Many people thought I was
Fast forward to a week after our return. It was one of the best decisions to swap our beach holiday for an adventure in the mountains.
An Italian family holiday
The trip certainly proved to be a holiday of firsts. It was the first time we’d experienced spending summer in the mountains on an Italian family holiday. The first time we’d all worked together to reach a goal (get to the top of that very, very steep hill). And the first time I’ve seen faces of pure joy and exhilaration on my girls when they realised they could do it combined with their pop-out eyes at the awesome (their words) park. If I could bottle those feelings I would be a very happy lady.
We were lucky to have our concierge Alexandra at the Rosa Alpina on hand. Who advised us on many of the family walks. There are so many options, it’s good to get some advice. Our walks were all stroller friendly too for my two year old nephew.
One of the best things you can do is buy a lift pass for either three, five or twelve days. An adult pass for five days is €65 and a junior (8-16 years) is €46 amd 8 and under are free.
TOP TIP: If travelling with under 8’s ensure that you carry a passport with you to prove their age. They’re quite strict on the discounts, as we found out.
We spent time in three areas on our visit to this beautiful location in northeast Italy. Here’s the perfect Dolomites itinerary for first-timers and those wanting a family-friendly hiking holiday.
READ MORE: Rosa Alpina Hotel & Spa Hotel Review
SAN CASSIANO, Italy
This lovely little mountain village was our base and the location of our Hotel Rosa Alpina.
One of our first adventures began with jumping on a cable car to Piz Sorega. Where we experienced our first Movimënt park.
The theory behind the park – work on your muscles whilst being surrounded by glorious alpine meadows. The training effects at the fitness parks are further increased with being 2003 metres above sea level.
Things to do in Piz Sorega
There are three main parks like Piz Sorega in the region and you could easily spend the whole day enjoying the outdoor activities on offer.
Kids have access to free climbing walls, little streams with water games, mini golf, a cave with games dedicated to all things bear, slides, adventure trails and geocaching to name a few. Who needs Pokemon Go?
Las Vegas Alta Badia
After convincing the kids there was more on offer for the price of a short walk we ventured to Las Vegas and climbed a further 2011 metres.
This would be the alpine version of course
We continued with a descent down to Saraghes, which was a further 30 minutes walk through meadows and on walking paths.
Over the final hill and with the goal in sight the girls ran all the way down the hill to the rifugio (mountain hut).
It housed a great wooden playground, mini zipwire and a meet and greet style goats pen with rabbits. The kids were all over it.
Food at the Rifugio
After all the walking we devoured classic spaghetti
Bellies full and playground exhausted, we made the hour walk back down to San Cassiano through magnificent scenery.
We were subjected to unusually cool temperatures hence the neck to toe clothing. Nevertheless it proved to be a successful first day in the mountains with the kids.
Piz la Ila
Our second day began in La Villa. We travelled up to 2077 metres via cable car to Piz la Ila. The views were spectacular into the valley below.
Landing straight into another Movimënt park. The trampoline slash huge bouncy mat in one meant we were literally dragging the kids from to lunch at the onsite rifugio.
Once we’d finished lunch the clouds had started to gather rapidly and light drizzle soon followed. We headed back early to the hotel to enjoy the pool. Although by the time we got to San Cassiano there was no rain (the difference of a few hundred metres).
On our third day we were walking in 26 degrees – At last the hills were going to be alive with the rays of sunshine!
The idea was to see the Pisciadu waterfalls, followed by a short walk and lunch at a well known spot -Jimmy’s hut. It all started off so well too. The walk to the falls was along flat walking paths. With no shade from the heat we took a slower pace than usual.
At the foot of the falls you enter a huge picnic spot full of families. The short rocky climb to get closer to the waterfall is not stroller friendly or tiny feet friendly unless little ones are strapped to you.
My girls were keen to go up, so we ventured further. We went as far as the tiny bridge enough to get your feet wet. You could climb further for a more challenging walk with older children.
Then the fun and games began. We had a choice of either heading back to the start of the walk and catching a cable car all the way to Jimmy’s Hut or walking to the next cable car stop, via a short slightly steep walk.
Of course we went for the short slightly steep option. Well! a) It wasn’t short and b) there was no slightly steep about it. I’m talking very steep inclines. Even the mountain buggy had trouble staying on course. In the end it was a team effort of lugging the mountain buggy up, carrying a two year old and geeing the four and seven year olds with promises of ‘it’s not far‘.
An hour in. Huffing, puffing, melting and slightly concerned. We realised the walking path we were on was actually leading us away from the cable car stop we could see in the distance. One executive team decision later we started following (with fingers and toes crossed) an overgrown path in the direction of the promised cable car.
Through meadows full of moo-ing bullocks, unimpressed cows and humongous cowpats we clambered over a few more hills. Making the final push to the elusive yellow cable car. Oh the relief.
The location of Jimmy’s hut is special. The sun terrace looks out to the Sella group of mountains, Langkofel and Cir peaks. Worth the stress of veering onto the wrong path.
Totally famished after our epic walk, Jimmy’s dealt with our hunger with some great food. The kids were happy too with their mini playground, sandpit and trampoline.
This time it was me who had to be dragged from the cosy oversized bean bag at home time.
Once back in Colfosco via the cable car, we ditched our original idea of the 30 minutes walk to Corvara. Enough adventures for the day. Instead we drove and explored the town. Mr S even managed some technical trekking clothes shopping. We finally ended with a well deserved dinner at the popular pizzeria La Fornella.
After the two hour hairy adventure from the previous day, our last day took a more mellow vibe. Back to Corvara we took a different cable car to Col Alt and enjoyed lunch at the rifugio at the top.
Stuffed with goodies we took a leisurely 30 minutes walk to the chair lift that would take us to La Fraina where the kids enjoyed the mini playground and animal park with goats, cows, chickens, and rabbits. And the adults indulged in affogatos and jumping shots.
I suppose you could say we enjoyed ourselves a bit too much. The next time we looked around, there was no-one around apart from us. The rifugio owner informed us the chair lifts were about to close. He kindly called the lift operators of both stations to warn them of a stray family heading in their direction as we made a mad dash. Being stranded at 2003 metres – averted.
I cannot recommend this Italian family holiday enough to anyone with tiny humans – The breathtaking scenery, the nature, the fun, the fresh mountain air, the health benefits, the animals, the activities,
the cow pats the gastro fest and the people. I could carry on but I think you get the gist.
It just goes to show that a beach towel doesn’t have to come as standard for a family summer holiday. This was our very first summer in the mountains and it most certainly won’t be our last!
The two closest international airports serving the Dolomites are located approximately 100 miles away in Venice or in Innsbruck.
Would you swap the beach for the mountains? Have you already been in the summer? I’d love to know about your experiences. Let me know in the comments box below.
PIN FOR LATER
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