Hike in the Clouds in the Dolomites

Castelrotto Travel Blog

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Alpe di Siusi with my 13 year old niece, Gina

With a base in the Germanic city of Castelrotto, in the South Tyrolean region of Northern Italy, one can hike throughout the Dolomites with ease.  The region is accessible from Venice by train and a short bus ride and is comprised of several mountain resorts, many primarily of Austrian/Germanic heritage.  Skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer are primary reasons to visit, although we met some tourists who came specifically for the local music festivals and to visit the regions numerous castles.
We chose to hike from Castelrotto to Tisana one day, climb the amazing Alpe di Siusi the next, and on our last, do a short hike from Fie to the town and castle of Presule. The hiking is awesome and easy enough for my 11 year old niece to do (and for her old lady Aunt).

Alpe di Siusi
One can choose levels of difficulty or take cable cars or buses one way. Most paths are well marked and there is an excellent hiking guidebook to the region called 'Walking Guide around the Alpe di Siusi', available in many languages throughout the region.
It would be easy to spend a few weeks in the region exploring the different hikes - unfortunately we only had 3 days. The one drawback is food is not necessarily available during the hikes - so bring your own as well as water and gear for the changing weather. There are some outposts in some cases and where they exist, the food is excellent - largely Germanic in style and delicious.  The route we took on Alpe di Siusi was dotted with chalets with refreshment - good food, desserts and beer - every few hours or so. 
At the end of the day, Castelrotto (or Kastelruth in German) was an excellent base with a fantastic hotel (Hotel Cavallino d'Oro) with wonderful, well priced rooms; a nice selection of restaurants, and friendly townspeople.
The gondolas to Alpe di Siusi
  Fie or Vols & Siusi/Seis, two of the larger mountain towns we passed through, had city centers with restaurants & shopping.  The town of Presule/Prosels had one restaurant at the base of the path to the castle.  It was very good and had a wide variety of dishes.  The other towns, Tisana/Tisens and smaller hamlets like Tagusa/Tagusens, had no refreshment whatsoever.   All signage in the region is in both Italian and German - which comes first varied and seemed to depend on the areas demographics.  I've put Italian first here in all cases.
The town of Fie is also the site of a large international music festival, created under the auspices of UNESCO.  This Schlern Music Festival  http://www.schlernmusicfestival.org/ is held every summer for several weeks and draws many tourists.   
I'd like to go again, but unfortunately there are too many other spots on my list!

sylviandavid says:
What a beautiful area ... thanks for sharing the story and pictures.... sylvia
Posted on: Feb 28, 2010
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Alpe di Siusi with my 13 year old …
Alpe di Siusi with my 13 year old…
Alpe di Siusi
Alpe di Siusi
The gondolas to Alpe di Siusi
The gondolas to Alpe di Siusi
Castelrotto
Castelrotto
En route to Tisana
En route to Tisana
Tisana
Tisana
En route
En route
En route
En route
En route to Tisana
En route to Tisana
Castelrotto environs
Castelrotto environs
En route to Tisana
En route to Tisana
En route
En route
Castelrotto environs
Castelrotto environs
Valley View
Valley View
Alpe di Siusi
Alpe di Siusi
Alpe di Siusi
Alpe di Siusi
The Summit
The Summit
Alpe di Siusi
Alpe di Siusi
Alpe di Siusi
Alpe di Siusi
Alpe di Siusi
Alpe di Siusi
Gina Bambina
Gina Bambina
The route down towards Ortisei
The route down towards Ortisei
Fie
Fie
The Fie Valley
The Fie Valley
Fie to Presule
Fie to Presule
Presule Castle from Fie
Presule Castle from Fie
Alpe di Siusi
Alpe di Siusi
Castelrotto Hotels & Accommodations review
Mountain retreat
Great character, great location, awesome rooms, nice breakfast, our one dinner was so so, so we did not have a second. Not many English speakers on … read entire review
Castelrotto
photo by: TravellingAuntie