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The Dolomites, Italy

Thursday, October 11, 2007

The Dolomites are a section of the Italian Alps, nestled against Austria. The region is commonly divided into the western and eastern Dolomites, separated by a line following the Val Badia-Campolongo Pass. They span from the Southern Venetian plains to the board of Austria in the north. More than a dozen massifs comprise The Dolomites and most are over 3000 metres above sea level. They were formed 200 million years ago and are actually an ancient coral reef transformed into mountain peaks.

The tourist mecca includes more than 40 glaciers and is loved for its skiing, mountain climbing, cross country skiing, snow boarding and base jumping.

The snow usually falls in The Dolomites from the beginning of December to mid April. It is commonplace to have snow depths of four metres or more in higher parts. As well as great snow conditions and superb natural beauty, you get to enjoy irresistible Italian culture and cuisine.

The Dolomites is a cheaper option for European ski holidays compared to France, Switzerland and Austria as Italy's general cost of living is lower than the other countries. That doesn't mean it's not chic. The six constellation towns of Alta Badia is short-break heaven, with more Michelin-starred restaurants per square metre than anywhere in the world. It is just 200 kilometres from Venice.

Alta Badia is part of the Dolomite Superski which is a pass introduced in 1974 by a group of forward-thinking Italians. It made autonomous ski areas accessible with just one pass, and resulted in the world's biggest ski arena. One pass gives access to 12 varied and family-friendly ski resorts and a remarkable 1200 kilometres of perfectly prepared slopes.

Mountain huts known as rifugios are sprinkled all over the slopes. Locals and tourists gather around glowing fires and enjoy local wines and food. The setting sun turns the Dolomites a hazy, chalky pink which causes people to just stop and stare. It's a scene only nature can provide.

You can have your skiing trip perfectly organised before you leave home, thanks to a local ski tour company.

Skiare is owned and operated by Thomas and Debbie Peintner. Thomas was born in Bolzano and raised on the ski fields of Alta Badia. He was a member of the South Tyrolean racing squad by the age of 14. They specialise in arranging personalised and professional skiing tours to Alta Badia. The company has been running for over four years and 75 percent of their clients return each year. Carefully chosen international instructors ensure you get the best out of your dream holiday, and they are quite capable of turning first-time skiers into enthusiasts.

The Peintners have carefully selected a range of four-, three- and two-star hotels, as well as apartment-style properties to suit your needs. The families who run the properties extend a warm welcome to all guests and insist they make themselves at home. All properties are close to the ski slopes which is a blessing after an exhausting day — you just want to relax in a steam room, spa or heated pool.

The Getaway crew enjoyed staying at the Hotel Christiana. It is cosy and beautifully appointed, and reflects a feeling of gemuetlichkeit, a German word meaning a sense of tranquillity, serenity, peace and comfort. Its views are breathtaking and sets the stage for vacation dreams.


The north of Italy.


Skiare has seven-night ski packages at Alta Badia, 200 kilometres from Venice, including three-star bed and breakfast accommodation, ski passes, instruction, airport transfers and a day trip to Cortina. They start at $2516 per person twin share. The same package with accommodation at Hotel Christiana is $3693 per person twin share.

Emirates has flights to Venice.

From fare

Valid for travel between October 4-November 11, 2007 and January 17-February 24, 2008.

For more information

PO Box 913
New Farm 4005
Ph: 1300 88 5504
or (07) 3843 6870 in Australia
Fax: (07) 3843 6156 in Australia

Hotel Christiana
Colz Street 109-I-39030
La Villa Alta Badia
Ph: +39 0471 84 70 16

The Dolomites official website

Ph: 1300 303 777

User comments
I went to the Dolomites in February 2006 with Skiare. I strongly recommend visiting there if you're a powder hound. The snow was INSANE, had the best powder back country day and the ski terrain is huge all around the Dolomites region and caters for all skiers. At that same time I went to Chamonix and Zermatt, but the best snow was in the Dolomites. Thomas and Debbie of Skiare are so helpful and friendly and really look after the aussies.

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