Val Gardena, your vacation valley in the Dolomites
Val Gardena is perhabs the most famous of the Ladin valleys in the Dolomites, the famous “Pale Mountains”. The Dolomites are named after Déodat de Dolomieu (1750-1801), the French geologist who was the first to study their composition. Although not a uniform mountain chain, the Dolomites differ from the rest of the Alps owing to their jagged peaks and light and friable rocks that turn striking shades of pink at sunset.
Val Gardena stretches for about 25 km from Ponte Gardena, at the valley entrance, to the Sella Group, with the Sella (2244 m) and Gardena (2137 m) Passes, mandatory gateways to the bordering valleys of Fassa and Badia. Famous since the XVII century for its still flourishing woodcarving activities, today the valley puts the spotlight on tourism and is divided into the three villages of Ortisei (Urtijëi/ St. Ulrich), S. Cristina (St. Christina) and Selva (Wolkenstein).
Ortisei, a perfect symphony between nature and tradition
Ortisei/St. Ulrich (or Urtijëi in Ladin) (1236 m above sea level) is the main village in Val Gardena. The ideal vacation spot to visit year round, Ortisei is located in a large basin near the middle of the valley. The peaks of the Odle on the left and the Siusi Alp on the right soar up from the meadows and woods surrounding the village. The Sella massif, a real rocky stronghold and the superb Sassolungo (3181 m), Val Gardena’s icon, stand out in all their glory in the background.