Val Gardena and its Ski Villages

Nestled within the mighty Dolomites mountain range in north eastern Italy, the Val Gardena valley is a world renowned skiing destination. A former forested area, this 12-mile is now swarming with ski connections and slopes that linked to the Sella Ronda, the largest ski carousel in the world.

There are a couple of reasons why Val Gardena should top the list of any skiing enthusiasts visiting Italy. One of them is for simply having the picturesque Dolomites mountain range as its backdrop, which guarantees any skier a spectacular view. Aside from having one of the biggest ski areas in the South Tyrol region, it also offers several pistes of different difficulty levels. In addition, the snow around the valley is reliable and lasts for the entire season.

Another outstanding characteristic about Val Gardena is it offers accommodation options near the slopes and lifts, which makes skiing opportunities easier and more accessible. Val Gardena has three major resort villages, which are just within 3 miles from each other. These resorts, which are called Selva, Santa Cristina and Oritisei, provide dependable transport systems like gondolas, chair lifts and cable that connect to major ski areas including the Sella Ronda circuit.


Selva Gardena is positioned the highest among the three resort villages.  It is situated at the foot of the Sella group of mountains like Puez, Sassollungo and the Sella massif, making it the nearest one to the Sella Ronda carousel.  The village does not only offer  exhilarating ski descents, but also other enjoyable winter activities like sledding, snow-shoeing, ice-skating , and ice-climbing. Selva is also a great destination during summer as it has set mountain paths for adventurous biking and hiking. Because of Selva’s ideal location, getting accommodation here is the most convenient. Lodging options in the village are varied. You can choose from luxury hotels to family run inns and long-term rental apartments.

Santa Cristina

Santa Cristina is situated in the middle of Selva and Oritisei. This small village offers a more romantic and traditional setting with its mountain farms and old center. Because it is right in the middle of the Val Garden Valley, it makes a good starting point for tourists who want to admire in full the Dolomite landscape and surrounding alpine pasture.  Santa Cristina also offers cross country tracks and nice slopes of varying degree of difficulty. Even in the summer, the village is a favorite spot for hikes and walks. The old tradition and culture of people inhabiting Val Gardena is evident in Santa Cristina. The village is the choice for people who love nature, tranquility and relaxation.


The village of Ortisei boasts a rich and solid mercantile history and tradition. This is where you can experience a taste of the wood-carving tradition in the valley, which started during the 17th century. Drop by the Galari Unika, where you can see the artisans of today practice the techniques perfected by their ancestors.  Ortisei’s center is the focal point for socializing and shopping. The village is equipped with a fitness center, tennis courts, mini-golf, swimming pool, and sauna facilities. It also maintains lifts that directly connect to ski areas like the Seceda, Alpe di Siusi and Rasciesa.

About Author:

Arie Boris has extensive travel industry experience, including business and sales development for commercial aviation, the International emergency assistance & travel insurance industry and a national association of travel agents. He was a contributing editor to several print and Internet travel publications, including Fieldings’ Worldwide Cruise Guide and was part of the start up team for CruiseCritic. He has written over 400 cruise ship reviews. Arie also produces and hosts Cruise Gourmet Voyages, a variety of fundraising & theme group cruises for various charitable and arts organizations. He has produced theme cruises for a variety of special interest groups including opera, comedy, spiritual retreats and fan clubs for TV shows like Dark Shadows and Dancing with the Stars!