Off to Cortina d'Ampezzo: on skis through the Dolomites

The ski season is still in full swing and winter sports lovers are still looking for new areas, routes and slopes.

Off to Cortina d'Ampezzo: on skis through the Dolomites

The ski season is still in full swing and winter sports lovers are still looking for new areas, routes and slopes. A popular destination is and remains a mountain range that stretches across three Italian provinces: the Dolomites. A wonderful starting point is Cortina d'Ampezzo.

Cortina d'Ampezzo is located in the province of Belluno in Veneto and is one of the most renowned winter sports resorts. The village, which lives almost exclusively from tourism, has more than 5,000 inhabitants. At an altitude of around 1,200 meters, the village in the Valle del Boite is surrounded by three-thousanders. Among other things, the Tofana di Mezzo, the Monte Cristallo and the Punta Sorapiss tower over the picturesque village.

Many international competitions have already been held here. In 1956 the Winter Olympics took place in Cortina d'Ampezzo. Together with Milan, the holiday resort is to host the major sporting event again in 2026 - exactly 70 years after the premiere. The Alpine World Ski Championships have also taken place here several times, most recently in 2021. The location has even been chosen for film productions: In 1981, "James Bond 007 - In Mortal Mission" was filmed in the Olympic ice stadium, on the ski jump and on the bobsleigh track, among other places.

For a trip to Cortina d'Ampezzo, you don't even need a car. The Brenner railway line takes you to the South Tyrolean municipality of Fortezza (Italian: Fortezza). Then change to the Pustertalbahn and get off in Toblach (Dobbiaco). From there you can take the Dolomiti bus to Cortina.

If you don't want to be satisfied with the four closest areas Tofane, Faloria-Cristallo, 5 Torri - Lagazuoi or San Vito-Aurunzo-Misurina and the more than 70 ski slopes together, you can also consider crossing the Dolomites on skis from Cortina. What do you need for this? A Dolomiti Superskipass that is valid in 15 ski areas, two to three days time - and perseverance.

At almost 2,900 meters, the Lagazuoi marks the highest point of the traverse. Then there is a descent through the Armentarola valley, which extends to Alta Badia. Skiers and snowboarders cover almost 1,400 meters in altitude - and almost seven kilometers of slopes. Once in the valley, another highlight awaits: a horse lift. The skiers are pulled by a Noriker team of horses with the help of a rope about one kilometer to the next ski lift - it couldn't be more ecological. Then simply climb into the next gondola in Alta Badia and marvel at the high plateau of Pralongià.

If you want to take a break in between, you can stop at one of the many huts that rise out of the snow along the route - such as the Bioch or Jimmy hut in Alta Badia. Winter sports enthusiasts continue on well-groomed slopes that lead to the mountain village of Corvara. The descent to Selva di Val Gardena follows via the Passo Gardena - here you can take another break, for example in the Comici hut.

We continue to Trentino and thanks to the ski lifts to the Sellajoch. Once you have reached the Belvedere ski area, you can take a cable car from Val di Fassa to Alba di Canazei. A real treat awaits skiers and snowboarders here. Because the crossing of the Val Jumela, away from the busiest routes, is a real paradise for winter sports enthusiasts. After more fantastic slopes you reach the village of Pozza di Fassa. Anyone who has arrived here is around 40 kilometers as the crow flies from the starting point in Cortina d'Ampezzo and has covered a distance, including lifts, of around 80 kilometers. If you want to strengthen yourself again, you can try the "Geyser" piste restaurant, for example.

Once you have arrived in Pozza di Fassa, you can take public buses over the Karerpass to Bozen. From there you can take the train north again to start your journey home. If you want, you can of course extend your vacation and explore other stretches of the area.

The tour described can be completed in two to three days - the skiing fun does not fall by the wayside, as many slopes are just waiting to be discovered. Those who start from Cortina d'Ampezzo have various accommodation options. For a stop, Selva di Val Gardena would be a two-day tour and San Cassiano in Alta Badia and Canazei in Val di Fassa would be a three-day tour.