Alpe di Siusi (Seiser Alm in German, Mont Sëuc in Ladin) is the largest alpine pasture in Europe with an area of 52 square kilometers. Situated in South Tyrol, Northern Italy, this impressive plateau is one of the most magnetizing places in the Dolomites.
This is where mountains collide with soft meadows, creating a captivating landscape full of contrasts and pure beauty. When I showed these photos, the first association that everyone had was: Moominland! In summer, Alpe di Siusi looks like a sea of green waves, dotted with wooden huts. In winter, snow covers the plateau, transforming the Alpe di Siusi into the quintessence of a white wonderland.
To the north is Val Gardena, to the northeast is the Sassolungo Group, and to the southeast is the Sciliar Massif. The latter is one of the most famous symbols of the Dolomites and can be seen in almost all photos.
Moreover, from the Seiser Alm plateau, there is an incredible view of the surrounding mountain ranges! From here you can see Peitlerkofel (2873 m), the Odle and Puez groups (3025 m), Gran Cir (3152 m), the Sella group (3152 m), Langkofel (3181 m) and Plattkofel (2969 m), Marmolada (3343 m), and the Pala group (3192 m), the Vajolet towers (2821 m), the Rosengarten group (2981 m) with the Kesselkogel peak (3002 m) and the Schlern (2450 m) above sea level.
The town of Compatsh, which by the way, is the only town on the plateau, is an ideal base for exploring the area. There are hiking trails and several cable cars that will quickly take you deep into the green landscape. You can also sleep at the plateau itself.
Location of Alpe di Siusi
The plateau’s name may be confusing to travelers as it also covers a wider holiday region in the Dolomites. The Alpe di Siusi holiday region includes both a plateau and villages and valleys to the north and west. The holiday region of Val Gardena, which extends further to the east, is also often associated with the plateau. Regardless of whether you start your hike from Val Gardena or from Alpe di Siusi, the route will be the same. The only difference is the starting and end point.
The best best time to visit Alpe di Siusi
Alpe di Siusi delights with its beauty all year round, but if you want to enjoy nature and hiking in peace, June and October will be the best, which is the beginning and the end of the season. In June, the meadow is covered with beautiful flowers and is the most colorful. In October, the views are simply breathtaking because the surrounding larches have all shades of yellow and orange, which looks just fabulous.
No cars allowed – how to get to Alpe Di Siusi
Only hotel guests staying overnight on the plateau can drive to and from the hotel by car to protect the area. So if you are going to spend the night on the plateau, the procedure is as follows: at the entrance to Alpe Di Siusi, there is a small brown house. In the house, you receive a permit that you put on the windshield of your car. Thanks to this, you can legally move by car around this place.
Everyone else may not drive from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm. However, this is not a problem, because you can easily get to Alpe Di Siusi by cable car from one of the towns: Ortisei or Siusi, where you can also leave your car (P2 parking lot in Compaccio, price – EUR 19 per car).
Alpe Di Siusi by cable car
Remember that the cable car only runs from 9.00 am to 5.00 pm and if you miss it, you will not leave the plateau. The views along the way are beautiful, so the ride is a pleasure. However, if you want to see Alpe Di Siusi at sunrise or sunset (especially when it comes to taking photos), then you must decide to spend the night on the plateau because taking into account the hours of operation of the cable car, there is no way to match them with sunrise and sunset.
There are two gondolas connecting with Alpe di Siusi:
- Ortisei-Alpe di Siusi Ropeway (Mont Sëuc Gondola)
The gondola connects the village of Ortisei in Val Gardena with the Alpe di Siusi plateau.
Station: Ortisei, Val Gardena
Address: Via Setil, 9, 39046 Ortisei BZ, Italy
Parking lot: paid, with 240 parking spaces, right next to the station.
Summer season: from May to October (you can find the timetable here: timetable)
Winter season: from December to March (you can find the timetable here: timetable)
Price: EUR 13.90 (single ride), EUR 19.90 (round trip)
- Alpe di Siusi Aerial Cableway
A cable car connects the village of Siusi or Sciliar/Sëuc/Seis am Schlern with Compaccio/Compatsch on the Alpe di Siusi plateau.
Station: Siusi allo Sciliar/Seis am Schlern
Address: Via Sciliar, 39, 39040 Siusi BZ, Italy
Parking lot: free, right next to the station (free parking lot)
Summer season: from May – to October/November (you can find the timetable here: summer timetable)
Winter season: from December to March (you can find the timetable here: winter timetable)
Price: EUR 13 (single ride), EUR 19 (round trip)
Alpe di Siusi by bus
Seiser Alm Express (Bus Route 10) connects Siusi/Seis with Compaccio/Compatsch.
Almbus (Bus Route 11) connects Saltria with Compaccio.
You can read more about bus lines in the area here: Alpe di Siusi bus lines.
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Alpe di Siusi on a bike
While exploring the idyllic Alpe di Siusi, you will definitely want to visit characteristic huts scattered across the meadows and several shelters (Schwaige/Baita/Alm/Malga), which are great place to have lunch or coffee.
The area is extensive, so either it’s worth booking the whole day to have time for hiking, or you can do as I did, that is, rent a bike at the rental shop Alpin Sports in Compatsch.
These are electric bikes, which makes exploring the area a pure pleasure. If you only have a few hours, not only is it a great, active time, it also gives you a chance to see more way faster.
Hiking trails of the Alpe di Siusi
Hiking along the Bullaccia/Puflatsch trail
The trip starts and ends in Compaccio/Kompatch and will take you to a nearby plateau with a beautiful panorama of Alpe di Siusi and the valley on the other side. It starts with the Bullaccia/Puflatch cable car, which allows you to skip the 300-meter climb. The trail is then almost flat to the very end, where it descends 300 meters down a narrow paved road. The route is well signposted, it is 8.5 km long, and takes approximately three hours. However, remember to dedicate some time to take photos and have lunch in one of the two huts on the route. Throughout the Dolomites, it’s easy to combine hiking with good food and drinks.
Compaccio – Rifugio Bolzano – Rifugio Alpe di Tires Loop
- ▪ Access by cable car: Alpe di Siusi Aerial Cableway. Due to the length of this trail, it is better to drive to Compaccio early in the morning or stay at the top of the plateau.
- ▪ Trailhead: Compaccio/Compatsch
- ▪ Distance: a total of 21,6 km.
- ▪ Difficulty: moderately difficult.
- ▪ Time: 8 hours.
This is a full-day trek for those looking to reach the top of the Schlern Plateau and see the Catinaccio/Rosengarten mountains up close.
It starts in Compaccio/Compatsch. First, you hike through the meadows of Alpe di Siusi to the Saltner Hütte. Then you enter the Sciliar/Schlern plateau, where castle-like Rifugio Bolzano is located. You can go (20 minutes one way) to the highest point of Sciliar/Schlern, Monte Pez/Petz (2563 m), then via Sciliar Altopiano to the Rifugio Alpe di Tires.
From Rifugio Alpe di Tires, hike through Denti di Terra Rossa/Rosszahne and return to Alpe di Siusi.
Compaccio do Rifugio Alpe di Tires
▪ Access by cable car: Alpe di Siusi Aerial Cableway
▪ Trailhead: Compaccio/Compatsch
▪ Distance: 7,21 km one way
▪ Difficulty: moderately difficult.
▪ Time: 2,5–3h one way and 5–6h both ways.
This trip begins in Compaccio. First, follow trail no. 7 to the Panorama restaurant. Then start climbing through the meadows of Alpe di Siusi following trail no. 2 to the Rosszahn hut. It is located between the peaks of Denti di Terrarossa/Rosszähne Sciliar/Schlern.
It has amazing views over Catinaccio/Rosengarten. Then turn right and follow the path to the Tierser Alpl hut. It has a characteristic red roof. You can go back the same way or follow trail no. 4 and then no. 8 and no. 7 to Rifugio Molignon. From this hut, you can continue hiking trail no. 7 to Compaccio.
Alpe di Siusi do Monte Pana
▪ Access by cable car: Ortisei-Alpe di Siusi Gondola
▪ Trailhead: mountain station Ortisei-Alpe di Siusi Gondola
▪ End point: Santa Cristina, Val Gardena
▪ Distance: 12,8 km
▪ Difficulty: easy
▪ Time: 3,5h.
This easy walk in Alpe di Siusi starts at the Ortisei-Alpe di Siusi gondola station. You have to follow trail no. 9 all the way to Saltria (descending all the time gradually).
In Saltria, follow trail no. 30 to the Monte Pana plateau, then to Santa Cristina, a village in Val Gardena.
Where to eat in Alpe di Siusi
If you’re going on a day-long exploration of Alpe di Siusi, you will definitely have to eat something along the way. You can always take your own lunch with you, but I highly recommend to try some traditional Tyrolean cuisine in one of the huts.
The Dolomites – with an alpine culture that is literally second to none. The restaurant Tschötsch-Alm overlooking the magnificent Schlern/Sciliar, Plattkofel and Langkofel, and the Seiser Alm/Alpe di Siusi, Europe’s largest alpine meadows, is definitely a place to die for.
Here in Seiser Alm, at an altitude of 2000 meters in the midst of Mother Nature, you can reach Tschötsch Alm in summer and winter via numerous hiking trails, ridge paths, and in winter, ski and snowshoe runs.
In high season, there is also a “Pancake Day”, a show event where you can try the typical South Tyrolean pancake “Kaiserschmarrn”Simply amazing!
Where to stay in Alpe di Siusi
The absolutely fabulous 4-star Lamm Hotel in Castelrotto/Kastelruth is located in a superb location right in the center of the historic village, yet right on the Ale di Siusi. This was the greatest hotel I have stayed in in the Dolomites. First of all, the rooms had a modern and cozy design, I had my own sauna in the room (awesome!) And a heated jacuzzi on the patio with a view of the mountains.
There is a wonderful wellness area on the top floor with Finnish and organic saunas, a steam bath, sensation showers, a relaxation room with pine beds, and an outdoor area. There is a swimming pool on the roof patio.
The “Zum Lampl” restaurant with the hotel bar directly overlooking the square Castelrotto/Kastelruth offers an excellent menu. I also had the great pleasure to eat here an unusual tasting dinner inspired by regional and international cuisine together with a pairing of local Tyrolean wines. The setting, service, and attention to detail made it one of the best culinary experiences I have had while traveling. It is a place for everyone who values luxury, exquisite flavors, and a great hospitality experience.
The material was created in collaboration with South Tyrol Tourism Organization