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Suggestions close to Venice (Treviso) in mid March

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Have just booked some bargain basement flights to Treviso in mid March (Monday to Monday, 6.5 days skiing). We'll be hiring a car - looking for suggestions for a base / resort. A few criteria:

- the shorter the drive the better
- variety is good - either a big ski area or drive to a different one each day / for a few days
- we're trying to keep costs down
- intermediates - happy to ski all piste grades, but not interested in off piste

Some specific options / questions:

1. Cortina: the obvious choice in terms of driving time, but lift passes are expensive (especially as mid March is still a "high season" week there) and accommodation might be too?
2. Stay in Trento and visit a different, small resort each day: will keep costs down, but typically would that be a bit late in the season for ski areas like Monte Baldo, Monte Bondone, Folgaria etc.?
3. Stay somewhere like Cavalese and visit the southerly resorts on the Dolomiti Superski pass (e.g. Passo San Pellegrino, Alpe Lusia): mid-range in driving distance, but again, ski passes expensive...
4. Sella Ronda - longer drive, more expensive, and perhaps better to save for a longer trip?
5. Madonna di Campiglio - longer drive, but cheaper than the Dolomites and still fairly snowsure?
5. Any other ideas?
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@denfinella, Alleghe with its own skiing on the Civetta, plus easy access to Marmolada, San Pellegrino etc.
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J2 suggests Dolomiti skirama at 90 mins. https://www.j2ski.com/ski_resorts/Airports/Venice.html

You are in Italy, so to a point it doesnít matter where you are (youíll get good food and wine at good prices)

You are intermediates so it doesnít matter where you are.

So go closest, within reason.
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I 2nd @Alastair Pink's suggestion. Alleghe is only about 90 mins drive, is really friendly and affordable, has a lovely little ski area of 85km but it's only 15-20 mins drive to Malga Ciapella which gives you access to Marmolada and the whole Sela Ronda circuit. Cinque Torre/Laguzoi(hidden valley), San Pelegrino and Cortina are all within easy reach for day trips too.
Hotel Europa, on the lake is very good and very snowHeads friendly so mention you're snowHeads and it might even sweeten the deal Wink
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we went to Cortina for 3 days out of Venice flights. Under 2 hours drive. Cortina has some excellent slopes, however I would say not enough for 6.5 days without travel. Go to Sella Ronda, which will give you plenty for the time. You will only feel like driving from Cortina mid week, anyhow, for more slopes in all probability. Just one drive at the start and the end. That's what I would do. The faff with driving for me is not the driving, but the hiring!
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Dolomitesunltd.com start their march deals from week of 17th March. If you don't need their transfers they can be flexible with arrivals and departures. At least worth a call to see what they offer. Their property is Albergo Frohsinn in San Cassiano and it is Piste side
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@denfinella, no resort suggestions from me, but a car hire one... Iím going to cortina, via Venice, in January. Hertz have premium/luxury 4x4s available, at least in Jan, for about e30/day. Iíve paid about e100 for a Volvo XC60 for 3 days.
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Canazei.


http://youtube.com/v/3mPG92QcrFc
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Thanks all. I'll post a better reply tomorrow, but on the meantime, one more question:

Barring a catastrophic season, should snow levels be a concern at any of the low resorts at that time of year?

Normally I would guess no, but some of the smaller resorts in that corner of the Alps close at the end of March.
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Dolomites definitely get less snow in general, and spring comes slightly earlier than Northern Alps, with higher temps.
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San Martino di Castrozza.

2 hrs from Treviso airport.

Smaller areas short drive away for day trips

https://www.snow-forecast.com/resorts/SanMartinoDiCastrozza


Been twice in March. Great snow conditions both times.
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And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
If Cortina looks pricey, try hotels in San Vito di Cadore, about 6 miles South. Ski hire is cheaper there too.

From there you can hit both sides of Cortina (Tofana & Cristallo/Faloria, 2 days), 3rd day at Cinque Torri & Hidden Valley. The Sella Ronda, Tre Cime & Kronplatz are also within striking distance if you don't want to repeat. An afternoon playing on all the variants off the Lake Misurina chair is fun too.

Or, try something in Val di Fassa, the resorts of Moena, Soraga, Vigo or Pozza put you within easy striking distance of the Sella Ronda (via Campitello), Marmolada, Alba-Buffaure, Passo San Pellegrino, Alpe Lusia, Carezza, Catinaccio, Latemar, Alpe Cermis...more than enough to keep you busy for a week. You can get the Valle Silver pass here which is a bit cheaper than the Dolomiti Superski, but will limit you to areas within Val di Fassa.

Alleghe is a good shout too, its own 80km ski area, plus access to Falcade & Malga Ciapela/Marmolada, Sella Ronda. The WW1 Tour which takes in the Hidden Valley goes through Alleghe. If you want even cheaper accommodation, Masare at the base of the lake, Cencenighe at the fork between Alleghe & Falcade or the villages up by Caprile should provide more options. I'll be there in Feb.

As MikePow says, San Martino is a great little resort, very quiet midweek, access up to Passo Rolle ski area and over to Falcade/Passo San Pellegrino & Bellamonte/Alpe Lusia for more variety.

Resort runs and anything S-facing could be suffering if spring arrives early. You need to be looking at places that have skiing over 1600m preferably N-facing to find the best snow. You're probably going to have to expect to see some Spring conditions lower down in mid-March, though you can often get fresh snow right down into the valley as Spring storms sock in, just depends on the weather that is impossible to predict this far ahead. Late March & early April are usually fruitful times for the off-piste runs & couloirs off the Sella.
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Anything above 1200m in the Dolomites is, normally, okay from mid-Dec to end-Mar.

They have very good snowmaking.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
I've been pricing up all the options given above, studying piste maps and checking driving times again.

Alleghe, Cortina and Val di Fassa - skiing looks excellent, but pricing up lift passes, 6.5 days skiing would come to well over 600 euros (2 people). The Cortina and Dolomiti Superski passes are both still "high season" prices that week. Alleghe / Civetta is not, but I don't think its ski area is big enough on its own for a week for us, so we'd need to either get the Dolomiti Superski pass or pay for expensive single-day passes for other nearby areas. Accommodation prices seem to be more reasonable in places like Alleghe and Cavalese than Cortina, but still quite pricey - I can't find anything (even close to) sub-£300 for the week, which is the most we've ever paid in recent years.

Madonna di Campiglio area - a more reasonable 500 euros for ski passes (low season week), but extra distance from Treviso airport would limit the amount of skiing possible on departure day. Accommodation prices still a little on the high side.

Staying somewhere like Trento or Rovereto. The area of visiting a different, small resort each day (Folgaria, Lavarone, Monte Bondone, Panarotta, Monte Baldo, San Valentino, perhaps Andalo) looks appealing, and ski passes for 7 days skiing come to about 450 euros. Accommodation is much cheaper in the valley towns - plenty of decent apartments for sub-£300 for the week. We'd have to drive each day, but that shouldn't be an issue unless snowfall is heavy. I know some of these areas mightn't be as exciting as the "proper" Dolomites, but a cost saving of 400 euros or so would be very welcome, and the skiing still looks interesting. Has anyone been to any of the small resorts listed above?

My main concern with the last option is weather related (snowy roads with no winter tyres, or poor snow on the slopes). We did have a fantastic week skiing some low resorts in Italy in late March last year, but that was an unusually good season, and I don't have any others for comparison.

I think the main issue is that our budget is a bit low (as always), and sticking to it narrows our options considerably without compromising on variety of skiing.

P.S. @under a new name, think the J2ski link you posted is referring to Folgaria rather than the main Skirama resorts, sadly!
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Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Whitegold wrote:
Anything above 1200m in the Dolomites is, normally, okay from mid-Dec to end-Mar.

They have very good snowmaking.


I've been to the Dolomites in the 2nd week of March in a warm year and a colder one.

In the warm one, every sunny slope was lumpy slush into resorts (Selva 1550m, Arabba 1600m) in the afternoon, though pistes were complete. We skied in t-shirts, got suntanned and were eating gelato watching the sunset.

In the cold one it snowed fine powder nearly every night and sometimes during the day, felt like full winter, snow conditions were fabulous, but sometimes the views were obscured.

You can have fun in both, just need to be prepared for either and anything in between.
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 Poster: A snowHead
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@definella, try the Garni Esperia in Alleghe. It's a great place by the lifts and above the village microbrewery. It's around 30 Euro per person per night for B&B.

I'd say there's at least 4/5 good days of skiing in Civetta so you could always get the 5 day Civetta pass and buy a 1/2 day Superski pass or resort specific pass for your other days.

One advantage of Alleghe from Treviso is that you don't need a car as there is a super cheap subsidised transfer service (around 40 euros return). There are regular buses to the Marmolada and to Cinque Torri. The restaurants in town and on the mountain are wonderfully cheap.

Final argument in favour of Alleghe is the setting. Just google it. Probably the most spectacular backdrop for a ski village in all of the Dolomites (and that's saying something). A valley town in Trentino just isn't going to come close in terms of atmosphere and landscape.
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"one advantage of Alleghe from Treviso is that you don't need a car as there is a super cheap subsidised transfer service (around 40 euros return)"

Would you have a link to this please
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Seek Dolomiti Stars
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Your biggest problem might be the Mon-Mon duration, which messes up two weeks. Most apartment owners in or near the main ski resorts will only entertain Sat-Sat bookings, esp this far in advance.

As you move away from the main destination resorts, you will find more flexible accommodation. I can't imagine anyone who stays in Trento or Rovereto to ski. Those ski resorts you mention are mostly for weekend day-trippers or local schoolkids during the week, but no reason you couldn't have fun there if they're open & have good snow, I suppose.

But really you want to get somewhere up in the big mountains. Is there really nothing in the places I mentioned previously, have you tried Airbnb?

In Val di Fassa there are 2 cheaper ski pass options, Val di Fassa at Ä265 and Valle Silver (adds in a few more areas) at Ä274 for 6d adult High Season. Of course these will restrict you from fully exploring, doing the other areas around the Sella Ronda & Marmolada, so I would always recommend paying that bit extra for the Superski pass. If your dates overlap two seasons an appropriate reduction is calculated, so your skiing on Sun 17th will be slightly cheaper.
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If you went to Madonna and wanted to maximise your time skiing, you could check out at dawn on the Monday and drive to Andalo or Bondone (say) by the time lifts open, then a shorter drive to Treviso. Or maybe better to leave Madonna after skiing on the Sunday and drive down to a B&B in the valley near Trento, then ski near there on the Monday morning.
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@luigi, yes, our dates are probably making accommodation tricky (I'm working the day before we leave) - though on the plus side, flights were £16.99 each way! I was looking on Airbnb and Booking.com - Airbnb have a couple of places for £350 or so in places like Alleghe, but they don't look nearly as nice as options in Trento (which are more like £250). Hmm. Valle Silver looks to cover an adequate selection of slopes - will look into that in more detail - but increased driving time from the airport doesn't help with skiing on departure day.

@lapalma, 30 euros p/p per night is probably a little out of our budget (and if it's a B&B we'd have to eat out in the evenings). As for the transfer: 40 euros return is very reasonable (160 euros total), but probably not a big cost saving over car hire, which we should be able to get for under £100 plus fuel.

@1gunsalute, this is exactly the sort of thing we're hoping to do, but we have to hire ski equipment (and return it to the same place) which complicates things - our flight into Treviso is relatively late so we won't be able to pick up skis on the way past on arrival evening. Otherwise, there's a hire shop in Trento which would have been perfect (and still is, if we stay in Trento).

Perhaps I'll look into accommodation in the valley with free cancellation, so we could "upgrade" to the "real" Dolomites if March turns out to be warm.
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@denfinella, you should be able to find some accommodation near the time in mid-March. For ski hire I don't think you get much of a saving hiring multi-days so maybe hire in each place you stay.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
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Arraba is WAY better than Cortina. It is higher, has access to a huge ski area including the Marmolada. In the past the tourist office was excellent in finding accommodation especially at the last minute.

Little nightlife though.

They are very very good at managing their snow so I WOULD NOT WORRY ABOUT MARCH CONDITIONS.
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TQA wrote:
Arraba is WAY better than Cortina. It is higher, has access to a huge ski area including the Marmolada. In the past the tourist office was excellent in finding accommodation especially at the last minute.

Little nightlife though.

They are very very good at managing their snow so I WOULD NOT WORRY ABOUT MARCH CONDITIONS.


Arabba would be a great spot. Often has the best snow conditions around the Sella Ronda on its N-facing slopes.

It would be a top choice if money was no object, but I fear it will blow the budget, if that's the OP's main consideration.
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Civetta Ski passes normally have various options like 4+2 or 3+3, which give you a Civetta pass and the option to use 2 or 3 days of the full Superski pass, so you can explore further afield like the Marmolada, Sella Ronda or WW1 tour.

https://www.dolomitisuperski.com/en/ski-area/civetta/skipass

Ah, yes, it is annoying that the Civetta passes have the changeover to low season one week earlier than any of the Superski options! rolling eyes
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lapalma wrote:
@definella, try the Garni Esperia in Alleghe. It's a great place by the lifts and above the village microbrewery. It's around 30 Euro per person per night for B&B.



I checked the 11th-18th Mar dates and it doesn't show availability.

Hotel San Giusto in Falcade is Ä52 per room per night on expedia, so almost on budget. I don't know it, so not a recommendation other than the price.

Falcade does look a bit forlorn at times, but it's got its own ski area linked to Passo San Pellegrino and good access to Alleghe and over the passes to San Martino, Val di Fassa, etc.
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I've driven through there from Marmolada to San Martino di Castrozza.

Typical Italian mountain town. Authentic.

Good access to San Pelligrino.

Close drive to other areas
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To reiterate, our priorities are:
- lots of skiing (but not necessarily in one area)
- budget
- close enough to Treviso to allow a morning skiing on departure day

There do seem to be a few not-too-expensive options around Falcade and Predazzo. What's Predazzo like? Predazzo seems better placed for the Valle Silver pass than Falcade.

Valle Silver lift pass is quite expensive, but not as much as the full superski pass. And though it's a longer drive from Treviso, it looks like we'd be driving less far during the week itself. Do you think the skiing on the pass is worth an extra c.80 euros (each) than the areas around Trento?

@TQA, I think Arabba is out of our budget for accommodation and ski pass, and it's a longer transfer.
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One of our members here did some nice Youtube reviews of Alleghe, Falcade and other resorts in Val di Fassa, check out his channel...

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXQ1SjGyOgNOvgFa-1IQR6A
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Predazzo is the largest town in Val di Fiemme (the southerly continuation of Val di Fassa). I've been past it on the bypass road, not through it, but I think it's a workaday town with some industry rather than a mountain resort, but has a pleasant historic centre like most Italian towns. It would offer relatively good access to the lift bases up & down the valley as the SS48 is a well-engineered road along the valley, Latemar and Bellamonte are very close. It is nicer up around Moena & Soraga though, but finding someone willing to do an apartment rental there Mon-Mon is going to be tricky in season, even if the Airbnb listing might indicate it.

Falcade seems to be a place that has a lot of holiday homes, so probably comes to life at weekends and holiday times when the people from the cities decamp to the mountains, but at other times is probably seems a bit dead and lacks any real centre. But you would probably have the place to yourselves midweek.
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The German-language Alpinforum has some excellent photo-reports of resorts in Italy, searchable by name on this page.

https://www.alpinforum.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=48

I don't know how your German is, but 'Forum durchsuchen' means 'search the forum'.

I'm sure some of those smaller pre-alpine Trentino resorts you mentioned will be on there somewhere. Might help with your research as to whether they are worthwhile or not.

Here's one for Folgaria from mid Feb 2014: https://www.alpinforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=50338&f=48
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You could also have a search through the photo reports on this Italian ski site. I use it for news on Dolomites resorts:

https://www.skiforum.it/forum/forumdisplay.php?f=20
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We've decided!

We've booked a reasonably nice-looking apartment in Varena, which is a small town a few minutes' drive from Cavalese. It's not quite as central for the Valle Silver ski areas, but the £200 price for a week means we can afford the lift pass without going massively over budget. If you think we've made a grave mistake, please let me down nicely Laughing

Thanks to all for your advice, and especially to @luigi for suggesting the Valle Silver pass and the various hyperlinks!
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denfinella wrote:
We've decided!

We've booked a reasonably nice-looking apartment in Varena, which is a small town a few minutes' drive from Cavalese. It's not quite as central for the Valle Silver ski areas, but the £200 price for a week means we can afford the lift pass without going massively over budget. If you think we've made a grave mistake, please let me down nicely Laughing

Thanks to all for your advice, and especially to @luigi for suggesting the Valle Silver pass and the various hyperlinks!


Result! snowHead

It's a village on the road to the Lavazze Pass above Cavalese, hopefully in mid-March on a S-facing hill you won't have any access issues due to snowfall. They will definitely be trying to keep the main road clear.

I think you can see the disadvantages of the location in relation to the ski areas, but as long as you don't mind doing the commute down the hill & up the valley, it will serve as a base. You have 2 areas close by: up to Pampeago base station for Latemar ski area & Alpe Cermis gondola down in Cavalese. But you must venture up the valley as the mountains get bigger and more spectacular the further you go. Passo San Pellegrino & Alpe Lusia will have good snow on the N-facing runs. Pozza-Alba is a great circuit with sweeping runs. You must also go up to Campitello or Canazei on a clear day to see the Sassolungo and Sella, maybe up the Pordoi cablecar to Rifugio Maria at 2900m, the highest point you can go with the Valle liftpass.

There will no doubt be ski hire shops in Pampeago & Cavalese.

Have you thought about the route to & from the airport?
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@luigi, yes, hoping that south facing and 1200m should be kept fairly clear in March. I've checked streetview as well, and the couple of hairpins involved from Cavalese aren't serious ones. And yes, am aware there's a bit more driving involved, but still less than the Trento option (starting from 1200m helps!).

We definitely won't just stick to Cavalese and Latemar. There are more individual ski areas than days, so some will have to be left for another year - staying on the Sella Ronda itself will hopefully happen in a future year.

There are a few routes from the airport suggested by Google maps. Unless falling snow is an issue, it looks like the motorway route is longer (and with tolls). So the best bet looks like going via Levico Terme (SS46), then the rather windy SP71 to Cavalese. Looks like there are two options to enter the mountains in the first place: either Bassana del Grappa (the faster road) or via Feltre (favoured by Google).

Google also likes a route using the SP31 north from Telve, but it looks like a hairy mountain pass and I'm not sure whether it's even open in winter anyway!

What do you think?
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A good itinerary using the Valle Silver pass to the full might be:

Day 1. Pick up skis in Cavalese and go to Bellamonte for a gentle re-introduction on the easy blues, then try the steeper back-side.

Day 2. Up to Pampeago and ski the Latemar circuit to Obereggen and check out the S Tyrolean German way of doing things.

Day 3. Up to Vigo, do the morning in the sunshine on Catinaccio, then catch the afternoon rays at Carezza.

Day 4 Drive up to Passo San Pellegrino, do the runs on the LHS, then up to Col Margherita and over to Falcade & back.

Day 5 Up to Pozza Buffaure gondola, ski the circuit over to Alba, up the Funifor to Belvedere, up the Sass Pordoi cablecar to take in the views, down & over to Col Rodella, enjoy the apres, then download the cable car into Campitello and catch the bus back to Pozza. (Just watch you don't stray into the neighbouring Arabba or Val Gardena ski areas, but there are big signs warning about ski-pass validity)

Day 6. Passo Rolle and/or S.Martino di Castrozza??

Day 7. Morning up at Alpe Cermis and drop the skis back before hot-footing back to Treviso.
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@luigi, you do realise we're not going for 4 months? wink We've the French Alps to look forward to before that!

But yes, something like that looks like a good plan, switching around the days depending on weather.

The Valle Silver pass is only 6 days, so we'll need to buy a separate half day pass on the last day. If we're only getting a couple of hours, we might just head up to Jochgrimm, and do Alpe Cermis earlier in the week.
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@denfinella, sorry, crossed posts.

Route, yes, the safest if there's snowfall to low levels is the motorway via Verona & Trento, exit at Ora and SS48 over to Cavalese. We had heavy rain in Feb 2017 and as we climbed out of Ora and gained altitude, it turned to snow, a bit hairy as we descended to Cavalese, but we pushed through to Moena at 1200m without needing chains. Next morning there was a foot of snow on the vehicle and we needed a run-up to get up the ramp out of the hotel car park. Hopefully by March you will not encounter that issue.

I would say avoid that SP71 and definitely the SP31, they look poorly engineered, go all the way to Trento and pick up the motorway to Ora.

Other alternatives in fine weather might be Feltre, SS50 via S.Martino and over Passo Rolle or pick up the A27 motorway N to Belluno, then SR 203 via Agordo to Cencenighe, then SS346 over the San Pellegrino pass.

Others may have input as I haven't driven all these routes.
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denfinella wrote:
@luigi, you do realise we're not going for 4 months? wink We've the French Alps to look forward to before that!

But yes, something like that looks like a good plan, switching around the days depending on weather.

The Valle Silver pass is only 6 days, so we'll need to buy a separate half day pass on the last day. If we're only getting a couple of hours, we might just head up to Jochgrimm, and do Alpe Cermis earlier in the week.


Crossed posts again! Embarassed

Haha, yes you would need good weather, good snow and thighs like Lindsey Vonn to do all that!! wink

But it shows just how much there is to ski on that Valle Silver pass. Have fun! snowHead
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snowdave wrote:
@denfinella, no resort suggestions from me, but a car hire one... Iím going to cortina, via Venice, in January. Hertz have premium/luxury 4x4s available, at least in Jan, for about e30/day. Iíve paid about e100 for a Volvo XC60 for 3 days.


How did you get that price on premium/luxury 4x4s, please

Thru Hertz , with a voucher code
thru a broker
etc
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