It includes three different districts – Ortisei, Santa Cristina and Selva – and it is inhabited by people speaking Ladin, an ancient novel language, as their first language. Every year, in summer and in winter, it is visited by numerous tourists, charmed by its natural beauties and enchanted by its history and culture.
Skiing and winter sports
The Gardena Valley is one of the most popular ski resorts in Italy. It isn’t a coincidence that such champions as Isolde Kostner and Peter Runggaldier were born here, and annually, the Ski World Cup takes place on the slopes of the valley. Skiers of all ages and levels will find a great choice of awesome ski tracks here. The most experienced skiers can test themselves on such famous descents as Saslong Selva di Val Gardena, or La Longia, that goes down from Mount Seceda up to Ortisei. Whereas, the beginners will enjoy tracks suitable to their level without renouncing the beauty of these places. Finally, one should mention the Gardena Ronda and the Sella Ronda – the two largest ski carousels of the area.
Apart from alpine skiing, in the Gardena Valley, it’s possible to practice cross-country skiing – along the trails that lead to the silence of snowy forests; snowboarding – in various snow parks of the area; tobogganing – for example on Rascesa, the ski lifts of which will take you i the vicinity of Residence Sassela; or you just can enjoy relaxing walks with snowshoes.
Hiking and climbing
If in winter, the Gardena Valley is one of the favourite destinations for skiers, than in summer, it’s hikers and climbers who make the valley their second home. In fact, from the villages of the valley bottom numerous paths wind through the fragrant woods and climb up to the highest peaks of the area. Here is the starting point of some of the most famous (and exciting) climbing routes of the Dolomites – an unavoidable destination for every serious climber. Also in summer, the Gardena Valley offers a great variety of opportunities to its visitors. From easy walks, suitable for families, to more intrepid ascents, reserved for the experts. Among these, the splendid excursion through the Anna Valley is a relaxing hike suitable to the whole family.
But if between the sightseeing trips you feel like doing something else, you can visit museums of history and art of this area, as well as numerous artistic craft workshops, or you can choose from countless family activities offered by various tourist offices.