Another great and sustainable place for skiing that features both family-friendly and more demanding slopes is the Pfelders resort in Passeiertal valley. The entire village is car-free and especially popular with families, because the little ones can have lots of fun out in the snow without having to watch out for traffic. Spend some cosy nights up in the mountain huts, go for some night-time skiing or a moonshine walk, take a hike on one of the scenic paths
or hire a horse sleigh for a romantic ride through the winter wonderland of the forests surrounding the Alpine village. In the village itself, you can also find a natural ice rink, a 3.5-kilometre-long toboggan run and floodlit paths for cross-country skiing that you can even use at night. And each year, near Corvara, climbers will find a huge ice tower where they can make their way up high into the sky.
The fifth ski area is the Val Senales glacier ski resort, which
features 35 diverse kilometres on the slopes at an altitude of
more than 3,200 metres (10,500 ft) and is guaranteed to have snow. While skiing down the mountain you can enjoy the impressive panorama of the Alps’ majestic peaks. The piste leading from the glacier down into the valley is eight kilometres long, and the modern cable car takes visitors back up to the mountain station in just six minutes. After a great day of skiing, you can have some fun on the toboggan run, which is more than three kilometres long, or on one of the gorgeous high-altitude cross-country trails.
Waiting for Santa – the Sterntaler Christmas market
In Lana, the weeks before Christmas are truly special. On the four weekends before Christmas and on the morning of the 24th of December, 19 nicely decorated Christmas market stalls offer a variety of seasonal products including original crafts and culinary delights, and a festive programme conveys the truly special atmosphere
of the Christmas season.
The air is filled with the flavours of mountain pine and Swiss pine, roasted chestnuts, cinnamon, cloves and oranges. Quiet music plays in the background. Visitors stroll around the market, looking at the stalls, tasting fruit-filled chocolate, savoury mountain cheese or South Tyrolean speck, a bacon variety. And there are plenty of souvenirs and Christmas presents to be found here for family and friends: products made from wool, felt, wax, glass or wood. Some great activities await the little ones, too: pony riding, a family of sheep at the Mair-Rimblhof and some crafts classes in a Christmas workshop.
Every year, the Sterntaler girl sells Sterntaler lottery tickets in the four weeks leading up to Christmas. You should definitely try your luck with some of these. There are great prizes to be won, and the Sterntaler lottery is a charity that donates some of its revenue to the “Stille Hilfe” (silent help) organisation which helps families in need – a great gesture to show support from within the community. The nearby city of Merano is home to one of the most beautiful Christmas markets in the entire Alpine region. It is held at the Passer Promenade and opens to the public in late November.