MY KOSHER HOTEL in Alba Canazei was the ideal family-friendly destination.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Nestled in the valley between the Dolomite Mountains is Val di Fassa, an area well known for its ski resorts and winter attractions.
What many people don’t know is that it is also a great summer family vacation spot.
My husband and I took our three kids to Alba di Canazei in the Italian Dolomites to escape the summer heat and enjoy some downtime in nature with our kids.
As we drove up from Venice through the hills and into the mountains, the views took our breath away… literally. I have never seen such enormous mountains and so much natural beauty.
During the summer the area boasts hiking, bike trails, horseback riding, rafting, parasailing and swimming.
For tourists who still crave the winter sports, there is an indoor ice-skating rink open year-round. Traditional ski lifts are turned into summer attractions, taking families to hiking trails, activity parks and magnificent outlooks.
At the beginning of the trip we rented bikes from Bikeasy and used them as our main source of transportation.
We rode to the parks with ropes courses and omegas, to the horseback riding and to the aquatic center equipped with a large water slide and multiple pools. With a 70 km. bike trail through the valley, we had a chance to ride through different towns, knowing that Bikeasy could pick us up, with our bikes, wherever we needed along the way.
Some of our favorite activities were traditional winter sports which were adapted for the summer, including dry tubing, alpine slides and go-karting down slalom lanes.
To make a family vacation complete, you need to have an ideal family-friendly hotel to stay at. After researching the area on the Internet, it became clear that My Kosher Hotel, a boutique hotel in Alba Canazei, would be our best choice.
Avi and Belinda Netzer’s family-run hotel far exceeded our expectations. The hotel, which looks like an authentic Austrian chalet, is very family-friendly. With large family rooms, a kids playroom, outdoor trampoline, Ping-Pong table, indoor swimming pool, mikve, shul and warm and friendly staff, My Kosher Hotel was the perfect place for us to stay.
At the hotel, located walking distance from the town of Canazei, we enjoyed a delicious kosher buffet breakfast each morning, packed sandwiches for lunch with bags provided by our generous hosts and then looked forward to the fresh cakes and hot cocoa at tea time as well as the gourmet dinner each night with kids options.
Just ask Belinda or Avi for some recommendations and they can give you a full week’s itinerary. If you are lucky enough to spend Shabbat in Canazei, you will have the unique opportunity to get to know the Netzers and enjoy a heimish Shabbat with davening, a full kiddush and Shabbat meals, all overlooking the Dolomite Mountains. We met other families from the US, England and Israel. All of the food served at My Kosher Hotel is homemade and all the baking is done on premises. It’s not an easy feat to cater kosher in the mountains, but the Netzers do a great job.
The hotel introduced us to Luca, a local from the area. He took us on cable-car rides, hikes and he even went on the alpine slide toboggan with my son, who craved more speed than I could handle. Even in the summer rush we barely had to wait in any lines.
Luca specializes in multi-day hiking trips and enjoys leading Israelis on customized tours. We promised him that we would come back when our youngest is a bit older and able to do longer family hikes. After a full day tour with Luca, we felt like we really got to know the valley, some of the locals and the small towns along the mountains.
Summer is a perfect time to come and enjoy the Dolomites. The weather is cool, the flowers are in blossom, the rivers run full and it’s an ideal place to enjoy a family vacation. In fact, we are already planning our return to My Kosher Hotel in Alba di Canazei for an even longer visit next summer.
• Fly El Al to Verona and drive the two hours to Canazei (avoid the Rome airport and Alitalia).
• Download the Val di Fassa app to see what the area has to offer.
• No need to buy bottled water. The tap water is straight from the mountains and delicious.
• Plan your itinerary with the help of the Netzers once you arrive.
My Kosher Hotel
firstname.lastname@example.org Joanna Shebson is the founder and FUN Expert at Fun In Jerusalem (www.funinjerusalem.com). She lives in Jerusalem with her husband and three kids and loves to inspire family fun. You can reach her at email@example.com