What I’m looking for in the perfect hike is pretty simple:
- Good exercise
- Great views
Something along these lines:
Of course, I’ll also take anything in between – flat & easy, so-so scenery, etc. – because part of why I love to hike is just being outside. It can be very invigorating.
But when everything comes together and produces a perfect day of hiking, I’m in heaven. And that’s where I was in the Dolomite mountains of Italy.
Hiking at Alpe di Siusi
I love a hike where the views are all around you all the time. I’d much prefer that over hiking in highly wooded areas where all you ever see are trees. But that’s just a personal preference, of course.
For me, everything comes together when hiking in the Dolomites. The rolling green pastures, the dramatic, rocky cliffs, the wide-open views – that’s perfection to me. And we were lucky enough to spend a lovely day hiking at Alpe di Siusi – otherwise known as Seiser Alm – when we visited the Dolomites in northern Italy.
If you’re driving, you can park your car in the lot in the town of Compaccio, ride the bus to Saltria & then take the chairlift up to Florian (see the map at the bottom for details). It sounds kind of complicated, but it’s not bad once you do a little research.
Here’s the chairlift you’d take up to Florian. You can also opt to hike up, but the prettiest hikes are higher up on the mountain so I’d recommend taking this lift & spending your time towards the top.
Most of the paths are marked like this one, though it’s much better if you also have a map on hand, too. I can’t remember now where we got ours, but I know they have them online (I link to one below) as well as locally.
We started up path #9.
There are free-range cattle you’ll frequently encounter along the path. And the path looks busy now, but as you ascend, it thins out considerably & we didn’t find it overly crowded.
If I had to guess what this cow was thinking, I’d guess it wasn’t favorable towards me. Guess I can’t blame him since I don’t really like cameras stuck in my face, either. :) Sorry, buddy.
Here’s Tristan making his way up the well-groomed path. The people have dispersed and we pretty much have it to ourselves.
Lovely view, no?
At the end of hiking path #9 (see map below), one of the first stopping or decision-making points you’ll reach is at Rifugio Sasso Piatto. The paths diverge into 3 different directions.
If you want, you can have a rest or a snack at the Rifugio while you make your decision.
We opted to continue along the ridge line, which is path #4-594. In addition to cattle, you’ll also see horses along the way.
I like this cow’s cute little face.
The best thing about hiking along the crest is that you get views basically in all directions. It’s awesome.
Just remember to share the road! ;)
The trails were used mainly by hikers, though we did come across a few bikers, as well.
More stunning views.
If you continue hiking along 4-594 and take the first right you see, you’ll end up at that building you see in the distance, Rifugio Molignon.
We don’t normally make pit stops when we’re out for a hike but we figured we might as well check it out and see what’s on offer. These fried goodies sure looked tasty.
And there was even outdoor entertainment.
But we opted to head inside instead. Lucky we did – check out this dessert spread! No doubt you could find something like this in most towns, but this is the most extensive table of dessert options I’ve ever seen in what seems like it should be a pretty remote & inaccessible location.
We decided to settle in for dessert & some of the most delicious cappuccinos & lattes that we’ve ever had anywhere. Tristan’s a crazy coffee devotee and he’s still raving about how good this was.
After our yummy indulgence, we continued on along path #7, heading back towards Florian.
Back at Florian if you’re not quite ready to head back to town, you can opt to lounge in one of these chairs. It looks delightful.
Alpe di Siusi was probably one of my favorite places of all time to hike – I just really enjoyed the entire experience. The weather was warm – but not so much that you’d be overly hot, the sun was out, the views were magnificent & the hike was just strenuous enough. I only wish we’d had more time to go on more of the trails. Next time, for sure.
Map – Where Alpe di Siusi is & How to get there
Here’s a link to the full trail map from Alpe di Siusi’s official website. I annotated a few spots I think you’ll find useful: summer map of the hiking trails at Alpe di Siusi (aka Seiser Alm)
I took a portion of the official map and highlighted our route so you can see where the photos were taken. I also marked where we got off of the bus to ride the chairlift & where we had our yummy coffee & dessert.
If you want to zoom in and out of where we were, check out the Google Map:
View Hike in the Dolomites, Italy in a larger map
I hope that helps & I wish you safe & happy travels!