Cortina d'Ampezzo guide & reviews
Ski area, apres-ski, things to see & do in Cortina
Skiing in Cortina d‟Ampezzo, - it is one of Italy‟s most famous ski resorts and tourist destinations and is a thoroughbred in the ski world. Close to the Austrian border, Cortina is at the far North Eastern corner of the Veneto region, 72km from Belluno and close to the region of Trentino-Alto Adige.
At an altitude of 1224m, the valley is immersed in a landscape of unparalleled natural beauty, surrounded by some of the most mesmerizing mountains in the world which were recently declared a World Natural Heritage Site by UNESCO:
- The Tofane, perhaps the most impressive group of all the mountains that overlook the Ampezzo valley, have three main peaks, all of which are taller than 3000m
- The Cristallo, with its 3221m, is one of the most majestic and celebrated mountains in the Dolomites, and together with Pomagagnon it closes the Ampezzo valley to the north
|Key information (local area)|
|Season||Dec - April|
|Apres ski||Chic & sophisticated|
Cortina ski area guide
Skiing in Cortina - linked to the largest ski system in the World with over 1220km of marked pistes served by 450 lifts all covered by the Super Dolomiti ski Pass!! Cortina is also the only Italian resort that is included in the prestigious "Best Of The Alps Group" which covers resorts such as Chamonix and Megeve.
From early December until April, Dolomiti Superski guarantees perfectly groomed slopes, 90% of which are between 1500m and 3269m, for snow-sure skiing at high altitude. Whilst there is no glacier skiing within the local ski area, the higest mountain in the Dolomites - the Marmolada - does provide glacier skiing and guarantees snow.
The best slopes to get your skiing career off to a flying start are at Sorcrepes and Mietres. Here, you have gentle nursery slopes and lots of uncrowded tree-lined blue runs.
Intermediates have almost unlimited options as to where to ski given the vast terrain skiable via the Super Dolomiti lift pass - the only problem you have is getting back if you ski to far! A good area to try out first is from the top of Faloria (2231m) which is the starting point for many ski-runs and routes used by hikers in summer.
Cortina is home to the steepest run in the Dolomites - the Canalone Staunies - with a 64 degree gradient!! For some extreme skiing, try the steep ridges of the Creste Bianche, Bus di Tofana, Canalino del Prete or on the Sci 18 after you have skinned to the top!
The Cortina Snowpark is located in Socrepes within the Tofana ski area, on the San Zan piste and is 500 meters long, serviced by a 4 seat chairlift and is divided into two areas with different levels of difficulty.
Things to see & do
As in most resorts, there are lots of other things to do...
- Snow Kiting
- Ice Trekking along frozen streams
- Sledging - the 7 km descent to the town on the snow covered road is excellent fun!
Cortina also has some interesting extras such as the Ski Tour La Dolce Vita.
This is a new way of skiing - the "Slow-Ski mood"!! Instead of burning down the pistes as fast as you can, Slow-Ski is to relax, enjoy and take in the ambience of the mountains. Special pistes have been created across the areas of 5-Torri, Lagazuoi and Armentarola where the Dolca Vita Tour includes breaks where you can enjoy coffee, aperitifs and gourmet food savouring the culinary specialties of the valley.
Cortina maybe on the border to Austria but dont expect nightlife like you may get in St. Anton or Ischgl - Cortina is more refined with numerous trendy wine bars in which to sip an aperitivo (typically a proseco). After dinner, the action gets going again and the clubs start to fill up and carry on until the early hours.
The historic Corso Italia is one of the most famous shopping streets in Italy lined with designer boutiques. In Via XXIX Maggio you find household goods, sports, furniture and handicraft shops while via Cesare Battisti is a paradise for sport shop enthusiasts.
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Our view on Cortina
We think Cortina is one of those ski resorts you have to experience at least once in your life - amazing skiing terrain, breath taking views, first class accommodation, superb mix of authentic Italian and Austrian cuisine and impeccable service - it takes some beating.
- Cortina is very similar to Verbier in terms of booking ahead for lunch, if not more so due to the Italian's love for their food. Make sure you book a table at least the day before in the top refuges otherwise you simply won't get in!
- The Croda da Lago “Palmieri” refuge offers a brand new way to pamper yourself at 2046m - a Finnish sauna situated between the refuge and the beautiful Lake Federa. A unique experience with good food, stunning scenery and a hot steam bath!
- Try the famous 24km Sella Ronda tour starting at Arabba - breath taking scenery and great fun