Top Lift: 2949m
Ski area: 1220km of piste
Adult lift pass: 213-242€ for six days
In a Nutshell
Stunning scenery comes as standard at Selva – as it does throughout the Dolomites. The food and the on-piste skiing are both pretty sensational, too.
Essential Advice for the Perfect Trip
For British skiers, the South Tirol town of Selva Gardena has always been the hub of the Dolomites. It’s a big, bustling ski resort, with lots of hotel beds and rental chalets, and it’s well-patronised by UK tour operators, with a decent range of package holidays available.
The South Tirolean mix of cultures is an interesting one too. Before the First World War, Selva Gardena (aka Wolkenstein in Gröden) belonged to the Austro-Hungarian Empire and long before that it was a Ladin stronghold – part of a network of remote mountain valleys which shared a language and way of life.
You don’t have to be a student of Alpine history to get the benefit though – because this rich mix means you get excellent, Tirolean-style hotel keeping, decent (but not full-throttle) nightlife, and superb, easy-going Italian-style mountain huts and restaurants. So if you want a change from the usual diet of high-altitude and rather bleak resorts of France – as well as excellent intermediate-level skiing on the doorstep – then put Selva (or its cheaper neighbour Canazei in the Val di Fassa) on your hit-list. The spectacular, slab-sided Dolomite scenery will blow your ski boots off, too.
Don’t expect too much charm from the town itself, however. The individual buildings look the part, but there are lots of them, and they stretch seamlessly along the main road down the valley Santa Cristina and Ortisei. Check out the likes of nearby San Cassiano or Corvara if you want your base to be quieter and cuter, and don’t mind the accompanying lack of nightlife.
A good base family skiing holidays
Selva Gardena is one of the best bases for family ski holidays in the Dolomites – for two reasons.
1. Some of the hotels have the nursery slopes on their doorstep.
2. Kids under 8 get a free lift pass for each adult lift Dolomiti Superski pass you buy – though to be fair, this is available throughout the Dolomiti Superski region.
See also our feature 8 Things We Love About The Dolomites.