Today is devoted to Val Gardena, renowned for its Olympic downhill run. We take the cable car from the charming town of Ortisei up to the largest alpine pasture in Europe. During our ascent we’re greeted by awe-inspiring 360-degree views of the Siusi Alps. From here, you have a choice of walks:
Duration: 2 hours (3 miles)
Altitude gain: 537 feet
Terrain: gravel tracks and grassy paths
Duration: 3.5 hours (6.1 miles)
Altitude gain: 1,221 feet
Terrain: gravel tracks, grassy paths and a short section of tarmac
Both walks circle the startlingly green plateau which, at certain times of the year, is carpeted by colourful wildflowers. As we climb ever higher, we see the jagged peaks of the Sassolungo Group – the highest summit, Mount Sassolungo, reaches a dizzying height of 10,436 feet. Our trail takes us past delightful mountain cabins and grazing sheep and cattle. En route you may wish to stop at a mountain inn for some traditional refreshments.
These walks conclude at the cable car station, from where we return to Ortisei. You have free time to explore its enchanting, pedestrianised centre and to admire the gorgeous wood carvings which the village is famous for.