Santa Caterina Ski Resort

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The gondola drops down into the Vallalpe backside of Santa Caterina Valfurva ski resort, Italy.
The gondola drops down into the Vallalpe backside of Santa Caterina Valfurva ski resort, Italy.
Santa Caterina Valfurva ski resort frontside terrain has 1,000m+ of vertical
Santa Caterina Valfurva ski resort frontside terrain has 1,000m+ of vertical
Frontside freeride powder skiing at Santa Caterina Valfurva ski resort.
Frontside freeride powder skiing at Santa Caterina Valfurva ski resort.
Cevedale run descends into the village at Santa Caterina Valfurva ski resort.
Cevedale run descends into the village at Santa Caterina Valfurva ski resort.
Two advanced pistes descend steeply from the gondola top toward Santa Caterina village
Two advanced pistes descend steeply from the gondola top toward Santa Caterina village
Santa Caterina Valfurva ski resort
Santa Caterina Valfurva ski resort's Cevedale run provides ski-in convenience to most hotels in the village
Mid-mountain intermediate piste skiing at Santa Caterina Valfurva ski resort.
Mid-mountain intermediate piste skiing at Santa Caterina Valfurva ski resort.
Off-piste freeride terrain toward Passo Gavia in Santa Caterina ski resort
Off-piste freeride terrain toward Passo Gavia in Santa Caterina ski resort
Fresh lines under the main gondola 2-days after the last snowfall at Santa Caterina ski resort!
Fresh lines under the main gondola 2-days after the last snowfall at Santa Caterina ski resort!
Santa Caterina Valfurva ski resort.
Santa Caterina Valfurva ski resort.
Santa Caterina village, Lombardy Italy
Santa Caterina village, Lombardy Italy
The 2-stage gondola serves most of the ski trerrain at Santa Caterina
The 2-stage gondola serves most of the ski trerrain at Santa Caterina
 The Vallalpe-Sobretta chair serves Santa Caterina
The Vallalpe-Sobretta chair serves Santa Caterina 'backside' ski terrain
Steep freeride terrain runs off the north side of the Monte Sobretta ridge
Steep freeride terrain runs off the north side of the Monte Sobretta ridge
Tree lined intermediate piste trails line the base of Santa Caterina ski resort
Tree lined intermediate piste trails line the base of Santa Caterina ski resort
Santa Caterina Valfurva village has many great hotel lodging options
Santa Caterina Valfurva village has many great hotel lodging options
Monte Sobretta backcountry terrain rises to over 3200m elevation at Santa Caterina
Monte Sobretta backcountry terrain rises to over 3200m elevation at Santa Caterina
Santa Caterina has lift pass & free ski bus links with Bormio
Santa Caterina has lift pass & free ski bus links with Bormio
Frontside off-piste terrain at Santa Caterina
Frontside off-piste terrain at Santa Caterina
Ski Santa Caterina in the Alta Valtellina
Ski Santa Caterina in the Alta Valtellina

Santa Caterina Ski Resort

Readers Ratings

Santa Caterina

Santa Caterina4/53
Santa Caterina4 out of 5 based on 3 reviews
  • Recommend
    100%
  • Would Revisit
    100%
Skiset ski rentals

Nearby Ski Resorts

Aprica
Bormio
Cima Piazzi - San Colombano
Livigno

Santa Cat Maps & Stats

     Santa Caterina Valfurva Ski Trail Map
  • Santa Caterina Ski Trail Map
  • Vertical (m)
    1,722m - 2,880m (1,158m)
  • Average Snow Fall
    Unknown
  • Lifts (9)
    2 Gondola / cable car
    2 Chairs

    Incl. Bormio & Cima Piazzi - San Colombano
    36 Lifts
  • Ski Hours
    Late November to mid-April
    8:30am to 4:20pm
  • Terrain Summary
    Runs - 35km
    Longest run - 6km
    Advanced - 17%
    Intermediate - 77%
    Beginner - 6%

    Incl. Bormio & Cima Piazzi - San Colombano
    110km
  • Lift Pass Price
    Day Ticket 23/24
    Adult - €32 to 56
    Child - €28 to 41
    Child u/8yr - €17 to 24 or free with adult
    2 days+ incl. Bormio & Cima Piazzi - San Colombano
    Bormio SkiPass Resort Map
  • Bormio Ski Pass Resorts Map
     Alta Valtellina Ski Resorts Map
  • Alta Valtellina Ski Resorts

Santa Caterina Ski Resort Italy

Santa Caterina Valfurva ski resort is a fabulous skiing area & certified Powderhounds Gem near Bormio, Italy. Set in an isolated, forested valley, the Santa Caterina village is at 1,730m altitude, ensuring the modest 35km of trails & broad freeride terrain above it have the highest possible snow quality.

The Santa Caterina ski area is linked by lift pass & free ski bus to the neighbouring resorts of Bormio & Cima Piazzi San Colombano (Valdidentro) providing access to over 110km of trails, 36 lifts & some wonderful off-piste adventures.

Pros & Cons for Santa Caterina Ski Resort

Pros

  • Rated in top 3 for 'Best Resort for Powderhounds" in Italy & Europe.
  • Long skiable vertical well served by two modern lifts.
  • Awesome snow quality.
  • Exceptional off-piste freeride & backcountry terrain.
  • Few riders seeking powder with fresh lines available many days after a snow fall.
  • Several quality, top to bottom, sustained fall-line advanced piste trails.
  • Good range, length & diversity of intermediate piste trails.
  • Excellent value lift pass valid in Bormio & Cima Piazzi – San Colombano.
  • Superb range of restaurant food & drink on the mountain.
  • 'Ski-in' accommodation available.
  • Free bus links to all nearby ski areas including Bormio.
  • High elevation base - village always has snow.

Cons

  • Limited lifts & terrain for novices & beginners.
  • Undercover parking is not free.
  • Some flat linking trails on the backside may be arduous for snowboarders.

Pro or Con (depending on your perspective!)

  • Village feels dated & is quiet more often than not!
  • Après & nightlife are relatively limited.
  • Ski area is only big enough for a few days unless it snows or one accesses the vast backcountry, but other nearby resorts provide adequate alternatives.
  • Not much on offer for families.

Skiing & Snowboarding Lifts & Terrain

Most of Santa Caterina’s tasty terrain can be skied/ridden from the 2-stage top to bottom gondola on the resort’s frontside. Several full vertical (1,000m+) thigh burning advanced runs stream straight down either side of the gondola. Intermediate trails peel around the ridge, entering the frontside a third of the way down. Below the treeline, some wide fast groomers will keep the speed freaks well pleased in even the worst of weather conditions. In the heart of the village, the ancient double chair looks is serviceable, but is crying out for replacement. There is surprisingly little for beginners, with just a few options mid-mountain on the frontside accessible via the gondola mid-station or from the top of the double chair. The lack of beginner trails is a bit of a theme in nearby Bormio & Cima Piazzi - San Colombano as well.

Check out the ski trail map for Santa Caterina below.

Santa Caterina Ski Trail Map
Santa Caterina Ski Trail Map

The Vallalpe-Sobretta chair on the backside adds another 100m+ of vertical to the resort beyond the gondola top-station (up to 2,880m elevation), but more importantly puts freeriders further up the Monte Sobretta ridge - a good thing for off-piste adventurers looking to ride the couloirs dropping into the frontside! The chair’s inbounds 350m of vertical provides low angle, lacklustre intermediate runs that need spicing up with a man-made fun-slope - so, they did! A learn-to-ski conveyor lift out the front of the pleasant Sun Valley Lodge is as good a place as any for novices on the hill.

The off-piste at Santa Caterina is glorious - easy access, deserted & not too hard to scope. It is only lightly tracked mid-week, but with enough adventure to please most of the freeride cohort. The Passo Gavia road (closed in winter) runs along the southern edge of the ski area & performs admirably as an unmistakable return trail to the resort from a host of freeride descents. Easy wide-open alpine meadows head toward Passo Gavia from anywhere below the groomed trails in the Valle dell’Alpe. As one goes further along the ski trail, the freeride runs to skiers right become increasingly more technical (i.e. fun) with drops, trees & some chutes interspersed through the various zones. In amongst the ‘frontside’ runs are many and varied playful off-piste opportunities until one hits the main pine forest line. Serious technical challenges from there! The Monte Sobretta ridgeline provides a festival of steep couloirs on its northern flanks. Some of the best ones are just a few steps up from the top of the Vallalpe-Sobretta chair. It is possible to ski directly back into the resort.

Bormio Skipass & Alta Valtellina Pass

All ski lift tickets of 2 days duration or greater are valid in the nearby ski resorts of Bormio & Cima Piazzi - San Colombano providing a combined 110km of varied piste trail served by 36 lifts. It is called the Bormio Skipass. All 3 resorts are linked by a free ski bus. It is possible to ski more than one resort in a day! From 3 days an Alta Valtellina Pass is available that includes Livigno, however it is of questionable value.

See the Bormio Ski Pass resorts map.

Where is Santa Caterina Italy?

The Santa Caterina ski resort is in the Valfurva of Lombardy in northern Italy. The resort is isolated in winter, with only one road in & out. It is located 50km northeast of the transport hub & gorgeous town of Tirano & only 12km east of Bormio. Santa Caterina is accessible by train & bus from Milan & St Moritz!

Milan Malpensa (MXP) is the closest major airport, 251km away (3hr drive). A slightly closer airport is Milan Bergamo (BGY) (also known as Orio al Serio International Airport), but it only serves flights from the UK, Europe & Middle East, so may not be convenient for many international travellers.

Trains from Milano Centrale station to Tirano are available & make an interesting, climate friendly journey to the mountains - POW (Protect Our Winters). Buses & taxis are ready & waiting at the Tirano stazione to transfer you to Santa Caterina. Unless renting a car, the train & bus/taxi combination is the recommended mode of travel to Santa Caterina.

If lacking time but have the euro, seek a private transfer from Milan or Tirano to Santa Caterina.

Driving to Santa Caterina gives one ultimate freedom but beware of car rentals from Milan. Ensure your rental car is winterised (winter tyres, AWD, snow chains, windscreen washer fluid etc). Note also that the drive from Lecco to Tirano can get terribly busy, so patience is a virtue!

For hints, tips & warnings about travel to Italian ski resorts in winter, see our Travel in Italy page.

Santa Caterina Accommodation

Santa Caterina ski resort rises above the small, high-altitude village of the same name. The village has all the basic services is quiet, and can feel a touch 'dated'. Several fantastic hotels for anyone wanting a 'ski-in' location in the heart of in Santa Caterina village & near the Paradiso chairlift include the cozy & affordable Hotel Pedranzini, the fabulous Hotel Residence 3 Signori & Hotel Nordik, plus the Hotel Sport & of course, Hotel Santa Caterina near the Paradiso double chairlift. Midway between the village & gondola base is the superb, ski-in Hotel Vedig, highly rated for its restaurant. At the quieter end of town, 50 metres from the gondola base, the Hotel Alle Tre Baite is well known for its outstanding service. For the full ski-in ski-out 5-star treatment, the Sun Valley Lodge has a limited number of suites available in winter. Located at 2,700m elevation on the backside, access is either via ski, gondola, or snowcat.

Search & book Santa Caterina Accommodation

Linked to nearby Bormio & Valdidentro by free ski bus, both provide alternative lodging options.

The large historic town of Bormio sits pretty in the valley below its lofty ski resort & makes a superb base from which to explore the Alta Valtellina ski resorts. A wide range of accommodation options, including some lovely farm-stay apartments, are on offer in the town & surrounding valleys. Lodging types are available to suit all budgets.

Search & book all Bormio accommodation.

Ski Rentals, Lessons & Guiding

Ski rentals from our ski resort partners are available at the Santa Caterina gondola base. Receive a discount when you search & book via our Santa Caterina Ski & Snowboard Rental page.

Santa Caterina Valfurva has a surprisingly large number of ski schools, ski/snowboard instructors & mountain guides. Use our partners via the links below to search & book regular lessons, off-piste/freeride instruction, or guided days in all the resorts of Alta Valtellina.

[AdListings collection="Europe" category="Italy Santa Caterina" subcategory="Santa Caterina Guiding"]

Review

The Powderhounds skied Santa Caterina in 2020 & loved its varied off-piste & lack of crowds. We highly rate it for powder days well after a storm. See the review via the links in the left-hand column (or top of page if on a mobile).

See how Santa Caterina compares to the rest of the Italian ski resorts on the Italy ski resort ratings page, or compare to the rest of Europe on the European ski resort ratings page.

Follow Powderhounds Europe on Instagram to see where we are currently skiing. Follow our main Powderhounds page on Facebook to stay in touch with up-to-date info, tours, and discussions.

Tours in or near Santa Caterina

Single-Base, Single-Ski-Area Tours

Ride & Learn in the Alps
GUIDED OFF-PISTE SKIING & LEARNING
4 Days | 4 Nights | 4 Days Skiing
Ability: Intermediate to Advanced
The Ride & Learn tour is an 'active learning' powder-chaser trip where the location in the Alps is dictated by the best powder conditions at the time. Options include Livigno, Santa Caterina Italy, Graubuenden Switzerland or Montafon Austria. Ride amazing off-piste snow & do it safely over a long weekend ...
Price p/p Base/invoice currency is EUR, per person on a 4 day tour (2024 rates), minimum 5 guests on tour
Price includes all taxes
*displayed price may vary slightly due to exchange rate fluctuations
USD 562
View Details
 
See all Single-Base, Single-Ski-Area tours that visit Santa Caterina here
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