11/11/2012 10:28 am ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

3 Unique Winter Experiences In The Italian Dolomites

Italy's Dolomite Mountains are well known for their world-class adventure activities, from skiing and snowboarding in the winter to hiking and mountain biking in the summer. But for those interested in other styles of adventure, winter in the Dolomites offers an array of unique activities.

Here are three amazing experiences you'll want to include on your winter vacation in the Dolomites.

Go Bobsledding
We've all seen it on TV during the Olympics, speeding down a course made of ice in a custom-designed, steerable sled. For those who want to try their hand at this exhilarating sport, be sure to visit the Cortina Adrenaline Center. Two passengers at a time can cruise down a full course in a real bobsled. Not to worry though -- a professional brakeman and pilot will be guiding your ride to ensure safety. For those only looking to catch a glimpse of professional bobsledders at work, a visit to the Eugenio Monti Bobsleigh and Skeleton Track (the site of the 1956 Olympics) provides great opportunities to see practice runs or even a real race.

Take Moonlight Sled Ride
For those looking for a slightly more subdued sled ride in the Dolomites, an sled or toboggan ride is always a great option. Fun for the whole family, sliding down the slopes on a toboggan ride offers a unique way to experience the magnificent mountain terrain and breathtaking views of the Dolomites. For a more romantic experience, consider a moonlight sled ride. Traverse rifugi to rifugi in a special motorized sled, sampling the delectable cuisine of the region along the way. After dinner, enjoy an exhilarating descent down the valley with only the light the bright moon. It's a truly memorable experience!

Stargaze at a World-Class Observatory Atop the Dolomites
Winter is by far the best time of year to enjoy the starry skies of the Dolomites, and what better place to take in night views than from high atop one of the world's most stunning mountain ranges. Situated in the heart of the Dolomites, at an altitude of 1,720 meters, the Dolomites Astronomical Observatory provides spectacular views of the night sky. The facility features two domes and a Newton telescope, and with the clear, crisp and refreshingly unpolluted night skies of winter, you'll experience the planets, stars and galaxies in ways you've never imagined!

Winter is fast approaching -- contact local tour operator Dolomite Mountains to include these and other unique experiences in your winter vacation plans. Of course, you also won't want to miss the classic Dolomites skiing and snowshoeing trips offered in these spectacular mountains!