Pack your bags for this show-stopping Bullaccia hike, in the heart of The Dolomites!
High up in The Dolomites, sits Europe’s largest alpine meadow, Alpe di Siusi.
A place with imposing mountain peaks, lush green pastures, and open blue skies. With miles of trails crisscrossing the horizon, it’s a hiking paradise.
Ideally perched on the northern side of the Alpe di Siusi plateau is Mount Bullaccia.
And It’s here you’ll find something spectacular, jaw-dropping views, and lots of them. All wrapped up into one circular trail.
If exploring sweeping views of the alps sounds like your kind of escape, read on to discover more about the fantastic Bullaccia hike.
Exploring Alpe di Siusi’s Mount Bullacia
Perfectly nestled amongst beautiful Dolomite peaks in Italy, is the plateau of Alpe di Siusi (Seiser Alm in German).
It’s the largest high alpine meadow in Europe and 56 square km of absolute pristine landscapes.
Located in the province of South Tyrol, life here encompasses both Italian and German influences (thus two names for everything) and a mix of long-standing traditions that harmonize with nature.
There are more than 900 miles of trails, making hiking a popular activity.
With so many great hikes, there’s something for every age and ability.
The Bullaccia mountain affords views in every direction, from the mountains to the valleys.
It’s nothing but mindful & sweeping views.
These views are part of the reason that Alpe di Siusi is one of my favorite places in Italy.
In the end, Alpe di Siusi is just one of my happy places. It inspires me to get out in nature and disconnect. So, let me show you just a little piece of what there is to love with this Bullaccia hike.
How To Get to Bullaccia
To get to Bullacia, first, you have to get to the alpine meadow of Alpe di Siusi.
This is a location where planning ahead is a must, as the plateau has restricted car access.
The road up is closed to traffic (other than hotel access) from 9-5 daily when the cable car’s in-season.
If you are doing a day trip to Alpe di Siusi, Compaccio (the first point of departure & parking area) is easily accessible by bus or The Alpe di Siusi cable car that starts from Siusi allo Sciliar.
You can find:
- more on bus routes here.
- cable care info here.
- always be sure to check the official websites when you’re planning.
If you are staying overnight on Alpe di Siusi, the starting point for this Bullacia hike is Compaccio (Compatsch in German).
Once you arrive at Compaccio there are two ways to get to Bullaccia (Puflatsch).
The first is to take The Bullaccia cable car from Compaccio. Alternatively, you can hike trail 14 up to Bullaccia, It adds about an hour to your day.
Hiking Alpe di Siusi’s Bullaccia Mountain
The leisurely loop around Bullaccia mountain is about 5 miles or 2.5 hours of non-stop views. There is a large loop with several trails that dissect the area.
Both the trail and cable car put your right next to the Rifugio. Walk past the rifugio and from here you can hike in either direction. I prefer trail 14 that leads you clockwise towards Dibiata Pflatschhutte.
One of your first encounters in this Bullacia hike may just be these beautiful Haflinger horses. Native to this region, they dot the landscape on Alpe di Siusi. Their tan color is the perfect complement to the blue-green landscape.
Towering above you, the pointed Sciliar peaks are a well known & iconic silhouette. Dramatic during the day, at sunset they transform to ethereally scenic. They are equally moody when a storm rolls in.
One of the first things you notice is how vast it feels. It’s liberating to feel yourself perched on top of a plateau.
Approaching the first gentle slope down the ridgeline, you wonder where the landscape goes as the path drops off the horizon.
Where the trail in the distance disappeared right into the ocean. Making you think you’d walk right off the cliff!
It’s funny how travel stays with you, and in the most unexpected ways.
The views on this hike unfold towards the sky. You can’t help but get a sense of the vastness of the Alps.
You can also hike down to the towns on the valley floor from here. They seem so far away. Yet on the plateau, you can hear the Castelrotto church bells ring out from the valley below. Every hour, on the hour.
It’s a familiar symphony, reminiscent of the Sound of Music movie.
Throughout the hike, your senses will be serenaded by the sounds of cowbells and the swishing & swaying of horsetails. Butterflies will flit across your path and you’ll be invigorated by the mountain breeze.
As you explore, there is plenty of space to think, contemplate, and practice being grateful. A patch or two for yoga. And of course, food!
Rifugio Arkina is about an hour into the hike. Their outside terrace is a mindful place to fuel up with some Kaiserschmarrn. This traditional pancake-like dessert is a must-try authentic food treat.
Continuing along the trail, soon you’ll arrive at the legendary Witches Benches. A place of old Pagan worship, years ago the witches of Sciliar would dance and worship on these large boulders.
Today, it’s a great place to sit and take-in the scenery all around you.
The next long stretch has lots of benches and open places to sit and relax. You could sit here for hours scanning the view.
They provide a lovely vantage point of Val Gardena, as well as The Puez & Odle Mountain groups.
The iconic jagged Seceda ridgeline catches your eye, even from here.
If you are spending time in South Tyrol, it’s another great addition for any itinerary. Whether as a day hike or a cable car ride to lunch & a view.
Turning back further east you get a magnificent view of the Marmolada range, the tallest in The Dolomites. And it’s neighbor, the Sella plateau shaped range.
At the most eastern point is The Filln cross, a panoramic point you’ll definitely want to linger at and enjoy. It’s the perfect spot for a bit more photography!
The path back to the cable car lands you directly in front of what may be my favorite Mountain View in South Tyrol, the famous peaks of Sassolungo & Sassopiatto.
What a view, what else can you say?
This view is why I keep coming back, and bringing my friends & family for weekend getaways.
Where To Stay
Perhaps you’re looking to indulge with a true wellness getaway? Then you can’t beat The Adler Lodge Alpe. Set in the heart of the alpine pasture, you won’t get any closer to nature-infused wellness than this resort.
Alternatively, there are plenty of options in Compaccio, including The Seiser Alm Plaza. This summer I had a fantastic stay here even with covid measures.
If you are planning some more Italian travels, don’t miss checking out the T & I Italy Travel Guide.
Being in nature provides a much-needed reset from our fast-paced daily lives. Mindful travel experiences like this Bullaccia hike both inspire us and remind us that time spent in nature is good for our well-being.
I hope you have some restoring nature adventures soon, wherever you are!
until the next time…
…live well – travel well – be well
Share, Connect, & Inspire!