Where Eagles Dare: Discovering the Friulian Dolomites

Discovering the wildest and most fascinating region of the Dolomites, where nature marks time and amenities include great hospitality, ancient traditions and wellness

  • Where Eagles Dare: Discovering the Friulian Dolomites
  • Where Eagles Dare: Discovering the Friulian Dolomites
  • Where Eagles Dare: Discovering the Friulian Dolomites
  • Where Eagles Dare: Discovering the Friulian Dolomites
  • Where Eagles Dare: Discovering the Friulian Dolomites
  • Where Eagles Dare: Discovering the Friulian Dolomites

A theropod dinosaur, the carnivorous ancestor of ostriches and penguins, left its mark on the still fragile dolomite rocks abouttwo hundred million years ago, while the Cellina stream was probably just beginning to dig canyons and crags into the layers of calcareous rock. 
The Friulian Dolomites, a.k.a. the mountains rising between the Piave and Tagliamento rivers, are famous for the amazing colors of the rock they are made of and for their wild and fascinating character, epitomized by the Campanile di Val Montanaia, a steep rocky peak that can only be reached on foot.
Ideal for those who love the mountains in their purest spirit, the Friulian Dolomites Natural Parkbetween the provinces of Pordenone and Udine, includes Valcellina, the upper Tagliamento valley and the Tramontina valley. The towns have exotic ancient names such as Andreis, Forni, Cimolais, Claut or, just outside the park and entering the Carnic Alps region, Sauris, Sappada, Tarvisio, Piancavallo. 
The local hospitality has a long and rooted tradition, and the area also offers plenty of opportunities in terms of winter sports, from cross-country and downhill skiing to skating, snowshoeing and dog sledding along impressively beautiful routes.
Every valley has its own peculiarities: there is room for relaxation as well as for breathtaking skiing challenges, and the wild woods allow for the occasional encounter with Alpine ibexes, experts looking for new descent trajectories and new challenges. 
South of the Park, the Cellina Ravine Natural Reserve is a millenary ecosystem that developed around the deep cuts carved into the ground by the stream of the same name. The emerald pools that occasionally appear along the stream of the Meduna river, close to Tramonti di Sopra, are yet another small corner of natural paradise created by the water carving the white rocks – a great opportunity for a refreshing plunge in the summer. 
Finally, the food reflects the history of the area, which has long been a crossroads of different peoples and tastes and an open gateway to central Europe. 
Among the local delicacies is Sauris ham, named after its hometown, smoked in the fumes from local beech wood. Pitinais the essential Friulian sausage made from minced wild game meat seasoned with salt, pepper and fennel, to be enjoyed with Sauris’s own craft beer, Zahre.
Where to stay
Overlooking the ski slopes of Sauris, Chalet Rikhelan is a charming 10-room hotel housed inside a historic mansion, which is only accessible from the ski slopes or via a special snowmobile service all through the winter. A fine example of the renowned local hospitality, this cosy place has the perfect mix of traditions, beauty and premium amenities such as a nice fireplace, Finnish saunas and a stunning solarium where guests can enjoy the winter sun.

Author : The Slowear Journal


Dolomites  | winter sports  | wild nature  | tradition  | ski  | snow  |

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