Italy’s South Tyrol region is home to 30 ski resorts, 12 of which make up the extensive 1,200km of the Dolomiti Superski area. The family-friendly 3 Zinnen ski area is made up of five connected peaks: Monte Elmo, Orto del Toro, Croda Rossa, Passo Monte Croce and Ski Area Val Comelico. Creating a total of 115km of slopes, they cater for all levels. Stay in the village of Sesto or San Candido, which is easier to access neighbouring Dobbiaco and Villabassa.
Flying in to either Innsbruck, Venice or Treviso, family-friendly 3 Zinnen is a little secret in the Italian Dolomites we are letting you in on…
The 115km of slopes have short lift queues and virtually empty pistes, making it ideal for learners and improvers. Braies for example is a designated family ski area with easy pistes to practise on in the sun.
Similarly, Monte Baranci has well-groomed runs for beginners and is floodlit between 7-9pm on Tuesdays and Fridays. As a result, keen skiers can make the most of their liftpass. Those looking for a challenge should head to Holzriese. Appropriately dubbed free fall, this black run is Italy’s steepest slope. The piste basher even has to abseil over the ridge.
Skiers looking for more pistes can take the Ski Pustertal Express train to Kronplatz where there is an additional 120km of pisted slopes. Leaving every half an hour, the scenic train ride only takes 35 minutes and you don’t even need to take your ski boots off!
3 Zinnen is a magical ski area, take the gondola up to Croda Rossa where you will see the eight-metre-high giant snowman family. Here you can will also see Italy’s only herd of reindeer that you can feed with Icelandic moss and reindeer candy, which is a mixture of grains. After that, ski down towards Signaue as kids love veering off to the Rudolph the red nosed reindeer ski training track.
The two toboggan runs are a popular post-skiing activity for kids, with one 5km long. Alternatively, trot through the snowy woods in a carriage pulled by horses. For those staying in San Candido, there is ice-skating on the lake or swimming in the Acquafun complex.
Thrill seekers with a head for heights should jump in the cab of a piste basher as they prepare the 72% slope of Holzriese. After that, you could get a bird’s eye view as you soar through the sky in a pink elephant hot air balloon ride in Dobbiaco.
With Italian and German influences in South Tyrol, the cuisine certainly represents its heritage. Stop for lunch at the rustic Ristorante Monte Elmo by the Sesto Helm lift. Warm cold toes and hands by the fire and indulge in a hearty plate of local cuisine. Another great mountain restaurant is the Rifugio Pollaio by the Signaue valley station.
Once an old bunker, PUNKA is new facility that consists of a restaurant with floor-to-ceiling windows, (Max Alm), a ski pass office, ski school, ski hire and storage. At the end of the day, you will also find quite a lively après scene here.
Stay at one of our two favourite hotels for a short break or a week. Between Sesto and Padola is the Alpine-styled Hotel Kreuzbergpass. Inside, there is a large wine cellar, indoor swimming pool, Finish sauna and a wood-panelled restaurant. Above all, it’s ski-in ski-out location and kids ski school makes it a fantastic choice.
Berghotel in Sesto has beautiful views, especially from the heated outdoor swimming pool and whirlpool. Meanwhile, the indoor pool has floor-to-ceiling windows and there is a wellness area with eight saunas. Rooms are simply but comfortably appointed and the restaurant serves delicious cuisine. In addition, the hotel can help organise activities to keep the kids entertained.
For more information about family-friendly 3 Zinnen, see here.