Skiing in Cortina d'Ampezzo

Everything about downhill skiing, snowboarding, cross-country skiing or ski mountaineering or off-piste skiing. A page where you can learn more about one of the most popular winter activities in Cortina d'Ampezzo.

Introduction

Cortina d'Ampezzo is definitely the most famous ski resort in Italy and undoubtedly one of the most famous in the world.

Whether you love downhill skiing or snowboarding, whether you prefer cross-country skiing or you are a fan of ski mountaineering, on this page you'll find all the information you are looking for to ski in Cortina d'Ampezzo.

Chairlift in a winter ski resort

Maybe not everyone knows that the skiing tradition in Cortina has roots firmly anchored in the past: the first ski school in Italy was founded in Cortina d'Ampezzo in 1933. Since then, the Pearl of the Dolomites, has always been at the center of the international ski scene.

Group of people on skis in Cortina

Cortina d'Ampezzo offers over one thousand and twenty kilometers of downhill ski runs, with thirty four cableways and eighty six slopes suitable for skiers and snowboarders of all levels, both more or less experienced.

The sky areas are equipped with artificial snow systems, to allow Cortina's guests to ski even in the less snowy seasons.

There's not only downhill skiing. For the lovers of cross-country skiing there are about 70 km of trails, in addition to a sports center equipped with artificial snow and an illuminated path, to train even after sunset.

Ski tracks on fresh snow with Tofana in the background

But that's not all, for lovers of ski mountaineering there are several off-piste routes, which allow you to reach mountain lodges and peaks, with the possibility of being accompanied by experienced guides.

Let's see now, in detail, all the different disciplines, with one chapter for each one.

Downhill skiing

As mentioned earlier, Cortina's bond with downhill skiing is as old as skiing itself. Internationally renowned athletes have trained on these mountains, the 1956 Winter Olympics took place here, many competitions of the 2026 Winter Olympics will be held here and athletes of the caliber of Kristian Ghedina have been forged here.

Ski lifts on the Five Towers

In order to ski, first of all, you need to have a ski pass. For this reason, the first institution with which you should interface is the Skipass office via Marconi , that you can also reach on the official website of the consortium . Once the bureaucracy is sorted out, you can finally think about where to go skiing.

If you need to rent or buy equipment, you don't have to worry, there are several rentals and sports shops that can help you.

Ski slope with Crystal Mountain in the background

On Cortina slopes it's possible to train on technical ski runs, such as those of the Ski World Cup 2021, or relax by eating in a mountain lodge and skiing on easy slopes, suitable for everyone, even children. Cortina's ski areas are divided into three main locations: the Tofane, the Faloria - Cristallo and the Cinque Torri - Lagazuoi.

In addition to the ski lifts, Cortina also offers many ski schools, with qualified instructors for every level, from the beginner to the most experienced and trained customers. In addition to ski instructors, there are also several rentals where you can rent your equipment, if you need it.

Mountain hut on the ski slope

If you need more detailed information, about the ski slopes or the ski lifts, we suggest you contact the Info point in Corso Italia. In addition to being qualified and professional, they also have a handy map of the ski facilities, which you can also see here .

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Cross-country skiing

Cross-country skiing is a very pleasant and rewarding sport, with several positive sides. First of all, it is a discipline that allows you to use all the muscles in your body. Secondly, it is practiced by fewer people than downhill skiing, so probably the trails will be less crowded during the peak season. Thirdly, it's a sport that gives you more contact with nature and allows you to practice sport in a more sustainable way, without the need for ski lifts. As a last thing it's also more accessible, as the costs, compared to other winter disciplines, are certainly lower.

Cross-country skiers at the Sestieri race

The starting point for cross country skiing in Cortina is the Fiames Sport Nordic Center , where it's possible to buy the ski passes, rent the equipment and enter the main cross-country skiing trails. From there starts the two illuminated rings, the trail of Pian de Loa, the one of Pian de ra Spines and the trail of the former railroad, which allow you to ski along the same track of the Dobbiaco-Cortina race, a 42 km long classic technique race, which has been held since 1977. It is one of the most important races in the Italian cross-country scene.

A group of boys practice

If you want something more difficult, it's also possible to practice this beautiful sport on the trails of Passo Tre Croci, a very difficult trail only for experienced cross-country skiers. Remember, also on the cross-country skiing trails, there is a ticket fee that you have to pay.

If you want to start this discipline from zero, it is a good idea to contact an instructor. The coaches can be reached on the Cortina Dolomites cross-country ski school official website or at the Fiames Sport Nordic Center, the hub of Cross-country skiing in Cortina.

Cross-country skiing equipment

If you want to know more, there is a free map of all cross-country skiing trails that you can find here . If you prefer to have it printed on a sheet, it should be available, free of charge, at the Info Point in Corso Italia.

Ski mountaineering

The history of ski mountaineering is much older than that of downhill skiing. Seal skins were used by the Nordic peoples long before the construction of the first ski lifts.

Mountaineering skis on the road to Ra Stua

For this reason we could consider ski mountaineering as the "purest" form of skiing in the mountains, because it involves earning every descent with sweat. It is a complete sport, like cross-country skiing, because you also use the upper part of your body.

Ski touring boots

To be practiced ski mountaineering requires a fair amount of training, as well as some experience of descending on fresh snow. If you decide to approach this discipline, we recommend you to start very calmly and then gradually increase the length and difficulty of the trails.

In Cortina it's easy to find a place where you can practice Ski mountaineering. If you don't want to take the most impervious and wild trails, many mountain lodges such as Malga Federa, Rifugio Dibona or Rifugio Mietres are equipped with dedicated trails for the ascent with climbing skins. If you want to know more about these trails, you may read our page about the winter hikes in Cortina d'Ampezzo that you can see below:

Winter hikes in Cortina
Winter hikes in Cortina The most beautiful winter hikes in Cortina, easy walks, for everyone, on groomed snow. Reading time: 12 min

If you want to tackle more technical trails, we strongly recommend you to seek a professional escort. The risks that you could run while going ski mountaineering in inaccessible places are many, from falls to avalanches. We invite you to visit the official website of the Cortina Alpine Guides to find the professionists that will safely accompany you skiing off track.

Mountaineer skis leaning on the mietres balcony

Hopefully it won't be necessary to remind all ski mountaineers that it is always necessary to have all the safety equipment with them: the famous Artva/Recco with probe and a shovel, as well as water, something to eat, a charged phone and an emergency battery, as the cold temperatures will probably shorten the duration of the battery charge.

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Snowboard

Snowboarding in Cortina has been practiced since when it started to spread in Italy. Initially it was practiced with hard boards, creating some hussles to skiers, who considered it dangerous.

Later it started to be more and more tolerated. With the arrival of the snowboard instructors, the affirmation of the soft boards and the diffusion that snowboarding has today, these disagreements are memories of the past.

Snowboarding in Cortina

Snowboarding is practiced on the same slopes as downhill skiing, so much of what is written in the chapter of Downhill skiing also applies to this discipline.

Unfortunately, in Cortina, there are still no specific trails for snowboarding, although some ski resorts have tried to organize something in recent years, the thing has never consolidated into a definitive trail dedicated only to the snowboarders.

On the slopes of Mount Faloria, at the end of the Franchetti slope, in the past years a small snow park with a half pipe of one hundred meters, some jumps and some rails has been built, but we are not able to confirm that this will be done again in future years.

Snowboarder in Cortina

All the services related to snowboarding you may need are available in Cortina, such as instructors specialized in this discipline and the possibility of renting equipment.

For the lovers of this sport, since 2015, Cortina has hosted the World Cup of snowboarding at night on the slopes of mount Faloria. This is one of the best occasions to celebrate a day on the snow, alternating sport and fun as in the best tradition of Snowboarders.

Safety tips

Always remember that winter sports, if practiced without a minimum of experience, can be dangerous. If you are not sure of your abilities, the help of a sports instructor will allow you to safely get better results in less time. There are many ski schools in Cortina, as well as instructors, so you'll be spoilt for choice.

... Always remember that winter sports may be dangerous...

If you want to try skiing off the beaten trails, we strongly recommend you to always check the avalanche risk. Don't underestimate the risks of snow slides, you should rather overestimate them by a lot. Virtually every year someone dies buried by an avalanche or a snowslide. We also recommend you to be accompanied by a guide, preferably a local one. The risks in the high mountains are many and the experience, in this case, is priceless.

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More than skiing

Cortina in winter is not only skiing. On Cold winter days the sun goes down quite early, so you need to have plans to fill your evenings.

Snowfall in Cortina, with Tofana in the background

We have written several articles on this website, but there are two that should be more interesting than the others.

The first one we feel like recommending is about other things to do in Cortina in winter. You can find it below:

What to do in Winter in Cortina
Winter in Cortina The best activities to make the most of the winter season in Cortina d'Ampezzo. Reading time: 12 min

The second article we want to recommend is dedicated to those who want to celebrate and have some fun in the various bars and clubs or in the mountain lodges. You can find it below:

Where to party in Cortina
Party in Cortina Nightlife in Cortina: all the places to party, from bars to nightclubs to mountain lodges. Reading time: 17 min

Conclusion

We hope you liked this page on skiing in Cortina d'Ampezzo. Before saying goodbye, we would suggest you read our home page, with all the articles we wrote about Cortina d'AmpezzoInternal link .

If you want to thank us you can read the page Support usHeart icon . If you only want to suggest a change, propose something or just say hello, in the section contacts and infoEmail icon you'll find all the ways to reach us.