In the Dolomites Folgaria and Lavarone offer fantastic learning opportunities for not only beginners, but also intermediates, and experts alike. Surrounded by panoramic views and horizons that extend from the Dolomites, you will find 30 km of ski runs in Lavarone and 130 in Folgaria. The majority of ski piste are equipped with snowmaking technology (200 snow cannons that cover the entire ski area) and modern four seat chairlifts (capacity of 40,000 persons per hour ). Famously, Lavarone offers the beginner slopes that are free of other skiers, which make them so much safer than some of the big-name resorts. This has been the attraction for many teachers choosing Lavarone over other resorts with safety being their number one concern.
Many hotels in both Folgaria and Lavarone offer doorstep skiing. This is highly convenient for the school groups in particular as it allows instructors to come to the front door of the hotel to pick up the pupils, and also to drop them off at lunchtime for their hot lunches. Returning to the hotel after the afternoon lesson as well, any party that is on the doorstep hotel gets the benefit of maximum time on slopes and minimum time hanging around. Lavarone is considered by many to be the Europeans favoured choice for any beginner or intermediate looking to improve themselves in a safe and varied environment, surrounded by stunning scenery.
Ski hire takes place at one of several ski hire establishments in Lavarone, and all of these outlets have up-to-date and modern innovative ski equipment. Another benefit of the resort being a little-known secret is that the equipment is never old or overused but in fact always in good condition and fit for purpose. Should any equipment not fit as required (and we are yet to have a school where all ski boots fit exactly as required!) the equipment can be readily exchanged without any hassles or lengthy queues. In fact the equipment stores actually have the time to analyse the pupil or staff member thoroughly before issuing kit. The hordes that quite often visit other resorts typically add so much time pressure that this personal service is not possible.
Lavarone is only 10 km away from Folgaria and this means that school ski trips can take advantage of visiting another resort, which is quite different in terms of slopes, technicality and scenery, within their week away. Typically schools will visit Folgaria for two days out of their six skiing days, and for some of the more experienced skiers from Lavarone this allows them to stretch their legs and practice their new-found skills.
The apres ski within Lavarone is ideally suited to schools. Tubing, disco and bowling are on the doorstep of most of the hotels. Swimming is also available locally and is a popular choice for visiting schools as the swimming pool is a good size with a wave machine and other fun items! Nevertheless, tubing tends to be the number one choice preference by visiting schools as, despite the quite impressive speeds, the activity remains safe and carefully guarded and monitored by staff. Races between schools, between friends and in positions that defy physics on the tube are commonplace. Not only is everything within walking distance (including après ski) but the resort does not pretend to be the choice of large parties and experts. The benefit here is that it is ideally tailored to those who want a safe, stressfree, school ski trip environment which accommodates all standards of skier and also all ages or pupil.
Transfer times to the resort of Lavarone if travelling by air are relatively quick. Typically transfer times will be around two hours maximum, depending upon the airport chosen. Conversely, those travelling by coach will find Lavarone a straightforward journey and of course once resort those parties travelling by coach will have the advantage in private transfers to Folgaria.
Lavarone is always slow sure from January through to mid-March and offers the discerning school a solid choice for snow. Skiers and snowboarders alike enjoy Lavarone, and indeed Folgaria, as both resorts have snow parks and freestyle areas. Both resorts are pine treed and offer a truly stunning experience on empty slopes (even during February half term!).
As is quite often the case in Italy, all of the locals are original residents and in fact are renowned to be friendly and open. The local area is famous for its food and cuisine and all school parties remark on the quality of food in the hotels. Typically this would involve the continental breakfast in the morning (as is the case everywhere else in Europe), a hot lunch of at least two or maybe three courses, cake and tea post skiing and finally a three course evening meal with a vegetable on the side.
For those schools travelling by coach all pupils and staff will be issued with a packed lunch, which will be relatively substantial, and is designed to satisfy the appetite of teenagers and tired skiers on a return extended journey. For those schools travelling by air food will be issued for the next meal and quite often this is all that is required until they arrive back home in the UK.
In terms of child protection and safeguarding, Lavarone is hard to beat. The roads are not busy and the resort itself is built in a circular position. This makes everything easy to get to and quick to find. There are no labyrinths of roads and little alleyways for pupils to get lost in, instead obvious landmarks and single carriageways with wide footpaths make navigation easy. In short the resort is an excellent choice for any school with beginners and intermediates.