Selva Gardena, Italy

Selva Gardena is part of the large Sella Ronda circuit, which together with Santa Cristina and Ortisei is comprised of 175 kilometres of runs in the Dolomites mountain range.

It is situated in the Val Gardena region, where the scenery is fantastic, the facilities are good value for money, and the lift system is excellent. Although Ortisei is the older and more attractive village, Selva Gardena is still a pleasant resort, situated behind the mountains of Sassolungo and Puez.

How to Get There

By Air

The nearest airports to Selva Gardena are:

  • Bolzano Airport: this is 40 km away, and is served by Air Alps.
  • Innsbruck Airport: this is 120 km away, and is served by Air Alps.
  • Treviso Airport: this is 170 km away, and is served by Ryanair.
  • Milan International Airport: this is 300 km away, and is served by Bmibaby, Ryanair, and Jet2.

If you are travelling to Milan International Airport, you may want to hire a car at the airport as the resort is located quite a long way from the city.

By Train

The nearest stations are Bressanone and Bolzano. From either of these, the best option is to take one of the numerous shuttle buses that depart regularly from the stations and will take you straight to the resort. The stations both have good connections across the continent, especially from Munich and Innsbruck.

By Car

The best way to reach Selva Gardena is by following the Brenner Motorway (A22). If travelling from the south, follow the Verona – Trento – Bolzano route, and if arriving from the north take the Innsbruck – Brennero – Chiusa route. Whichever direction you arrive from, take the Val Gardena/Chiusa exit from the A22, and the journey to the resort is no more than half an hour from here.

Who The Resort Caters For

Selva Gardena is particularly good for intermediate skiers, but beginners are also well-catered for as there are lots of gentle slopes in the resort, more so than at the other two villages in the Sella Ronda circuit. However, it is not considered to be a great option for more advanced skiers.

There are also numerous ski and snowboard schools for beginners of all ages, and mountain guide services are available for off-piste skiing and snowboarding.

Away from the slopes, there are plenty of good restaurants and lots of activities on offer, including snow-shoeing, sledding, mountaineering, ice climbing, ice skating, tobogganing, paragliding, and hockey. There are also lots of indoor activities, including tennis, climbing, swimming, and bowling. Visitors also have access to a number of shops in the resort, including bakeries, butchers, and delicatessens.

One of the most popular pubs in the resort is the Irish Goalie’s Pub, which has regular themed nights and good music. Also on offer is the Luisl Keller Bar, and for fans of nightclubs, the best option is the Dali-Disco.

What Accommodation the Resort Offers

There are many apartments, pensions, and hotels on offer in Selva Gardena. For the more distinguished visitor, there is the five-star Alpenroyal Grand Hotel, complete with everything you could want from a quality hotel.

You could also try the four-star Hotel Nives, or many others. A more basic choice is the Rifugio Passo Sella, which is clean and can offer breakfast and dinner to guests.

Slope Information

The lift system at Selva Gardena is efficient, but journeys can take a long time if you want to reach the best slopes on the Sella Ronda circuit. There are 81 lifts in total in this large system, and for the best slopes you should head to the Ciampionoi and Dantercëpies gondolas.

Val Gardena has a number of long, groomed trails, as well as a good mixture of steep runs and beginner slopes. The nursery area is particularly good for beginners. Although advanced skiers will find a few fast and challenging slopes, the resort mainly caters for intermediate skiers. Exceptions to this general rule include the Passo Sella and the Col Rodeia areas, which provide a greater challenge, and the Men’s World Cup run at Arabba is extremely tough and only suitable for experts.

Off-piste skiing can be dangerous, with avalanches a common occurrence. You should certainly consider hiring a guide. The best off-piste action can be found in the area around Colfosco, and for a particularly stunning run, try the Hidden Valley run, which goes from Lagazuoi to Armentarrola.

The resort also has reliable snow cover throughout the season.

Resort Vitals

  • Top elevation: 2,518 m
  • Easy ski runs: 50 km
  • Intermediate ski runs: 100 km
  • Expert ski runs: 25 km
  • Total ski runs: 175 km
  • Chair lifts: 31
  • Gondolas: 8
  • Drag lifts: 37
  • Cross country: 98 km

The ski season lasts from the beginning of December to mid-April.