Alta Badia is a mountain region surrounding the valley of Val Badia/Gadertal in South Tyrol in the Italian Dolomites.
Nestled between the Fanes Group, the Sella Group, and the Puez Group, Alta Badia is one of the best places to stay in the Dolomites for hiking.
A system of chairlifts and gondolas across Alta Badia makes hiking extremely accessible, effectively shaving off long ascents and even better lengthy descents.
Alta Badia encompasses the villages of Colfosco, Corvara, La Villa, San Cassiano, Badia, and La Val.
As you explore Alta Badia, you’ll soon notice that each village (park, mountain hut, etc…) has three names: the Italian name, the German name, and the Ladin name. The Ladin people are the oldest (surviving) inhabitants of this mountainous region. Their culture, heritage, and language continue to thrive here.
Alta Badia Summer Hiking Guide
Alta Badia Travel Tips
- Location: South Tyrol, Italy
- When to Hike: Mid-June – Late October, depending on snow conditions
- Top Attractions: Passo Gardena, Cascate del Pisciadù, Pralongià High Plateau, Armentara Meadows and La Crusc Pilgrimage Church
- Famous Mountain Huts: Rifugio Puez, Rifugio Fanes, Rifugio Lavarella, and Rifugio Gardenacia
- Budget Accommodations: Ciasa Agreiter (La Villa), Chalet Planvart (Badia), and Pension Mirandola (Colfosco)
- Midrange Accommodations: Crëp Sella (Colfosco) and Sporthotel Panorama (Corvara)
- Excellent Luxury Hotels: Hotel Kolfuschgerhof (Colfosco), Badia Hill (Badia), Hotel Cristallo (La Villa)
- Family-Friendly Accommodation: Movi Family Apart-Hotel (Corvara)
- Neighboring Dolomites Regions: Val Gardena and Cortina d’Ampezzo
- Closest Airports: Bolzano Airport in South Tyrol and Marco Polo International Airport in Venice, Italy
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Alta Badia Map
Alta Badia Hiking Trails
1. Armentara Meadows Trail
This enchanting walk across the Armentara meadows begins in the village of Badia.
First, you’ll ascend to the Santa Croce Sanctuary by two cableways (La Crusc 1 & La Crusc 2). From the Santa Croce pilgrimage church, the trail leads beneath the Sasso Santa Croce mountains to the Armentara plateau.
Have a relaxing lunch at Űtia Ranch da André before continuing your descent to Badia.
Trailhead | La Crusc Church, Badia
Distance | 9 km point-to-point
Time Needed | 3 hours
Difficulty | Easy
Learn More: Armentara Meadows Trail
2. Lake Pisciadù and Pisciadù Peak Hike
The strenuous hike to Cima Pisciadù (Pisciadù Peak) begins at Passo Gardena, the mountain pass that connects Val Badia with Val Gardena.
From Gardena Pass, you’ll follow a lovely balcony trail to Val Setus, a steep sloping valley characterized by crumbling rocks and scree.
The ascent up Val Setus to Lake Pisciadù is steep and partially secured (no special equipment necessary).
From Lake Pisciadù, you can extend the hike 1 hour to the summit of Cima Pisciadù.
The hike continues to Val de Mezdi, where you’ll steeply descend to Val Badia.
You can return to Passo Gardena, or continue onwards to Colfosco, or Corvara. This hike is a lot of fun, but it’s a challenge.
Starting Point | Passo Gardena
Ending Point | Corvara
Distance | 12.4 km point-to-point (circuit also possible)
Time Needed | 5 hours
Difficulty | Difficult
Learn More: Cima Pisciadù Trail Guide
3. Across the Gherdenacia Plateau to Rifugio Puez
This moderate day hike in Alta Badia begins in La Villa and ends in Colfosco. You can also hike it in reverse.
To start this hike, take the Gardenaccia chairlift up from La Villa.
You’ll visit two mountain huts along the route. You’ll also traverse the Gherdenacia karst plateau, which is part of the greater Puez-Odle Altopiano, in Puez-Odle Nature Park.
Highlights of this trail include the view of Vallunga/Langental Valley and the picturesque Gardenacia mountain hut, surrounded by Haflinger horses.
Starting Point | Gardenaccia chairlift mountain station
Ending Point | Colfosco (or Corvara)
Distance | 13 km point-to-point
Time Needed | 6 hours
Difficulty | Moderate
Learn More: Rifugio Puez Day Hike
4. Rifugio Fanes and Rifugio Lavarella
Rifugio Fanes and Rifugio Lavarella are two mountain huts in Nature Park Fanes-Sennes-Prags, located along the famous Alta Via 1 route.
You can visit these luxurious mountain huts in a day hike starting at the Capanna Alpina mountain hut in San Cassiano.
Most visitors will do an out-and-back hike to these huts. However, you can extend the route all the way to La Villa, if you’re up for a challenge.
Starting Point | Capanna Alpina, San Cassiano
Ending Point | La Villa
Distance | 20 km point-to-point
Time Needed | 8 hours
Difficulty | Moderately Difficult
Learn More: Rifugio Fanes Day Hike
5. Sass de Putia Circuit Trail
Sass de Putia/Peitlerkofel is a solitary two-headed mountain in Puez-Odle Nature Park.
A highly enjoyable hiking path circuits Sass de Putia, weaving through forest and across alpine pastures.
The trail starts at the Passo delle Erbe mountain pass, high above Val Badia. From the pass, follow the road towards Sass de Putia. When you reach the alpine pastures at the base of the mountain’s northern slopes (20 minutes), turn right and follow signs to the Forcela de Pütia/Peitlerscharte mountain saddle.
The ascent to Forcela de Pütia saddle is the hardest part of the hike. It’s straightforward, but continuously uphill.
From here, the trail descends across romantic alpine pastures and continues to Ütia Vaciara and Ütia de Göma, two alpine pasture huts directly on the trail.
Insider Tip: You can stay directly at Passo delle Erbe at at Ütia de Börz, an upscale mountain refuge.
Trailhead | Passo delle Erbe
Distance | 12.8 km circuit
Time Needed | 4 hours
Difficulty | Moderate
Learn More: Sass de Putia Circuit Trail
6. Sass da Ciampac and Lake Crespëina Hike
Sass da Ciampac is the highest peak in the Cir Group, which is part of the Puez mountain range.
The hike to Sass da Ciampac is a moderate one, beginning at Passo Gardena, the mountain pass connecting the valleys of Val Gardena and Val Badia. Along the way to Sass da Ciampac, you’ll cross the Cir Peaks, drop into Val de Chedul valley, and make a counter-ascent to Forcella de Crespeina, the gateway to the Crespëina High Plateau.
The ascent to Sass da Ciampac is straightforward and rewards you with wonderful views of Val Badia, the Sella Group, and the Puez Peaks. The descent to Crespëina plateau and Lake Crespëina is more difficult, because of the scree and slippery terrain.
Start early and detour to Rifugio Puez for lunch.
Trailhead | Passo Gardena
Distance | 14.7 km lollipop-circuit
Time Needed | 6 hours
Difficulty | Moderate – Moderately Difficult
Trail Guide: Sass da Ciampac Hike
7. Gran Cir Peak Hike
Gran Cir is a prominent peak in the Cir Group (Pizes de Cir in Ladin, Gruppo del Cir in Italian, Cirspitzen in German) within Puez-Odle Nature Park.
This popular summit is easily accessible from Passo Gardena/Grödner Joch. From the mountain pass, it takes 1:30 hours to hike to the summit of Gran Cir. The rewards are many. Atop Gran Cir, you’ll have deliriously beautiful views of the Sella Group, Sassoungo/Langkofel Group, Puez Group and Val de Chedul.
Gran Cir is considered an easy via ferrata (secured climbing route). We wrote about our experience, what gear you need, and more in our Gran Cir Trail Guide.
Trailhead | Passo Gardena
Distance | 4.5 km out-and-back
Time Needed | 3 hours
Difficulty | Moderately Difficult
8. Lago di Boe and Rifugio Franz Kostner
The day we arrived in Corvara, we walked to Cablecar Boé and took the gondola up for the views. We didn’t get a chance to do a long hike, because it was already late afternoon. But, we did walk to Rifugio Franz Kostner (2500 m) and to the small lake Lago di Boe (2250 m).
At the Cablecar Boé top station, there’s a stunning lookout point and posh lounge with indoor and outdoor seating. From here, the trail leads under the Vallon chairlift to Lago di Boe and then to Rifugio Franz Kostner. Honestly, this trail is boring, and we regretted not taking the Vallon chairlift up.
Rifugio Franz Kostner is a lively mountain hut with brilliant views of Marmolada, Civetta, and Pelmo. With more time, we would have hiked trail 638 to Piz Boé (next time!). There are also several via ferrata options in the area as well.
The highlight of our short visit was seeing a herdsman and his two dogs guide a flock of sheep down the mountain.
Trailhead | Cablecar Boé, or Chairlift Vallon mountain station
Distance | 2 km one-way from Cablecar Boé top station to Rifugio Franz Kostner
Time Needed | 1 – 2 hours
Difficulty | Easy
When to Hike in Alta Badia, Italy
Early/Mid-June until Mid/Late-October.
Weather permitting, the best time to hike in Alta Bada is from mid-June to mid-October.
That being said, most chairlifts and cableways only run until late September. There are plenty of trails that don’t require cableway ascents, so if you choose to arrive in October, you’ll still have options.
Another thing to consider is transit. If you’re planning to visit Alta Badia without a car, you should come between mid-June and mid-September. Starting in October, there are less frequent bus connections.
We think early fall is the best time to visit Alta Badia. Read next:
- Best Time to Visit the Dolomites for Hiking
- Hiking in the Dolomites in September
- Hiking in the Dolomites in October
Best Hotels in Alta Badia
Alta Badia is home to an amazing selection of excellent hotels and accommodations, arguably the finest in the Dolomites. No matter where you stay, you can expect a high level of cleanliness. Most hotels and accommodations in Alta Badia require a minimum stay of two to four nights. Hotel wellness facilities are always included in the rate (like in Austria).
Below, we’re highlighting some exceptional Alta Badia hotels, aparthotels, and apartments.
Colfosco (Calfosch in Ladin) is the highest village in Alta Badia, situated at an elevation of 1645 meters, between Corvara and Passo Gardena. It lies at the foot of the Sella Group and Sassongher on the edge of Puez-Odle Nature Park.
With mesmerizing views of the Sella Group, Colfosco is an excellent base for actively exploring Alta Badia. Its close proximity to Passo Gardena and Passo Sella, makes it easy to explore Val Gardena and Val di Fassa as well. From Passo Sella, you can hike the Sassolungo Circuit Trail and climb the Oskar Schuster via ferrata.
Budget-Midrange | Pension Mirandola is a family-run guesthouse with spotless rooms and an on-site restaurant (half board available). Stay here for the warm hospitality, affordability, and location.
Midrange | Crëp Sella is a sparkling clean B&B with spacious and comfortable rooms.
Luxury Apartments | Lüch de Costa is a stylish aparthotel in Colfosco. In 2017, this historic farmstead was transformed into several high-end apartments. This is a great place to stay if you want the independence of an apartment but the convenience and finer features of a hotel (spa area, indoor pool, outdoor whirlpool, breakfast, daily room cleaning).
Luxury | Hotel Kolfuschgerhof excels on every level, from its excellent wellness facilities and superb Dolomites views to its fine dining, featuring local and Italian cuisine. The hotel’s design is a winning combination of Tyrolean chalet-style and alpine-modern. Expect extraordinary service and the best spa views of your life.
Luxury | Romantik Hotel Cappella is a newly-renovated 5-star luxury hotel in Colfosco sporting the finest contemporary interiors and furnishings in the region. Guests relish the two on-site restaurants, modern lounge bar, and life-affirming spa overlooking the Sella Group. The wellness area features a brine sauna, a steam sauna, Finnish sauna, child/family-friendly sauna, indoor-outdoor pool, and fitness room. The hotel’s energetic and polished staff ensure that all your needs are met.
The town of Corvara is centrally located in Val Badia at the base of Sassongher mountain, between Colfosco and La Villa.
It’s the tourist center of Alta Badia and offers the most in terms of shops, restaurants, and accommodations. Several cableways connect Corvara with the surrounding plateaus like Col Alt Pralongià as well as mountains like Sella.
Midrange | Ciasa De Munt Lifestyle Living strikes just the right balance between urban and the outdoors, with its clean aesthetic, modern elegant lines and location. Guests have access to top-notch wellness facilities, storage lockers, and a washing machine. A fresh breakfast buffet featuring homemade cakes, cold cuts, and eggs is laid out each morning. Take advantage of the mountainside breakfast offering in their Piz Boé Alpine Lounge (2200 meters).
Midrange | Sporthotel Panorama is a great value hotel with an on-site restaurant and spa, perched above the village of Corvara. Guests love the setting, outstanding food, and friendly staff. The outstanding room rate will have you overlook the slightly dated interiors.
Luxury Family Aparthotel | Movi Family Apart-Hotel offers new and stylish apartments for families. This modern property blends everything we love about a hotel (amenities and breakfast buffet) with everything we love about an apartment (self-sufficiency and space). Extra Perks: kids and family spa area with pool, adults-only spa, summer outdoor playpark, entertainment for kids (ages 3-12, 9:30 am – 9:30 pm).
Luxury | Hotel Marmolada is a superb 4-star hotel which delivers an all-around excellent experience: facilities, parking, breakfast, and spa. Half board is available. When booking, pay attention to room categories: many rooms are newly renovated, but not all.
Luxury | Hotel Col Alto is a 4-star hotel facing Sassongher in Corvara. We were impressed by the staff, the design, the wellness facilities, and the sheer comfort of our room. We arrived at Col Alto after trekking the Alta Via 1 and smelled like wet socks. The Col Alto staff coordinated our laundry pick-up quickly, let us check-in early, and answered our 101 questions about hiking in Alta Badia.
Beyond the excellent and accommodating service we received, Hotel Col Alto outshines all hotels in Corvara because of its wellness center. As a hotel guest, you have access to five saunas, an indoor swimming pool, a whirlpool, and relaxation rooms with waterbeds and heated lounge chairs (my favorite thing ever). Each day, we rushed down the mountain so that we could enjoy the wellness facilities before dinner. Our bodies were grateful.
We stayed in the Sassongher suite, which was delightful from a design and comfort perspective. From the Sassongher-facing balcony to the in-suite bathtub and luxurious bedding, we loved everything about our room.
5-star Luxury | Hotel La Perla is a family-run hotel set in an 18th century building with charming alpine interiors, several restaurants, and a spa. Breakfast and dinner, both included in the room rate, are served in the hotel’s Les Stües restaurant. If you’d like to dine in the hotel’s 1-star Michelin restaurant, La Stüa de Michil, it’s necessary to make a reservation in advance.
La Villa Hotels
La Villa (Stern in German) is a small village in Alta Badia between Badia and Corvara.
Advantageously wedged between the Fanes Group and Puez Group, La Villa is one of the dreamiest places to stay in Val Badia.
Set further away from Passo Gardena, La Villa enjoys a quieter location than neighboring Corvara and Colfosco.
Budget-Midrange | Pensione Camoscio is a well-run charming hotel with cozy, Tyrolean-style rooms, excellent breakfasts and dinners, and a peaceful setting. Great value for money.
Budget Apartments | Ciasa Agreiter in La Villa is a pet-friendly property with beautiful, well-equipped apartments with stunning mountain views.
Luxury | Hotel Ciasa Soleil is a boutique hotel in La Villa that wowed us with its excellent cuisine, relaxing indoor and outdoor wellness facilities, unbeatable sunset views, and striking design.
Ciasa Soleil’s layout is intimate, yet roomy. No matter where you are in the hotel, there’s a place to relax. There’s an outdoor elevated terrace for reading and resting. The interior wellness area has a lovely relaxation room supplied with snacks and tea. And, the hotel lounge is perfect for an aperitif or post-dinner cocktail. Did I mention the outdoor hot tub? After a long hike in Alta Badia, there’s no better place to be than that hot tub.
One of the most memorable aspects of our stay was dinner. From the dining room, you can watch Fanes turn vibrant shades of red and coral during sunset whilst eating a 4-course meal. Also If you’re traveling without a car, Ciasa Soleil a great place to stay because of its close proximity to a bus stop. It makes getting around Alta Badia super easy.
Luxury | Hotel La Majun exudes luxury in the shape of gourmet Ladin cuisine (half board available), modern rooms, and an elegant atmosphere.
Luxury | Hotel Cristallo – Wellness Mountain Living enjoys an idyllic setting between La Villa and Corvara. This 4-star-superior hotel pampers guests with its heavenly wellness facilities, high-quality half board offering, and stylish rooms.
San Cassiano Hotels
San Cassiano (St. Kassian in German) is a high-alpine village in Alta Badia between La Villa and Falzarego Pass, the gateway to the Ampezzo Dolomites and Cortina d’Ampezzo.
This is an excellent base for exploring the Fanes Group and the Pralongià High Plateau. From the village, you can walk the Path of the Larches. From Capanna Alpina, you can hike to Rifugio Fanes and Rifugio Lavarella.
Budget Apartments | Ciasa Milandura offers spacious, clean apartments with fully-equipped kitchens and balconies in San Cassiano.
Midrange | Hotel Conturines is a very welcoming hotel in the heart of the pedestrian zone of San Cassiano, offering comfortable rooms, high-quality breakfasts and dinners, and a small spa area. Minimum stay requirement in high season.
Top Choice – Luxury Aparthotel | Lagació Hotel Mountain Residence ingeniously blends rustic alpine charm with modern comforts. Guests enjoy spacious apartments with kitchens as well as a wonderful spa area and daily breakfast.
5-star Luxury | Hotel Fanes dazzles with its first-class spa facilities and skypool, phenomenal food, flawless staff, and magical setting. Breakfast, a Marende (afternoon snack buffet), and dinner are included in the rate. Minimum stay requirement in high season.
Badia (Abtei in German) is a village in Val Badia between La Villa and San Martino in Badia. This Dolomites village lies between Puez-Odle Nature Park and Fanes-Sennes-Braies Nature Park at an elevation of 1315 meters.
The La Crusc Cableways connect Badia with Santa Croce Sanctuary (2045 m), a church set below the impressive rock faces of Sasso di Santa Croce Group (Sas dla Crusc in Ladin, Kreuzkofel in German). From here, hikers can descend back to Badia via the Armentara Meadows, one of the easiest and most enchanting walks in the Dolomites.
Budget | Chalet Planvart is a great value B&B in Badia.
Midrange | Hotel Melodia del Bosco is a family-run hotel in Badia offering newly-renovated rooms, excellent breakfasts, heart-expanding Dolomites views, a spa (Finnish sauna, alpine herbs sauna, steam sauna, relaxation area, gym), and an on-site restaurant.
Top Choice – Luxury | Badia Hill impresses with its contemporary, drool-worthy design and satisfies with its facilities, restaurant, and bar. This brand new hotel commands unimaginable views of Sasso Santa Croce from its gorgeous spa and infinity pool. Book this hotel if it’s available!!
How to Get to Alta Badia without a Car
It’s easy to get to and around Alta Badia during the summer season (mid-June – mid-September). Grab a summer bus schedule (Südtirolmobil Sommer Fahrplan) when you arrive.
Venice to Alta Badia
Most international travelers coming to the Dolomites will fly into the Venice International Airport. There’s a direct Dolomiti Bus (No. 72) from Venice (the city) to Corvara, which takes 4:30 hours. If you’re traveling directly from the Venice Airport to Alta Badia, you should take the Cortina Express instead (read below).
Cortina d’Ampezzo to Alta Badia
From Corvara, you can hop on bus 460 or 465 to La Villa or another destination in Alta Badia.
Bolzano to Alta Badia
There is no direct transit connection between Bolzano and Alta Badia. You will need to transfer in Val Gardena. Use the Südtirolmobil website to plan your route.
If you’re traveling from Europe, look for flights to the Bolzano Airport, or trains to the Bolzano train station.
From Bolzano, there’s a direct bus to Val Gardena.
We recommend spending a few days in Ortisei, Val Gardena, before continuing the journey to Alta Badia.
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Dolomites Trip Planning Essentials
Use our Dolomites Travel Guide to plan an unforgettable trip to northeastern Italy.
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, we’ve outlined the most iconic attractions as well as lesser-known destinations across the Dolomites, including Alpe di Siusi, Lago di Braies, Prato Piazza, Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Lago di Sorapis, Lago Federa, Seceda, Baita Segantini, and Cadini di Misurina.
Dolomites Packing List
- Day Pack: Osprey Tempest 30 Women’s Backpack / Osprey Talon 33 Men’s Backpack
- Grade B/C 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:
Recommended Hiking Guidebook: Cicerone Guide: Shorter Walks in the Dolomites