Verona airport as a ski hub
When I recently heard, she was was flying into Verona for a ski trip, I was somewhat surprised. Think Verona, think summer holidays, Romeo & Juliet; the opera, sunny restaurant terraces on Lake Garda and daytrips to Vicenza, Padua, Mantua, even Venice – all just inches away on the map!
I’d never considered Verona as a ski airport hub. Until last week, it seemed all wrong. But I was soon the one to be proven wrong. The 1 ½ hour scheduled flight (British Airways from London Gatwick) into Verona Valerio Catullo Airport was punctual and swift…
As a small and rarely busy airport, there are rarely delays here – which is more than can be said for Innsbruck, the other main gateway airport for the Dolomite ski resorts. Our homebound flight even departed and arrived early.
Customs was queue-less and swift; there was virtually no wait for luggage; and there were no endless airport corridors to traipse along – always such a pain if you’re weighed down by baggage, buggies and toddlers. Our transfer bus was waiting, literally, at the door.
In no time, we were whizzing north on the Autostrada to the hazy distant snow-capped mountains, past villas painted in ice-cream shades of lemon, peach and apricot, interspersed with regiments of poplars and vines. In the crisp January sunshine, it really did seem we’d arrived at a summer destination.
Before long, the mountains became clearer, and the typically Italianate, terracotta-roofed architecture gave way to more traditional alpine farmhouses, wooden chalets and onion-domed churches.
A quick snooze and, before I knew it, we’d arrived – 2 ½ hours later – at the village of San Vigilio at the heart of the Italian Dolomites where we were staying at Hotel Majarei, courtesy of Crystal Ski.
Crystal Ski uses Verona Airport for all their Dolomite ski destinations – San Vigilio/Kronplatz, Val di Fassa, Ortisei, Selva Val Gardena, Madonna di Campiglio, Folgarida and Passo Tonale.
Even though Innsbruck is slightly closer, Crystal believe Verona is far less hassle, far more efficient, and the flights are far more likely to run to schedule.
If you’re not travelling on a package deal but booking your own ski flights and accommodation, Verona Airport also give you the perfect excuse to add a few days to the end of your holiday to visit Verona and maybe even Venice, just 1 hour 20 minutes away by train.
ARE THERE ANY CONS?
Probably not, except… don’t rely on the airport for gift shopping! It’s relatively sparse on shopping facilities. There are just a couple of clothes boutiques and a duty free shop which sells olive oil, pasta, and prosciutto alongside all the usual bottles and perfumes; and a couple of cafes serving wine, coffee, cakes, filled rolls and pizza slices and that delicious Italian-style hot chocolate, which is more like a pudding in a cup than a drink – as long as you don’t rely on the airport for gift shopping, it’s a perfect place to sit and read a book or reflect on your ski hols and the joys of a hassle-free homeward journey.
Crystal Ski still has availability in the resort of Kronplatz San Vigilio for this season, with prices from £289pp for 7 nights self-catering, or from £445pp half-board at Hotel Majerei. Check out their website by clicking HERE for their latest deals.