A rolling circuit around parts of the largest alpine meadow in the Alps. Popular, and well-developed, Seiser Alm is blanketed with farms, alpine restaurants and huts, and paved stretches to go along with quiet trails.
Distance 21.3 km
Highest point2,058 m
Lowest point1,670 m
Europe’s largest “alp” (a high mountain meadow), is easily accessible from Ortisei by the gondola that leaves from just west of the Hotel Gardena, across the highway from the village center. The alp is filled with trails, small roads, restaurants and hotels, and ski lifts (some of which operate in the summer). It’s a pleasant day’s outing, one we usually only fall back on for easy days or as a bad weather option.
Even though there are no sustained climbs, the up-and-down character of the trails through this hilly terrain make most hikes here a surprising amount of work. There are many restaurants along the way. Zallinger hut is an atmospheric one that would make a nice lunch stop.
There are numerous options for extending or reducing the circuit.
If it rains... This is a great rainy or cloudy day walk, and is a good choice in bad weather. Seiser Alm/Alpe di Siusi is also one area where you should feel completely free to head out and explore on your own... there are many, many options. Compatsch is almost a small village, with large hotels, bus stops, a tourist office, and a gondola (and buses) down to the village of Seis, where you can catch a bus back to Ortisei (check bus schedules first).
Take the Mont Seuc gondola to the upper station, and start down trail 9, a small road that soon turns to a trail at the Hotel Sonne. There’s a chairlift down to the hotel in mid-summer as well, for a shorter day. Continue on trail 9 through meadows to the restaurants and hotels at Saltria.
Short option: If you just want an easy 3-4 hour walk today, turn right here on trail 30, first on road then on trail, to Ritsch Schwaige, where you will want to take a short detour up and to your left to Gostner Schwaige.
Gostner Schwaige is a wonderful stop for lunch. Run by an energetic young chef, Franz Mulser, their motto is “fresh and natural” and they use many homemade ingredients, including their own cheese. Kaiserschmarrn is one of the most famous Tyrolean dishes - a sweet pancake with fruit and spices, and they do that here as well as anyone. Everything is excellent.
Longer option: To continue from Saltria on this more moderate option, you want to take the small road (trail 30) past the chairlift to Saltner Schwaige.
From Saltner, trail 7a leads you consistently upward for an hour to rifugio Zallinger Hütte, with the towering Sassolungo group ahead on your left. You’ll see Haflinger horses in the meadows, the charming restaurant, and a small chapel built by Herr von Zallinger in the mid-1800’s. It is a nice place to stop and enjoy the atmosphere for a bit.
To continue from Zallinger, take the small road 9 down toward Tirler, and then 8b climbing the next hill, to trail 12 toward Almrosen hut.
The trail now swings to the right, rounding the Rosszähne foothills, and back onto the main Seiser Alm meadows. Trails lead to the chairlift and restaurant at Panorama. There are many intersecting trails here, and the exact one you take does not matter.
Passing Panorama, start downhill on the road, keeping right on 6, and then left on a narrow trail across a meadow, 30B, heading toward Gostner Schwaige.
Gostner Schwaige: As mentioned in the shorter option, although there are many perfectly enjoyable huts and restaurants, this is our favorite lunch stop in the region. They have a large outdoor terrace, and cozy dining room inside.
From Gostner Schwaige, the route continues downhill a short ways, before you cross the main road on the alp, which is still a quiet paved road, but with a few cars and periodic bus service. Watch for a small road with sign for Icaro. Follow this and you will soon see a sign for trail 6. You start to climb again. Now on trail 6/6A, you’ll pass by the Icaro hotel and restaurant, and continue up the hillside to the Alpe di Siusi gondola that takes you back down to Ortise