The Cross-Country Area
Fun on the trails in the heart of the Puster Valley
The Kronplatz holiday region on the edge of the South Tyrolean Dolomites is one of the top cross-country ski regions in all of the Alps. Nordic winter sports fans can explore 14 towns in the heart of the Puster Valley on 300 kilometres of trails, enjoying views of the majestic surrounding mountains in the process. The region is part of the Dolomiti NordicSki association, which is Europe’s largest cross-country ski region with some 1,300 km of trails. Cross-country skiers of all levels will feel right at home in the area surrounding the 2,275 Kronplatz peak which gives the region its name. There are a variety of trails to choose from surrounding Reischach, St. Lorenzen, Olang, St. Vigil, Kiens, Pfalzen and Bruneck as well as the cross-country hotspots of the Antholz and Gsies valleys.
Trails for every skill level
Beginners will find some ideal terrain on the mellow easy trails here, most of which wind through the flat valley bottom. Complete novices can also learn the ropes in the local cross-country ski schools. In addition, the holiday region also boasts a plethora of multi-tracked, technically and physically demanding trails. There is plenty of terrain for skate skiers to enjoy, too. The list of attractive trails in the valleys and side valleys around Kronplatz is pretty lengthy: Aside from the high-altitude trail on the Würzjoch, the trail through the Rautal Valley is an undoubted highlight. The romantics and connoisseurs among you should also check out the inviting inns in the Gsies Valley.
Cross-country skiing in the Antholz Valley
The Antholz Valley is one of the nation’s key cross-country hotspots. With a trail network extending between 1,020 and 1,934 metres, Nordic skiers can explore around 30 km of immaculately prepared trails here. The network is equally split between three skill levels and leads through a truly majestic landscape. The Antholzer See is a particularly arresting sight, appearing like a lake straight out of a winter fairy tale. You will also likely be in good company if you hit the trails in the Antholz Valley – the region regularly hosts the Biathlon World Championship.
Cross-country skiing in the Gsies Valley
Another true Nordic oasis in the region is the unspoilt Gsies Valley. The mountain pastures in this broad and sunny valley at an altitude between 1,100 and 1,400 metres are like something straight off a postcard. Cross-country skiers can admire the magnificent surrounding peaks as they weave between traditional cabins and romantic villages. There are another 42 km of trails surrounding the villages of Pichl, St. Martin and St. Magdalena – double tracked for classic skiers with plenty of room for skate skiers in between. The Giseser Tallauf, a 42 km cross-country race, is held every year in a side arm of the Puster Valley, as is the Gsieser Knödelmarathon, a fun race for foodies.
The Most Beautiful Tracks
High-altitude trail on Würzjoch
One of the most eye-catching trails in the Kronplatz region is undoubtedly the snowy high-level Würzjoch trail. Nestling at 2,000 metres above sea level, this is the ideal trail for endurance training. All the lung-busting effort is rewarded with astonishing views of the surrounding mountains. The 2,875 m Peitlerkofel, the highest peak in the Peitlerkofel Group, almost looks close enough to touch here.
Romantics should look no further than Rautal for a great day on the trails. The 13 km route here leads through fairy tale forests and past age-worn cabins before returning back on itself.
High-level route on the Staller Saddle (Antholz Valley)
Another must-see route close to the “Südtirol Arena” biathlon and cross-country ski centre in Antholz Obertal is the roughly 8 km high-level route on the Staller Saddle mountain pass. The route runs at around 2,000 metres above sea level and serves up sumptuous views over the Antholz and Defereggen valleys.
- Offering 133.59 miles cross-country trails, Kronplatz is the largest cross-Country skiing area in Italy.
- Kronplatz is among the 10 best rated Cross-Country Skiing Areas in Italy.
- Elevated between 2953 ft and 6562 ft, the Cross-Country Skiing Area is among the 10 highest elevated Cross-Country Skiing Areas in Italy.
- Snow coverage is usually best during March, offering an average snow depth of 49 " at summit elevation and 16 " at the base. Therefore Kronplatz is among the 10 cross-Country Skiing Areas with best snow conditions in Italy.
Dining along the Tracks
The sunny Gsies Valley is the perfect destination for foodies. There are numerous inns lining the routes here, all serving hearty food and warm drinks. Special “cross-country fare” is even offered here from December to March. These various light dishes are specially designed to deliver on the requirements of Nordic skiers.
In January, the Gsies Valley attracts skiers with a love of good food to the Gsieser Knödelmarathon. This fun race is all about enjoying great dumplings. Participants can try these hearty delights in all their unique combinations, such as bacon dumplings, cheese dumplings, spinach dumplings, mushroom dumplings and potato dumplings.
By car: The Kronplatz holiday region is accessible from Innsbruck or Trento/Bolzano via the A22 motorway. Exit the motorway at the Brixen/Pustertal junction and take the SS49 via Bruneck until you reach your destination.
By train: The closest train stations are in Bruneck, Olang and Welsberg – Taisten.