Arabba

Overview

The importance of Arabba as a ski destination is not lost on us here at Snowfinders. The resort is growing in popularity with a keen number of returning British guests and "Arabbarians", if that is what the locals are known as, must be delighted with the uplift in visitor numbers from our wet and windy rock of a country. We just love the resort and are sure that you will too.

Arabba is a beautiful village of traditional feel with low rise buildings comprising of smaller hotels, pensions, apartments and chalets. The local church dominates the centre with forests surrounding the outskirts of the town. When returning from Arabba we guarantee that the adjectives you will be using will be "tradition", "charm", "rustic", and "quaint". Some may prefer the ritz and glamour of Courchevel but Snowfinders love it here in this friendly village full of locals. 

The resort sits as the second highest village in the Sella Rhonda ski circuit at 1600m and offers the quickest and easiest access to the Marmolada glacier which extends the skiing up to 3342m. With a lift pass that covers 1220km of piste you are sure to be suitably entertained for the whole of your ski holiday here. The Dolomites are noted for their beauty and unusual pink rock structure; something that is very different from the standard Alpine topography. The Porta Vescovo, sitting just above Arabba at 2600m, is a mountain that is particularly noted for its beauty and also it's scenic views across the Dolomites.

This area has given rise to "gastro-skiing" as the the restaurants in the Sella Rhonda are some of the very best in Europe. If you give up on the skiing, you can certainly perfect the eating here! 

Beginners may opt for easier options but if you are sharing the holiday with other differing standards then it isn't a no-go resort. The beginners area adjacent to the Burz lift is good and the ski school gets excellent reports too. Progression from this area is a little bit of a jump but with the typical Italian instructor lessons will be informal and fun - a perfect combination for development.

Intermediates will adore the skiing here. Most of Arabba's slopes are suited to the higher end of the Intermediate level but that shouldn't put off those at the lower end of the Spectrum as it is swift and simple to to get to  the easier runs. Any standard of intermediate will be able to do the famous Sella Rhonda circuit and this can take anything from 3.5 hours to 6 hours depending on how busy things are and if you are stopping for drinks and lunch etc. The First World War Circuit is also one of the most interesting ski routes in the world that takes in battlefields, historical war artefacts, bunkers, and even underground passageways.

Advance skiers will delight in the above runs but in addition will love the on-piste challenges directly above the resort. Off-piste is actually outlawed in Italy but this doesn't stop people enjoying some amazing off-piste in this area too. 

Positive

  • Traditional Italian village
  • Laid back and quiet
  • Beautiful scenic skiing
  • Huge ski area
  • Superb restaurants both on and off the mountain 

Negative

  • Quiet resort
  • The Ski Circuit can get crowded
  • Beginners have better options

Offslope/apres ski

For non-skiers there isn't a huge amount of diversions. In terms of winter sports there are good guided walking trails, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling. In the resort there is an ice rink and a selection of shops, bars and restaurants. 

Apres-ski is low key with relaxed bars rather than banging clubs. The mountain top Bar Plan Boe rocks from mid afternoon with loud music before the final ski into resort. Bar Peter and The Stube are always good with the former favouring cheesy Eurorock. Although options are no where near as diverse as somewhere like Val d'Isere you will find bars friendlier and it is far easier to meet and talk to people with a great international mix.

Our View

Pretty and scenic, why not try the true Italian ski experience in this fabulous ski area. Arabba may not be able to compete with Courchevel in name but in experience it will surprise many. If you want glamour then go elsewhere but if you seek charm and tradition then book now!

At a glance

Chalets:
7
Hotel & Apartments:
8
Pistes:
460 kms
Resort height:
1602 metres
Top station:
2520 metres

Suitability

Experts:
4 stars
Intermediates:
5 stars
Beginners:
3 stars
Non-Skiers:
2 stars
Scenery:
5 stars
Resort charm:
4 stars
Nightlife:
3 stars