World-class skiing in Europe's most striking mountain range
Arabba - Cortina D’Ampezzo - Corvara & Colfosco - Kronplatz - La Villa - Selva - Ortisei - San Cassiano - Val di Fassa (Canazei & Campitello)
For those who have never seen these extraordinarily beautiful mountains before – prepare to be utterly enchanted. They may be part of the Alps, but these towering, rugged, largely limestone monoliths that dominate the upper reaches of Trentino, Südtirol, Belluno and Veneto have the appearance of a completely different mountain range. The extraordinary thing about them is that much of the rocky terrain that soars skywards, sometimes almost vertically (don’t worry, you normally ski round their bases, not down their sheer walls!) was, eons ago, under the sea: hence the limestone. And thanks to the reddish-purple rock of large feldspar crystals embedded in them, reflected sunlight at both first light and dusk produces variety of shades of pink and flaming red. In Ladin – the Latin-Romansch language still very much used in some Dolomite valleys - the word for this magical effect is enrosadira. Fundamentally the great resorts of the Dolomites – served by a vast array of lifts dominated by the Dolomiti Superski lift company – provide delightful skiing, plenty of sunshine and food that combines the best of the Italian, South Tyrolean and Ladin cultures. There’s steep skiing if you want it (Arabba has plenty - as does Selva Gardena and Cortina), but by and large the runs are ideal for intermediates and families. If you’ve not done it before and like the idea of getting some ski miles under your belt, you’ll be keen to try the celebrated Sella Ronda circular tour. You can start anywhere on the circuit and ski it in either direction. At the centre are the gigantic, craggy peaks of the Gruppo Sella. The 25 mile tour (16 miles of actual skiing) can be achieved fairly easily in a day. The tour negotiates four mountain passes: Pordoi, Sella, Gardena and Campolongo as you cruise through the picturesque towns and villages of Colfosco, Corvara and San Cassiano, and the wooded slopes of Canazei.
Some included with lift pass
Of the resorts that make up the celebrated Sella Ronda circuit, Arabba has some of the most interesting runs, and is a real skiers’ holiday base. It boasts excellent, challenging pistes, and the stunning slopes of the mighty Marmolada glacier are within easy reach.More information
There’s only one! The Olympic resort of Cortina D’Ampezzo is one of the most filmed, photographed, skied and visited resorts in the Italian Alps. Located east of the Sella Ronda circuit, it’s not called the 'Queen of the Dolomites' for nothing.More information
Corvara and Colfosco are delightful villages nestled in the Alta Badia region of the Dolomites and have been enjoyed by British skiers for many years. Ideally located on the Sella Ronda circuit, they have easy access to the main slopes including connections to Arabba, Selva, Val di Fassa and the exhilarating Marmolada glacier.More information
La Villa, in the Trentino-Alto Adige region of Italy, is situated at the foot of the Sassongher Mountain linking with the Dolomites’ famous Sella Ronda ski circuit. Located between Corvara and San Cassiano, it is one of the main ski villages in the region of Alta Badia - a UNESCO world heritage site.More information
Set in the Südtirol’s charming Gardena valley, Selva is a gateway to the famous Sella Ronda skiing circuit, where you can ski around the gigantic limestone monoliths of the Gruppo Sella. The Sellaronda: is a delightful and not particularly challenging tour which can be achieved fairly easily in a day.
Ortisei (AKA St Ulrich), the truly picturesque old community and cultural centre of Val Gardena, can all too easily be overlooked by skiers based in Selva – especially those intent on ticking off as many resorts as they can on the celebrated Sella Ronda tour.More information