Val Gardena lies in the heart of the Italian Dolomites, where dramatic scenery and limestone peaks provide the backdrop for an unforgettable Autumn holiday, set within this UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The three villages of Ortisei (1,236m), S. Cristina (1,428m) and Selva (1,563m) provide the most unique setting for an Autumn escape. Val Gardena is the cradle of South Tyrolean art, specifically wood carving. This art form remains a key earner for the valley to this day, second only second to tourism.

In September and October, the imposing mountains shine with shades of red and orange, “enrosadira” creating an enchanting panorama. This is the beginning of the autumn season in the Dolomites, offering breathtaking views. The hay harvest has come to an end and the cows, sheep and goats return from the mountain pastures.

 24th September – 15th October Culinarium Urtijei

Urtijei, the local name for Ortisei is one of the main villages of Val Gardena and is also known for its great culinary diversity. Michelin-starred restaurants with an international flair, local restaurants serving delicious South Tyrolean dishes, Italian pizzerias and Ladin farm cuisines: there’s something for everyone thanks to the outstanding meals from three different culinary traditions.

Culinarium Urtijei runs over three weeks celebrating all that is ‘food’ from the Michelin star ‘Anna Stuben’ to family run ‘Pizzeria Lamm’ there is a dining experience to suit, with 10 restaurants all focussed on offering the finest regional produce and delicious meals to celebrate these festival weeks.

 Market of leaves – Monday 9th October

A sensational market Every year, the leaf market “Segra Sacun” is the largest and most traditional market in Val Gardena and for generations the autumn valley highlight. The market is filled with numerous stands offering culinary delights and handcrafted products.  The pear is the typical autumnal fruit which will catch your eye as you walk around – decorated with colourful ribbons, tradition demands young men give the young woman who has caught their eye a pear as a sign of their interest! Wood-carved pears are tokens to take home!

 Burning Dolomites From mid-September on, there is a very special phenomenon in Val Gardena: Burning Dolomites, “enrosadira” an incredible natural spectacle at sunset! The colours of the larch trees become more and more intense and the sun sets the peaks of the Dolomites on fire.

Guided Walks for sunrise and sunset to see this incredible phenomena are available during the Autumn months:

The Mills in Bulla – stepping back in time – in the past, the „Bergweiler Pufels“ were Val Gardena’s granaries. Between three and seven farms were built to manage the municipal mills – the “Pufeler Schlucht” and just one remains restored, offering an insight in to the milling of corn in the past. A 2km walk through the gorge and along the Bulla stream is available as well as weekly guided tours of the partially preserved buildings from the 18th and 19th centuries. 


For further information on Val Gardena, press trips or images please contact: Vanessa Fisher 07957 618525

Six of the Best Hidden Summer Chalets from OVO Network 

Six of the Best Hidden Summer Chalets from OVO Network 

Exclusive Chalet Rental Specialist, OVO Network, boasts over 150 high-end chalets across the French and Swiss Alps – including the Aravis, Espace Diamant, Evasion Mont Blanc, Grand Massif, Chamonix Mont Blanc and for the first time this summer, in the Valais, Switzerland.

OVO Network has selected six of these chalets, for their stunning, off the beaten track alpine locations -perfect for a summer get-away. 

Louis Andrews, Director of OVO Network comments, “The Alps are no longer just for winter holidays. Almost every alpine village offers an incredible range of summer activities, from hiking and cycling to wild swimming and paddle boarding.

“Between 2018 and 2022 our summer business has grown by 49%, as holidaymakers look to escape the city and busy beach resorts and try somewhere a little different. Here they get a mountain escape where they can completely ‘switch off’, be close to nature and try sports and activities that offer special memories such as paragliding, canyoning or following in the tracks of the Tour de France.

“All of our chalets offer plenty of opportunities to relax and enjoy precious family time. Our owners pride themselves on the facilities they provide for their guests – everything from hot tubs and cinema rooms to swimming pools are on offer. And for those guests that have to work during their holiday, many of our properties offer dedicated work spaces.”


Guests at Chalet Victorina, set in secluded woodland, can enjoy sleek and ultra modern living with upscale alpine style, against a palate of slate greys. Six bedrooms, sleeping 12, arranged over two floors offer surrounding views of the Aravis mountains, allowing unlimited adventure as you step outside the front door. 5km from the village of Le Giettaz, this is a luxury chalet that offers great value for money in a beautiful, secluded location.

OVO Network offers 7 nights self-catering rental from 1990 euros at Chalet Victorina from 24th June [sleeps 12].


At the top of a hill, between Saint Gervais and Les Contamines, chalet facilities do not get much better than at the vast Beau Caillou, where a hot tub, sauna and summer pool await. Up to 14 guests [11 adults] are accommodated across five sumptuous bedrooms and bathrooms. Soak up the warm summer rays while enjoying breakfast on the sun terrace, before discovering the Baroque footpath – a 20km trail from Combloux to Les Contamines-Montjoie, passing some of the finest Baroque buildings in the Alps.  Superfast Wi-Fi access at this chalet provides a great base to work and relax and there are also Cool for Kids facilities including table tennis and children’s games, as well as a cinema room and pétanque court.

OVO Network offer 7 nights self-catering rental at Chalet Beau Caillou from 5990 euros from 17th June.


High up on the Beauregard Plateau, 10km above La Clusaz and just 35 minutes from Annecy, Chalet Sisar is a short hop from unlimited watersports on the cleanest lake in Europe. Swim, boat, paddleboard on the turquoise waters of Lake Annecy, or relax at the chalet with its south facing terrace and fabulous views of the Aravis peaks. Guests are accommodated over five gorgeous bedrooms and four bathrooms and its incredible location perched on the side of the mountain, means guests can really get away from it all. A perfect base for the La Clusaz Summer Yoga Festival, 6-9th July 2023.

OVO Network offer 7 nights self-catering rental at Chalet Sisar from 2590 euros from 1st July. [Sleeps12]


Just 30 minutes from Verbier, Chalet Cinq Moutons is set in a terraced garden with its own organic edible summer kitchen – guests are free to pick, consume or cook all produce. A glacial river weaves its way along the foot of the garden, past unique sculptures and through alpine forest.  Spend a day exploring part of the 170km famous Mont Blanc Trail and return to the seven-bedroom Chalet Cinq Moutons, which is ideal for mixed generation groups with plenty of space for all as well as facilities including a gym, sauna and sunken indoor hot tub. Enjoy close by events such as the Montreux Jazz Festival from 30th  June – 15th  July and the Verbier classical music festival from 14th  – 30th July.

OVO Network offer 7 nights self-catering rental at Chalet Cinq Moutons from 5,990 euros from 22nd July [Sleeps 16] 


Chalet Lomatika sits just above Lake Annecy, with 360-degree views of the crystal turquoise waters. Expansive gardens, a Nordic bath and a vast dining terrace are just some of the delights on offer here, where Scandi vibes meet French flair. Sleeping eight guests over four bedrooms, guests can experience lakeside life at Chalet Lomatika, a 2km stroll from the nearest beach and jetty, while being in a secluded, not-overlooked location. Cyclists can bike the ‘Voie Verte’, green path, which passes in front of the chalet and runs along the length of the lake to the old town of Annecy.

OVO Network offer 7 nights self-catering rental at Chalet Lomatika from 3231 euros from 24th June.


Large, stunning Chalet Happyview, located above the picture postcard village of Le Grand Bornand, leaves no expense spared with a sunken pool, luxurious home cinema, gym and sauna. Sleeping up to 23 guests, over eight bedrooms, this chalet is perfect for several families looking for a summer alps escape. Le Grand Bornand has all the outdoor activities you would expect; a climbing school, via ferrata routes, mountain biking, canyoning and paragliding, as well as a fantastic outdoor swimming pool complex, tennis courts and lovely river for picnics. The village is also host to the international children’s festival “Au Bonheur des Mômes “ from 20th to 25th August – a week of magic shows, circus acts, theatre, games and workshops with a firework finale.

OVO Network offer 7 nights self-catering rental at Chalet Happyview from 8,690 euros from 8th July.


Images for each chalet are available to download: c. OVO Network. 

Summer News from the Belleville Valley 2023

Summer News from the Belleville Valley 2023

From the village of Saint-Martin-de-Belleville to the high ridges of Val Thorens and to the crystal-clear waters of Les Menuires, never has there been a better time to discover the flower laden mountain pastures and snow-capped peaks of the Vallée des Belleville, in the French Alps. 

ALPINE SUMMER HIGHLIGHTS 2023 – see full press kit for more details.


Amateur racers go head-to-head  – handmade, motor-less vehicles, judged for their aesthetic, speed and handling, careering down mountain roads and paths – a feast for the eyes awaits! With three soap box races to enjoy this summer, soak up the atmosphere at these three locations:  

02 July – Saint Martin de Belleville

14 July – Les Menuires

13 August – Val Thorens 

Entry: €20 for one race or €50 for all three


Located in the heart of the charming Nant Brun Valley, lies a namesake refuge hideaway at 1,500m. Closed for four years, two friends have renovated this labour of love into an unmistakable bolthole. Stay the night or drop by to wine and dine, during a day of trail hiking or biking. Prices from xx


The new state of the art Hotel Higalik “ice house” in Les Menuires wows guests with a vast spa complex, set against commanding views over the breath-taking peaks. Le Telemark restaurant serves selected cheese specialities and a refined brasserie menu. Arranged over 10 floors, this Alpine jewel blends modernity and traditional wooden design harmoniously into the landscape and opens for it’s first summer in Les Menuires.

Double rooms from €100 per night:  


This summer sees the opening of the luxurious Hameau de Kamir Residence on 8th July. Inspired by the colours of the Kashmir region, this family focussed apartment hotel of unsurpassed luxury invites guests to relax and unwind in the pool, sauna and spa, with unparalleled views of the surrounding spectacular mountain range of Val Thorens. 

Namaste! Hameau de Kashmir are hosting “Altitude Yoga” sessions on the terrace each Tuesday morning or Thursday afternoon for 15 euros per session. 


Bellville’s first microbrewery tempts visitors from across the globe in Le Chatelard. Housed within a former goat farm, owners *Julien and Sophie proudly showcase their collection, from “La Masse” (brown beer), “La Belleville” (a golden, light blonde version) to Le Thorens (pale ale with citrus notes). The niche “Brava Vela” brewery began life with Julien creating ales using his mother’s old cooking pot. With 97% of all ingredients being locally sourced, this microbrewery is making a name for itself on the world brewer’s map.  Images


Sample the delights of Brava Vela* and a host of other local producers at the Craft Beer Festival in St. Martin de Belleville from 15 – 16 July, with workshops, demonstrations, tastings and a competition to discover the finest craft beer. 


Tots, tweens and teens will thrive this summer in the natural bike park at La Croisette, modelled on terrain found in the mountains. This mini bike park consists of 4 trail levels (green, blue, red and black). Dedicated to beginners, the park features moguls, arches and small jumps to build confidence and speed with ease. 

Meanwhile, a new skate park has opened in Preyerand. Free and open to all, this high alpine delight at 1,800m features steps, rails, slides and pyramids for high kicks. 



Les Menuires plays host to the Mountain Bike French Cup this summer from 18 – 20 August. The best French cross-country and downhill riders meet to battle it out across technical and dramatic terrain. 


Les Menuires and the Belleville Valley are set to host the French River Trout Fishing Championships from 9 – 10 September. Fishing enthusiasts from across France work in pairs to battle it out for the highest catch of the day.  All fish are released at the end of the competition and hooks are barbless. 


Take a seat for the evening of a lifetime on 27 July, where guests are indulged with a 3* Michelin starred tasting and wine pairing menu, to the unsurpassed musical charm of world-renowned Cellist Ophelie Gaillard. 

Tickets from: €390, email: 



Having spent 12 years working as a beekeeper for an industrial conglomerate, Kelly returned to the traditional side of the profession in France. Operating closely with the Conservancy, working to safeguard the European dark bee, Kelly is aiming to re-establish the bee’s genetics and ensure its safeguarding in the Belleville Valley. 

Every Friday, Kelly offers tours and discovery workshops to raise public awareness for this fragile species.


Julien, a former restaurateur and Sophie, a former scientist, joined forces to embark on a brewing love story. Julien has been brewing his own ales for 10 years in his cellar with his mother’s old cooking pot. Turning this project into reality, following training courses to hone their skills, the goal is to combine art and science to create high quality, memorable brews. 

The launch of Brava Vela is the culmination of beers brewed with love at 1,400m. 


Chef Martial Vuillemin creates homemade, local and ethical ice creams and sorbets, with full control over all aspects of traceability. The cows graze on luscious pasture at 2,000m and the milk is churned into sumptuous scoops without any use of pesticides, colouring or artificial flavouring. Martial’s latest mission is to develop savoury sorbet recipes using herbs from the doorstep. 

Full press info can be found at: 


– ENDS – 


For further information please contact: Vanessa Fisher, 07957 618 525  

Val Gardena receives GSTC certificate for sustainable tourism

Val Gardena receives GSTC certificate for sustainable tourism

Val Gardena’s commitment to sustainability has now been confirmed by the GSTC certification (Global Sustainable Tourism Council).

Val Gardena is a popular holiday destination in the Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has now obtained a certificate, recognised all over the world, confirming its sustainable tourism efforts. This means it commits to applying the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) standards. Obtaining this certification is by no means a final result, rather the official start of a broader project that focuses on environmental protection, social responsibility, and hospitality for an increasingly sustainable tourism.

In 2020, a working group consisting of different stakeholders, including professional associations and members of Val Gardena’s three municipalities, was founded under the motto “Respect the Dolomites”. Its aim was to raise awareness about sustainability among the valley’s guests and residents through events and various initiatives. It includes sporting events such as the Sellaronda Bike Day, the valorisation of local crafts with the ‘Made in – DOLOMITES Val Gardena – with LOVE’ label, waste management, spring water with the ‘Ega dla Dolomites’ project, the protection of mountain pastures, paths and grazing livestock, the use of clean energy from hydroelectric sources, and, in general, mobility, with the Val Gardena Mobile Card, charging stations for electric vehicles and the use of e-bikes.

To highlight this commitment, Val Gardena/Gröden started following the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) standards, and its choice was rewarded with the certification from 08.03.2023.

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is an organisation founded in 2007 by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) to promote sustainability and social responsibility in tourism. The certificate is awarded in Italy by Vireo, the only GSTC- accredited body in Italy. The audit is carried out based on specific methods, procedures and timeframes, which guarantees the entire system’s unbiased approach and trustworthiness. During the process, Vireo’s auditors visited and talked with various institutions and companies to assess whether the required criteria were met.

In addition to the criteria required by GSTC for tourist destinations, Val Gardena aims to reach tangible goals by 2026. These include creating a mobility centre which will develop projects for car-free and accessible connections; reducing traffic on mountain passes (Gardena Pass and Sella Pass) by 20%; expanding bicycle paths on the mountain passes by 20%; increasing arrival on public transport by 10 to 15%; double e-charging stations; expanding renewable energy sources for businesses by 25%; reducing printed material and use of plastic by 20%.
The formation of verifiable climate concepts and their implementation is the mission.

Moreover, Val Gardena is working with the province of South Tyrol on the “Klimaland Südtirol” and the “KlimaPlan Energie – Südtirol 2050” initiatives to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions to achieve the Paris Agreement climate goals. South Tyrol’s largest source of CO2 emissions come from transport: more than 40% of fossil fuel emissions, mostly caused by private cars, which in turn results in heavy traffic, especially at certain times of the year.

The Val Gardena Mobility Centre was founded to tackle this matter, and its primary task is to solve traffic issues. Public transport will become the tool used to monitor and control traffic, while leveraging bus and lift connections will create alternatives to private transport.
Let’s promote the “Stay longer, dive deeper” long-term holiday concept for our guests. Each extra, car-free day reduces arrival and departure traffic, thus markedly reducing emissions.

Other sustainable projects will, among other things, also ensure adequate mobility solutions should the valley host the 2029 World Ski Championships.

 For further information visit


UK PR Contact Vanessa Fisher 07957 618525

Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre and Boat Rental Thames

Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre and Boat Rental Thames

On Tuesday 17 May, Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre and Conferencing hosted 80 staff, family and friends for the first ‘community paddle’ evening on the riverfront.

Bisham Abbey staff member Alona, connected with local families, many hosting Ukrainian refugees and approximately 20 families gathered on the lawn to share the river front activities provided free of charge by Boat Rental Thames.

Bisham Abbey’s manager James Ewart commented, “We wanted to showcase to our staff and local community the wonderful riverfront we have here at Bisham Abbey. Boat Rental Thames offer all sorts of activities to help people to experience the river, be it on a paddle board, kayak or electric boat. Many of our staff haven’t had the chance to try these and to have so many local Ukrainian families join us as well made for a very special evening in the sunshine.”

Guy Fisher, Owner & MD of Boat Rental Thames added, “we expected to be hosting staff and their families and were absolutely delighted that so many local families supported the evening by bringing their Ukrainian guests. It was a real pleasure to show everyone all of our river craft, the new water bikes were a big hit and the younger family members were able to take a trip out on our skippered electric boats.”

The evening saw over 50 people take a boat of some kind on the river, over 80 guests shared the BBQ and drinks organised by Bisham Abbey on the lawn.

Local boy Walter, was delighted to be gifted this Boat Rental Thames t shirt, the Ukrainian family who are being hosted by the boys family, insisted he be given it for their kindness!

images copyright @creativecapturemedia

Early Summer in Dolomites Val Gardena

Early Summer in Dolomites Val Gardena

Early Summer in Dolomites Val Gardena

 by Bike & on Foot

Sellaronda Bike Day – Saslong Half Marathon

Sellaronda HERO & The Family Bike Day

Four fantastic bike and run events kick off Summer 2022 in Val Gardena – with its three main villages – Ortisei (1,236 m), Santa Cristina (1,428 m) and Selva di Val Gardena (1,563 m) in the heart of the Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with over 600km of bike trails.

11th June 2022: Sellaronda Bike Day & the Dolomites Saslong Half Marathon

The Sellaronda Bike day is a celebration of everything cycling as the roads on the Sellaronda will be closed to cars, allowing cyclists to take over.

The whole event boasts 53 km, while a 1,600 m elevation gain awaits those willing to complete the whole distance. Cyclists of all ages and levels will have the opportunity to enjoy a beautiful, free to attend, cycling tour featuring unique views on traffic-free roads, as the Sellaronda and its passes around the Sella Group will be closed to cars. The second date of the summer Sellaronda Bike day is 17th September 2022.

On foot, the Saslong Half Marathon takes place on the same day. For experienced runners this route, stretches from its start point at Monte Pana, extending between 1624 and 2363 m, with 900 m elevation. After reaching the Comici Hut the athletes will run across the City of Rocks to Passo Sella boasting a breathtaking view across the Marmolada. The asphalt-free trail winds its way across an environmentally protected area.

18th June: HERO Südtirol Dolomites

The HERO Südtirol Dolomites in Selva Val Gardena represents one of the hardest mountain bike events for amateurs and professional cyclists. The competition is spectacular and a great opportunity for international professional athletes and ambitious amateur cyclists to come together, allowing them to pursue the same dream: race and conquer one of the two demanding distances. All participants can choose between two distances stretching around the Passo Sella and Sassolungo:

  • The classic distance comprises 60 km and 3,200 m elevation gain.
  • The marathon distance boasts 86 km and a total of 4,500 m elevation gain.

Selva Val Gardena represents both the start and the end of the HERO Dolomites. Both the classic and marathon edition will take participants around the Passo Sella at the feet of the legendary skiing carousel, the Sellaronda. The day before the HERO Südtirol Dolomites, children can take part in the “HERO Kids” – starts in Selva Val Gardena and is a great event for younger cycling fans that will put their skills to the test in a friendly ‘competition’ where all that matters is having fun on two wheels.

25th June: NEW Val Gardena Family Bike Day

Part of the “Respect the Dolomites” projects, the first edition of the Val Gardena Family Bike Day will be held on Saturday, 25th June 2022. A day dedicated to cycling, explore Val Gardena in a green and sustainable way on two wheels. The route starts from Ortisei and takes you to Plan, in Selva Val Gardena, cutting across picturesque S. Cristina. The itinerary features different check points and sightseeing highlights, as well as spots where you can refill your water bottle and tank up on energy with a quick snack. Collect stamps at the checkpoints and sightseeing spots – only three required – to receive a small treat at the end of the itinerary.


For further information or images please contact: Vanessa Fisher 07957 618525