The combination of delicious food, spectacular scenery and a warm welcome make Italy the perfect destination all year round. However, it’s towering alpine peaks of the iconic Dolomites and Gran Paradiso National Park, provide exciting terrain for winter tours in Italy. From cross-country skiing and snowshoeing to downhill skiing, the diverse landscapes create a vast outdoor playground for winter activities.
Italy is only a short flight from the UK, and you can arrive in Turin or Innsbruck, just over the border in Austria, to get quick access to your winter destination. Winter temperatures can bring periods of fine settled weather and from Christmas through to the end of February average daytime temperatures range between +4º and -15º C in the shade. These temperatures can feel surprisingly comfortable, largely because the air is very dry, and you will often be on the move.
On winter tours in Italy, cross-country skiing is one of the best ways to explore the snowy scenery and you’ll find a large number of loipe (pre-cut skiing tracks) that wind through a beautiful winter wonderland. Because cross-country skis can be used on both flat ground and steep ascents, they’re great for exploring mountainous areas such as the Dolomites.
Whichever method of transport you choose on winter holidays in Italy, you’ll be greeted with idyllic alpine scenery and mountain views. After a day of exploring scented pine forests draped in snow and epic peaks, unwind in the sauna or outdoor hot tub and tuck into some traditional Italian dishes back at the hotel.
Italy Winter Tours
8 DaysfromCAD 2,775
Guided Group (Incl. Taxes)
Ski surrounded by the Italian Dolomites' jagged peaks
Sexten Valley: Making up Italy’s iconic Dolomites, the Sexten Dolomites is a fabulous region full of history and skiing trails that snake through the South Tyrol and north-eastern Italy. Nestled between the Sexten Dolomites and the Carnian Alps is the Sexten Valley, a wildly beautiful and nature-filled area that has become synonymous with skiing and mountain climbing. Alpine meadows and ancient pine trees create a romantic backdrop while the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, the Three Peaks of the Dolomites, are the main focal point.
Alta Badia: Arguably one of the most well know skiing regions in Italy in the heart of the South Tyrolean Dolomite Mountains, Alta Badia is a popular destination for winter holidays in Italy. Its gentler slopes of San Cassiano and Corvara are perfect for anyone that is new to skiing but still wants to explore the stunning scenery of the Dolomites. There’s a real sense of calm in the air which provides a relaxing atmosphere where you can develop your skills. But if you’re a seasoned skier, there are 130km of well-maintained slopes to explore.
Madonna di Campiglio: Affectionately known as the Pearl of the Dolomites, Madonna di Campiglio is a popular location for awinter activities in Italy. Skiing was introduced to the area in the early 20th century owing to its picturesque setting and alpine peaks that are hugged by the Dolomites and the Adamello Presanella range. With approximately 150km of slopes to explore, Campiglio is one of the largest ski areas in Italy. If you like a challenge, you can also trek along the Via Ferrate for some of the finest views in the world.
Villabassa: Enjoying a mild climate with plenty of sun and a dreamy position high up in the heart of the Dolomites, Villabassa is a much-loved destination for winter trips to Italy. This pretty spa village has become the starting point for skiing and winter walking along the Val Pusteria trail. But it’s not all about the skiing here, Villabassa also has a rich history and is home to several religious buildings such as St Anna Chapel and St Magdalene Church which houses a splendid Franz Kock organ.
San Cassiano: One of the prettiest alpine villages in the Dolomites, San Cassiano nestles at the foot of Continurines and Lavarela. In the winter months, adventure seekers travel here to ski down the famous Foram toboggan run, which stretches for over 7km from Lagazuoi. The Armentarola cross-country skiing centre also attracts the regular skiing crowd as it forms a part of the exceptional Dolomiti Nordic Ski. For some wonderful apres-ski, there’s a wide selection of restaurants and bars in the village where you can mingle with other skiers and walkers in the area.
This was an excellent trip, full of extraordinary sights. We were able to see many of the most impressive sites in Cairo and the Upper Nile. Hotel accommodation was of a high standard and the cruise ship was good. We had an outstanding guide and a friendly and interesting group of people. When I had an accident in the temple at Edfu the response from our guide, from Exodus, and from the personnel on the cruise ship was incredibly supportive. The guide’s knowledge of first aid was much appreciated. We have a few reservations: we found the early starts made sight-seeing rather tiring after very little sleep. The 7am briefing on the first morning seemed unnecessary, for example, after a late arrival the night before and the two hour time difference. We didn’t think the trip should be described as ‘leisurely’: there was a lot of standing in queues at both airports and sites and this was especially exhausting in conjunction with the early starts. Also, while we realise that Exodus doesn’t control the entertainment on the cruise ship, we would have preferred informational talks and preparation for the following day’s events to the party games and belly dancer. We would also have liked to have had more Egyptian food.
We were a private group of 9 chaps, none of us spring chickens. We went early-March, and the weather was generally warm apart from a couple of very chilly mornings. We were led there by our brilliant leader Mikhled; nothing was too much trouble for him, and he is very knowledgeable. A wonderful country, very friendly. The trip was a good mixture of biking and mini-bus transport. Highlights were Petra, Wadi Rum, the Dead Sea, and Red Sea/Aqaba. Some steep cycling downhill sections and the odd walk up hills – no great surprise at our age! Accommodation fine and food generally excellent; alcohol is sometimes available, sometimes not, so you need to plan a bit in advance if you like to imbibe, as we do. Overall view – highly recommended. (One tip – we were advised to take US dollars as well as Jordanian dinar; you only need the latter in reality).