22 December, 2017
Ski wonderland in Dolomites
In the northeastern part of Italy, at biggest ski carousel in world, a winter holiday is more than a simple downhill ski experience
There is plenty of fun in the mountains, but if you want an unforgettable dream holiday, we recommend Dolomiti Superski: a mountain of wonder in the heart of the Dolomites. Magnificent views around, 450 uphill facilities, 1,200 km of perfect slopes, prepared daily, eight days of sunshine out of every 10, and for food lovers, gastronomic delights from five different cultures and traditions of fine cuisine: Tyrolean, Trentino, Venetian, Ladine and Mediterranean. The famous architect Le Corbusier once stated enthusiastically that Dolomites are the most beautiful architectural construction in the world and Reinhold Messner who has conquered all the highest mountains on the planet simply said: ‘The Dolomites are not the highest mountains in the world, but they are the most beautiful.’ Even UNESCO is of the same opinion, and has included included these calcite mountains on its list of the most beautiful landscapes in the world in 2009. The alternating soft slopes and ‘malghe’ (traditional mountain farmhouses) dominated by steep limestone masses is a unique, incomparable view. Rocks with bizarre fissures reaching up to 3,342 m into the skies, transforming every ski run that passes through the terraced slopes into a panoramic descent.
So, a winter paradise, formed 250 million years ago from the primordial sea. At that time, the highest and most famous peaks (Marmolada, Sassolungo, Civetta, Pale di San Martino, Rosengarten, Sciliar, Tofane and the Three Peaks of Lavaredo) were probably atolls. We might therefore say that, as they let their skis and snowboards slide smoothly along the splendid snowy world of Dolomiti Superski, skiers from around the world are in fact exploring a barrier reef. A barrier reef that salutes its guests every evening with a magnificent show of nature, when the ‘pale mountains’ and their peaks dress in fiery red, turning to dark violet. A colour show called ‘Enrosadira’, which due to the special qualities of the dolomitic rocks can be seen only in these mountains. As early as 1895 the first skiers could be seen on the snowy slopes of the Val Gardena and Cortina. In 1912 a young man from Merano, Peter Böttl, took two days to ski round the Sella massif, creating the Sellaronda race. The first giant slalom was held in 1935 on the Marmolada. But in those days, the competitors had to reach the top of the Queen of the Dolomites (3,342 m) on foot. In 1956 with the winter Olympics held in Cortina d’Ampezzo, this skiing region saw world fame.
Still today, Alta Badia, Val Gardena and Cortina d’Ampezzo host spectacular World Cup ski tournaments, which attract many visitors from all over the world every year. And on the most beautiful mountains in the world, it is possible to take a veritable journey on skis. Every day, new landscapes to be discovered, 1,200 km of slopes to be enjoyed, divided into 12 unmistakeable skiing areas, composed of 50 small and suggestive mountain villages: all within easy reach, with just one ski pass. Skiers and snowboarders of any level will not be disappointed on these world-famous slopes, including the Bellunese which starts at the peak of the Marmolada, the Lagazuoi, the Tognola Uno trail, the Saslonch, the Gran Risa, the Olimpia on the Tofana, the Silvester, the Trametsch trail and other wonderful slopes for snow lovers. The Dolomites are also the right destination for food lovers too. In particular in the areas of Alta Badia, Kronplatz, Cortina d’Ampezzo, Val Gardena and the Val di Fassa, the concentration of restaurants listed in the Michelin Guide greatly outnumbers many European cities (14 restaurants having at least one Michelin star!).
But the gastronomic delights do not wait for skiers and snowboarders only in the towns, as suggestive traditional refuges and stops can also be found on the slopes, and sophisticated mountain restaurants attract diners with their exquisite recipes. Here you can find both typical specialities of traditional mountain cuisine and veritable gourmet delights: from speck, cheeses and ‘Knödel’ to fresh lobster and prawns served in the refuges. From Parma ham and Pecorino cheese, through lasagne or spaghetti with clams to Ladine Schlutzkrapfen (ricotta and spinach ravioli), to Tirtlen (stuffed fagots) and pork shanks, all washed down with Prosecco and other excellent wines. And to end with a flourish, you can’t say no to an excellent grappa or sweets like Tiramisu, Strudel and ‘Buchteln’ (baked yeast-dough-pastries) with vanilla sauce. Therefore, whether you just want to get out of doors a bit or you want to try the thrill of pushing yourself to the limit, come to the Dolomites and discover the harmony and wellbeing of a skiing holiday and enjoy the breathtaking scenery.