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What can you do in Val Gardena this summer?

Val Gardena lies in the heart of the Italian Dolomites, where dramatic scenery and limestone peaks provide the backdrop for an unforgettable summer holiday, set within this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The three villages of Ortisei (1,236m), S. Cristina (1,428m) and Selva (1,563m) provide the most unique setting for a lakes and mountains getaway.

Val Gardena boasts seven 5* hotels and three Michelin-starred restaurants, as well as 66 outstanding mountain refuges and huts serving delicious Northern Italian and local plates. Even culture vultures will be spoilt for choice in Val Gardena with countless folklore and musical events set to take centre stage this summer.

Val Gardena is the cradle of South Tyrolean art, specifically wood carving. This art form remains a key earner for the valley to this day, second only second to tourism.

NEW FOR 2023 – Sellaronda Hiking Tour

Explore a NEW hiking route this summer. Set foot on the Sellaronda Hiking Tour and guests can explore the unique landscape of the four vast Ladin valleys and three Italian provinces encompassing the Sella massif. Not for faint-hearted, taking in 750m of elevation gain and a huge 1,900m elevation descent over 25km this itinerary is as green as it gets, mixing hiking and sustainable lift facilities to explore this incredible region.

HIKING TRAILS AWAIT

Val Gardena offers in excess of 600km hiking trails from novice to expert to suit all ages and energy levels! While 18 high-tech mountain lifts make light work of arduous hills, enthusiasts can also choose from a variety of multi-day routes.

Opt for a full circuit of the Val Gardena summits and follow the four-day “Curona de Gherdëina” trail. This 60 km excursion features numerous elevation gains and winds its way across the Puez-Odle Nature Park in the north east, the Sella plateau in the southeast and through the Sassolungo valley.

ON YOUR BIKE!

Discover the 600km of biking trails across Val Gardena. The three villages of Ortisei, S. Cristina and Selva provide the perfect starting points for 22 day trips in total, giving plentiful opportunity to refuel on delectable Italian delights en-route. The Sella Ronda Mountain biking Track Tour has been designed to circumnavigate clockwise or anticlockwise, boasting breath-taking views over the Queen of the Dolomites – the Marmolada.

Equally suited to a slower pace with a wide variety of undulating trails, bike schools and professional biking guides, even a novice can take on the thrills and spills Val Gardena has to offer. Explore www.mtb-dolomites.com which gives a detailed overview of excursions and trails.

KIDS ACTIVATE THE FUN

Tackle the “Emozion Col de Flam” high rope course, located in the heart of alpine forest, featuring the first ever 680m Fly Line in the world, as well as a small zoo and trampolines area. Take a flight on board the new “Monte Pana” Zip Line for an extra shot of guaranteed adrenaline, over 1.5km, this exciting flight reaches up to 100km/h at a maximum height of 100m above ground.

The “Val Gardena Kids Active” programme offers five days of fun per week from 19 June – 8 September 2023. The activities aim to show children how the Dolomites are a treasure trove of natural wonders and the ideal place to have adventure. Special offers available for single parents with children when booking double rooms throughout the season.*  Children under two’s stay free, with 50% discount for 2 – 5 year olds.

FEAST FOR THE SENSES

Feast in one of Val Gardena’s 66 unforgettable mountain lodges, refuges and restaurants, from simple local delicacies to some of the most sought-after cuisine in the world. Fivefeature in the famous Michelin Guide and three possess a Michelin star:

Suinsom, Hotel Tyrol, Selva*

Young chef Alessandro Martellini operates tirelessly to create a delicate menu to spark the senses, dominated by the spirit of the mountains

https://www.tyrolhotel.it/en/suinsom.htm

Le Stuben, Alpenroyal Gourmet*

The skilful Mario Porcelli from Puglia successfully combines nostalgic flavours from his native region with distinct Alpine influences, using sophisticated techniques.

https://www.alpenroyal.com/en/hotel-restaurant-le-stuben.asp

Anna Stuben, Ortisei*

Reimund Brunner creates sophisticated plates with a firm focus on local Alpine produce.

https://www.relaischateaux.com/gb/italy/restaurant/anna-stuben-alto-adige-ortisei-val-gardena-dolomiti

NEW GSTC CERTIFICATION – Sustainable Tourism Award

Following years of tireless efforts by the Val Gardena community group, Val Gardena has now been awarded official certification by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). This follows an on-going mission to preserve and protect the delicate flora and fauna of these vital ecosystems.

Each project, initiative and event is planned carefully considering all possible economic, ecological and social impacts according to the United Nation’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals: https://www.valgardena.it/de/respect-the-dolomites 

STEP BACK IN TIME TO WORLD WAR 1

Playing host to the frontline between Austria and Italy during World War 1, train tracks were swiftly built to replenish troops’ supplies. One such track cut through Val Gardena from Chiusa, stretching across approximately 1km in altitude. After the war, the same rail track became an important transport artery at the heart of the local economy. As cars slowly replaced trains, the railway closed on 28 May 1960. Visit the ancient train station and the original train in the heart of Ortisei. A themed 4km historic walking trail now follows these tracks, as the story of the “Ferata de Gherdëina” is brought to life. 

SUMMER EVENTS ROUND UP:

UNIKA SCULPTURE FAIR

Take in the awe-inspiring sculptures displayed by 34 sculptors, 9 artists and 2 wood turners from 15 July – 16 September.  

SELLARONDA BIKE DAY

Expect a day of fun-filled action on 10June – enjoy the traffic free haven, as the roads are cleared for the Sellaronda Bike Day. 53km of race terrain, over an altitude difference of 1,637m, crossing 4 incredible high alpine passes.

www.sellarondabikeday.com

DOLOMITES SASLONG HALF MARATHON

Witness some first class trail running, also on 10th June, as athletes tackle the Saslong half marathon, a trail run through the heart of this dramatic UNESCO World Heritage Site.

www.saslong.run

HOLDING ON FOR A HERO

A long weekend of biking thrills and spills await with two races – 86 & 60km from 17 June. A full programme of gourmet food and kids biking events promises to delight biking enthusiasts young and old at the HERO Südtirol Dolomites.

https://www.herodolomites.com/en

CRAFT BEER FESTIVAL

Homebrews and fine ales alike will be celebrated during the Gherdëina Craft Beer Festival in Ortisei from 21-22 July, with plentiful tastings and food pairings on offer.

FIVE STAR FOOD FESTIVAL

Michelin-starred restaurants with an international flair, specialty restaurants serving delicious South Tyrolean dishes and Italian pizzerias alike from 1 – 23 October.

Find out more on the Val Gardena smartphone friendly website: www.valgardena.it

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