Guide To Fassa Valley & Rosengarten Nature Park: Best Hikes, Via Ferratas & Photography Spots

Val Di Fassa is a mountain valley in the Trentino region of Northern Italy. Dolomite’s famous mountain groups surround it, including Rosengarten, Sassolungo, Marmolada, and Sella. The endless hiking, via ferrata, and photography possibilities are why I return to Val Di Fassa every time I visit the Dolomites.

Best Towns To Stay In Val Di Fassa

Guide to Fassa Valley: Best hikes, via ferratas and photography spots
Canazei and Campitello di Fassa with Marmolada in the background photographed from one of the hikes in Val Di Fassa

Fassa Valley stretches for approximately 20 kilometers and is dotted with little towns. Where one ends another one begins. Below are my recommendations for the best towns to stay in when visiting Val Di Fassa. They offer the best access to chairlifts and gondolas that will transport you into high alpine areas with many hiking and via ferrata options.

  • Canazei (located at the end of Fassa Valey with great views of Marmolada)
  • Campitello Di Fassa (Slightly less touristy than Canazei. It has great access to Col Rodella Cable Car)
  • Vigo Di Fassa (It has the quickest access to the Rosengarten group)
  • Moena (a cool town with more local flair – my favorite in the Fassa Valley)

TIP: There are hundreds of hotels and apartments in Val Di Fassa. You can find one that suits your requirements on Booking.com.

How to reach Val Di Fassa

You can reach the Fassa Valley by car or public transport. Below are the distances and driving times from the nearest airports to Vigo di Fassa.

By car:

  • Venice Marco Polo: 172 km / 107 mi / 2h 30 min
  • Venice Treviso: 161 km / 100 mi / 2h 20 min
  • Milan Malpensa: 270 km / 168 mi / 3 h 15 min
  • Milan Bergamo: 353 km / 219 mi / 4 hours
  • Innsbruck, Austria: 152 km / 94 mi / 2 h 20 min
  • Munich Germany: 346 km / 215 mi / 4 hours

By public transport

You can catch a train to Bolzano and then a local bus. There are direct buses from Bolzano to any of the towns in Val Di Fassa. I always use the Sued Tirol Info website to find the local bus connections.

Top Hikes Around Fassa Valley & Rosengarten Nature Park

I hiked extensively around Val Di Fassa and the Rosengarten group yet I still feel like I only scratched the surface. I realized that it is not possible to cover them all. Here are some of my favorite routes.

TIP: click on the trail on the map and a window will pop up with its name. You can find the corresponding descriptions below:

1. Ciampede to Rifugio Re Alberto

  • Distance: 5.3 km / 3.29 mi
  • Elevation gain: 837 m / 2746 ft
  • Hiking time: 2-3 hours
  • Color on the map: red
Ciampede To rifugio Alberto 1

This is the most straightforward way to get to the Vajolet Towers – the iconic peaks of the Rosengarten Nature Peak. For the most part, the hike follows a wide gravel road.

From the town of Vigo Di Fassa (bus stop name Vigo di Fassa, Funivia Catinaccio) take the Vajolet gondola up to Ciampede then follow the signs first for Rifugio Gardeccia, then for Rifugio Vajolet, and last but not least to Rifugio Re Alberto.

There is a short scrambling section between Rifugio Vajolet and Re Alberto (path no. 542) with some cables installed, skip it if you don’t do well with heights and turn back after you reach the Vajolet hut.

2. Rifugio Fronza – Passo delle Coronelle – Rifugio Re Alberto

  • Distance: 5.3 km / 3.3 mi
  • Elevation gain: 775 m / 2542 ft
  • Elevation loss: 446 m / 1463 ft
  • Hiking time: 2.5-3.5 h
  • Color on the map: pink
Rifugio Fronza Passo Delle Coronelle Rifugio Re Alberto 1

The hike over Colonelle Pass starts at the same hut as via ferrata Passo Santner which I will get to soon. The hut has 3 names: Rosengarten, Kölner and Fronza.

Park your car near Albergo Frommeralm then take the gondola up to the hut. From here start your hike on path no. 550 towards Passo D. Colonelle. It takes approximately 50 minutes to reach the pass.

Once you reach the saddle you will start your descent towards Rifugio Vajolet. From the hut, the path follows a steep gully to Rifugio Re Alberto Primero.

The gully continues steeply along path no. 542. Cables are provided to help you on the most difficult of sections. It’s a grueling ascent but not very technical.

3. Col Rodella – Rifugio Alpe Di Tires – Val Duron – Campitello Di Fassa

  • Distance: 22.5 km / 14 mi
  • Elevation gain: 486 m / 1596 ft
  • Elevation loss: 1338 m / 4390 ft
  • Hiking time: 7-8 hours
  • Color on the map: yellow
Col Rodella to Alpe Di Tires 1

Those who are looking for a full-day excursion should consider this hike. The trail, which starts with the gondola ride from Campitelo di Fassa to the top of Col Rodella first follows the Friedrich-August hiking route.

You will cross three great alpine huts along this hike: Sassopiatto, Alpe Di Tires, and Micheluzzi so no need to carry too much food or water with you. You can just dine in their restaurants or even stay for a night.

4. Sassolungo Circuit

  • Distance: 16.7 km / 10.4 miles
  • Elevation gain: 787 m / 2720 ft
  • Hiking time: 5-6 h
  • Color on the map: green
Sassolungo Circuit 26

Sassolungo Circuit is one of my favorite hikes in the Dolomites. It is accessible from either the Fassa Valley or Gardena Valley. A part of it overlaps with the previously mentioned Friedrich August route.

The hike starts at Sella Pass and loops around the Sassolungo mountain group. It’s a full-day excursion in the high alpine environment. Almost the entire trail stays above the tree line. My favorite time to hike the Sassolungo Circuit is during Autumn when the larch trees turn yellow.

Read More: Guide to the Sassolungo Circuit hike

5. Piz Boè Summit

  • Distance: 6.4 km / 4 mi
  • Elevation gain: 422 m / 1384 ft
  • Hiking time: 2-3 hours
  • Color on the map: purple
Piz Boe Summit Dolomites 17

Piz Boè is the highest summit of the Sella group. You might have heard of Sellaronda, a famous ski route that loops around it. It is the easiest to scale, most accessible 3000-meter peak in the Dolomites. The hike starts with a cable car ride from Pordoi mountain pass to Sass Pordoi.

From here you only need to battle circa 400 meters of elevation to reach the peak. My favorite part about the Piz Boè summit hike was staying overnight in the Capana Fassa alpine hut. The refuge was built right on the summit. Talk about a hotel with a view.

Read more: Guide to the Piz Boè summit hike

6. Passo Pordoi to Passo Fedaia Traverse

  • Distance: 7.2 km / 4.5 mi
  • Elevation gain: 291 m / 956 ft
  • Elevation loss: 475 m / 1557 ft
  • Hiking time: 3-4 hours
  • Color on the map: black
Passo Pordoi to Passo Fedaia Traverse 1

This hike traverses between two mountain passes: Sella and Fedaia. Both can be reached by car and you can start at either end. However since Passo Pordoi is higher than Fedaia, starting here will make the hike easier because you will gain less elevation.

This route overlaps with the Alta Via 2 multiday traverse but can be done as a day hike. Both passes can be reached by public transport so leave your car in the valley.

The entire route stays In the high alpine environment above the treeline. You know what that means? Uninterrupted views along the whole hike. Speaking of the views, you can see Marmolada – Dolomite’s highest peak from any point on this hike. Don’t miss a lunch stop at Rifugio Viel Dal Pan which is around halfway on this hike and has fantastic terrace views.

TIP: If you plan on hiking in Val Di Fassa purchase the Tabacco map no. 06

Top Via Ferratas Around Val Di Fassa & Rosengarten Nature Park

1. Passo Santner (Santnerpass)

  • Difficulty level: beginner
  • Time required:  2-3 hours (+ 2-3 hours exit route)
Via Ferrata Passo Santner 1

There are 6 via ferratas in the Rosengarten group and I can proudly say I did them all. I will kick off the list of the best via ferratas around Val Di Fassa with the Passo Santner route.

This is a great and short via ferrata that takes its name from the place where it culminates – the Santner Pass. Here you will be rewarded with fantastic views of the Vajolet towers. The newly built Santner Pass refuge, where you can stay overnight, makes this route even more exciting.

Read more: Guide to Via Ferrata Passo Santner

2. Via Ferratas Masaré & Roda de Vaél

  • Difficulty level: intermediate
  • Time required: 5-6 hours (including hut approach)

This via ferrata combo consists of two separate routes, which are best if done together. You can find Via Ferratas Masarè and Roda De Vaèl in the Southern part of the Rosengarten group.

The route takes you to the summit of Roda De Vaèl and delivers plenty of interesting traverses like in the photos above.

Read more: Guide to Via Ferratas Masaré & Roda de Vaél

3. Catinnacio D’Antermoia (Kesselkogel)

  • Difficulty level: beginner
  • Time required: 3-4 hours (+ 4-5 hours roundtrip to the hut)
Via Ferrata Catinaccio 1

Catinaccio is the highest summit in the Rosengarten group. It delivers excellent 360 panoramic views of not only the Rosengarten but many other prominent peaks of the Dolomites.

It’s an easy beginner route with excellent protection. Via ferrata Catinaccio starts at the cute Alpine Hut called Passo Principe. It’s a tiny hut with a huge mountain spirit. I have very fond memories of my stay here.

Read more: Guide to Via Ferrata Catinaccio

4. Sentiero Massimiliano (Maximiliansteig)

  • Difficulty level: intermediate
  • Time required: 3-4 hours (+3-4 hours roundtrip to the hut)
Via Ferrata Sentiero Massimiliano 1

Maximiliansteig starts at the luxurious Alpe Di Tires hut and traverses the Terrarosa ridgeline. The path stretches between two summits and has constant panoramic views of the Rosengarten group and the Alpe Di Siusi Altopiano.

For the small amount of effort that one has to put into traversing the ridgeline, you will receive a lot in return.

Read more: Guide to Via Ferrata Sentiero Massimiliano

5. Laurenzi (Laurenzisteig)

  • Difficulty level: advanced
  • Time required (Excluding hut approach)4-5 hours
Via Ferrata Laurenzi 1

Via ferrata Laurenzi is the hardest iron path in the Rosengarten group so if you are a total beginner look elsewhere. Those who already have some via ferrata experience and are looking for a challenge will find via ferrata Laurenzi exiting.

The route stretches between Alpe Di Tires and Antermoia huts and traverses the Molignon ridgeline. It has fantastic views of the Sassolungo mountain group and Marmolada.

Read more: Guide to Via Ferrata Laurenzi

6. Mesules (Pössnecker)

  • Difficulty level: advanced
  • Time required: 6-8 hours
Via Ferrata Mesules 1 1

Via Ferrata Mesules is one of the oldest iron paths in the Dolomites and it climbs along the Southern face of the Sella group. This is a challenging but fun via ferrata that should only be tackled if you already have some previous experience. It delivers excellent views of the Sassolungo and Odle Geisler groups.

Read more: Guide to via ferrata Mesules (Pössnecker)

7. Oskar Schuster

  • Difficulty level: intermediate
  • Time required: 6-8 hours
Via Ferrata Oskar Schuster 1 1

Another great via ferrata route that starts near Passo Sella. The Oskar Schuster iron path scales the walls of Sassopiatto in the Sassolungo mountain group, eventually ending at its summit. The return takes you across Rifugio Sassopiatto which serves some of the best Kiaserschmarrn I’ve had. I bet you are now googling Kaiserschmarrn (as you should).

Read more: Guide to via ferrata Oskar Schuster

Top Photography Spots Near Fassa Valley

1. Passo Sella

Passo Sella 1 2
Sella group and Pass photographed from the top of the Col Rodella cable car

The Sella Pass connects the Fassa Valley with the Gardena Valley. It is part of the famous Sellaronda route which can be done on skis in the Winter or on a bike in the summer. There are many photo opportunities directly on the Pass., including a few accommodation options if you want to be close to all the action.

2. Passo Fedaia

Passo Fedaia 1 2

Passo Fedaia is one of the mountain passes that surround Val Di Fassa. It can be reached by car and a few hotels are built right on the pass.

Passo Fedaia is located right at the foot of Marmolada and is known for its Dam and the hydroelectric power plant attached to it, providing clean energy to the nearby towns.

3. Vajolet Towers

Passo Laurin Vajolet Towers 1

Vajolet towers are the icon of the Rosengarten mountain group and to me the most unique rock formation I have ever seen. There are several routes to reach the towers and a couple of mountain huts within small proximity for all those who want to photograph the towers at sunset or sunrise.

Read more: How to see the Vajolet Towers

4. Marmolada Summit

A short drive from Val Di Fassa over Fedaia Pass will take you to a little mountain settlement called Malga Ciapella. Here you will find the cable car station for the two-tier gondola that takes tourists to one of the summits of Marmolada – Dolomite’s highest peak. The peak is called Punta Rocca.

This spot is a paradise for taking panoramic photos of the Dolomites. On a clear day, you can see most of the 3000-meter peaks that can be found in the Dolomites, forming beautiful mountain layers.

5. Lake Carezza

Lake Carezza 1

This turquoise jewel is one of the most famous lakes of the Dolomites. Small effort is needed to reach the lake. There is a parking lot right next to it. The easy access contributes to a high number of tourists so if you want to have the place all to yourself plan your visit for early morning. There is a lovely easy hiking path that circles the lake. The mountain group that reflects in its waters is called Latemar.

Other Regions of the Dolomites Worth Visiting

Support my website!

Hi Reader! If you found any of my articles about the Dolomites useful please consider using the affiliate links below (at no extra cost) when booking your holiday. Thank you

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments below!

Marta
Marta

Hi! I am the photographer and creator of www.inafarawayland.com. I come from Poland, but I've been living, travelling and working around the globe since I turned 18. A few years ago, during one of my trips to Scotland, I bought my first DSLR and my adventure with photography began. When I am not stuck to my computer editing photos, you can find me hiking somewhere in the mountains.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *