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Alta Badia Review

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Alta Badia Review

Rating: ★★★★★ 9,5 out of 10

“Alta Badia with surrounding areas is one of the best ski resorts in Italy and Europe. It is situated in breath taking Dolomites (huge stone blocks rising from the ground, UNESCO World Heritage Site). Alta Badia consists of several villages: Corvara, Colfosco, La Villa, San Cassiano, Badia and La Val. All places have old fashioned Alpine charm and architecture. Ski lifts are connected to unique Sella Ronda system of lifts and slopes. Whole area is part of Dolomiti Superski domain. Pistes in such big area are diverse, skiers of all levels and interests will find what they need. Slopes grooming is perfect. Skiing, food, scenery everything is world class. Alta Badia is obligatory destination of every ski enthusiast.

Pros: Sella Ronda carusel (ski touring without walking), great diversity of slopes, fantastic scenery, freeride spots and snow parks

Cons: there are flat spots and areas where you will have to make short walk in order to get to next lift, night life

alta-badia-ski-map

SLOPES

Alta Badia is part of Dolomiti Superski domain, one of the biggest in the world. It has mind blowing 1,200 km of pistes, but (unfortunately there is always but) they are not connected. You will need to find a way to get from one to another. Dolomiti Superski combines 16 different resort into one mega domain. Most famous place is Cortina d’Ampezzo (host of 1956 Winter Olympic Games).

Having said that I must highlight that Alta Badia with its surrounding areas is so interesting that you won’t need to commute to other parts of Dolomiti Superski.  Alta Badia has lift connection with Arabba/Marmolada, Fassa Carezza, and Val Gardena (around 500 km of pistes). Highest peak is Marmolada at 3.342 m. Alta Badia alone has 130 km of pistes (70 km blue, 52 km red and 8 km black).

Together they are connected with system of lifts and slopes called Sella Ronda. The system enables people to ski tour without having to walk. Sella Ronda is network constructed around beautiful Sella massif. It is 37 km long (23 km of skiing in one direction, the rest of the length is covered by lifts). You can start at one point and ski for several hours after which you will end on the same spot without coming down same slope twice. All the lifts are marked and you can follow your progress on a map. You can go clock wise or anti clock wise (orange or green colour on the map).

It will take you substantial amount of time. You will have to spend 2 hours on lift rides, so plan your time. There are some flat spots and places where you will have to make a short walk in order to catch next lift. Also you will need physical fitness and at least intermediate ski/board ability.

If you are good skier don’t miss La Villa black world cup piste called Gran Risa. It is really interesting, but watch out there are steep and icy patches.

You should definitely visit Marmolada peek. Choose sunny day because of stunning view. If you like long runs (who doesn’t) get down along 12 km long Pista Bellunese (longest in Dolomiti). TIP: Leave early from your accommodation because some lifts are old and slow. There are queues on huge cable car leading to the top.

FREERIDE AND TERRAIN PARKS

Alta Badia is perfect for freeride lovers. You will find lot of interesting spots. Most famous area is Val de Misde accessible from Sass Pordoi lift. Don’t expect to find lot of fresh snow there.  Piz Boe is in the neighborhood but be careful, hire guide. Area around Marmolada is also worth visiting.

Dolomiti Superski boasts with 30 snow parks. Alta Badia has one of the biggest in domain. It is situated near Ciampai lift. You will find lines for every level, all possible elements are there. As you go around Sella Ronda you will stumble on to snow parks. Val Gardena has excellent park with funny features like car as a part of line, tunnels made of snow etc. There are border cross slopes as well.

HOW TO GET TO ALTA BADIA

Alta Badia is situated in north eastern Italy, South Tyrol province. Quickest way to get there is obviously by airplain. Closest airport is in Bolzano, it is 110 km away from Corvara, you will need 1h 30 min to cover that distance by car. Innsbruck airport is 134 km away (2h by car). Treviso airport is 160 km away and it will take you 2h and 40 min by car. For transfer from an airport you can use taxi companies but if your budget is smaller there are also shuttle buses with several departures per day.

Alta Badia region is high in the mountains thus heavy snow falls are regular. If you are driving you will need winter tyres and snow chains. Length of your journey  will depend on the weather.

If you are getting there by train, Brunico should be your last station. It is closest station to the resort and it has best transfer connection. Brunico is 36 km away and you will need 50 min by car.

WHERE TO STAY IN ALTA BADIA

There is wide choice of 4 stars hotels and limited number of 5 star hotels. If you wish to save money you will be able to find big number of good value for money apartments. In this case try to avoid dates around Christmas and February.

Corvara is the biggest village in the area. There is ski bus which will take you from your accommodation to first lift. There is small number of ski in/out places where you can stay.

WHAT TO DO AFTER DAY ON SNOW (APRES-SKI) IN ALTA BADIA

Alta Badia feels more like Austria than Italy, from language (everybody speak German) to mentality of local people. Evenings are quiet, shops close early. We were there in last week of January and other visitors were mostly middle age or elderly people.

You can visit 2 museums in San Cassiano. First one is Museo Storico Grande Guerra where you can see how soldiers used to fight during WWI in harsh conditions, on high altitude and bad weather. Second museum is called Ladin Ursus Ladinicus . It is about natural history and geology.

If you like to party you will be disappointed but if you like tasty food you are on the right place. Restaurants have great meals made from local ingredients. There are 5 restaurants with Michelin stars. St. Hubertus in San Cassiano is the only one with 2 stars. Meal is going to cost you from 120 EUR there. Fornella at Corvara has good money for value pizzas. You should try food at Tavern Posta Zirm.

 

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