Awarded with the best ski valley title by the Famous Italian magazine OGGI, Val Gardena is situated in the Dolomites mountain range in South Tirol. The valley is 10 kilometres long and comprises the towns of Ortisei, Santa Cristina and Selva. Val Gardena is a superb skiing destination with renowned World Cup pistes. It is also a place of stunning beauty – the pale red glow of the mountains at sunrise and sunset is a sight to see. Cross-country skiers will find Val Gardena ideally suited to them with over 98km of trails. The villages of Val Gardena also offer a lively après ski scene and the valley is host to many skiing alternatives, including hot spring pools and romantic alpine lodges. Excursions to Cortina can also be taken from Val Gardena.
* Based on the Val Gardena village of Selva
The village nursery slopes of Selva are extensive and excellent. Gentle and well groomed, these slopes help make Selva and Val Gardena an excellent place for beginners. Val Gardena offers plenty of progression runs too. Some of the best are on the Alpe di Siusi in Ortisei. Selva has excellent ski and snowboard schools, with plenty of English-speaking tutors.
Val Gardena is excellent for intermediate skiers. The famous Sella Ronda is one of the best intermediate circuits in the world. Snowboarders may find that Val Gardena is not the ideal destination for them as there are a lot of flat areas and a lack of off-piste snow. However, the main lifts out of Selva are either gondolas or chairs.
The Val Gardena region has a few stiff challenges for the experts. North-facing black runs from Porta Vescovo to Arabba are fast, fun and well served by good lifts. La Villa and Colfosco offer further black runs and the Saslong, Val Gardena’s World Cup piste, is kept open to the public for most of the season.
The comprehensive childcare options, well respected ski schools and extensive gentle slopes make the Val Gardena area an excellent choice for families. German and Italian are the main spoken languages here and fluent English-speaking childcare may be at a premium.
Austrian and Italian food is in plentiful supply here. The restaurant in the Hotel Armin is an excellent choice for a special evening, whilst Bellavista serves good pasta dishes and Costabella offers excellent Tirolean specialities. Après ski bars are plentiful around the Sella Ronda circuit and La Stua and Piz Seteur have a great atmosphere and feature live music. A traditional Tirolean atmosphere can be enjoyed in Selva’s Luislkeller, where barmaids in Tirolean dress serve German beers to the sound of loud, live music. Dali has a crowd of mixed nationalities and becomes lively from midnight into the early hours.