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Cross-Country Skiing in the Dolomites with VBT

IX 2014 Leadcrop
Welcome to the second post in a five-part series about the amazing cross-country skiing vacations that VBT is offering this winter. Last week we discussed the well-groomed cross-country trails, village strolls, dogsledding, and a delectable fondue dinner found on our Slovenia, Italy & Austria: Cross-Country Skiing the Alps vacation. If you tuned in before, be sure to check out the answer to last week’s trivia question at the end of this blog. But first let’s discuss our Italy: Cross-Country Skiing the Dolomites vacation. With four departures throughout January and February of 2014, there are plenty of chances to take this one- of-a-kind winter ski tour.

IX 2014 Secondary for web2
Located in northeast Italy, the Dolomites not only are an immense mountain range, but a region where residents transition fluidly from Italian to German due to its proximity to Austria.  Here, many locals spend their winters traveling by way of their skis. Because of this, the routes on our VBT vacations are well-marked by inviting alms—trailside restaurants that serve everything from light refreshments to full meals—where we’ll kick back, warm up and enjoy rubbing elbows with local skiers.

SleddingOn a VBT vacation we spend some quality time on the trails as well as off. On this ski tour we spend a day in the South Tyrol region, where we’ll ski and sled in the town of San Candido. After a morning ski along the Dobbiaco trails we’ll take the Haunold chairlift to the top of the mountain. After lunch, you may choose to rent a sled and cruise the 3km downhill back to the valley or simply return to San Candido via chairlift. Either way you’ll be in for some amazing views from the high vantage point on the mountain.

One of our favorite skis of the trip is the day we head to Passo Lavaze, a well-known landmark for cross-country ski Trip Leaderslovers. The Lavaze Cross-Country Skiing Centre is located on a plateau between Trentino and South Tyrol, with over 50 miles of trails perfect for skilled skiers and beginners alike. The trails wind through the plateau’s beautiful woods, as well as the spectacular mountains of the Latemar chain.

800px-Strudel_piecesWe also want to mention the delicious Alpine cuisine you’ll be enjoying as all VBT vacations include many meals. Enjoy local dishes like strudel and speck —a cured, smoked ham native to the Alto Adige region. We’ll even learn to make the former while staying at The Hotel Maria, a family- owned lodging with a magnificent view amidst the timeless beauty of the Val di Fiemme. Here, we’ll have a strudel cooking class with award-winning hotel chef, Monica Braito.

beersWe hope to see you out on the trails with us in some of the world’s most fascinating winter destinations. Remember, on a VBT vacation you’ll enjoy impeccable cross-country trails combined with local Trip Leaders, comfortable accommodations and plenty of wonderful interactions with the locals. For more information on the Italy: Cross-Country Skiing the Dolomites vacation you can visit us online at or request a catalog here. See you next week as the series continues with a blog about our Yellowstone in theWinter: Skiing America’s First National Park ​​vacation!

TRIVIA: The first person to answer the following question correctly in the comments section below will win a “VBT Ski Pack” complete with a VBT winter hat, ski ties & poster – Good luck!

                How often, on average, does Old Faithful erupt?
The answer to last week’s trivia question is Bombardino— a drink made by mixing 1/2 Advocaat (or eggnog) and 1/2 Brandy. It is served hot, with whipped cream on top. Congrats to Cheri W for winning the VBT Ski Prize pack!


Cross-Country Skiing Slovenia, Austria & Italy with VBT

VBT Slovenia LEAD

This winter VBT is offering five, fabulous cross-country ski vacations throughout the world to the Canadian Rockies, Dolomites, Julian Alps, Green Mountains, and Yellowstone National Park. Over the next month we’ll be posting a series DSC_3658short blogs that will highlight some of the great experiences—both on and off the trail—that these active vacations are chocked full of. For those of you who don’t know, VBT Bicycling and Walking Vacations added a new line of three Cross-country ski vacations in the winter of 2012/2013.  After a wildly successful first year, we’ve added 2 more vacations for the 2014 season. Each trip includes all accommodations, round-trip airfare—on European vacations—many meals, two expert local Trip Leaders, unique sightseeing and cultural activities. This week we kick off the month long series with a brief introduction to our Slovenia, Italy & Austria: Cross-Country Skiing the Alps vacation, which has five departures throughout January and February of 2014.

DSC_4370Tucked away in a snowy corner of Europe, the distinct cultures of Slovenia, Austria and Italy come together in the Julian Alps. Our journey begins in the shadows of Mount Triglav—the Julian range’s highest peak—in the Slovenian resort town of Kranjska Gora. There, we’ll glide along some of the regions finest ski trails and even ski up to visit the largest ski jump in the world, in Planica, during the trip.

As we crossover in to Italy, we’ll spend a morning in the picturesque village of ValbrunaMAR_1064 skiing through peaceful woods, alongside small streams and stunning views of vast snow-covered mountains like Mount Lussari. One of the “off the trail” activities that make this trip so special is an afternoon visit to Ararad Khatchikian’s International Sled Dog School in Tarvisio. Here, we’ll learn how this important means of alpine transport became a sport and then get to enjoy a dog sled ride, mushing the dogs ourselves!

DSC_3904The third country we’ll visit on this wonderful vacation is Austria. Our Austrian skiing adventure begins in Ramsau which lies on a plateau in the midst of the rugged Alpine terrain—an ideal locale for some word-class cross-country skiing. As per usual on a VBT vacations we’ll ski at our own pace, whether it is slow and steady on the flat valley trail or a vigorous jaunt up to another breathtaking vista. Many meals are included in the price of a VBT vacation and one of our favorites on this trip is the night we walk about a mile for our hotel up to the Gruberstube, which offers traditional Austrian fare, including a variety of fondues and a large selection of excellent wines from the region and beyond.

DSC_4923So join us this winter out on the trails in some of the world’s most jaw dropping cross-country skiing destinations. With VBT, after a fun-filled adventure day out in the snow, you’ll have a warm fire, comfortable bed and delicious, authentic meals to enjoy by nightfall. See you next week as the series continues with a blog about our Italy: Cross-Country Skiing the Dolomites​ vacation!

TRIVIA: The first person to answer the following question correctly in the comments section below will win a “VBT Ski Pack” complete with a VBT winter hat, ski ties & poster – Good luck!

What is the name of the warm, sweet winter drink found in small Alpine towns of Northern Italy…and on both of our European ski vacations?

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