Alto Adige is a land of contrasts, which come together to create a unique atmosphere, to be experienced in complete freedom in its fascinating open spaces. Here, the imposing peaks of the Dolomites are the winter home of countless skiers, who choose them for their breathtaking panoramas, their endless slopes, and the care and attention paid to sports enthusiasts. If you are thinking of indulging in a rejuvenating but adventurous skiing holiday, here are the best 5 slopes in Alto Adige followed by our favourite restaurants and hotels in the area.
WHERE TO SKI
To ski in the Val Venosta while enjoying its mountain views and dishevelled spirit, you must head for Vallelunga. This valley is dishevelled, fascinating and wild, and it is a popular centre for cross-country skiing. It opens out from Curon and is one of the most unspoilt valleys in the Alps, but also a centre for winter sports. At the bottom of this valley of meadows and alpine pastures is a unique panorama of the Ötztal Alps with their glaciers. Here, the most popular destinations for cross-country skiing are Melago (from where you can reach the top of the majestic Palla Bianca at 3,739 metres), Slingia and Val Martello.
WHERE TO EAT
If you want an exclusive experience, you can stop by Flurin. This is where young chefs work after returning from a few years’ experience abroad, such as founder Thomas Ortler, former chef at Konstantin Filippou’s starred restaurant. WEBSITE
Treat yourself to a meal at the Kuppelrain – where Michelin-starred Jörg Trafoier is chef and owner of the restaurant, along with his entire family: his wife Sonya is a sommelier and their sons join him in the kitchen. WEBSITE
Pamper your palate at the Malga Resia, where delicious dishes, a great view and a new hostess await you. Whether it is an apple strudel, a Kaiserschmarrn or homemade cheese dumplings after a winter walk, there is something for everyone.
WHERE TO SLEEP
Hotel Weisses Kreuz
After a long day’s skiing, you can stay at the Hotel Weisses Kreuz in Burgusio, which was recently renovated to present its own philosophy of relaxation. The hotel is now home to the brand new MAMESA gourmet restaurant: a temple of culinary pleasures where the region’s finest products, first-class wines and fresh, modern cuisine triumph. WEBSITE
Make sure you visit il Lago di Resia, an artificial alpine lake. This lake is not only an unusual natural wonder but it also holds centuries of fascinating history. The belltower that seems to be sitting atop the surface of the lake was actually part of the Romanesque, 14th-century church of St. Catherine of Alexandria and beneath these waters stands the village of Curon. In 1950, this village was once home to hundreds of Italians. That was before the village was intentionally flooded to make way for a nearby hydroelectric plant. Fast-forward some seventy-one years later, when repairs forced a team to temporarily drain the lake. As this happened, the remains of Curon appeared.
Stop in the historic town of Glorenza, one of the smallest towns in the world. This jewel of the Upper Vinschgau valley, besides its medieval old town, boasts the only fully fortified structure in the Alps, with arcades and imposing manor houses.
Also, spend some time in Vallelunga, a wild valley and important cross-country skiing centre. From Curon, the wild alpine side valley of Vallelunga opens up to the east, one of the most unspoilt valleys in the entire Alpine region, but also a centre for winter sports. At the end of this valley of meadows and alpine pastures, a unique panorama of the Venoste Alps with their glaciers opens up.
Finally, visit Europe’s highest vineyard in the Upper Vinschgau, on the steep slopes around the Monte Maria Abbey above Burgusio, at an altitude of 1,340 metres. Here grapes grow that develop a high sugar content, marked acidity and a particularly fruity aroma; resulting in a unique wine that you can enjoy in the local wine cellars.
WHERE TO SKI
The best place to ski in Val Pusteria is the Plan De Corones, the rounded mountain between Brunico, San Vigilio and Valdaora. With its vast, almost treeless slopes, it is counted, with 119 km of slopes and 32 modern lifts, among the most advanced winter sports destinations in South Tyrol. In terms of track categories, it offers everything that beginners, casual enthusiasts and sledders desire. Here, the long pistes offer wide, leisurely descents into the valley, while the ‘Black Five’, the five black runs, require a certain amount of skill even from the most experienced.
A brand new slope in San Vigilio di Marebbe was also recently opened here, close to and parallel to the Erta World Cup slope, which also serves as a training slope.
WHERE TO SLEEP
Discover the philosophy of AMA Stay, which proposes a new hotel model inspired by the concept of first-class workation. It is the perfect place to do everything you love, starting with holidays and work. Here, smart workers, digital nomads and holiday lovers meet. A perfect environment designed to work with maximum productivity, network, compare notes. And yes, also to relax. WEBSITE
If you are tired of the usual skiing, Val Pusteria offers you the chance to try the Böckl: halfway between a ski, a snowshoe and a toboggan. Anyone can descend the ski slopes and toboggan runs in the saddle of their own Böckl, which can be hired at the various ski rental outlets.
Also, take a break from skiing to visit the MMM Corones, located on the Plan de Corones (2275 m) at the edge of the most spectacular panoramic plateau in South Tyrol. Here, the unmistakable building designed by Zaha Hadid houses a museum dedicated to traditional mountaineering, a discipline shaped and shaped decisively by Reinhold Messner.
Where to ski
One of the favourite skiing destinations in the Isaric Valley is Plose, the mountain in the city of Brixen. This ski resort guarantees the best skiing conditions: a fantastic panorama, sun from early morning to evening and 40 km groomed slopes for all levels of difficulty, including the Trametsch (the longest valley floor in South Tyrol, 9 km long). In addition to skiing and snowboarding, also lovers of ski mountaineering, snowshoeing and winter hiking will not be disappointed by Plose.
Still in the Valle Isarco, another popular destination is the Alpe di Luson, an oasis of peace and quiet surrounded by the unspoilt winter landscape, ideal for cross-country skiing.
WHERE TO EAT
Surprise yourself with the cuisine of the Gourmetstube Einhorn, restaurant of the Romantik Hotel Stafler, whose secret lies in the products, preferably of South Tyrolean origin. With them, the 2-star chef Peter Girtler celebrates international haute cuisine, giving his dishes that special touch and combining tradition and modernity, local peculiarities and global inspirations, tried-and-tested recipes and always new ones, to offer an exclusive taste experience. WEBSITE
WHERE TO SLEEP
Take care of yourself at the FORESTIS Dolomites, a place of peace and harmony surrounded by the scent of the forest, where modern architecture and the skilful use of local materials triumph, together with a spa inspired by Celtic philosophy. WEBSITE
If you want to enjoy the Dolomite atmosphere to the fullest, stay at Rifugio Rossalam, one of the most popular refuges in the province and a popular destination for nature lovers, families, gourmets and those hungry for relaxation. WEBSITE
If you want to enjoy the historic centre of the cultural city of Bressanone, you can book a stay at the Hotel Elephant, a family-run house steeped in history and unique stories. The hotel will welcome you in one of its 44 historic and unique rooms, and you can enjoy one of its two excellent restaurants – one of which, the Apostelstube, is a Michelin star – and its comfortable and informal bar. WEBSITE
The Valle Isarco boasts an extensive network of hiking trails, allowing you to explore the winter landscape in the fresh, healthy air of Bressanone and its surroundings. The Plose cable car quickly takes you up to higher altitudes, from where numerous paths lead through the snowy landscape. Furthermore, whether you like to go ice-skating, play hockey with the kids, or simply move through nature, Brixen and its surroundings offer a myriad of possibilities, such as skating in the Brixen Ice Stadium, or the many natural ice rinks in the area surrounded by nature.
WHERE TO SKI
The great thing about the Rio Pusteria ski resort is that it is suitable for everyone: beginners and families, slalom experts and snowboard fans. It stretches between 1,307 and 2,510 metres above sea level, and with a total of 55 kilometres of slopes, it is the largest ski area in the Valle Isarco and Alta Valle Isarco. The area’s 25 ski slopes, 4 toboggan runs and 15 lifts ensure a varied, rewarding and comfortable experience for anyone coming to ski in Rio Pusteria.
Where to eat
This spot celebrates the land where it stands by transporting guests into a warm vortex of excellent quality cuisine, a homely atmosphere and a delightful location.
Where to sleep
Stay at the Hotel Silena, a jewel of architecture that blends perfectly into its natural surroundings. Set on the sunny plateau of Valles at 1354 m above sea level, the hotel is the ideal destination for those who want to treat themselves to a wellness holiday, which can be breathed throughout the hotel, where the interior design is inspired by feng shui. The hotel’s highlight is the over 1,500-metre SPA, which is divided into two areas: the top-floor terrace with panoramic sauna and the wellness centre. WEBSITE
Visit the Luson valley, one of the most intact valleys in the entire Alpine region, an oasis of peace and quiet surrounded by the unspoilt winter landscape. This alp is wonderful for light winter sports such as snowshoeing, winter walking and cross-country skiing. Here you can try the Oberhauser Hütte, which delights its guests using mainly South Tyrolean ingredients.
WHERE TO SKI
The Alta Badia ski area, centrally located in the Dolomiti Superski ski carousel, offers excellent conditions for your skiing holiday from December to April. Here, the Dolomites’ nature accompanies skiers on more than 1,200 km of pistes, spread over 12 large ski areas. The possibilities that the Dolomiti Superski offers experienced skiers, as well as beginners, are almost endless.
WHERE TO EAT
Maso Runch is a family-run business that aims to preserve the authenticity of the old Ladin cuisine, poor but based on fresh South Tyrolean produce. To make this possible, they have chosen the path of continuity: for example, they roast their shanks in our wood-burning stove as they have done for decades. WEBSITE
Be part of Sciare con gusto, a gourmet event that for over ten years has made the winter season in Alta Badia gourmet. Between great chefs who create their dishes on the basis of these concepts, and an idea of hospitality that is always new and stimulating, Sciare con gusto aims to be a meeting point of good, beautiful and togetherness. The participating chefs are each paired with a hut on the slopes of Alta Badia, for which they create a recipe that is offered to skiers throughout the winter season.
Also, live like a true Ladin with the Nos Ladins programme that runs from December to March, which gives you the chance to enjoy activities together with the people who live in these lands, united by a deep passion for the places where they were born and grew up.
If you are a ski mountaineering enthusiast, don’t miss the opportunity to ski while admiring the sunrise amidst the spectacular scenery of the Dolomites. Participants in the appointments on 5 January, 2 February and 2 March 2023 will be accompanied by Ingo, an expert local mountain guide.
Also, nothing is more fun than spending winter holidays in the snow, and there is no better place for it than the Dolomite Mountains. The 12-inter-connected ski resorts here provide endless entertainment- with 1,200 kilometers (746 miles) of prepared pistes, you can go your entire trip without skiing the same run twice! Add that to the best weather in the Alps, guaranteed snow, and sun that shines 8 out of 10 days in winter, and you have the Dolomites- perfect for a winter vacation. Ski safari hut-to-hut through Alta Badia and the Dolomites, leveraging lift-service pistes so you can focus on you downhill turns. If you love full days of skiing on different terrain each day, this is the trip for you.
For more information on South Tyrol, head over to this webiste.