The spectacular Dolomites in north-east Italy has been argued by many as "the most beautiful mountain range in Europe" but whatever your view there is no escaping the dramatic effects the sun has on the rugged peaks from early morning until twilight. And with a programmed snow-making system now ensuring a 90 per cent guaranteed covering of the runs throughout the winter the 2007-08 season promises to prove an attraction for even more British enthusiasts.
The broad Val di Fassa is not just beautiful, it attracts a good deal of sunshine with breathtaking scenery and with the main villages of Canazei, Campitello and Pozza offering skiing from 1460m up to 2950m, there is ample skiing for all grades of enthusiasts. The region is divided into nine main skiing areas covering 220 kms of runs served by a total of 80 lifts with numerous mountain huts where skiers can stop and enjoy refreshments and take in the views.
The ski area of Val di Fassa/Carezza has 120km of ski runs of which 24km is blue; 87km is red; and 9km black. Here you will find 53 lifts of which 10 are gondolas; 27 chair lifts; 16 ski lifts. Canazei-Belvedere-Passo Pordoi covers 22.2km of which 19km is medium/difficult red and these are served by 13 lifts, 2 are cable cars; 2 cableways, 7 chairs and 2 ski lifts. Combined they offer an hourly capacity of 14,546.
The resort area of Campitello-Col Rodella-Passo Sella has 16.8km of ski runs of which 15.8km is medium/difficult red and just 1km of easy/blue. This region has 1 cable car; 1 cableway, 5 chairs, 3 ski lifts and offers a direct link to Sellaronda and a 26km ski tour around the Sella Massif.
Pozzo di Fassa-Buffaure has 16.5km of ski runs where there is a 1.4km difficult/black; 14.1km of medium/difficult red; 1km of easy/blue and these are served by 7 lifts of which 1 cable car; 4 chairs and 2 ski lifts. There is night skiing on the "Pista Aloch" covering 1.6km. The ski area known as Vigo di Fassa-Ciampedie covers 16km of ski runs with a 1km dificult black piste; 10km of medium/difficult red runs; 5km of easy/blue served by 6 lifts with 1 cableway and 5 chair lifts.
Passo Carezza covers 28km of ski runs with 3.3km of black; 11.6km of red and 13.1km of easy blue. There are 10 lifts. Alternatively, the ski area - Tre Valli covers 100km of runs with 7.8km of black pistes; 60km of red runs and 32.2km of blue. The Tre Valli has 27 lifts including 3 gondolas, 15 chair lifts and 9 ski lifts. S.Pellegrino-Col Margherita-Falcade covers 74km of runs with 6.6km of black, 40.8km of red and26.6km of blue. This area has 19 lifts, most of which are chair lifts.
The Val di Fassa has other areas as well and the visitor will probably be hard-pressed to get around the whole region, that is unless you are a really good, fit skier.
There are five ski schools with more than 200 ski instructors who can offer conventional skiing, carving, telemark, snowboarding and lessons for children. There are quite a few "Snow Kinder Parks" and details can be obtained from the Val di Fassa tourist office in Canazei.
Apres ski life is certainly well catered for with a lot of pubs, live music, disco bars, and alpine refuges that can be reached at night b y motor sledge, in itself an experience worth sampling! In every village there are several restaurants and pizzerias with original Ladin cookery and the best Italian dishes. To relax, Val di Fassa has swimming and Wellness Centres, a spa with sulphurous waters, guided snowshoe excursions and NOT TO BE MISSED a night ride on a cable car to 2950m to a panorama terrace to watch sunsets and gain views only available from this dizzy height!
If you are travelling to the Val di Fassa by car from Calais you want the motorway A22 and exit Egna/Ora via Cavalese, Predazzo and then Moena in Val di Fassa. If you are flying then the nearest airports are: Bergamo (260km), Brescia (220km), Venezia (170km), Verona (182km). Your tour operator may user different airports to these listed.