Without a doubt, the Dolomites are among the most beautiful mountains in the world.
On many well-developed trails, outdoor lovers can enjoy the breathtaking landscape. But you don’t have to be a hiking pro to experience the magic of the Dolomites. There are many easy to moderately difficult hikes across the region with plenty of lift facilities providing access to higher elevations.
Base yourself in one of the mountain refuges or in a cozy guesthouse in the valley of Val Gardena and explore the UNESCO-awarded mountain range on several easy, yet very scenic day hikes. Below, you’ll find my top 5 best hikes you’ll have to do when you find yourself near Val Gardena in the Dolomites.
The 5 Best Easy Day Hikes Near Val Gardena
1. UNESCO Puez-Geisler Nature Park Circuit
This is a pretty easy, yet fascinating trek with panoramic views – and one of my overall favorite hikes in the Dolomites!
The Puez-Geisler Nature Park is idyllically situated in the middle of one of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Dolomite systems. The Puez-Geisler mountains impress with an extraordinary variety of landscapes and mountain formations.
From the top station of the Col Raiser lift, the trail runs over green alpine meadows with enchanting alpine flora and fauna.
A real highlight of the trek: near the top station of the Col Raiser lift, a World Heritage terrace was built offering a stunning view of the breathtaking mountain landscape of the Dolomites you don’t want to miss.
Depending on your time and level of fitness, this circuit can be adapted as many different trails are available.
For a nice and easy hike, this route is definitely a good choice!
2. Alpe de Siusi Circuit
The Alpe de Siusi is the largest elevated mountain plateau in Europe and full of hiking trails.
This hike starts at the top station of Mont Seuc, which is the cable car running between Ortisei and the Alpe de Siusi. The trail takes you across lush green meadows, along mountain pastures, through forests and to cozy alpine huts, where you can have some authentic Kaiserschmarrn (cut-up and sugared pancake with raisins), such as the Rauchhütte.
There are a couple of fun attractions on the way, too. For example, there is a giant bench that you can climb up and take some pictures on.
You’ll find the exact route that we took here!
3. Resciesa Summit Tour
Technically, the tour is relatively easy.
The tour starts at the top station of the funicular Resciesa from where you just follow the ridge trail to Rifugio Resciesa. Continuing from there, you’ll first pass a gorgeous mountain chapel on your way up to the Resciesa summit.
By the way, the cross at the top of Resciesa mountain is one of the most beautiful in the Alps and definitely worth a photo or two. From up there, you have a stunning all-round view.
On your way back to the station, you can choose to hike the upper trail, which is less crowded and offers panoramic views at all times.
If you’re still up for it, take the trail down to Ortisei instead of the funicular.
It will be super easy to navigate yourself from the top station of the funicular, though you may also check out the route before you get there.
4. Sassolungo Group Panorama Circuit
Medium - Difficult Hike
This tour is not as easy as the others, though the panorama is absolutely worth the efforts!
The Sassolungo group is one of the most impressive of the Dolomite groups, although it is one of the smallest in terms of surface area.
One of the most unusual cable cars in South Tyrol is located near the Sella Pass. In a pretty small cable car, you’ll be flying to the top station situated in the gorge between the Langkofel and Plattkofel mountain.
The ride itself is exceptional as it runs just past the steep rocks and gives you fantastic views of the mighty mountains of the Dolomites. Don’t forget to have your camera ready on the short cable car ride!
From the top station, the trail leads into the gorge between Langkofel and Fünffingerspitze. It also opens up a unique view of the Passo Sella below as well as the Sella massif.
Make your way into the Langkofel valley and towards the Rifugio Vicenza, where you can get some refreshments. From here keep descending and enjoy the stunning views of the Alpe di Siusi, Europe’s largest mountain plateau.
Afterward, keep left and follow the scenic trail around the Sassolungo until you reach Rifugio Sasso Piatto, where you can have another long break before taking the Friedrich-August trail back to the Sella Pass.
You can view the route here and may also adapt the hike if you wish.
5. Rifugio Puez Tour
You start the trek to the Rifugio Puez at 2475 meters altitude from the top station of Col Pradat cable car.
In good conditions, this is a fairly easy hike with marvelous views and a unique moonscape.
Once at the rifugio, have some refreshments and take in the beautiful view.
You’re basically going to take the same route back.
Good To Know – Val Gardena Hiking Tips
If you’re planning to spend a couple of days in Val Gardena and you want to do a lot of hiking, consider purchasing the Gardena Card, which includes numerous lifts and cable cars in the area.
However, do your calculations – the Gardena Card is not cheap (70 € for 3 days or 93 € for 6 days). Most of the lifts are between 18-20 € (return ticket), which means you’ll need to take at least 4 different lifts in 3 days to get an advantage of the Gardena Card.
Always check the weather before going on a hike. Weather conditions in the Dolomites can change quickly. Plus, more often than not it may be raining in one part of the valley while the sun’s shining in the other.
Don’t forget to bring hiking boots, perhaps hiking poles, decent clothing as well as sunscreen.
Where To Stay In Val Gardena
There are tons of accommodations located all over Val Gardena, from small guesthouses and hostels to all-inclusive hotels and five-star resorts.
Personally, I really liked staying at AirBnB apartments to be able to cook my own food at night or perhaps grab dinner at a restaurant or mountain hut on the way back from a long day of hiking.
However, if you don’t want to stay in an apartment, perhaps consider one of these hotel options, all of which offer really good value for money.
Accommodation in St Christina: Garnì Conturina
Accommodation in Wolkenstein: Garni Hotel and Apartments Wildbach
Accommodation in Ortisei: Appartmenthotel Residence Elvis