Val Gardena Valley (the northwest Dolomites, south Tyrol) consists of three villages: Ortisei (at 1236 m), St. Christina (1428m) and Selva (1563)
Ortisei is the biggest village and, personally, I like it best. Architecture bears some resemblance to Disneyland, with its colorful buildings.
You can get to the center of Ortisei (a 5-minute car ride) by:
- Hisham shuttle – hotel driver, unordinary styled, who can take you whenever you tell him in a blink of an eye, as long as it is within Ortisei.
- Your personal transportation
- A regular bus like which stops in front of the hotel (you can get the weekly ticket in the hotel for free).
Center of Ortisei:
An old clock in the city center:
Ortisei also has the longest pedestrian zone with a lot of attractive shop windows (of different kinds) 🙂
One of the delicatessen stores:
Wooden products (gorgeous tree decorations):
And of course, my favorite shop, love at first sight ♥♥♥. So tasteful you can bet!
This is where I get cheeses and smoked meat products ‘to go’. Whatever you pick, you won’t regret. Everything is top notch and it tastes even better, it is not made ‘just for the tourists’.
The other two villages are just as beautiful but are somewhat smaller, and, as it appears to me, with no so many places to go for a walk.
Taking the main road from Ortisei, you go straight to St. Christina:
St. Christina is the smallest village of all three, but it is still in the heart of the valley.
An ideal starting point for a tour to nature park Puez-Odle. Puez-Odle Park is set on 2500m average altitude, with various flora and fauna. If you’re interested in putting some time aside and visiting the park, you have two possibilities (depending on your physical condition) in the organization by Selva Active Buro:
- All day hiking tour, from 09 am
- Half-day hiking tour, from 1:30 pm
It is at the end of the valley and at the highest altitude. Selva has the most opportunities for Alp-climbing and hiking. My favorite HIKING began in Selva.
Val Gardena is not only known for great skiing and even better trails, but you can also try some other sports there (both during summer and winter and my wish is to experience the summer in Val Gardena).
- Ski mountaineering,
- Sledding (a real joy for the kids, and even for us, the older kids),
- Cross-country skiing,
- Sitting in cabins at the Alp peaks, in cafés and restaurants of the nearby villages, with a great aperitif and a board with bacon, sausages, and cheese. It sounds very tasty, and this is a great activity called ‘catching the sun’.
There is something for everyone, and it is never boring, you just need to pick. I know there’s never going to be enough time for everything. Activity calendar of Val Gardena can be of help in your organization, and you can find it on their website, Calendar.