Ortisei – or Urtijëi, as it’s better known in the local language of Ladin – is a Tyrolean town in the heart of the Val Gardena. This is a community that’s forged Olympic bobsledders, skiers and figure skaters – outdoorsy folk who don’t stop just because the snow has melted off the mountains. Instead, they spend their summers on the walking and cycling paths. In town, you’ll be welcomed by a close-knit community, famous for its woodcarving tradition – and who take any excuse for a get-together in one of the many cafés and bars.
Mountain walks: up and away on the Seceda gondola
This highly useful gondola carries passengers from Ortisei all the way to the summit of Seceda Mountain. There’s no need to do anything but marvel at the views over the shard-like Odle peaks. But, if you do fancy stretching your legs, miles of walking paths wind through alpine wildflowers and past mountain huts with sun-trap decks. There are also routes down to some of the best mountain biking tracks in the Val Gardena.
Call me Urtijëi
There’s plenty to keep you busy in Ortisei town. The pedestrianised centre is a sweep of arcaded shops, restaurants, churches and cafés, all bundled up in a colourful alpine palette. Friday evenings are when the streets really come alive, with diners digging into everything from pizzas and gröstl dumplings to Michelin-starred menus late into the night, while bands get toes tapping in the summer. Most of the residents speak Ladin as their first language, so it’s a great idea to learn a few words… and to call Ortisei by its Ladin name of Urtijëi.
Never too early for a Nativity set
If you think summer is a strange time to stock up on Nativity sets, then think again. Master woodcarvers have been chipping away in Ortisei since the 15th century, passing on skills through the generations. It’s a revered and sacred art in this neck of the woods (pine woods, to be exact), filling churches with decadent altar pieces and shop shelves with souvenir Nativity sets. Go to Gherdëina museum for a whistle-stop tour through the history of woodcarving.
Buses to Bolzano and beyond
Buses connect the villages of the Alto Adige. Drop by the neighbouring town of Selva, the high-rise rose gardens of Rosarium Uhrerhof, and Puez-Geisler Nature Park, with its lovely hiking loops and mountain huts. Buses also head to Bolzano, the provincial capital of South Tyrol. It’s a university city with a cathedral, galleries, squares and parks, all topped off with a lively mountain spirit.
Why book a summer holiday in Ortisei with Inghams?
At Inghams, we do walking holidays differently. With no fixed itinerary, you have more time in your destination and the freedom to walk as much or as little as you like, discovering some of Ortisei's best walking routes and activities at your own pace.
With over 85 years of outdoor travel experience, our holiday packages to Ortisei include flights, transfers, and accommodation, so you can relax and leave the small details to us. Our experts can help you choose the best holiday for you, and our team in resort can give you the inside scoop on how to spend your time away with us.