If you don’t happen to live in or near a winter resort skiing can be an expensive hobby. By the time you have invested in the necessary equipment and paid for your accommodation and lift passes it is all too easy to spend a fortune. The premier resorts are extremely costly but there are alternatives which are well worth exploring if you want to make your hard earned cash stretch a little further. One destination to consider is Tarvisio in the Julian Alps of north eastern Italy.
Tarvisio is located in the Udine region of Italy close to the Slovenian and Austrian borders. It is accessible from Klagenfurt, Trieste and Ljubljana airports and the roads are good in winter. Sitting in the extreme north eastern corner of the country it is not a tourist hot spot and so prices for accommodation are very reasonable and the lift passes are amongst the cheapest in Europe. You will also escape the crowds here especially on week days when the pistes are almost empty and there are no queues for the lifts. Indeed on my last visit to the resort in March my friends and I were approached by the lift operators one afternoon to ask if we were staying because we were the only people on the lower slopes. We stayed and had the mountain to ourselves for a couple of hours!
The resort is just a short drive from several other resorts including Sella Nevea in Italy and Kranjska Gora in Slovenia and so you have plenty of choices. You can save more cash by lodging in the Slovenian town of Bovec which is just 30 minutes away.
Tarvisio offers 19 pistes with a variety of runs to suit all levels of ability. The resort is broadly 30% beginner slopes 50% intermediate and 20% advanced. There are a couple excellent runs for total beginners on the lower slopes which are large enough to ensure that they are rarely congested. With 10 lifts, 32kms of slopes and an impressive maximum vertical descent of 1030 metres there is something to keep everyone happy here and the resort offers all the facilities you need for a successful trip. The season runs from the second week of December through to the beginning of April and the region had an excellent history of good snow.
The town is not exactly chocolate box pretty but it is relatively attractive and you can’t argue with the setting. There is a pleasant lack of snobbery and posing and the people are friendly and welcoming but if you want some really lively night life then this is not the resort for you. It is, however, the perfect place to start if you are new to the sport and just finding your feet.
If the focus of your trip is the skiing rather than the night life then Tarvisio is an excellent choice. It won’t cost the earth, the slopes are not overcrowded and you won’t waste any of your precious holiday time queuing for the lifts. You can choose to take on the runs both in Tarvisio and in the neighbouring resorts and the food is great too! What are you waiting for! It is time to pack up your equipment, don your sunglasses and to give Tarvisio a try!
Article by Sally Stacey