Skates, sledges and sleighs
Winter fun for everyone, in the Dolomites
The Alpe di Siusi and the Sciliar Nature Park are an oasis of tranquility just a few kilometers away from Bolzano and all of Val Gardena's major sport and tourist attractions and a great place to have fun in the snow, with or without skis.
Skating on the frozen lake
Whether you timidly totter or professionally pirouette, ice skating is one of the most entertaining winter sports, especially outdoors, in the mountains!
The best place to go ice skating in Italy's Alpe di Siusi is Lake Fiè, at the foot of the Sciliar massif. This little lake, skirted by snow covered fir trees, stays frozen throughout the winter season. You can buy or rent skates from a number of outlets overlooking the lake.
Sledging down the mountain
Lake Fiè is the arrival point of one of the area's most beautiful tobogganing runs. The Panorama route is ideal for family fun. You'll need to be a little more experienced to make the most of the incredibly scenic Bullaccia route.
Trotting along in a horse-drawn sleigh
For the ultimate in winter romance, treat your loved-one to a trip through mountains in a horse-drawn sleigh.
Snuggle up under the thick wool blanket and get ready for a romantic ride over the snow-covered slopes. If you find the Arctic temperatures dampen your ardor, you can always opt for a closed carriage instead!
Horse drawn sleighs depart from Compaccio, just a few steps away from the station for cable cars from Castelrotto. Trips are organized between 9.00hrs and 17.00hrs, to coincide with cable car times. You'll need to book in advance if you want to take a night time excursion, complete with dinner in one of the area's typical chalet restaurants.
Strolling in snowshoes
Exploring the mountains on foot is easy when you have a pair of snowshoes strapped firmly to your feet. There are a number of excellent walking routes in the Alpe di Siusi and the Natural Park of Sciliar. One of the best routes starts in the town of Castelrotto and finishes in Rio Freddo, famous for its fantastic frozen waterfalls. From the town center, head towards the Wegmacherhof mountain lodge, close to the Gunser ski-lift. From here, take the n.6 footpath towards the town of San Valentino. From here, walk through the woods and descend towards Siusi and Bagni di Ratzes.
Where to eat
In his Baita Gostner-Schwaige a Saltria on slope 59, Franz Mulsner produces traditional mountain munchies with a creative touch, using wild herbs and meadow flowers (which he personally picks), the finest cuts of meat, and fresh seasonal fruit. Places are limited in this tiny eatery so you'll need to book in advance!
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