How To Get To Val Gardena

How To Get To Val Gardena

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     Val Gardena Train & Bus Route Map
  • Val Gardena Train & Bus Route Map

Where is Val Gardena, Italy?

Val Gardena is part of Alto Adige - South Tyrol, Italy in the central Dolomites on the north-western flanks of the Sella massif. Approaching the ski resort, one cannot help but notice the precipitous 3181m Sassolungo looming over the entire valley.

The Val Gardena ski resort’s closest major town is Bolzano, 43km & less than 1hr drive to the west. The transport corridor north & south of Bolzano provides the most important ground links to the resort towns of Siusi, Castelrotto, Ortisei-Sankt Ulrich, Santa Cristina-St Christina & Selva Gardena-Wolkenstein.

To the north via the Brenner Pass is Innsbruck, 120km by road. To the south is Trento & Verona (210km/2½hr drive). Verona links with the main east west train & motorway routes between Venice & Milan.

Driving (or being driven!) is the easiest mode of travel to Val Gardena, however a combination of train & bus is certainly possible. Both modes have been employed successfully by the Powderhounds.


The best gateway airport to Val Gardena & most of the Dolomites is Innsbruck (INN) Austria, however it only serves flights from the UK & European origins. The closest alternative is the Venice Marco Polo (VCE) international airport, only 125km directly south of Val Gardena, but a tortuous 190km, 3½hr drive via 4 major mountain passes.

There are rail & bus connections to the various Val Gardena villages from Innsbruck & Venice, but they can involve a number of changes (see further below for detail). Alternatively, numerous car rental options exist at the airport.

Other airports that can be linked to Val Gardena with some extra land transfer time & effort include Milan Malpensa (MXP) (if driving!) & Munich (MUC).

Search & book flights to Innsbruck or other European airports.

Airport & Hotel Transfers

Due to the proximity of Innsbruck airport to Val Gardena, a private transfer direct to your hotel at the resort can offer value & efficiency, particularly if in a group of 3 or more people. If financially flush & don’t want to rent a car, a private transfer also makes sense from other airports. Another option can be to get a train to Bolzano & arrange to be picked up for transfer there. Post-covid considerations may alter one’s preferred transport method too!

Search & book all private transfers to any of the Val Gardena villages.

Train & Bus to Val Gardena

Whilst it may take a little longer, a sure way to POW (Protect Our Winters) is by taking the train & bus to Val Gardena. To get a sense of the transport network, see the Dolomites regional transport map here.

The best railway station to access most of Val Gardena is the Ponte Gardena-Waldbruck station, north of Bolzano. Regional trains from the north or south will make the stop, but others may not (Intercity-IC or EC etc). Check that the train you are on will make the stop. At worst you may have to stop at Bolzano & change for the regional train, potentially going back up the line you just came down! Trains direct to Bolzano run at least every 2hr from Munich & Innsbruck.

From Ponte Gardena station the route 350 bus run by SAD makes the journey up & into the valley linking Ortisei, San Cristina & Selva. If you’re staying at either Castelrotto or Siusi, the route 170 bus runs from Bolzano via both towns to Ortisei, providing an alternative route into the valley.

Bus tickets are cheap & can be purchased from the driver. Search & book train tickets to Bolzano & Ponte Gardena-Waldbruck

Driving to Val Gardena

Val Gardena is one of the easiest major Dolomites ski resorts to access by car. From the major A22 motorway that links Verona to Innsbruck, the journey into the Dolomites involves no major mountain passes – a refreshing change for those with a nervous driving disposition. Tolls will need to be paid on all Italian ‘autostrade’ motorways. They are reasonably cheap comparative to France & booths with humans in them are always available if in doubt how to pay. A toll is required to be paid in Austria to traverse the Brenner Pass as well.

Driving from the north (Austria or Germany) involves a journey up & over the Brenner Pass. The truck traffic can seem overwhelming at times if the weather is poor on the Brenner but in general the trip into Italy is swift. Exit at Ponte Gardena & climb up the valley all the way to Selva. Driving time from Innsbruck is usually 2hr in winter all the way to Selva. Ortisei is 20min less.

From Venice or Milan the A4 motorway cuts a swathe across almost the entire north of Italy & provides the simplest drive to Val Gardena. Exiting near Verona, the route joins the A22 via Trento & Bolzano to Ponte Gardena (as per above). Drive time from Venice is around 3½hr in winter. An alternative route to the north of Venice is worthwhile in good weather as it traverses the heart of the Dolomites via four high mountain passes plus Arabba & Alta Badia to enter Val Gardena at Selva.

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

Car Rental & Hire

All the major airports & cities have car hire available. The closest rental locations to Val Gardena is Bolzano & Trento, but by far the best deals & widest range of vehicles are at the highly competitive airports at Venice, Innsbruck, Munich & Milan Malpensa.

Search & book rental cars.

Driving in the Dolomites can be ‘interesting’. Ensure the rental car has winter tyres. If planning on a lot of driving, snow chains are also recommended.

Getting Around Val Gardena

Once in the valley of the ski resort, the intricate ski lifts & pistes connect most of the towns & villages. Where there are gaps, funiculars & conveyors fill the void. Buses run constantly up & down the valley between Ortisei, Selva & beyond. Taxis are available throughout the resort if desperate (i.e. tired, drunk, or otherwise indisposed!).

Nearby Ski Resorts

Val Gardena is interlinked with the major Dolomites ski resorts of Alta Badia & Val di Fassa. Further on by lift & piste is trail is Arabba-Marmolada ski resort. A host of other great Dolomites resorts are also within striking distance.