Beneath the serene, family-friendly exterior of the picturesque mountain village of Madesimo beats a heart-stopping secret.
This great-value Italian resort has earned a reputation for attracting Alpine adrenaline junkies with a passion for alternative piste action and a thirst for exhilarating new après-ski experiences.
Not only is the great value ski resort home to what is considered one of the most challenging black runs – the 3.5km off-piste Canelone which includes a 1km vertical run – but the unspoilt landscapes of the Spluga Valley lend themselves perfectly to round-the-clock adventures.
Having tackled its uncrowded slopes by day, Madesimo offers skiers and snowboarders the chance to put their downhill skills to the ultimate test. And, though pyromaniacs may be disappointed by progress, the days of descending while clutching burning torches are long gone, making this ideal for all ages.
New on Saturday evenings the Larici gondola stays open until 22.45 (the evening lift pass costs 13 euros) allowing people to tackle the floodlit Pianello and Montalto pistes or simply tuck into a moonlit dinner at the Larici restaurant. And, thanks to having one of the most enviable alpine snow records, all these night-time activities can be enjoyed at Madesimo even later into the season with this high altitude resort welcoming skiers from November to mid-April.
New music library keeps the partying on track
After all this alpine excitement, Madesimo’s new sound library will be music to every après-ski fan’s ears.
With a collection of over 20,000 records and CDs provided by Sony Music to listen with sophisticated equipment for free, holidaymakers will be able to ensure they’ve got the perfect tunes to hand to keep that post-adventure buzz.
Easy To Reach
The nearest airports to Madesimo are at Milan (138km) and Bergamo (119km), with direct flights from the UK from a range of operators, including EasyJet and British Airways. There are excellent bus and train connections and a taxi-share programme direct to the village which offers free transfers in December and January.
Snowmobile by night
With over 70km of signposted snowmobile trails to explore, Madesimo offers Europe’s longest skidoo potential outside Scandinavia. Visitors need simply pack their driving licence to enjoy a motorised evening tour of the region, whilst daredevil children can opt to hop on the back of their skidoo-mate.
Between winding their way across the valley, crossing frozen streams and slaloming fir forests, the guided groups stop at mountain refuges along the way to warm up over a vin chaud or refuel over dinner. Prices start from £63 per person.
And those who prefer a more scenic drive can also opt to tour the mountains by day or daily excursions with aperitif in a refuge or dinner in a characteristic restaurant at the end of the tour.
Savour the slopes by Snowcat
For a slower pace of adventure, groups of 6 to 16 people can still experience the heart-stopping views around the Andossi plateau with. Prices start from £11 per person.
Walk this way
Enjoyable outings within snow-covered woodland along well-trodden paths or perhaps better still – on fresh snow across the valley sides – are perfect ways of getting right to the heart of nature and appreciating the magical ambience of Madesimo’s surrounding peaks. A new track will be open during winter 2015/16 above the village of Isola (3 km from Madesimo). The route passes through forests of larch and spruce, touching glades and characteristic groups of mountain houses, until you reach “Alpe Frondaglio”, located on a charming terrace overview.
Get your skates on
The Ice Rink in Madesimo is outdoors and is the ideal place to try out some skates for the first time with the family or with friends. The structure comprises a refrigerated ice rink, skate rental shop, changing rooms with showers, and a bar, where you can rest and refresh yourself before going back onto the ice. In the evenings, the ice becomes a dance floor with lights and dance music.
Well-established links are made in the UK with holidays to Madesimo. Among them is Momentum ski www.momentumski.com 020 7371 9111 who offer a tailor-made option with prices starting from 7 nights half board at the 4* Hotel Andossi with flights London Gatwick to Milan Linate and private transfers based on 2 people sharing a twin or double room from £718.00 per person or
3 nights bed and breakfast at the 2* K2 hotel with flights London Gatwick to Milan Linate and car hire based on 2 people sharing a twin or double room from £348.00 per person.