Alpe di Siusi (Mont Sëuc in Ladin, Seiser Alm in German), the largest mountain pasture in Europe, boasts 450 kilometers of hiking trails.
When visiting Alpe di Siusi for the first time, most people wrongly assume that it’ll be obvious knowing where to go.
Trails fan out in multiple directions across this 56 square kilometer plateau in the Italian Dolomites. It’s anything but obvious.
You need a plan.
From Compaccio/Compatsch, you can hike across the plateau and ascend to the Sciliar/Schlern plateau to Rifugio Bolzano. You can also cross the Alpe di Siusi meadows and hike over the Denti di Terrarossa/Rosszähne peaks to Rifugio Alpe di Tires.
Another option is to descend to Saltria via the Hans and Paula Steger Trail.
From the Ortisei-Alpe di Siusi gondola mountain station, you can follow trail 9 to Saltria and onwards to Monte Pana and Santa Cristina.
The reason we’re writing yet another Alpe di Siusi hiking guide is that we wanted to create a scenic circuit trail that you can do from either the Ortisei-Alpe di Siusi gondola mountain station, or Compaccio.
Furthermore, we wanted to recommend a route that stays on the Alpe di Siusi plateau the whole time.
This Alpe di Siusi hike combines the best parts of the Alpe di Siusi-Monte Pana Trail with the best stretch of the Hans and Paula Steger Trail. It ambles across rolling meadows and mountain pastures; it doesn’t scale mountains, or descend to the valley.
Throughout the hike, there are sweeping views of the impressive Sassolungo/Langkofel Group, Catinaccio/Rosengarten Group, the Sciliar/Schlern Group, and even the Odle/Geisler Group.
This satisfying Alpe di Siusi hiking trail also steers you to some of the most celebrated gourmet alpine pasture huts on the plateau, including Rauchhütte, Gostner Schwaige, and Malga Sanon.
For those that are eager to watch the sunrise atop Alpe di Siusi, we have tips for you at the end of the trail description.
Best Alpe di Siusi Hike: Seiser Alm Meadows Circuit Trail
- Starting Point: Ortisei, Val Gardena
- Trailhead: Ortisei-Alpe di Siusi gondola (aka Mont Sëuc cable car) mountain station
- Distance: 14.4 km circuit
- Time Needed: 4:25 hours
- Elevation Gain/Loss: 483 meters
- Difficulty: Easy
- Minimum Elevation: 1675 meters
- Maximum Elevation: 2001 meters
- When to Hike: Late May – October
- Where to Stay in Ortisei: Casa al Sole (midrange), Hotel Grones (midrange), Hotel Gardena Grödnerhof (luxury), or Adler Spa Resort Dolomiti (luxury)
- Where to Stay in Castelrotto: Schgaguler Hotel (luxury), or Hotel Lamm (luxury)
- Where to Stay in Siusi: Ratzeshof (budget), La Paula Apartments & Suites (midrange), or Sensoria Dolomites (luxury)
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Alpe di Siusi Plateau Circuit Trail
How to Get to Alpe di Siusi
There are three main ways to get to Alpe di Siusi.
You can drive (before 9 am, or after 5 pm) to the P2 car park in Compaccio (Google Maps). You can take the Seiser Alm Aerial Cableway up to Compaccio from Siusi. Or, you can take the Ortisei-Alpe di Siusi gondola up to the plateau.
We’ve explained all these options in detail in our Alpe di Siusi travel guide.
You can start this hike at either Compaccio, or the Ortisei-Alpe di Siusi gondola mountain station.
Our trail description begins at the Ortisei-Alpe di Siusi gondola mountain station, because all of our Dolomites itineraries – 5 day, 7 day, and 10-14 day – lead to Val Gardena. If you’re based in Val Gardena, this is an ideal way to see Alpe di Siusi in a few hours.
Ortisei-Alpe di Siusi (aka Mont Sëuc) Gondola Valley Station
If you’re staying in Ortisei, walk to the Ortisei-Alpe di Siusi valley station. If you’re staying in another village in Val Gardena, take a free bus to Ortisei, using your Val Gardena Mobil Card.
Valley Station Address | Via Setil, 9, 39046 Ortisei BZ, Italy | Google Maps
Parking | There’s a paid parking garage (240 spaces) at the valley station.
Summer Season | May 19 – November 5, 2023 (see timetable)
Winter Season | Early December – Mid-March (see timetable)
Adult Pricing | 28 EUR roundtrip
Alpe di Siusi Hike: Mont Sëuc – Saltria – Compaccio Circuit Trail
Ortisei-Alpe di Siusi Gondola Mountain Station to Saltria (1 hour)
Exit the Mont Sëuc gondola mountain station and head left, following trail 9 to Saltria.
Saltria is a small settlement on Alpe di Siusi, located at an elevation of 1675 meters. It’s also the lowest point of the plateau.
So, when you hike from the Mont Sëuc mountain station (2005 meters) to Saltria, you’ll be hiking downhill almost the whole time.
Trail 9, which is a road initially, descends to the Schgaguler Schwaige alpine pasture hut/restaurant (15 minutes).
Continue following trail 9 in the direction of Saltria, signed 50 minutes. The path wraps around Sporthotel Sonne and then continues south towards the Catinaccio/Rosengarten range.
Trail 9 descends to a stream and then makes a short counter ascent, before easing.
As you cross the rolling Alpe di Siusi meadows, Sassolungo and Sasso Piatto dominate the view to the southeast and the Catinaccio and Sciliar mountains dominate the views directly south and to the southwest.
When the trail intersects with bike path 19, continue straight on trail 9.
The trail effortlessly slides down to Saltria, home to a cluster of mountain huts like Radauer Schwaige and Saltner Schwaige and hotels like Hotel Saltria, Sporthotel Floralpina, and Brunelle Seiser Alm Lodge.
Saltria – Rauchhütte – Gostner Schwaige – Hotel Steger Dellai (1:30 hours)
The hike continues northwest along the Hans and Paula Steger Path (trail 30).
Turn right on the paved road, which links Saltria with Compaccio. Don’t follow the road leading south to Sporthotel Floralpina.
After 300 meters (5 minutes), veer left on trail 30, leaving the road.
The Hans and Paul Steger Weg steadily ascends rolling meadows up to the Wiedner Eck bus stop (35 minutes).
Along the way, you’ll pass through the Römer mountain pasture, where cattle graze freely in summer. Do not disturb, or linger near the animals.
Here, multiple paths intersect. We recommend detouring to Rauchhütte (10 minutes) for homemade pasta, regional wine, and heart-expanding terrace views.
Turn right on the Compaccio-Saltria road and the hut will be on your left in 550 meters.
After lunch at Rauchhütte, return to the Wiedner Eck bus stop and continue following the well-groomed trail 30 up to Hotel Steger Dellai.
Along the way, you can also detour to Gostner Schwaige, another excellent alpine pasture hut.
To detour to Gostner Schwaige, turn left on 30a and shortly thereafter right on 30b.
Hotel Steger Dellai to Malga Sanon (40 minutes)
The way to Malga Sanon initially follows a paved road. There’s no traffic, aside from the occasional bus and horse-drawn carriage.
Pass the pond near Hotel Steger Dellai and follow the paved hotel track down to the road.
Turn right onto the sidewalk in the direction of Sanon Hütte/Baita Sanon (trail 3, signed 35 minutes).
Note: If you turn left, you’ll end up in Compaccio.
Follow the sidewalk/road for 1.1 km. When the paved road divides, continue left in the direction of Piz (trail 6 on maps).
Shortly thereafter, turn right on trail 6B to Sanon Hütte/Baita Sanon.
Trail 6B magically meanders across wildflower-carpeted meadows to Malga Sanon, a happily situated hut facing Sassolungo and Sasso Piatto. Grab a lounge chair, order a drink, and soak up the views.
Malga Sanon to Ortisei-Alpe di Siusi Gondola Mountain Station (45 minutes)
Trail 6B wanders between hay huts to Sporthotel Sonne (20 minutes).
This heavenly stretch of path affords sweeping views of the Sciliar/Schlern, Rosengarten/Catinaccio, and Sassolungo/Langkofel mountains, spectacularly colliding with the Swiss-pine-studded meadows.
From the hotel, follow the familiar path back to Schgaguler Schwaige and all the way up to the Mont Sëuc gondola mountain station.
Alpe di Siusi Sunrise Hike
Alpe di Siusi is at its most magical in the early hours of the morning. It’s a remarkable natural light show that makes mountain worshippers of us all.
Each morning, professional and amateaur photographers march from Compaccio/Compatsch to the “Instagram photo spot” near Sporthotel Sonne, hoping to capture the magical scene we’ve all fallen in love with.
If you want to watch the sunrise, drive up to the Compaccio P2 car park. Park here and continue on foot. You cannot drive further.
Since it’ll be dark, we recommend following the road in the direction of Saltria. When the road divides, veer left in the direction of Piz.
Stay on the road (trail 6) in the direction of Hotel Icaro and the Adler Lodge.
The famous Alpe di Siusi sunrise viewpoint is located directly on this road near the Adler Lodge.
Exact Location: Google Maps.
After watching the sunrise, you can follow this Alpe di Siusi hike as described in this guide. Follow trail 9 down to Saltria and then hike up the Hans and Paula Steger Trail back to Compaccio.
Where to Stay
Budget | Hotel Garni Walter is a traditional alpine guesthouse located on a steep slope near the Alpe di Siusi gondola valley station. Rooms are spotless and comfortable. The only downside is that the WIFI signal is poor. Breakfast is included.
Midrange | Casa al Sole is a newly renovated bed and breakfast in the center of Ortisei, only a short walk from the Seceda cableway and the Resciesa funicular. Highlights of staying here include the modern minimal interiors, comfortable bedrooms, warm hospitality, and delicious and plentiful breakfast. At Casa al Sole, Alexandra and Manuel host with great care and enthusiasm, and are always available to offer advice and help make dinner reservations.
Midrange | Chalet Hotel Hartmann is a charming adults-only hotel featuring tastefully furnished alpine interiors, a delicious breakfast buffet, a complimentary afternoon snack, and a spa area (bio-sauna, steam bath and solarium). This is an ideal accommodation for couples and anyone traveling without children. It’s a 15-minute walk to reach the town center.
Midrange | Hotel Grones is a top-rated, family-run hotel which excels in its friendly atmosphere, excellent local and Mediterranean cuisine, traditional, yet lovely rooms. The hotel spa area comprises a swimming pool, hot tub, Finnish sauna, bio sauna, and steam bath.
Luxury | Hotel Angelo Engel is situated directly in the town center of Ortisei, walking distance to the Resciesa funicular, Ortisei-Furnes-Seceda cableway, and the Ortisei-Alpe di Siusi gondola (Mont Sëuc Ropeway). We loved the central location, the courteous staff, and the wellness and spa area.
Luxury | Hotel Gardena Grödnerhof is a 5-star hotel in the heart of Ortisei, home to the Michelin star Ann Stuben gourmet restaurant. This wellness hotel offers unparalleled spa facilities, flawless service, guided hikes and mountain bike tours and a weekly fitness program. Guests are treated to a welcome cocktail, generous breakfast buffet, and afternoon cakes and snacks (3 – 5 pm). The extensive wellness area comprises a fitness area, indoor pool, outdoor whirlpool, Finnish sauna, steam bath, bio sauna, ladies-only spa, cold water pool, infrared beds, sauna lounge, floating beds, and warm water beds.
Luxury | Adler Spa Resort Dolomiti is a stunning property surrounded by private grounds, advantageously located in the pedestrian zone of Ortisei. This 5-star hotel offers outstanding service, first-rate spa complex, beautiful rooms, and an on-site restaurant (half board available). 3-7 nights minimum stay.
Siusi allo Scilliar
Siusi allo Sciliar (Seis am Schlern in German) is a village beneath Alpe di Siusi in South Tyrol. The Seiser Alm Aerial Cableway valley station is located in this village.
Budget | Ratzeshof is a hillside farm stay with apartments, located between Siusi and Compaccio. Stay here for the idyllic setting, mountain views, and price point.
Midrange | La Paula Apartments & Suites is a fresh-faced aparthotel in Siusi with lovely rooms, a wellness area (Finnish sauna, steam bath infrared cabin, Salounge, and relaxation rooms), and free parking. Guests love the healthy breakfast featuring locally sourced ingredients as well as made-to-order egg dishes.
Luxury | Sensoria Dolomites (formerly Ritterhof Hotel) is a newly renovated, all-inclusive hotel in Siusi, close to the Alpe di Siusi cableway. With its divinely-crafted interiors and harmonious architecture, Sensoria aims to create a place that nourishes the soul.
The village of Castelrotto (Kastelruth in German, Ciastel in Ladin) is situated at an elevation of 1095 meters, on a plateau above Valle Isarco/Eisacktal valley and beneath Alpe di Siusi/Seiser Alm.
Castelrotto is only 3.4 km from Siusi allo Sciliar/Seis am Schlern and 11.4 km from Ortisei/St. Ulrich. Notable attractions include the St. Peter and Paul Parish Church, the nearby Chiesa di San Valentino, Monte Bullaccia and the Marinzen meadows.
Luxury | Located in the historic center of Castelrotto, the aesthetically-pleasing Schgaguler Hotel stands out with its high glass windows (designed by Peter Pichler), alpine minimalist design, wellness and spa facilities (2 indoor pools, a whirlpool, a sundeck, and 3 saunas), and knowledgeable staff. Rooms feature tasteful furnishings, a neutral color palette, plush bedding, and an abundance of light.
We highly recommend booking half board, as the hotel kitchen prepares excellent varied and seasonal 4-course meals. Welcome extras include a free bus pass (which includes the bus to Alpe di Siusi) and nearby underground parking garage.
Luxury | The 4-star Hotel Lamm is a modern, design-forward hotel featuring striking interiors, a luxurious rooftop Sky Spa, and an outstanding on-site restaurant (Zum Lampl). Rooms are thoughtfully designed with elegant oak floors and stylish furnishings.
Guests enjoy free underground parking, a complimentary Seiser Alm Live Card (transit card), and a wonderful wellness area (3 saunas, experience showers, relaxation room, rooftop terrace, and sky pool).
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Dolomites Trip Planning Essentials
Use our Dolomites Travel Guide to plan an unforgettable trip to northeastern Italy.
When to Hike in the Dolomites
Winter Season. For skiing and winter activities, the best time to visit is between mid/late December and March.
Summer and Fall Seasons. The best time to road trip and hike in the Dolomites is between mid-June and mid-September. If the weather is stable, the hiking season can easily continue until late October.
Unlike other regions in the Dolomites, Alpe di Siusi and Val Gardena enjoy a longer summer season. It can start as early as end of May and end as late as early November.
How to Get to the Dolomites
Read How to Get to the Dolomites to find out how to travel to the Dolomites from the closest airports, train stations, and bus terminals.
If you’re traveling without a car, also check out How to Visit the Dolomites Without a Car.
The easiest way to travel between hiking destinations in the Italian Dolomites is with your own car. Check out our itineraries for trip inspiration:
We recommend using the Discovercars.com car rental reservation platform to search for and book car rentals. This easy-to-use booking platform compares car rental deals from 500+ trusted providers, so that you can choose the best option for your trip.
Tip: If you can only drive automatic transmission cars, as opposed to manual transmission cars (stick shift), book your car rental as early as possible.
Best Places to Stay
Figuring out where to stay in the Dolomites is probably the biggest hurdle to planning a trip to the Dolomites. We’ve created three guides to help you decide where to stay:
- Where to Stay in the Dolomites in Summer: best villages and towns in South Tyrol, Trentino and Belluno
- Best Hotels in the Dolomites: best boutique and luxury hotels in the Dolomites
- Dolomites Accommodation Guide: farm stays, mountain huts, wellness hotels, aparthotels
- Val Gardena Hotels: best accommodations in Ortisei, Santa Cristina, and Selva
We suggest choosing 2-4 bases for your Dolomites trip and spending 2-4 nights in each base.
- Base 1: Val Gardena
- Base 2: Val di Funes
- Base 3: Alta Badia
- Base 4: Cortina d’Ampezzo
- Base 5: Alta Pusteria
- Base 6: San Martino di Castrozza
What to See & Do
During your trip to the Dolomites, you can go via ferrata climbing, culinary hiking, hut to hut hiking, cycling, paragliding, and so much more. We’ve highlighted our favorite experiences in Best Things to Do in the Dolomites.
Wherever you decide to stay, you’ll be surrounded by glorious mountain scenery and incredible natural landmarks.
In Best Places to Visit in the Dolomites guide, we’ve listed the most iconic attractions as well as lesser-known destinations across the Dolomites, including Lago di Braies, Prato Piazza, Val Fiscalina, Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Lago di Sorapis, Lago Federa, Cadini di Misurina, and Seceda.
Dolomites Packing List
- Day Pack: Osprey Tempest 30 Women’s Backpack / Osprey Talon 33 Men’s Backpack
- Grade B/C high-cut hiking boots: Meindl Schuhe Island Lady (Kati’s Boots), Women’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX (Sabrina’s Boots), Men’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX (men’s equivalent)
- CAT 4 Sunglasses: Julbo Shield Mountain Sunglasses
- Hiking Poles: Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles
- Reusable Water Bottle: Ion Leakproof 32 oz Water Bottle
Outdoor Photography Gear
- Camera Body: Sony Alpha a6400
- Mid-range Zoom Lens: Tamron 17-70mm 2.8 Di III-A VC RXD
- Wide angle Zoom Lens: Sony – E 10-18mm F4 OSS Wide-angle Zoom Lens
- Backpack Camera Clip: Peak Design Camera Clip
Dolomites Hiking Guides
Hiking in the Dolomites is our passion. Year after year, we love discovering new trails and expanding our knowledge of the area. For day hiking, check out Best Day Hikes in the Dolomites. For trekking, take a look at our guide to Hut to Hut Hiking in the Dolomites and Alta Via 1.
For region-specific hiking trails, check out:
- Best Hikes in Val Gardena
- Best Hikes in Cortina d’Ampezzo
- Best Hikes in Alta Badia
- Sexten Dolomites Hiking Guide
- Puez-Odle Nature Park
Recommended Hiking Guidebook: Cicerone Guide: Shorter Walks in the Dolomites