Val di Funes (Villnösstal) is one of the most exciting gateways to Puez-Odle/Geisler Nature Park in the Italian Dolomites. Like many, our first visit to Val di Funes was rushed and way too short. We hiked the Adolf Munkel Trail, before shuffling off to our next destination.
During a subsequent visit to this adored South Tyrolean valley, we ventured to the lesser-known alpine pastures and huts in Val di Funes including Munt de Furcia/Medalges Alm, Rifugio Genova/Schlüterhütte, and Malga Gampen/Gampenalm.
This loop hike was so much fun, and we’re thrilled to share it with you.
Rifugio Genova Day Hike in Val di Funes
- Trailhead: Zannes/Zans in Val di Funes, South Tyrol, Italy
- Type of Hike: Circuit
- Distance: 11 km
- Elevation Gain/Loss: 738 meters ascending/descending
- Difficulty: Moderate
- Time Needed: 4:30 hours
- Trails: 6, 5, 3, 35, 33
- Route: Zannes/Zans (1680 m) – Sas Rigais (1689 m) – Tschantschenon (1928 m) – Furcella de Furcia/Kreuzjoch (2293 m) – Munt de Furcia/Medalges Alm (2293 m) – Rifugio Genova/Schlüterhütte (2297 m) – Malga Gampen/Gampenalm (2062 m) – Zannes/Zans (1680 m)
- Where to Eat: Rifugio Genova, or Malga Gampen
- Where to Stay: Fallerhof (budget), Hotel Fines (midrange), or Hotel Tyrol (luxury) in Santa Maddalena, Val di Funes
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Rifugio Genova Hiking Map
When to hike to Rifugio Genova
Mid-June until mid-October, weather-depending
While most huts close by late September, Rifugio Genova, fortunately, stays open until mid-October, as do most of the alpine pasture huts in Val di Funes. So, if you’re traveling to the Dolomites in early Fall, this is a great hike to add to your itinerary. Also check out:
We hike to Rifugio Genova in early October. There was quite a bit of snow on the trail, starting at about 2000 meters.
Rifugio Genova Circuit Trail Directions
Zannes/Zans to Furcella de Furcia/Kreuzjoch (2 hours)
To find the Rifugio Genova trailhead, head to the Sas Rigais bar/restaurant/pension (middle parking lot) at Zannes/Zans. Note: to park at Zannes/Zans, there’s a parking fee (cash only):
- 8 EUR, when arriving between 7 am and 1 pm, all year round
- 3 EUR, when arriving after 1 pm, all year round
- 2 EUR, if you’re a valley guest. Present your DolomitiMobil Card to receive the discount.
Follow trail 6 in the direction of Kreuzjoch, signed 2 hours.
From the very beginning, the vertical Odle/Geisler spires stun with their striking shapes and stature.
The wide gravel track continues towards these iconic peaks through spruce forest and along the Rio San Zennon/Sankt Zennon Bach stream.
After ascending for about 25-30 minutes, trail 6 intersects with a gravel road. Turn left onto the road, following signs to Tschantschenon (10 min) and Kreuzjoch (1:10 hours). Shortly thereafter, trail 6 heads right at the bend, leaving the road behind.
You’ll soon reach the Tschantschenon Alm (private). Hike up the alpine pasture to the pasture gate. From here, there are two tracks. We took the upper left track, following the wooden pasture fence. The trail narrows and ascends more steeply now.
Soon, trail 6 crosses a gorgeous meadow dotted with larch and stone pine trees, before slowly snaking its way up to the Furcella de Furcia/Kreuzjoch saddle. As you gain elevation, the views of the Odle/Geisler group are wondrous. From this vantage point, these famous peaks are almost unrecognizable.
You’ll also see Resciesa Plateau and the high alpine pastures of Val di Funes like Malga Brogles and Malga Casnago/Gschnagenhardt-Alm.
Furcella de Furcia/Kreuzjoch to Rifugio Genova/Schlüterhütte (50 minutes)
From the Kreuzjoch saddle, turn left and follow trail 5 to Medalges Alm, which is also signed trail 3 to Rifugio Genova (50 minutes).
When you reach the two huts of Medalges Alm, turn left. Trail 3 soon turns into a lovely balcony path, horizontally crossing the tussock slope of Medalges and Sobutsch. Directly ahead, you’ll see Mount Fanes, which looks like a beached steamship, rising above Val Badia.
The valley below is Longiarú, flanked by the Puez Group and it’s attractive peaks: Piz Duleda, Antersasc, and Crep dales Dodesc.
After 1.3 km of gentle walking, the path makes a sharp left turn and descends. The southern face of Sass de Putia/Peitlerkofel is clearly visible to the North. Before starting your descent, you can continue straight for a few meters to a viewpoint.
This downhill stretch was a bit tricky, but mostly because of the frozen snow. Hopefully, your conditions will be less wintery.
After about 20 minutes, you’ll reach a trail junction. Continue on trail 3, straight to the green-roofed Rifugio Genova (10 minutes). This cozy hut dates back to 1898 and is a hospitable place for lunch. When we arrived, the hut was brimming with visitors, all eager to eat a warm South Tyrolean meal on a cold autumn day.
Rifugio Genova/Schlüterhütte to Malga Gampen/Gampenalm (30 minutes)
You can hike to Malga Gampen/Gampenalm on trail 33 or trail 35. We opted for trail 35 (the road) because of the snow conditions.
Simply follow either trail to the Gampen alpine pasture. This alpine pasture hut is open daily in summer and also serves South Tyrolean specialities.
Malga Gampen/Gampenalm to Zans/Zannes (50 minutes)
There are two ways to hike to Zans: trail 31A via Kaserill Alm or trail 33. We hiked along trail 33, which we highly recommend. The fenced-in path descends across wide-open pastures, yielding more spectacular views of the Odle/Geisler group. You’ll hike along a cobbled path before reaching the Rio Caserill/Kaserill Bach stream. Cross the bridge and continue 20 minutes along the gravel road to Zans.
Where to Stay in Val di Funes
We recommend staying in the village of Santa Maddalena in Val di Funes. From this village, you can reach the Zannes/Zans car park (trailhead) by car in 10 minutes, or by bus. If you stay in Val di Funes, you’ll also have time to hike the Santa Maddalena Panorama Trail, the Adolf Munkel Trail, and our personal favorite Monte Tullen.
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. Their wellness area encompasses a Finnish sauna, steam bath, outdoor pool, whirlpool, and a garden with sun loungers and parasols. However, 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”).
Read Next: Best Hotels in the Dolomites
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More Information for Your Trip to the Dolomites:
- Dolomites Travel Guide
- Where to Stay in the Dolomites in Summer
- Dolomites Accommodation Guide: Mountain Huts, Farm Stays, Apartments
- Dolomites Road Trip Itinerary
- Best Day Hikes in the Dolomites
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