There’s beautiful, then there’s staggeringly.
And Val Gardena, tucked away in a quiet corner of the Dolomites, is definitely in the latter category.It makes nearby Val d’Isere and Courchevel look expensive and a bit past their best by comparison. Think Keira Knightley standing next to Sophia Loren and Raquel Welch.
The snow-capped soaring peaks of Alpine limestone are routinely used by movie directors as a dramatic backdrop — most famously in the Sylvester Stallone film Cliffhanger.
And go soon, because the rest of the world is finally realizing what a steal a week in Val Gardena can be. The peaks can look fearsome on approach but they are actually quite manageable — but there is a choice of hardcore runs if that’s your thing.
And there are lots of cute little villages to explore, connected by 460km of on-piste skiing.
Accommodation is noticeably cheaper than comparable areas in other Alpine resorts, as is food and wine. Costs are less than 50 per cent of similar French resorts.
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For an upmarket feel, try Hotel Nives (hotel-nives.com) where prices start from around $112-per-night, or for standard but nonetheless impressive B&B, try Garni Ortles Angelo where double rooms start from around $42.