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Cross Country Ski the Dolomites

The Dolomites has a rich cross country ski heritage. In 1956 Cortina d’Amprezzo hosted the Winter Olympics. In 2007 the Biathlon World Championships were held in and around the Biathlon centre at Anterselva di Sopra. In 2010 a brand new cross country skiing centre open in Dobbiaco/Toblach and now hosts international cross country races every year. In 2015 our very own Richard Edwards tried to keep up with one of the Santer sisters, one of three sisters who would have been the first siblings to all compete in the same Olympics had it not been for an unfortunate last minute injury to Stephanie.

Obviously you don’t have to be an international cross country skiing champion to make the most of the facilities and opportunity. We really enjoy the stunning landscapes, perfectly groomed tracks and after a day of exercise like nothing better than to return to the charming hospitality of your hotelier and tuck in to some wonderfully delicious south Tyrolean cuisine.

This itinerary is just an example of what is possible but if you would prefer to stay in the same place then that is also possible as there are a number of locations that have direct access to the trails and some great hotels such as the Ciasa Salares.




At a glance

  • Explore the Dolomites’ 231 cross-country ski tracks, comprising over 1,280 kilometers (795 miles) of trails, groomed for both classic (stride) and skate (free) skiing
  • Ski amidst a glorious landscape of pillars, pinnacles, and colossal rock walls of the Dolomites that tower above you
  • Enjoy luxury spa accommodations throughout, where you can soothe weary muscles at the end of each day skiing


  • Experience the delightful blend of Italian, Austrian, and Ladin cultures and cuisine that co-exist in this region
  • Glide across perfectly groomed trails, pausing to take in the magnificence of the surrounding peaks
  • Self-guided trips are a great way to experience the culture and beauty of the Dolomites at your own pace, but with the peace of mind that comes from having everything perfectly arranged for you!




Sample itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive in San Cassiano in Alta Badia

Arrive in San Cassiano in Alta Badia

Arrive in San Cassiano (1,537m / 5,043′) on your own and check into your luxury hotel (private transfer available on request). San Cassiano is a lovely village situated at the foot of the imposing rock faces of Lavarella, Conturines, and Lagazuoi, with several excellent gourmet restaurants. It is one of several villages in Alta Badia, a sunny hollow on the south side of the Val Badia (Abbey Valley) in the Alto Adige region, where incredible hiking, skiing, and vistas abound. Home to three cultures – Italian, Austrian, and the native Ladin, most signage in Alta Badia is written in three languages – Italian, German, and Ladin! Hotel in Armentarola Such as the Ciasa Salares

Day 2 - Alta Badia Cross-Country Centre

Alta Badia Cross-Country Centre

Discover the Alta Badia Cross-Country Centre, located in Sarè / Armentarola, just 3 kilometers (1.8 miles) from your hotel in San Cassiano. The center has approximately 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) of groomed tracks, with tracks ranging from 1-7.5 kilometers (0.5-5 miles) in a range of difficulty levels. At the starting point of the track, you’ll find a service center with a ski school, ski rentals, restaurant, and a bar. The center is ideal for classic (striding) and skate skiing, leading across fields and through forests beneath the mountains of Conturines, La Varella and Settsass. Whether you ski along a stream, through wooded forests, or across meadows, you’re sure to be enchanted by the Dolomite Mountains landscape. B,D… Hotel in Armentarola Such as the Ciasa Salares

Day 3 - Cortina d'Amprezzo

Cortina d'Amprezzo

In the morning, take a private transfer to Cortina d’Ampezzo (1,224m / 4,016′) and check into your hotel. Cortina d’Ampezzo is a charming alpine resort town surrounded by stunning peaks. Host to the 1956 Winter Olympics, Cortina enjoys a reputation for great skiing in winter, and in the summer attracts hikers and climbers who challenge the rocky faces of the nearby mountains. This chic Venetian town also caters to the high society crowd, offering many year-round social activities, shopping, and fine dining. Explore the pedestrian walkway, Corso Italia, lined with restaurants and cafes, antique shops, art galleries, and boutiques. B… Hotel in Cortina d’Ampezzo (3-Star)

Day 4 - Cortina – Dobbiaco / Toblach

Cortina – Dobbiaco / Toblach

In the morning, take a five-minute private transfer to Fiames, and ski along the tracks of the old railway line. The historic Cortina-Dobbiaco railway line is great route for cross-country skiers in winter, and mountain bikers during summer. Built during World War One by the Austrian military, it operated until 1962 when bus transportation took over, and although the track was dismantled, bridges and station buildings were left standing. Along the way, a string of bus stops can be reached via a short detour, enabling skiers to bail out or slot in at will. Your route will take you through the Val di Landro (Landro’s Valley). Along the way, you’ll pass the Ospitale, the site of a 13th century frescoed chapel and hospice for pilgrims. 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) further and you’ll reach the beautiful village of San Candido, where you can stop for lunch and visit the town.

As you approach Dobbiaco, you’ll have incredible vistas of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo (2,999m / 9,839′), the most recognizable peak in all the Dolomites, greeting you from above. Dobbiaco / Toblach (1,256m / 4,121′), located in Alta Pusteria, is where you will spend the next three nights. This area is considered the stronghold of Italian cross-country skiing. Quality trails, with varying degrees of difficulty, accompanied by the picturesque backdrop of the Dolomites, offer ideal conditions for a memorable cross-country skiing holiday in the Dolomites. There are more than 200 kilometers (124 miles) of groomed tracks, at an altitude ranging from 1,130 to 2,200 meters (3,707-7,218′), with everything from romantic skis through picturesque Dolomite valleys to demanding World Cup tracks that have played host to legendary races. When you are done skiing for the day, your luggage will await you at your hotel in Dobbiaco. B,D… Hotel in Dobbiaco (3-Star)

Day 5 - Biathlon Center in Anterselva / Antholz

Biathlon Center in Anterselva / Antholz

In the morning, take a 30-minute private transfer to Anterselva, where you’ll discover the Biathlon Centre of Anterselva di Sopra. This center is renowned for the Biathlon World Cup competitions that take place here annually; in 2007 the Biathlon World Championship was held here.

The Valley of Anterselva is located in a unique natural setting, surrounded by the majestic peaks of the Rieserferner Group and Kronplatz Mountain, home to one of the favorite downhill resorts in the Dolomites. There are over 60 kilometers (37 miles) of classic and skating pistes in the Antholzertal, where you can ski in the tracks of world champions and explore the Valley of Anterselva enjoying the marvelous mountain scenery at the same time. B,D… Hotel in Dobbiaco (3-Star)

Day 6 - Circumnavigate Lake Toblach

Circumnavigate Lake Toblach

Start today at the cross-country ski center in Dobbiaco / Toblach, the home of the new Nordic Arena. The arena opened in January 2010, and now hosts international cross-country races each year including the Tour de Ski, the Puster Valley Ski Marathon, and the Dobbiaco-Cortina cross-country race. The arena and surrounding tracks are ideal for all levels of skiers, from beginners just learning to ski, to experts who want to test their limits on the FIS (International Skiing Federation) certified competition tracks. There are also easy to demanding tours departing from the arena, and these tracks and tours are often used as training for cross-country national teams hailing from all over the world.

Begin your day at the arena, and follow the cross-country ski trail on the old Dolomites rail track. Soon you reach the romantic Lake Toblach (Lago di Dobbiaco / Toblacher See), nestled softly between the two nature parks – Fanes-Sennes-Prags and Drei Zinnen-Dolomiten. Enjoy a beautiful ski around the lake, which shimmers in the sun. You might be able to see the curlers playing or practicing on the frozen lake during their training, or just enjoy the enchanting winter landscape. B,D… Hotel in Dobbiaco (3-Star)

Day 7 - Departure day...or tag on a quick city break to Venice!

Departure day...or tag on a quick city break to Venice!

Time to head home…or maybe not! Venice is not that far from the Dolomites and we have found it the perfect companion to a winter sports break in the Dolomites. Why not add a couple of days bobbing along the Grand Canal and visiting numerous museums and attractions?