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How to Visit Puez-Odle Nature Park, Dolomites, Italy

Puez-Odle Nature Park (Naturpark Puez-Geisler in German) is located in the province of South Tyrol in Northern Italy.

Home to some of the most recognizable peaks and ridges in the Dolomites, Puez-Odle Nature Park is a must-visit destination in the Dolomites.

Comprising 10,722 hectares, Puez-Odle Nature Park is not a huge park. However, we find ourselves returning repeatedly to revisit places we love and to uncover new trails.

Because there are so many ways to access the park, it’s easy to re-discover the Puez-Odle mountains again and again, from multiple gateways.

The park’s most well-known mountain group is Odle di Funes/Vilnösser Geisler, or simply the Odle/Geisler Group. You can easily approach these sawtooth mountains from Val di Funes/Villnösstal Valley, or from Val Gardena.

In the north, the park is dominated by the Odle d’Eores/Aferer Geisler and Sass de Putia/Peiterkofel, which are accessible from Val di Funes, Val d’Eores/Aferer Tal, and the stunning Passo delle Erbe mountain pass.

In the south, Puez-Odle Nature Park is defined by the Puez Group, Gherdenacia/Gardenaccia plateau, Sassongher, and the Cir mountains.These mountains are best accessed from Alta Badia and the mountain pass Passo Gardena.

Note: Puez-Odle Nature Park is bordered by Ladin-speaking and German-speaking valleys. Many places in this region have 2, or 3 names (Italian, German, and Ladin).

Puez Odle Nature Park, Dolomites

Puez-Odle Nature Park Map


When to Visit Puez-Odle Nature Park

Puez-Odle Nature Park, Col Raiser, Dolomites

Summer and Early Fall

June – October, depending on snow conditions. 

The best time to see blooming wildflowers is between mid-June and July.

July and August are peak season.

For stable weather and clear skies, we recommend visiting Puez-Geisler Nature Park in September. For solitude and fall foliage, visit the park in October.


How to Get to Puez-Odle Nature Park 

Cir Group Hike, Dolomites, Italy

Public Transit 

If you’re visiting the Dolomites without a car, we recommend flying to the Bolzano Airport, or taking a train to the Bolzano train station. Bolzano (Bozen in German) is the capital of South Tyrol.

From Bolzano/Bozen, there are direct SAD buses to Ortisei, the largest village in Val Gardena. Use the suedtirolmobil.info journey planner to find the best connections.

If you’re traveling without a car, base yourself in Ortisei.

From this village, you can easily access beautiful destinations within Puez-Odle Nature Park via the Resciesa Funicular and the Ortisei-Furnes-Seceda Cableways.

And, when you want more options, you can hop on a regional bus to other towns in Val Gardena, or Alta Badia.


Car 

Puez-Odle Nature Park can be accessed from many different valleys and mountain passes in South Tyrol.

There are multiple gateways to the park.

So, first decide where to stay (Val Gardena, Alta Badia, and/or Val di Funes) and then plan your visit. We’ve summarized all these destinations in where to stay in the Dolomites.

The closest airport to Puez-Odle Nature Park is the Bolzano Airport in South Tyrol. The Bolzano Airport is only a 1 hour 20 minute drive to Puez-Geisler Naturpark.

The second closest international airport is Venice Marco Polo Airport. From the Venice Airport, it’s a 3-hour drive to the southernmost point of Puez-Odle Nature Park.

Another “nearby” airport is Verona Villafranca Airport. From Verona, it’s a 2:30 hour drive to the park.


Puez-Odle Nature Park Hiking Trails


Puez Odle hikes starting in Val di Funes 

Puez Odle hikes starting in Val Gardena

Puez Odle hikes starting at Passo Gardena

Puez Odle hikes starting in Val Badia

Pues Odle hikes starting at Passo delle Erbe


Our Favorite Places to Visit in Puez-Odle Nature Park


Puez-Odle Nature Park is brimming with unique and varied landscapes. There are spruce and swiss pine forests, cultivated meadows, scree slopes, vertiginous cliffs, secluded valleys, and deep gorges.

Some areas of the park look like charming storybook scenes, while other areas look like godforsaken stone deserts.

From alpine pastures and plateaus to peaks and ridges, here are our favorite destinations in Puez-Geisler Nature Park.


1. Val di Funes Alpine Pastures

Val di Funes in October, Dolomites
Malga Brogles

Val di Funes is a valley that stretches from Valle Isarco/Eisacktal to the Odle/Geisler mountain group. Some would say that Val di Funes boasts the very best view of the Odle mountains.

From this particular vantage point, the Odle spires look like spears ruthlessly slashing the sky.

From Val di Funes, the fastest way to enter Puez-Odle Nature Park is to drive (or take the bus) to the Zannes/Zans paid car park.

For scenic views coupled with yummy South Tyrolean food, we recommend hiking to theVal di Funes alpine pasture huts:

To tie together some of these happily-situated huts, we suggest hiking the Adolf Munkel Trail (in the afternoon). A more offbeat trail to consider is the Rifugio Genova Circuit Hike and the Tullen Summit.

During the summer pasture season, these huts are also alpine farms, where cattle, horses, donkeys, and other animals graze freely. It’s important to keep a distance from these animals. Mother cows are very protective of their young. If you’re visiting with a dog, make sure your dog is leashed.


2. Roda de Pütia Trail

Passo delle Erbe, Sass de Putia, Dolomites
View of Sass de Putia/Peitlerkofel

Roda de Pütia is a trail that loops around Sass de Putia (Sas de Pütia in Ladin, Peitlerkofel in German), an isolated mountain in the very north of Puez-Odle Nature Park.

The 4-hour circuit trail begins at the Passo delle Erbe/Würzjoch mountain pass, high above San Martino in Badia/St. Martin in Thurn. From the pass, the northern rock face of Sass de Putia rises steeply above a belt of Swiss pine forest.

We loved how this trail meanders across alpine meadows as well as forests, delivering interesting views of the Puez mountains as well as the Fanes group.

Here’s our full guide to hiking the Sass de Putia circuit trail.

Before tackling this trail, we stayed the night directly at Passo delle Erbe at Ütia de Börz.


3. Stevia Alpine Pasture

Mont de Stevia hike, Cir Peaks and Sella Group, Dolomites

The Stevia Alpine Pasture is located atop Mount Stevia (Mont de Stevia), 2555 m. Marked by the charming Rifugio Stevia mountain hut, this magical destination in Puez-Odle Nature Park affords striking views of Sassolungo, the Cir Peaks, and the Sella Group.

In summer, sheep and goats graze here freely. Remember to keep a safe distance and abstain from disturbing the animals (approaching, touching, making loud noises).

You can hike to the Stevia Alp from the Daunei hiking car park, near Selva di Val Gardena, via Rifugio Juac (trails 3, 17).

Alternatively, you can approach the Stevia meadows from the Col Raiser Gondola mountain station. Hike to Rifugio Firenze/Regensburgerhütte and then ascend to the Furcela dla Piza/Pizascharte saddle.

From the Piza saddle, it’s a short and easy descent to Rifugio Stevia. You can read about this trail here: Col dala Pieres and Rifugio Stevia hike.


4. Gardenaccia Plateau

Gherdenacia Plateau Day Hike, Dolomites, Puez-Odle Nature Park
Gherdenacia Plateau and Col de la Soné mountain

Gherdenacia/Gardenaccia is a vast alpine plateau (1700 – 2633 m) in the eastern part of the Puez Group. It’s part of the greater Puez-Odle Altopiano.

With its moon-like landscapes and bizarre mountains, like Col de la Soné, Gardenaccia is unlike any other place in the nature park. It looks like a barren rock dessert.

Any hike across Gardenaccia should be combined with a visit to the Gardenaccia mountain hut, just below the plateau and high above Val Badia. The views of the Fanes Group are fantastic.

We hiked across the Gardenaccia plateau on this point-to-point hike to Rifugio Puez, starting in La Villa.

Experienced hikers may want to summit Sassongher from Gardenaccia.

The fastest approach to the plateau is with the Gardenaccia chairlift (La Villa, Alta Badia). From the mountain station, it’s a 40-minute ascent to the Gardenaccia Hütte.


5. Seceda Ridgeline

Seceda Hiking Trail, Dolomites, Northern Italy

Seceda is a mountain in the Odle Group, which affords staggering views of the Fermeda Peaks.

Hiking to Seceda can be as easy, or difficult as you choose.

The easiest way to reach the Seceda summit is to take the Seceda cableway from Ortisei in Val Gardena. From the Seceda cableway mountain station, it’s a mere 10-minute walk to the summit. If you choose to visit Seceda this way, follow this loop hike to Rifugio Firenze/Regensburger Hütte.

A more interesting albeit difficult approach to Seceda is from the Resciesa plateau via the narrow Mittagscharte saddle. This hike begins with the Resciesa funicular ascent from Ortisei. Learn More: Hiking from Resciesa to Seceda.

And, the third option is to forgo a cableway ascent altogether.

Drive to the Cristauta/Praplan car park above Santa Cristina in Val Gardena and hike up to Seceda and Monte Pic. This is a great option for people hoping to see Seceda in late October when the cableways are closed.


6. Forceles de Sieles Gorge

Forceles de Sieles Gorge

Forceles de Sieles (Forces de Sieles) is a gorge in Puez-Odle Nature Park. We hiked down Forceles de Sieles (trail 2), on our descent from Col dala Pieres and on our descend from Piz Duleda.

This remote corner of the park is rarely visited. Experienced hikers ought to consider descending along this trail, to see yet another interesting vantage of the Odle Mountains.


Puez-Odle Nature Park Mountain Huts

Rifugio Firenze, Puez-Odle Nature Park, Dolomites

Puez-Odle Nature Park Rifugios

These huts (Rifugio, Schutzhütte, Hütte, Ütia) accommodate day visitors (for lunch) and overnight guests:

Rifugio Genova/Schlüter Hütte 

Rifugio Firenze/Regensburger Hütte/Ütia de Ncisles

Rifugio Resciesa/Schutzhütte Raschötz

Rifugio Puez/Puez Hütte

Rifugio Stevia/Ütia de Stevia

Rifugio Gardenacia/Gardenacia Hütte

Rifugio Juac/Juac Schutzhütte


Puez-Odle Nature Park Alpine Pasture Huts

These huts (Malga, Baita, Alm, Schwaige) function as mountain restaurants, usually open between 12 pm and 4 pm., or between 11:30 am and 3 pm. Some of these huts are situated just outside the park boundary. 

Baita Troier

Pieralongia Alm

Munt de Fornella Hütte

Ütia de Göma

Ütia Vaciara

Ütia Ciampcios

Geisleralm

Gschnagenhardt-Alm

Dusleralm

Glatschalm

Gampenalm

Malga Brogles


Best Base for Exploring Puez-Odle Nature Park


Val Gardena

Vallunga Valley trail, Selva, Val Gardena
Vallunga Valley

Val Gardena/Grödnertal is the valley that bounds Puez-Odle Nature Park to the south.

There are three villages in Val Gardena: Ortisei, Santa Cristina, and Selva di Val Gardena. Each village is a great base for exploring the park.

Ortisei is the best base for visitors without a car and those that also want to visit Alpe di Siusi. Santa Cristina is the most central village, located near the Col Raiser Gondola.

Situated at the base of the Sella Group, Selva di Val Gardena is the closest village to Val Badia and Val di Fassa. Selva is also the gateway to Vallunga Valleyand Val de Chedul, two alpine valleys located within Puez-Geisler Nature Park.

You can read more about these destinations in our guide to where to stay in the Dolomites.


Budget-Friendly Accommodation in Val Gardena

Hotel Garni Ruscel is a great-value bed and breakfast in Santa Cristina. 4 nights minimum stay in high season. 

Bed & Breakfast Kaserer is a charming B&B in Santa Cristina with clean, traditional rooms and excellent hospitality. 3 nights minimum stay.

Hotel Garni Morene is a clean and comfortable family-run guesthouse, set in an idyllic location outside the town center of Selva. Stay here for the unbeatable price, mountain views, and hospitality. Breakfast included.


Midrange Hotels in Val Gardena

Hotel Freina is a welcoming family-run hotel in Selva with an excellent on-site restaurant (serving vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free options), wonderful spa, and free garage parking. 

Hotel Grones is a top-rated, family-run hotel in Ortisei, 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. 

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.


Luxury Hotels in Val Gardena

Dorfhotel Beludei is a 4-star-superior boutique hotel set in a quiet location above the village church in Santa Cristina. Stay here for the innovative cuisine (half board only), Ladin hospitality, and spacious suites. Complimentary Perks: garage parking, winter shuttle to ski slopes, guided hiking tours, and afternoon snack. Read our Dorfhotel Beludei Hotel Review.

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.

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.

Hotel Niblea stands proudly above Ortisei in its own beautiful oasis. Here you can experience a slice of heaven in the hotel’s new wellness area (panoramic sauna, steam bath, infinity pool), which overlooks Val Gardena. Stay here for the gourmet regional food (book half board!), the unparalleled hospitality, the gorgeous facilities, and the comfort.

La Cort My Dollhouse – Adults Only is perched high above Ortisei and offers 26 stylish rooms, a rooftop spa and pool, and sweeping views of the valley.

Hotel Granbaita Dolomites is an ode to alpine elegance. This 5-star luxury hotel in Selva pampers guests with its lavish rooms, extensive spa area (7 saunas, indoor-outdoor pool, fitness room, spa), and decadent tasting menus. Book half board.

Related: Best Hotels in Val Gardena


Val Badia

Corvara Village, Alta Badia, Dolomites

Val Badia (Gadertal in German) is the valley that borders Puez-Geisler Nature Park to the east.

The best villages to stay in are Colfosco, Corvara, La Villa, and Badia.

Colfosco is located close to Passo Gardena, the mountain pass between Val Badia and Val Gardena. Both Colfosco and Corvara are well-positioned for hikes in the Sella Group as well (e.g. Pisciadu Peak).

La Villa and Badia are great options if you also want to explore the Fanes Group and the Fanes-Sennes-Braies Nature Park (e.g. Armentara Meadows). If you stay in Badia with a car, you can also explore the Puez mountains from Val de Lungiarü/Campill Tal Valley, which is an exciting and not-so-well-known gateway to the park.


Budget-Friendly Accommodation in Alta Badia

Chalet Planvart is a great value B&B in Badia.

Pension Mirandola is a family-run guesthouse in Colfosco with spotless rooms and an on-site restaurant (half board available). Stay here for the warm hospitality, affordability, and location.


Midrange Hotels in Alta Badia

Crëp Sella is a sparkling clean B&B with spacious and comfortable rooms. 

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.

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). 


Luxury Hotels in Alta Badia

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!!

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.

Hotel Marmolada is a superb 4-star hotel in Corvara 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. 

Hotel Col Alto is a 4-star hotel in the heart of Corvara. We were impressed by the staff, the design, the extensive wellness facilities, deluxe bedding, and generous breakfast buffet.

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.


Apartments in Alta Badia

Budget | Ciasa Agreiter in La Villa is a pet-friendly property with beautiful, well-equipped apartments with stunning mountain views. 

Luxury | Lagacio Hotel Mountain Residence is an excellent 4 star aparthotel in San Cassiano. You’ll love the spacious apartments, breakfast, spa area, and bar.

Family | Movi Family Apart-Hotel offers new and stylish apartments for families in Corvara. 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

Related: Best Hikes in Alta Badia


Val di Funes

Santa Maddalena, Val di Funes, Dolomites
Santa Maddalena, Val di Funes

Val di Funes/Villnösstal is the valley that leads to the western side of the park. The main villages in Val Gardena are Tiso/Teis, S. Pietro/St. Peter and S. Maddalena/St. Magdalena.

We recommend staying in Santa Maddalena, so that you can easily visit the Santa Maddalena Church and San Giovanni Church in Ranui. Furthermore, Santa Maddalena is only a 10-minute drive to the Zannes car park, the trailhead for the Adolf Munkel Trail, Rifugio Genova hike, and the Tullen peak hike.

Budget | Appartements Pension Sonia is a no-frills, budget-friendly guesthouse in Santa Maddalena. Breakfast is included in the room rate.

Budget | Fallerhof is an active farm and a great-value apartment-style accommodation with stunning views of the Geisler Group. It’s a short walk to the Santa Maddalena Church (5 minutes) and the famous Chiesetta di San Giovanni in Ranui (15 minutes). Breakfast is available upon request.

Midrange | Hotel Fines is a welcoming, 3-star hotel in Santa Maddalena, owned by a young and enthusiastic team. Guests love the rich breakfast buffet, central location, and hotel restaurant. Definitely book half board (breakfast and dinner) here. The DolomitiMobil Card is free for all guests.

Luxury | Hotel Tyrol Dolomites is a family-run hotel in Santa Maddalena. This is the best place to stay when you want to combine outdoor exploration with wellness and relaxation. The main reason to stay here is their South Tyrolean cuisine, made with locally sourced ingredients. The DolomitiMobil Card is provided. Tip: book half board and book a room with a Dolomites view (“Geisler Blick”).

Look for accommodation in Val di Funes.

Related: How to Visit Val di Funes


Visiting Puez-Odle Nature Park Responsibly

Odle Peaks and Horses, Dolomites

The park was established in 1978 and became a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009. Along with other sites in the Dolomites, Puez-Odle is a protected area. Please adhere to the following rules when visiting:

1. No motor vehicles are allowed within the park. 

2. Wild camping is prohibited in the park. 

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

4. Do not pick flowers.

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

6. Do not light fires.

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

8. Do not touch, or approach grazing animals.



Dolomites Trip Planning Essentials

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


When to Visit the Dolomites

Winter Season. For skiing and winter activities, the best time to visit is between mid/late December and March. Read Dolomites in December.

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. Read Best Time to Visit the Dolomites, Dolomites in September, and Dolomites in October.

Spring Season. Most accommodations in the Dolomites shut down in spring, between the main winter and summer seasons. Spring is too unstable and risky for hiking, due to snow conditions. Learn more: Dolomites in May.


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, we’ve outlined the most iconic attractions as well as lesser-known destinations across the Dolomites, including Alpe di Siusi, Lago di Braies, and Lago di Sorapis.


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 25+ 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: Day Walks in the Dolomites

Recommended Via Ferrata Guidebook: Via Ferratas of the Italian Dolomites: Vol 1: 75 routes-North, Central and East Ranges.

Moon & Honey Travel is an independent blog created by two passionate hikers. We are able to provide free content to you, because of ads and affiliate links. When you make a purchase using one of these links, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Happy travels and happy trails,

Sabrina & Kati

2 thoughts on “How to Visit Puez-Odle Nature Park, Dolomites, Italy”

  1. Thanks for the detailed info.

    My question is, is there an official campsite in the Puez Odle National Park?
    It would be wonderful to camp in this area.

    Reply
    • Hi Akos,
      The closest official camping area to Puez-Odle Nature Park is Camping Colfosco in Alta Badia.
      Have a great trip!

      Reply

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