Situated in the Italian Dolomites, Val Gardena is an enchantingly beautiful destination for anyone who loves active, natural or cultural holidays. The valley is made up of three unique villages, each with its own charm: S. Cristina, Selva and Ortisei. These villages are not only a paradise for lovers of winter sports and hiking, but also for lovers of good food and wine.
The Val Gardena is a place that has stolen my heart, not least because it was our first family ski holiday in Italy. My youngest daughter, and yes, that was Elisabeth (founder of Dolcevia), suffered a complicated leg fracture the first day on the slopes and spent the rest of the holiday in the (at the time) brand new Val Gardena hospital, where she was treated like a princess being one of the very first patients there.
My personal favorite is Ortisei, where the enchanting Christmas market 'Nadel Urtijëi' takes place from mid December to the first week of January. Selva, with its 'Mountain Christmas' market, is also a must-visit between December 7 and January 6.
Ortisei, at an altitude of 1,236 meters, is the largest village and a cultural center known for its wood sculptures. The village has a nostalgic atmosphere, with traditional hotels and charming old cottages. The center is a labyrinth of squares and alleyways, and the Ladin Museum is a treasure trove of local culture.
In S. Cristina, at an altitude of 1,428 meters, the mix of traditional and modern influences can be felt everywhere. The village offers a lively center full of shops and restaurants, while the peaceful surroundings are ideal for relaxing walks.
Selva Val Gardena
Selva is located at 1,563 meters and a dream for sports enthusiasts. Its connection to the Sellaronda makes it a top destination for winter sports enthusiasts, the nearby Puez-Odle Nature Park is an oasis of peace and beauty.
Dolomites Unesco Nature Reserve
The Dolomites have been recognized by UNESCO as a natural and cultural wonder, and Val Gardena is one of the jewels in this crown. With its 175 km of slopes and access to the Dolomiti Superski area, it is a dream for every winter sports enthusiast. But even in summer, Val Gardena is an enchanting destination. For me, it is a place where memories are made, and where I want to return time and time again.
The Best Stays in Val Gardena, Hotels and Apartments
The hotels we recommend have all been chosen based on criteria that we find important in choosing a place to stay, which may not necessarily be the same in each case. Sometimes it's the view, other times the decor, the special location or the food.
B & B Lavi, Ortisei
I recently stayed at B&B LAVI, a gem in the quiet, sunny heart of the Dolomites. This newly renovated bed and breakfast proved to be the perfect base for both summer excursions and winter ski adventures. Situated just 950 meters from the town center, it was conveniently located yet peaceful. There was plenty of parking in front of the house, which was a great convenience. I stayed in the Deluxe room, which had a comfortable double bed, an ensuite bathroom, and a pretty balcony. The breakfast was a delightful experience, served on a lovely veranda with a stunning view of the Dolomites. It was a great start of the day.B & B Lavi, Via Mëisules, 78, 39046 Ortisei BZ, Italy - Prices and Reservations
B&B Kaserer - Enjoy Dolomites - Chalet, Santa Cristina
Each room is a delightful surprise. Light and airy, each carefully decorated with local materials, creating a warm, inviting atmosphere. The chalet is a wonderful home away from home and if not rented in its entirety, the owners will also run it as a B&B. It is immaculately clean and the views of the valley are stunning, providing the perfect backdrop. It is not far from the center of Santa Cristina, but the distance only adds to its charm, allowing you to enjoy the scenic surroundings. Breakfast is served in a cozy breakfast room.B&B Kaserer - Enjoy Dolomites - Chalet, Via Paul, 34, 39047 Santa Cristina Valgardena BZ, Italy - Prices and Reservations
Dolomites Hotel Monte Pana, Santa Cristina
For over 100 years, it has been a popular destination for mountain lovers. It takes some effort to get there, as it is a steep, winding road by car. But there's no reason to go back down to the valley once you're up there at 1600 meters. In winter, the hotel has its own ski lifts connecting to the Dolomiti Superski, its own ski school and ski lifts for beginners and children on a sunny plateau in front of the hotel. In summer it's the start of a walking paradise, but for those who stay there's a small golf course, ponies for the kids, a lovely spa and a large indoor pool. The hotel has a good kitchen, but bear in mind that they can't always cater for all your wishes - it's quite a distance to the nearest shop.Dolomites Hotel Monte Pana, 39047 Santa Cristina Gherdëina, BZ, Italy - Prices and Reservations
Garni Tramans, Selva Val Gardena
I discovered an amazing place in Selva, right next to the ski slopes of the Sellaronda and at the starting point of many hiking and mountain biking trails. It wasn't just the convenient location for outdoor activities that attracted me, but also the peaceful, tranquil mountain atmosphere and tasteful, modern furnishings. Despite the tranquility, I was pleased with the easy access to the city center, with a bus stop right at the front door. This place really did combine the best of two worlds - adventure and tranquility.Garni Tramans, La Selvastrasse, 75, 39048 Selva di Val Gardena BZ, Italy - Prices and Reservations
B&B Apartments Cudlea, Selva Val Gardena
This house, situated at an altitude of 1600 meters, is only one kilometer away from the center of Selva and yet it has the feeling of being a secluded place. The closest chairlift is just 200 meters away and gives direct access to the Sellaronda. It's an incredible experience to ski from the slopes of the "Plan de Gralba" directly back to the house. The house itself is a blend of comfort and elegance, tastefully decorated in a Tyrolean style. The rooms and apartments are spacious and comfortable. One of the outstanding features is the exclusive wellness area, a perfect place to relax after a day in the mountains. Breakfast on the covered and heated terrace is a delightful experience every morning.B&B Apartments Cudlea, 75, Str. Plan, 39048 Selva di Val Gardena BZ, Italy - Prices and Reservations
Romantik Villa Cesanueva, Selva Val Gardena
Beautiful romantic old building, recently renovated, half modern and half authentic South Tyrolean, with a special mention for the bathrooms. Charming and comfortable, every inch of this small boutique hotel has been lovingly designed. The entire hotel exudes Tyrolean warmth and tradition in a refined and elegant package. The covered ski room is secure, spacious and air-heated so that skis, boots, helmets and gloves are perfectly dry and warm in the morning. A delicious and extensive breakfast buffet offers many choices and gets eggs and coffee to the table quickly and effectively. Family run hotel with friendly staff and Speck Keller restaurant with outstanding food. Make sure you book in advance as this is one of the oldest and most popular places in Selva.Romantik Villa Cesanueva, Str. Meisules, 300, 39048 Selva di Val Gardena BZ - Prices and Reservations
More about Val Gardena
Val Gardena (1,226 - 2,700 meters altitude), located in the heart of the Dolomites, is a valley in South Tyrol consisting of 3 villages, Selva Gardena (Wolkenstein), S. Cristina (St. Christina), and Ortisei (St. Ulrich). Val Gardena (Gröden) alone offers 175 km of slopes, including 52 km of blue, 105 km of red, and 18 km of black slopes. The 83 lifts provide direct access to the slopes of the Dolomiti Superski, an area consisting of 12 villages. With the Dolomiti Superski pass, winter sports enthusiasts can enjoy more than 450 lifts and 1,220 km of slopes.