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Santa Cristina Ski Holidays

‘Charming’ is used a lot do describe ski resorts but it’s hard to find a better word for St Cristina, a sporadically built Dolomite village at the foot of the Sassolungo mountain, complete with an ancient church and a fairytale castle. Despite the relaxed pace, there’s lots to do whether you’re heading for the nearest bar, restaurant or sports centre or hitting the huge expanse of piste...





At a glance: • Traditional Dolomite village • Linked ski area • Access to Sella Ronda

Great for: • Intermediates • Scenery • Quiet ski holidays

‘Charming’ is used a lot do describe ski resorts but it’s hard to find a better word for St Cristina, a sporadically built Dolomite village at the foot of the Sassolungo mountain, complete with an ancient church and a fairytale castle. Despite the relaxed pace, there’s lots to do whether you’re heading for the nearest bar, restaurant or sports centre or hitting the huge expanse of piste...

Santa Cristina Resort

The stunning Gardena valley is a popular destination in the Italian Dolomites and St Cristina is the smallest of Val Gardena’s three villages - following its road east you reach the higher and larger resort of Selva whilst the northwest route takes you down to Ortisei.

Because this Ladin-speaking valley was once part of Austria, you’ll probably hear the village referred to by three different names: ‘Santa Crestina Gherdëina’ in Ladin, ‘Sankt Christina in Gröden‘ in German and ‘Santa Cristina Valgardena’ in Italian. The cultural combination of Ladin, German and Italian speech intermingled with the Austrian architecture and relaxed Italian way of life gives the resort lots of character; shops range in content from the traditional wood carvings to the more touristy items and are interspersed with restaurants providing all kinds of local dishes.

At the base of the striking Sassolungo Mountain, the resort looks out to some awesome scenery of the Sassolungo massif to the south and Odle massif to the north. It’s also got the sites of the straight-from-a-fairy-tale Castel Gardena (complete with surrounding forest) and the 12th century Saint Christina of Bolsena church. Also worth a gander, Val Gardena train path is a former railway converted to a walkway with information platforms along its route.

The ski area is served by three main lifts from the village; the Ciampinoi gondola and Monte Pana chair on one side and the Col Raiser gondola on the opposite. The underground Val Gardena Ronda Express is great for efficiency connecting the Col Raiser side to the Ciampinoi side in little under 3 minutes. Local buses also run more or less every 15 minutes, linking accommodation to the ski lifts and it’s not unheard of to walk between the villages if you fancy a scenic afternoon amble.

The Val Gardena and Alpe di Siusi Pass gives you 79 lifts and 175km of piste. Before you get too excited about that, it’s also worth knowing that Santa Cristina is part of the Dolomiti Superski area; 12 interconnected valleys, 450 lifts and 1220km slopes including the world famous Sella Ronda. Enough said?

Stats & FAQ

Location: Val Gardena, Italy

Established: 19th Century

Open: December - April

Downhill: 175km

View our detailed Santa Cristina snow forecast or snow report and see all live webcams, piste maps, road and travel maps and lift pass prices. For a picture of historic snow conditions see the snow depths month by month with our Santa Cristina snow history.

Nearest Airport & Transfer Time:
Bolzano47km, 50 mins
Innsbruck116km, 1hr30
  • Beginner
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced
  • 52km 30%

  • 105km 60%

  • 18km 10%

Top Altitude:2518m
Bottom Altitude:1060m
Resort Altitude:1430m
Longest run:10.5km
Slope Orientation:N, S
Vertical Drop:1020m
Skiable Vertical:1020m
Night Skiing:No
Glacier:With Dolomiti Superski Pass

Snow Report

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  • Base
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Web Cam

Santa Cristina web cams
Downhill Runs:175km
Beginner slopes:30%
Advanced slopes:10%
Lift Pass Price: Val Gardena Alpe Di Siusi: 194.00 €
Dolomiti Superskipass: 210.00 €
Nearby resorts: Selva, Ortisei, Val Gardena, Dolomiti Superski

Skiing/BoardingSkiing in Santa Cristina

The local area is fantastically suited to intermediates and below with the wider Dolomite area opening up much more variety for advanced skiers.

Beginners will find the nursery slopes at Monte Pana and you can catch the bus to Selva for the some easy runs by the Dantercepies side; Plan de Gralba also has a set of gentle blues.

At one side of the village is the Col Raiser lift which takes you to the top of the Seceda at 2518m. There’s a mix of short red runs here for more experienced skiers, with a nice long one that takes you down to Ortisei (worth it just for the views). The blue run back down to S. Cristina is also nice and lengthy.

Advanced skiers who are happy to spend time on the piste and value scenery over lots of steeps will be more than content here. Ciampinoi can be accessed from the other end of the village and at 2254m there’s the chance to ski the more difficult world cup Saslong run or take a scenic red through the trees past the Castel Gardena.

Ciampinoi also gives you access to the legendary Sella Ronda going in either direction; we like the orange route which follows a more logical lift pattern as well as nicely catching the sun. Intermediates and above should definitely give this a go at least once, occasionally on the way round there are extra options for the more adventurous.

If you like to spend most of the week off the beaten track, the nature of the snow and terrain here doesn’t work too well when it comes to off piste so there’s not a great deal of opportunity in this department.

The Nordic ski centre on Monte Pana has a couple of ski jumps, a kid’s park and a cross-country centre, starting you off with some serious panorama. If it’s not your first time on cross-country skis, there’s a fantastic 8km run that progresses you across the Paluscmeadow.

Over at Piz Sella, just above Ciampinoi, you’ll find the funpark with a kicker and jumps and there’s also a half-pipe to master by the Satsalong chairlift.

Santa Cristina Apres Ski

In true Italian dolce far niente style, the après ski scene here is all about lounging in a cosy corner and chatting to the locals. For a livelier atmosphere, have a drink or two at the Crazy Pub near the Monte Pana chair. Café Andy is also a popular afternoon haunt, especially if you like a good pastry...

For a leisurely midday meal or pre-lunch pause, head to the Seceda area where Almhotel at the top of the Col Raiser lift does a scrumptious apple strudel. Baita Cuca and Baita Daniel make good hangout spots with deckchairs and music and the open firewood oven at Fermeda cooks some awesome pizza.

In town, L Fudle is the place to go for pizza and puddings and La Tambra for some local wine. The Uridl is one of the oldest hotels and restaurants in the valley - if you like a bit of history with your evening meal, their stove dates back to 1800!

If you feel like roaming for a bigger selection, take a bus to Ortisei or Selva (the Dali-disco nightclub over in Selva is quite good fun as is the farming-themed Heustadl). Check with the tourist office for an accurate bus timetable. An evening in St Cristina can always finish up in the Piz 5 nightclub if you like a bit of a dance party.

You’ll find plenty of active alternatives to skiing; the Iman Sports Centre runs winter hikes and snow-shoeing tours past little old farm houses and the oldest church in Val Gardena. For some evening activities, the ice rink (also in the Iman Centre) is especially good for families. There are horse stables at Monte Pana offering 1 hour rides with gorgeous views of the Saslong Massif. For a more traditional snow/horse combination, head over to Alpe di Siusi for a carriage ride; absolutely beautiful with the right weather.

Best time to go

Best time to ski Santa Cristina

Best time to visit & ski Santa Cristina

The season here usually runs from December to April and like most European resorts, the snow conditions follow a general pattern. Early-on you have the lower temperatures giving slightly firmer pistes and it’s towards the end where you’re likely to get the icy starts and slushy finishes (but some fantastic Italian sunshine!)

Even so, the majority of the surrounding slopes generally reach an altitude above 2000m, the pistes are well managed and there is plenty of scope for artificial snow (90% of the area can be reinforced with snow canons).

As an Italian resort, you don’t get the half term influx seen to the extent of other European resorts. The Seceda area can get a little busy but make use of the Italian’s famously leisurely starts or lunch periods and you’ll get the best out of the slope space.

Peak Dates

Christmas in St Cristina is how it should be (well we think so anyway!). If you’re looking for a natural wintery scene, a delightfully authentic market and plenty of skiing and good food, this place has it covered.

There’s nothing like a good excuse for a holiday and New Year in St Cristina won’t disappoint. The neighbouring towns are also good options for celebrations and the relaxed atmosphere gives you more space to enjoy the slopes.

Take advantage of the fact Italians don’t have the same school holiday, find your favourite piste and soak up the scenery during half term in St Cristina. The ski schools are wonderfully accommodating with a nursery for those not on skis and fun programs for beginners.

Easter skiing is fantastic if you get that sunny spring weather above a well-managed piste. With Dolomite scenery waiting to be enjoyed from various mountain huts and access to a well-rounded area, Easter in St Cristina is great for all ages.

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Families in Santa Cristina

Out of the three Val Gardena villages, St Cristina is known to be the smallest and the quietest, which makes it perfect if you’re looking for a peaceful place to spend quality time together on the mountains.

The activities off the slopes are generally more suited to younger families, especially as the après scene is on the more relaxed side. The kid’s park at Piz Sella and the children’s area at St Cristina are ideal for an entertaining afternoon and tobogganing, bobsledding and ice skating are a few other activities available. Experiencing the area on horseback is another exciting thing to try, with ponies available so younger ones can have a go.

The Ski School St Cristina is based up the chairlift to Monte Pana. Previous years have seen them run a fun Kids Week over school holidays, so it might be a good idea to check whether that goes for the current season too. For younger ones (aged 2+) who are a bit too small for skiing, the ski school also runs a day nursery over at the Iman Sports Centre in the middle of the village.

The Dolomites have plenty of opportunity to plan a day excursion for the family. If you’ve all skied a good few times already, it’s definitely worth doing the Sella Ronda together, making sure you stop off at some of the mountain huts en route to keep everyone fuelled up and happy. For more competent skiers, locating the hidden valley over at Lagazuoi or skiing the world cup Saslong downhill has probably caused some healthy sibling rivalry at one point or another...

At the end of the day, ski down the reds from Ciampinoi to Selva to try out some of the bars before hopping on a bus back to St Cristina, or do the journey in reverse for an evening meal. In St Cristina, Café Andy is great place for a pre-dinner cake or cheeky morning pastry. An evening meal out at La Tambra or L Fudle can usually be relied upon for some hearty local cuisine and Uridl is another good restaurant for families.

Accommodation can make or break a holiday so pick somewhere that’s going to memorable for the good reasons; whether it’s a swim, sauna or a raucous game of Cluedo with the family after supper. Having to carry another family member’s skis will be a null and void option if you choose accommodation close to the slopes and ski school and picking somewhere near the bars means older children can sample the nightlife without having to stray too far from everyone else.

GroupsGroup Holidays Santa Cristina

A large part of St Cristina’s appeal is it being a small and traditional mountain village. Those looking for a buzzing town centre or a hefty nightlife might want to have a look at nearby Selva or Ortesei but if it’s local culture, access to good skiing and a laid-back atmosphere you want, St Cristina will fit the bill nicely.

If you’re all around the intermediate level, you’ll struggle not to fall in love with the Dolomites. The Val Gardena & Alpe di Siusi pass will give you access to a decent 175km of skiing and the Dolomiti Superski Pass, a whopping 1200km for even more exploring.

The nursery slope is up the Monte Pana chair if there are any beginners coming along. Groups can set off to the nursery slope together before those who aren’t taking lessons can carry on up via Mont de Seura towards Ciampinoi. More accomplished skiers might want to have a crack at the Saslong world cup downhill. If you’ve already done the Sella Ronda together, head over to Lagazuoi to find the 8km hidden valley run.

For any non-skiers, alternative activities are just as easily found with tobogganing, snowshoeing and ice-skating just the start of a decent sized list.

The mountain huts and restaurants (we like Baita Cuca and Baita Daniel on the Seceda side) provide a nice stop-off point, especially if you set up camp on the deckchairs. Over at Ciampioni, the restaurant at the top station does a mean pizza. For an afternoon of après-ski, you can find the odd bar in St Cristina, including the Crazy Pub by the Monte Pana chair. You also have a choice of runs down from here to Selva, where you’ll find popular haunts like Yello’s music Lounge Bar and the Piz Seteur at the foot of the Sassolungo. For a good night out, a night bus service can land you near the Heustadl or Dali-Disco Dance nightclub in Selva which has much bigger and better evening entertainment.

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