Discover a Winter Wonderland in South Tyrol
Home to eighty 3,000 metre high peaks, as well as the Dolomiti Superski (including the regions of Alta Badia and Val Gardena) and Ortler Skiarena, South Tyrol is every winter sport enthusiast’s dream. 300 days of annual sunshine, perfectly groomed ski runs and majestic high mountain scenery are all factors attracting skiers to the region.
The region offers excellent down hill and cross-country options for skiers and snowboarders of all levels, and for less experienced snow bunnies South Tyrol has 63 ski schools. After a day on the slopes, skiers and snowboarders can enjoy après ski fun in cosy log huts or drop in at events organised on and off the slopes. With only 2% of visitors coming from the UK, South Tyrol is a secret ski spot, waiting to be discovered, so this is definitely the place to come to escape crowded slopes and lift queues.
Most valleys boast easy access to the world's largest ski network, Dolomiti Superski, which features 12 skiing areas and 1,220kms of pistes, with many interlinked circuits, all available on one single pass. The circuits offer several panoramic viewpoints each, as well as traditional mountain refuges where visitors can sample the culinary specialities of the region.
The Dolomiti Superski’s flagship ski resort Plan de Corones/Kronplatz is amongst the most high-tech ski resorts in the world.
Artificial snow machines within its ski area will never be more than five years old and you will find over 100 kilometres of slopes, ranging from easy runs for beginners to hair-raising routes for experienced riders. The “ski mountain” can be reached from three villages and complimentary ski-bus services operate between the resort’s 14 villages to the lifts. For the 2006-7 season, a black piste “Piculin” was added as well as a connecting bus to the famous Sella Ronda.
Slopes and resorts rane in height from 935m - 2,275m(Plan de Corones/Kronplatz) where there are 59 runs and 32 lifts; through Val Gardena (1,236m - 2,519m) and 61 runs and 60 lifts; to Alta Badia (1,350m - 2,750m) and 95 runs and 51 lifts.
Thanks to an advance in technology, skiers and snowboarders in South Tyrol using the Dolomiti chip-card system can now go online at dolomitisuperski.com
, click on ski-performance and on inserting their ski pass code can access all the stats related to their performance on the slopes. They will see the number of kilometres covered, the changes in altitude experienced, and a map indicating the lift systems used, allowing them to set up targets for the next day, or show their friends back home what they have achieved.
South Tyrol was the first region in Italy to introduce a day ski pass for the 2007-8 season, through the Dolomiti chip-card system, saving precious minutes usually spent queuing at the ticket desk. After registration, it allows you to use the lift facilities freely, with the cost being charged automatically to your credit card the following day. The new day ski pass also entitles you to discounts off the standard price – 5% on the first five days, 10% from the sixth day onwards.
A new facility on dolomitisuperski.com also enables skiers to check out snow conditions and access phone numbers for booking accommodation, ski lessons or lunch at one of the huts on the slopes via your mobile phone.
What’s more, the innovative Dolomiti Superski Dating facility allows you to meet and ski with other single travellers. You can even monitor your ski performance and download the stats on the number of kilometres covered and lift systems used to your mobile phone or download detailed resort maps to plan a full itinerary. The online community allows users to leave and read suggestions on skiing tips in the area, view entertaining movies taken on the slopes or get involved in an online virtual competition.
South Tyrolean brand Techno Alpin is a world leader in artificial snow making facilities, and these have been improved for the 2008-9 season to ensure that almost 100% of the Dolomiti Superski slopes are covered, making it one of the top ski regions in the world.
Hotel Nives can be found in Val Gardena and is about to enter its first full winter season as the first boutique hotel in the valley (having opened in January 2008). With just 11 suites, the hotel has been designed to maximise the use of warm light, glass walls and space to create a luxurious feel. The hotel's state-of-the-art spa boasts a Finnish sauna, meditation room, Roman steam bath, aroma shower and massage treatment rooms. Prices start from €102 per person, per night on a half-board basis. This hotel is also featured by Inghams in their Ski & Snowboard 2008-9 brochureSella Ronda – a merry-go-round for skiers
South Tyrol also offers access to the Sella Ronda, a 26km circular tour around the dramatic Sella Massif Peak, with wellgroomed pistes and modern efficient lift systems. The Sella Ronda is one of the most exciting routes in the Alps and links four valleys in the Dolomites: the valleys Gardena, Fassa, Livinallongo and Badia. Alta Badia and Val Gardena (valgardena.it) are in South Tyrol. In roughly five hours skiers can complete the circular tour around the impressive rock formations of the Dolomites and are rewarded with some of the world’s most spectacular scenery. It is a merry-go-round for skiers, the only one of its kind and is made up of a series of ski-lifts and downhill runs, all linked to one another and set against a background of woods, rocky peaks and expanses of snow.
The Ortler Skiarena in the Western part of South Tyrol consists of 15 unconnected resorts all covered by one lift pass. Two of the resorts are not in South Tyrol, but they are still covered by the same pass. A total of 320km of pistes are served by eight cableways, 67 chair and draglifts and nine cable cars. The area is also home to two glaciers – Val Senales/Schnalstal with Val Senales offering year round skiing.
Winter activities off the slopes
South Tyrol also has plenty to offer those in search of alternative winter activities. Visitors can try their hand at bobsleighing, snow-shoe walking, Nordic walking, heli-skiing, horse riding, ice-skating, and ice climbing. There are also several festivals and events to enjoy, such as the ice sculpture festival and the Men’s World Cup Giant Slalom race which are held every year in the valley Alta Badia.
Tour operators featuring winter sports in South Tyrol include Inghams, Thomson, Crystal, Equity Ski, Esprit Ski, Momentum Ski, Neilson and Powder Byrne. Kuoni is also featuring the Rosa Alpina Hotel in San Cassiano for the first time for the 2008-9 season. If you're looking for Holidays in Sorrento
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