Italy 02:28 – 19 June 2024
Travellers Tales

What is a Dolomites Ski Safari? FAQ’s

The most fun and excitement you can have on-piste.

Posted in the Dolomites Ski Safaris collection on 13th January 2021


o, what is a Dolomites Ski Safari?

Here we answer the most frequently asked questions about an Inspired ITALY Dolomites Ski Safari.

If you have other queries, we are here, just ask!


What is a Dolomites Ski Safari?

A Dolomites Ski Safari a multi-day on-piste (groomed slopes) ski journey in the Italian Dolomite mountains, skiing from one ski area to another each day and staying in high-mountain rifugi each night.



What is a ‘rifugio’?

'Rifugio' is the Italian for a high-mountain hut refuge or hostelry. All rifugi offered restaurant facilities and a number also offer accommodation, many with private en suite or dormitory-style rooms and can only be accessed by the ski, ski lift or snowmobile.



Are the rifugi warm?

Yes. Rifugi are modern buildings and are well heated and insulated. There is plenty of hot water and facilities are similar to a 2, 3 or even a 4-star hotel.

Will I have to share a room?

Yes, if you are a single person. If you are a couple, most of the time you will have your own, en suite room. Rifugi sell beds, not rooms. In the event that the itinerary is disrupted, it is possible that you will have to share a room with other members of your ski safari.



How is the weather in the Dolomites and how ‘snow sure’ is it?

The Dolomiti Superski area is a world leader in ‘snow management’. 6,000 snow canons cover the 1,200Km [745 miles] of ski slopes of which 97% is covered by snowmaking making. The 320 snow cats groom every single slope, every single night of the ski season!


When is the best time to go on a Dolomites Ski Safari?

Second or third week of January or second or third week of March. Why? In Italy, the mid January period is particularly quiet, conditions are reliable and the Rifugi are empty, as are the ski slopes.


Am I good enough?

A Dolomites Ski Safari is about ‘pace’ not speed. Each itinerary has a different pace. Prior to confirming your booking, you will be asked in detail about your ski ability. In the end, it is as much about your stamina as your ability.


Am I fit enough?

Your day often starts before the first lift opens and typically you will arrive at your rifugio 60 mins before the lifts close but you can continue to ski if you wish. Each Ski Safari has a different pace from the Scenic which has a steadier tempo through to the Venture which is designed to for those wanting a higher cadence.



How many other people are in a ski safari group?

We ski in small groups with a maximum 7 guests or 6 on the Special Dolomites Ski Safari. Small groups mean a better experience all round and helps in keeping the right pace.


How much cash do I need?

A lunch on the mountain such as a bowl of pasta, a medium beer and a coffee will cost around €20/€25. A bottle of wine in the rifugi will start from around €20.


Which is the best Inspired ITALY Dolomites Ski Safari for me?

You can choose from the following Ski Safari itineraries ...

  • Scenic - the easiest
  • Classic - best for first-timers
  • Venture - fastest-paced
  • Special - the best rifugi
  • *Super7 - fast-paced
  • *SuperSki - 10-night Safari

* Contact Us for details


I am a vegetarian, will I be OK in the rifugi?

Yes, vegetarians are well catered for. If you have more complex dietary requirements,  please contact us to discuss you needs.

Louise, one of our ski leaders is a life-long vegetarian.

Do I have to ski off-piste?

No, none of the Inspired ITALY Dolomite Ski Safari itineraries include off-piste skiing.


Can I come as a Solo/Single Skier?

Yes, definitely. Between 40% and 60% of our ski safari guests are unaccompanied, single or solo skiers.


What happens to my luggage?

You ski with an Inspired ITALY Back-Pack for the duration of your ski safari. Your main luggage will stay at the base hotel. We provide you with a 20/25 litre back-pack and a suggested packing list.

Yes, believe it or not, you can get everything that you need to six days skiing into a same back-pack!


Can I do the Ski Safari on a snowboard?

The nature of the Inspired ITALY Dolomites Ski Safari makes it difficult to mix disciplines ie. skiers and snowboarders.


Which ski areas do I ski through?

Each Dolomites Ski Safari itinerary is different. Of the 12 main ski areas of the Dolomite Superski area you can ski Cortina d’Ampezzo, Kronplatz, Alta Badia, Val Gardena/Alpe di Siusi, Val di Fassa & Carezza, Arabba & Marmolada, the 3 Cime Dolomites, Obereggen, Gitschberg Jochtal, San Pellegrino & Civetta.

If you aren’t worn out after all that, well, we’ll find some more for you!


Can I bring my own skis?

Yes, but for the best experience you need all-mountain skis. Using powder skis, race skis or specialist skis will not enhance your experience.


What is the transfer time from airports?

From Innsbruck - 90min

From Verona - 2 hours

From Munich/Venice/Milan - 4 hours

Here is a list of airports with distances to the Val Gardena ( Ortisei, Santa Cristina and Selva Gardena ).

1. Bolzano - 25 miles / 40km

2. Innsbruck - 75 miles / 120 km

3. Verona - 118 miles / 190 km

4. Bergamo - 168 miles / 270 km

5. Venice - 168 miles / 270 km

6. Munich - 186 miles / 300 km

7. Salzburg  - 199 miles / 320 km

8. Milan  - 217 miles / 350 km


What is the main language in the Dolomites and do they speak English?

The first language differs depending upon the valley that you are skiing in. Everyone speaks Italian but you will find that German or Ladin maybe the first language in the more northern areas of the Dolomites. Most but not all speak English.



Here is a ski map of the Inspired ITALY Classic Dolomites Ski Safari..






Sophie Einoder

My family and I are lucky enough to have an international ski holiday every year - the Classic Dolomites Ski Safari is our best ski holiday thus far.

Our group included myself and my brother (24-26yo) and my Dad and his friends (60-75yo). Our abilities are intermediate to advanced and all had an amazing time. With my brother was able to find the steep off-piste slopes, whilst I could enjoy the continuously groomed on piste, and Dad tackled the moguls. We were very impressed by the distance we covered, without ever feeling rushed. It would be impossible to see this much of the Dolomites without a guide.

I have never experienced such amazing views and weather. Due to European engineering, even though it did not snow over our holiday, the snow machines ensured the slopes were perfect every day.

The accommodation is beautiful! Skiing with a backpack is no big deal. Food is delicious. Guides are friendly and funny.

We had such an amazing holiday that my Dad and brother are going again next year. Would highly recommend.



Bill Wright

A unique and truly unforgettable experience.

For those who like to cover a lot of ground on-piste through stunning scenery this has to be the ultimate.

From the very comfortable base hotel via a well-chosen variety of refugios with their differing characters vast amounts of perfectly pisted snow can be descended. The Dolomite massif offers piste skiing probably equal to anything in the world in terms of its uplift system and long and varied pistes.

Getting the full benefit of such an extensive area couldn't have been achieved without our host's knowledge of both the region's history and culture and the best places to go.

To get the best out of such a challenge, skiers do need to keep going even if if a bit off colour or picking up an injury as the normally fine weather can quickly threaten closure of key high-level linkages to the next valley.

This was the case for us but normally is all part of the adventure and enhances the challenge. In really bad circumstances there are ultimately ways out, albeit at a cost.

Overall however this Dolomite adventure with just about the right amount of uncertainty remains as a truly outstanding ski opportunity among the greatest that anywhere has to offer.