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Getting around the Dolomites without a car

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Oct 8th, 2013, 03:57 AM
  #1
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Getting around the Dolomites without a car

Each year about this time I pop up with questions about ski destinations. Our grown son is an excellent skier and we enjoy a little time with him in ski destinations. We do not ski but love to walk about charming ski towns and dine on fondue and other winter delights. We've been to Chamonix, Zermatt, Innsbruck, Kitzbuhl, Garmisch and Salzburg. We're looking for a place for this year's trip. he's mentioned Courcheval, Gstaad and St. Moritz. IMO none of them look to have enough "stuff" in the surrounding areas to occupy us non-skiers and I'm countering with Val Gardena and Cortina in the Dolomites.

My plan would be to fly in and out of Munich spending our first (Dec. 24 to see their Christmas markets) ) and last night of the trip there, then taking the train and bus or taxi to Val Gardena area. My questions are:

How good is the bus transportation among the villages in the area? I'd like to see Castelrotto, Brixen, Corvara and several other places I've started to read about. Any other suggestions?

Can we reasonably "do" Cortina from Val Gardena or should we plan to divide our time between Cortina and Val Gardena? Which has the better skiing? the more to do for non-skiers?

Any other advice or caveats about the area and our plans? Thanks.
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Oct 8th, 2013, 05:38 AM
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We were based last week in Ortisei in Val Gardena and relied on their fantastic bus system, not to mention the gondolas! We even talked about not needing a vehicle at all!

There are passes you can get for unlimited travel in the Sud Tyrol. You can definitely get to Castelrotto easy enough. We also took the bus to Bolzano (don't miss The Ice Man, Otzi in the museum there!)

Check this site for bus schedules etc

Www.valgardena.it/en/bus-timetable/page454.html
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Oct 8th, 2013, 05:41 AM
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You can also read our trip report and see our pick if you click on my name!
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Oct 8th, 2013, 07:23 AM
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Thanks Jamikins, I just now found your report. Looks helpful. Thanks so much for the bus schedule. Now my worries are centering on hotel availability. We're pretty late to be looking for Christmas reservations.
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Oct 8th, 2013, 08:02 AM
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We stayed at Avita Suites in Ortisei and would highly recommend their apartments! Not sure how many people they would accommodate though...
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Oct 8th, 2013, 08:23 AM
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No, you cannot "do" Cortina from Val Gardena. Doing it with public transportation probably means a very indirect route, to the tune of 3 to 4 hours and several changes. With a car there are shorter itinerary with at least three passes, some of them possibly closed in winter.
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Oct 8th, 2013, 10:43 AM
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Why is this tagged "Switzerland" if it is about the Dolomites?

Btw, St. Moritz and the surroundings have more than enough to offer for non-skiers to keep you busy for a week or two. From museums to churches/monastery, cute villages, scenic excursions by train/bus, sports events (either active or watching), sleigh rides and so on.
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Oct 8th, 2013, 12:13 PM
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As asps told you, the passes between Val Gherdeina/Val Gardena/Groedental (all the same inthe different languages of people living there) and Corina d'Ampezzo are closed in winter. You would have to go down by bus to Waidbruck/Ponte Gardena, then by train to Franzensfeste/Fortezza - Toblach/Dobbiaco and finally by bus via Schluderbach/Carbonin to Cortina d'Ampezzo.

All well known winter sport stations have specially prepared winter hiking trails, toboggan pists, skating rinks, cross country ski routes, panoramic mountain restaurants, discoes, etc. St. Moritz has furthermore a museum, Scuol, Ragaz and Leukerbad have thermal spas.
Many resorts are less than 1 hr from a big town with tons of museums, theatre/opera performences, etc.
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Oct 8th, 2013, 12:16 PM
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We loved the Dolomites but agree that St-Moritz area offers plenty to see and do. I highly recommend that you stay in charming Pontresina.
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Oct 8th, 2013, 12:21 PM
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asps, thanks for the info. It's always better to hear from people who know than to look at a map in places like this and think "that looks doable"

Ingo, I marked this post Switzerland as well as Italy because some of alternative places we might consider are there--like St. Moritz. Thanks for your info about "stuff" there that we might enjoy while sonny is skiing.

His latest counter suggestions are Val d'Isere and Les Arcs neither of which look as accessible and "stuff to do for us" friendly but I'm certainly open to more info on them as well.
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