My guest blog this week is from Paula Chadderton of Pinnacle Walking Holidays. Pinnacle Walking Holidays offer walking holidays, in the Italian Dolomites and the French Alps, and walking breaks, in the Lake District and Peak District. Their holidays are perfect for those who enjoy the company of others and being part of a small group of like minded people. They set out to offer good value for money holidays in great locations; their knowledge and service will always ensure your stay will be a truly memorable one.
Winter versus Summer in the Dolomites, now that’s a difficult call…
Winter in the Dolomites
It has 1,200km of interconnected skiing including the 36km circular route the Sella Ronda. It has Europe’s largest plateau, the Alpe di Siusi and from Cortina to Val Gardena there are almost 30 miles of skiing to be had.
Although it cannot be classed as snow sure it has some of the best snow making facilities in the world using the crystal water of the streams and torrents. The lift system is very modern as they are constantly reinvesting in the area.
It’s been asked, why did they go to New Zealand to film Lord of the Rings? The Dolomites is far more spectacular, it is a worthy recipient of the UNESCO World Heritage award. The winter offers something for everyone, none skiers are very well catered for; snow-shoeing, tobogganing, ice skating and for those wishing to pamper rather than exercise it has some of the best spas in the world.
The food on the mountain is fantastic and really reasonable, it has some of the best huts scattered across the slopes, serving delicious soups and pasta and the famous Italian hot drink Bombardino, best to have this at the end of the day though as it packs an alcoholic punch. Après ski is fabulous with great bars throughout all 3 villages in the Val Gardena valley.
And with 8 out of 10 days sunny it’s a perfect combination for skiing, sun and fantastic food.
Summer in the Dolomites
A hiker’s paradise: There are more than 400km of signposted walks and climbs, and they range from long flat meadow walks to steep rugged mountain days all made easier by the use of cable cars and gondolas.
The Dolomites is famous in the summer for Via Ferrata (iron road) essentially it’s a steel cable that fixes to the rock allowing more inexperienced climbers to enjoy dramatic rock climbing without needing too much experience. A head for heights is needed and they are all graded, 2 being easier and 6 being very difficult.
It’s a haven for cyclists and motor bikers with several fantastic mountain passes, some with as many as 48 switchbacks, also fantastic to drive by car.
All the mountain huts are open in the summer offering fantastic food, and the area has some of the most beautiful hotels and guest houses, a huge amount being 5 star, although it is not reflected in the price. Both summer and winter has so much to offer with jaw dropping views from everywhere and at sunset the Dolomitic rock turns pink and the locals call it Enrosadira – it’s beautiful.
“When skies are blue and fields are green” taken from the theme to The Italian Job (1969), composed by Quincy Jones and sung by Matt Munro.