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“Amazing scenery” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Val Gardena

Val Gardena
Selva di Val Gardena, Italy
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Type: Ski/ Snowboard Areas, Outdoors
Activities: Skiing
Attraction details
Hamilton, Bermuda
Contributor
20 reviews 20 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Amazing scenery”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 10, 2013

Skiing The Dolmites provides jaw dropping scenery. In addition it has extensive terrain, fun apres ski, Italian friendliness and Austrian charm. The adventure park is the best one that I've skiied. We loved the champagne bar for lunch sitting under the heat lamps and under the sheep skin throws. We stayed in a catered chalet, Oscar, with Ski Espirit which was comfortable with good food and service. An overall great holiday.

Visited April 2012
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English first
Umbria/Tuscany/Dolomiti
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Europe's most beautiful, largest skiable, high-altitude plateau.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 6, 2013

Most skiers will, no doubt be familiar with the approach to Innsbruck airport. And if you have yet to experience it, it is a travellers treat, as it is undoubtedly one of the most spectacular aircraft arrivals in Europe.

The journey from here, the closest airport with regular flights to/from the UK, to the Alpe di Siusi is never complex, irrespective of your form of transport. All routes head south and through the famous Brenner Pass. Everyone knows the name, few, in reality, could point to it on a map.

The Brenner Pass has personality. I regularly travel through its station too and from the airport. It is the place where Italy meets Austria and the station in winter is a god forsaken place for the traveler. The winds are bitter, the rails carved from the snow drifts. None the less, I love to change trains here, from Austria’s smart, warm, sharp OBB trains to Trenitalia’s rolling stock from an age of compartments and chains pulls for the emergency stop.

My stop is at Bressanone, a 90 minute journey from Innsbruck, which is about the time it would take to complete the whole journey by car. The drive from Innsbruck to Bressanone is all motorway, the E45/A22 - which includes a spectacular 180m high bridge - and rarley if ever, is the route disturbed by snow.

Exit the E45/A22 at Chiusa and the balance of journey is no more that 25 mins, maybe 40 mins if you are to scale the heights of Alpe di Siusi itself. Traffic on the plateau is limited during the day to those holiday makers arriving for the first time or otherwise by license. The cable cars and local buses are frequent.

Most who enjoy Alpe di Siusi will stay in a local town below and adjacent to the plateau, mainly Castelrotto or Ortisei. For the those fortunate enough, a stay on the plateau is simply rewarding, magical and unique.

Our typical day begins at 8am every morning, just below the plateau. We walk our dogs along a wooded mountain trail, one of the lesser known access points. Our walks are solitary except for the three horseman who with
their precious Haflinger work ponies, also use the track at this time of day as travel to their daily work. A sleigh ride on Alpe di Siusi is a dreamt of experience.

Alpe di Siusi must be unique. On any winter season day, you will find skiers of the downhill and cross country types, snowboarders in their snow park, families riding the lengthy toboggan runs, walkers and snow shoers roaming the tracks, and the horse drawn sleighs full of delighted, rug warmed passengers taking in the sites.

The rolling undulations of Alpe di Siusi makes it ideal for this mix of winter activities, and somehow these different activities complement the area and each other.

There is a certain atmosphere on Alpe di Siusi that I find difficult to accurately convey. Alpe di Siusi is not a resort. It has elements of a Coxwold weekend, picnicking and a Sunday afternoon stroll.

Downhill skiing here is relaxed, perfect family skiing, with only one, short black run offered to challenge the expert skier. The main features of the skiing on the plateau are the ultra modern snow making systems that guarantee good snow; Alpe di Siusi offers about 60km of slopes including 18 runs for beginners, 40 for advanced and 2 for professionals; longest piste is around 4k; a speed trap for those so inclined and the various self timed slalom courses. Saving the best to last there is a plethora of restaurant options. From casual patate fritte and sandwich to high-end cuisine offered in secret off-the-track-I'm-in-the-know style, to fashion leading five star luxury. It will take you years of holidays to get anywhere near to discovering them all, so we've listed a couple to help you out.

Zallinger - this outstanding restaurant hides in the Alpe di Siusi 'back country' and is missed by the majority of visitors, for good reason! The access piste is unassuming and easily missed, even when you're on it! If anywhere 'nestles within' the surrounding mountain peaks, it is Zallinger. Your first visit here may, just, bring a tear to your eye - the winter beauty here is jaw dropping, including the small, white, steepled church.

Tuene Hut is a small restaurant invisible from any downhill piste. Irene the proprietor, spends her entire winter living and working here. The hut has been in the Welponer family for generations and only recently has the family opened it as a restaurant. Until about 2005, there was no electricity, or facilities here and yet the whole family spent all summer working with the animals from this very basic accommodation. Food here is simple, well prepared, traditional, well priced and enthusiastically served.

Then there is the secret bus! Well, it's not really a secret, it's just that most are not used to catching an 'off-road' bus when skiing! I saw someone post on ski forum that this was the 'most awesome bus ride' of his life! I agree! The buses operate between Monte Pana and Alpe di Siusi, running about every 25 mins or so. It's a one-way track, I mean track - it's a logging track! About half way along, you'll see the driver chat on his radio, to confirm that the other driver is where he should be. One or other pulls over and waits for the other to pass! At certain points, you wonder just how the driver squeezed the normal looking service bus ( with worlds biggest snow chains ) through such tight turns and narrow gaps! Don't worry, there are none of those drops or cliffs to worry about, this is a trip through a forest!

Visited March 2013
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Poole, England, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
33 reviews 33 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Great in the summer .. better in the winter”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 5, 2013

1st time skiing in this area and boy does it beat 3 valleys and The Milky Way. Sublime. Ver pretty tryolean area but not many/any catered chalets. Can't wait to get back next year.

Visited February 2013
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Athens
Reviewer
5 reviews 5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“excellent for families, medium for demanding skiers”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

good equipment, nice and wide slopes. excellent for families and seniors.
not so many black pistes, and if it snows they leave all pistes ungroomed "in order to enjoy the fresh snow", however practically you cannot use the center.

Visited February 2013
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Contributor
19 reviews 19 reviews
3 attraction reviews
Reviews in 15 cities Reviews in 15 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Skiing was great”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2013

A must for any skier.....views were spectacular in every direction you looked and the Sella Ronda was a lot of fun to complete in a day!!

Visited February 2013
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