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Cyclist rides down main street in Corvara in Badia, Italy. You can see large mountain in background and traditional buildings on either side of road.

Corvara, Italy – My Summer Guide to the Dolomites Village

Corvara in Badia is a small-ish village nestled in at the bottom of a few famous mountain passes in Alta Badia.  It’s a skier’s / hiker’s / cyclist’s paradise, it’s got restaurants to satisfy gourmands and hungry hikers, and it’s a Ladin area – so you get a taste of the Ladin culture if you decide to stop in.

I’ve been visiting the Dolomites since 2004, and Corvara in Badia is almost always on our itinerary.  I’ve spent time in Corvara leading hiking and biking groups, as a participant in the Maratona dles Dolomites bike race, as a solo traveler, and with my friends and family.  Because I’ve spent almost all of my time in Corvara in the summer months, that’s the time period I’m going to focus on.

Let’s take a look at the village – and you can decide if it’s a good place to add to your summer Dolomites itinerary!

For more family-specific info, check out my Summer Guide to Corvara in Badia with Kids

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Where is Corvara in Italy?

Corvara in Badia is in the Dolomites in Northern Italy.  It’s in Alta Badia and is about halfway between Ortisei and Cortina d’Ampezzo.

Who Will Love Corvara in Badia in the Summer

Corvara will make a nice Dolomites base (or day trip) if you:

  • Want access to countless hikes
  • Are okay using chairlifts and gondolas to access hikes
  • Want to cycle on some of Italy’s most beautiful (and challenging) mountain passes
  • Plan on participating in a granfondo, cycling race, or bike event in the area
  • Want access to all levels and types of hotels, from modest B&Bs to 5* hotels
  • Are planning on trying some of the area’s Michelin-starred restaurants

You may find better Dolomites options for you if:

  • You’re on a tight budget.  Corvara can be pricey, and some of the neighboring villages offer better hotel rates.
  • Don’t want to use chairlifts and gondolas (whether you’re afraid of heights or just don’t want to add the extra cost to your trip budget).  Most hikes from Corvara in Badia require or are best accessed by lifts and gondolas.
  • You want to be near the Autostrada.  Corvara is tucked pretty deeply into the mountains, so if you need to be traveling to other places, you’d be better off closer to Bolzano or at least in the Val Gardena.

When to Visit Corvara in the Summer

View from above of Colfosco (near distance) and Corvara (far distance). Mountains further back. Foreground is green grass and wooden fence.
Colfosco and Corvara (in the center in the distance)

Corvara in Badia is pleasant to visit throughout the summer.  In order to avoid possible snow and to have at least some of the lifts open, I’d plan on booking after mid-June.  I’ve been in the area in early June with snow, and most trails were unusable. 

Many lifts close mid-September for the summer season, so I’d also plan on booking before then.

You can check the lift schedule on the official Alta Badia website.

Corvara in Badia is busiest from July to August, with August being the time of year when you’ll find trails, restaurants, and hotels most packed. 

The main events that tend to fill up hotels include the Maratona dles Dolomites (first Sunday of July), the BMW HERO Südtirol Dolomites Bike Festival (mid-June), and Sellaronda Bike Day (mid-June).

Weather-wise, expect warm days around 20°C (68°F) and cooler evenings around 10°C (50°F).  I always have close-toed shoes and a jacket or fleece for evenings when visiting Corvara – even during August! 

Corvara as a Base vs Visiting Corvara for a Day

I’ve stayed in Corvara in Badia and I’ve also visited on day trips from nearby towns.  Here are some things to note when you’re deciding whether to make it your home base in the Dolomites or to visit on a day trip from a nearby village.

Corvara as a Base:

  • Not easy to get to.  Best to arrive by car, and it’s quite far from ‘main’ roads like the Autostrada.
  • Hotels can feel expensive for what you get – especially if you visit during the high season or when there’s a big event in town.
  • There’s not really a village ‘center.’ The main street running through town has shops, restaurants, and cafés, but there’s not a cute little piazza for hanging out or a pedestrian center you’ll find in other Dolomites villages and towns.
  • There are a ton of amazing hikes close to Corvara.
  • It’s near other beautiful villages so day (or even ½ day) trips are easy.

Corvara as a Day Trip:

  • Easiest to access from nearby towns like those in the Val Gardena (Ortisei, Selva, Santa Cristina), Alta Badia, or Cortina d’Ampezzo.
  • It makes a nice stop on a cycling route – you can grab a coffee or snack and keep riding.

7 Best Things to Do in Corvara in Badia

Pralongià High Plateau

View of Pralongia plateau, grassy hills, forest, and huge mountains in the background.

Take the Col Alto funivia up from the center of Corvara up to the ‘Amphitheater of the Dolomites.’  The Pralongià is breathtaking and the hikes are gentle compared to others in the area.  It’s a perfect place to walk with kids or if your legs need a little break.  You can even take other lifts once you’re up top if you want to cover more ground.

There are views in every direction and plenty of huts for an excellent meal, snack, or aperitivo.

Good To Know:  You can also rent a mountain bike (or e-bike) to ride on Pralongià.  You can bring your bike on the gondolas.

Take the Gondola up to Lago Boè

Reach the picturesque, small turquoise Lago Boè (Boè Lake – English, Lech de Boè – Ladin) above Corvara on foot… or take the convenient Piz Boè gondola from town.  From the lift, it’s a quick 10-15 minute walk to the lake. 

We also like to just walk around the fields and check out the flowers and the views.

Fun Fact:  The alpine lake is 2275 meters above sea level.  Corvara in Badia is at 1568 meters above sea level.

Sassongher Exploration

The easiest way to access Sassongher (the mountain that towers in front of you in Corvara) is to take one of the lifts from Colfosco.  You can take either the Colfosco or Col Pradat.  Once you’ve gained some elevation, choose to sit at one of the nearby huts (Rifugio Edelweiss or Rifugio Col Pradat) or do an out-and-back hike to Rifugio Puez. 

Or do a longer hike that I enjoy: take the lifts from Corvara up to Passo Gardena and hike Jimmy Hütte –> Lago di Crespeina -> Forcella de Ciampei -> out-back to Rifugio Puez, then down to Rifugio Col Pradat and/or Rifugio Edelweiss before taking one of the lifts down to Colfosco and then to Corvara.  Note:  You can also keep walking from Rifugio Puez or Rifugio Col Pradat all the way down to Corvara, but avoid it if you’ve got achy knees!

Cycling Mountain Passes

Woman cycling on Passo Gardena road in the Dolomites in northern Italy. You can see the high mountains on the left and green grass on either side of the road. It's a sunny day with some whispy clouds.

If you love cycling up and down mountain passes, Corvara is your place.  You can easily reach Passo Sella, Passo Gardena, Passo Campolongo, Passo Pordoi, Passo Valparola, and Passo Falzarego… to name a few. 

If you need a little help, rent an e-bike! 

Corvara is one of my favorite cycling bases in the area because you have a ton of options for riding – there are multiple loop rides you can do from Corvara and also many beautiful out-and-backs.

Heads Up:  You will be sharing the road with other cyclists, cars, motorcycles, and RVs.  To avoid car traffic, time your visit with the Sellaronda Bike Day (car-free ride over 4 passes), or avoid July and August, the busiest months in the summer.

Good To Know:  There are multiple places to rent bikes in Corvara and its surrounding villages.  Looking for cycling gear?  I like the selection of local and international cycling apparel at BreakOut on the main road in Corvara.

Good To Know:  If mountain passes aren’t your thing, go cycling on one of the Dolomites Valley Cycling Paths.

Shopping at Sport Kostner

Front entrance of store with large bubble font sign that says 'Sportkostner.' You can see sports clothing in the large windows.

Stopping in at Sport Kostner is a must for me every time I’m in Corvara.  It’s full of sports clothing and gear, including local (and excellent) brands like Salewa and Meru. 

You can also find a selection of local Ladin clothing. 

Looking for something else?  There are shops scattered along the main road that runs through town (SS244).

Good To Know:  The pharmacy carries local skin care (I like the Dolomia brand).  Romantik has small housewares that make nice souvenirs.  You can find small jars and packages of local foods (like jams, honey, candies etc) at the Conad City grocery store.

Good To Know:  If you’re a big shopper, head east to Cortina d’Ampezzo or west to Bolzano for some of the area’s best shopping.

Aperitivo with a View

Front patio and front of Hotel Eden in Corvara, Italy. Chairs and tables on pavement. Trees out front and forested hill in background.

Grab a seat outside at Hotel Villa Eden’s Chocolate shop and stare up at the Sassongher while you enjoy a gelato, slice of apple strudel, or an aperitivo.  I’ve even managed to get my energetic kids to relax here for a bit while enjoying a gelato.

Cascate del Pisciadù

Boy walking on gravel trail. Both sides have grassy fields and there is forest and large mountains in the background.

A favorite of our family’s, this is an easy walk to a small waterfall.  It’s actually up the hill in Colfosco, but you can reach it on foot or by chairlift (for part of the summer) from Corvara. 

Read our guide to the Cascate del Pisciadù Walk

More Things to Do in Corvara

Woman in green coat standing in front of large wooden bicycle in Corvara in Badia, Italy. Forested hills and mountains in background.
  • Go Golfing – The Golf Club Alta Badia Course is a well-maintained 9-hole course.  I haven’t played here yet, but the views alone would make it worth it! 
  • Lago Biotopo – Swim or sunbathe at the Biotope Lake near the base of the Piz Boé gondola.  To manage expectations, they’re more like small natural swimming ponds, but they’re purified and have the incredible views that you get in Corvara.
  • The Big Wooden Bicycle – Take a photo with the large wooden bike in the field as you enter Corvara from Colfosco.
  • Try a Via Ferrata – Connect with local guide Heidi at Vico Travel for route guidance.

What to See and Do Near Corvara

Boys walking the trail toward mountains in the Dolomites.
Hiking Seceda
  • San Cassiano – tiny village with shops and Ladin Museum; hike Santa Croce and finish here
  • Cinque Torri – see climbers on the 5 towers; marmot-spotting; mountain hut views and meals
  • Cortina d’Ampezzo – chic resort town; luxury shopping; fun people-watching
  • Ortisei – charming pedestrian center; starting point for Seceda and Resciesa hikes
  • Alpe di Siusi – some of the best walks and scenery in the Dolomites
  • Castelrotto – lively village; frescoed buildings
  • Fiè allo Sciliar – tiny, picturesque village
  • Merano – thermal baths; town center
  • Bolzano – Ötzi the Ice Man; shopping; markets; outdoor dining

Where to Stay in Corvara

Corvara in Badia has all levels of accommodations, but know that they tend to be more expensive than comparable hotels in surrounding villages. 

Here are a few places in Corvara that I have personal experience with and recommend:

Budget Hotel Options in Corvara

Mid-Range Hotel Options in Corvara

Luxury Hotel Options in Corvara

Check out my general guide to Accommodation Options in Italy – From Agriturismos to Villas

Corvara in Badia Restaurants

View inside restaurant. Wooden walls and ceilings, red leather booths and red and wood chairs. Colorful plates decorate the wall and door in back.
Bistrot La Perla

You’ve got plenty of dining options in Corvara in Badia, from casual meals to Michelin-star dining.  Here are a few of my recommendations based on my dining experiences in Corvara:

  • Ristorante Mathiaskeller – while it’s technically in Colfosco, this is where we always eat when we come to Corvara; it’s classic Südtirol cuisine in a unique setting (the rooms are small and cozy and have wall paintings); also lovely views on the outdoor patio; we order classics like canerderli, spatzle, and polenta with cheese.
  • Bistrot La Perla – one of Hotel La Perla’s more casual options in a cozy bar area; I love the plates on the wall and décor here; La Stüa de Michil is the hotel’s Michelin-starred restaurant
  • Conad City – grab supplies from this small but well-stocked grocery store and make a picnic! 
  • Mountain Huts – if you’ll be out hiking, stop in for a hearty lunch at one of the huts; there are so many good ones, including Rifugio Col Pradat, Rifugio Edelweiss, Rifugio Pralongià, and Rifugio Malga Saraghe
  • Pizza – if you’re in the mood for pizza, a couple of great options are Pizzeria Salvan and Pizzeria Fornella. 
  • Pastries – it’s worth driving to La Villa (one town north) for pastries at Pasticceria Caffé Gasser; views aren’t too shabby either.

Getting to Corvara

Road leading down Passo Gardena in the Dolomites. You can see green grass, mountains, and some pine and larch trees.

Corvara is definitely tucked deep in the Dolomites. The best way to arrive is by car. You can access it from west or east. We typically arrive via the A22 Autostrada and travel through Val Gardena before dropping into the Val Badia.

If you don’t have a car, your best option is to utilize trains to get to Bolzano and then take the excellent public buses to Corvara.

Once you’re in Corvara, you can easily get around on foot or by public transport (buses, gondolas and chairlifts, and taxis) while you’re in the area. Still, it’s handy to have a car to drive for a more flexible visit.

You may want to read more about
Renting a Car in Italy
Driving in the Dolomites
Taking the Train in Italy

Traveling from Venice to the Dolomites

Corvara in Badia During the Maratona dles Dolomites

I’ve done the Maratona dles Dolomites twice – once with my cycling team and another time with a dear friend visiting from the USA.  If you’ll be in the area during the event (as a rider or a visitor), there are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • While the Maratona dles Dolomites is only one day (the first Sunday in July), the village is busy before and after the race.  Hotels book up quickly, so if you’ll be racing (or just visiting), keep that in mind.
  • Many hotels, B&Bs and apartments won’t allow 1 or 2 night reservations in the period of the Maratona. 
  • If you’re riding, ask if your hotel includes an early breakfast.  They’ll often have pasta and ‘unique’ breakfast dishes that cyclists love.  Get the scoop from your hotel so you can plan your pre-ride meal.
  • I’ve stayed in Corvara and in a nearby village

Good To Know:  Corvara is also busy during other big events like the HERO mountain bike race and the Sella Ronda Day.

Corvara Italy FAQ

Which Italian region is Corvara in Badia part of?

Corvara is located in the region of Trentino Alto Adige / Südtirol (South Tyrol). 

Is it better to stay in Corvara in Badia or Cortina d’Ampezzo in the summer?

Both offer access to excellent hikes.  If you’re cycling, I’d choose Corvara for access to more rides.  Cortina is more ‘chic,’ and it’s a better place for shopping.  It also has a better pedestrian center.  Corvara, while not inexpensive, is definitely a better value than Cortina regarding accommodations. 

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