Welcome to Santa Cristina Valgardena, a charming village nestled in the magnificent Dolomites of South Tyrol. This little piece of paradise, with its charming traditional houses, ancient churches and majestic views of the surrounding mountains, offers a unique experience by immersing you in a mix of history, culture and nature.

With its ski slopes in winter, hiking in summer, and the charm of an authentic alpine village, Santa Cristina is a place everyone should visit at least once in a lifetime.

This charming resort, part of the Dolomiti Superski ski area, is a snow lover’s paradise, but it offers much more than its winter counterparts-its natural beauty, Ladin traditions, and local cuisine make St. Christina the perfect year-round destination.

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This guide will provide you with an overview of everything you need to know about Santa Cristina, from ski lifts to hiking, from historical sites to cultural landmarks, from the best restaurants to overnight options.

No matter whether you are an experienced traveler or new to discovering the Dolomites, this guide will help you have an unforgettable experience in Val Gardena. Immerse yourself in the beauty of Santa Cristina and be amazed by what this jewel of the Dolomites has to offer.

What to see in Santa Cristina

Santa Cristina, is a natural treasure and a paradise for nature lovers.

This village nestled in the mountains offers an extraordinary variety of natural beauty to discover and admire.

From majestic mountains to fascinating trails, alpine lakes and nature parks, we explore the incredible natural attractions of St. Christina and its surroundings.

Sassolungo and Sasso Piatto

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Two of the most impressive mountains overlooking Santa Cristina are Sassolungo and Sasso Piatto. These mountains offer a wide variety of routes for both amateur and experienced hikers and are famous for their breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

Also, during sunset, these peaks are tinged with an incredible pink color, a phenomenon known as alpenglow.

The Puez-Odle Nature Park

Parco Naturale Puez-Odle - alta-badia

The Puez-Odle Nature Park, known in German as Naturpark Puez-Geisler, covers 10,722 hectares. Consisting of some of the most iconic peaks and ridges in the Dolomites, the Puez-Odle Nature Park is a must-see destination in the Dolomite mountain range.

The park region is famous for its natural beauty, including incredible dolomite rock formations and breathtaking views. In the park, hikers can discover a number of trails, including the popular Zannes Nature Path, the first trail in South Tyrol accessible to people with disabilities. The park is also home to a wealth of wildlife, including eagles, chamois, deer and marmots.

The Puez-Odle Nature Park includes the municipalities of Badia, Corvara, San Martino in Badia, Funes, Santa Cristina, Ortisei and Selva in Val Gardena.

Visit the Puez-Odle Nature Park to immerse yourself in a unique and spectacular mountain landscape and to explore the rich biodiversity this area has to offer.

Mountain Lakes

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Santa Cristina, in Val Gardena, is famous for its beautiful mountains, but its lakes are no different. These bodies of water, located at high altitudes, are true treasure troves of beauty and peace, perfect frames for the majestic views of the Dolomites.

Lake Fëur

One of the most beautiful is Lake Fëur, a small alpine lake set among the flower-filled meadows and dolomite rocks of Val Gardena. Located at 2,160 meters above sea level near the Florence hut, the lake is a popular option for family outings because of its easy accessibility. From the water-which ranges in color from deep blue to emerald green-you can enjoy spectacular views of the Odle Group and the surrounding flower-filled meadows.

Lake Rasciesa

Another majestic lake in Val Gardena is Lake Rasciesa. Located at 2,275 meters above sea level on Mount Rasciesa, this lake offers breathtaking views of the surrounding majestic Dolomites, including the Puez Group. The water here also changes color depending on the time of day and season, ranging from blue to green. It is an ideal place for relaxing breaks during summer hiking, and can be reached either on foot or by using the Rasciesa cable car from Ortisei.

Lake Iman

To the south, you will find Lake Iman, a tranquil alpine lake nestled between Sasso Lungo and Sasso Piatto. After a scenic hike, visitors can enjoy unforgettable views of Val Gardena and relax on the shores of the lake.

The waters of these lakes are quite cold, however, in the summertime the more adventurous can try a refreshing swim. If you prefer to stay dry, you can take a walk around the banks, admiring the idyllic views reflected on the surface of the water. Each lake is a jewel in itself, ready to be discovered.

The Meadows and Woods of Santa Cristina

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In addition to mountains and lakes, Santa Cristina has extensive alpine meadows and lush forests, ideal for peaceful walks. During the summer, these meadows are filled with alpine flowers, while the forests provide a cool refuge from the summer heat.

Santa Cristina and Val Gardena are a true paradise for all nature lovers. Whether you are an avid hiker, a traveler looking for breathtaking views or simply a nature lover, you are sure to find something that will satisfy your craving for adventure.

Walks in Santa Cristina

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If you are looking for a rejuvenating break surrounded by nature, this location will not disappoint.

Here are some of the most beautiful walks around Santa Cristina to help you plan your next adventure.

Pale Mountains Walk

Among the most popular walks in Santa Cristina is the one called the “Pale Mountains Walk.” This 6-km family-friendly trail is easy to walk and offers beautiful panoramic views of the surrounding mountains. In particular, you can admire the Odle Group and Stevia Mountain. The starting point is the center of the village, and from there proceed in the direction of St. James Church and then continue through woods and meadows to the finishing point, the Curona Alpine Restaurant.

Lake Fëur

A leisurely walk to Lake Fëur, located 2,160 meters above sea level, promises an unforgettable experience. The route starts at the top station of the Col Raiser cable car, from where you follow trail no. 4 through alpine meadows and coniferous forests. At the end of the journey, you can admire the beauty of this small alpine lake surrounded by flowers and mountains.

Cicero Walk

The Cicero Walk is another breathtaking and easy hike. The trail starts at the top station of the Col Raiser cable car, enters the Puez-Odle Nature Park and continues through enchanting meadow landscapes. This route offers spectacular panoramic views of Sassolungo, Sasso Piatto and the surrounding mountains.

Adolf Munkel Trail

Finally, you cannot miss the famous Adolf Munkel Trail, known for its spectacular views of the Odle. This walk starts at the village of Zannes, crosses the Puez-Odle Nature Park and offers panoramic views of the majestic Dolomite mountains. Halfway along the trail, you can take a break at the Genova Refuge to enjoy a typical meal or simply relax while admiring the view.

Skiing in Santa Cristina

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In its deep valleys and among the towering peaks of the Dolomites, Santa Cristina offers an incomparable skiing experience. With its breathtaking views, pristine slopes and world-class facilities, Santa Cristina is an ideal destination for winter sports enthusiasts.

Alpine skiing

Santa Cristina is part of the famous Dolomiti Superski ski carousel, one of the largest ski areas in the world with as many as 1,200 km of slopes. This means pistes for skiers of all levels, from beginners to professionals.

Slopes for beginners

For those new to skiing, Val Gardena offers many easy slopes and ski schools with experienced instructors. The ski school offers group and private lessons for adults and children. One of the most recommended slopes for beginners is the wide blue slope Monte Pana.

Slopes for experts

For more advanced skiers, Val Gardena has no shortage of challenges. The Saslong slope, where one of the stages of the Alpine Ski World Cup is held, is one of the most famous and offers a mix of technical sections and speed. Other adrenaline-pumping trails can be experienced on the Ciampinoi ski area or the Sellaronda, the tour of the four Dolomite valleys.

Cross-country skiing

Santa Cristina also offers excellent opportunities for cross-country skiing. The Monte Pana cross-country center, located at 1,636 meters, offers a network of more than 30 km of spectacular cross-country trails through forests and meadows.

Snowboarding

Val Gardena also offers plenty for snowboarders. The “Piz Sella” snowpark has several modules that allow freestyle practice at all levels.

Après-ski and typical cuisine

After a busy day on the slopes, Santa Cristina offers a number of options for relaxation and refreshment. Options include high-altitude restaurants, cozy lodges, and lively bars for a relaxing après-ski. Be sure to try the local cuisine, famous for its alpine recipes.

Whether you are a beginner or a veteran skier, Santa Cristina in Val Gardena constitutes a white paradise where you can experience your passion for winter sports among the most impressive Dolomite peaks.

Where to sleep in Santa Cristina

Santa Cristina, offers a wide range of accommodations for all tastes and budgets. Popular options include hotels, guesthouses, apartment rentals and campgrounds, many of which offer beautiful views of the surrounding mountains.

Again, as in many locations in the Alps, it is definitely advisable to book early to get the best possible choice.

Whatever your travel style or budget, Santa Cristina has something to offer to ensure a memorable stay.

 


How to get to Santa Cristina

Reaching Santa Cristina, Val Gardena, can be a fascinating adventure because of its scenic roads surrounded by breathtaking mountains.

If you reach St. Christina by car, there are two main options: from the north via Innsbruck-Brenner-Chiusa or from the south via Verona-Bolzano. After exiting the highway at Bolzano Nord, continue on the main road toward Brenner to the Ponte Gardena exit, then take the SS242 toward Val Gardena.

For those who prefer public transportation, Ortisei, Santa Cristina and Selva Gardena are easily accessible by bus and train. In addition, services such as Insam Express offer transportation of luggage, backpacks, bikes, and ski/snowboard equipment from several European countries, including Germany, Austria, Italy, Holland, the Czech Republic, and Switzerland, directly to Val Gardena.

Further details on local bus times and stops in Val Gardena can be found on the official Val Gardena website.

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