Arabba is located in the Dolomites, in the Italian province of Belluno, east of the famous Val di Fassa. It is one of the smallest ski resorts in the region, but it is widely known among experienced skiers for its proximity to the Marmolada mountain range, which rises to an altitude of 3342 meters. Arabba is surrounded by the peaks of the Mesola, Portados, Porta Veskovo and Burtz mountains.
How to get there
Vacationers from other countries get to the resort most often via Venice, Treviso or Austrian Innsbruck. A special Ski Shuttle runs regularly from Venice Marco Polo Airport to Arabba in the winter and the journey takes approximately two and a half hours. Also there is a railway station of Brixen, which is just 70 kilometers away from the resort.
The ski season on Arabba lasts from December to April, but skiing is possible even in summer, thanks to the glacier on the northern side of the Marmolada, the highest of the Dolomites. At the same time, good weather is guaranteed here at least 300 days a year. The resort itself is located at an altitude of 1600 meters, in the middle of the Livinallongo valley. The total length of marked slopes is 62 km, almost 60% of which are slopes intended for experienced skiers and snowboarders. The maximum height difference is 1465 meters. The slopes are served by 16 chairlifts, 9 cabins and 3 drag lifts.
Although Arabba attracts mostly skilful skiers, there are many interesting runs for beginners too. First of all, these are the slopes in the Passo di Campolongo and Alti di Ornella area, near the Campolongo pass or on the slopes of Pordoi, Sass De La Vegla and Pista Del Sole. The red slopes of Bec de Roces require careful attention, as they are much more difficult than they seem on a map. The most pleasant skiing is at the top of the Marmolada glacier. Pista Bellunese, which is the longest slope of the resort, starts from there and its length reaches 12 km.
The black runs of Arabba are among the most challenging in the entire Dolomites system. Descents from the summit of Porto Vescovo such as Fodoma, Ornella and Suarez are capable of thrilling even the most skilled skiers. They are distinguished by steep rifts and difficult terrain. But extreme lovers are mostly attracted to Arabba by the possibilities of freeriding. For high-speed off-piste skiing, you should go to the northern side of Porta Vescovo or to the same Marmolada glacier. If this is not enough, you can take a ski safari along the Sella Ronda circular route, which unites as many as four ski resorts.
Many marked slopes are illuminated so you can ski at any time of the day. In addition to them, there are 15 km of cross-country skiing tracks near the resort. For those who have just started to master skiing, there are two schools in Arabba – Rocca-Marmolada and Arabba Ski School. The second includes the children’s Snow White Village, where they are admitted to study from the age of two.
Ski-passes and equipment
A daily ski-pass will cost 57 euros for adults and 40 euros for children and adolescents from 8 to 16 years old. The cost of a weekly pass for adults is 299 euros and for children it is 209 euros. Skiers who are from 3 to 7 years old can use the lifts free of charge if they are accompanied by an adult who has their own ski pass.
There are three rental shops at the resort: Ski Service Nico Arabba, Orizon and Sport Samont.
Guests of Arabba are offered about 70 accommodation options, including both hotels and small hospitable residences. Especially popular are the four-star Grifone (located near Passo Campolongo), the three-star Alpenrose, Garni Royal and Garni Serena.
Recreation and entertainment
The resort is aimed primarily at the pros and enthusiasts who come to the Alps with the only purpose to ski all day long. Nevertheless, there is an opportunity to spend an exciting time outside the snow-covered slopes. Panoramic helicopter tours allow you to see the majestic Alpine peaks from above. The tour costs about 70 euros per person. But you can admire the scenery from above without a helicopter, because there is one of the best viewing platforms in the Dolomites on the Sass-Pordoi mountain. And for the most daring, there is an alternative opportunity to explore the local beauty – paragliding.
There are excursions to the medieval Andraz castle in the vicinity of Arabba. It was built in the 1st century AD and served as a military fortress for a long time. There are also two museums – Fodom Ladin, dedicated to local history and the World War I museum. The village itself has an open skating rink and two swimming pools – one is in the Portavescovo hotel and the other is in the Sporthotel Arabba. The most interesting of the activities for children is riding on children’s snowmobiles.
There are just over twenty restaurants offering mainly Italian cuisine. Al Forte is renowned for its live music and Rue de Mont serves the best pizza at the resort. Miky’s Grill and Bec de Roces have the most affordable prices. And the nightlife is concentrated in the Bacchus Cellar Bar, La Treina and Peter’s Bar.
As already mentioned, Arabba is a place for skiing and not for social gatherings. There are no expensive luxury hotels, trendy boutiques or a vibrant nightlife here. Also, the resort cannot boast of a large number of training slopes. But experts with a solid experience will appreciate the wide freeride areas, the superb black runs and the access to the glacier on the Marmolada mountain.