The Alpe di Siusi in South Tyrol is the largest high alpine pasture in Europe and is located in the Dolomites in northern Italy. The Alpe di Siusi is over 56 km² in size and lies at an altitude of up to 2350 meters, making it one of the largest high plateaus in the Alps in the Dolomites. The Alpe di Siusi (and therefore also the Alpe di Siusi hike) is extremely developed for tourism and so there are numerous tourist offers here and the beauty of this high alp invites you to go hiking. How to get to the Alpe di Siusi and which is the most beautiful hike on the Alpe di Siusi we tell you now.
We are Sabrina and Andreas, two adventurous travelers who never miss an opportunity to discover the world. Whether by plane to distant countries or with our campervan Bruno, we just love to travel. We hope to give you helpful tips for your next trip on our blog.
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Alpe di Siusi in South Tyrol
The Alpe di Siusi is a high alpine pasture in the Dolomites, but what does that mean anyway? A high alpine pasture is a high plateau and you can imagine it like a big mountain from which the top has been cut off. The top of the mountain is not pointed but completely flat for several kilometers. Then add a lot of grass, flowers, fields and trees and there you have the alpine pasture.
The Alpe di Siusi is a particularly beautiful example of such a high alpine pasture and is therefore also extremely touristy. You will not be alone up here in any case, because the Alpe di Siusi hike is one of the most popular hikes in the iDolomites. But it is also very beautiful here and you have a contrast to the other hikes in South Tyrol such as the Tre Cime di Lavaredo or the Seceda hike, because up here you have no rugged rocks or mountain panoramas along the way.
Instead, you will see lush green meadows and softly rolling hills. But this doesn’t have to be a disadvantage, it’s a great change of pace on your Dolomites road trip or South Tyrol round trip.
How to get to Alpe di Siusi
To do the Alpe di Siusi hike you first have to get to the small town of Siusi, which is only 30 minutes away from the provincial capital of Bolzano. When you arrive in Siusi you have to go to the Alpe di Siusi cable car, which is the cable car that takes you up to the Alpe di Siusi.
Where to park at Alpe di Siusi
Parking is free at the Seiser Alm cable car. This is really unusual for the Dolomites and South Tyrol. Because normally you pay here despite the already quite high cable car costs again for parking at the cable car. You can save that at the Alpe di Siusi.
There are also paid parking lots here, but a huge number of completely free parking options. Simply navigate to the free Seiser Alm parking lot (Google Maps).
How do I get to the Alpe di Siusi?
Apart from the cable car, there are other ways to get to the Alpe di Siusi, but we’ll tell you right away: the cable car is the best option in most cases.
You really have the possibility to reach the Alpe di Siusi by car. And that even completely free of charge! But the other side of the coin is that the parking lot at the top costs 20 Euro, just as much as the cable car costs per person. So the whole thing is only worth it if you are at least two people. But then you also have to get up early, because the road is only open before 9 am or after 5 pm.
But if you are up before 9 o’clock then you can go down at any time. By the way, if you stay in one of the hotels* on top of the alp, you can drive up to the Alpe di Siusi at any time and for free.
There is also a bus that takes you from Siusi to the top of the Alpe di Siusi. But here, too, a ticket costs 20 Euro and thus just as much as a ticket for the cable car. Therefore, this option makes no sense for us at all.
By Cable Car
Especially if you are alone, but also if you want to enjoy the great view from the gondola during the ride, we recommend the ride with the Alpe di Siusi cable car. In about 20 minutes you are up in Compatsch and have in between a wonderful view of the surrounding mountain panorama. In addition, parking at the cable car is free, which we think is pretty fair. You can buy tickets on the official website.
For an adult, a round trip costs 20 Euro, you can take a dog (with muzzle) for 3 Euro. The cable car is open during the season between 9am and 6pm or 7pm (high season).
When you arrive – probably by cable car – at the top of the small village of Compatsch then you will be surprised at first, because it doesn’t look like untouched nature up here. There are numerous huge hotels and asphalted roads. But after a few hundred meters you have finally arrived in nature and can start the Alpe di Siusi hike.
There are several hiking trails up here that will take you all over the Alpe di Siusi. The trail that we recommend to you, and that is also walked by most of the other tourists, is the Puflatsch Circumnavigation. The Puflatsch is the highest elevation and therefore the highest point of the Alpe di Siusi. On this hike you will see all the highlights and sights of the Alpe di Siusi.
Right at the beginning it is quite steep uphill, if you start the hike clockwise.
You’ll walk along well-maintained paths and lush meadows and soon you’ll have a wonderful view of the valley to your left. In some places the descent is really steep and often you have an unobstructed view of the surrounding villages more than 1000 meters below. Flowers are blooming everywhere, dandelions are sprouting and the grass is as lush and green as cows can wish for.
Speaking of cows, I unfortunately did not see them at all on my hike. But maybe I was just at the wrong time on the Alpe di Siusi.
Again and again there are benches along the way where you can take a break and enjoy the nature. Breaks in between are also quite useful, because most of the time it goes uphill. After about half of the hike you will come to the viewpoint that gave its name to this hiking trail on the Alpe di Siusi: the Puflatsch. From here you have a spectacular panorama and when you have seen enough, it’s all downhill from here.
You will pass several huts with refreshments where you can treat yourself to a snack. After 4 hours (depending on your pace) you will arrive back in Compatsch and can take the cable car back down.
Alpe di Siusi Hike | Our Tips
Overnight Stay at the Alpe di Siusi
You can also spend the night directly on the Alpe di Siusi with a spectacular mountain panorama. Up here there are many high-priced and high-class hotels like the Hotel Bellavista* or the Hotel Schmung* directly at the cable car. But if you want to stay a little cheaper and still nice, we have another recommendation for you.
Residence Cesa Callegari in Wolkenstein
In this charming accommodation at the end of the ski resort Selva di Val Gardena you have spacious apartments with kitchen and large living room.
You can even use the large garden which was really great for us with our dog Aaro.
From Selva Gardena you are quickly at the many highlights of the Dolomites such as Seceda, the Sella Pass or Catinaccio.
- spacious apartments
- possibility to use the garden
- rustic furnishings with everything you need
- central position
Alpe di Siusi hike with your Dog
I took our dog Aaro with me and I can also recommend the Alpe di Siusi hike with dog to everyone. In the cable car your dog has to wear a muzzle, but not on the hike itself and even if you have to lead him on a leash you will have a lot of fun with your dog. Unfortunately, there are hardly any water points on the top of the Alpe di Siusi. So you should pack enough drinking water for your dog.
Cell Phone Reception on the Alpe di Siusi
Almost everywhere you have very good LTE reception, this is especially true for the area around the cable car. Only in a few corners you have poor or hardly any reception.
Drone flying on the Alpe di Siusi
It is no problem to fly with the drone on the Alpe di Siusi and there are also no prohibition signs. I think from the drone one sees the whole dimensions of the high alp and can understand the whole better.
Conclusion of the Alpe di Siusi Hike
Even if the hike on the Alpe di Siusi is not one of the most spectacular hikes in the Dolomites, it still has its charms. There are no fascinating rock formations like on the Seceda, but you have a great view into the valley 1000 meters below and you walk directly along the abyss. If you don’t have much time, you can skip the Alpe di Siusi, but otherwise you should definitely make a stop here.