Nominated by Dickie
Ease of access from the UK 6/10
Your easiest airport is Innsbruck, but that’s not the best connected of Alpine landing spots. Other options are Venice and Verona. Lots of good packages are available with tour operators.
Sense of scale and epicness 7/10
The Dolomites never fail to stun. Made from limestone, they’ve eroded from their original height so unlike the Alps they’re going down rather than up. Even if it’s by an inch a year that’s crucial vertical our great-great-great-great grandchildren will be missing out on, so we’re docking you points, Dolomites.
Variety and quality of the pistes 9/10
Lots of pistes in Selva, even more in the three other resorts around the Sella. Buy the Dolomiti Superski pass and explore the whole area. Corvara in Alta Badia is the most mellow, Arabba the steepest and Val di Fassa the smallest.
Off-piste potential 6/10
You need a guide to explore, at which point you’ll probably head up the Marmolada or onto the Sella – we like the latter for a trek across the top in any direction to one of its sublime (or ridiculous, hence the need for expert steerage) couloirs.
It has the greatest lap in ski-dom, the Sellaronda. The Fall-Line record for lapping the Sellaronda (when we raced a Mercedes) was just under three hours. It’s there to be beaten…
On-hill grub 10/10
We had a slightly overpriced beer once, in 1993. But the barman apologised and fed us plates of spicy sausage to make up for it. Coffees are STILL under €1.50, pizzas (freshly cooked to order) are STILL under €6. And there are a couple of restaurants which give would give upper-end Zermatt a run for its money.
Après scene 6/10
Not bad – Corvara is the glitzy place to be, but Selva has a couple of excellent bars with live music, plus there are now two clubs. It’s a fairly sound all-round bet, from posh tea on terraces to on-mountain end-of-day bombardino sessions.
Base suitability 7/10
Selva is at the heart of the Dolomiti Superski area, which has one ski pass (you’ll need one for the Sellaronda tour) that covers excellent resorts like Cortina, San Martino di Castrozza, Val di Fassa and Kronplatz, plus another seven. If you’re up for a longer duration trip and have a car, it’s an epic region to explore.
Family friendly? 8/10
Well sorted from the UK, with good offers from Ski Esprit and Crystal, crèches, base-level lessons and plenty to do in the evenings – enjoy watching Val Gardena get pulped at ice hockey, or catch the evening ski displays.