Hiking in the Dolomites

Christian & I spent a week in the town of Seis or Siusi, as it is called in Italian.  We were actually in this same town, at the same hotel back in January 2013 for a week of skiing.  We had always said we wanted to go back, so we decided to check out the area in the summer for hiking.  Seis is located in the Dolomites mountain range in the Südtirol region of northern Italy.  We stayed in the Wanderhotel Europa.  It is a beautifully run, family hotel.  There is an indoor pool with sauna & wellness area.  Half board is included in the price of the room, so that means we had a breakfast buffet in the morning & a delicious dinner in the evening.  We really had to make sure that we hiked enough during the day because the dinner, including dessert was always so good!  In this region they speak both German and Italian.  Since this was the beginning of August, it was the start of Italy’s summer vacation.  When we had last visited, it was a mix of Germans and Italians at the hotel.  This time it was mostly Italians. 

We hiked every day except one while we were there.  We usually walked from the hotel and took the gondola up to Kompatsch, which is part of the Seiser Alm.  This is the alpine meadow above Seis.  During winter, this is the ski area.  From there, we would follow one of the trails. 

The most popular trail is up to the summit of the Schlern, the most famous & recognizable mountain in the Dolomites.  Once you reach the hut, the peak is a short hike away. 

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From the Schlernhaus (Schlern Hut), we hiked down the other side of the Schlern and around the base back to town.

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Another mountain that can be reached from the Seiser Alm is the Plattkofel.  This hike required surefootedness, as there was a lot of rock scrambling.  We also needed to search carefully for the trail.  This was my least favorite hike, as I am nervous about climbing with lots of rocks.  I didn’t even go up to the summit as I was too nervous!  I stayed down a bit further and Christian went to the top.  It was also after this hike that I broke the camera lens.  We were in the Plattkopfelhütte and Christian had placed the camera on a bench.  I went to grab my backpack off the bench and the camera slid & dropped to the floor.  We thought it was okay but a little ways into our hike back to the gondola the lens wouldn’t retract and then the camera didn’t recognize the lens anymore.  This is the second lens in a year that we had this happen to!  We replaced our lens after the trip but went for a new one that didn’t electronically retract. 

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One day we took the bus from Seis to a neighboring town to start a hike up to the Tierser Alpl.  From the hut we hiked down to Kompatsch.  All the huts in this area were almost like new.  There was usually a restaurant, restrooms and rooms that you could rent for sleeping.

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To give you a little layout of the land.  The flat middle area in the first picture is the plateau area of the Seiser Alm.  The mountain to the left is the Schlern.  In the second photo, you can see in the middle the hiking trail up to the Schlern.

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Our last hike started in Seis and we hiked up to Puflatsch, which is also part of the Seiser Alm and a meadow above the Kompatsch.  From there we walked down to Kompatsch & because it looked like it was going to rain for the rest of the afternoon, we took the gondola back down to Seis. 

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We dressed in our Bavarian best for our last dinner at our hotel!  We were assigned a table where we sat every day for breakfast and dinner.  They had a newsletter for us every morning with suggested hikes, weather and other events.  In the mornings, the menu was also there and we choose which courses we wanted for dinner.

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Looking at all these photos from our hikes makes me want to go back there now!  It was so beautiful & the weather, besides a few rainy moments, was perfect for hiking.  This area is really great for hikers of all ages and abilities.  There are so many trails with different degrees of difficulty, you will never have problems finding a hike.  In addition, kids will love riding the gondola and seeing all the cows, horses and other animals that are grazing during the summer high up in the mountains.  I can’t recommend this area enough!

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