Current as of: May 25, 2024 - 14:32

Italian Dolomites Cross-country Skiing

Italian Dolomites Cross-country Skiing Trip Notes

  • Ways to Travel: Guided Group, Private Group Adventures
  • Destination: Italy
  • Programmes: Winter
  • 8 Days: Flight Inclusive
  • 8 Days: Land Only
  • Ages: 14+
  • Trip Code: CXD
  • Carbon Footprint: 15kg CO2e

Trip Overview

Discover tranquil scenery that’s ideal for all abilities

Cross-country skiing is a fantastic way to explore the jagged limestone peaks of the Dolomites. With pre-cut tracks (known as loipes) offering a network of routes on varying terrain, there is something for everyone. Unlike downhill skiing, this is more of an aerobic workout and not all about speed. Crucially, cross-country skis can be used on flats, descents, and even ascents with the right technique.

Dobbiaco, set at 3,940ft (1,200m) above sea level in the heart of the region, is one of our most popular centres, offering weeks at Beginner to Advanced level. Our base is the welcoming hotel run by the Tschurtschenthaler family, where warm hospitality and comfortable surroundings provide the perfect balance to an active itinerary.

Italian Dolomites Cross-country Skiing

At a Glance

  • Five days guided cross-country skiing, classic technique
  • Seven nights at the three-star Hotel Tschurtschenthaler
  • Mix of flat and easy routes to challenging ascents/descents
  • Cross-country skiing Grades 1 to 4 (Beginners to Advanced)
  • Multi-grade skiing available on certain dates
  • Option to travel by train to your adventure

Highlights

  • Explore an extensive network of routes in the Dolomites
  • Relax in a comfortable family-run hotel in picturesque Dobbiaco
  • Find the right level for you with multigrade weeks available

Is This Trip for You?

Cross-country skis are longer, thinner and lighter than those used for downhill with bindings that allow you to lift up your heel. Most cross-country skiing is undertaken on prepared tracks (loipes) covering flat and hillier terrain, enabling you to explore the winter landscapes away from the confines of the alpine pistes. It is a great aerobic workout and something that can be easily adapted to your skill and fitness level.

We offer cross-country skiing trips to suit a wide range of technical and physical levels. Our cross-country skiing grades reflect both the level of physical fitness required and the level of skiing experience required. They are comparable to the Activity Levels we use on our snowshoeing, cycling, activity and trekking holidays. We believe a slightly different system is needed due to the coaching we provide. This sets our cross-country skiing trips apart, as we rarely need to teach people how to ride a bike or hike. The aim remains to create groups of similar ability and fitness. Our descriptions are below; however, feel free to call and speak to an expert if you are unsure which grade or trip type will suit you best.

At Dobbiaco, there are three grades of skiing offered, ranging from Beginner to Advanced. Availability varies. Depending on the dates, there may be two leaders offering two different grades or one leader offering a single cross-country skiing grade. Please check the grade of skiing for each week in Dates & Prices.

Grade 1 – Beginners

For complete beginners. We start with the basics, including how to stop using the snowplough technique and how to turn. You will be on skis for at least five to six hours a day with a focus on learning, getting comfortable on skis and building towards longer tours. In some centres, there may also be some easy off-track skiing. This involves leaving the pre-cut tracks, typically across frozen lakes or snow-covered pastures.

Grade 2 – Improvers

Ideal for those who have enjoyed at least one Grade 1 trip and grasped the basics. They offer coaching to refresh and improve technique and typically will ski a little further than Grade 1 weeks, and over more varied terrain (ie more ups and downs) and therefore requiring a slightly higher level of fitness. In some cases, these weeks are acceptable for newcomers to cross-country skiing. Beginners should be very fit and proficient in sports that develop balance (ice skating, roller skating or roller skiing) and will need to pick up the basic technique quickly. Please contact us if you wish to book a Grade 2 trip but have not skied before.

Grade 3 – Intermediates

Ideal for those looking to push on, tackle slightly steeper terrain and cover more ground each day. Typical groups will have a few weeks of skiing behind them, be very comfortable with the basics and happy on longer day tours. There will still be coaching on these weeks, at the required level.

Grade 4 – Advanced

Choose this level if you can tackle ‘ups and downs’ competently, manage a controlled snowplough descent, and if you want to ski at a lively pace. You should also be able to get up swiftly and easily by yourself after a fall. The mix of track and off-track skiing varies.

Group

The group will generally be between six and 20 people. There will be a UK leader and drivers and local guides where needed. There will normally be one leader per 10 people.

Our leaders are experienced ski enthusiasts, keen to impart their knowledge and skills. Instruction is included at all levels – naturally Beginner weeks feature a large element of instruction to get you started. Those who ski at an Advanced grade will enjoy the combination of longer tours with some on‐the‐ground coaching as and when required.

The minimum age of clients on this trip is 14 years. Anyone aged under 18 must be accompanied by (and share accommodation with) a parent or legal guardian.

Adult min age: 14

Min group size: 6

Max group size: 20

Itinerary

Map CXD

Land Only

  • Start City: Dobbiaco
  • End City: Dobbiaco

Flight Inclusive

  • Start City: London
  • End City: London

Land Only Itinerary

Day 1
Start Dobbiaco

Our trip starts in the lovely village of Dobbiaco, in South Tyrol, just over the border from Austria. Settle in and take advantage of the hotel facilities.

Days 2 - 4
Three days cross-country skiing

Each day our leader chooses routes according to the grade and snow conditions. Many kilometres of valley tracks offer wonderful options for beginners and improvers. Some begin from Dobbiaco itself; for others, we make use of the local transport network. For more advanced skiers, there are tougher routes, such as the track that leads south to Cortina d’Ampezzo, a memorable trail among spectacular mountains, passing under the triple rock buttresses of the imposing Tre Cime di Lavaredo.

In a typical week, the group will cover more and more ground, taking in everything this beautiful region has to offer. There are opportunities for coffee breaks and, of course, photo stops as we spend our week framed by the towering limestone peaks synonymous with the region.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5
Free day

Today is usually free to relax at the hotel, stroll around town or choose an optional activity such as self-guided snowshoeing or perhaps a visit to one of the local museums.

Meals included: Breakfast

Days 6 - 7
We continue our explorations on skis

The Sexten and Prags valleys offer a choice of undulating routes in typical Dolomites scenery and the high Plaetzwiese Plateau also offers superb routes at about 6,560ft (2,000m). By this stage of the week, even beginner groups will have mastered the basics, such as how to turn and stop, ascend and descend safely. More advanced groups will have already covered some of the fantastic secluded routes and the leaders will ensure the final few days are used for the simple pleasure of gliding through such a beautiful natural environment.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8
End Dobbiaco

Our trip ends after breakfast. We say goodbye to the Tschurtschenthaler family and begin our return journey home.

Meals included: Breakfast

Accommodation

Hotel Tschurtschenthaler, a three-star property in Dobbiaco

Italian Dolomites Cross-country Skiing

This fine hotel in the centre of Dobbiaco has been welcoming our groups for many years. The property has a traditional look – the décor inside reflecting the Alpine style – but with the advantages of a small swimming pool, sauna and beauty treatment room (treatments not included).  

An ample buffet breakfast prepares us for the exertions of the day ahead and evening meals draw equally on Italian and Austrian traditions. After dinner, relax in the lounge or go through to the bar for a drink with the local people.  

Upgrades
Superior rooms offer more spacious accommodation and are available for a supplement, depending on departure. To guarantee availability, please inform your sales representative when booking and note this is payable before departure. 

Single supplement from £ 195

Food & Drink

All breakfasts and five dinners are included.

An ample buffet breakfast prepares us for the exertions of the day ahead. The excellent evening meals draw equally on Italian and Austrian traditions. They are usually four-courses, but it is always possible to skip a course if you want a lighter dinner. For lunch, our leaders will take us to a variety of cafes or huts serving traditional Tyrolean dishes and international classics.

Transport

Airport transfers are carried out by private bus and may be shared with other tours in the area. As part of the skiing itinerary, we use the extensive network of public buses, which enables us to explore different tracks and find the best snow.

Weather & Seasonality

Dobbiaco is 3,940ft (1,200m) above sea level; at this height, snow can lie from December to mid-March, with fresh snowfalls at any time. Average daytime temperatures in winter are around -5C (23F), though they can fall as low as -15C (5F), with approximately eight to 10 hours of daylight. In winter, you can expect periods of clear, bright weather. In February and March, it can become surprisingly warm in the sun. Equally, you need to be ready for the occasional stormy day at all times.

Joining Instructions

Key information

Hotel: Hotel Tschurtschenthaler, Viale S. Giovanni, 22, 39034 Dobbiaco BZ
Phone: +39 0474 972477
Recommended arrival time: You can arrive at any time today. There will be a welcome briefing in the evening, but if you miss it the leader will update you separately
Airport: Innsbruck Airport (INN)

Getting to the hotel

Hotel Tschurtschenthaler is approximately two hours’ drive from the airport. Exodus provides one group arrival transfer from Innsbruck Airport, which is timed to coincide with the arrival of a chosen flight from London, UK. You may join this transfer at no extra cost, provided you can be at the airport before the transfer leaves. Speak to your sales representative for the group arrival transfer times or to arrange a private transfer.

If you would like further information on joining this trip, please speak to your sales representative.

Catching your return flight

There’s a group departure transfer to Innsbruck Airport for customers who Exodus booked onto a chosen flight to London, UK. Please speak to your sales representative if you wish to join. If the group departure transfer does not suit your flight time, speak to your sales representative to arrange an alternative transfer.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Location start: Dobbiaco
Location end: Dobbiaco

What To Take

Essential Equipment

  • Large bum-bag (fanny pack) and/or small rucksack to carry the items you will need during the day. It is more comfortable to ski without a backpack, but we suggest you take both to give you the option to choose on a daily basis. This would need to fit a large capacity water bottle and/or flask.

Outdoor/winter clothing:

  • Waterproof jacket
  • Waterproof trousers (pants), ideally a breathable fabric
  • Warm fleece (two thin fleeces are better than one thick one)
  • Warm hat (covering the ears) and gloves (ideally a thin pair and a thick pair)
  • Good quality baselayer
  • Sturdy waterproof walking boots (if you want to try snowshoeing or similar)

In the Dolomites, we occasionally experience unseasonably warm days, where T-shirts, lightweight trousers (pants) and light fleeces are all that’s required.

Optional Equipment

  • Sunglasses and high-factor sunscreen
  • Trainers (sneakers)/comfortable shoes for the evenings
  • Swimsuit for swimming pool

Equipment Hire

Cross-country skis, boots and poles are included and reserved with our local supplier. Please provide your height, weight and shoe size when booking, so we can have the right skis and boots available for you. If you wish to bring your own skis, please advise your sales representative upon booking. This information must be added to your reservation otherwise the airline may charge you on check-in for the extra luggage.

Reading List

Maps

The recommended map for Dobbiaco is Kompass Wanderkarte 1:50,000 sheet 57. Loipe maps are available locally in Dobbiaco.

Practical Information

Visa

Italy

Travellers from the UK, US and EU normally do not need a visa to enter Italy. Please note, visa requirements often change and it is your responsibility to obtain any required visas for this trip. Therefore, we recommend that you check with the nearest embassy or consulate of your chosen destination(s), including any countries you may be transiting or transferring through.

Some local governments provide guidance on what visas their citizens need. To help, we’ve gathered a selection of useful links below.

• Australia: www.smartraveller.gov.au/destinations/europe/italy
• Canada: www.travel.gc.ca/destinations/italy
• United Kingdom: www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/italy/entry-requirements
• USA:  www.travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/International-Travel-Country-Information-Pages/Italy.html

Please note: it is compulsory to carry ID with you at all times in Italy.

Vaccinations and Health

Italy

There are no required vaccinations. However, you may want to consider vaccinations for tetanus, rabies and tick-borne encephalitis. Please confirm with your doctor or travel clinic.

Ticks are known to be present in this region and can carry lyme disease, tick-borne encephalitis and other diseases. Please take care to protect yourself. You can read more about ticks here.

If you’re a UK citizen, please note that your UK-issued European Health Insurance Cards (EHIC) are still valid and offer the same cover as the Global Health Insurance Cards (GHIC) in the EU. This gives you medical care at a reduced cost, and in some cases for free, in many European countries, but should not be considered a substitute for adequate insurance. Once your EHIC has expired, replace it with a GHIC.

Local Time

Italy's time zone: Europe/Rome (UTC +02:00)

Electricity

Italy's electricity: Plug types C (two round pins, European standard), F (two round pins), and L (three round pins in a row) – 230V, 50Hz

Italian Dolomites Cross-country Skiing

Money

Italy's currency: Euros (EUR)

ATM Availability

ATMs are available at the banks in Dobbiaco and most shops accept credit cards. Travellers cheques are no longer widely recognised in this area and therefore cash is generally easier.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

For meals not included we suggest around €8-€12 per lunch.

Local taxes: Many Italian cities have introduced a tourist tax for non-residents. The local administration oversees the tax, which will be collected by the accommodation provider at check-in or check-out. This fee varies depending on the hotel category, the season and number of days of stay. It is usually between €0.50 and €1.50 per person per night. For this trip, please allow around €10, depending on the season, for the week.

Optional excursion

Self-guided snowshoeing: Free-to-use snowshoes can be hired from the hotel (subject to availability)

Many ski areas are easily accessible from Dobbiaco, including Plan de Corones and Cortina D’Ampezzo, each offering a wide selection of alpine skiing possibilities. Only a 10-minute bus journey away, San Candido and Versciaco have 33mi (53km) of downhill slopes for all skiing levels. Alpine skis can be hired in Dobbiaco for approximately €25 per day. For more information about the alpine skiing in this area visit www.dolomitisuperski.com. Although we give information on the alpine skiing in our winter resorts, our leaders are not alpine instructors and may only be able to give limited advice about the facilities/conditions.

Tipping

Although optional, a tip for the leader at the end of the trip is greatly appreciated. As a guideline, we recommend a contribution between €15 and €20 per client.

People, Places & Planet

We work hard to create trips that have a positive impact on the people and places we visit and look after the planet we explore. Learn more about our sustainable travel ethos and practice here and find out about the work of the Exodus Travels Foundation here.

Some sustainable travel highlights of this trip include:

People

How this trip helps improve life for local communities.

  • Local guides keep you well informed about local traditions and cultural-social sensitivities.
  • This trip brings income and opportunity to the destination community through the inclusion of locally owned hotels, restaurants, and other enterprises, and by championing locally produced food wherever possible. Our base for the week is Hotel Tschurtschenthaler, a small family-run hotel perfectly located in the centre of Dobbiaco.
  • Read more about our other initiatives here.

Places

How this trip helps protect and conserve local landscapes and nature.

  • By travelling in a small group, we ‘tread lightly’ to minimise our impact on local resources and the environment.
  • We work with our partners on the ground to proactively reduce waste; this includes eliminating all single-use plastic water bottles by providing refills for reusable bottles.
  • The payment of entrance fees to natural reserves and archaeological sites generates income which is used for upkeep and development of these important sites.
  • We rewild 1,075sqft (100sqm) per passenger to compensate for all trip and flight emissions.
  • Read about our commitment to nature protection and restoration here, including our rewilding commitment for every customer who travels with us.

Planet

How we seek to keep the carbon footprint of this trip low.

  • Accommodation and restaurants in the itinerary use locally sourced food which has not been transported long distances.
  • Cross-country skiing trips like this have very little detrimental impact on the environment and the locals, as it is a quiet, low impact activity requiring comparatively few resources to support.
  • Thanks to the excellent location of the hotel, our groups can use public transport every day to take them to the start of cross-country skiing trails thereby reducing carbon footprint.
  • Read about our climate action here, including our carbon reduction and compensation commitments.

Tips for sustainable travel on this trip

  • Leave no trace: We do all we can to ensure we leave no rubbish in the wild and beautiful places we visit; we ask that you do the same. If there are no recycling facilities in-country, consider bringing recyclable materials home with you.
  • Plastic waste reduction: Please bring a reusable water bottle on this trip, also consider avoiding single-use hotel toiletries, which generate a large amount of plastic waste.

Important Information

Your safe participation 

When booking this trip, you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability, please call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary. 

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely take part in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity. 

By booking this trip you agree to our Booking Conditions which clearly state that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these rare instances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred. 

How to Book

  1. Check availability: Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.
  2. Secure your place: You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.
  3. Complete your booking and payment

When you’re ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque.

After booking

You will receive your booking confirmation letter and invoice, which includes extra information and guidance about your travel arrangements.

Full joining instructions, including local emergency numbers and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately two to three weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier, please contact our office or your travel agent.

Trip Note validity

These Trip Notes are valid from the “Current as” date on page one. They will occasionally be updated after booking and before departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary, customers will be written to separately. They will also receive a link to the most up-to-date Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions before travelling.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons – climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best-possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

Licensing

Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582, issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA – The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all money paid to us for your trip is fully protected.