Winter peaks of the Dolomites

Winter In The Dolomites: Adventure and Relaxation in Val Aurina

As winter blankets the Dolomites in a glistening tapestry of snow, Val Aurina emerges as a haven for those seeking an enchanting cold-season escape in South Tyrol.

In this blog post, I want to take you into the heart of this winter wonderland through snowy trails and thrilling ski slopes.

Val Aurina, the northernmost Italian valley, is calling your name for the ultimate winter adventure in the Dolomites. Get ready for a friendly escape filled with snow-covered magic and alpine fun!

How to get there:

Not far from the popular Alta Badia and Val Gardena valleys, reaching Val Aurina is a delightful journey. It offers flexibility whether you choose to travel by train or car. Here’s a guide on both transportation options:

Travel by Train:

Train to Brunico/Bruneck:

  • The closest central train station to Val Aurina is Brunico/Bruneck or Brunico Nord. You can reach Brunico by taking a train from major Italian cities such as Verona, Bologna, Milano, or Bolzano.

Bus to Val Aurina:

  • From Brunico, it’s easy to reach Val Aurina by bus. The bus service is well-connected, providing a scenic journey through the picturesque landscapes of the Dolomites. You can take advantage of the Alto Adige Transfer shuttle service from Bolzano, Merano, Malles, Bressanone, Brunico e San Candido railway stations.

Drive by Car:

From Innsbruck, Austria:

  • If you arrive from Innsbruck, Austria, take the A13 and A22 motorways towards Brennero/Brenner. Continue on the A22 towards Bressanone/Brixen, and then follow the signs to Val Pusteria/Pustertal (SS 49). From there, you’ll find clear directions to Val Aurina (SS 621). Driving through the winter landscapes of the Dolomites requires always careful navigation; however the local roads are well maintained during the cold season.

From Verona, Italy:

  • For those coming from Verona, Italy, take the A22 motorway towards Brennero. Exit at Bressanone/Brixen and follow the signs to Val Pusteria/Pustertal (SS 49). Follow then the directions to Val Aurina via SS 621.

Travel by Plane:

South Tyrol is well-connected to various Italian and international airports. The closest ones include Verona, Venice, and Innsbruck.

Where to stay in Val Aurina

Winter view of Val Aurina

Step into the heartwarming embrace of Val Aurina and immerse yourself in the irresistible charm of Hotel Bergland. Personally, I’ve had the pleasure of visiting Val Aurina twice with my family, and both times, we chose Hotel Bergland as our haven.

What makes it special? Well, it’s not just a hotel; it’s a friendly family retreat that immediately wraps you in the warmth of a cosy and beautiful mountain home. The meticulously clean rooms serve as your snug hideaway after days filled with snowy escapades in the enchanting winter wonderland of the Dolomites.

But that’s not all; when you crave a break, the spa becomes your personal oasis, promising relaxation in every corner. Imagine unwinding in the sauna or taking a leisurely swim in the lukewarm waters of the swimming pool. It’s a joyful escape within this alpine wonderland.

Come morning, treat yourself to a delightful and abundant German-style breakfast, a feast featuring local products that add an extra layer of authenticity to your stay. It’s not just a meal; it’s a flavorful experience that perfectly complements your time in this picturesque retreat.

Winter Trails in the Dolomites in Val Aurina

Wintery hiking trail from Steinhaus/Cadipietra to St. Johann/San Giovanni

  • Distance: 7.6 kilometres
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Difficulty: Easy

I recommend the trail from Steinhaus/Cadipietra to St. Johann/San Giovanni for an easy and scenic hiking trail. This winter trail promises a captivating blend of snow-laden landscapes, charming alpine villages, and breathtaking mountain vistas.

Winter in the Dolomites in Val Aurina

Leaving Steinhaus, immerse yourself in the refreshing mountain air as the trail winds through enchanting snow-covered landscapes.

This winter hiking adventure typically lasts up to 2 hours, depending on your pace and how much you stop along the way. The trail is well-marked and maintained, ensuring a pleasant stroll through this snowy paradise. Be prepared for occasional gentle ascents and descents, offering a perfect balance for both novice and experienced winter hikers.

A trail highlight is St. Johann, where alpine architecture meets the serene charm of the Dolomites.

The steeple of the church pierces the winter sky, and cozy houses adorned with snow create a postcard-worthy scene.

Whether you’re a nature enthusiast or simply seeking a serene escape, pin this winter hiking trail to your winter holiday in the Dolomites.

Riva Waterfall Trail

Winter Trail to Riva Waterfall in Campo Tures

The Riva Waterfalls is our second gem for an unforgettable winter trail in the Dolomites. This captivating pathway ensures a friendly and picturesque journey, inviting you to explore the winter magic of the region. As you enter the charming Riva di Tures, you’ll find yourself immersed in a storybook setting.

Known as the Riva Waterfalls, this captivating attraction is accessible from Campo Tures through an ascent or from Tobl via a descent. The waterfall journey traces Saint Francis’ Path, commencing at a woodland gate near Winkel and concluding 2.2 km later.

Adding an extra layer of charm to the adventure, the trail invites hikers to immerse themselves in the serene beauty of the surroundings. Along the way, frozen waterfalls take centre stage, glistening in the winter sunlight. Moreover, this trek is more than a walk; it’s a friendly adventure, offering a perfect day out surrounded by the tranquil beauty of the Dolomites in winter.

And let’s not forget the trail’s best memory: the symphony of crunching snow beneath your boots and the winter wind’s soothing hush, providing a truly magical Dolomite experience. Additionally, the friendly locals ensure your journey is not just a walk but a warm embrace of winter wonder.

Sledging Rio Bianco Trail

Tucked beneath the majestic Zillertal Alps on the main Alpine ridge, Rio Bianco is a picturesque winter retreat nestled in a cosy side valley of Valle Aurina.

Winter in the Dolomites itinerary to Rio Bianco sledging slope

Picture this: at the upper end of the village, the Tristenbach sledge run takes a playful detour to the left. It guides you to three charming mountain huts—Innerhofer, Marxegger, and Pircher. These are your winter-friendly pitstops that stay open and welcoming.

Enjoy a leisurely 3.5 km ascent and a relaxed 90-minute stroll to Innerhofer mountain hut. After a downhill dance, discover cosy Marxegger and Pircher huts.

Here’s the treat – savour local dishes and soak in snowy alpine views at the mountain huts. And the best part? Fancy a sled ride? The huts have you covered, renting sledges for a joyous winter adventure.

Skiing in Klausberg and Speikboden

In the heart of the Dolomites, the ski slopes of Speikboden and Klausberg in Val Aurina ensure winter enthusiasts with promises of thrilling winter activities and breathtaking alpine panoramas.

Moreover, Speikboden, renowned for its diverse terrain and excellent snow conditions, offers a wide range of slopes suitable for all skill levels. Beginners can carve their first turns on gentle slopes, while advanced skiers can challenge themselves on more demanding runs. The expansive trail network ensures that everyone can find their perfect route down the mountain.

Similarly, Klausberg stands as another jewel in Val Aurina’s winter crown, boasting well-groomed slopes and state-of-the-art facilities. The resort caters to skiers and snowboarders of varying abilities, providing an extensive array of trails. Ranging from gentle slopes to challenging descents, it makes beginners and seasoned adventurers happy.

Furthermore, Speikboden and Klausberg boast well-groomed trails, providing exciting descents and stunning views of Dolomite peaks. In Val Aurina, these ski destinations are immersive winter experiences for everyone to enjoy the snowy landscapes.

Moreover, skiing the slopes of Speikboden and Klausberg has been a thrilling adventure, offering pristine trails of breathtaking alpine beauty.

Val Aurina invites winter enthusiasts to embrace the joy of snow sports in a picturesque setting, unveiling the true magic of a winter spent in the Dolomites.

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