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.
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.