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The Dolomites in Italy are one of Europe’s most beautiful mountain ranges. The steep mountains and turquoise lakes makes you think of Canada, but I was so thrilled to learn that you can also find this kind of landscape in Europe only a few hours flight from Copenhagen where I live.
One of the beautiful places we visited on our road trip through the Dolomites was Alpe Di Siusi / Seiser Alm – Europe’s largest mountain plateau.
How to get to the Dolomites
The Dolomites are located in Northern Italy, close to the Austrian border. Planning the trip was a little confusing. First because all the place names are written in both Italian and German, and also because there are so many different flight options. You can fly to Venice or Bergamo in Italy, or to Innsbruck in Austria. From Venice and Bergamo it’s a two-and-a-half hour drive to the Dolomites’ westernmost capital, Bolzano. From Innsbruck it’s a one-and-a-half hour drive. However, we chose to fly to Bergamo, both because it was the cheapest and because we wanted to spend the last few days at Lake Garda, not far from Bergamo.
We found the flights using Momondo’s search engine, which is a brilliant tool for getting an overview of the different airports and finding the best prices.
Find the cheapest flights on Momondo here
Alpe Di Siusi / Seiser Alm – The largest mountain plateau in Europe
The rolling green plateau, the small scattered cabins and the mighty Dolomite mountains in the background. Alpe Di Siusi is beautiful! We stayed in the small town of Compaccio / Kompatch which is the only town on the plateau itself and the obvious base for exploring the area. From the town there are both hiking trails and several cable cars that will quickly take you out into the green landscape. A little further out, you can stay directly on the plateau. I dreamed of staying at Hotel Icaro or Adler Lodge (check out that view!). Unfortunately both hotels were too expensive for our budget.
Instead we ended up staying at the more affordable Bella Vista Hotel
Find a hotel on Alpe Di Siusi using the Momondo search engine
Hiking the Bullaccia / Puflatsch trail
If you are visiting Alpe Di Siusi, you should definitely take this day trip. The trip starts and ends in the town of Compaccio / Kompatch and takes you up to a nearby plateau with a stunning panoramic view over the Alpe di Siusi and the valley on the other side. You start by taking the Bullaccia / Puflatch cableway, which saves you an ascent of 300 metres. After that, the trip is just about flat all the way to the end, where you walk 300 metres down again on a small paved road. The trail is clearly marked, 8.5 km long and takes about three hours. But remember to leave time for photo stops and lunch in one of the two cabins along the route. It’s easy to combine hiking with good food and drink all over the Dolomites. During the hike you will certainly meet lots of cute alpine cows and a see wealth of butterflies and flowers.
In summer, the Dolomites’ floral blooms cannot be beaten. You can see the beautiful pink Martagon lilies, among other flowers.
The Dolomites are a paradise for butterflies.
The perfect viewpoint over Alpe Di Siusi
In the evening we drive out onto the plateau through the narrow winding roads to find a particularly nice viewpoint. There are small wooden houses everywhere and you have a completely unspoiled view of the high mountains. We park on the side of the road and have the beautiful view all to ourselves.
I’ve plotted the nice viewpoint on Google Maps here
Access ban for cars – how to get to Alpe Di Siusi
To protect the area, hotel guests are the only ones licensed to drive to and from their hotel during the day. At the entrance to Alpe Di Siusi there is a the little brown cottage where you will recieve your permit to put in the windshield of your car. For everyone else there is a driving ban between 9.00 am and 5.00 pm. If you want to experience Alpe Di Siusi during this time, you must take the cable car from one of the towns, Ortisei or Siusi, where you can park your car. However, the cable car only runs between 9.00 am and 5.00 pm, which means that you can not get down from the plateau after 5.00 pm. This is a little bit frustrating when you want to see the sunset, which was also the reason we chose to stay on the plateau instead of just taking a day trip there.
Read more about the traffic regulations right here
Find the time table for the cable car from Siusi right here
Map over Alpe Di Siusi
This map gives a nice overview of the area
Read more about the Dolomites
This trip was part of my 6 days trip in the Dolomites – find the full itinerary right here.
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SarahintheGreen is ambassador for Momondo. Read more about the ambassadorship right here
Wonderful post – we’ll be visiting in 2 weeks time. However I did have a question similar to the first one on your post. I intend to make it to De Suisi for sunrise. If the cable cars only operate from 9 AM, does that mean the area is only accessible post 9 AM? Or is it possible to hike/bike up hill?
Hi Simon! If you want to go there for sunrise you can drive up there before 9 AM or hike/bike. You can read more about the regulations here: https://www.seiseralm.it/en/info/getting-around/traffic-regulation.html
And find the cable car timetable here: https://www.seiseralm.it/en/info/getting-around/alpe-di-siusi-cable-car-summer.html
Hello there!thanks for this! We plan to go to Di Siusi as early as 5am on Sept 19. Can we leave at 4pm? We wont be stuck?also,no parking attendant upon leaving who will inspect us for parking ticket and give us a fine if they eventually find out we passed there early morning? thank you!
You say the road is closed to cars unless you have a permit to stay in a hotel. Is the road open to bikes?
I am pretty sure that it is allowed to bike up there – but it’s a steep ride though!
Should this google link work? I cant see any locations that you have marked. Is it possible to get those best views some how? 🙂
How easy it is to walk this trail? Is there a lot of walkin up?
Hi J! I have just checked the link again and it seems to be working fine. The Bullaccia / Puflatsch trail is very easy to walk. The ascend/descend is 300 meters on a small paved road but it is possible to take a cable car up and down too.
Ej, Sarah! Hvor er jeg missundelig på, at du har fotograferet den smukke svalehale. Den vil jeg gerne se.
Og masser af smukke billeder som altid!
Kh. Anne Marie
Two Danes On Tour
Tusind tak Anne Marie! Jeg blev også lidt benovet da jeg fandt ud af at det var en svalehale jeg havde fotograferet. Jeg løb rundt efter den i lang tid 😀 I det hele taget er der bare virkelig mange sommerfugle i Dolomitterne og det er simpelthen så skønt 😀