Forests covered in icing-sugar, fence-posts wearing white hats and snow-slopes glistening in the sun – the mountains of Val Gardena really are a special winter fairy-tale. Christmas and Carnival are still celebrated according to old traditions, just as it is in the whole of South Tyrol. But winter in Ortisei also means sport and fun: Val Gardena is part of the Dolomiti Superski area, one of the world’s most extensive, thanks to its 1200 km of slopes served by 450 lifts, plus nearly the same length of cross-country-skiing tracks. The ski schools of Ortisei are famed for the expertise of their skiing instructors, who are also available to accompany expert skiers on exhilarating off-piste skiing. A modern cable-car links Ortisei to the Alpe di Siusi/Seiseralm, Europe’s largest high plateau, a paradise for cross-country skiers (even the national teams of the Nordic countries train here!) and also for those who wish to experience the silence of wintry nature on snow-shoes.