In 2009 the Dolomites mountains were made into a UNESCO (The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) world heritage site. Consisting of nine separate natural park areas covering a total of 142,000 hectares, the Dolomites fall across five Italian provinces. This vast area is now protected and managed for future generations.
The Dolomites are widely regarded as being among the most attractive mountain landscapes in the world. Their intrinsic beauty derives from a variety of spectacular vertical forms such as pinnacles, spires and towers, with contrasting horizontal surfaces including ledges, crags and plateaux, all of which rise abruptly above extensive talus deposits and more gentle foothills.
Skiing & Snowshoeing in a UNESCO National Park
Unique both in terms of scientific value and beauty, these mountains offer a special backdrop to a winter holiday. For the skier, the views add a new level of enjoyment. For those lucky enough to have skied through the Hidden Valley, passing directly through one of the natural park areas, the Dolomites’ dramatic towers of rock will always stand out in the memory. For those snowshoeing and walking, the chance to take in the panoramas on offer at a slower pace means an opportunity to get more intimately acquainted with the dramatic rock formations on display.
The difficulty in this area is maintaining the economic benefit of tourism to the area whilst sustaining the environment of the mountains. Hopefully the UNESCO status goes some way to maintaining a balance between the economy and the environment, allowing visitors to enjoy the outstanding beauty on offer, knowing it will be preserved for future generations.