Skiing in the Dolomites
The Dolomites are a mountain range that towers above the northeastern part of Italy. It stretches from river Adige to the valley of Piave River. The Dolomites are world-famous for their looks – gray rock formations and steep, jagged peaks that you fell in love with at first sight.
In the Dolomites, you can find a number of villages that are a welcome refuge for climbers and hikers in the summer, and in the winter they turn into the best Dolomites ski resorts that you can find in Europe. The Dolomites are a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the unparalleled beauty of nature in this Italian mountain range.
The Dolomites are so popular as a ski destination because all 15 of the biggest Italian ski resorts are connected to the perfect web of ski slopes. You can ski on more than 1200 kilometers of slopes in the Dolomites, from slopes that are playing host to the best skiers in the World Cup to the more family-friendly tracks. From beginners to experts, every skier can find the perfect slope for himself when skiing in the Dolomites.
Most ski resorts are located at an altitude between 1000 and 2500 meters, so you can be sure to find the best snow conditions in Europe in the Dolomites. Snow season regularly extends to the end of April, so you can still enjoy your moments on the snow when everywhere else the spring is already in full swing. You can read more about it here.
Skiing in the Dolomites has a long and rich tradition that is almost unparalleled in the world. Cortina d’Ampezzo hosted the Olympic Winter Games back in 1956 every year there are multiple World Cup Ski races in the area, from Kronplatz to Alta Badia.
Many world-famous athletes grew up in the Dolomites, Alberto Tomba was always exceptional on slalom and giant slalom piste in Alta Badia called Gran Risa. Almost all Italian professional skiers have a relationship with Dolomites as the pistes there offer the best conditions to challenge themselves and get even better. Skiing in the Italian Dolomites is an experience not to be missed.
But most of all, skiing is part of the fibre of every person living in the Dolomites as it is very hard to be impartial to the calling of the white slopes.
Skiing in the Dolomites offers a variety of experiences, including skiing on the slopes of the Marmolada and loads of other ski resorts, action in 30 snow parks, rustic huts, large sun terraces and lively après-ski in picturesque towns. It also provides the opportunity to see the FIS Ski World Cup races in person, and overall offers endless skiing fun in the Dolomites ski resorts.
The Dolomiti Superski ski carousel is a highlight for winter sports enthusiasts, offering access to over 1,200 kilometers of slopes with 450 ski lifts, all that with just one ski pass. This vast network, consisting of 12 different dolomites ski resorts including renowned destinations such as Cortina d'Ampezzo, Alta Badia and Kronplatz, is the largest in the world.
And not just the largest, Dolomiti Superski is also a pass that offers the best variety of ski slopes, from beginner-friendly to black runs that are suited to the needs of the worlds’ best ski experts.
You can expect only the best and latest lift technology, so waiting in long lines at lifts is something that you will never experience in the Dolomites.
Additionally, wide slopes with perfect snow allow for optimal and seamless ski experience that can only be toppled by the breathtaking views of the peaks that surround you.
No matter where in the Dolomites you are skiing, you will come across various difficulties of slopes. One of the best things about skiing in Dolomites is the variety of terrain that enables skiers of all levels to enjoy themselves.
From basic slopes that are perfect for your first turns on the slopes to the expert black runs that will challenge you to become even better. Dolomites really are a ski destination for the whole family.
The ski resorts in the Dolomites are a gateway to a snow-draped paradise, offering a blend of pristine skiing terrains and picturesque alpine charm. Each resort, presents a unique skiing experience. With an expansive network of slopes and modern lift systems, skiing in the Dolomites is seamless and exhilarating.
Ski track distance (per piste difficulty):
🔵 Easy: 45 km🔴 Medium: 55 km⚫ Difficult: 20 km⭕ Total: 120 km
Number of ski lifts: 36
Season and opening times: November - May; 08:30 am - 4:30 pm
Cortina d’Ampezzo is the most recognizable ski resort in the Italian Dolomites because of its glamour, perfect slopes and excellent weather conditions that enable the skiing season from November to May. Ski slopes are located on the three hills around the picturesque town - Faloria Cristallo Mietres, Tofana and Lagazuoi - 5 Torre. You can access all three hills directly from your accommodation in Cortina.
With more than 120 kilometres of ski slopes, there are ample opportunities for beginners to get acquainted with this beautiful sport, but also world-famous courses such as Tofana, where the best skiers compete every year in the FIS Ski World Cup.
In case you are missing ski equipment, there are several rental shops that also repair any gear that needs some care. The locals are well-prepared for the less experienced skiers, people willing to improve their level or even try a new sport such as snowboarding, as many qualified ski teachers work in the local ski schools in Cortina.
The town itself is a tourist destination so you will be able to enjoy the best restaurants and bars in the Dolomites in Cortina. A nice drink at the end of a successful day on the slopes sure sounds like a great idea.
Season and opening times: December - April; 08:30 am - 5 pm
🔵 Easy: 23.6 km🔴 Medium: 30.5 km⚫ Difficult: 9 km⭕ Total: 63 km
Number of ski lifts: 26
At the heart of the Dolomites lies Arabba, a ski resort with the best snow conditions, the longest piste, and a resort that reaches the highest point of any in the Dolomites. Sheltered by the mighty Marmolada, the symbol of Dolomites, Arabba offers you more than 60 kilometers of different variety of ski slopes, from beginner-friendly to expert slopes.
The highlight is of course the Marmolada run, named La Bellunese, which is the longest run (12 km) in the Dolomites and with 3269 meters the highest point that any ski resort reaches.
Ski slopes are part of the Sella Ronda ski tour and also the Great War ski tour, so you are well connected to neighboring resorts. If you are ready to reach for the start, Arabba will be the perfect place for you to stay in the Dolomites.
🔵 Easy: 52 km🔴 Medium: 105 km⚫ Difficult: 21 km⭕ Total: 178 km
Number of ski lifts: 79
Season and opening times: December - April; 08:30 am - 4:30 pm
Val Gardena is one of the largest ski resorts in Italy with almost 180 kilometers of ski slopes. It offers you everything from sunny slopes with gentle inclines for beginners to the most difficult black slopes. The center of the valley is the village of Selva Val Gardena and the village is also connected to the slopes that are part of the famous Sella Ronda course.
With 79 lifts long waiting lines are never a problem in Val Gardena and more than 100 kilometers of intermediate slopes are perfect opportunities for all carving lovers out there who love to ski fast. If you are looking for the traditional Dolomites experience, the village of Ortisei will fascinate you with great restaurants and a lovely village center that never sleeps.
🔵 Easy: 58 km🔴 Medium: 32 km⚫ Difficult: 30 km⭕ Total: 120 km
Number of ski lifts: 32
Season and opening times: November - April; 08:30 am - 5 pm
Kronplatz, or Plan de Corones as it is also known, is a towering presence in the Trentino region. It is a popular destination for skiing in the Dolomites, with 120 kilometers of slopes it is also one of the more diverse resorts that you will experience in this Italian mountain region.
With 58 kilometers of easy slopes, the Kronplatz Ski resort is perfect for families - beginners will find ample opportunities to learn the tricks of skiing and their parents will be happy as well as 32 intermediate and 30 kilometers of black slopes for experts await them. You can’t go wrong if you pick Kronplatz for your hub in the Dolomites. Sella Ronda is only a short bus ride away and it is also part of the Dolomiti Superski network of more than 1200 kilometers of ski slopes.
🔵 Easy: 28 km🔴 Medium: 36 km⚫ Difficult: 8 km⭕ Total: 72 km
Number of ski lifts: 23
With 72 kilometers of ski slopes, Civetta is the biggest ski resort in the Veneto region and also one of the calmest. If the rush of the Cortina or Val Gardena is not for you, Civetta offers you a more relaxed, family environment where skiing is the most important part of the day.
Couple that with rustical chalets that offer you pristine Dolomites cuisine and you have a recipe for warm, homely ski vacations that will definitely last a lifetime in your memories.
🔵 Easy: 40 km🔴 Medium: 38 km⚫ Difficult: 8 km⭕ Total: 86 km
Number of ski lifts: 20
If you have ever seen a postcard from the Dolomites, there is a good chance that the famous Three Peaks or Tre Cime or Drei Zinnen was on it. Dolomites are a region with strong cultural influences from both Italian and German-speaking populations, so both Tre Cime and Drei Zinnen names are regularly in use.
Three Peaks is a limestone monument in the Dolomites and also a ski resort that connects five different ski locations and a base in the valley which lies at an altitude of 1200 meters. So the snow will not be a problem and you will be able to enjoy modern ski lifts, 120 kilometers of slopes, and pristine mountain air with fantastic views from December to April each year.
🔵 Easy: 70 km🔴 Medium: 52 km⚫ Difficult: 8 km⭕ Total: 130 km
Number of ski lifts: 53
Skiing has a rich tradition in Alta Badia. The first chair lift was build in 1947 in Corvara, one of the villages that are part of the Alta Badia ski resort. Now more than 50 lifts connect neighbouring hills with one another, so you can ski at 130 kilometers of nicely groomed slopes.
If the sun is what you seek, then Alta Badia is the right place for you. It lies on the sunny side of the hills so you will be able to enjoy ample sunshine with great views of towering Dolomites in the background. Alta Badia ski resort is also very well connected to the other ski resorts in Dolomiti Superski connection, so you can try something different every day if you choose to do so.
The Dolomites are a mountainous region and most of its ski resorts are located at a high altitude or sheltered by the mountains. Therefore you can still experience true winter in Dolomites, even in light of recent weather changes and global warming.
The start date of the ski season is of course dependent on the snowfall and low temperatures, but generally, you can expect the slopes to be open at least from the beginning of December to the beginning of April. Some high-altitude ski resorts are still open even in May.
Skiing is a sport that is predominantly reliant on weather, but nonetheless, we prepared some general guidelines about what to expect in the Dolomites from month to month. That way you can pick the best time for you to visit the Dolomites.
In typical winters, mountains are blanketed in snow by November's end, allowing ski resorts such as Marmolada, Kronplatz, and Val Gardena to open to visitors. However, due to global warming and unpredictable weather, this has not been consistent in recent years, resulting in delayed openings of the ski season, but usually not longer than the beginning of December.
The beginning of December signals the beginning of the true skiing season in the Dolomites. Almost all resorts are open by that time and even if there is a shortage of natural snow, the resorts use snowmaking machines in cold weather to perfectly prepare the slopes. The first half of December is the best time to visit the Dolomites if you wish to escape the crowds. Then just before Christmas the high season starts and Dolomites are bursting with life.
January, February, and March are the most popular skiing months in Dolomites. Low temperatures ensure perfect skiing conditions while a bit more sunshine and longer days will make your enjoyment on the slopes last even longer. After you are done, a nice hot drink on the terrace with the sun setting behind the Dolomites is a perfect way to end the day.
Some resorts at lower altitudes start closing their doors in the middle of April when spring comes knocking on the door. But do not worry, if you go a bit higher, above 2000 meters, you can still enjoy the true beauty of winter.
In the Dolomites, the ski season typically ends by mid-May. At this time, only a few ski resorts are able to maintain snow conditions suitable for skiing. The slopes are largely deserted, with only a few die-hard skiers and opportunists remaining. As a result, resort workers keep only a select number of lifts running while taking the time to inspect and perform repairs on the others in preparation for the next season.
During the non-skiing months in the Dolomites, the mountains lose their snow cover and become accessible for activities such as hiking and trail running. Despite this, many ski resorts keep some lifts and gondolas in operation, catering to mountain bikers, tourists, and other thrill-seekers engaging in adrenaline sports.
On our ski holidays in the Dolomites, we offer a variety of other winter activities for visitors to enjoy. Here is a brief overview of some of the most popular options to enjoy quality time for the whole family.
Italy as a whole and especially the Dolomites is known for its winter sports, and cross-country skiing is one of the country's specialties. There are almost as many cross-country skiing centers as ski resorts in the Dolomites, with popular locations including Kronplatz, Alta Badia, Cortina d’Ampezzo, and Val di Fassa. These locations offer a range of trails for skiers of all skill levels, from beginner-friendly tracks to more challenging runs with climbs and descents.
Snowshoeing is a traditional technique for moving through deep snow. Snowshoes allow individuals to “float” on top of the snow, using less energy than walking in boots. It's a great way to explore the forests and meadows of the higher peaks of the Dolomites, where snow accumulation is deeper. It's not a technically demanding activity, but it's important to have proper guidance or to know the terrain, as venturing into unknown areas alone can be dangerous.
Sledding is a fun activity for the whole family and can be found at most ski resorts in the Dolomites. It's a great way to take a break from skiing and enjoy the snowy slopes.
In every big ski town in the Dolomites, from Cortina to Kronplatz, visitors can try the unique experience of dog sledding. They use sleds pulled by energetic huskies and it's a unique way of exploring the snowy countryside. Dog sledding is a unique and exciting way of experiencing the snow-covered landscape.
The Dolomites have earned the UNESCO Natural Heritage Site accolade for its unparalleled beauty. Many people visit the region during the summer to explore its hidden corners, hike in the stunning mountains, or swim in its emerald rivers and lakes. But during the winter, the country takes on a new kind of magic as snow covers the landscape.
For many in the Dolomites, the arrival of snow in the mountains signals the start of ski season and they eagerly anticipate the opportunity to hit the slopes. The sight of the white-covered mountains is a beloved one in the country.
Dolomites are an excellent destination for ski holidays that will not disappoint. In fact, we are confident that it will exceed expectations. We invite skiers from around the world to come and experience the magic of the region during the winter.
Check out our expertly crafted Dolomites Ski Packages and book your unforgettable ski vacation today.
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