Winter Wonderland in the Dolomites
The Dolomites represent the best that the Italian side of the Alps - and the Alps - has to offer. I have been traveling to this part of Italy for over 25 years and still manage to remain enamored every time I set foot at the base of the golden-bronze-craved massifs. Skiing will bring you to the Dolomites in the winter. Everything else will bring you back time and time again!
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Where to stay in thDolomites
Upscale hotel in the midst of the Dolomites with Alpine themed rooms.
$100 hotel / resort credit.
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Hotel La Perla
A cozy, luxurious haven in the Italian Dolomites with exceptional service, a nature-inspired spa and numerous excellent dining options.
A luxurious mountain resort in the Dolomites perfect for nature lovers and avid adventurers alike.
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Things to do in thDolomites
Grand Ski Tours
The Dolomiti Superski pass offers access to an unmatched 1,200 kilometers of uninterrupted pistes. There is something for skiers (and snowboarders) of every level here with the guarantee of stunning views regardless of what you choose!
World Cup slopes
Test yourself where the pros have on the Gran Risa (in Val Badia) or the Sasslong (in Val Gardena). If visiting in December, you will even have the chance to watch the races! Pro-tip: unless you love ice, wait a couple of days after the race to hit these monsters yourself.
Marmolada ski tour
The Marmolada represents the highest peak in the entire ski area and is a worthwhile pilgrimage for winter sports aficionados. Work your way from any of the surrounding valleys to the roof of the Dolomites! Pro-tip: make it an early morning to avoid queues up the Marmolada and a chance to do it twice before enjoying a gourmet lunch on the slopes.
Straddling the border between the Italian and German-speaking regions is the Lagazuoi, which also marked a contested border during the first world war. Come down one side to Alta Badia for lunch at Scottoni, or proceed towards the five towers of Cortina for lunch at Averau.
Dubbed the "fairytale slope", this 11km ride will take you from the top of Mount Seceda all the way down to the village of Ortisei.
Sella Ronda ski tour
The crown jewel tour of the Dolomites is not difficult but provides a sense of accomplishment for all skiers. Cross all four valleys surrounding the Sellas in a day. Pro-tip: do it twice to try all the pistes, once clockwise and another day counter-clockwise.
Grande Guerra ski tour
The Great War tour combines much of the above at a faster pace for true ski experts while passing through the trench-lined valleys of the first world war.
Towns & Villages
Val Badia: Val Badia is littered with quaint mountain villages including Corvara, La Villa and San Cassiano. You can enjoy an aperitivo, shopping or a nice passeggiata in any of these.
Shopaholics should pop over to Cortina even if they are staying in another valley. As a bonus, they will be able to check on progress for the 2026 Olympic Games, which will be held here.
Not so into winter sports? Then consider a shopping trip to Cortina or even a day trip to the 'big city' Bolzano where you can dine at Wirsthaus Vögele.
Other medium-sized towns that are a drive away: Bressanone and Merano.
Places to eat & drink in thDolomites
Why settle for a quick Clif bar on a frigid chairlift when you can eat your body weight in gourmet local delicacies in a warm stübe or while basking in the sun on a rifugio’s terrace? Eating in the Dolomites rivals (and maybe even beats) skiing!
Some highlights include
Rifugio Averau: The perfect place to stop while admiring Cortina's five towers. Top tip: try a bis of the Cappelli d'Alpino and the Casunziei Ampezzani.
Scottoni: For meat lovers only! Come early to take a place on your way down the famous Lagazuoi piste. You can also visit their sister restaurant Trausines at the top of Piz Sorega.
Daniel: A perfect pit stop for a proper mountain carbo-load while shredding the Seceda mountain and the legendary La Longia.
Other tried and tested options in the various valleys:
Col Alt: Make sure to go downstairs into the Michelin Guide restaurant.
Pralongia: Make sure to book the stübe and avoid the self-service.
Armentarola: Even if you aren't sleeping there, the Hotel Armentarola's terrace is a must for a lengthy lunch basking in the sun.
Wine lovers do not despair! The Trentino-Alto Adige region produces some of the most underrated wines in the entire country and, arguably, with the best price-quality ratio. Don't leave without trying a bottle of Lagrein!
Need to Know
Looking for more travel inspiration? Check out my guide, Exploring Ischia: Italy's Most Under-Appreciated Island.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Italy.