Every winter millions of enthusiastic skiers head for the European resorts for their sporting holidays. The best known and most popular resorts in Italy become extremely busy with crowded pistes and lengthy queues for the lifts. Lift passes can be extremely costly and it is a major frustration to spend too much time queuing rather than skiing if you really want to get the most out of your investment. If you are looking for a resort which offers great value for money, a good selection of runs and the benefit of being relatively quiet then take a look at the three adjacent resorts of Kanin, Sella Nevea and Tarvisio.
The Kanin ski centre is near Bovec in Slovenia close to the Italian border and is connected by chairlift to Sella Nevea on the other side of the mountain in Italy. Bovec is a relatively attractive small town with a glorious setting at the foot of the Julian Alps and is accessible from Ljubljana, Klagenfurt and Treviso airports all of which are served by budget airlines. Both hotel and self-catering accommodation is very reasonable in price in the area and so Bovec is the perfect place to set up base if you want to ski all three resorts.
The Kanin ski area is quite small but does offer runs to suits all abilities, a ski school and benefits from great snow. Skiing is usually possible here until May making it a great choice if you are looking for somewhere to ski late in the season. The really cool thing about Kanin is the absence of people with the slopes being relatively quiet every day and almost deserted in the week. With a 6 day lift pass currently costing only £120 and offering access to Sella Nevea for two days this place is fantastic value.
This little known ski centre in Italy could barely be described as a resort as there really isn’t much at the foot of the mountain except a couple of hotels and a car park. It is not the place for you if you are looking for lively evenings or a pretty town but if you want some excellent pistes and no lift queues Sella Nevea is a great choice. There are some 25km of red, blue and black runs and on many days you will almost have the place to yourself. The underdevelopment of the region is a result of fears about the avalanche risk which halted the planned developments in the 1970’s. This was followed by the bankruptcy of the lift operator! The avalanche protection is now in place and the lifts are run by a state owned company and so all is well.
The Italian resort of Tarvisio is the largest of the three and the best known and yet despite this and a well-developed town, still receives relatively few skiers. Tarvisio has hosted World Cup skiing and has an excellent range of well-maintained pistes for skiers of all abilities. The resort caters very well for beginners but offers enough challenging runs for even the most experienced skier to enjoy with 10 lifts, 19 pistes and a fabulous 1030 metres of vertical descent. Tarvisio is accessible from Venice, Treviso, Klagenfurt and Ljubljana airports and is just a 30 minute drive from both Sella Nevea and Bovec.
All three resorts make a great base for a skiing holiday having reasonably priced accommodation and lift passes and very quiet runs. You can take on all three in a single trip and each has a ski school, equipment hire and well stocked shops selling everything you need from kid’s ski goggles to the latest ski-wear and more. Your only sacrifice will be the night life but if time on the runs is your priority you could hardly make a better choice.