Summer holidays to Selva, Italy for summer 2020 & 2021 with SNO® Summer holidays to Selva, Italy for summer 2020 & 2021 with SNO® Summer holidays to Selva, Italy for summer 2020 & 2021 with SNO®
Highlights: • UNESCO protected landscape
With some of earth’s greatest landscape on your doorstep, even the most hesitant hikers go gaga for the footpaths here. We love the hike from Daunei up to the Stevia Hütte – stop off for apple strudel on their sun terrace then continue down to the Rifugio Firenze via the awesomely scenic Forcella Piza at 2489m. The route back passes some lovely little lakes which give you a good excuse to stop, soak up the surroundings and send your Instagram into overload.
Another good ‘un (usually taking 5 or so hours) is the route through the pastures and forests of the Vallunga valley, then up to the Rifugio Puez (where the Costa family serve cold beers and cappuccinos) and back along the Hunter’s path.
With the help of the Ciampinoi Cable Car, you can hike around the Sasso Piatto and Sassolungo mountains in 5-6 hours – on a clear day you get an amazing look at Marmolada, the tallest peak in the Dolomites and you might see marmots darting about too. We find the clockwise route a tad easier and more scenic but both ways are a blast.
A shorter and more family-suitable walk is the Naturonda trail to the Città dei sassi – a photogenic gaggle of rocks (that kids LOVE clambering over) just before the north face of the Sallolungo. It’s a super area for spotting wildlife and there are information signs dotted along the route telling you what to look out for.
Whether you’re wobbly on the wheels or just won the Giro Italia, the Gardena Valley brims with every kind of bike route. Since this is one of the larger resorts in the Dolomites, you’ll find a number of bike rental shops in the town (with everything from E-bikes to pro standard road bikes) and there are guides to lead the way if needed.
For mountain bikers, the Ciampioni freeride trail is a corker, covering 3km in distance and 568m in altitude. We love the singletrack from the ridge above the Seceda lift too. GoPro’s at the ready: setting off from 2518m it’s thought to be one of the most scenic rides in Italy.
If you want more miles under your belt, the Sellaronda route’s an absolute must. Luckily, Selva happens to be one of the starting points and both roadies and mountain bikers can pedal the tour through the Gardena, Campolongo, Pordoi and Sella mountain passes, covering around 50-60km. All the mountain lifts are bike friendly and it’s perfectly doable on E-bikes if you want that extra push (there are 20 charging points along the way). If you’re planning a visit in June, look out for the Sellaronda bike day where they close the roads, giving cyclists of every level and age free reign. Another event around this time of year is the HERO Sudtirol Dolomites race, one of the trickiest competitions in mountain biking with 60 and 86km races around the Passo Sella and Sassolungo.
Backed by mammoth mountains, this tiddly chapel is dedicated to the patron saint of cattle. Inside you can see frescoes dating back 300 years which were discovered when the chapel had some restoration work done in the nineties. You can walk here in a few minutes from the Vallunga car park.
…or what remains of it! Ruins of this 13th century castle cling onto the Stevia rockface and can be reached by a steep path up from Vallunga.
This renaissance style castle with medieval-style fortifications was built in 1600’s and used as a hunting lodge. It’s currently privately owned so not open to the public. The name ‘Fischburg’ comes from the fish ponds once in the castle grounds.
This climbing hall’s handily positioned in the Nives square, bang in the middle of Selva – worth visiting whether to practice technique or try something new.
If all that Italian sunshine leaves you craving something cooler, the ice rink is open between July and April and besides having a skate yourself, you might be able to catch a game of ice hockey.
Look out for the musical clock on the fabulous Sarteur House, the yellow building with a frescoed façade on Strada Meisules (next to the supermarket, opposite the Hotel Posta al Cervo) – each day at 11 in the morning and 5 in the evening, its bells play different tunes and charming carved figures appear.
Artist Roland Moroder created a sundial which marks the hours on one of Alpe Juac’s meadows. There’s a nice half hour walk there from Daunei.
Ortisei (2h walk, 15 min drive, 30 minute bus) – this is the largest of the Val Gardena resorts, and has everything from top notch spas to a high ropes adventure park and fabulous family footpaths. Look out for the village’s famous wooden sculptures (woodcarving has been passed down generations of local families).
Santa Cristina (1h walk, 10 min drive, 15 minute bus) – the sunny, smallest village in Val Gardena, a pocket of peace, quiet and culture amid meadows and mountains. Home to pretty buildings and the beautiful Tervela waterfall.
Val di Fassa (30 min drive) – this is one of the neighbouring valleys and its villages include Canazei, Campitello, Pozza, Mazzin, Moena, Soraga and Vigo.
Alta Badia (30 min drive) – the Alta Badia valley is home to the villages of Corvara, La Villa, Badia and San Cassiano.