A holiday in Milan does not have to mean leisurely shopping and sipping aperitivos as you watch the beautiful people walk past. Milan Malpensa Airport is within easy reach of Lake Como and the Italian Alps, making it a perfect location for adrenaline-pumping activities from snowboarding to heli-skiing.
Dare to Snowboard in the Dolomites
Visit one of the many snow parks in the Dolomites
(the Italian Alps) and get ready to skim fresh snow at lightning speed. Snowboard past trees and vault fallen trunks while dips, curves, and various other obstacles await you in the perfect white powder. Some of the best snow parks in the Dolomites are in Fassa Valley, Madonna di Campiglio, and San Martino di Castrozza.
Heli Ski in the Italian Alps
Ski in the conventional way? Been there, done that! For a real high-octane thrill you need to have a go at heli-skiing in the Italian Alps
The raised terrain is ideal for long and varied ski descents, and heli-drops provide a selection of routes from each landing spot, including more than 2,000 meters of vertical descent. This is not for the beginner, though: The length of the runs is so challenging that snow conditions change constantly, making the skiing more technical.
Rock Climbing near Lake Como
About 45km from Milan, Lake Como is both exceptionally beautiful and the perfect location for rock climbing and bouldering
. Most of the rock climbing is centred around the east of the lake, around Lecco, where walls of white, compact limestone await the prospective climber. There are several appealing buttresses above the lake and among the peaks of the Grigne massif. Overcrowding will not be a problem: Climbers have thousands of routes to choose from.
Take to the Skies
Stunning enough from the ground, the scenery surrounding Milan is simply breathtaking from the air. Take the skies parachuting or paragliding for the best view of the magnificent lake and mountain scenery. Don’t worry if you are a novice: You won’t have to jump out of a place unaccompanied. Arialibera
, based in Bellagio, about a 45-minute drive from Milan, operates tandem paragliding flights from Mount Muggio, so you’ll be jumping with someoen who knows what they’re doing. The Cavalcalario Club
, also near Bellagio, runs dual-seat paragliding trips with an expert pilot from Mount Nuvolone. Aero clubs based at Varese, Pradaccio, and Vergiate all offer parachuting and paragliding less than an hour’s drive from Milan.
Kitesurfing on Lake Como
If you’ve ever worried about being dragged out to sea or eaten by sharks while kitesurfing, try the sport on Lake Como and forget all those fears. Most kitesurfing on Lake Como
happens at the northern end, where the southern Breva wind and fine sandy beaches combine to create ideal conditions. Kitesurfing centres hire out equipment for hire (you’ll need proof of competence) and offer classes for all levels from beginner.
Hike the Via Ferrata
Climb the via ferrata
(“iron paths”) of the Dolomites and feel like a true mountain adventurer. Originally built during the battles between the Austrians and the Italians in World War I, these metal ladders give you an exciting way to appreciate the absolute spectacle of this mountain valley. Totally safe and connected to a system of anchored cables, you will enjoy views normally reserved for mountain goats.