Selva Gardena, Italy | Welove2ski
Ski Resorts

Selva Gardena, Italy

Selva Gardena, Italy | Welove2ski
Photo: © Welove2ski


The Stats

Altitude: 1513m

Top Lift: 2949m

Ski area: 1220km of piste

Adult lift pass: 213-242€ for six days

site Official Site | site Ski Map | site Webcam

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.

The Loveometer

Where to Ski Loveometer 77% | Welove2ski

We Love

We Hate

tick The high standard of piste preparation.
tick The efficient and extensive snowmaking system – which covers 160km of pistes in the local area.
tick The vast system of lifts and pistes fanning out from Selva.
tick The stunning Dolomite scenery.
tick The excellent mountain restaurants.
tick The fact that private tuition here is half the price you’ll pay in some parts of the French Alps.
tick The number of tree-lined pistes: good for bad-visibility days.
tick The Saslong – Val Gardena’s World Cup downhill course.
cross The crowded pistes and lift queues on the Sella Ronda. In busy weeks it can make this memorable ski circuit a chore. There’s much better, and quieter, skiing to be enjoyed elsewhere in the area.
cross The dry climate – great for snow-making, less amazing when it comes to powder.
cross The hike to the lifts from a lot of the accommodation.
cross The traffic through Selva.

Continue Exploring Selva Gardena

About the author

Sean Newsom

As well as founding Welove2ski in June 2007, Sean has written about skiing and snowboarding in the British press for 28 years. For the last 20 of them, he’s also been the ski travel editor at The Sunday Times.

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