The birthplace of Olympic Champion
Deborah Compagnoni and regular host of major ski races, Valfurva is a magical
spot that radiates with the beauty of the Stelvio National Park.
Heading eastwards from Bormio, this pearl of Alta Valtellina stretches approximately 25 kilometres into the Ortles-Cevedale mountain range. The most well-known of its hamlets is Santa Caterina Valfurva, a popular resort in both summer and winter that regularly features on the global stage with Alpine Skiing World Cups, World Championships, and even Grass Skiing World Cups as well as charitable events such as ‘Sciare per la Vita – Scia con i Campioni’ (Ski for Life – Ski with Champions) with the presence of Olympic athletes and stars like local hero Deborah Compagnoni.
Named after the top athlete who was born and bred in Santa Caterina, it is only fitting that the Deborah Compagnoni piste is regarded as one of the top draws not just for the resort but for the whole of the Alps. Thanks to its north-facing position, you never get anything less than superlative snow conditions.
Top tip for skinny-skiers: Santa Caterina’s Valtellina cross-country ski track is a regular on the international circuit, whisking you through the trees of the Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio. Depending on the lap you take, expect a rollercoaster route with between 190 to 390 metres of climbing and descending.
Love skiing? You’re in the right place as Valfurva makes sure that every single discipline gets its moment in the limelight. Here’s where you’ll find some of the most exciting ski mountaineering and backcountry skiing itineraries in the Alps. But even after the snow has gone, the fresh mountain air and breathtaking scenery of the Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio remain – and that’s when the landscape opens up even further.
On foot or by mountain bike, the journey is as worthwhile as the destination: from Val Zebrù, home to majestic bearded vultures, deer, ibex, chamois and more, head into Val Cedec and all the way to the spectacular Forni glacier. To begin, take the gravel track from the village of Niblogo up to the bridge in Peceneccia, marking the entrance to Val Zebrù. The glaciological trail that takes you through fortifications used in the First World War can be reached from Rifugio Forni by taking the path to the right of the Frodolfo stream.
Expect cyclists’ hearts to skip a beat when the words ‘Gavia Pass’ are uttered, an iconic climb that gives them an experience that their legs won’t forget. And while outdoor experiences are hard to beat, there’s an alternative way to explore this beautiful landscape: For a completely different but equally as immersive experience in this awe-inspiring setting, try a virtual reality headset, which you can pick up from two locations (the Virtual Reality Points at the Park’s HQ in Bormio or the visitors centre in S. Antonio Valfurva).
Naturally, Valfurva doesn’t exist
solely for sports and the outdoors. Head to the Museum Vallivo Valfurva “Mario
Testorelli” for a
fascinating trip back in time to discover the area’s history with
reconstructions of its artisanal and agricultural roots.
More info on www.santacaterina.it