It has been 5 years since our last visit to the beautiful Val di Fassa and things have changed a bit both in the valley and as a family (we are four now rather then three!). Here are my top 5 highlights from our most recent trip.
Vajolet Ski School
After a previous bad experience with the ESF in Châtel (France), my eldest (now 6) took some convincing that he should try ski school again but from the moment that we dropped him off on the first morning we knew that we had made the right choice. The instructors were caring and friendly and clearly had a passion for teaching young children! He loved it and went from being able to do a basic snowplough on the nursery slope to confidently skiing blue graded pistes by the end of the week. The experience was completed on the final evening with a presentation and trophy giving, he was so proud of his achievement.
Marmots beginner ski lessons: €205 (4 mornings – 9:30 – 12:15 and one whole day – 9:30 – 3:30)
Park Bimbo Neve Fraine
The Park Bimbo Neve in Fraine is one of many snow playgrounds across the Val di Fassa. It is the perfect spot to hang out with the kids, about a 5 minute drive from the village of Pozza di Fassa, it’s a sheltered and sunny location with free parking. As well as being the starting point for all the beginner ski lessons there is also a baby park, where my youngest (3 years old) spent the morning in a baby ski lesson. He did a trial morning for €50 and although the set up was excellent (fantastic pupil to instructor ratio and they got them all going on ski’s super quickly) we decided that he was just a tad too young and he would have more fun playing in the snow garden.
A morning was easily spent messing about in the snow garden, which was full of play equipment including an inflatable slide, massive ball pit, sledges and enthusiastic play leaders – toddler heaven! There is also a cafe for those all important coffees and hot chocolates. If I had to spend a morning hanging out in a park this is the one I would choose!
Baby Ski School: €50 trial session 9:30 – 11.15 or €180 for 5 mornings
Snow play: €7 for half a day (supervision also available)
QC Terme Dolomiti
Time for the adults to have some fun (or well deserved relaxation). We treated ourselves to an evening at the QC Terme Dolomiti Wellness Center in Pozza di Fassa and wow what an experience it was! This state of the art facility is only a few years old and is set over three floors containing every sort of spa treatment you could imagine. From plunge pools and waterfalls to steam and relaxation rooms if a trip here doesn’t relax you nothing will! Perhaps the most stunning feature is the outside pool complete with gorgeous view of the surrounding mountains, get there early to watch the sun set.
Entry to the QC Terme Dolomiti: €45 for an evening session (we arrived at 4:30pm and left at 10pm, this price includes a robe, towel, buffet diner and unlimited drinks). Fantastic value and the perfect way to unwind after a day on the piste (or looking after the kids!).
Ski Center Latemar
I hadn’t skied at the Latemar Ski Area since before the kids (so probably 8 years ago) and I was impressed with some of the updates. The ski area is approx 49km, but feels bigger, and stretches from Predazzo to Pampeago and Obereggen. We had an excellent day of skiing traversing across the three resorts and back again. The lift system is modern and they have further updated some of the chairs since my last visit, making this the quietest area we skied all week with hardly a queue is sight. At Obereggen there are a couple of sledge runs and at Pampeago there is a great snow park with half pipe, banked slalom and rails and jumps from beginner to pro. To finish the day we took a trip on the alpine roller-coaster at Predazzo, short but sweet!
Night-time Mountain Hut Trip
My final highlight of the week was a night-time excursion to a mountain hut. We took a ski-doo ride to the Agritur Malga Monzoni hut. It was a magically journey through the snow covered forest and it was hard to believe that there was going to be a restaurant at the top! Looking up at the night sky was particularly memorable, with no light pollution the stars were amazingly bright, truly beautiful.
The ski-doo ride to the Agritur Malga Monzoni hut took about 15 minutes (you can choose to walk to really build up an appetite – taking approximately an hour and half). The family run restaurant serves traditional mountain cuisine – we had a delicious local cheese and meat platter to start and then lots of meat and potatoes, all very yummy and very filling.
But the evening was really all about the epic sledge ride back down the valley, sending yourself hurtling down the mountain on a plastic tray in pitch black with nothing more then the moonlight and the shouts of your friends to guide you is terrifying and thrilling in equal measures! How we all got to the bottom without losing anyone I don’t know – but we all survived to tell the tale and I think it’s going to be one of those things that we HAVE to do every time we visit the valley.
Ski-doo ride and sledge: €15
Dinner cost per head including drinks: €25
The Val di Fassa never disappoints and despite it being much busier then I have seen before (being half-term and the start of carnival) and not having snowed for nearly two months we had a fantastic week. The snow was in great condition (maybe a bit slushy towards the very end of the day), the sun shone all week for us and kids and adults alike had an amazing time both on and off the snow.