I’m not what one would call an outdoorsy kind of person, and no one ever mistook me for a Birkenstock-wearing “granola girl,” but I sure do love hiking in the Alps. Our outdoor-loving and nature-respecting European counterparts make getting there so easy. From well-groomed trails and mountain huts to clear signage and industrial-strength cable lifts, Alpine hikes are all about accessibility.
The Dolomites are one of my favorite stops on our My Way Alpine tour. When we stay in the charming Italian Sudtirol village of Castellroto, the lift station that whisks us up to Seiser Alm/Alpe Di Siusi is just minutes away by bus. In our own little blueberry pod for four, we soar up, up, up and away until we reach 6500 ft—Europe’s highest alpine meadow.
From here, ribbons of trails lead you on hikes of all skill levels (or you can just grab a lawn chair and gaze at the “whoa”-worthy views). I like to start a little bit higher by taking the ski lift from Compatch up to Panorama. It’s a glorious 3.5 hour trek to Zallinger, with lots of uphill/downhill changes that remind me of an EKG monitor (not only for the vertical variations but because of how hard my heart get pumping on that trail). Along the way, wildflowers abound, cows jingles their bells as you pass, and ponies (who have grown so accustomed to all the humans visiting their neck of the meadow) playfully nuzzle up to you for a selfie. And all the while, skyscraping peaks of Dolomite mountains formed millions of years ago stand guard all around you, and you feel both humbled by nature and emboldened by her.
When you make it to the mountain hut at the end of your expedition, relax a bit, have a drink, and celebrate your efforts. Tomorrow your muscles will probably let you know what they think about your sense of adventure, but tomorrow is another day.
Check out a few more images from my dynamite Dolomite hike on our recent My Way Alpine tour. Better still, come see Alpe di Siusi in person, and discover just how accessible these alpine wonders can be.