Val de Chedul and Vallunga are two valleys in the Italian Dolomites, accessible from Selva di Val Gardena.
Vallunga, meaning “Long Valley,” is an excellent destination in Val Gardena for leisurely walking and hiking with small children. It’s possible to walk the entire length of Vallunga Valley, which is about 4.5 km long. The elevation difference between the lower part of the valley and the upper part of the valley is 260 meters.
If you’re seeking a longer, more interesting hiking excursion, we suggest ascending the neighboring valley of Val de Chedul to the Crespëina High Plateau, which is part of the massive Puez-Odle Altopiano. After crossing the plateau to Rifugio Puez, you can descend to Vallunga and walk the full length of the valley back to the starting point.
The Val de Chedul – Vallunga loop hike is a great way to see two lesser known valleys, which are often overlooked. Val de Chedul is blissfully quiet. It’s likely that you won’t cross paths with anyone until Forcella de Crespeina.
This trail guide describes the complete Val de Chedul – Vallunga circuit, which is 16.1 km long and takes about 6 hours.
These gorgeous valleys have a few different names, because Val Gardena is a historically Ladin valley and, prior to the First World War, it was part of the Austrian Empire. Like many places in South Tyrol, these valleys have three names:
- Val de Chedul (Ladin), Chedultal (German), Valle Chedul (Italian)
- Val (Ladin), Langental (German), Vallunga (Italian)
Vallunga (Langental) and Val de Chedul Circuit Hike in Selva di Val Gardena
- Trailhead: Parcheggio Vallunga Car Park | Google Maps
- Distance: 16.1 km circuit
- Time needed: 6 hours
- Elevation Gain/Loss: 1061 meters
- Difficulty: Moderate – Moderately-Difficult
- Minimum Elevation: 1618 meters
- Maximum Elevation: 2529 meters
- Dogs: Dogs must be leashed in Vallunga, because it’s a grazing area in summer
- Where to Stay in Selva: Garni Sunela B&B (budget), Hotel Garni Morene (budget), Hotel Freina (midrange), or Linder Cycling Hotel (luxury)
- Where to Stay in Santa Cristina: Garni Le Chalet (budget), Charme Hotel Uridl (midrange), Dorfhotel Beludei (luxury), or Hotel Touring Dolomites (luxury)
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Vallunga and Val de Chedul Map
Where to Start the Vallunga Hike
Parcheggio Vallunga / Parkplatz Langental
You can drive all the way to the entrance of the valley in Selva di Val Gardena. There’s a large pay-and-display car park at the trailhead, near the La Cajota snack bar/hut.
Parking Fee | The parking fee is 8 EUR per day, or 0.50 EUR/30 minutes.
Payment | EUR coins only
Exact Location | Google Maps
Val de Chedul and Vallunga Trail Description
Vallunga Car Park – Val de Chedul – Forcella Crespëina (2:30 – 2:50 hours)
The hike begins at the entrance of Vallunga Valley in Selva di Val Gardena.
Follow trail 14 across the meadow to the St. Silvester chapel (5 minutes). At the chapel, turn right onto trail 12, in the direction of Val de Chedul/Chedultal/Valle Chedul.
Trail 12 steeply ascends a thick forest of spruce and larch and later dwarf pine and Swiss pine.
As the forest thins out, views open up to the Cir Group on the right side and the Chedul mountains on the left side.
The jagged Cir mountains, including Gran Cir, look like a giant procession of arrowheads.
When we hiked here in early October, the only sound we heard was that of our own footsteps and a few tumbling rocks, thanks to a family of galloping chamois.
After cruising across a boulder slope and later a meadow, the trail steepens again.
As you move into the upper reaches of the valley, the trail gets more barren. Boulders punctuate the crumbling slopes which flank this spectacular rockscape.
With this elevation gain, views open up to Alpe di Siusi and the Sciliar/Schlern massif (behind you).
When you arrive at a signed trail junction, bear left and continue up Val de Chedul in the direction of Furcela de Crespëina/Crespëina Joch (signed 30 minutes).
At the head of Val de Chedul, the trail merges with the path coming from Passo Cir (and Passo Gardena). Zigzag up the timber-reinforced trail to reach Forcella Crespëina/Crespëina Joch (2527 m).
Forcella Crespëina – Crespëina High Plateau – Rifugio Puez (1:20 hours)
Forcella Crespëina is marked with a fence and a wooden crucifix. Pass through the gate and follow trail 2 to Rifugio Puez (Ütia de Puez, Puez Hütte). This stretch of the hike follows the Alta Via 2 long distance trail.
Descend to the karst Crespëina plateau, which is part of the Puez-Odle Altopiano. With no difficulty, the path crosses this moonscape, passing by Crespëina Lake.
Many peaks of the Puez-Odle Group are visible ahead, including Sass Rigais (3025 m), Piz Duleda (2909 m), Piz de Puez, and the cone-shaped Col de la Sone (2633 m) among many others.
Follow signs to Forcella Ciampëi/Furcela de Ciampëi/Ciampëi Scharte (2366 m). From the Ciampëi saddle, continue on trail 2 in the direction of Rifugio Puez (signed 40 minutes). At this junction, trail 4 descends to Colfosco and Corvara, two villages in Alta Badia. Look towards Alta Badia and you will see the unmistakable Mount Pelmo and Mount Civetta.
Ascend the rugged, timber-bolstered path through the rock corridor.
The trail quickly levels and leads north across the plateau. As you near the hut, there are striking bird’s-eye views of the U-shaped Vallunga Valley.
Rifugio Puez (2475 m) is usually open from late June until mid/late September. It sits on a major junction, so it’s always buzzing with hikers.
Rifugio Puez to Vallunga (2:10 hours)
Directly from the Puez hut, follow trail 14 to Val/Langental/Vallunga.
The trail curves down the mountainside and then leads south, beneath the rock wall of the plateau. After a comfortable traverse, the path twists down to the tree line.
The nice path melts away as soon as you reach a gravel-filled gully. Carefully hike down the crumbling path, bolstered with timber reinforcements.
In Val Culea, our path merges with the closed trail 14a, which used to connect Forcella Ciampëi directly to Vallunga valley. This path is washed-out and hazardous.
Follow the rugged bed of Val Culea for a bit longer. The trail smooths out when you reach the head of Vallunga/Langental Valley.
Walk down the valley, enjoying the soft grass underfoot. The path crosses the wide-open Plan dala Ciajeies, a grassy plain flanked by Col Turont (2419 m). Press on to Pra da ri.
Pra da ri is a large meadow with a few benches, a crucifix, and a private hut. In the summer months, cattle graze here. Keep a respectful distance and do not disturb, or pet the animals. Dogs must be leashed.
Cross the meadow and then pass through the pasture gate.
The well-groomed path continues down the valley through pockets of forest and meadows. Towering mountains flank both sides: Mont Stevia and Col dala Pieres on the right and the Chedul Mountains on the left.
On the way, you’ll pass the limestone kiln in Vallunga, marked with an info board with an English description as well.
Where to Stay near Vallunga
Selva di Gardena
Budget | 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.
Budget | Garni Sunela B&B is an immaculate bed and breakfast with spacious rooms, a spa, bar, parking garage, and a phenomenal breakfast, including fresh eggs from the resident chickens. Check-in is only until 7 pm.
Midrange | Garni Hotel Bel Vert is a B&B in Selva, located on the Biancavieve Slope, outside the town center. Rooms are beautiful and spacious. There’s even a small spa. 3 nights minimum stay.
Midrange-Luxury | 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.
Luxury | Hotel Tyrol is a traditional alpine hotel centrally located in Selva. The hotel’s restaurant offers creative interpretations of Ladin tradition with a Tuscan twist. Stay here for the cozy ambience, the wellness area (saunas, indoor and outdoor heated pool, indoor and outdoor whirlpool, salt cave with chromotherapy), and comfortable rooms. Outdoor parking is free and garage parking is an extra charge.
Luxury | Hotel Sun Valley is a 4-star hotel with a feel-good atmosphere, nice rooms, friendly management and staff, and a great restaurant (half board available). The spa comprises an indoor pool, whirlpool, Tyrolean parlor sauna, Brechel bath with fresh pine branches, and a steam bath, and relaxation areas.
Luxury | Linder Cycling Hotel stands out with its bold architecture, stylish urban accents, and laid-back atmosphere. Beyond the captivating design, Linder Cycling Hotel boasts excellent facilities, including a rooftop terrace, indoor pool, bar, and the à la carte Luis Eatery restaurant
Boutique Luxury | Boutique Hotel Nives – Luxury & Design is a small 4-star-superior hotel in Selva with two restaurants, a spa (saunas and outdoor whirlpool), and an indoor pool. The 13 rooms of family-run Hotel Nives are equipped with Nespresso coffee machines, tea kettles, bathrobes and slippers. Extra perks: free garage parking, free winter ski shuttle, and bike storage. The à la carte Restaurant Nives is open all-year-long, while the Hotel Restaurant Stevia is only open in winter.
5-star Luxury | Hotel Granbaita Dolomites is an ode to alpine elegance. This 5-star luxury hotel pampers guests with its lavish rooms, extensive spa area (7 saunas, indoor-outdoor pool, fitness room, spa), and decadent tasting menus. Book half board.
Budget | Smart Hotel Saslong is a no-frills hotel in Santa Cristina featuring modern, minimalist interiors decorated in local wood. Guests have access to a self-service bar, free parking (indoor and outdoor), and on-site restaurant serving local cuisine. This is a perfect place to stay if you’re traveling with friends. Book breakfast!
Midrange | Charme Hotel Uridl is a family-run hotel set in a mountain chalet dating back to the 17th century. Stay here for the cozy and quaint atmosphere and delicious breakfast buffets and dinners.
Top Choice – Boutique Luxury | Dorfhotel Beludei is a 4-star-superior boutique hotel set in a quiet location above the village church. 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.
Luxury | Hotel Touring Dolomites is an excellent, family-run hotel with a new spa, rooftop pool, modern rooms, and a fine dining restaurant (half board available). 3-5 nights minimum stay.
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Dolomites Trip Planning Essentials
Use our Dolomites Travel Guide to plan an unforgettable trip to Northern Italy.
When to Hike in the Dolomites
The best time to hike in the Dolomites is between mid-June and mid-September. If the weather is stable, the hiking season can extend until late October.
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
- Best Val Gardena Hotels: best accommodations in Ortisei, Santa Cristina, and Selva di Val Gardena
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.
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
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 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
More Val Gardena Travel and Hiking Guides
- Best Hikes in Val Gardena
- Resciesa to Seceda
- Seceda Ridgeline Hike
- Rifugio Stevia and Col dala Pieres Day Hike
- Monte Pic
- Lake Pisciadù Hike
- Piz Duleda Peak Hike
- Sassolungo Group Circuit Trail
- Alpe di Siusi Meadows Circuit Trail
- Oskar Schuster Via Ferrata to the summit of Sasso Piatto/Plattkofel