The fame of Canazei as a mountain resort is due largely to its strategic position in relation to the Dolomite Passes such as Pordoi, Sella and Fedaia. It lies, in fact, in the heart of the Dolomites. Ultra modern ski lifts have also made Canazei a model resort in the Alpine range, directly linked to the famous ‘Sellaronda’. Indeed, in winter, Canazei becomes the nerve centre for the whole valley as the way to the best and most popular ski lift carousels, used by thousands of tourists form Italy and abroad, mostly from northern Europe.
The village lies in an incredible natural basin at the foot of some of the most attractive peaks in the Dolomites. This particular location has meant that while Canazei has seen considerable construction and growth in recent decades it has remained firmly linked to its roots in Ladin traditions, much evidence of which can be seen in both the architecture and local customs. Much attention is paid to preserving the traditions of the Ladin people who still today love to come together in groups for dancing, the theatre and culture thus creating groups and associations through which this unique popular heritage is expressed. Every year, at the end of the summer, the representatives of all the Ladin peoples get together in Canazei for a single great procession called “La Gran Festa da d’Istà”, which has become a classic date in the calendar of local traditions.
Then in winter, Canazei is the true capital of skiing, an excellent departure point for skiers at all levels. Canazei offers the very latest on the winter sports market across all related disciplines. The Canazei Marmolada Ski School, with over 80 instructors, provides assistance and instruction at all levels and across all styles from carving to telemark, through ski excursions to the highly popular snowboard. The nursery slope is broad and very popular and equipped with a conveyor belt to help those just starting out on the snow. Beyond lie the colourful snow park and Kinderland, facilities provided to ensure the best welcome for the youngest skiers. There are assistants, entertainment and good food to ensure parents have the best care for their children. A little further on is the “Eghes” centre with its swimming pool, a relaxation centre not only for skiers, recently built in the style of the Roman baths and today the focus of wellness in the valley.
From the centre of Canazei using the modern Canazei/Pecol ski lift with automatic coupling, you can reach the Canazei/Col Rodella ski area with 25 km of ski pistes linked to Val Gardena, Arabba and Corvara. The broad valley of Belvedere is home to a play area reserved for children who can get in with their skis on, a boarder cross run and has a jumping off point for spectacular 2 person hang-glider flights.
Just beyond Canazei is the hamlet of Alba with its accommodation facilities and the Ciampac ski area, famous for the black run which swoops down towards the village and the sunny valley above it packed with pistes and mountain refuge huts. The only high altitude cross country ski circuit in the valley, usable well into the spring, is also found here. Furthermore, the Tananai Miniclub provides assistance and entertainment for children from 18 months and up.
Leaving Alba, you come to Penia, a charming Ladin village and home to the traditional ‘Ladin Carnival’ which takes place every year with its characteristic figures. The road rises towards Passo Fedaia and Marmolada which can be reached via the ski lift, taking you up to 2638 m at Pian dei Fiacconi in about 15 minutes. This is a true paradise for spring skiing enthusiasts.
Summer in Canazei is populated with climbers and excursionists on the paths and climbing routes which cover the area, leading to the very popular natural climbing walls. Canazei strikes the perfect balance between sport and nature, events and culture, relaxation and nightlife. Indeed, the clubs, pubs and local restaurants provide après ski for all tastes into the small hours, especially in winter.