Photo: Alta Badia/Andre Schoenherr
The Ultimate Guide to Alta Badia
Issue 34 / 14 April 2020

The Ultimate Guide to Alta Badia

Situated in the heart of the Dolomites, Alta Badia combines Ladin culture with stunning scenery and mouth-watering cuisine.

Serena Norton

Where is Alta Badia?

Stretching 16 km along a sunny valley in south-eastern South Tyrol, Alta Badia combines traditional Ladin culture with stunning Dolomites scenery and mouth-watering cuisine. Until the beginning of the 19th century, the Val Badia valley was hard to reach due to its remote location. However, today the region is easily accessible from several international airports, the closest being Innsbruck (130 km) and Venice (200 km).

Six villages make up Alta Badia - Corvara, Colfosco, San Cassiano, Badia, La Villa and La Val. The undisputed centre of Alta Badia, Corvara, is well-located in a hiking and skiing hotspot on the Sella Ronda with access to the “Dolomiti Superski” lift network. Situated on the edge of the UNESCO Puez-Odle Nature Park, Colfosco offers stunning scenery and is a starting point for the panoramic Sella Ronda ski circuit. San Cassiano is home to the largest cross-country ski carousel in Europe, whilst Badia is a quiet spot with a rustic character. La Villa has a central position, surrounded by the Pue-Odle and Fanes-Senes-Braies Nature Parks. It is also home to the Gran Risa slope where the World Cup giant slalom takes place each year. Finally, La Val has an impressive number of hiking trails, including the scenic Tru di Pra.

Top Events in Alta Badia

Alta Badia has a wide variety of events during both the winter and summer months. Celebrating the start of the season, the Gourmet Skisafari sees a number of mountain huts and Michelin-starred chefs treating skiers to their delicious dishes. Skiers move from one mountain hut to another, trying each chef’s creation along the way.. International sporting events such as the Men’s Alpine Ski World Cup races on the Gran Risa draw in the crowds mid-December. Also popular is the Ski Carousel Vintage Party, a nostalgic two day event featuring vintage ski outfits, vintage cars, live music and a traditional vintage-style ski race held on "La Para" run where the sportswear and the skis must be strictly pre-nineties.

In summer, Alta Badia turns into a cycling hotspot with over 9,000 cyclists taking part in the Maratona dles Dolomites in early July. Attracting more than 25,000 cyclists, the SellaRonda bike day closes all the Dolomite passes to traffic, allowing bikers to ride the Sella Ronda circuit without being bothered by cars. There are also many cultural events to enjoy, from the Val Badia Jazz Festival and Le Ciastel dla Müjiga in August, to open air festivals and village parties.

Where to Eat & Drink in Alta Badia

Alta Badia is extremely proud of its gastronomic scene with four Michelin-stars within a 15 km area; three stars for Norbert Niederkofler from the St. Hubertus restaurant at Hotel Rosa Alpina in San Cassiano and one star for Nicola Laera from the La Stüa de Michil restaurant in Hotel La Perla, Corvara.

However, there are also some superb restaurants serving delicious local Ladin cuisine. I Tabla is just one example; serving hearty plates of homemade dumplings, barley soup and polenta with sausage, this is Ladin cuisine at its best. At Piz Boe Alpine Lounge, you have a choice between a formal à la carte menu served in an elegant dining room, or a choice of traditional flavours such as polenta, pasta or gnocchi in a self-service area. Another favourite for local dishes is Maso Runch in the rustic village of Badia. For impressive views try Utia Las Vegas and for the best pizza, Fornella in Corvara is a must.

Alta Badia has plenty of fun bars and cosy taverns where you can enjoy a tipple or two. Traditional apres-ski drinks in this region include eggnog with hot milk or with cream, a Pinecone Schnapps or the famed “Jargetee” made from rum, sugar, black tea and herbs. On the run down to San Cassiano, Utia de Bioch is a great place to stop for a couple of beers or a glass of wine. For a more ‘après’ vibe, L’Murin is a favourite among locals with DJs and themed parties throughout the season. For more refined après, look no further than L’Got, a stylish bar serving cocktails, infused gin and an excellent selection of wines.

If you’re looking for late-night entertainment then an evening at Club Moritzino is a must. Situated at 2,100m above sea level, Moritzino hosts the ultimate Alpine party every Wednesday and Saturday night. Reached via the cable car or a snow cat, enjoy a delicious dinner and dancing before returning on foot or by snow cat to the village of La Villa.

Where to Stay in Alta Badia

Whether you're a large group looking for a spacious chalet or a couple searching for a romantic retreat, Alta Badia has an array of options. One of our favourites is Casa Feroze in Colfosco, a stand-alone chalet just 40 metres from the piste with direct access to the Sella Ronda circuit.

For large groups, both Chalet Pia and Chalet Rönn are good options, with seven and eight bedrooms respectively. Couples will love the cosy mountain retreat Mi Chalet. Totally unique, this contemporary property offers incredible mountain views and in summer a swimming pool.

If you love interiors, then the modern Chalet Zeno is worth taking a look at, as is Chalet Mi Amur in La Villa.

For further information on where to stay take a look at our extensive collection of luxury chalets in Alta Badia.

Winter in Alta Badia

Alta Badia has a vast ski area which links directly to the Domoliti Superski network, giving you access to 500 km of pistes. Within Alta Badia only are 130 km of pistes with slopes positioned between 1,300 and 2,788 metres above sea level. The resort has a privileged position directly on the Sella Ronda, the world-renowned ski tour around the Sella massif, so is ideal for those who like to cover long distances.

With fantastic nursery slopes and a number of excellent runs to progress to, Alta Badia is perfect for beginners. There are plenty of rewarding red runs for intermediate skiers and experts can enjoy some steep skiing at La Villa, including the famous World Cup giant slalom Gran Risa piste. For those who like to practice tricks, the main Snowpark is impressive with 14 boxes, 10 rails and 17 kickers.

If you don’t ski, Alta Badia still has plenty to offer; scenic snowshoe tours, sledging, horse-drawn sleigh rides, ice skating and panoramic flights are all possibilities. You can also learn more about the Ladin culture by taking a cookery class or visiting one of the museums or art galleries in the region .

"Alta Badia in northern Italy provides good weather and the perfect slopes for adventurous skiers."
The Telegraph
"Alta Badia in northern Italy provides good weather and the perfect slopes for adventurous skiers."
The Telegraph

Summer in Alta Badia

It comes as no surprise to see Alta Badia just as busy during the summer months as in winter. The green valleys, 360-degree panoramas and mountain backdrop make this region a honeypot for hikers and cyclists. The region has special ‘Moviment’ parks, combining Nordic walking with fitness and Kneipp therapy.

Mountain bike enthusiasts can tackle high-octane mountain biking at the Bike Beat Trails, but if you want to take things a little easier then why not rent an E-bike from one of the sharing points dotted around Col Alt, Piz La Ila and Piz Sorega. With hairpin bends and Dolomite passes providing ideal training conditions, road cycling is also popular here.

Golfing is another big draw; the nine-hole golf course in Corvara, is, at 1,700 meters above sea level, one of the highest golf courses in Europe and offers ideal playing conditions from June to October. Alta Badia is also iconic in the world of climbing and the region has a well-developed network of via ferrata, climbing tours and climbing parks to tackle.

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