The Not to Miss Ski Tours of the Dolomites
Known for its breathtaking panoramic views, rich history, endless outdoor activities, and gourmet food fit for the gods, the Dolomite Mountains offer more: some of the best on-piste ski touring in the world. These incredible mountains feature 16 skiing tours through 12 different ski resorts, all lift-accessible on a single ski pass! The slopes are many – 1,200 kilometers or 746 miles of prepared pistes – and perfect for skiers of every skill level, offering something for everyone to enjoy.
On these ski tours, you can discover the mountains in comfort with lifts and cable cars. No hiking, no snowshoeing, no skinning – just skiing, pure and simple. These tours encompass the entire system of resorts and are the doorway to 450 lift systems in by far the largest skiing carousel world wide. No where else in the world can you access such a variety of lift-service ski tours covering so much ground.
Among these world-class ski tours, there are a few that shouldn’t be missed. Below is a list of some of our favourites, selected for their incredible skiing, breathtaking scenery, fascinating history, or savory cuisine, and, in many cases, all of the above!
This fantastic tour circumnavigates the Sella Massif, and is one of the most spectacular ski tours of the world. Considered somewhat of a “merry-go-round” for intermediate level skiers, this unique circular connection of lifts and runs was once the only way the ancient inhabitants of the Ladin villages could maintain a connection with each other. Nowadays it’s a modern day carousel that connects four Dolomite passes, four Ladin valleys (Val Gardena, Alta Badia, Val di Fassa, and Livinallongo), and three districts – you’ll have the opportunity to see more of the Dolomites in one day than many see on an entire trip! The route can be done clockwise, by following the orange arrow signs, or counter-clockwise by following the green arrows. The Sellaronda is a relatively short tour can be easily done in one day, without ever having to remove your skis! With a length of just under 40 kilometers (25 miles), 26 of which are ski slopes (16 miles), but requiring approximately 2 hours of ski lift travel time and high elevations, it is recommended that the tour begin in the morning to ensure ample time for completion before lift service closes for the day.
The Great War Ski Tour
Known by a variety of names including the Great War Ski Tour, the Freedom Tour, the Giro della Grande Guerra, and the First World War Ski Tour, this tour takes skiers under the cliff walls of some of the most amazing Dolomites summits (Marmolada, Sella, Sassongher, Conturines, Fanis, Lagazuoi, Tofane, Cinque Torri [Five Towers], Nuvolao-Averau, Monte Pelmo, Civetta) and offers breathtaking panoramic views unmatched anywhere in the world. It also takes you around the Col di Lana, the epicenter of the battles between Austrian, German and Italian troops. A wonderful contrast is drawn between the pristine and silent slopes and the rich history of the various war-relics that can be found in this area. In between ski runs, let your experienced guide show you long-forgotten ditches, tunnels and bunkers that once served as shelter for Italian and Austrian soldiers – a veritable open-air museum of WWI history. And there is even a museum edifice to visit in Marmolada, The Museum of the Great War, the highest altitude museum in all of Europe! From here, skiers marvel at the incredible ice walls of the “Great Canyon” of the Serrai of Sottoguda, at the foot of Marmolada.
This tour requires the entire day; including time for lunch you'll be on the move for 7 to 8 hours covering 82.5 kilometers (51 miles), 31 kilometers (19 miles) of which, a good half of the day, are on skis. Lifts, ski busses, and a romantic horse-drawn sleigh ride round out the rest of the distance covered. And have we mentioned the skiing? The run from Lagazuoi to Armentarola and the Punta Rocca run (over the Marmolada glacier towards Malga Ciapela) are particularly spectacular.
A final stop: in addition to fantastic history and skiing, the area of this tour also boasts one of the most unique bars in the world. Located on the Fertazza plateau, it’s fashioned completely from ice and is equipped with 100 different flavors of schnapps to sample!
Ski Tour Olympia
In 1956, the Winter Olympics were broadcast on television for the first time – EVER. And these Winter Olympics took place in the Dolomites’ Cortina d’Ampezzo, right on these very slopes:
- Pista Olympia (Stratofana), the protagonist in the Downhill race
- Pista Vitelli, the protagonist in the Giant Slalom
- Pista "a" Col Druscié, the protagonist in the Slalom
The Ski Tour Olympia enables highly skilled skiers to experience those very same tracks. Not sure your skiing is up to Olympic calibre? The Olympia Tour offers a variety of slopes to suit skiers of differing skill levels, so skiers of all ability levels can participate in this historic and unique ski arena!
The Olympia tour can be tackled in either one or two days. En route you’ll cross over several summits including the Tofana di Rozes (3,120m / 10,236'), Monte Cristallo (3,221m / 10,568'), Monte Faloria (2,123m / 6,965'), and Forcella Staunies (3,221m / 10,567'), with many other unique features to explore and enjoy.
- The Tofana and the run from Pomedes to Rumerlo offer lightning fast slopes amid unusual rock formations.
- Stop in and see the Duca d’Aosta hut, which housed the Olympic flame before the opening ceremonies.
- Advanced skiers will enjoy the challenge of the Vitelli slope, Stratondi, Canalone Franchetti, Tondi Normale and Slittone, with the ultimate run of the Canalone Staunies available for the most experienced skiers.
Throughout, great skiing fun is assured! All this skiing making you hungry? The healthy and tasty 'Olympia dish' served at some traditional huts along the itinerary is also worth trying.
Still haven’t met your adrenaline quota? Then don’t deny yourself the pleasure of just one more Olympic experience: a thrilling trip by Taxi Bob Sleigh on the trail of legendary Olympic champion Eugenio Monti who hails from Cortina!
Marmolada Ski Tour
The aptly named “Queen of the Dolomites”, this mountain boasts the highest peak of all the Dolomites, reaching a height of 3,342 meters (10,965'), and provides some of the most spectacular skiing experiences on earth. This tour begins in Arabba and moves on to Porta Vescovo, which offers mesmerizing views of the Marmolada Glacier. Next, skiers continue on the Ornella run to Pescoi, over the ridge of Passo Padon, on through the Passo Fedaia and to Punta Rocca. An incredible tour, it covers over 1,300 meters (4,265') in elevation and offers an astonishing 12 kilometer-long (7.5 mile-long) run. The Marmolada Tour not only offers amazing ski adventures, but also provides some of the most beautiful views in the world.
Trevalli Ski Tour
Also known as a “Tour of Emotions”, this tour is set in such natural beauty that it often evokes strong feelings from those who partake. It begins at the famous Tre Valli ski resort and offers a tour of the villages of Moena, Lusia, Passo San Pellegrino and Falcade, where exciting views of the Dolomite peaks will follow one after another. You’ll travel through the natural park of Paneveggio, where there are several traditional wooden huts, chalets, and ski bars to stop and rest. Multiple fast chairlifts provide skiers with access to various peaks and runs, such as Col Margherita, from which there are incredible 360° panoramic views of the Civetta, the south side of the Marmolada, the mountain chain of the Catinaccio, and other well known summits. Ground travel between runs is free, in the form of a skibus.
The 1970 Gardena World Championship Tour
Located primarily in the Gröden Valley, this tour consists of some of the most amazing ski slopes in the world, and is the home of several 1970 World Champions which is how the tour got its name.
- Karl Schranz became Giant Slalom World Champion on the very run where the tour now winds its way to Selva Gardena.
- Annerösli Zryd, also bore the title of World Champion for conquering Dantecepies.
- And Swiss Bernard Russi was also crowned champion in 1970 on the Saslong, one of the most popular runs for skiing enthusiasts on the Gardena tour.
In the afternoon sunshine the tour leads on to Col Raiser, and ends with 9 kilometer (5.6 mile) romantic run to Ortisei.
Alpe di Siusi – The Witches’ Tour
This unique tour has routes dating back to the 1600’s, when Castle Prösels was the setting of many witch trials. History states that the majority of the mysterious supernatural events leading up to these trials happened on Alpe di Siusi. There are seven “stations” to see during this tour, and a variety of activities such as the fun park, the witches’ humpback run, a witch’s chimney, (an obstacle course made of snow), and the witches’ park, containing life-size figurines. This tour is certainly packed with fun for the whole family!
Santa Croce Ski Tour (Gourmet Tour)
Perhaps the best has been saved for last, as this tour offers the best of everything in the Dolomites. Ski slopes that vary from easy to moderate offer enjoyment for families and skiers looking for a day of relaxation, enjoying the culture and natural beauty of the region. Skiing is accompanied by a feast of local delicacies which are available along the whole route of the tour. In fact, each family-owned refuge along the route is specially equipped with its own unique dish which can be enjoyed with a savory glass of local wine. From Col Alto or Piz Sorega to Santa Croce, the entire tour can be made without removing your skis. Skiers can stop, enjoy some delicious local cuisine and take in the breathtaking views of the area.
For ski enthusiasts, the Dolomites offers some of the best runs on earth, all amidst the backdrop of exquisite views and natural wonders. These seven tours should be on every skier’s to-do list.
Still want more? Other ski tours in the Dolomites include:
- Ladin Legends Ski Tour follows in the footsteps of where the traditional stories and fables of the Dolomites took place.
- Nature Reserves Ski Tour where you’ll ski within two of the Dolomites most beautiful Nature Parks, Puez-Odle and Fanes-Sennes-Braies.
- Ski Tour Panorama takes you to the summit of Sella Brunech (2,428m / 7,966'), where he panorama from here will leave you breathless and astonished: from the Rosengarten to the Sassolungo to the Marmolada.
- On the King Laurin Ski Tour you’ll visit the Paolina hut with a panoramic view which is simply out of this world, looking over the kingdom of the legendary dwarf king who was proud of his Rosengarten.
- Enjoy “a trip in the sunshine on skis” on the Meridiana Alternativ where you’ll follow the sunny slopes as you ski around Sesto Peak which acts as a veritable sundial!
- The Magnifica Comunità is actually a series of three different tours that show off the sunny arena of the Magnificent Community of Fiemme/Obereggen: the Forest of the Violin, the actual forest from which the wood the Stradivari violins was harvested; the Fables and Stories tour which leads through a fantasy world of dwarfs, giants, and bewitched princesses; and the Coral Mountains/Latemar Marionettes tour which highlights the Dolomites geologic makeup of 270-year-old coral mountains within a sea of algae and fish, today known as the mineral “Dolomite.”
- Ski Tour Wildlife offers some of the best opportunities for spotting winter wildlife in the Dolomites, including golden eagles and chamois (a native European goat-antelope species).
- The Plose History Skiing Tour follows the trail of the early pioneers of skiing in the Dolomites, and visits some of the early establishments and shelters, including a monastery known for its outstanding wine cellar!
There’s always another tour or an unexplored run to discover skiing in the Dolomites!