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Sella Ronda

Whether you’re looking for something particularly exciting or just want to experience the best of the Dolomites, the Sella Ronda should be on every Sno lovers bucket list. With a circular route going on for miles, views to rival any skyline and a chance to dabble in a spot of Tyrolean cuisine, you’re not likely to be disappointed with this legendary circuit.

Beginner

Intermediate

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Snowboard

At a glance: • Breath-taking scenery • Extensive piste • Dolomite Superski pass

Great for: • Groups • Intermediates • Scenery

Whether you’re looking for something particularly exciting or just want to experience the best of the Dolomites, the Sella Ronda should be on every Sno lovers bucket list. With a circular route going on for miles, views to rival any skyline and a chance to dabble in a spot of Tyrolean cuisine, you’re not likely to be disappointed with this legendary circuit.

Sella Ronda Resort

The Sella Group is a cluster of mountains in the Dolomites, in the South Tyrol region of Northern Italy. This striking massif is the centrepiece of 4 Ladin valleys: Alta Badia, Arabba, Val Gardena and Val di Fassa. It brings together the 3 provinces of Bolzano, Trento and Belluno. Come winter, it’s possible to ski the full circuit, famously recognised as the Sella Ronda.

26km of piste lies interconnected by a series of lifts that take you round the four mountain passes of Gardena, Pordoi, Sella and Campolongo. The Dolomiti Superski pass will give you access to the entire route (as well as covering a total of 12 ski areas and 1200km).

As the area was once part of Austria until the First World War, you’ll find that many place names have both a German and Austrian version, with the traditional Ladin language also thrown into the mix.

There are plenty of resorts to choose as a base, each with their own characteristics. Selva, Arabba, Canazei and Corvara are on each corner of the circuit, giving some of the easiest access onto the loop. Selva is probably the best known destination in the area while Arabba has the extra bonus of the Marmolada glacier nearby. Canazei is the biggest and liveliest resort while Corvara is a good option if you’re with less confident skiers who want to potter around the local area while you explore. Other resorts with good access are Selva’s neighbours, St Cristina and Ortisei and Campitello and Pozza in Val di Fassa. You also have public transport access from Kronplatz and Cortina.

The beauty of the Dolomites with its craggy ridges and reaching peaks was justified in 2009 when it was awarded UNESCO world heritage status. The views across the landscape really are astounding and you can’t come here without seeing the legendary pink hue of the peaks at sunrise or sunset.

Stats & FAQ

Location: Italy, The Dolomites

Open: December - April

Downhill: 23 - 27km

Highest Altitude:2495m
Lowest Altitude:1535m
No. lifts:220
Slope Orientation:N, S, E, W
Night Skiing:No
Glacier:Marmolada up from Arabba
Downhill Runs:23 - 27km
Distance covered:40km
Time on lifts:2h
Time skiing:1.5h
Total time:3-7h
Difficulty:Intermediate +
Lift Pass Price: Dolomiti Superski Pass: 210 Euros (adult 6 day)
Ski areas: Alta Badia, Val Gardena, Arabba, Val di Fassa
Resorts: Ortisei, St Cristina, Canazei, Campitello, Pozza di Fassa, Cortina, Arabba, Corvara, Selva, Kronplatz, Dolomiti Superski

Skiing/BoardingSkiing in Sella Ronda

Depending where you’re based, you can approach the loop from various points and end up at the same place – you don’t even have to take your skis off (although pit stop refreshments are always more enjoyable when you do...). Fit intermediate skiers or snowboarders should have no problem on the way round as the route is mostly red cruisers with a few trickier bits thrown in. The runs alternate between long and windy to the short and sweet, twisting through forests and round rocks – this really is one of the most beautiful ski routes in the world.

Including lifts and pistes, the whole thing is just under 40km. It is possible to blast through in about 3 hours but we like to leave time to appreciate the scenery and enjoy a bombardino in a rifugio or three. It’s definitely good to put aside a whole day as with the odd pit stop, the whole thing usually takes around six hours. Around 2 hours are spent on the lifts, meaning plenty of time to enjoy the sights. Set off at 10am to make sure you don’t end up chasing the lift closures and aim to be at your last pass by 3:30pm.

You can tackle the route in either the orange clockwise or green anticlockwise direction, each are clearly marked with signposts. We like the orange route because it makes good use of the lift systems and can follow the sun quite nicely. The green route takes slightly longer and has a few extra lifts... but is often a bit quieter.

A run or two in the Edelweiss valley in Colfosco makes for a nice, quick diversion and we also like the more demanding Porta Vescovo in Arabba. Head over to Lagazuoi to find the Hidden Valley and two world cup runs in the area are the slalom at Alta Badia and the Sassolung in Val Gardena. The Marmolada glacier, up from Arabba, has some superb snow conditions and long red routes.

Sella Ronda Apres Ski

Next to the much-loved Cioccolata Calda, two things you have to try are the Biramisu (tiramisu made with beer) and the Bombardino (a drink make with cognac, brandy and topped with cream).

For stop offs along the route, we like Rifugio Fodom on the slopes of Arabba. In Corvara, Piz La Ila specialises in seafood and Piz Arlara does awesome soups and pastas. Panorama above Selva is a good place to rest your legs with a view to boot. If you fancy a breather in Plan de Gralba, pop into Rifugio Emilio Comici to snack in style. Jimmy Hutte at Colfosco is really popular for Michelin star dining and we also like the Salei and Fredarola Rifugios in Canazei.

Depending which resort you’ve decided to set up camp in, you’re sure to find a bar for a warming drink, a restaurant for a hearty meal or an activity for something fun.

L’Murin in Corvara is a place where dancing in ski boots is encouraged. Peter’s is popular in Arabba as well as Yello’s in Selva. Canazei has oodles of lively bars – L’husky is where you’ll find the cocktails. At the base of the Sassolungo is Hotel Piz Seteur that always gets the music going with the help of a few GoGo girls. If you want to take the party into the dark, Dali-Disco Dance in Selva, Posta Zirm Taverna in Corvara or the Corsa Italia street in Cortina should suffice!

The restaurants in the area range from the laid-back to a spot of indulgence. Micky’s in Arabba, La Bula in Selva and Il Ponte in Cortina are three of the best places to go for pizzas. There are also some Michelin starred restaurants in the area – La Siriola in Alta Badia, La Stua de Michil in Corvara and St Hubertus in San Cassiano.

Best time to go

Best time to ski Sella Ronda

When is the best time to ski Sella Ronda?

Where the Sella Ronda has quantity it also has quality with the pistes known for being very well maintained. In terms of snow conditions, it’s promising that the circular route never drops below 2000m. Most of the area can be reinforced with artificial snowmaking when the snow gets a little shy and there are snow canons covering 70% of the route. If heavy snowfall is forecast, check that all the lifts are open before you set off, as some parts of the route might be closed.

The surrounding ski areas are usually open from December through to April with January and February tending to have the best snow history. March and April are when you start getting the sunnier slopes but the Sella is a well-trodden route so the earlier start you get the better – you always have the snow sure Marmolada glacier (accessible from Arabba) for some super high, snow sure skiing elsewhere.

As this is on the to-do list of many ski diaries, the orange route especially can get busy in peak times. That’s the beauty of having 1200km of piste at the end of your skis with the Dolomite Superski pass. If you’re worried about it getting too busy, plan a cruising afternoon in Alta Badia, head over to the Seceda area of Val Gardena for some crowning views or take yourself up to the high altitudes of the Marmolada glacier.

More Sella Ronda Holiday Resources


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