Mountain dining in the Italian Dolomites - Val Gardena

Val Gardena welcomes the sunny season of mountain lunches

There's something unique about the slopes of Val Gardena that means skiers and boarders are pampered like at no other resort.

Not only does the area, in the heart of the Italian Dolomites, have some of the finest mountain restaurants in the Alps - they virtually all look after visitors with waiter service, with barely a self-service one to be seen.

It's a remarkable feature of the Val Gardena slopes, said Christina Demetz, from the tourist office. All our wonderful mountain huts have table service, which we believe somehow reflects our philosophy of giving our guests the most relaxing and enjoyable experience possible.

It's not something that has been stipulated or particularly planned, but it does show the approach our mountain huts take to welcoming visitors and the standard that holidaymakers can expect.

The skiing shared between the Val Gardena villages of Selva, Santa Cristina and Ortisei is spectacular and wonderfully varied, but food and drink on the mountain is also one of the great highlights of any visit here.

And with the longer ski days of late season approaching, now is the perfect time to enjoy the blissful combination of great skiing and gourmet lunches.

The Sofie Hütte is the highest hut on the Seceda, with a great wine cellar - plus cosy dining rooms and a sun terrace with a panoramic view of the Langkofel. The owners also produce their own Gin 8025 - a gin and tonic at 2,600 metres is a special treat and you'll smell the juniper.

The Comici Hütte is the highest fish restaurant in the Dolomites, with fresh seafood from the Adriatic served daily - and also with an inviting sun terrace.

For a mountain barbecue lunch, it's hard to beat the new L'Angolino restaurant at Passo Sella resort hotel, with a very wide choice of grilled meats.
 
The Fienile Monte on the Sella Joch is said to be the smallest lunchtime hut in the Dolomites - but it is much bigger than it looks from the outside, and has one of the largest mountain wine cellars in the area. Also very popular is the Troier Hut, offering traditional dishes and the Anntal Hut - a great spot to enjoy the afternoon sun and with the best apfelstrudel in the Dolomites.
 
At the Daniel Hütte at the Fermeda quad chairlift on Seceda, you'll find a fine selection of South Tyrolean wines as well as the finest grappa, fruit brandies, cognac and armagnac, and South Tyrolean specialties.
 
The main focus at the Gamsblut Hütte, on the Col Raiser valley run, is on typical, local cuisine and delicious desserts.
 
At the Panorama Hütte at mid-station of the Panorama ski lift on the Dantercepies, staff still wear traditional Trachten costumes in the cosy dining rooms.
 
The Piz Seteur Hütte, on Piz Seteur, often has music and entertainment beside the slopes, a DJ and dancing.

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