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During our trip to the Dolomites, visiting Alpe di Suisi was at the top of our bucket list. How to visit Alpe di Suisi is another question, as it is one of the more complicated places to see. So, with a bit of digging, we figured out the system.

How to Visit Alpe di Suisi

Alpe di Suisi is one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen. The green alpine meadow, the largest in Europe, covers the land all the way to the base of the Sassolungo mountains. All over the meadows are these wooden huts, used by locals as summer getaways and winter ski cabins. It’s incredibly picturesque, making it one of the best places to visit in the Dolomites.

With the rules around driving and such, I wanted to share a quick guide on how to visit Alpe di Suisi. It’s somewhere that cannot be missed.

For more Dolomite information, check out my Ultimate Guide to the Dolomites.

Short on Time? Here’s My Top Picks for Best Hotels in Alpe di Suisi:

  1. Hotel Icario, for the best design-for-dollar hotel
  2. Adler Lodge Alpe, for the best luxury hotel

Though we hiked in when we went, I would book at one of these hotels next time we visit.

How to Visit Alpe di Suisi

Accessing Alpe di Suisi

You essentially have three options for reaching Alpe di Suisi and each is rather straightforward. The most complex is driving as the road into Alpe di Suisi is not open to the public unless you’re staying at a hotel, which there are still other rules that apply.

If you try to drive out to the photography spots and don’t have a hotel reservation, it’s a hefty fine of 120-150 euros. It’s not worth it.

How to Visit Alpe di Suisi

Option 1: Driving to Compatsch

You can drive to the Compatsch parking lot before 9 am and after 5pm. Once you’re there, you can exit at anytime (don’t worry you can leave!), but cannot come up the road, even past the road gate to that point between those hours. If you’re wanting to shoot sunrise, you’ll drive up here and use parking lot 2 (it’s the closest), see below for information on sunrise photography. It’s 17 euros to park and the parking booth opens at 8 am but if you arrive before, it’s likely you won’t have to pay.

Option 2: Staying in Alpe di Suisi

If I were to do it again, I would book a night in Alpe di Suisi at the scenic Adler Lodge or cheaper option of Hotel Icaro. It means you don’t have to hike at sunrise for photography and can enjoy sunset here. Even when staying at the hotel, you can only drive in one time initially during the hours of 10-5 to your hotel for check-in. After you check in, you can only depart before 10 am or after 5pm. It seems strange, but it will make sense when you see how small the road is and how busy it gets.

Option 3: Gondola

Most people will opt for the gondola and this is the best option if you’re keen not to have an early start. You can grab the gondola at Ortisei for 17 euros a person roundtrip and it runs on a seasonal schedule which you can find here.

How to Photograph Sunrise at Alpe di Suisi

This is what we had wanted to do the most — seeing the sun’s rays hit the alpine meadow and light up the peaks of Sassolungo. Since we did not have a hotel reservation, we had a fun morning adventure in the dark to catch the light. It’s really an easy walk and takes about 45-55 minutes depending on how fast you walk (one or two uphills). Here’s how to photograph sunrise in Alpe di Suisi from the famous spot:

  1. Park at Compatsch P2. There will not be anyone here, so don’t worry about buying a parking ticket. Allow yourself 45-55 minutes to make the walk.
  2. Walk on the concrete road in the direction of Adler Lodge hotel. Google Maps will take you there.
  3. Soak in sunrise from right below Adler Lodge or at the bench around 200 yards before on the same road. Here’s the exact Google location.

Really easy and so worth the early hike!

Where to Eat in Alpe di Suisi

There’s a few restaurants in the main Compatsch parking area so you’ll have some options there. We randomly found out about Malga Sanon when we walked into the Adler Lodge (only open to guests) so we hiked down there to this cute place. It was the most scenic view for breakfast and the food was delicious!

What to Do in Alpe di Suisi

Hiking is the main attraction and there are a ton of trails. You can’t miss them, we hopped on one and made a loop around the valley. There are also bikes for hire if you want to go this way. During the winter, this is a major ski area as well.

How to Visit Alpe di Suisi

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  1. Hi I Am glad I stumbled uopn your blog. It answers all of my major questions about Alpe di Siusi.

    Btw, we wiil be going there on September 20 to 21 which is still a summer month. Im just curious there were no gates or like barrier around the parking lot?

    So we can just easily get in and park?thank you!

    • Jessica Wright Reply

      Hi Liz!

      No barriers, but you will have to park at the bottom lots. If you arrive before the payment person is there, you’ll just pay on the way out.

    • adriana de la fuente Reply

      thank you for your guide. What hikes do you recommend in the area?

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