One of the places you have to visit in the Dolomites is Alpe di Siusi! This wonderful meadow is one of the most iconic places and definitely worth the day trip!
When it comes to visiting Alpe di Siusi things can become a little tricky if you don’t know any of the rules. That’s why I decided to write this super detailed guide that will give you all of the information you need and along the way I’ll show you my favourite places to take photos on Alpe di Siusi while exploring the many hiking trails!
How To Visit Alpe di Siusi – A Complete Guide
Alpe di Siusi, also known as Seiser Alm, is the largest high altitude alpine meadow in entire Europe and my personal favourite in the Dolomites! There’s something breathtaking about the green rolling hills and those jagged peaks in the background. And every time I come to the Dolomites I have to visit this place and over the Summer I even had the pleasure of staying there overnight for a couple of days!
Seiser Alm is located in the Western part of the Dolomites at an altitude of 1680m and 2350m since it goes on for 52 km². On the North you have Val Gardena, in the North- East there is the Sassolungo Group and in the South-East you have the Sciliar massive. This last one is one of the most famous symbols of the Dolomites and the one you can see on pretty much all of the photos.
But that’s not all! The Seiser Alm plateau offers an insane view over the surrounding mountain ranges! From here you can see the Peitlerkofel (2,873m), the Odle and the Puez groups (3,025 m), the Gran Cir (3,152 m), the Sella group (3,152 m) , Langkofel (3,181 m), and Plattkofel, the Marmolada (3.343 m), the Pala group (3,192 m), the Vajolet Towers (2,821 m) the Rosengarten group ( 2,981 m) with the peak of the Kesselkogel (3,002 m) and the Schlern (2,450 m).
How to reach Alpe di Siusi
This is where it can get tricky cause there are several ways to reach Alpe di Siusi but you have to be careful with what you do!
BY CAR – Like I said before Alpe di Siusi is a high Alpine meadow so to reach it by car you have to drive up a winding mountain road.
But the mountain road leading up to Alpe di Siusi is guarded and you can’t drive up between 9AM and 5PM.
So if you want to visit Alpe di Siusi by car you either have to drive up before 9AM or after 5PM.
The only exception is if your hotel is located on Alpe di Siusi. In that case you will get a special permit from you hotel that allows you to drive up at any time of day but only on the day of your check-in! You are then only allowed to drive straight to your hotel, you are not allowed to go cruising in Alpe di Siusi or to drive to a vantage point.
Driving back down is possible at any time of day!
PARKING – There are several parking lots in the town of Compatsch where you can leave your car for the day. Parking is €18 (you can only pay for a full day) and it’s to be paid in cash. Don’t worry if you don’t have any cash with you cause there is an ATM only 100 meters away.
BY PUBLIC TRANSPORT – If you want to reach Alpe di Siusi by public transport you’ll have to do a combination of taking the bus and a cable car.
From Bolzano you take bus 170 (€4) and after 44 minutes he’ll drop you off at the Seiser Alm Bahn where a two-way ticket will cost you €18.
The cable car Summer Season of 2021 runs from 21 May to 2 November 2021 with opening hours from 8AM to 6PM.
When to visit Alpe di Siusi
Alpe di Siusi is beautiful all year round but if you want to have the best hiking experience the months of June and September are the best to go. In June the meadow will be covered with beautiful wildflowers and it will be at its most colourful. In September the temperature starts to drop a little so if you don’t like hiking in the heat this is the best time for you to go.
I don’t want to promote travel here in July and August cause then Alpe di Siusi is at its most crowded. There is even a traffic jam in the morning to drive up to Compatsch and hiking is just a lot less fun when you’re surrounded by hundreds of other people.
I also visited Alpe di Siusi mid October and was greeted by an insane landscape. This year snow came early and the entire meadow was covered in a white carpet while the surrounding larches had all shades of yellow and orange!
What time to visit Alpe di Siusi
If you’re a photographer I 100% recommend visiting Alpe di Siusi for sunrise and sunset. It was one of my favourite moments from last year and it was magical to see the mountains shimmer in their orange and pink hues.
Otherwise I recommend driving up around 8AM to the parking lot in Compatsch. This way you have a full day to explore the beautiful meadow of Seiser Alm.
Like I said before you can drive back down any time you want so if you want to leave before 5PM you can do that. I do recommend staying to watch the sunset if you have the time and if it’s a clear day!
Where to eat in Alpe di Siusi
If you go exploring Alpe di Siusi for a full day you’ll need to eat at one point. You can always bring your own lunch with you and have a pic nic on one of the many benches. If you do so please remember to always take all of your trash with you!
But if you’re looking for a more special experience I can recommend you two amazing places for lunch!
Rauch Hütte – This might be one of my favourite mountain huts in the Dolomites and the view from the terrace definitely has something to do with that! Here you can indulge in some delicious local delicacies and drink a beer while admiring the view around you!
Gostner Schwaige – If you’re a cheese lover then you have to have lunch here! They are open every day until 5PM and serve the most delicious food!
Where to stay when visiting Alpe di Siusi
There are several options here but I can recommend staying in a hotel on Alpedi Siusi itself! This way you don’t need to worry about driving upbefore 9AM and you can drive down to visit another place whenever you want. Just make sure to wait until after 5PM to drive back up!
Beautiful hotels on Alpe di Siusi
ALPINA DOLOMITES – A top notch luxury hotel at the top of Compatch. There is an indoor and outdoor swimming pool which offers a stunning view over the mountains. I loved waking up here in the morning and it was super easy to see beautiful Seiser Alm both during sunrise and sunset.
SPORTHOTEL SONNE SEISER ALM – A beautiful hotel with probably one of the most epic swimming pools!
Beautiful hotels outside Alpe di Siusi
BELEVEDERE HOTEL – Located on the rolling hills above Bolzano (25km away), the Belvedere hotel even offers a view over the mountains of Seiser Alm and is a wonderful place to stay when you’re discovering the area.
DER WALDHOF – A stunning hotel near Merano overlooking a castle.
My favourite places to take photos on Alpe di Siusi
There’s one specific spot that I always seem to go back to whenever I am here and that’s the swing at Malga Sanon. It’s one of the most beautiful swings overlooking the mountain. And what’s even better? You can afterwards grab a beer at the Sanon Hütte!
All of the other photospots are actually simply next to the main road. From Compatch you start walking towards the mountains and all you have to do is look around and you will be amazed by how many beautiful places there are here to photograph.
Planning a trip to the Dolomites?
RESTAURANTS – The best restaurants in South Tyrol
VAL GARDENA – The most beautiful hike to the Seceda ridgeline
PHOTOGRAPHY – The 18 most beautiful places in the Dolomites
FIRST TIME – The perfect 5 day itinerary for the Dolomites
ADVENTURE – Go paragliding in Trentino
TRE CIME NATIONAL PARK – Hiking the Tre Cime di Lavaredo Circuit
LAGO DI BRAIES – A complete guide