Visitor reviews for Santa Caterina Valfurva Ski Resort
January 22, 2017
Derion from Greece
I skied in Santa Caterina and Bormio on Friday 20 January 2017 and on Saturday 21 January 2017 respectively. Lift price valid for both resorts (as well as for Valdidentro) for 2 consecutive days at the price of 73 Euro. Ski rental per day at the price of 25 Euro. I read the Eyeball reports that in Santa Caterina the on piste was 'good', whereas in Bormio it was 'excellent'. However, in reality, it turned out to be the complete opposite. In Santa Caterina, the snow was in better quality than in Bormio. In Bormio, in most places, the snow was icy and the pistes were not so well groomed. Of course, this may not be a fault of the ski center's employees, given that in Santa Caterina it was almost empty, whereas in Bormio it was full of people. The two ski centers are close the one another (12 km - 30 min.) by bus. Ski ticket holders are entitled to free transfer. Otherwise, one way bus ticket costs 2,20 Euro. The transfer time from Bergamo airport is 2h30min by car or 3h by minivan. It is quite expensive though: one way transfer from Bergamo airport 60 Euro by minivan per person and 215 Euro per car by taxi. The ski centers are the size of a Greek ski center, so small for European standards. However, they are quite difficult. Both of them have a few blue runs and mostly red runs. In Santa Caterina I enjoyed the two pistes up in the mountain, in the sunny valley, which are labelled red, in reality maybe difficult blue. I enjoyed a lot the black Adler which had good snow, so it was more like a red one. In Santa Caterina the most difficult piste was the one leading to the gondola, because it was the only one which was quite icy. With regard to Bormio, I enjoyed a lot piste F called funicular (otherwise bambi al sol). Most pistes are red as well and very wide. In both ski centers, in the upper level, the landscape is alpine with no trees, the lower lever with pine tree forest. The good thing there were no queues even in Bormio. The most difficult piste in Bormio turned out to be piste A with the name Stelvio, in the middle. It is very steep. In reality it is black, not red as mentioned in the map. This together with the fact that it was icy resulted in me falling. But to say the truth, there was a sign saying 'piste for expert skiers'. The good thing is that one does not have to go down to the gondola via the difficult Stelvio. Instead of it, it is possible to ski in the blue Bosco, which is an easy one. In overall, with the exception of the icy pistes in Bormio, it was a nice skiing experience, especially in Santa Caterina. This winter has been really bad for Italian Alps with very little snow. However, as said, at least in Santa Caterina, the snow condition was pretty good. About apres-ski. For sure, I would not stay in Santa Caterina. it is just a small village with many hotels and nothing else. Bormio is a better option. In Bormio one shall also go to the 'terme', to enjoy hot water from the springs. However, Bormio lacked the life I expected. I went out for a dinner and the streets were empty. I generally had nice time there. However, I visited Livigno and I liked it so much. I would recommend Livigno instead of Santa Caterina and Bormio, because Livigno offers a more comprehensive holiday. Bormio and Santa Caterina are good for skiing (when there is good snow) but afterwards there is almost nothing to do. On the other hand, Livigno is a vivid city nestled in the mountains on the Swiss border. It is not more expensive than Bormio and the apres-ski is fantastic. There are so many shops, restaurants, so many people strolling on the streets etc. And the ski centers look really big, much bigger than Santa Caterina and Bormio together. Of course I heard that this year it was icy there as well. But in a normal winter I would like to come back to Livigno and spend more time there. Livigno is 50 min. from Bromio, via Foscagno pass at 2.290 m.s.l. It is not a good idea to stay in Bormio and go to Livigno (this is what I did) because the bus stops at about 17:00 and the one way taxi transfer is at the price of 70 Euro for a distance of about 35 km.
This is all about my short holiday in Valtelinese area!
Santa Caterina Valfurva Ratings
Overall: 4.3. Based on 12 votes and 15 reviews. Vote
(1) At least one overnight stop, (2) requires a whole day, (3) requires more than half a day – you may have time for a few turns (4) arrive by lunchtime and ski all afternoon, (5) there is a main airport within an hour of Santa Caterina Valfurva.
Public Transport: 3.8
(1) There are no buses or taxis to Santa Caterina Valfurva, (3) there are slow or infrequent buses / trains available, (5) getting to the resort is easy with frequent bus / train connections.
(1) An ugly resort in a bland setting, (3) average mountain views and resort, (5) a spectacular setting and a beautiful / historic resort town.
(1) No places to stay in/near Santa Caterina Valfurva, (3) a few places to stay in the resort, (5) a wide variety of accommodation suitable to suit all budgets.
Cheap Rooms: 4.3
(1) No budget accommodation available, (3) just one or two hostels so book ahead, (5) several cheap hostels and pensions available.
Luxury Hotels: 3.9
(1) No luxury accommodation available, (3) just one or two luxury hotels so book ahead, (5) several up-market hotels in Santa Caterina Valfurva.
Ski in/Ski out: 4.7
(1) The ski area is located far from any accommodation, (3) a free ski bus takes you to the ski area in a short trip, (5) Ski-in ski-out accommodation is available.
(1) There are no child care facilities at Santa Caterina Valfurva, (5) the resort has excellent child-care facilities including at least one reasonably priced creche.
(1) Occasionally gets enough snow for skiing, (2) is often closed due to a lack of snow, (3) occasionally suffers from a lack of snow, (4) rarely suffers from a lack of snow, (5) Santa Caterina Valfurva is snowsure even in the poorest seasons.
(1) Santa Caterina Valfurva relies entirely on natural snow, (3) there are just a few snow cannons, (5) there are snowmaking facilities on all pistes.
Snow Grooming: 5.0
(1) There are no snow groomers at Santa Caterina Valfurva, (3) occasionally some pistes are left ungroomed and in a poor state, (5) all the runs at Santa Caterina Valfurva are groomed daily.
(1) there is nowhere to ski when it is windy or visibility is bad and lifts often shut, (3) there are some trees for poor visibility but main lifts sometimes close, (5) Santa Caterina Valfurva is mostly in forest where you can ski in flat-light and windy days, lifts rarely close.
Nearby options: 4.3
(1) If snow conditions are poor at Santa Caterina Valfurva, it will be poor everywhere nearby, (3) there are good alternatives within an hours drive, (5) other locations on the same lift pass provide a rich variety of snowsure ski conditions.
Regional rating: 4.9
(1) Santa Caterina Valfurva usually has poor snow conditions compared to other resorts in region, (3) has average conditions for the region, (5) usually has the best snow conditions in the region.
Lift Staff: 4.6
(1) The staff at Santa Caterina Valfurva are rude or unhelpful, (5) lift staff at Santa Caterina Valfurva are pleasant, cheerful and eager to help.
(1) the resort is always busy and there are usually long lift queues, (3) it is quiet apart from occasional weekends and school holidays, (5) it is uncrowded and lift queues are very rare.
Ski Schools: 4.6
(1) No ski schools available, (2) one or two ski schools but local language only, (3) a few ski schools but book early for multi-lingual instructors, (4) plenty of ski schools and multi-lingual instructors available, (5) excellent ski schools with friendly multi-lingual ski instructors.
Hire and Repairs: 4.8
(1) Nothing can be sourced, not even ski-wax or ptex. (3) there are some ski shops but rentals need to be booked in advance, (5) good quality ski equipment can be purchased or hired and overnight repairs are possible.
Variety of pistes: 4.8
(1) The ski runs are featureless and unvaried, (3) the ski runs are varied but not extensive enough for a week, (5) Santa Caterina Valfurva has diverse and interesting pistes including forests and high alpine terrain.
(1) Beginners can only watch others ski and snowboard, (3) a few gentle slopes but beginners will get bored in less than a week, (3) Vast areas of gentle terrain.
(1) No intermediate terrain at Santa Caterina Valfurva, (3) intermediate skiers will get bored after a few days, (5) vast areas of cruising runs.
(1) Nothing for advanced skiers and snowboarders, (3) enough steep terrain for a few days with some good offpiste, (5) Enough steep terrain and offpiste areas to entertain advanced skiers for at least a week.
Snow Park: 3.1
(1) Not even a kicker at Santa Caterina Valfurva, (3) average sized park quite well looked after, (5) huge park area and expertly crafted pipes, jumps and boardercross trails.
(1) No off-piste worth mentioning, (2) off piste is out-of-bounds, (3) some varied offpiste that stays fresh for one or two days, (5) a vast array of off-piste routes that can stay untracked for several days.
(1) There is nowhere to go for cross-country skiing around Santa Caterina Valfurva, (3) there are some cross country trails available, (5) the area features many spectacular and well maintained cross-country trails.
(1) No designated luge or toboggan runs, (3) there are toboggan runs that open quite often, (5) Santa Caterina Valfurva has long and well maintained luge / toboggan facilities suitable for all ages.
Mountain Dining: 4.5
(1) Nowhere to buy food by the pistes, (3) some places to eat up on the mountain but they are often busy and expensive, (5) there is a variety of excellent mountain eateries right next to the slopes to suit all budgets.
(1) Bring your own food, there isn't even a shop. (5) A wide variety of places to eat and drink in the resort, from fast food to fancy restaurants.
(1) Nothing to do, not even a bar, (3) there are a few bars in the resort but nothing special, (5) clubs and bars stay open until very late and have a friendly atmosphere.
Other Sports: 3.6
(1) No sports facilities at all apart from ski lifts, (3) resort has just a small public swimming pool, (5) resort has all kinds of sports facilities, including a full-size swimming pool.
(1) Besides the snow and walking there is nothing to do here, (3) the non-skier will find things to do for few days but may become bored after a week, (5) the resort area is a fascinating place to visit, regardless of winter sports.
Winter Walks: 4.3
(1) Very limited walking and no snowshoe trails, (3) a couple of designated scenic walking/snowshoe trails, (5) extensive and diverse winter walking trails for all abilities.
Ski Pass Value: 4.0
(1) A 1 week ski pass is overpriced compared to the number of lifts available, (3) the ski pass is averagely priced and covers a reasonable number of lifts, (5) ski passes are excellent value for money and cover a lot of lifts spanning a big area.
Value (National): 4.6
(1) Overall, Santa Caterina Valfurva is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the country and not worth the money, (3) overall represents average value for money, (5) overall offers the best value resort in the country.
Value (Global): 4.6
(1) Overall, Santa Caterina Valfurva is one of the most expensive ski resorts in the world, (3) overall it offers pretty average value for money compared to resorts from other countries, (5) internationally the resort offers excellent value for money.
November 14, 2013
Mike from United Kingdom
We have been to numerous resorts, throughout Europe, over the past 40 years. Nowadays, we return for the umpteenth time to Santa Caterina. This small mountain village has developed into a top ski resort over the years. It is the ideal location for older people and families with young children. The ski school is exceptional. The runs, of which some are very long, are best suited to intermediate skiers, although there are some challenging black runs.
The village is small and has virtually no night-life which means it is quiet and safe for kids; there is little traffic. All the lifts are easily and quickly accessible from the hotels and the free ski bus provides door to door transport (no arduous walking carrying the kids' skis!)
Nearly all hotels are friendly and comfortable. Even the more economical (e.g. Park Hotel and Campagnoni) have good food and facilities.
The recently opened 'Sunny Valley', accessed by gondola, has a fine restaurant and spectacular views.
Snow is guaranteed. The village is at 1500+ metres and the slope are above that. Coupled with the north-facing slopes, one is assured of good snow conditions throughout the season.
It takes 4 hours (2.5 hours if you hire a car) from Linate or Malpensa, but an easy journey and well worth it.
March 31, 2011
Alison Matthews from United Kingdom
What a truly charming place. Not the largest ski area, but (Santa Caterina Valfurva) is wonderful for a short break. We stayed at the Hotel Nordik, which was extremely friendly and had the advantage of a 'wellness centre'. Short walk to the chairlift up the mountain. Sunny Valley is a lovely area and lived up to it's name for the whole time we were there.
It is a bit of a trek from Milan, but a picturesque journey.
The restaurants we visited for dinner were without exception great quality and all the local people we met couldn't have been more friendly and were so very obviously proud of their little gem of a resort. Would definitely go back for another short break.
February 15, 2010
Sue Dowell from United Kingdom
Santa Caterina (Santa Caterina Valfurva) is an extremely friendly ski resort. This will be our 12 year. We have been to other parts of Europe, but always wish to return to Santa Cat (Santa Caterina Valfurva). Since they opened up the other side of the mountain "Sunny Valley" with the 18 million new lift system in place it has become more attractive, and is certainly worth the 4 hour transfer from Milan airport. Staying at the Hotel Compagnoni is a must, with comfortable accomodation, friendly and helpful staff along with a great menu choice. Would certainly recommend Santa Caterina (Santa Caterina Valfurva) for an enjoyable and wonderful family ski holiday.
March 05, 2009
Matt Petkun from United States
Santa Caterina Valfurva hasn't got the steepest slopes but there is plenty of terrain that can be accessed by the lift system. I was there over the Feb half-term break (for EU), and it had no lift lines. Santa Caterina Valfurva has one of the top skiable area/skier ratios in the world.
The pistes were in great condition and thankfully, most folks were on the piste. We had days of fresh tracks off-piste to ourselves.
February 22, 2009
John Lancashire from United Kingdom
I wrote a review of this wonderful place (Santa Caterina Valfurva) back in 2003. I've just got back from a return visit - staying at my very favourite family run hotel: the Albergo Compagnoni. Everything I wrote back then about Santa Caterina (Santa Caterina Valfurva) still stands apart from 3 things which makes this update necessary:
1) The arduous drag lift up to the 2725m summit has been replaced by a state-of-the-art 8-man gondola - so even your non-skiing friends can join you at the top and experience the magic.
2) There's a high speed 4-man chair and a couple of fantastic cruising runs up in the beautiful wilderness of 'Sunny Valley'.
3) The addition of an exhilarating new route from the summit to the village (1000m vertical drop) which happens to be an FIS accredited competition slope (Santa Caterina Valfurva hosted the womens alpine races in the 2005 World Championships) .
The charm of the village and the villagers remains intact.
The perfect small village resort has become even more perfect.
Just one small word or warning: one trip to Santa Caterina (Santa Caterina Valfurva) and you're smitten. You'll probably not want to go anywhere else.
March 04, 2008
Mike George from United Kingdom
We have just returned from Santa. Went in Feb half-term. Party of nine including five teenage boys. Enjoyed some fantastic weather. Great hospitality at the Campagnoni Hotel, very friendly, very helpful. The resort is small and compact but has plenty of challenging runs for the experienced and some easy stuff for the more inexperienced. Lift system with new cable car makes access to the top quick and easy, had no queues all week. It is a quiet resort with a great deal of local warmth and charm. The ski bus which is free with the lift pass included a 25min ride to Bormio which is well worth the trip also. The teenage boys who are experienced skiers found plenty to keep them occupied on the slopes and found a couple of bars to keep them occupied in the evening. Overall, a little gem of a ski resort and will definitely return for another visit.
February 20, 2008
annabel from United Kingdom
Just returned from our 7th visit to Santa Cat. Something - maybe the olde worlde charm - keeps drawing us back.
The pistes have been extended over the last few years, particularly in Sunny Valley and are always immaculate. Mostly red runs, skiing right down into the village at the end of the day and straight into Bar Centro.
Everyone is extremely welcoming and friendly and you could not wish for a more beautiful setting.
Nightlife is limited to say the least, don't bother bringing your older teenagers, but it's ideal for keeping younger ones under control!
November 29, 2007
Danny from United Kingdom
Beautiful little resort; friendly and charming people. The new gondola into the "back bowl" right up at the top of the mountain has extended the skiing with some lovely cruising runs. The women's downhill (the Compagnoni run) presents a very challenging red right back down to the village. Can get busy during English school holidays, but often very quiet. The pizzeria in the village centre does beautiful pizzas cooked in a traditional wood oven.
December 08, 2006
James Cooke from United Kingdom
Im 19 years old and this is my fifth year going. Its a brilliant family resort, but not very lively night life, but that doesnt mean its not good. It still supplies cheap beer and friendly locals as well as guests. The skiing is very limited and the big problem is that the red slopes are up the mountain where only a black run goes down to the village, although it is labeled a red it is far more for the experienced skiers. Another negative is that it is heavily used with only one chairlift up the mountain meaining when the locals are skiing ques can be huge, but with the new cable car, queuing times have been minimized. I really enjoy skiing here, but look to use other places as well. Great family resort.