
- Lifts 450
- Ski Resorts:
- Cortina d'Ampezzo 120km
- Alta Badia 130km
- Val Gardena / Alpe di Siusi 175km
- Plan de Corones 119km
- Tre Cime 93km
- San Martino di Castrozza / Passo Rolle 60km
- Alpe Lusia / San Pellegrino 100km
- Civetta 72km
- Val di Fiemme / Obereggen 100km
- Valle Isarco 51km
- Arabba / Marmolada 63km
- Val di Fassa / Carezza 200km
- Transport: Depending on location, Val Gardena 1.5h from Innsbruck Airport, Cortina 1.5h from Treviso or Venice Airport
Do not miss: The Lagazuoi descent - one of the most amazing and exhilarating alpine ski runs ended with a horse-drawn carriage which will take you back to Armentarola lifts.
The Dolomites are formed by a vast mountainous territory and encompass countless mountain summits and massifs, including the Marmolada, the highest peak of the Dolomites at 3.342m. The Dolomites cover an area of c. 90km north to south and 100km east to west and are made up of 15 different massifs, each around 3,000m, and divided by rivers and valleys. Although just 1.5 hours from Innsbruck, the Dolomites have a very different climate from the rest of the Alps with more sunny days on average (c.80% in winter!) compared to its alpine neighbours. Thanks to its unparalleled ski terrains, breathtaking panoramas, excellent value-for-money proposition, welcoming vibe, state-of-the-art infrastructure and least but not least world-famous cuisine, the Dolomites should definitely be on your bucket list and are a great place to own a second home.
Winter Season & Ski
With a single ski pass, covering over 1,200km of slopes, Dolomiti Superski is the largest ski area in Europe. Though in reality, just about 560km of ski runs are fully interconnected on skis or ski buses, this is still one of the most stunning places to ski in the world with incredibly photogenic backdrops and unique terrains. You will find here famous hotspots, such as Cortina d'Ampezzo, the site of the 1956 Olympics, but you can also get away from the buzz in smaller more peaceful resorts. Despite common prejudice, those who have visited the area know that the Dolomites do not lack any of the ski infrastructure sophistication of Austria or Switzerland - the region invests a lot in the sector with constant upgrade of its facilities. Skiing and snowboarding in the vast area of the Dolomites is an unforgettable experience especially thanks to the terrain variety - there is literally something for everyone whether you like long forest runs, expert-only pistes or glacier skiing. The main highlight of the area is the Sella Ronda trail - a two-way circuit around the Sella massif running over 4 Dolomite passes, in total 40km of ski fun. Whether you take the clockwise orange variant or the counterclockwise green variant, you will witness constantly changing views and a great variety of slopes. The less known, but equally beautiful trail is the First World War or Peace tour circuit that will lead you to places where the Austrian mountain troops, the German alpine corps and the Italian "Alpini" engaged into a bitter struggle from 1915 to 1917. In spite of this grim history, the tour takes you through fascinating landscapes, with the Lagazuoi descente being the true skier's delight.
In spring and summer, the Dolomites are again the arena for anyone loving the outdoors and adrenaline sports. Hiking, climbing and mountain biking are popular, but the scenic mountain peaks also attract base jumpers, fans of paragliding, rafting and other sports. Most important lifts remain open to access the dense hiking network high up in the mountains. There is also plenty of exciting and world-famous events taking place over summer, such as the Dolomiti Skyrace, Rosadira bikefestival, Maratona dles Dolomites or the HERO Dolomites, the hardest MTB race in the world.
The local cuisine is for many the main reason to visit the Dolomites and it is easy to understand why. The cuisine mirrors well the Austro-Italian influences of the region, so the diversity of dishes is great and includes both classic Austrian fare (from wurstel, apple strudel, germknödel to other Austrian delicacies) and Italian specials (from pasta, polenta, pizza to tiramisu and the famous bombardino drink). Although you will find here several Michelin star restaurants, most restaurants and ski huts have very reasonable prices, especially if you compare this to Switzerland and France.