In the next in our series of articles about the best ski resorts you’ve (probably) never heard, Craig Burton, Managing Director of Ski Solutions tells us why he thinks Alpe Cimbra in Italy is the Alps’ best kept secret.
With soaring peaks, impressive snow parks and a ski circuit that winds its way through historic war forts, Alpe Cimbra is full of thrills. Located just 75 minutes’ drive from Verona airport, this resort is the perfect place for a ski weekend. Compared to other Alpine destinations, it has an under-the-radar feel – ideal for those who want to get off the beaten piste.
Relaxing blue runs
If you’re a fan of cruising down easy blue runs, you’ll adore Alpe Cimbra. It’s one of Europe’s largest alpine pasture areas, with gentle plateaus running through the peaks. The wide runs are ideal for beginner and intermediate skiers, while winding forest trails will suit those looking for more of a challenge. The family-friendly resort has great children’s facilities, including themed slopes and a baby park with inflatable toys.
If you need more than blue runs to get your heart racing, spend some time discovering the area’s cult black slopes – Agonistica and Avéz del Prinzep. Along with red runs Tol and Salizzona, these are often used for training by professional athletes including the Austrian ski team. Alpe Cimbra also has four snow parks, where advanced skiers can work on their technique or have fun trying their hand at tubing and sledging.
History and modernity combined
History buffs will love donning their skis for the Skitour dei Forte circuit. This 70km route connects the villages of Lavarone and Folgaria, through slopes studded with First World War forts. Difficulty ratings range from green to black, so there’s something for every level. As well as its historic attractions, Alpe Cimbra has plenty of contemporary mod-cons, such as fast-moving lifts and artificial snowmakers on every slope, ensuring prime powder throughout the season.
The Alpe Cimbra ski area has three villages: Folgaria, Lavarone and Lusérn. Folgaria, a medieval village dating back to the 13th century, is the largest. The main street is fully pedestrianised and lined with boutiques and aprés-ski haunts, such as Ristorante da Ugo, a typical trattoria with cosy cabin décor. Try the canederli – Trentino dumplings made from bread, meat and cheese.
While all three villages are steeped in the Cimbri tradition, Lusérn is the undisputed heart of this near-forgotten culture, and locals here still speak the historic Cimbro language. Ice skating fans will love Lavarone: its tree-lined lake becomes a natural ice rink in winter. Rent some skates and practice your moves before warming up with a hot chocolate.
The four-star Muu Village resort is ideal if you’re after a bit more independence. Its mountain-side apartments sit half a mile from the centre of Folgaria. With large balconies that are perfect for sipping aprés-ski schnapps and a wellness area with a Turkish bath, it provides a relaxing, self-catering base.
The four-star Blu Hotel Natura & Spa is just steps from the medieval town centre. Exposed wooden beams in each room exude cosy chalet style, and the full-service spa is a dream come true for tired legs.
For a rustic option, head to the recently renovated Alpen Hotel Eghel. The tranquil wellness centre has an outdoor pool and whirlpool corner with gorgeous views of the Alpine peaks.
Alpe Cimbra at a glance
- Altitude: 1850m
- Alpe Cimbra ski area: 104km
- Lift pass price (6 day): €211 high season | €192 middle season | €165 low season
- Resort open and close: Opens – 2 December | Closes – 2 April
- Nearest airport: Verona
- Slopes: 67 (39 blue, 22 red, 4 black)
- No of lifts: 37
- Snow park: One snow park, 290m long, 20m wide