9 June 2018: Dolomites Saslong Half Marathon, the Dolomites’ Trail Running

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Saslong trail 2018

Val Gardena will host the first edition of an important event on 9 June, set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Dolomites.

The Dolomites Saslong Half-Marathon (21 Km) is a circuit around the Sassolungo massif featuring a total elevation gain of approximately 900 metres.

The route winds its way across rocky and gravelly trails and dirt roads. The participants start from 1,624 metres, while the highest point of their journey is 2,363 metres a.s.l., surrounded by the indescribably beautiful landscape of the Sella, the Marmolada, the Alpe di Siusi, and the Sciliar.

Runners will start from picturesque Monte Pana. They’ll face the first climb to the famous Emilio Comici hut; then continue at an average altitude ranging between 2,200 and 2,300 m a.s.l. through the legendary City of Stones and its numerous rocky boulders. The next stop is Passo Sella and its breathtaking view across the Marmolada glacier, Queen of the Dolomites, to then reach the renowned Sasso Piatto hut. A descent now awaits the runners who will make their way back to Monte Pana.

Everyone who’s 18 or older before the day of the race can participate. All Italian citizens must have a valid sports medical certificate for athletics issued by a recognised sports doctor. Participants have 4 hours to complete the Saslong Half-Marathon.

To sign up, visit the website.


Early bird rates are €35 until 31 May 2018 and regular rates are €45 from 1 June 2018. The registration fee includes a half-marathon goodie bag, participation medal for classified runners, 1 beverage and 1 meal in the arrival area, snacks along the route, free parking.

Prizes: a 2-night stay for two people at the Grones Hotel in Ortisei, the Beludei Hotel in S. Cristina, the Genziana Hotel in Selva, as well as Under Armour products and much more.

The Sassolungo Group is located between Val Gardena and Val di Fassa. It’s surrounded by the Sella Massif, the Sciliar, and the Catinaccio Group. It’s Val Gardena’s symbol. The mountain features summits that stretch across approximately one kilometre from the northwest to the southeast. The Group consists of the Sassolungo (3,181 m) – the highest peak; the Spallone del Sassolungo (3,081 m), the Punta delle cinque dita (2,996 m), the Sasso Levante (3,126 m), the Torre Innerkofler (3,081 m), the Dente (2,825 m) and the Sasso Piatto (2969 m).

A massif which is unique in the whole world, its location 230 million years ago was occupied by a tropical coral reef.

A majestic and unique natural landscape for a race which seeks to become a recurring event for all uphill race fans.

INFO: Val Gardena
Dolomites Saslong Half-Marathon

Innerhofer and Delago triumph at the 2018 Gardenissima

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The 22nd edition of the Südtirol Gardenissima, the world’s longest giant slalom, delivered thrills and spills aplenty as it brought the Alpine skiing season to a fittingly exciting close today. The stunning backdrop of the Dolomites, the sunny day and the perfect snowconditions helped boost the already-spectacular performances of the athletes as they started their descent from the top of Monte Seceda and then shot down the to the finish-line at Col Raiser, through 117 gates.

The fastest of the 650 participants was the italian Christof Innerhofer who stopped the clock in 3’32.70. Behind him was Daniel Hemetsberger with 3’33.91, while Alexander Prast finished third in a time of 3’36.98.



The women athletes delivered equally impressive performances with Nicol Delago proving exceptionally skilled at weaving in and out of the gates, to make it first across the line in a time of 3’44.09 . Federica Brignone could not catch Delago, however, and finished second, 3″05 behind her. The bottom step of the ladies’ podium went to the 4times “Gardenissima”-winner Verena Stuffer who crossed the line in a time of 3’46.00 .

There was great applause and cheering from the crowd for the large group of Ski Legends as they completed their descent. First of the former champions to cross the line in this special category was Federico Vanz with a time of 3’46.07. He was 1″27 faster than Jonas Senoner and Federico Vanz. The first of the women to finish was Regina Haeusl, from Germany, who triumphed in style over Paola Magoni and Daniela Zini.



Delivering its usual magical mix of music, sport and fun, the Gardenissima once again proved a truly fantastic festival of snow, drawing in and involving everyone from amateur to professional skiers as well as promising young talents and families. And of course, a large group of very appreciative spectators.

Südtirol Gardenissima 2018 22° Edition – Val Gardena (BZ)

Men’s classification:
1. Christof Innerhofer (ITA) 3’32.70
2. Daniel Hemetsberger (AUT) 3’33.91
3. Alexander Prast (ITA) 3’36.98
4. Alex Hofer (ITA) 3’37.38

5. Mattia Casse (ITA) 3’37.90

Women’s classification:
1. Nicol Delago (ITA) 3’44.09
2. Federica Brignone (ITA) 3’45.23
3. Verena Stuffer (ITA) 3’46.00
4. Nadia Delago (ITA) 3’48.81
5. Angelica Simari Birkner (ARG) 4’02.04

For further information: Südtirol Gardenissima

Val Gardena

Be The New King of the Dolomites!

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Landscape_Stefan Kothner_Raphael Öttl

Becoming a King has never been so easy and fun, since you can sign up for King of Dolomites, the photo contest about freeride on the Dolomites taking place in San Martino di Castrozza, in Trentino.

King of Dolomites is the great event taking place since 2013 in Trentino, on the Dolomites, joined by freeride and photography lovers and making the Dolomites protagonists of amazing pictures of landscape and action.

To take part in the contest you have 2 options: you can participate in the open category with a team of maximum 3 people and take your pictures on the 2nd and 3rd of march shooting reeriders in action on the Dolomites.

The other option is to compete for the pro category. In this case, you have to follow 3 steps: take freeride pictures from the 1st of January to the 24th of February reporting name of photographer and rider and the place where you took the shot. You can also use old pics but one must have been taken this year. Then post the pictures on Instagram with the hashtag #KOD2018 and #KOD2018QS and send the best 3 of them via WeTransfer. Wait for the committee’s verdict: the winner will have the chance to take part in the Grand Finale as a pro team. One fundamental rule is that photos must have been taken on the Dolomites, but that will be very easy on the magic Pale di San Martino.

Even if you don’t take part in the contest, you shouldn’t miss the King of Dolomites’ days, from the 1st to the 4th of March, with many events like the Friday’s party and the Arc’teryx KOD test village on the Alpe Tognola, in the skiarea San Martino di Castrozza – Passo Rolle, on Saturday and Sunday. During the weekend it will be also possible to see stunning pictures of the King of Dolomites’ past editions. The event will be closed on Sunday, the 4th of march with a prize-giving ceremony in the center of San Martino di Castrozza and the name of the new King of Dolomites.

INFO: King of Dolomites
Apt San Martino di Castrozza – Passo Rolle


The 22a Südtirol Gardenissima is fast approaching

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In Val Gardena the organisational machine is taking forward all arrangements for the 22a edition of the Südtirol Gardenissima, it the world’s longest giant slalom, and one which will take place on Saturday 7 April.

The start will be at 8.00 a.m. and as usual from high up on Seceda, and will then wind down a thrilling 6 kilometre course, with 115 gates to the arrival point at the Col Raiser valley station, a course all set in the splendid landscape of the Dolomites.

As tradition demands the opportunity to participate in this much-loved race is open to skiers of every level, as long as the individual is able to provide a medical certificate proving a clean bill of health and FISI card, the latter one able to ask for at the moment of race registration. It is obligatory to wear a helmet.

This year registrations are above every expectation and there are only about two hundred places still free.Every year about 650 participate in the Südtirol Gardenissima, among which are several members past and present of the Italian sk team and other famous celebrities (Isolde Kostner, Peter Runggaldier, Maria Rosa Quario, Peter Fill, Max Franz).

This year’s race will have a very special athlete participating – the Austian multi-time world champion ski jumper Andreas Goldberger.


Stands and entertainment will add to the occasion e.g. the music di DJ Simon will liven things up in the arrival area, and here too there will be snacks and drinks on offer, Furthermore there will be the Season’s End Ski Party Sëlva with The Jam’son & Francine Jordi from 4.30 p.m.

The Prizegiving Ceremony will be at 3.30 p.m. at the Centro Iman at S. Cristina and, os well as the prizes for the first classified places there will be a draw of free holidays for some of the lucky participants.

On Sunday 8 April at 9.00 a.m. it will be the turn of the young ones to take on the challenge in the Südtirol Gardenissima Kids, a 2 kilometre route with an altitude difference of 463 metres which goes from Monte Seceda to the valley station of the Fermeda chairlift. 2018 will be the 5th running of this particular race: there will be two start gates, as in the parallel slalom.

For this race too the wearing of a helmet is also obligatory. The Südtirol Gardenissima Kids presentation will take place at the mountain station of the Seceda cablecar at 2 pm.

This edition of the Südtirol Gardenissima has achieved “GreenEvent” status, satisfying the criteria for a planned and managed event complying to sustainability criteria, the most important factors being – printing of all material on recycled paper, the effective management of waste (reduction of the the quantity of waste and a differentiation in disposal of, the distribution of drinks preferably having an amount payable on return, the origin of at least half of food comsumed being from within the region and a selection of food being based on seasonal factors, and finally the promotion of an awareness in favour of a greater ecological mobility.

For further information refer pleamr www.gardenissima.eu

INFO: Val Gardena

Powder snow and idyllic mountain scenery. Three Peaks in the Dolomites: winter holiday options

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Drei Zinnen Tre Cime ©H.Oberhofer (1)

Crisp winter air, snow-covered slopes and glowing peaks: Located at the heart of the Dolomites UNESCO World Heritage Site, the holiday region Three Peaks in the Dolomites turns into a true snow-lovers’ paradise during the winter months. Set against a breathtaking alpine background, the townships of Sesto/Sexten, San Candido/Innichen, Dobbiaco/Toblach, Villabassa/Niederdorf and Braies/Prags provide a wide choice of options: Perfectly groomed ski runs and cross-country ski tracks for the active, snowshoeing and hiking tours through a picture-perfect winter wonderland for those who are up for a more relaxed pace, and rustic mountain huts serving local specialties and home-made delights.

Alpine skiing fun and nature highlights on cross-country tracks
The Three Peaks in the Dolomites features more than 100 kilometers of ski slopes and tracks for all levels, located amidst the impressive Dolomites mountain range. A challenge for fit skiers is the 34 kilometer Giro delle Cime day tour with a vertical drop of 5,600 meters. The adventurous, on the other hand, may opt for the steepest run in all of South Tyrol, the so-called “Holzriese”, featuring a slope gradient of 71%. Meanwhile, families and kids are sure to have fun on the sun-drenched runs of the small and easy-to-explore Braies or the family-friendly Baranci ski resorts near San Candido. Fans of cross-country skiing will find more than 200 diverse and perfectly groomed tracks around Sesto, San Candido, Dobbiaco, Villabassa and Braies, making the valley Italy’s number one cross-country skiing destination. The Prato Piazza/Plätzwiese high-altitude track located at 2,000 meters, for example, promises truly stunning views of the Cristallo range and the Hohe Gaisl.

Fotoshooting TM Hochpustertal Winter 2010-11 Langlauf Platzwiese

Snowshoeing – A different kind of winter fun
How about exploring the unspoilt winter landscape on snowshoes for a change? A great choice is the easy route through the forests of San Candido via the Jora mountain hut and on to the Riese Haunold hut with its small and cozy rooms featuring 200-year old used wood from historic mountain huts. Not to mention the local specialties which are served there and should definitely not be missed! A bit more challenging is the intermediate tour up Monte Calvo/Golfen offering fantastic views of Dobbiaco and the Val di Landro/Höllensteintal. Experienced snowshoers may want to try the hike leading through deep snow from Ponticello/Brückele to the Rossalm at 2,164 meters.

Hiking tours in winter wonderland
Another way to enjoy a holiday around the Three Peaks is hiking through beautifully snow-covered landscapes and occasionally stopping at a mountain hut or rustic restaurant for a break. Visitors walking from the Val Campo di Dentro/Innerfeldtal to the Rifugio Tre Scarpiere, for example, will be rewarded not only with wonderful views of the Sesto Dolomites, but also with authentic culinary treats like dumplings and goulash or home-made dough-covered, fried apple rings, so-called “Äpfelkiachlan”, with vanilla ice cream. A picturesque trail just above the tree line takes visitors from the Prato Piazza high altitude plateau to the Rifugio Vallandro, opening up breath-taking views of the Hohe Gaisl, Tofane and Monte Cristallo peaks. The alpine hut is located at 2,040 meters and serves tempting regional and Italian fare. Yet another option is the quite challenging pathway from the Monte Croce/Kreuzberg mountain pass in Sesto to the cozy Coltrondo Alm alpine pasture with its menu of farm-to-table dishes. Following this nice break, hikers can continue on to the Malga Alpe Nemes hut and the Klammbachalm alpine pasture for a final warming-up before descending through snow-covered forests back down to the valley.

For further information about activities and accommodation in the Three Peaks Dolomites visit www.drei-zinnen.info

Discover S.Mart – Active Winter

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The ski area San Martino di Castrozza – Passo Rolle is the southern part of the Dolomiti Superski circuit and boasts 60 km of ski slopes located at an altitude between 1404 m and 2357 m. The whole ski area offers a breathtaking view of the peaks and chains surrounding the territory, in particular of the Pale di San Martino, the widest group of the Dolomites. Every ski run is located inside the Natural Park Paneveggio – Pale di San Martino and presents a different level of difficulty. The ski area boasts flat parts and steep slopes and is therefore perfect for all skiers, both beginners and experts.

Stunning skiing and unforgettable views along the 15 km slopes of the Rolle Pass, one of the most panoramic passes of the Dolomites. In San Martino di Castrozza you will find 45 km of perfectly prepared slopes also thanks to the snowmaking system. San Martino di Castrozza also perfectly combines sport and taste boasting several huts along the slopes where to have a deserved stop.


INFO: San Martino di Castrozza

A Winter to Live to the Full in Val Gardena – Christmas Valley

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Christmas in Val Gardena is somewhat of a tradition, yet more than in any other corner of the world. The three main villages prepare to spend this magical period following their traditions. Selva di Val Gardena is ready to stage ‘Mountain Christmas’. The mountain village is located in the heart of the Dolomites, at the foot of the Sella Massif, it’s the highest village in Val Gardena, resting on the legendary ski-tour ‘Sella Ronda’ where skiing means having a blast on over 500 km of slopes.

This season too, the feel of the ski slopes will be transferred to the traffic-free part of the village between 7 December 2017 and 7 January 2018, thanks to an uninterrupted strip of floodlit area of approximately 350 metres, and 12 small wooden cable car pods where you can sample gingerbread, mulled wine, homemade cakes, artisanal chocolate, and purchase unique gifts for next Christmas.

A swirling array of Christmas decorations and twinkling lights, together with the sweet tunes of Christmas Carols will uplift the spirits of everyone and light that spark of happiness and surprise in the eyes of children. Moreover, the traditional art of sculpting in Val Gardena will be showcased in the beautiful nativity scene exhibition. www.mountain-christmas.com

Ortisei will become a Christmas Village (from 1 December to 6 January), shrouded in fairy lights. The market will be carefully prepared, steeped in a unique atmosphere where Christmas Carols will ring in the air, and tourists can taste homemade bakes, touch wooden hand carved objects, admire the lights and surroundings, and catch a tempting waft of food and wood which will warm up the atmosphere. A run-up to Christmas bursting with emotions and experiences. The stands sport countless products, all original and authentic, from sculptures, wooden tools, Advent wreaths, lanterns and frames, candles to felt products.

Choirs will perform every day and the mountain horns will fill the valleys, and you can take part in courses to learn how to create traditional wooden Ladin tools or recipes.

Children will also be able to send their letters in a dedicated post box on Piazza Stetteneck, knowing they will reach Father Christmas’ house safe and sound.

The Santa Cristina Christmas Market traditionally offers typical products, crafts, and local cooking. The varied offer of Tyrolean sweets and specialties will delight the palate of visitors, who can also attend live performances of local wood-carving masters and listen to mountain music and melodies. Every weekend and on festivities, between 10 a.m. and 6.30 p.m. gingerbread biscuits and delicious ‘Spitzbuben’, shortcrust pastry biscuits filled with apricot marmalade, will be taken hot out of the oven. www.mercatino-natale.it/ita/index.htm

Val Gardena yet again cements its reputation as the ‘Christmas Valley’, offering plenty of events dedicated to the most important celebration of the year – have a look at the event calendar.

INFO: Val Gardena

Val Gardena is the most popular Alpine destination in Italy

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a destinazione alpina più apprezzata d’Italia


According to a recent Enit survey, the National Tourism Agency, recently reported by the national daily newspaper La Stampa, the summer season just ended can be defined as the summer of records in the Alpine area. A sign of the times, which leads people to prefer quieter and less crowded destinations, but also a sign of a reversal of the trend: it is no longer true that in summer Italians prefer white beaches.

More and more persons prefer the mountains

People seem to be increasingly attracted by the mountains and the authentic hospitality of the various Alpine resorts, they able to guarantee a tourist offer that ranges from culture to sport, from nature to typical food and wine. A revolution, especially if you think that until a few years ago the summer holiday in the mountains was considered “démodé” and was chosen only by 15% of Italians (Eumetra 2016 survey). This year, on the other hand, mountain holidays have become trendy, especially if spent in famous locations.

Val Gardena is the most appreciated Alpine destination

According to the well-known Italian daily newspaper, the Dolomites (a UNESCO World Heritage) also took advantage of this boom and proved to be the most popular Alpine destination. Val Gardena in particular is considered the most popular and enjoyable Alpine destination in Italy, ahead of Val di Fassa, Courmayeur and Madonna di Campiglio.

This news naturally fills us with great pride and can be considered as the just recognition for the great work done in recent years by all the tourist operators in Val Gardena” explains Günther Pitscheider, Director of Val Gardena-Gröden Marketing. Coming out top – underlines Pitscheider – is a strong signal that the path taken is the right one, and gives us further motivation to continue along it”.

INFO: Val Gardena



Family Time in the Three Peaks Dolomites
Snow-Filled Action For All Ages, Friendly Reindeer and an Enchanted Mountain Lake

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A giant family of snowmen, the gentle sound of bells on a reindeer-drawn sleigh passing by and children’s laughter in the air: Croda Rossa / Rotwand with its sunny slopes and cuddly residents is only one among many beautifully snow-steeped sites in the holiday region Three Peaks  in the Dolomites. This is where family dreams come true, over and over again. The charming ski resort features both skiing fun for grown-ups and entertainment for the little ones. Not forgetting the adjacent peaks, frozen-over mountain lakes and the valleys that offer a great choice of additional exciting experiences.

Located at the heart of the Dolomites, the snow-covered holiday region Three Peaks in the Dolomites with its quaint holiday resorts of Sesto/Sexten, San Candido/Innichen, Dobbiaco/Toblach, Villabassa/Niederdorf and Braies/Prags is a favorite among winter sports enthusiasts and nature lovers of all ages. The area formerly known as Alta Pusteria / Hochpustertal offers great fun, relaxation and lots of activities. The giant family of snowmen on Croda Rossa, a popular backdrop for that annual family photo, is only one of many elaborate details the destination holds in store for younger guests.

On the Rudy Reindeer Trail for example, an educational ski training track, little skiers get to know new techniques through playful elements. Croda Rossa’s herd of reindeer, the smallest in the Alps and the only one in Italy, is a big hit with children, and there are many more animals to be discovered down in the valley, at the Gustav Mahler Wildlife Park in Dobbiaco. Deer, lynx, mouflons, wild boars, snowy owls raccoons and many other species await visitors daily from 9 am through 6 pm. The park only stays closed on Thursdays.

Meanwhile, the family-friendly Monte Baranci/Haunold ski area provides lots of action-packed fun: On a designated kids ski-cross run juniors get the chance to train their skills, and the snow tubing run sends them – and courageous parents, too – off on a ride on special tyres down the snow-covered mountain. Those who just can’t get enough of the great outdoors are twice a week able to hit the floodlit slopes for some night-skiing or tobogganing. Next to the mighty Monte Baranci Croda Rossa and Signaue also make for some excellent “down-hilling” thanks to lifts that take both people and their toboggans comfortably to the start.

As fast-paced things may be mountainside, a magical winter wonderland welcomes visitors down in the valley: Throughout the season, horse-drawn carriages take families on romantic sleigh rides through glittering forests. Lago di Braies / Pragser Wildsee is a popular destination during these tours as it lies embedded in mystical peace, enchanted as if touched by the Snow Queen – a miraculous place for all generations. Last but not least, the ice rinks of Dobbiaco, Villabassa, Sesto and San Candido are a must for fans of ice skating.

For further details on activities and family-friendly accommodation in the holiday region Three Peaks in the Dolomites see www.drei-zinnen.info.

INFO: Three Peaks Dolomites