Val Gardena has been recognized as the Christmas Valley for years and, starting from 29th November, the miles of lights of the three Christmas Markets of Ortisei, S. Cristina and Selva Val Gardena – immersed in the natural setting of the Dolomites, UNESCO World Heritage Site – will light up again.
Each of the three markets, however, has different characteristics and peculiarities…let’s go and discover them
Ortisei will become the “Christmas Village” and its market will offer gifts and surprises among Christmas melodies, homemade cakes, handmade wooden objects and a myriad of lights. Every day you can watch the choir show or listen to the sounds of the mountain horns or even participate in Ladin cooking classes. There are many products offered by the stands, all original and authentic, from sculptures and dolls to Christmas garlands, from lanterns to frames, from candles to felt products. Finally, children will be able to pack their letters in a special mailbox in Stetteneck Square.
The Christmas Market of S. Cristina, traditionally offers many typical gastronomy and local craftsmanship products. The market is located in a panoramic location at the foot of the Sassolungo and Castel Gardena and has always offered a special atmosphere and many good ideas for a Christmas gift. In addition, you can attend live performances by master sculptors from Val Gardena and listen to music and mountain melodies. Every weekend and on weekdays, the peppery bread biscuits and the delicious “Spitzbuben”, short pastry biscuits filled with apricot jam, will be baked.
Finally, Selva di Val Gardena, famous for its “Mountain Christmas“. The village is located in the heart of the Dolomites, at the foot of the Sella massif… The atmosphere of the ski slopes will be ideally transferred to the pedestrian street in the centre of the village where a continuous strip of lights 350 meters long and 12 wooden reproductions of the cable car cabins will be realized. Among the stands you can taste the gingerbread, mulled wine, homemade cakes, chocolate production or buy unique items for next Christmas.
A multitude of balls and sparkling lights, together with Christmas songs, will cheer up the hearts and bring joy and wonder to the eyes of children. In addition, the traditional art of Val Gardena sculpture will be on display in a beautiful exhibition of nativity scenes.
INFO: Val Gardena
Eating well is part and parcel of the South Tyrol experience: the local cuisine features rich, regional recipes with hearty and local ingredients such as spicy Speck, smoked sausage, tasty cheese and Schüttelbrot. The culinary experience boasts a variety of traditional restaurants, pizzerias and gourmet Michelin and Gault Millau restaurants. The offer is rounded off by the typical combination of Mediterranean lightness and grounded, alpine flavours. In Val Gardena there are two places which are considered the culinary Eldorado: the working stations of starred chefs Mario Porcelli at the Alpenroyal Grand Hotel in Selva Val Gardena and of Reimund Brunner at the Anna Stuben in the Hotel Gardena in Ortisei. Sublime dishes interpreting and combining the cuisine of the Italian and Austrian culture in outstanding ways.
Discover fine dining also up on high! Skiing in Val Gardena is a real treat thanks to the 65 traditional mountain huts peppering the edge of the slopes. Most of them have been run by the same family for generations, and each hut is proud to deliver a unique offer ranging from traditional dishes to sophisticated cuisine featuring grilled steaks and seafood. The offer is rounded off by a large selection of wines, mostly from South Tyrol.
Be inspired and book four stay on Val Gardena
The skiing season in the Dolomites’ and Italy’s best skiing area, crowned as such on numerous occasions, starts on 5 December and ends at Easter on 14 April 2020.
Pleasant hills as well as steep slopes, including the ones featured during the World Cup, pepper the landscape of the skiing carousel, where skiers start whizzing down the slopes from 5 December. In the Val Gardena/Alpe di Siusi skiing area, which includes the Sellaronda, more than 500 perfectly groomed kilometres of slopes await passionate skiers.
The region in and around Val Gardena counts some famous slopes among the ones found in its network: take the worldfamous Sellaronda for example, a 40-kilometer ski excursion around the Sella massif, which leads through four Ladin valleys and three Italian regions, attracts numerous visitors. It offers unlimited skiing and snowboarding fun for all levels, always against the backdrop of stunning views over the Dolomites; moreover, it’s connected to the world‘s largest ski carousel via the Dolomiti Superski lift network.
The Saslong, on the other hand, is an alpine slope legend: what with its 3.4 kilometres and 839 metres of elevation gain, it turns into the venue of one of the most important downhill races in the international Ski World Cup circus shortly before Christmas every year. But the view of the Passo Sella is also a breathtaking one: nestled between the Sella massif in the south with its bizarre rock faces and the Cir peaks in the north, you can enjoy the fantastic view of the valley and the Sassolungo on the other side of the valley.
Whoever wants to combine winter sports with pleasant skiing sessions and physical well-being can do so in the Col Raiser/Seceda area featuring spacious and wide slopes. There are a good 16 mountain huts – out of 65 in the whole Val Gardena skiing area, which will charm skiers with their traditional character and cosy interiors – tourists can stop at to enjoy culinary delicacies and for a bit of a break out on the sunny terraces. What better complement than traditional South Tyrolean specialities such as Schlutzkrapfen, a range of different dumplings and sensationally good cheese as well as delicious desserts. You won’t find any fast food here!
You can easily plan your winter holiday in Val Gardena at www.valgardena.it – see you on the slopes!
INFO: Val Gardena