If you are a fan of winter sports, you have to ski in Val di Sole, Trentino.
Val di Sole is one of the most charming valleys of Trentino; the kind of place where you may get the impression time has stopped. Surrounded by beautiful mountains that called to be hiked and home to forests, rivers and a multitude of lovely small villages and mountain farms, this is a great place to visit if you love nature and adventure – regardless of the season.
Yet, mention Val di Sole and the first thing that comes to the mind of many is the incredible ski slopes. Skiing in Val di Sole is as good as it gets, if you ask me.
I went to Trentino (again) in mid December, and my trip was nothing short of amazing. Needless to say, the highlight of it was the chance to ski in Val di Sole. In this post, I will underline the reasons why you should ski in Val di Sole and share some tips and information to make the most of your winter trip in the region.
10 Reasons Why You Have To Ski In Val Di Sole
The slopes are fabulous
Skiing in Val di Sole is as good as it gets. The Folgarida – Marilleva ski area is huge, even more so as it is linked to that of Madonna di Campiglio and Pinzolo, for a total of 150 km of slopes and 62 ski-lifts (cable cars, gondolas etc). There are slopes for just about anybody – from the easiest, mellow blue slopes of Folgarida – Marilleva ski area to the hardest ones of Madonna di Campiglio.
I am hardly a pro at skiing (I got back on the slopes last year after 17 years – you can read more about my experience in my post “How to have the perfect winter weekend”). so I went straight to the Folgarida – Marilleva ski area, where there’s plenty of slopes of varying length and difficulty, all offering amazing views of the surrounding mountains.
After trying a few nice and easy blue slopes, I felt more confident and went down a bunch of red ones (I especially enjoyed the Malghetto). The quality of the snow was excellent – it is throughout the winter, with artificial snow being added to the natural one whenever this is isn’t enough to guarantee perfect ski conditions.
The slopes of the Folgarida – Marilleva area are all connected by a series of ski-lifts, cable cars and gondolas, and they are linked to those of Madonna di Campiglio. In other words, if you go skiing in Val di Sole you can easily reach any slope – should you care for a change of scenery and environment.
It’s great even for beginners and families
If you aren’t confident enough to ski or snowboard by yourself, or you want to improve your skiing technique, you can count get lessons in one of the 4 schools located at the Folgarida – Marilleva ski station.
And if you are traveling with your kids, you can rest assured that even children will have a great time skiiing in Val di Sole as you will be able to count on 3 kindergartens in the Folgarida – Marilleva area. It means that your kids can get entertained and learn how to ski while you enjoy the slopes.
The slopes are easy to reach
One of the biggest concerns for people who like skiing is how to get to the slopes. The good news for those who plan to ski in Val di Sole is that the slopes can be reached easily reached in a variety of ways.
If you prefer to move around independently, the best way to reach the slopes to ski in Val di Sole is with your own means of transportation. If you don’t have a car, you can rent one here.
If, on the other hand, you are a fan of public transportation, you will be happy to know that you can easily ski in Val di Sole even if you don’t want to drive. Indeed, other than the public buses that connect the various villages around the valley, there also is a free ski-bus service that links the villages to the ski stations. The bus timetable works around that of the cable car, so the first ride to the ski station is typically around 8:00 or 8:15 (which is when the cable car starts working) and the last ride back to the villages departs from the stations at around 4:45 pm, when the cable car closes. You can find the ski-bus timetable here.
Last but not least, you can go skiing in Val di Sole by train! The Dolomiti Express train connects Trento (the biggest city in Trentino) to the ski stations of Daolasa and Mezzana ski, where you can enjoy a changing room and a deposit room before you hit the slopes.
The view is amazing throughout
One of the perks of skiing, anywhere in the world really, is the chance to admire the mountains around. Sure enough, you won’t be disappointed by the views when you ski in Val di Sole.
If you decide to opt for the Folgarida – Marilleva ski area, you’ll enjoy the views of the Brenta Dolomites, which incidentally are also one of the best places to go hiking in the region. I admit that I got regularly distracted by the views, and stopped a few times to admire the mountains and take photos of them as I went down the slopes, while I waited for my lunch in one of the mountain huts and even as I sat on the gondolas to get back on the slopes.
You can have the most delicious meal right on the slopes
One of the perks of skiing in Val di Sole is that you can have lunch in one of the many beautiful rifugi (mountain huts) scattered throughout the slopes. These are cozy and easygoing places that serve light lunches as well as earthy meals that will give you the necessary energy boost to continue skiing. Most rifugi offer a selection of tasty traditional food (try the canederli or the polenta with one of the many delicious toppings) and some even serve freshly baked pizza. Continue reading as I will be sharing some tips on the best places to eat in Val di Sole below.
And indulge in an apres-ski drink
The best way to end a long day of skiing is having a drink that will restore your energy and sugar levels. Italians’ favorite apre-ski drink is bombardino, which is made with Vov (a sort of eggnog liquor) and brandy mixed together, and served hot – preferably topped with cream. It’s sweet, creamy and delicious and it’s the best drink to have when you ski in Val di Sole.
Or a spa treatment
Did I just say that the best way to relax after a day on the slopes of Val di Sole is having a bombardino? Ok, how about having a bombardino and indulging in a wellness center? And what if that wellness center gives you the most incredible mountain views? If you decide to ski in Val di Sole, make sure to spend at least one night at the lovely Rifugio Orso Bruno: guests can access a small but well equipped wellness center. There’s nothing better than relaxing in a warm jacuzzi while admiring the sun setting behind the mountains!
You can ski at night
I have only tried skiing at night once, ages ago when I lived in Colorado. I remember it was absolutely fabulous and a lot of fun. The slopes are significantly less crowded, which means you don’t have to worry about other people getting in your way (which is a problem if you are not a pro-skier!).
One of the most fun things to do when you ski in Val di Sole is getting back on the slopes at night. Every Thursday, the Biancaneve slope of the Folgarida – Marilleva opens again from 9:00 to 11:00 pm and if you have a ski-pass you can ski at no additional costs.
Other slopes where you can ski at night in Val di Sole are the Valena (open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 to 11:00 pm) and the Valbione (open on Wednesdays and Saturday from 8:00 to 11:00 pm) in the Ponte di Legno – Tonale ski area.
Finally, family with kids can enjoy the Biancaneve Snowpark in Val di Peio, which is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 to 10:30 pm.
And you can even sleep on the slopes
If you are the kind of person who doesn’t want to waste a minute commuting, you may be thrilled to know that there are accommodation options directly on the slopes of Val di Sole. In other words, if you plan to ski in Val di Sole you can opt to sleep in one of the lovely mountain huts where you can enjoy a cozy room with fabulous mountain views, a delicious traditional meal and the additional perk of being able to start skiing as soon as you wake up. Continue reading for my recommendations of the best accommodation options on the slopes of Val di Sole.
There’s plenty to do other than skiing
One of the nicest things about skiing in Trentino is that the region is incredibly charming and has a lot to offer other than incredible slopes. If you go skiing in Val di Sole but feel like taking a day off the slopes, you can count on a fantastic selection of things to do and places to see: lovely villages; cooking classes; mountain trails; wellness centers and spas are just a few of them.
Useful Information To Ski In Val Di Sole
When to ski in Val di Sole
Val di Sole gets regular snowfall throughout the winter, with the first snow falling as early as November. Snow falls more regularly from mid-December onwards, with mid January reaching its peak for quantity and quality. The presence of snow-making machines throughout the slopes guarantees good levels of snow even when natural snow is somewhat lacking.
The costs of skiing in Val di Sole
Other than the regular expenses to travel to Val di Sole, the main costs you will incur in to ski in Val di Sole will be those for the ski-pass and the rental of ski equipment.
A ski-pass for the ski-area Dolomiti di Brenta, Val di Sole and Val Rendena costs €51 per day; for the Folgarida Marilleva area it costs €42 per day. If you buy a ski-pass for longer periods of time, the price decreases significantly. You can buy a ski-pass at any cable car station (they usually open at 8:00 am) or online, here.
Ski equipment (ski, boots, rackets and helmet) rental costs €25 per day in any of the rental places in the Folgarida – Marilleva ski area.
Getting to Val di Sole
There are no airports in Trentino, so if you plan to ski in Val di Sole you have to fly to either Verona (the closest option), Venice (the best connected airport internationally) or Treviso (the one with most budget flights). From there, you can take a combination of trains to get to Val di Sole, or rent a car. Here you can get a quote for a car rental.
If you are flying into Venice, you may want to spend some time there. If this is the case, make sure to read my post “Seventeen Incredible Things To Do In Venice.”
Where to stay and eat when skiing in Val di Sole
Whether you dedide to sleep in one of the many lovely villages or prefer staying right on the slopes, there are many good hotels and restaurants in Val di Sole. This is a selection of places to stay and eat, all approved by yours truly:
- Albergo Dimaro, in Dimaro, is an excellent options for families. The rooms are on the small side but comfortable and clean, there’s an on site wellness center where you can relax after a day of skiing, and an onsite restaurant. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
- Rifugio Orso Bruno is the best place to stay right on the slopes of the Folgarida – Marilleva ski area. It’s located at 2200 meters above sea level, there is an onsite restaurant and guests have access to a fabulous wellness center with views of the mountains. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
- Rifugio Solander is also on the slopes of the Folgarida – Marilleva ski area. The onsite restaurant serves a fantastic high tea in the afternoon; and there are lovely, comfortable rooms. Click here for the latest rates and here for reviews.
- Agritur Solasna, in San Giacomo di Caldes, is located in a 13th century building. Guests can stay in one of the beautiful rooms and enjoy a delicious traditional meal prepared from scratch using ingredients coming directly from the farm.
- Rifugio Albasini is in the Folgarida – Marilleva ski area, at 1800 meters above sea level, and offers direct access to the slopes. The food served at the onsite restaurant is delicious.
- Rifugio Spolverino, in the Folgarida – Marilleva ski area, serves delicious local food and bakes the best pizza. The views of the Brenta mountains from the restaurant and the terrace adds to the atmosphere.
- Il Maniero is one of the best restaurants of Val di Sole. Located in Ossana, it serves dishes prepared using local ingredients. Try the pappardelle: they are homemade!
What to wear to ski in Val di Sole
If you plan to ski in Val di Sole, you will need a few selected items to make sure you are comfortable and warm throughout the day. I have selected a few for you.
- Technical thermal underwear and warm socks.
- A wool or technical shirt (I love Alva Thermal by Kuhl) to wear under a nice, thick fleece – I am a massive fan of Kuhl Alska.
- Ski pants and a good ski jacket. If you have room for an extra jacket to wear when you are not skiing in Val di Sole, I suggest to opt for Kuhl Arktik Parka: it’s super warm and comfortable!
- A good hat and a scarf.
- Ski gloves – best if they have a pocket where you can place hand warmers, in case your hands get extra cold.
- Hiking or after-ski boots.
- Ski goggles or sunglasses.
- High SPF sunscreen and a super moisturizing lip balm preferably with some sun block too.
Further readings about Trentino
If you are planning a trip to Trentino, make sure to read my other posts:
- Ten Reasons To Visit Trentino In The Summer
- A Great Itinerary For A Summer Week In Trentino
- A Concise Guide To Mezzano Di Primiero Trentino
- A Complete Guide To Visiting Orrido Di Ponte Alto Gorge, Trentino
- Five Short But Rewarding Hikes In The Dolomites Of Trentino
- A Winter Guide To Val Di Sole
Legal Disclaimer: I was a guest of Trentino and Val di Sole Tourism Boards during my trip to Val di Sole, and wish to thank them for the incredible experience. Needless to say, all the views expressed in this post are my own and without any bias.