The Dolomites: a beautiful nature reserve and World Heritage Site where literally every holidaymaker can find something to their liking.
Val Gardena is the heart of this area, and whether you are sporty or just want to enjoy the peace and quiet, this is the place for you.
There are three characteristic villages in the valley: S. Cristina (S. Cristina), Selva (Selva Gardena) and Ortisei (Ortisei).
The ideal combination of relaxation and effort is the success of a wonderful (post) summer holiday in the Italian Alps.
The Sassolungo is a mountain group with a striking elongated shape in the Italian Dolomites.
The massif lies between Trentino’s Val di Fassa and South Tyrol’s Val Gardena.
The highest point is at 3,181 metres. This year, 2019, marks the 150th anniversary of the first ascent of Sassolungo.
There is a lot to tell about this mountain: Stories, anecdotes, peculiarities and all kinds of interesting facts.
For this reason, all kinds of hikes and events are being organised this year around this legendary, symbolic mountain.
A very special experience is the ride on the oldest gondola at Passo di Sella. This historic lift takes you to the Sassolungo and the Toni Demetz Hut at 2,685 m above sea level.
Incidentally, the route can also be covered comfortably on foot in one hour. Once at the top, you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the Dolomites.
2. traditional wood art
Val Gardena is also called the valley of religious woodcarvers. It is a tradition that goes back to the 15th century.
Families then started to make tools, religious figures and toys for the children in winter.
They worked from home and sold their work at special markets. In the late 18th century, this developed into a very important industry.
Art and vocational schools were successfully adapted to the craft. The woodcarvers of Val Gardena discovered new methods and thus created an innovative and wide range of woodcarvings that no one could imitate.
It is therefore not surprising that Val Gardena attracts so many tourists from all over the world to Santa Cristina.
If you want to see skilled craftsmen at work, you should visit the traditional market in the pedestrian zone of Santa Cristina.
3. colourful nature
The nature in Val Gardena is breathtaking. At any time of the year, the region shines in all colours.
In spring and summer, the valley and the green mountain meadows are full of fragrant flowers in all colours and sizes.
The last flowers are still to be seen in the long winter and late spring, and in autumn the landscape is transformed into a true symphony of the colours of the leaves and trees.
And all this in combination with the colourful and rocky mountains of the Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
This makes every photo in Val Gardena a real painting. From the Sassolungo and the Sella massif with a trace of snow in summer to the clear blue mountain lakes like the Lech Sant and the almost always green Puez Geisler nature park.
4. cycling and hiking
The Italian Alps are a veritable Valhalla for sports enthusiasts. Val Gardena is particularly popular for its more than 600 kilometres of hiking trails and 21 well-signposted mountain bike routes between 700 and 2450 metres above sea level.
Both in summer and autumn there are various festivals in Val Gardena. Last July, for example, there was the South Tyrol Jazz Festival and the Gherdëina Craft Beer Festival.
In autumn, the Alpine Festival up Col Raiser takes place in September around one of the most beautiful alpine pastures in Val Gardena.
And in September the Dolomites Film Festival also takes place. People like to party in Val Gardena!