Alta Badia: A hidden gem in the Dolomites for summer and winter trips

ByAndrea Thompson

July 4, 2024
Alta Badia/Freddy Planinschek

Franz Kostner attended a course for mountain guides in 1904 and graduated as the best of his year. In 1908 recognising the potential of Alta Badia for skiing, he took over the Hotel Posta in Corvara and saw an incline in tourism for this area.

Between the first and second World Wars, tourism in the Dolomites saw an increase, particularly for winter activities. The inaugural ski school in Corvara launched in the 1930s, followed by the first lift on the Col Alto slope in 1938 – a sledge lift that transported people up the mountain. By 1946, this sledge lift was substituted with Italy’s first chair lift, which became fully functional in 1947.

Over time, inns, mountain huts, and guest houses emerged. Alta Badia transformed into a premier international tourist destination while maintaining its cultural heritage. Situated in the Dolomites’ core in South Tyrol, Alta Badia offers a year-round enchanting experience, merging alpine traditions with Italian allure.

Location and Landscape:

  • Alta Badia lies in the southern part of Val Badia, which branches off from Val Pusteria at San Lorenzo. It’s a sun-kissed valley surrounded by majestic peaks, including Grup dl Sela, Sassongher, and Sas dla Crusc.
  • The Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage site, provide a stunning backdrop for year round adventures.

Cultural Diversity:

  • Alta Badia is home to the Ladin-speaking people, who have preserved their unique culture for centuries. Their warm hospitality and cosmopolitan outlook make the region especially welcoming.
  • Proximity to Italian-speaking Trentino and Venetia adds to the cultural richness.

Outdoor Activities:

  • Summer: Explore a trekkers’ paradise! Hike through the nature parks and valleys, or ebike along scenic trails.
  • Winter: Alta Badia boasts excellent ski slopes, seamlessly connected within the Dolomiti Superski area comprising 12 ski slopes with 1,246 km of ski runs.
  • Year-round: Enjoy mountain climbing, horseback riding, and breath taking views and wild flower displays.

Food and Gastronomy:

  • Alta Badia takes pride in its culinary scene. Don’t miss out on hearty South Tyrolean and Ladin dishes like speck (smoked ham), cheese, and local wines.
  • Visit inviting shops selling these delicacies, along with trendy fashion and handicrafts.

Charming Villages:

  • The region comprises six charming villages: Corvara, Colfosco, La Villa, San Cassiano, Badia, and La Val. Each has its own character and offers cosy accommodations.
  • Stroll through cobblestone streets, admire traditional architecture, and immerse yourself in the local ambiance.

Natural Beauty:

  • The Dolomite peaks are awe-inspiring and beckons explorers.
  • Alta Badia’s pristine landscapes remain untouched, making it a haven for nature lovers.

Why Choose Alta Badia?

  • Accessibility: SkyAlps operates twice-weekly flights from London Gatwick to Bolzano.
  • Authenticity: Experience genuine Alpine culture and warm hospitality.
  • Outdoor Adventures: Ski, hike, bike, and climb amidst breath taking scenery all year round.
  • Foodie Paradise: Savour local flavours and indulge in culinary delights from restaurants to huts in the mountains.
  • Escape the Crowds: Alta Badia offers tranquillity away from bustling tourist hubs.

Alta Badia is where nature, culture, and adventure converge – a hidden gem waiting to be explored and thoroughly recommended