North of Venice and southeast of Bolzano, the Val Gardena area is a 15 mile long valley in the heart of the spectacular Dolomites. The Val Gardena ski resort has 58 pistes totaling 176km served by 51 lifts accessing a maximum vertical drop of 720m. The Val Gardena ski area is generally known for it gentle pistes ideal for beginners and intermediates. With all the flat runs, make sure to look ahead when snowboarding or you'll be walking!
The Val Gardena ski area part of the Dolomiti Superski region which has over 1,200km of pistes spread over 12 valleys that served by 450 lifts. While a single skipass gives access to the Dolomiti Superski region, keep in mind that the 12 valley are not all interconnected and you may need bus transport between valleys. Also, the snowfall in this southernly ski region is known to vary greatly season to season. Keep in mind that there is limited off-piste snowboarding in the Dolomiti Superski region -- it is prohibited in most areas and guides are highly-recommended in the others.
A challenging ski route in the region is the Sella Ronda circuit, which is a 40km loop around the Sella massif that links Val Gardena with Val di Fassa and Arabba. For some powder and glades, check out Mont Se Seura.
The Val Gardena ski center is also popular for its on-mountain huts. For lunch, try the Rif. Emilo Comici in the Plan de Gralba area.
If you are looking for some apres ski action, try the Piz Secteur in Plan de Gralba. For nightlife, check out cafe Saltos and Dali Disco.
Val Gardena has three main villages including Selva Gardena, Santa Cristina and Ortisei (St Ulrich). A good snowboarding base in the Gardena valley is the town of Ortisei (St Ulrich), or the smaller Selva.
To reach the snowboarding in Val Gardena from Milan, head east on A4/E64. In Brescia, turn north on Route 5545. In Trento, follow Route A22 north and then turn east on Route S548 into Val Gardena.
To reach Val Gardena from Balzano, there is a regular bus.
Overall, Val Gardena is the 13th most popular snowboard & freeride destination of all 40 snowboarding resorts in Italy.