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How to Visit Alpe di Siusi, Italy: The Largest Alpine Pasture in Europe

Alpe di Siusi (Seiser Alm in German, Mont Sëuc in Ladin) is the largest high-alpine pasture in Europe, covering a surface area of 56 square kilometers.

Located in South Tyrol in Northern Italy, this impressive Dolomites plateau invites visitors to amble across its rolling pastures unhurriedly. 

Here, mountains collide with soft meadows, creating a mesmerizing landscape full of contrast and beauty. In summer, Alpe di Siusi looks like a sea of rolling green waves, dotted with wooden hay huts. In winter, snow blankets the plateau, transforming Alpe di Siusi into the quintessential winter wonderland. 

Visiting Alpe di Siusi is a top priority for most Dolomites visitors. In this guide, you’ll find out how to get to Alpe di Siusi, when to visit, where to hike, and where to stay.

Alpe di Siusi, Seiser Alm, Dolomites

Where is Alpe di Siusi

The Alpe di Siusi plateau is located in the Italian Dolomites high above Val Gardena/Gröderntal, Castelrotto/Kastelruth, and Siusi allo Scilliar/Seis am Schlern.

This vast high-altitude pasture stretches between the mighty Sassolungo/Langkofel Group, Sciliar/Schlern massif, Bulacia/Puflatsch and Monte Piz/Petz.

The southern part of Alpe di Siusi is located within the protected Sciliar-Catinaccio Nature Park.

There are two alpine settlements on Alpe di Siusi: Compaccio (1860 meters) and Saltria (1680 meters).


Alpe di Siusi Map


When to Visit Alpe di Siusi, Italy

Alpe di Siusi Meadows, Dolomites, Italy

Summer Season: Early June until late October

In summer, Alpe di Siusi is a popular walking and biking destination. The Ortisei-Alpe di Siusi Gondola and the Alpe di Siusi Aerial Cableway usually operate between late May and late October/early November. 

Alpe di Siusi mountain huts and alpine pasture huts (Schwaige/Alm/Malga) are also usually open from late May until late October. Check opening times of specific huts, before planning your visit, because opening times are always subject to change.

We’ve visited Alpe di Siusi in early July, August, and October. Our most memorable visit was in early July when the entire plateau was carpeted in wildflowers.

October is also a lovely time to visit Seiser Alm, because the trails are blissfully empty and the bordering mountains are usually dusted in snow.


Winter Season: Early December until early April

Alpe di Siusi attracts every type of winter sport enthusiast between early December and late March/early April.  

Alpe di Siusi is part of the Val Gardena ski area. The Val Gardena-Alpe di Siusi ski area has 175 km of slopes. In addition to catering to downhill skiers, Alpe di Siusi is a popular destination for cross-country skiing, toboggan rides, and snow shoeing


Alpe di Siusi Hiking Trails: Top 5


1. Hans and Paula Steger Trail

The Hans and Paula Steger Path (“Hans und Paula Steger Weg” in German, “Sentiero Hans e Paula Steger” in Italian) is an easy hiking trail which connects Compaccio/Compatsch with Saltria atop Alpe di Siusi.

This popular Alpe di Siusi walk is named after Hans Steger and Paula Wiesinger, two prominent South Tyrolean mountaineers and skiers who created a foundation for the natural conservation of the Alpe di Siusi plateau.

The path ambles across rolling mountain pastures and pockets of forest, delivering memorable views of the Sassolungo/Langkofel and Sciliar/Schlern mountain groups. 

Along the way, you can detour to some of Alpe di Siusi’s most acclaimed alpine pasture huts for gourmet South Tyrolean cuisine.

It’s possible to shorten this hike, by returning to Compaccio by bus. In Saltria, take the Almbus (Route 11) back to Compaccio. This bus is 3 EUR (cash only) and runs every 20 minutes during the day.


Trail Stats

Cableway Ascent | Alpe di Siusi Aerial Cableway

Trailhead | Compaccio/Compatsch 

Distance | 14.6 km lollipop-circuit

Time Needed | 4:30 hours

Difficulty | Easy

Learn More: Hans and Paula Steger Trail


2. Compaccio – Rifugio Bolzano – Rifugio Alpe di Tires Loop

Alpe di Siusi to Rifugio Bolzano Circuit Trail, Dolomites

This is a full-day adventure for enthusiastic hikers, who want to summit the Schlern plateau and see the Catinaccio/Rosengarten mountains up close.

Starting at Compaccio/Compatsch, the trail crosses the Alpe di Siusi meadows to Saltnerhütte in Tschapit.

Next, the path ascends to the Sciliar/Schlern Plateau, home to the castle-like Rifugio Bolzano (Schlernhaus). From the refuge, it’s possible to detour (20 minutes one-way) to Monte Pez/Petz (2563 m), the highest point of Sciliar/Schlern.

The trail traverses the high plateau of Sciliar Altopiano and then descends dramatically between the Sciliar massif and Catinaccio mountains to Rifugio Alpe di Tires.

From Rifugio Alpe di Tires, you’ll hike over the Denti di Terrarossa/Rosszähne peaks and descend back to Alpe di Siusi. 


Trail Stats

Cableway Ascent | Alpe di Siusi Aerial Cableway. It’s better to drive up to Compaccio early in the morning, or stay atop the plateau, due to the length of this trail.

Trailhead | Compaccio/Compatsch 

Distance | 21.6 km circuit

Time Needed | 8 hours

Difficulty | Moderately Difficult

Learn more: Alpe di Siusi to Rifugio Bolzano Circuit


3. Compaccio to Rifugio Alpe di Tires

Tierer Alpl to Forcella Denti di Terrarossa/Rosszahn Scharte, Dolomites

Rifugio Alpe di Tires is a first-rate refuge, located on the Passo Alpe di Tires/Tierser Alpl Sattel mountain pass, between the Sciliar/Schlern Group, the Catinaccio/Rosengarten Group and the Sassolungo/Langkofel Group. It’s one of our favorite huts in the Dolomites because of the modern interiors and the delicious food.

We highly recommend hiking to Rifugio Alpe di Tires via the Rifugio Bolzano circuit trail outlined above. However, if you have less time, you can do an out-and-back hike from Compaccio.

From Compaccio, follow trail 7, which is a paved road, up to the Panorama restaurant.

From the Panorama restaurant, follow trail 2 across rolling meadows to the Sciliar/Schlern massif. A series of boardwalks guide walkers across marshy areas of the plateau.

The path continues to ascend, bringing you to the base of the craggy Denti di Terrarossa/Rosszähne peaks (“Horse Teeth” peaks).

Hike up the steep switchbacks to the Forcella Denti di Terrarossa/Rosszahnscharte saddle. This part can be more challenging due to the scree.

Once you crest the Forcella Denti di Terrarossa/Rosszahnscharte saddle, you’ll be greeted with wondrous views of the Catinaccio/Rosengarten mountains.

Turn right and follow the narrow footpath down to the red-roofed Rifugio Alpe di Tires/Tierser Alpl mountain hut. We highly recommend eating a long, leisurely lunch here. 

For the best views of the hut, continue along the partially secured trail 3A in the direction of Passo Molignon/Molignonpass.

When we hiked to Tierser Alpl the first time, we returned to Alpe di Siusi by the same route. However, you can descend to Alpe di Siusi via trails 4, 8, 7 (see map).


Trail Stats

Cableway Ascent | Alpe di Siusi Aerial Cableway

Trailhead | Compaccio/Compatsch 

Distance | 13.9 km out-and-back

Time Needed | 5 – 6 hours

Difficulty | Moderately Difficult

Learn More: Hiking to Rifugio Alpe di Tires


4. Alpe di Siusi to Monte Pana 

Alpe di Siusi, Rosengarten Mountains, Dolomites

This easy-going Alpe di Siusi walk starts at the Ortisei-Alpe di Siusi gondola mountain station. You’ll follow trail 9 all the way to Saltria, steadily descending almost the whole time. 

At Saltria, the hike continues along trail 30 to the Monte Pana Plateau. From Monte Pana, you’ll descend to Santa Cristina, a village in Val Gardena.


Trail Stats

Cableway Ascent | Ortisei-Alpe di Siusi Gondola 

Trailhead | Ortisei-Alpe di Siusi Gondola mountain station 

Ending Point | Santa Cristina, Val Gardena 

Distance | 12.8 km point-to-point

Time Needed | 3:30 hours 

Difficulty | Easy

Learn More: Alpe di Siusi to Monte Pana Hike


5. Alpe di Siusi Meadows Circuit Trail

Alpe di Siusi Seiser Alm meadows walk, Dolomites

Our Alpe di Siusi Meadows Loop Trail combines the best part of the Alpe di Siusi-Monte Pana Trail with the best stretch of the Hans and Paula Steger Path. It stays on the plateau the whole time, ambling across rolling meadows. This route doesn’t scale mountains, or descend to the valley. 

If you’re based in Val Gardena, this is the best way to see Seiser Alm in a few hours.

From the Ortisei-Alpe di Siusi gondola mountain station, follow trail 9 to Schgaguler Schwaige and all the way down to Saltria, a small settlement on the plateau.

Next, ascend the Hans and Paula Steger Trail (trail 30) in the direction of Compaccio/Compatsch, detouring to Gostner Schwaige and Rauchhütte along the way.

Complete the circuit to the Ortise-Alpe di Siusi gondola mountain station via Baita Sanon. 


Trail Stats

Cableway Ascent | Ortisei-Alpe di Siusi Gondola 

Trailhead | Ortisei-Alpe di Siusi Gondola mountain station 

Distance | 14.4 km circuit

Time Needed | 4:25 hours

Difficulty | Easy

Learn More: Alpe di Siusi Meadows Circuit Trail


Alpe di Siusi Places to Eat

Radauer Schwaige, Saltria, Alpe di Siusi
Radauer Schwaige

Alpe di Siusi Alpine Pasture Huts

While you’re out exploring idyllic Alpe di Siusi, you’ll likely pass several alpine pasture huts (Schwaige, Baita, Alm, Malga). These huts are perfect destinations for lunch or a snack.

Alpe di Siusi Alpine pasture huts are generally open from late May/early June until the end of October and from early December until early April. Some huts are closed on certain days of the week (e.g. Wednesdays). Before planning your visit, we recommend checking the opening times of individual huts. 


Schgaguler Schwaige

Schgaguler Schwaige (1905 m) is located close to the Ortisei-Alpe di Siusi gondola mountain station. Descend along trail 9 in the direction of Saltria to Schgaguler Schwaige (10 minutes). Expect delicious South Tyrolean food and a friendly atmosphere.

This is the first hut you’ll pass along the Alpe di Siusi Meadows Circuit Trail.

Location: Piz 5, 39040 Alpe di Siusi | Google Maps


Gostner Schwaige

Gostner Schwaige (1900 m) produces their own alpine dairy products. They pride themselves on only preparing dishes with fresh and seasonal ingredients. Try their Heublütensuppe, a soup made of hay, flowers, and 15 different herbs, served in a bread bowl. It’s delicious!

You can detour to Gostner Schwaige when hiking the Hans and Paula Steger Trail, or the Alpe di Siusi Meadows Circuit Trail.

Location: Saltria 13, 39040 Alpe di Siusi | Google Maps


Malga Rauchhütte

Rauchhütte (1850 m) is a gourmet mountain hut restaurant well-known for its excellent selection of wine, delicious food, and friendly service.

It’s easy to linger here for hours, eating and drinking, whilst savoring the view of mighty Sassolungo.

Rauchhütte is closed on Wednesdays.

You can detour to Rauchhütte when hiking the Hans and Paula Steger Trail, or the Alpe di Siusi Meadows Circuit Trail.

Location: Saltria 29, 39040 Alpe di Siusi | Google Maps


Baita Sanon

Baita Sanon/Sanon Hütte (1849 m) is a charming hut with an enviable view of Sassolungo. Serving traditional South Tyrolean and Ladin cuisine, Baita Sanon is the perfect place for a lunch break. The hut is a 35-minute walk from the Ortisei-Alpe di Siusi gondola mountain station (Trail 6B).

The Alpe di Siusi Meadows Circuit Trail leads to this picturesque hut.

Location: Piz 19, 39040 Alpe di Siusi | Google Maps


Laranzer Schwaige

Located at the top of the Floralpina chairlift mountain station, this yummy hut is a favorite among skiers and hikers walking the Hans and Paula Steger Trail. The food at Laranzer Schwaige (1925 m) is delicious and the service is swift.

Location: Saltria 25, 39040 Alpe di Siusi | Google Maps


Radauer Schwaige

Radauer Schwaige (1720 m) is a quaint hut in Saltria. We passed this hut on our way to Monte Pana.

Location: Saltria 48, 39040 Alpe di Siusi | Google Maps


More Alpe di Siusi Huts:

Malga Contrin/Contrin Schwaige

Römerschwaige/Malga Roemer

Sattler Schwaige/Malga Sattler

Laurinhütte/Malga Laurin

Tschötsch Alm

Prosslinger Schwaige/Malga Prosslinger

Rifugio Spitzbühl/Spitzbühlhütte

Saltner Schwaige


How to Get to Alpe di Siusi

– cableway, car, bus –


Alpe di Siusi by Cable Car

Alpe di Siusi, Morning Fog, Dolomites, Italy

There are two gondolas that connect the valley with the Alpe di Siusi plateau. For up-to-date operating times, consult the Seiseralm website.


Ortisei-Alpe di Siusi Ropeway (aka Mont Sëuc Gondola) 

This gondola connects the village of Ortisei in Val Gardena to the Mont Sëuc restaurant atop the Alpe di Siusi Plateau. It’s also called Seilbahnen St. Ulrich – Seiser Alm in German.

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 | Mid-May – Early November (see summer timetable)

Winter Season | Early December – Mid-March (see winter timetable)

Adult Pricing | 20 EUR (one-way ticket), 29 EUR (roundtrip ticket)


Alpe di Siusi Aerial Cableway

This gondola connects the village of Siusi allo Sciliar/Sëuc/Seis am Schlern to Compaccio/Compatsch on Alpe di Siusi. It’s also called the Seiser Alm Bahn in German.

Valley Station Address | Via Sciliar, 39, 39040 Siusi BZ, Italy | Google Maps

Parking | There is a free outdoor parking lot at the valley station of the Alpe di Siusi Aerial Cableway. In addition, there’s also a 2-level paid parking garage, adjacent to the outdoor car park.

Summer Season | May 18 – November 3, 2024 (see summer timetable)

Winter Season | Early December – Mid-March (see winter timetable)

Adult Pricing | 18 EUR (one-way ticket), 26.50 EUR (roundtrip ticket)


Alpe di Siusi by Car

It’s only possible to drive up to Alpe di Siusi before 9 am or after 5 pm.

Note: If the Compaccio car park reaches capacity before 9 am, the road leading up to Compaccio will close before 9 am.

Unless you’re staying in a hotel on Alpe di Siusi, you cannot drive further than the P2 Car Park in Compaccio/Compatsch.

The road to Compaccio is closed to private traffic between 9 am and 5 pm. You can drive down at any time.

Car Park | Park at the P2 car park at Compaccio. Exact Location: Google Maps

Parking Fee | The P2 parking fee is 26.50 EUR/car.

More Info | Read more about Alpe di Siusi regulations and access restrictions.

Off-Season | When the Alpe di Siusi Aerial Cableway isn’t operating (mid-April to mid-May and early November – early December), the road to Compaccio is open to private traffic all day long. The P2 car park costs 13 EUR off-season.

Alpe di Siusi Hotel Guests | Hotels provide driving permits to overnight guests. On your day of arrival, you can drive to your hotel at anytime. During your stay on Alpe di Siusi, it’s only possible to drive your car before 10 am or after 5 pm.

Given the price and convenience of the cableways, there’s no reason to drive to Alpe di Siusi. The only reason you may want to drive to Compaccio before 9 am is to witness the sunrise on the plateau.


Alpe di Siusi by Bus

Alpe di Siusi morning walk, Dolomites

Seiser Alm Express (Bus Route 10) connects Siusi/Seis to Compaccio/Compatsch.

Almbus (Bus Route 11) connects Saltria to Compaccio. This bus may be useful if you descended along the Hans and Paula Steger Trail from Compaccio to Saltria and you don’t want to hike back up.

Learn More about Alpe di Siusi bus lines.


Alpe di Siusi Hotels

Sporthotel Sonne, Alpe di Siusi Seiser Alm Hotel, Dolomites
Sporthotel Sonne

Sunrise & Sunset Views | Sporthotel Sonne is the best place to stay if you’re eager to experience dreamy sunrises, where thin veils of mist hover over the rolling pastures, and burning sunsets, where blazing colors mutate from shades of peach and rose to burning hues of crimson and purple. Sporthotel Sonne is a quick walk to the best photography spots on the plateau. In addition to its stellar location, it’s a first-rate modern hotel with a striking wellness area (Sassolungo-facing infinity pool, saunas, relaxation rooms) and an innovative kitchen (breakfast, afternoon cakes, and 5-course dinner are included in the rate). 

Vegetarian-Vegan Gourmet Cuisine | Paradiso Pure Living Vegetarian-Vegan Hotel occupies a uniquely central location on Alpe di Siusi, ideal for hiking and skiing. Come here for the excellent, high-quality vegetarian and vegan cuisine (breakfast and dinner included in the rate) and idyllic setting. The hotel’s wellness area encompasses a zerobody floating experience, an indoor salt-water swimming pool, outdoor salt-water whirlpool, infrared sauna, Finnish sauna, steam bath, hay sauna, tea bar and relaxation area.

5-Star Splurge | COMO Alpina Dolomites is a modern 5-star hotel atop Alpe di Siusi, designed with the philosophy: ‘Nature, our origin, is also a basic need, like the air we breathe.” Taking in the full sweep of the Sassolungo/Langkofel and Sciliar/Schlern mountains from its divine location, Alpina Dolomites boasts panoramic mountain views, a contemporary wellness area, and gourmet restaurant. The hotel design is inspired by nature and stitches together a neutral color palette with raw materials. The wellness area comprises a panoramic indoor-outdoor swimming pool, classic Finnish sauna, herbal sauna, saline steam bath, fitness room, and spa.


Midrange Hotels

Hotel Schmung (Compatsch)

Hotel Seelaus (Compatsch)

Mahlknechthütte Seiser Alm


Luxury & Spa Hotels

Hotel Goldknopf (Compatsch)

Hotel Steger-Dellai – great location for multiple hikes on Alpe di Siusi.

Tirler – Dolomites Living Hotel (Saltria)

Seiser Alm Urthaler (Compatsch)

Hotel Rosa Eco Alpine Spa Resort (Compatsch)

Saltria – your Alpine experience (Saltria)


Visiting Alpe di Siusi Responsibly

Alpe di Siusi Meadows, Dolomites

While you’re visiting Alpe di Siusi, please adhere to the following rules:

Trails | Always stay on marked trails and paths. This helps prevent damage to the meadows and alpine pastures.

Livestock | Keep your distance from grazing animals. Do not approach, or touch grazing cattle.

Flowers | Do not pick flowers.

Private Property | Do not trespass. Many huts and pastures atop Alpe di Siusi are privately owned.

Noise | Respect the habitat of animals. Do not make any unnecessary noise.

Fires | Do not light fires.

Garbage | Do not litter. Please take your garbage with you and dispose of it responsibly.

Dogs | Keep your dog on a leash and pick-up/dispose of your dog’s waste responsibly. Learn more: Alpe di Siusi rules for dog owners

Camping | Do not wild camp.



Dolomites Trip Planning Essentials

Use our Dolomites Travel Guide to plan an unforgettable trip to northeastern Italy.


When to Hike in the Dolomites

The best time to hike in the Dolomites is between mid-June and mid-September. 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


Car Rental

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.

Check car rental rates here


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:

We suggest choosing 2-4 bases for your Dolomites trip and spending 2-4 nights in each base.


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

Hiking Gear

Outdoor Photography Gear


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:

Recommended Hiking GuidebookShorter Walks in the Dolomites (Cicerone Guide)


Val Gardena Hiking Trails


Alpe di Siusi Meadows Hiking Trail, Dolomites, Italy

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Sabrina & Kati

2 thoughts on “How to Visit Alpe di Siusi, Italy: The Largest Alpine Pasture in Europe”

  1. Hello! Loving the site as we plan our honeymoon in the Dolomites! We will be there a total of 7 days, starting in the Stevio region.

    Afterwards, we head to Seiser Alm. Initially, we planned to just do a day hike in the Alpe De Siusi but after reading one of your awesome posts, decided we have to stay overnight at Rifugio de Tires. From here, we would like to hike to another hut, and possibly stay a third night in a hut. What are your recommendations for staying 1 extra night or 2 extra nights in a hut?

    We will have a car and so can be flexible on where we start/end. Maybe Rifugio de Tires shouldn’t be our first stop? I read your post on the 3 day hike that starts in Carezza but it doesn’t seem like we would be able to spend time in the Alpe de Siusi (We have 3.5 full days max to spend on this portion of the trip!)

    Thank you so much!!

    Reply
    • Hi Sofia,
      On the 3 Day Rosengarten Hike, you could hike down to Alpe di Siusi via Rifugio Bolzano (after staying the night in Tierser Alpl). The problem is, I don’t know how easy it is to get back to your car in Carezza from Val Gardena. It may only be possible via Bozen/Bolzano. Also check out this 3 day hike.

      Reply

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