Dolomites: all the slopes and refuges not to be missed

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Pau Monfort
@paumonfort
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

The tour of the 4 passes (Sellaronda)

One of the most beautiful skiing that can be done in these parts is the very famous Tour of the 4 passes, also called Sellaronda. The circuit can be undertaken in both directions from any of the four locations around the Sella massif: Selva di Val Gardena, Corvara, Arabba and Canazei, but also from other ski resorts that are connected to it (Ortisei, San Cassiano, La Villa, etc.). In one day you can cover about 40 km of slopes always with skis on! Obviously you have to leave when the lifts open early in the morning and you must be sufficiently experienced skiers, otherwise you risk not having time to take the last lifts. Getting stuck 3/4 of a turn and having to take a taxi (as expensive as fire!) To go home is an evergreen that sooner or later happens to everyone!



The tour of the 4 passes also includes rather technical slopes such as “Arabba-Porta Vescovo” in Arabba (an often icy black one that darkens even the most experienced skiers) or the “Lupo Bianco” slope in Canazei, so don't take it lightly. Nearby there are also the “Saslong” slope in Selva di Val Gardena and the “Gran Risa” in La Villa, two wonderful slopes that every year host the Alpine Ski World Cup.

Skiing in Selva di Val Gardena and Canazei

Other very beautiful ski runs that can be done starting from both Selva and Canazei are the Marmolada and Lagazuoi.

The Marmolada

Also known as the "Queen of the Dolomites", it is the mountain with the highest peak (3344 m), which can be reached from Malga Ciapela with an endless 3-section cableway. However, the effort is amply rewarded by the spectacular panorama that can be enjoyed from up there! The downhill slope is 12 km long, but you can easily take a refreshing break on the beautiful terrace of the Capanna Bill Refuge (where, among other things, you can eat well!)



Lagazuoi and the Armentarola

Getting there from Selva or Canazei is quite long and you have to take a small bus connection (in fact it is close to Cortina d'Ampezzo), but it's definitely worth it! If I think about it, the Armentarola is probably my favorite track ever! You have to take the cable car from Passo Falsarego and arrive at the Lagazuoi Refuge. From here the view is magnificent! The track is pretty long (almost 10 km): stop halfway to see the impressive ice falls and eat at the Scotoni Refuge, an institution! Grab a deck chair and enjoy their grilled meat. Another peculiarity of this track is the fact that, when you reach the bottom, the connection that allows you to return back to La Villa is made with a sled pulled by horses: it seems to be in Lapland.

Obviously, as you will have understood, skiing is beautiful, but eating well is no exception!

The whole Dolomiti Superski area is dotted with huts and refuges, often panoramic, where you can eat very well. In the table below you will find my favorites.

But a day in the Dolomites certainly does not end with magnificent skiing. After all this effort, in fact, a self-respecting skier takes refuge in an aprés -ski. There are several in each town (see below for the details of Selva and Canazei), from the quietest to those where you end up dancing on the counter in a ski suit with a bombardino or a grappa in hand (e.g. at the Paradis di Canazei).


If you are not the type of alcohol, a valid alternative can be the pastry (there are very good ones, see below for details) or the wellness center. There are many hotels that have the wellness center also open to outsiders, but I particularly recommend the Dòlaondes Aquatic Center in Canazei. It is a municipal center, really nice with different thematic areas, saline bath outside, turkish bath, whirlpool, etc. I forgot, all at super-popular prices!


Finally, if you are an all-round sportsman, you can try your hand at ice skating to end the day with a flourish; every self-respecting town in the Dolomites has its own Ice Palace (if you're lucky you might be able to see some ice hockey games too… it's an experience!).

I think I have told you everything, or at least a lot, to make you fall in love with the Dolomites as I am.

But now .. all to ski that the season has just begun !!

PS Val Gardena just a few days ago won the international Oscar dedicated to the most interesting and fascinating ski areas and was awarded "Best ski area in Italy". The jury was made up of sports managers, tour operators, travel agencies, journalists and tourists. More than one million consumers from 24 countries contributed to the final vote. Nothing happens by chance ?

Where to eat in the Dolomites

Refuges and huts on the slopes

  • Panorama hut: at the end of the Dantercëpies cable car in Selva di Val Gardena, this hut offers a wonderful view over the whole valley. The food is good and you can sunbathe on the beautiful terrace
  • Baita Daniel: it can be reached by going to Seceda from Santa Cristina. A beautiful hut with a terrace right in the middle of the slopes. Order the famous spaghetti chefs!
  • Capanna Bill Refuge: stopping here is a great classic when you go to the Marmolada (it can also be reached by car from Malga Ciapela). Good food and nice big terrace
  • Scotoni Refuge: in the middle of the Armentarola in Lagazuoi, you will find us right in front of the icefall, a crazy view. It is a real institution! The grilled meat and the baked potatoes are AMAZING. Go quickly as she is being stormed.
  • Utia de trausines: same property as the Scotoni Refuge (see above) and the same menu for this hut located in La Villa, just below the Moritzino Club.
  • Comici Refuges: recently renovated, this Mountain Lounge (as they call themselves) is located above the Sella pass, in Selva di Val Gardena. It is a high-level refuge, where it is also possible to have an aperitif and dinner (they take you up with the snowcat). It has made a name for itself as a seafood restaurant and has become an institution. They also organize themed events / evenings
  • Club Moritzino: above Piz La Ila in Alta Badia, the Moritzino Club has been animating the Dolomites for more than 40 years. Perfect for vip-watching, for après-ski, for dining in a nice place and / or for romping on the slopes (even here they take you with the snowcat)
  • Ciampie hut: this hut is located near Pozza di Fassa (10 'drive from Canazei) and it is nice to go there in the evening for dinner. They take you up with the snowcat and then go back down with the sleds in the woods. They provide you with sleds and head light so you don't get lost in the woods.

Restaurants in Canazei

  • Après Ski Rosengarden: one of the most famous. In the center of the village, next to the church, the music and a bunch of skis and snowboards at the entrance will not make you go wrong. Ok for quick bee either after skiing or before dinner. It is also a decent sandwich shop: you can come here for a burger dinner or sandwiches and beer
  • Après ski Paradis: for the more active. You drink and often end up dancing on the counter
  • Osteria La montanara: tavern with typical cuisine. Here you will find cold cuts and cheeses, polenta, tagliata and the like… few dishes but good. Tavern environment, wooden tables, often to be shared with others.
  • Garni Hotel Internazionale: excellent x spritz or post-ski evening beer, always next to the church, in the historic center. You can relax, with boots on, on one of the many chairs scattered in the square enjoying the last sun.
  • Italia restaurant pizzeria - in front of the Montanara, excellent pizza. Plentiful and good dishes, it is always packed. Excellent value for money.
  • Wine bar OMA: small wine shop, excellent wines accompanied by excellent canapés .. also frequented by locals.
  • Pastry and ice cream Bar Ladin: perfect for super snacks. Cakes of all kinds, donuts, hot chocolates, ice cream cups, homemade yogurt with nuts, honey and more ... different combinations. It is located in the town hall square.
  • Crepes de Sela Restaurant Refuge: for an authentic Trentino dinner, typical place and excellent meats. The owner is a cook and hunter, excellent game. It is located at the beginning of the Sella-Pordoi Pass, just above Canazei, there are about ten hairpin bends, obviously by car. The refuge is right under the Pordoi so the view is not bad either, then if there is a full moon bye!
  • Vecchio Mulino Restaurant (in Pozza di Fassa): a few km from Canazei is this ancient mill which has been transformed into a beautiful restaurant. The atmosphere is traditional Trentino and the food is really good. Specialized in grilled meat and game.

Restaurants in Selva di Val Gardena

  • Ciampac hut: a beautiful typical hut with good food. Perfect for those with children too
  • Sal Feur Restaurant Pizzeria: typical and welcoming wooden place in the center of Selva. Here you can eat both good Trentino cuisine and wood-fired pizza.
  • Bellavista restaurant: a good place to eat fish and good pizza (the owners are Neapolitans)
  • Après-ski Luisl Keller: a real institution in Selva. It is the place where people go to mess both after skiing and in the evening after dinner. Order a "grappa ski" and you will not regret it! Already from the third grappa, you will find yourself doing karaoke in language with the Germans.

Where to sleep in Canazei and Selva di Val Gardena

Few but good! When I go to the Dolomites I keep coming back to these same places, I would say that you can trust them! ?



  • Garni La Campagnola (Canazei): this garni is located slightly away from the center of Canazei (which can still be reached in a few minutes on foot), but it is very convenient for skiing. You can go out with your boots on and reach the base of the Pecol cable car in no time. The Garni is very nice, welcoming and the breakfast is really super abundant and excellent! There is the spa to relax after skiing.
  • Garni Ortles Angelo (Selva di Val Gardena): I discovered this small family-run garni by chance many years ago and I am fond of it. Angelo, the owner, is a very kind and affable ski instructor. The garni is welcoming and the breakfast is very good. There is also the wellness center with Finnish sauna, infrared cabin, hot pot and relaxation room with wood stove. But above all it is very convenient to get on the slopes! Right in front of the garni there is a small ski lift connecting with the main cable car, so you can leave the house with your skis on.
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