The small and picturesque village of Arabba is located in the heart of the Dolomites mountain range. The village has a population of just 300 people and has grown over the years since tourism arrived. The village is popular in both the winter, for skiing, and in the summer with avid walkers and mountain bikers.
Just south of Austria, the German language is still widely spoken. However the first language of Arabba is Ladin (Ladino). This is a very old language that is still taught in schools and spoken at home. Even the road signs here show the village names in three languages – Ladin, German then Italian. Reba is the given name in Ladin to Arabba, which is thought to translate as ‘landslide or avalanche’.
The Dolomites has a rich history. It was a scene of heavy fighting between the Austro-Hungarians and the Italians during WW1. Signs of the war are still evident – with tunnels cut through the mountains. You can explore some of this history by visiting the highest museum in Europe, The Great World War Museum, in your ski boots!
Many people ask me which is the best resort in the Dolomites? This is difficult to answer, as all of the resorts offer great slopes. It is also the largest ski area in the world covering twelve piste maps and 1200km!
If you are visiting the Dolomites for the first time you should consider Arabba. It’s great for keen skiers and boarders. If you favour lively towns the resorts of Cortina D’Ampezzo & Selva di Val Gardena offer an incredible choice of shops and nightlife. Let’s not forget La Villa, with our Inghams Chalet Hotel Al Pigher, which is just off the popular Sella Ronda circuit.
The Sella Ronda is 26km of wonderful, wide-open slopes going in a circular route, either clockwise or anti-clockwise. The orange signage takes you in a clockwise route and the green signage in an anti-clockwise direction.
I personally favour the ‘Orange route’. However, you can do them both during a holiday. It takes an average skier around 5 hours with a lunch break to complete the circuit. Wherever you stay in the Dolomites you’ll have a great time. In my opinion it is the best ski area in the world!