Cortina d’Ampezzo is both fashionable and beautiful in equal measure. Located just two hours north of Venice, Cortina offers a ski destination where activities off the slopes bear equal importance to the on-slope activities. If you like to ski or board, but also like to eat, drink, socialise, sunbathe and shop, then this is the place for you!
The stylish town sits at 1,225m in the Ampezzo valley, in amongst some of the most stunning scenery in Italy (if not the world). The resort has a deep history, especially around the time of WW1 when the area was on the front line.
Cortina ticks so many boxes for skiers and non-skiers alike. On the slopes, the skiing is simply wonderful with long quiet pistes, immaculate grooming and incredible scenery. The mountain restaurants are also fantastic. In the pedestrianised town centre, not only are there some gorgeous boutiques and super pizzerias, but as the ski day comes to a close, the apres-ski begins during which stylish and civilised cafes and wine-bars come to life.
There is also a great range of accommodation to suit every taste and budget. The ski area itself is split into two main areas and the combined area is a modest 115kms of piste. There is a regular bus service that never keeps you waiting too long, and should you be visiting Cortina for more than three days, a short bus trip (or taxi) to link up with the Sella Ronda is well worth it to add to the vast range of slopes on offer in the region.
120km (360km in linked area with Zermatt)
December – April
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Cortina is an excellent ski resort for beginners with good nursery slopes and plenty of wide gentle runs on which to progress. The Socrepes area is where to go there is a ski school based at the lower station and a nice long beginner slope. This area sits at a reasonable altitude which keeps the snow in good shape, however it can get busy in peak periods and the whole getting on a bus experience may put complete first timers off.
Cortina offers a huge amount of blue runs, making it perfect for early intermediates looking for some confidence building runs. The chairlift accesses incredible blue and red runs, but the best snow can be found in the high-alpine Tofana ski area. Lower-down Pomedes area again offers some great red runs and allows for a long ski to Socrepes, where you can find a great lunch and a lively apres-ski scene. Faloria, which is accessed via the cable car from the village, not linked to the above-mentioned areas, offers intermediates some exhilarating red and blue runs which generally hold snow well.
Cortina is fairly limited when it comes to on-piste challenges, however the Forcella on the Tofana side is well worth a ski. Experts should also head to the Staunies on the Cristallo, (if they are open) as the off piste is simply sensational.
The beginner section on the left applies equally to snowboarders as it does to skiers. For those looking for some powder, and or a challenge, head to the highest point in the Tofana area, which rises to 3243m and you’ll find plenty of stuff to check out from the Summit. The terrain is varied, with steep pitches and nice rollers to jump off, but not many natural kickers. Whilst Cortina doesn’t have a park, it does have plenty of natural lips and dips with some cool drop-offs and big banks to catch air from. Again, the Tofana area has the best terrain.
Beyond the confines of the town there is excellent walking and cross country skiing while the Olympic facilities, for skating in particular, are exceptional. Don’t forget that simply riding a cable car here is an extraordinary experience – with top quality restaurants at the far end, it can make a complete day out.
Winter walking and snowshoeing in Cortina
It’s difficult to imagine a better mountain landscape for walking in winter (and summer) with numerous mountain refuges for leisurely lunches and to enjoy the spectacular Dolomite views, by daylight or moonlight, but especially, the enchanted time before sunset when the peaks are tinged with red refelctions.
Cross-country skiing in Cortina
The Fiames Nordic Ski Centre is the focal point for cross-country skiing around an open field and on the track of the former railway line. There’s up to 10km high altitude cross country skiing for experts at the Tre Croci Pass (1,800m) with various routes and detours and spectacular views. The cross-country ski school (10 instructors) at Fiames offers private or group lessons (for 5-8 people) for adults and children. Cross-country ski gear available for rental at Fiames. Open: 08:30-16:30 from December to mid-April. Tel: +39 0436 4903. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tobogganing in Cortina
There’s a 1km long toboggan run at Guargne served by the Mietres chairlift and snowbob toboggans available for hire at the base station. Also, a number of mountain refuges organise moonlit toboggan descents after-dinner.
Ice skating and curling in Cortina
The Olympic Ice Stadium has been fully renovated and is now a covered indoor ice stadium open to the public for ice skating in winter and summer, and with instruction available for those that need it. The ice rink also hosts 1st division ice hockey championships. Tel: +39 0436 881812. If you prefer your feet more firmly grounded, the Cortina Curling Centre is open from December until mid-April with instructors and national team athletes available for individual instruction or group lessons. Tel: +39 0436 2400. Email: email@example.com. Web: www.curlingcortina.it
Snowkiting in Cortina
As an alternative to more conventional forms of skiing or boarding, thrill seekers can experience being pulled along on skis or a borad by wind-powered snow kite with indificual and group courses available for beginners and advanced including freestyle and freeride options. For more information contact Kite4Freedom Tel: +39 331 488 5789. Email: info@kite4freedom. Web: www.kite4freedom.it
Ice driving in Cortina
Top Gear enthusiasts may like to try the excitement of ice driving in safety, available from December to February at Fiames (3km from Cortina), with expert instruction from rally driver Franco Munari and to test the limits of a Mitsubishi Evo VIII rally car equipped with winter studded tyres and telecamera. For more information contact Snow Ice Tel: +39 349 764 8279. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Walking through History
War history can be relived at sunset, through the tales of reenactors dressed in vintage uniforms, while snowshoeing on the trails by the rocky walls of the restored emplacement of Col Gallina stronghold, accompanied by Alpine Guides.
The most extended open air museum of WW1
Extended over a 5-km area, the largest open air museum of the Great War includes the Lagazuoi, Cinque Torri, Sass de Stria and Forte Tre Sassi museums and can be also reached on skis.
Astronomy enthusiasts have the opportunity to observe the night sky at the Helmut Ullrich Observatory on Col Drusci, under the expert guide of Cortina Stelle amateur astronomers. Gazing at the sky through the telescopes to discover the magic of the universe, wandering among nebulae, planets, and constellations.
View the live snow report for Cortina here
Cortina d’Ampezzo is family and child-friendly. There is a children’s slope with its own double chairlift at the base area of Socrepes. The little ones can play on the many easy slopes near the valley. There is a children’s area in the village of Cortina d’Ampezzo and there are swings and slides at some of the mountain stations. The toboggan run from Col Tondo is also very popular children’s slope – The children’s slope is accessed with its own pommel lift and is ideal for the little ones. There is a playground with swings and funny characters right near the lift. Snowdreamers + Kids Village – The children’s area in Pocol offers castle slides and swings as well as its own tubing run.
Grand Hotel Savoia
The closest airports to Cortina d’Ampezzo are Treviso Airport, Venice – Marco Polo Airport, Verona Airport, and Innsbruck Airport in Austria. The main International Airport near Cortina is Marco Polo Airport.
Driving in your car towards Cortina from Venice, you will pass Longarone and Tai and Valle in Cadore villages. You will enter to the valley of River Boite – you can enjoy the view of Pelmo mountain and Antelao to the right part. After San Vito village, you can enjoy the vista of the wonderful Ampezzo Valley, surrounded by mountains and forests with Cortina d’Ampezzo laying right in the middle of the valley.
The nearest train stations are located in Calalzo di Cadore (22 mi / 37 km), connected by Dolomiti Bus, and in Dobbiaco (19 mi / 31 Km) connected by SAD bus service. Time table: trenitalia.com
Discover also the Trenobus delle Dolomiti, train and bus services to enjoy the Dolomites also if you want to ride your own bike. For more information, timetables and reservations, please contact the bus companies or the Se.am. website and ticket office.
]The bus link Cortina d’Ampezzo to/from Mestre (Venice) is ran by Cortina Express; these bus links synchronies with the arrivals and departures of Eurostar trains from/to Milan. The bus link Bologna Train Station to/from Cortina d’Ampezzo is ran by Cortina Express/Zani bus line; these bus links are synchronized with the Eurostar trains coming from Florence-Rome-Napoli and the Adriatica railway (Rimini-Ancona-Pescara-Bari).