"Cortina, called the Queen of the Dolomites, is located at an altitude of 1,224 metres above sea level in the centre of the Ampezzo Basin. Just stroll through the streets of the city centre to admire some of the most famous peaks, such as Tofane, Pomagagnòn, Cristallo, Faloria, Becco di Mezzodì, and Five Towers.
The real thrill, however, is discovering these mountains in their most intimate essence, thanks to the large variety of hikes and outdoor activities for every time of the year.
Slow hiking, iron roads for experienced mountain climbers, mountain bike routes, snowshoeing, curling lessons, fat bike rentals, snowkiting: a wide choice of activities suitable for every type of tourist, to satisfy both families and those seeking the adrenalin rush of extreme sports. Riding a bicycle or on foot or on skis, you can fully experience the mountains and savour local dishes at the many high-altitude mountain huts.
Cortina skiing and winter sports
Talking about winter sports, Cortina is a true paradise: from downhill skiing to snowboarding, from cross-country skiing to snowshoeing, as well as sledding, ski touring, ice climbing on frozen waterfalls, and ice skating. Translated into numbers, the Cortina ski area offers, for skiing alone, 86 slopes for 120 km of descents, 13 black for expert skiers, 36 cable cars, 70 km for cross-country skiing.
Trails for different degrees of difficulty. From the simple, but no less fun and scenic slopes, to the trails made famous by the World Ski Championships where you can test your technique and desire for adrenalin rush.
Cortina’s tradition is also linked to snowboarding: thanks to the excellence of its slopes, every winter the Snowboard Cross and Snowboard Parallel World Cup makes a stop in the Ampezzo Basin.
Cortina is part of Dolomiti Nordic skiing: Europe’s largest Nordic ski carousel with 1,300 km of slopes. The routes in the basin are 70 km long and connect to the Nordic Arena Dobbiaco in Val Pusteria. Every year, the historic Dobbiaco—Cortina Gran Fondo takes place here.
Shopping, events and cuisine in Cortina
One of the peculiarities of Cortina is that it is both a place with a unique natural panorama and a cosmopolitan place. From events, to gastronomic offerings featuring traditional dishes and haute cuisine, to the renowned Corso Italia, which, with its stores, boutiques, jewellery stores, perfumeries, art galleries and clubs, is one of Italy’s most famous shopping streets.
Curiosities and tips
- In Cortina, the ancient order of the Regole d’Ampezzo, which governs the use of land by the inhabitants, is still in use.
- In 1956, Cortina was the first Italian resort to host the Winter Olympic Games. Seventy years later, with Milan Cortina 2026, it will once again host the Winter Olympics and Paralympics.
- In 1981 Cortina was the location of one of James Bond’s adventures in “For Your Eyes Only.”
- Held in September is the Delicious Festival Dolomiti, a sporting, cultural and gastronomic event with the aim of enhancing the historical, natural, mountaineering and food and wine heritage of the Lagazuoi, 5 Torri, Giau area of Cortina d’ Ampezzo
- The Lavaredo Ultra Trail is the international Ultra Trail event that brings 5,000 people from 70 nations to Cortina, who compete in different lengths (from the 120 km of ultra trail experts to the 10 km of the amateurs to the 200 participants in the Kids Run.
- A pile of books is an annual event that brings authors, storytellers and narrators to Cortina from December to spring in direct contact with readers
- Every year, the Lagazuoi Winning Ideas Mountain Awards recognize projects submitted by companies, start-ups and associations that promote the mountains as the territory of the future. At the arrival point of the Lagazuoi cable car, there is an exhibition centre (among the highest in the world) where works and projects are displayed
- Cortina Sky Line is a lift that connects Tofane with 5 Torri (the Five Towers). It is a unique scenic ride that allows you to get from one place to another in Cortina without a car. It is suitable for skiers, but also for hikers, walkers and bikers.