The Alps are home to some incredible winter adventure destinations and Bormio, Italy is definitely one of them. Located in Italy’s Lombardy region, Bormio is just across the Swiss border from the far more expensive St. Moritz, yet offers world-class skiing and a variety of winter adventure activities to keep both skiers and non-skiers entertained.
While Italy probably isn’t the first destination that comes to mind when you think of dog sledding, the Husky Village in Arnoga is located just 25 minutes from Bormio.
The owner left his career in Italy to move to Alaska and learn everything about dog sledding. When he arrived in Alaska, he found just the person to teach him the sport – none other than Joe Redington Sr, the founder of the Iditarod. He worked as a handler for Joe until he passed away. At that point he decided to move back to Italy and he brought back six dogs and found the perfect spot in the Alps to set-up a dog sled camp.
Today Husky Village is home to 48 Alaskan Huskies. We only had a small amount of time when we went, but we found the 5 kilometers (approximately 30-40 minute) excursion to be just the right amount of time for someone to experience dog sledding for the first time.
Arnoga is also a great place for snowshoeing in the Alta Valtellina. There is an excellent 11 kilometer path that heads deep into Val Viola away from all civilization. There are plenty of open hillsides to explore on your own should you want to venture off the trail a bit more.
The full route takes you between two enchanting peaks, Pizzo Bianco at 2827 meters and Corno di Dosdè at 3,232 meters. The route follows along a dirt path and is well marked along the way. It can even be done at night with a headlamp, or better yet, plan the hike for a full moon and if it’s clear you may not even need to use a head lamp.
Many ski shops in Bormio rent snowshoes, or ask your hotel or the tourist office in town to point you to a shop for snowshoe rental. Just be sure to bring some proper winter hiking boots and dress in layers as snowshoeing can be quite a workout.
Bormio Ski is a world class ski area and has hosted an amazing 46 Ski World Cup races. It has also hosted the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships twice, in 1985 and again in 2005.
One of the reasons Bormio Ski is so popular in Europe is that it has the ski run with the largest vertical drop in the Alps, an astonishing 1800 meter drop. Bormio is also home to the Pista Stelvio, one of the most challenging downhill courses in the world. It’s definitely a bucket list downhill course skiers want to add to their list of skiing accomplishments.
With 15 lifts and 50 kilometers of ski runs, it’s the perfect ski getaway. Skiing is available up to 3000 meters and you can count on snow all winter long. In fact, tthe resort was open for 126 days in the 2015 – 2016 season. They also have snow making capability on 80% of their slopes so there is never any need to worry if your ski trip will be cancelled for lack of snow.
Winter activities can be hard work and aren’t for everyone. My idea of a relaxing weekend is having fun on the slopes, but Jennifer’s is to relax at a spa. Bormio is home three thermal spa resorts. Long before Bormio was known for skiing, people from across Europe were traveling through Bormio for it’s natural hot springs and the heath benefits that go along with it. In fact, members of the Roman aristocracy even traveled to Bormio to enjoy the thermal baths and mountain views.
Snow Cat to the Chalet dei Rododendri
Quite possible the highlight of my winter adventure weekend in Bormio was riding in a snow cat up to Chalet dei Rododendri for dinner. Departing from the ski slope you take a snow cat for a 15 minute ride straight up the slope. Chalet dei Rododerndri sits at 2166 meters and offers panoramic views of the Bormio valley.
The food was amazing and all based on local Valtellinese classics. Be sure to try the Pizzocchero, a dish made of buckwheat noodles, kneaded, rolled and hand-cut and seasoned with melted butter, cheese, dairy and vegetables. If that doesn’t fill you up don’t miss bresaola al caprino, the local salami that is low-fat but oh-so-tasty.
After dinner head outside to enjoy the views over the valley and the peace and quiet up high on the mountain before taking the snow cat back down the ski slope.
My trip was provided by InLombardia365 as part of the #InLombardia365 campaign in cooperation with iambassador in order to bring you this story. However, Luxe Adventure Traveler maintains full editorial control of the content published on this site. As always, all thoughts, opinions, and enthusiasm for travel are entirely our own.