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Cortina

Set in the stunning Dolomites, this elegant town delivers the perfect Italian ski holiday: good food and a relaxed atmosphere. Crowned ‘Best of the Alps’ along with St. Anton, Zermatt and 9 other big name resorts, it’s easy to see why this beautiful area was so passionately defended during the First World War and why it’s now protected as a World Heritage site.

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Intermediate

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Snowboard

At a glance: • Spectacular scenery • Olympic resort • Friendly locals • Delicious regional dishes

Great for: • Intermediates • Off-piste • Families

Set in the stunning Dolomites, this elegant town delivers the perfect Italian ski holiday: good food and a relaxed atmosphere. Crowned ‘Best of the Alps’ along with St. Anton, Zermatt and 9 other big name resorts, it’s easy to see why this beautiful area was so passionately defended during the First World War and why it’s now protected as a World Heritage site.

Cortina Resort

Nicknamed the “Queen of the Dolomites”, Cortina d'Ampezzo gained its reputation as one of Europe’s premiere ski resorts after hosting the 1956 Winter Olympics. Well-heeled Italians and Hollywood stars like Audrey Hepburn flocked here in the ‘60s and ‘70s, and it remains a stylish resort to this day with elegant boutiques and chic cafes lining the cobbled pedestrian high street.

You may recognise the area from films such as Pink Panther and Cliffhanger, or the chase scene in Bond film ‘For Your Eyes Only’, where Roger Moore famously flees down the mountain on skis.

The resort still regularly hosts big winter sport events and this looks set to continue as it is a candidate for the 2019 Alpine World Ski Championships.

It’s hardly unexpected then that Cortina is often compared to glamorous St. Mortiz, and the scenery here certainly lives up to the comparison.

A beautiful church spire dominates the attractive town, and if you take a wander around the quaint little side streets you’ll come across plenty of traditional buildings.

It all feels wonderfully Italian and laid back and to add to the holiday atmosphere the area averages sunshine on 8 out of 10 days.

However, it’s the surrounding landscape which will really take your breath away.

The Dolomites have been named a UNESCO World Heritage site, and it’s obvious why.

Just take a look at the Cinque Torri, a stunning outcrop of 5 towers (literally translated) which is a short bus ride from town. In summer, climbers scale the soaring rock faces while in winter the area becomes a playground for snowsports – but really it’s worth visiting for the vista alone.

You can explore the whole of the amazing 1200 km Dolomites ski area using just one lift pass, or alternatively get the local ‘valley’ lift pass which covers 140km of skiing around Cortina d'Ampezzo, San Vito di Cadore, and Auronzo/Misurina.

Stats & FAQ

Location: Italy, Alps.

Established: 18th Century

Open: December - April

Downhill: 140km

View our detailed Cortina snow forecast or snow report and see all live webcams, piste maps, road and travel maps and lift pass prices. For a picture of historic snow conditions see the snow depths month by month with our Cortina snow history.

Nearest Airport & Transfer Time:
Innsbruck (INN)164 km, 2h 30
Venice Treviso (TSF)137 km, 1h 50
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
  • 33runs 50%

  • 22runs 35%

  • 10runs 15%

Top Altitude:3243m
Bottom Altitude:1224m
Resort Altitude:1224m
Longest run:9 km (Lagazuoi-Armentarola)
Slope Orientation:NSEW
Vertical Drop:1715m
Skiable Vertical:2024m
Night Skiing:No
Glacier:No

Snow Report

  • Top
  • 5cm
  • Base
  • 20cm
  • Forecast
  • 30cm

Web Cam

Cortina web cams
Downhill Runs:140km
Beginner slopes:50%
Intermediate:35%
Advanced slopes:15%
Lift Pass Price: Dolomiti Superski - €262
Valley pass - €242
Nearby resorts: Arabba, Corvara, Selva, Canazei, Campitello, Pozza di Fassa, La Villa, Dolomiti Superski

Skiing/BoardingSkiing in Cortina

There are 3 ski areas directly accessible from Cortina d'Ampezzo itself: Cristallo, Tofana and Faloria. Faloria and Cristallo are on the eastern side of town, while Tofana is on the opposite side, so you need to take the bus to get between them.

There’s plenty to challenge even expert skiers in this area alone, but if you start off with the local pass you can always upgrade to the Superski pass if you decide you want to head further afield...

The Guargnè/Mietres section is a small area for learners and children towards the north, with a children’s ski school as well as fun amusements like slides and inflatables. Tofana has the Baby Socrepes area for children and is great for adult beginners, with slow, gentle chairlifts and plenty of wide blue runs (one of our favourites is the one from the Girilada chair). With over 150 ski instructors in the area, you’re in the right place for quality instruction.

The most interesting runs for more experienced skiers and snowboarders are probably up on the Cristallo range, which you can get to from Faloria.

The long red Rio Gere is not to be missed and if you fancy a serious challenge, try the black Canalone Staunìes run.

Over in Tofana, make like a pro and hit the black Olympia, which as the name suggests, featured in the 1956 Olympics and has seen several Wold Cup races since.

You can also catch the bus to the nearby Cinque Torri area, which is incredibly beautiful. From here you can ski the longest run in the area at 9km, winding down from Lagazuoi all the way to Hotel Armentarola, and passing through what is known as the "hidden-valley". It starts up high with breath-taking 360-degree views over the Dolomites.

There’s a snowpark down from the Socrepes lift at Tofana. If it’s powder you seek, try the black off to the right of the Duca d'Aosta chairlift, which is deliberately left unpisted.

You can also hire a guide and try more serious routes like the Costabella down from Cristallo.

Cortina Apres Ski

Everything starts up on the mountain where you’ll find some lovely huts for lunch. Rifugio does exceptionally good Bombodinos, a local speciality and a must try. It’s usually made up of a mix of Advocaat and Brandy (have it served hot with whipped cream if you fancy being indulgent!).

Our favourite shop in town isn’t one of the fancy fur boutiques but actually the Pasticceria (bakery/patisserie) ‘Alvera’. You’ll find it on the edge of the square at the top of the pedestrian street and the mini tarts and cakes are to die for.

This is a good area to peruse if you’re looking for a nice restaurant - Croda Café next door to Alvera isn’t too pricey and does some excellent local specialities. Try the green spatzle (fat little spinach pasta, an Austrian influence and delicious). For a treat seek out Tivoli restaurant and tuck into their impressive Michelin star menu.

Most of the nightlife is concentrated around ‘Corso Italia’, the main pedestrian street. Café Sport is a cosy place which tends to spill out onto the walkway. On the adjoining street, the Largo delle Poste (just up from North face shop), you’ll find Bilbo’s underground bar and several other very lively bars like Birreria Hacker.

Wander a bit further up to the other end of the Largo delle Poste and you come to L.P. 26 Prosciutteria, nicknamed ‘ham bar’. This is a fun place to snack on some antipasto cured meat and kick back with an aperitif. Spritz is the typical pre-dinner tipple of the region, a kind of wine-based cocktail often made with Campari and recognisable for its orange hue.

There’s a fairly well-equipped Kanguro supermarket on the main road which has a good selection of groceries, and is the best place to buy reasonably priced sun cream. Il Ponte Pizzeria is opposite the Kanguro and is very family friendly.

There’s some good shopping to be had in town, including designer brands such as Gucci, Bulgari and Benetton. About 3 km south of town just off the main road, the SS51, is the large Eurospin supermarket and some other larger shops.

In spring time it’s pleasant to take little ones for a walk and follow one of the animal trails in the woods. There’s also a cinema, several toboggan trails and you can go skating in the large Olympic ice pavilion. See if you can still get hold of the Cortina Card, which gives various discounts on local attractions.

Best time to go

Best time to ski Cortina

When is the best time to ski Cortina?

The best months in terms of snow cover are usually January and February, although season usually begins here in December and lasts through until about late April. In 2014 Italy was blessed with some of the best snowfall in Europe and even in March snow depths were exceptionally high. If you prefer warmer and sunnier weather, the later months of March and April are the best time to visit – the Easter period is popular with families. The resort also has snow cannons on almost all the slopes, meaning snow cover is guaranteed by the local tourist information on 95% of slopes from Dec until late April.

Peak Dates

Over Christmas in Cortina this year, what could make a better holiday than strolling the local Christmas market – best accompanied by a cup of mulled wine and some homemade biscuits. If you haven’t tried the Italian version of Christmas cake, Panettone, you’re in for a treat! Browse Cortina Christmas ski holidays ‣

The Italians love to throw a good party, and New Year in Cortina is one of the most exciting times to visit. Pack some heels or your dinner jacket and head out to one of the elegant restaurants for a delicious multi-course menu, then watch the fireworks and join the locals at one of the town’s friendly bars. Browse Cortina New Year ski holidays ‣

You’ve got all the boxes ticked for the perfect family ski holiday if you spend February Half Term in Cortina. This is the best time of year historically for fresh snowfall, and there’s plenty that the kids will love including lots of fun activities from tobogganing to skating on the Olympic ice rink. Browse Cortina Half Term ski holidays ‣

This stunning corner of the Dolomites is known for its glorious weather, and Easter in Cortina is one of the best times to enjoy the sunshine. Seek out one of the excellent Refuges up on the mountain, order the Italian speciality, bombadino and relax in the sunshine while you take in the picturesque views. Browse Cortina Easter ski holidays ‣

Cortina Ratings & Customer Feedback
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Average Rating 4 out of 5
Cortina is great, we almost had too much snow when we were here (beginning of February). Six and a half metres of powder at the top of the mountain and 2 and a half in Cortina itself! It’s a fantastic place, a very pretty area for skiing and the mountains have a pretty reddish glow. Best of all we had the pi... + more
Christopher, Oxfordshire
4 out of 5
It’s a very nice, traditional town. Quite up-market. The local ski areas are quite small and not too challenging though. It’s not really very good for advanced skiers. You can’t ski from one area to the next, you have to take the bus. So the downside was the access to the slopes. I did all the blacks, they’... + more
Norman Mcrury, Aberdeen
4 out of 5
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Families in Cortina

Italy has always been a fantastic holiday destination for children, and Cortina d'Ampezzo is one of Italy’s top ski resorts for families.

Visit over the Christmas holidays and you can wander the town’s pedestrian streets and market, which are usually lit up with tasteful decorations. There are plenty of excellent family-friendly restaurants - Il Ponte Pizzeria serves typical Italian food such as pizza, pasta and gelato which always goes down a treat with children. Cortina is an ideal place for a February half term holiday as well, since the resort doesn’t tend to get overrun the same way that some of the more famous resorts can do at this time of year. The Italians don’t get a half term break, so apart from at the weekend, you shouldn’t find the resort is particularly busy compared to any other time of year. If you find one side of the resort is getting busy, simply hop over to one of the other ski areas – that’s the advantage of having the whole Dolomiti Superski area on your doorstep! The Easter period is also popular with families, and with an average of 8 out of 10 days of sunshine, you might choose to spend some time just relaxing in the sun and doing very little at all... For those who want to keep active, aside from the fantastic skiing there’s also an ice rink, several toboggan runs, and lots of scenic walks.

The ski school here is huge (there are over 150 ski instructors) and provides childcare and lessons for little ones right through to teenagers. There are two areas with nursery slopes: the Guargnè, which catches the sun all day long, and the Baby Socrepes at the bottom of the Tofana ski sector. Both are well equipped with easy drag lifts/magic carpets and fun toys to play with. Tofana has the added advantage that there are slopes to keep adults of all abilities entertained - ski on the harder pistes up on the mountain and then ski down to the Socrepes beginner slopes at the bottom to check up on the youngsters.

GroupsGroup Holidays Cortina

Cortina d'Ampezzo attracts groups looking for a laid back mountain town, who enjoy chatting together over leisurely lunches and want to escape to somewhere with more charm than a purpose built mega resort. The skiing here is varied, and while it best suits intermediate - advanced skiers, there are plenty of nursery slopes and gentle blues for learners and children.

Aside from skiing the glorious Cristallo and Faloria ranges, there’s plenty to keep everyone entertained. Big and little kids will enjoy a trip to the Olympic ice rink, or you might want to try out some of the local toboggan runs. A day out to complete the Sella Ronda circuit is a must-do for any intermediate/advanced skiers in your party.

If you’d like to go out in the evening, there are plenty of nice bars dotted about the pedestrian area, try Café Sport if you can all fit in there, or maybe somewhere a bit bigger like Bar LP 26 Proscuitteria which does good cocktails. Later on, Hackers is just off ‘Corso Italia’ near the North face shop, of if that’s shut there’s always Bilbo’s underground bar next door, which stays open till the wee hours.

Typically the larger the group the more discount you’ll get, so it’s worth asking around and seeing who’s interested in coming. Organising a group holiday can seem like a daunting prospect when there are lots of people going but we can guide you along every step of the way, and it can actually be quite a simple and fast process. Just give our team a call on the number above and start planning your trip today!


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"Fantastic place, v. pretty & cheaper than France"

Christopher, Oxfordshire
4/ out of 5
Cortina is great, we almost had too much snow when we were here (beginning of February). Six and a half metres of powder at the top of the mountain and 2 and a half in Cortina itself! It’s a fantastic place, a very pretty area for skiing and the mountains have a pretty reddish glow. Best of all we had the pistes to ourselves, they were literally empty! Cortina is one of those places that you can’t think of as a normal ski resort. It’s a living working town with a few skiers tagged on at the end of it – like a town that doesn’t ski but has ski lifts. It’s not a party town but the food is better and cheaper than you find in France and the booze is cheaper too.

"Don’t miss Hacker’s pub"

Norman Mcrury, Aberdeen
4/ out of 5
It’s a very nice, traditional town. Quite up-market. The local ski areas are quite small and not too challenging though. It’s not really very good for advanced skiers. You can’t ski from one area to the next, you have to take the bus. So the downside was the access to the slopes. I did all the blacks, they’re not that hard. The piste grading is softer in Cortina than other resorts I’ve been to. I managed 72 miles an hour on one of the blacks, and you can ski them over and over, so that gives you an idea of what they are like. The snow conditions were perfect while we were there and the weather was superb. We stuck to the nearby ski areas, we didn’t make it over to the Sella Ronda, although I was up for doing that. It’s worth going back, there’s more I’d like to ski. We went out to Hacker’s pub most nights, it’s up near the church. It was a good laugh in there and there’s a good atmosphere. The staff were friendly.
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Christopher
Norman Mcrury