THE BEST OF SOUTH TYROL
You’ve probably seen many video’s and photos pass your social timeline; the Italian Dolomites. Fact is that they are divided into 2 parts, 1 of which we visited; South Tyrol. Find out which places we visited, and check the
A destination in the Dolomites that is ideal with kids, little or big, it doesn’t matter. Mountain walks with a child on the back, with a stroller that can handle some hills, or the kiddo’s walk 10km themselves with ease – I’ve seen it all. So there is a lot of allowance for paths that are easy to walk on, and there is often plenty of room. Coming without kids? Then this area is a great playground for adult adventurers!
We slept in a great kid-friendly hotel designed especially for families. And if the kids are having fun, it’s almost always relaxed for the parents, right? Hotel Fameli is located in the town of Valdaora, in South Tyrol. What makes this hotel so wonderful for families is that as a parent you can really chill out once in a while. For example, you have the option of having your kids have lunch and dinner at a “special kids” table so parents can eat undisturbed (yes it exists). In addition, all food is free for kids during your stay, and breakfast and dinner for parents is also included if you book an All-inclusive package. Booking separately is also possible. The outdoor playground is massive, and there is a supervised Kids Area where you can leave your child while they craft, bake and play. Not to mention the 3 pools, bike rentals and activities they offer daily.
Needless to say, they’ve made sure that you can sleep comfortably. The hotel has family rooms, designed for each need. We stayed in a room that had a separate children room with bunk beds and a large balcony. Other rooms even have a jacuzzi inside.If you are looking for something to do in the area, there are many options. There is a big Kids World outdoor park (free of charge) and plenty of playground at walking distance. Furthermore, you can grab the car and drive up the mountain where ytou can visit several mountainm huts. Plus the famous Lake Braies is just 15 minutes away! Such a mega tip if you plan to visit South Tyrol with your family. fameli.it
Undoubtedly, the most beautiful lake in the Dolomites is Lake Braies, and sits just a 20-minute drive from Hotel Fameli. Lago di Braies as the Italians call it, is tucked between huge mountains that provide the crystal clear water. The boats you can rent contrast beautifully with the azure lake. The biggest tip we have is to arrive early, and by early we mean before 9 a.m. The most obvious reason, of course, is that you will encounter fewer tourists this way, but also the light is often more beautiful in the morning.
But there is another good reason to arrive early. In fact, in several crowded places in the Dolomites there has recently been a new rule for people who want to come by car; you have to be in the area before a certain time (in the case of Lago di Braies it is 09:30). If you arrive later, you have to park your car several kilometers before the lake and take the bus. If you do arrive on time, you pay a parking fee of about 2 euros per hour. You can walk around the entire lake, or enjoy an Italian coffee on the shore. Spending 2 hours there, with or without kids, is easy.
What sounds like a delicious Italian pizza is in reality a beautiful plateau 2,000 m above sea level. It is part of the Fanes-Senes-Braies Nature Park but is less crowded than the famous Alpe di Siusi. Again; enter the area before 09:30 and to park at the very top you pay 10 euros. From here you can embark on several hikes. Some take 3.5 hours, the other 1.5 hours. But at the first 2 mountain huts, about 200 meters from the parking lot, you can already enjoy a beautiful plain with the mountains as background.
Alpe di Siusi
The most famous area in the Dolomites has to be Alpe di Siusi. Impressive mountain peaks make for an ideal hiking area, which you can get to in different ways. The most common and convenient option is to park the car at the bottom, and take one of the gondolas up. A ride for children under the age of 8 is free, and that’s just as well, because as adults you’ll soon pay upwards of 20 euros per gondola. The Alpe di Siusi bahn takes you to the Compaccio/Compatsch station, from where you can continue on with a chairlift, or you can start a hike. Most trails are flat, also fine with a stroller. Along the way, you will come across the famous meadow that you see often enough on Instagram if you search on “Dolomites”. It is impossible to explore Alpe di Siusi in just 1 or 2 days. If you love hiking, be sure to see if you can stay overnight nearby so you can go in a different direction each day.
St. Valentin Church
If you’re on your way to Alpe di Siusi, you can make a short stop at this pretty little church with a backdrop that will blow your mind. Note; you can’t really get here by car, only on foot and follow the walking paths so you don’t accidentally stand in a farmer’s yard.
Phew, if we have to tip you the most beautiful hotel – or at least one of the most beautiful hotels in this area, it is Cyprianerhof without question. For this 5-star hotel you have to dig a little deeper into your wallet, but then you have something amazing. The perfect location exists – as the hotel is surrounded by the Catinaccio/Rosengarte mountain with many hiking trails on offer. Located in the village of Tiers, it has a new gondola right outside its door, where you can even stand on the roof during the 7-minute ride. You then come out to a beautiful area where there are several mountain huts, perfect for a drink in the sun or start your decent by mountain bike, which you can also hire at the hotel.
But what stuck with us most about this hotel is without a doubt the amazing Spa. Several saunas – in particular the sauna made out of a glass cube, are exactly the things you want after a long hike. But also the “Natural Pool,” the salt water hot tub, infrared or salt rooms – each with its own health benefits. The food here is different every day, both local and fresh. Children are also thought of, which pleassantly surpriced us. They have two large play rooms. across from the gym. At Cyprianerhof, two free hikes are offered every day, and there is a separate program for children. Whatever you do, be sure to stop by here if you’re in South Tyrol. cyprianerhof.com
Another lake, we hear you thinking, but this one is also beautiful and worth visiting. Lake Carezza is surrounded by spruce trees, with pointed mountains in the background. The water is so clear, you can see the fish swimming. At the parking lot you can get some food and drinks, and you can walk around the lake in 40 minutes.
This impressive rock formation in South Tyrol is a must for experienced hikers but the easiest and fastest way to get here is via the gondola from Ortisei to the Ortisei-Furnes-Seceda station. From there you can walk there within 10 minutes. Please note, this is not the perfect place to go with children, as the precipice is quite deep at about 2518 m 😉. Run across the grass, throw your drone in the air if you have one, because you’ll want to show this video at home.
Our favorite mountain huts in South Tyrol
If you look on Google Maps in the Dolomites, you will undoubtedly see the many mountain huts or “Alms” popping up. In the area where we stayed, you can visit plenty. Ideal for a piece of pie and a drink with always a beautiful view guaranteed. Some favorites:
- Oberegger Alm – With a large playground, good food, a nice terrace full of locals.
- Walde Alm – 12-minute drive from the village of Valdaora in South Tyrol. Has a mini petting zoo, playground and valley views. The scenic drive through the forest is worth it already!
- Albergo Frommeralm – Take the gondola from the Cyprianerhof Hotel and this is one of the first mountain huts you see. Come for the delicious cakes, but mostly the views.
- Geisleralm – well one of the most famous huts so it can be very crowded at times, but for good reason. You have wooden deck chairs there overlooking the mountains, delicious Kaiserschmarrn. Park the car in Val di Funes and hike 2 hours toward Geisleralm via the Adolf Munkel trail.
Enough to discover, as can be seen above. There are plenty more trails, mountains huts, and nature to discover, but we leave that up to you 🙂
More mountains? Check out the articles below!