Largest town in the Val Gardena ski fields, Ortisei is surrounded by ski slopes, with some cross country routes marked out to the other main towns in the area. In Summer these routes double up as hiking and mountain biking trails. But beautiful scenery is only Ortisei's second claim to fame: its first is its wonderful woodcarving traditions - Ortisei locals are responsible for many of the intricate religious carvings you'll keep coming upon in the Dolomites. Plus you'll find this expertise in many of the best places to stay in Ortisei.
Aside from the slopes, Ortisei's most famous attraction is probably its woodworking museum, the Museum de Gherdeina. It may sound a little geeky, but it's difficult not to be impressed by the intricacy of the wooden sculptures and carved toys on display here.
This introduction may make Ortisei sound a bit dull, but this is a lively spot all year round, with five thousand odd friendly inhabitants and an inviting pedestrianised centre.
In the ski season it's very easy to get around the whole of Val Gardena from here, using the bus connections and relatively new lift system. There's also an underground escalator system from the town centre to the Seceda cable-car, which offers access to the ski fields of St. Christina and Selva Wolkenstein.
In the summer the escalator is a great way for hikers to save their legs for walking in the higher meadows, which is where you'll find the best views and glimpses of the rarest flora and fauna.
A charming chalet with stunning mountain views. Interiors are classic mountain style with lots of wood, tiled floors and cosy rugs. There's a good range of accommodation including family suites for up to four. The restaurant offers a daily changing menu and there's a spa for easing weary limbs.
Family owned luxury hotel situated a stone's throw from Ortisei's bustling centre. Aqua Sol spa, heated indoor swimming pool and Michelin starred restaurant. Only 200m from the lifts with direct access to the Sella Ronda.