It's safe to say that a bespoke ski safari holiday in the Dolomites is not your traditional safari...
When I think of the word safari, I think of Africa, animals and jeeps - but this safari couldn't be more different. I've just come back from a 'safari' in the Dolomites and wow, what an experience.
Family-run Rosa Alpina
I stayed at one of our all time favourites, the family run Rosa Alpina, which I quickly fell in love with. I felt welcomed as if I was visiting someone's home, and the cosy décor was warm as well as chic. Rosa Alpina is home to one of Italy's best restaurants, the two Michelin starred St. Hubertus, where I feasted on an unforgettable meal. I also got to shake hands with the chef Norbert Niederkofler, and once the windows from the kitchen were opened to our table, we could see how it all fell together. Well ,maybe not 'fell together'...
Pistes to find your ski legs again
On our first day, we started on the Sella Ronda circuit - approximately 50km of wonderfully serviced pistes - perfect to get our ski legs back again. The reward at the end of our grueling day was the Italian speciality Bombardini, accompanied by a stunning sunset just above the village of San Cassiano. When we got back to the Rosa Alpina, I treated my tired muscles to a luxurious Jacuzzi before our delectable meal.
Wonderful gentle runs to Refugio Fuciade
On our second day, we were driven to Corvara to begin the next installment of our ski safari. We needed to reach Refugio Fuciade located near Passo San Pelegrino. There were some wonderful gentle runs again, as well as more challenging ones if you fancied it. I stuck to the gentle runs, as the scenery and experience of covering distance was one I wanted to savour. At the end, we were met by a snow cart and taken to the refuge to watch the sun set bright pink on the mountains behind us. We stayed the night in a dormitory at the refuge, which was comfortable and once again we were treated to a deliciously Italian feast of pasta and meats.
Beautifully serviced snow
Day three was an early start: a short snowcart took us back to the pistes where we started the next part of the traverse. Today we were heading East towards Alleghe and Passo Giau to find our second refuge for the night. Once again, the sun was shining and the snow beautifully serviced, so we were able to move quickly and enjoy lunch out on the terrace with a fantastic view of the mountains. Having covered some serious mileage, we arrived in time for the daily incredible sunset. You can see a theme - we were totally spoilt. The views from the refuge were breath taking and we were once again fed fantastically by the family who owned the refuge.
Unbelievable frozen waterfall
The following day, we were instructed to head towards Cortina d'Ampezzo. Part of the journey involved being towed along by a horse at the bottom of the valley and skiing past a frozen waterfall. We finished the safari in the town of Cortina and checked in to the fabulous Cristallo Palace where we went on to dinner at the Michelin starred Ristorante Tivoli.
Three things about the Dolomites:
1. The panoramas in the Italian Dolomites are very hard to describe, and are so much more amazing in real life.
2. A ski safari is much more energetic than an African safari.
3. The Italians eat and drink the most amazing food.
For more information on a bespoke ski safari holiday, contact Original Travel.