Corvara & Badia in the South Tyrol
excellent springboards for walks and via ferrata
enchanting places with stunning mountain backdrops
At the heart of the Dolomites, the Val Badia wends its way below spectacular mountains to the foot of Monte Sella, a vast and glorious massif and one of the great Dolomite peaks that exceed 3000m. The high end of the Val Badia is a paradise of dramatic rock and idyllic valleys. This is the Alta Badia and home to our chalet hotels, hotels and self catering apartments. To get an idea of where Collett’s Mountain Holidays are based in the Dolomites, click on the map to the right.
Collett’s offers an excellent range of half-board, B&B and self catering accommodation in Corvara (1537m) and Badia (1324m). Six days a week in each of these villages, we offer our free and optional programme of walks of all grades. We hold Office Hour in both villages and there is superb access to Ideas & Information for those who would prefer to venture out independently.
The enchanting Alta Badia
Our love of this beautiful valley brought us to Haus Valentin in Badia 13 years ago and now we have three wonderful hosted chalets just up the road in Corvara too. The Alta Badia is the South Tyrol at its most glorious.
The delightful pastoral scenery that surrounds Corvara and Badia characterises the abundance of gentle and medium level walks that are available in the Alta Badia, most of which are easily accessed from the doorsteps of our various properties. Yet there is also outstanding access and choice for the high level walker and for the Via Ferrata enthusiast. Trails leave both villages for the rocky reaches of the Puez Odle National Park and the extensive network of paths in the magnificent Fanes National Park, which spectacularly dominates the eastern flank of the valley. There is also superb access (on foot or by gondola) to the towering north and eastern walls of the Sella Massif with their exhilarating high trails and Via Ferrata options. Both villages boast strategically superb access.
Corvara is the largest of the five Ladin villages that constitute the majestic Alta Badia. Like Badia down the road, it is a South Tyrolean gem and a superb springboard for a mountain holiday. The many chalets, cafes and shops in Corvara are a charming mix of ‘modern & stylish’ and ‘traditional Tyrolean & alpine’.
The village is spectacularly dominated by the Sassongher (2665m), the south eastern turret of the Puez-Odle Massif, whilst the colossal eastern flanks of the Sella Massif to the south also vies for attention. Below these formidable walls of rock, there are idyllic flower meadows, upland pastures and woodland trails, which are the ideal haven for the more gentle walker. You can gaze for hours from these tracks across the valley to the dramatic massifs that form a seemingly endless rim of stunning peaks.
Down in the village the views are similarly absorbing and you can enjoy them from a host of different places, such as the sunbathing area at the swimming lake, various delightful cafes and, of course, the balconies, terraces and gardens of our chalets. The village itself has much to offer including a swimming lake (with sunbathing area), mountain biking, a high ropes garden, tennis, ice skating, a climbing wall, a fitness trail, two cable cars – all of which open on a seasonal basis.
From Corvara you can follow a delightful riverside trail for 5kms to the smaller village of Badia. This picturesque village is unforgettable, such is the dramatic dominance of the Fanes Massif that flanks the eastern side of the Alta Badia, climaxing at Pedraces with its pinnacle, Santa Croce, towering so dramatically over the village that it has become its trademark.
Haus Valentin, our much-loved base in Badia, enjoys this spectacle in all its glory and in the evening as the sun sets, guests gather on the sun terrace to witness this vast expanse of rock glowing rose pink as if on fire. This phenomenon is called the enrosadira and, whilst it brings a magical air to the whole Alta Badia, it is at its best above Badia.
At Badia the Alta Badia widens to produce truly enchanting pastoral landscapes, where the low or medium level walker will thrive. Yet, as with Corvara, access to high level areas is excellent and it is easy to venture into the labyrinth of high trails in both the Puez-Odle and Fanes National Parks, using waymarked tracks that start near Haus Valentin.
The village itself has several shops, banks, cafes, bars etc. The chairlift is an absolute ‘must’, whether you choose to stay in Corvara or Badia. It carries you peacefully over idyllic pastures, sleepy hamlets and traditional Tyrolean smallholdings, dropping you off at a beautiful spot, where the views are spellbinding and you can either spend a few hours relaxing on the sun terrace of a rifugio or start one of several delightful walks back to the village or venture into the dramatic high terrain of the Fanes National Park.
Office Hour in Corvara and Badia – Office Hour takes place in the bars of Chalet Bracun, Chalet Verena and Chalet Angelo in Corvara and Haus Valentin, Badia. Here you can join us for a drink and chat to our Outdoor Staff about walks, via ferrata, wildflower walks, painting and other itineraries they are offering the following day. Or, if you prefer to walk independently, glean ideas and suggestions for a self-guided day out. At Office Hour we can also help you book other activities such as horseriding, white-water rafting, paragliding etc..
The people and the area
The people here are helpful and friendly. Although few speak good English, most will have a go. Amongst themselves, they use a centuries-old Ladin dialect but otherwise Italian prevails (and German too, notably in the Val Badia). We have friendships with many local people. This should have positive repercussions for you and you will soon feel at home here.
At the same time, this area retains its own character and is not overwhelmed by the tourism it attracts. In the bars and cafes, you are just as likely to find local people playing cards or taking a break from their work, as you are to see walkers stopping for refreshment on their way through.
Modern history has shaped this area. Prior to 1918 it was Austrian territory, but after WWI, it became Italian. Mussolini set about italianising the region, but he was not entirely successful and the area now thrives on the harmonious co-existence of the Austrian and Italian cultures in a fascinating region where Latin meets Germanic.
Add to these cultures, the influence of a modern mountain-dwelling community with an enlightened, yet conservative approach to tourism and the result is a unique atmosphere of character and charm in an environment where there is lots to see and do.
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