Three Days in Corvara in Badia, Italy: Tips and Trips
The charismatic Sassongher mountain shelters the village of Corvara, a fairy-tale holiday location in the Dolomites. It's popular with Italian and international tourists all year round, thanks to the excellent facilities available. Whether you love skiing, hiking, mountain biking, golfing, or paragliding, Corvara is the ideal destination for an active holiday in the mountains.
A trip to Corvara will take you to one of the most touristy mountain resort in the Dolomites. So, if you're looking for a quiet retreat in the mountains, this may not be for you. But if you love to have access to all the tourist amenities you can think of, and then some, book a trip to Corvara today.
Let's discover the best things to do on a three-day trip to Corvara, Alta Badia.
Accommodation in Corvara
There's no doubt the best place to stay in Corvara is at a hotel, resort, or apartment with a view to the Sassongher mountain. You come here for the view, and the best view is the symbol of Corvara, the Sassongher.
Accommodation in Corvara is not cheap, unless you're camping. But you can save some money if you choose a self-catered apartment or chalet. The town has a grocery store where you can find all the basics, as well as bakeries and deli shops.
Transportation in Corvara
There's no train station in Corvara, and the best way to reach it is by car. If you rent a car at Venice Marco Polo Airport, you'll be in Corvara about three hours later. If you're coming from Austria instead, it will take you only two hours to reach Corvara from Innsbruck.
Corvara is tiny, and you can go everywhere on foot or by bike. If you need to travel between Corvara and nearby localities, there's a reliable bus service during the day.
Corvara is in a valley, and the climb to the Pralongia Plateau—where all the best hiking and cycling routes are—is long and steep. No matter how trained you are, save your breath and lots of time by taking the cable car or ski lift. Many of them remain open in the summer, from June till the end of September. Buy a pass for several days if you want to save a little.
Day 1: Walk from Col Alt to Rifugio Pralongia
If you're a mountain biker, you probably know Corvara is mountain bikers' heaven. You can rent the latest type of e-bike from one of the shops in town and hit the trails or the MTB park. If you love road bikes, there are many medium and difficult routes.
But let's say you haven't come here to cycle but to hike. You're in the right place.
Pack a hat, sunscreen, and snacks and take the cable car from Corvara to Col Alt. Pause to take in the views of the Pralongia Plateau, which span from meadows to the Marmolada glacier and the Austrian Alps.
Then, start hiking towards the Pralongia Hut. It's an easy trail, relatively level for the most part, with few climbs. Know that the path is shared by walkers and cyclists, so stay on the right side and watch out for bikers suddenly appearing behind you without warning. Though bikers are supposed to signal when they approach walkers, very few of them do.
The 10-km hike takes around 2.5 hours if you don't stop very often to take pictures. But there's no need to rush. Enjoy every bit of the walk among alpine pastures. Stop at each of the mountain huts you come across, whether for coffee and cake or just for the gorgeous views.
In the afternoon you can retrace your steps to Col Alt or choose trail number 24 to descend to Corvara. If you're not too tired at the end of the day, go for a stroll along the river at sunset and then treat yourself with an apple strudel with cream in a centre café.
Day 2: Get ready for high mountain adventure: From Passo Gardena to Corvara
Yesterday you enjoyed a leisurely stroll among alpine meadows and delicious breaks at mountain huts. Today it's time to put some rough terrain under those expensive hiking boots.
Either take the bus or walk until Colfosco and then get the cable car until Rifugio Jimmy , which overlooks the Gardena Pass. You're now in the Puez-Odle Natural Park. Go up till Forcella Cier (2467 m) and then, after enjoying the view and a sugary snack, continue towards Forcella di Ciampei (2366 m). From there start your descent towards Corvara, on the western flank of the famous Sassongher.
The hike is demanding and has some narrow and steep stretches, but if you're used to mountain walking and have a good fitness level, you should have no problem.
When you reach Corvara, treat yourself to a slice of Austrian cake from one of the bakeries or cafés in town. You've earned it!
Day 3: Either climb the Sassongher or enjoy some more Alpine meadows
If you're trained and not afraid of a 'via ferrata', climb the Sassongher (2665 m). This 10-km hike will take you from Corvara to the peak of the Sassongher and down to La Villa.
From Colfosco, hike towards Forcela Sassongher and then start your climb to the summit. Of course you climbed the peak for the view, so enjoy every bit of it.
From the top, retrace your steps till the Forcella di Sassongher and then go north. Follow trail number 5, which will eventually lead you to Utia de Gardenacia. From there start descending towards La Villa. Walking from La Villa to Corvara will add one more hour to a five-hour hike, so you might prefer the bus.
If you don't feel prepared to climb the Sassongher, or if it's a rainy day, go ice skating indoors to build up an appetite before you try the local cuisine. Or, make the most of a rainy day and spend it at one of the wellness centres in Corvara.
After two days of serious hiking, your legs are probably dreaming of Alpine-meadow strolls. So, if you don't want to climb the Sassongher, start your day in La Villa and go straight to the cable car La Villa–Piz La Ila. Follow the signs saying 'Panoramic Trail' and take the best photos of your trip to the Dolomites.
If you have time, spend the morning walking among the meadows and then have lunch at one of the mountain huts.
If you're short on time, head directly to Col Alt. It's an easy hike that takes about an hour. You can either go down on foot (it's quite a steep descent) or take the cable car back to Corvara.
Corvara is the quintessential holiday destination in the Dolomites. It has everything a tourist would want: lots of well-maintained trails, breath-taking panoramas, exquisite hotels and chalets, some of the best food in Alta Badia, and strategically placed mountain huts dotting perfectly manicured Alpine meadows. A trip to Corvara is likely to be the holiday in the Dolomites you've dreamed of. The only downside to a holiday in Corvara is that it will skyrocket your standards for mountain holidays.
- Hiking Map: http://www.tabaccoeditrice.it/ita/map.asp?cat=1&id=7
- Travel Guide: Via Ferratas of the Italian Dolomites: Vol 1: North, Central and East by Graham Fletcher and John Smith
- Alta Badia Tourist Information: https://www.altabadia.org/en/summer-holidays/trekking-hiking/hiking-maps.html
- Weather and Other Useful Information: https://www.altabadia.org/en/info-service/current-weather-and-weather-forecast.html
- Wellness Centers: https://www.altabadia.org/en/summer-holidays/activites-holidays-tips/wellness-centres.html
- Road Bike Tours: https://www.altabadia.org/en/summer-holidays/cycling/road-bike-tours-in-the-dolomites.html
- Public Transportation: http://www.sii.bz.it/