VAL GARDENA

Bën unì, benvenuti! This is how they would welcome you in Val Gardena, in the heart of Ladinia.

The valley that rises from Ponte Gardena towards Val Badia is one of the most popular destinations both in winter and in summer: Ortisei, Santa Cristina and Selva will amaze you for the richness of their tourist offer, accompanied by Ladin hospitality.

Val Gardena can be reached from two of the most spectacular passes in the Dolomites, Passo Gardena, which connects you with Alta Badia, and Passo Sella, which connects you with Val di Fassa.

Home of great skiers and artists, it will not surprise you to know who was born this wonderful handkerchief of the Dolomites … discover with us the Val Gardena!

TOP 5 NOT TO BE MISSED

  • Reaching the Gardena Pass/Sella Pass from Selva and admiring the landscape
  • Hiking to Alpe Seceda
  • Skiing on the Saslong
  • Shopping in Ortisei
  • Visit the Museum de Gherdёina for wooden sculptures
chiesa san giacomo

Ph © Val-Gardena.com

MAIN VILLAGES

URTIJЁI / ST. ULRICH / ORTISEI

The main village of Val Gardena is the elegant Ortisei. The main street is full of shops not for every budget and we recommend you rather to take advantage of a tour in the center to enjoy a delicious breakfast based on strudel. Walking through the center of Ortisei, you will come across the church of St. Anthony in front of the fountain adorned with two cherubs. In the background, our beloved Dolomites. Isn’t it a wonderful view?

The elegance of this town is testified by the presence of exclusive hotels. We suggest you to park your car at the lift to Alpe di Siusi and reach the centre through the bridge over the state road. From this passage you can clearly see the swimming pool of the Cavallino Bianco, which also opens onto the outside.

From the centre of Ortisei you can easily reach Alpe di Siusi and Alpe Seceda, both hiking and skiing areas. To reach the Alpe Seceda and Resciesa lifts from the centre, you can climb up a series of escalators and moving walkways alongside which photographs of the great champions of Val Gardena from yesterday and today have been installed: truly an irresistible “hall of fame” for enthusiasts!

ortisei

Ph © Enrica Pallaver Photography

Alpe Seceda is perhaps one of the most instagrammed places of the moment, thanks to its particular green slope that falls steeply from the other side. It is connected to the Sellaronda by the lifts and slopes of Santa Cristina and Selva di Valgardena.

We recommend two museums not to be missed, suitable for rainy days: the Ladin Cultural Centre, with testimonies of Ladin civilization of all ages, and the Museum de Gherdёina, a journey through the history of the Valley, where you can admire the precious wood sculptures.

Ortisei is the birthplace of two important personalities in the artistic world: Carolina Kostner, skating champion and Giorgio Moroder, award-winning with the Oscar for her soundtracks. Unforgettable that of Flash Dance or Top Gun.

seceda

Ph © Enrica Pallaver Photography

CHRISTINA IN GRÖDEN / S. CRESTINA-GHERDЁINA / SANTA CRISTINA VALGARDENA

The small village that goes east from Ortisei is Santa Cristina. It rises at the foot of the Sassolungo and is famous worldwide for the Saslong which hosts the free and super G of the Ski World Cup every winter. The atmosphere during the days of the race is certainly unique and we bet that even if you are not a ski enthusiast, if you tried to see it you would join the celebrations with great enthusiasm!

The town centre is situated on a small hill and has several interesting shops: in addition to the classic souvenirs typical of the area and wood carvers, many sports shops can serve you in case of need.

A fascinating place, certainly interesting for lovers of the genre, is Castel Gardena (Fischburg) dating back to 1641, also known as “Castle of Fishing” after the construction of lakes for raising trout: currently privately owned, you can visit during the period of ValGardenaMusika, a music festival with many concerts, especially classical music (from mid-July to late August).

From Santa Cristina you can reach countless hiking and skiing areas among the most beautiful in the world: Seceda and Monte Pana. We recommend the Alpe del Mastlè, where the symbol for the territory of the declaration of the Dolomites as a UNESCO World Heritage Site has been placed. Mount Pana is the ideal place for family excursions: the PanaRaida adventure path is suitable for prams and during the route you will find a giant swing, a labyrinth, a wooden horse throw and many other surprises.

Santa Cristina

Ph © Val-Gardena.com

SЁLVA / WOLKENSTEIN IN GRÖDEN / SELVA DI VALGARDENA

Directly on the slopes of the Sellaronda and in front of the Sella Group and the Sassolungo, here is Selva di Valgardena.

The centre is a lively network of streets and alleys full of shops of all kinds. In winter you will find it very convenient because the Sellaronda passes right here, with the Ciampinoi lift that starts directly from the center.

Also in winter we recommend you to immerse yourself in the Christmas atmosphere admiring the landscape, but especially visiting the exhibition of wooden nativity scenes strictly made by sculptors from Val Gardena.

Selva is the perfect destination for lovers of sporting events. In summer we remind you of the Sellaronda Bike Day towards the end of June and the Sellaronda Hero in mid-June.

From Selva you reach Langental, Vallunga in Italian, a corner of Val Gardena surrounded by greenery, suitable for families where every year on the first weekend of September there is the Almabtrieb, the festival for the return of cows from the pastures: music, traditional dances and beer, with the protagonists of the cows for a parade worthy of a catwalk.

Another very nice area is the Plan de Gralba, an obligatory passage in the direction of Passo Gardena and Passo Sella. From the Plan de Gralba there are many routes, such as the one that takes you around the Sassolungo and Sassopiatto or the one that takes you to Passo Gardena. If you feel the need to make a pit-stop towards the Gardena Pass, we recommend the Chalet Gerard, by Gerard Mussner, a former Italian alpine skier: a good slice of homemade strudel with blueberry juice and a panorama that you will hardly forget!

And if that’s not enough, remember that the legendary Isolde Kostner ownes her hotel in Selva!

selva di val gardena

Ph © Cosmina Sorin Campean

CURIOSITIES

 

The tradition of wood carving is so deeply rooted in Val Gardena that in addition to numerous shops and interesting exhibitions, it has given birth to SEVI, a world-famous company producing wooden toys, which takes its name from the son of its founder: Senoner Vinzenz. A excellence with an ancient flavour.

The Hotels selected by Passione Dolomiti

WINTER ACTIVITIES

Like in Alta Badia, it would be a shame not to try to put your skis on in Val Gardena! And of course if not for the Saslong, at least for the slopes and the gentle slopes of Monte Pana or Seceda. The Sellaronda is definitely the most coveted tour: with a single ski pass you can see 4 valleys with skis on your feet!

Skiing is not for you? It doesn’t matter, winter is also made for hiking trails, snowshoeing, cross-country circuits and skating and all this is possible in Val Gardena.

ski val gardena

Ph © Enrica Pallaver Photography

SUMMER ACTIVITIES

The home of climbing and scenic trails awaits you for unforgettable moments to spend free alone or in company.

Alpe Seceda is one of the most beautiful corners of this valley. The view of the Odle is one of the most photographed subjects of all time and the rapid passage of clouds above them makes the atmosphere even more dreamy.

Mountain bike trails, vie ferrate and climbing walls are present throughout Val Gardena and there is no danger of getting bored.

There is also a golf course here: with 18 holes, the Golf Club St. Vigil Seis is one of the most beautiful golf courses in altitude! It is located in Castelrotto (Kastelruth in German) at the foot of the Alpe di Siusi, reachable from Ortisei in 10 minutes by car.

Last but not least, we recommend the Mar Dolomit in Ortisei, an indoor and outdoor swimming pool with sauna and relaxation area. A few steps from the center.

Summer Val GArdena

Ph © Enrica Pallaver Photography

EXCURSIONISTIC AND SCIISTIC AREAS

Val Gardena is certainly the valley suitable for families thanks to the numerous areas dedicated to children but not only: the numerous routes for via ferrata and climbing make the Val Gardena a paradise for those who want to try something a little more challenging.

Below we show you the best places for winter and summer.

SELLARONDA

Val Gardena is an integral part of the Sellaronda, the ski-to-walks tour around the Sella group. Choose the direction to take and between one bend and the next remember to stop and admire the landscape: if your eyes will be full of tears, we can understand you. It’s the dolomitic effect.

From Santa Cristina or Selva you can start your tour and reach Val Badia, Val di Fassa and Valle di Livinallongo. To access the Sellaronda the ski pass to buy is necessarily the Dolomiti SuperSki.

The summer version of the Sellaronda is all to be enjoyed by bike, passing through Passo Gardena, Sella, Pordoi and Campolongo. Selva di Val Gardena is also the starting point for the most popular cycling competitions of the moment: the Sellaronda Bike Day, a day with closed passes and accessible only by bike, falls towards the end of June and the Sellaronda Hero, a mountain bike race in mid-June.

From Selva, we also recommend one of the most beautiful climbing routes in terms of landscape: the Meisules. From its plateau you can see all the most important peaks of the Dolomites.

ADVICE

Start from Passo Sella for a fun and easy tour around the Sassolungo and Sassopiatto: plan your route and sleep at the Demetz refuge, which stands on the homonymous fork. The view you can enjoy from this refuge at sunset is priceless!

bike val gardena

Ph © Hotel Angelo Engel

sellaronda

Ph © Enrica Pallaver Photography

NATURE PARKS

Naturpark Puez-Geisler/Puez-Odle Nature Park

The Puez-Odle nature park is a protected area that you can access from Val Gardena via the Vallunga, but also from Val Badia and Valle Isarco. Through the now disused via ferrata Sandro Pertini with attack in Vallunga, you could reach the park up to the Stevia Refuge. If the via ferrata is your passion, then you could try the Sass Rigais route, of medium difficulty, which starts from Santa Cristina and arrives at the Rifugio Firenze: one of the most equipped paths ever!

Surely this park is one of the most varied in the Dolomites and contains the highest peaks: Plose, Monte Gabler, Sass de Putia, Gruppo delle Odle with Furchetta and Sass Rigais (over three thousand meters) and the Group of Puez with the Piz de Puez and Sassongher.

The fauna of this park is as rich as its flora. The latter includes the Swiss stone pine and larch as the main species, but also spruce, rhododendron and mountain pine. The animals that you can see here are the roe deer, the eagle owl, the capercaillie and the golden eagle.

Naturpark Schlern-Rosengarten/Sciliar-Catinaccio Nature Park

One of the first parks to be established in South Tyrol is the “Sciliar” park, to which the Rosengarten section was added in 2003. The Sciliar massif with its Santner peak (and the less famous Euringer peak) is often considered to be the emblem of the region.

In addition to the aforementioned peaks, the park also features the Cima Catinaccio and the majestic Vajolet Towers. The Catinaccio d’Antermoia (3002 metres) is also part of this group.

The total area of this paradise reaches 7,291 hectares and has a very varied fauna: it will be fun to look for squirrels, hawks, marmots. Typical of this area is also the spruce and the Scots pine.

There are two information points for guided tours: in Bagni di Lavina Bianca (Weisslahnbad) at the old sawmill “Steger Säge” you will find the visitor centre, while at the pond of Fiè allo Sciliar you will find the information point. And about the little lake of Fiè: it’s swimming. You can find the right refreshment from the summer heat; if you happen to be in winter, you can skate there. Not bad!