How To See The Iconic Seceda Viewpoint In The Italian Dolomites

A trip to the Dolomites wouldn’t be complete without seeing the famous view of the Puez Odle Group from the Seceda viewpoint. Learn the best ways to reach it and explore the hiking trails and via ferratas in the Puez Odle Nature Park beyond the Seceda viewpoint.

Where is the Seceda Ridgeline

Sassolungo View from Seceda Ridgeline 8

Seceda is one of the most recognizable landmarks of the Dolomites. It’s a viewpoint towards the jagged peaks of the Odle Geisler Group. The group is surrounded by the Gardena Valley (Val Gardena) to the South and Funes Valley (Val Di Funes) to the North.

The nearest towns from where you can access the Seceda viewpoint are Ortisei (St. Ulrich) and Santa Cristina di Val Gardena. Both are renowned tourist destinations in Italy and two of the top towns to base yourself in to explore the Dolomites.

Accommodation in Val Gardena

Best ways to get to Seceda Ridgeline Viewpoint

Rifugio Firenze Puez Odle 7

Due to the ease of reach the Seceda viewpoint is visited by hundreds of tourists during the summer and autumn seasons. There are a few options to reach it and below I am sharing with you the three most popular ones.

Option 1: Ortisei – Furnes – Seceda Cable Cars

Seceda Ridgeline 16

The two-tier gondola & cable car Ortisei – Furnes- Seceda is the most straightforward and fastest option to reach the Seceda viewpoint.

The Cable Car station is located in the town of Ortisei (St. Ulrich) in the Gardena Valley. You can reach the terminal by catching bus no. 356 and get off at the Ortisei Seceda bus stop.

Look for bus connections on the Sued Tirol Mobil website. You can find the bus stop names near your hotel by zooming in on Google Maps.

You can also drive to the gondola station. There is a parking garage at the lower terminal where you can leave your car. The cost is 12 Euro per day. If you are traveling by a campervan there is also an outdoor parking lot area.

Below are the opening times for the Orisei-Furnes-Seceda gondola and cable car. Please note that the cable car is currently undergoing maintenance and the opening date for 2023 is yet to be set.

Gondola / Cable CarOpening Dates (2023)Opening Times (2023)
Ortisei – Furnes27.05 – 05.1108:30 – 17:30
Furnes – SecedaClosedTBA

Option 2: Col Raiser Gondola + Fermeda Chairlift

Sassolungo View from Seceda Ridgeline 10

The second lift that you can catch to see the Seceda viewpoint is the Col Raiser Gondola. Its lower terminal is in the town of Santa Cristina di Val Gardena in a small subdistrict called Plan Da Tieja. There is a big parking lot behind the gondola station. 

Since it is one of the biggest tourist attractions in the area, there are signs all over town pointing to the gondola station.  

A return journey for the gondola costs 28 Euro and the tickets are valid for one week. This is valuable information in case you were planning an overnight stay in one of the mountain huts in the Puez-Odle Nature Park.

Gondola / ChairliftOpening Dates (2023)Opening Times (2023)
Col Raiser26.05 – 02.1108:30 – 17:00 (26.05-17.06)
08:30 – 17:30 (18.06-16.09)
08:30 – 17:00 (17.09-02.11)
Fermeda03.06 – 24.0909:30 – 16:30

Option 3: Hike from the bottom of the Gardena Valley

  • Time: 3-4 hours
  • Elevation gain: 1000 meters
  • Path numbers: 1 then 1A
  • Trail color: black
Sassolungo View from Seceda Ridgeline 13

If you don’t want to spend money on the gondola or the cable car, then you can hike from the valley bottom. The hiking trail (path no. 1 then 1A) zigzags underneath the Col Raiser gondola and starts at its lower terminal.

The trail stays mostly in the tree line with a few glimpses southward to the peaks of Sassolungo and Sassopiatto. Once you reach the Col Raiser upper terminal the views open up towards the Puez Odle Altipiano.

From here it is another hour to the viewpoint. It takes around 3-4 hours in total to reach the Seceda viewpoint by hiking from the bottom of the valley.

TIP: You can easily combine the routes. For example, take the Ortisei-Furnes-Seceda cable car up then descend using the Col Raiser gondola or hike down. Consider buying the Val Gardena card for unlimited use of lifts during your stay.

Hikes and via ferrata you can do from the Seceda viewpoint

How To See The Iconic Seceda Viewpoint In The Italian Dolomites

I highly advise that you take advantage of the gondola or the cable car. By taking the lift you aren’t going to miss anything in terms of views. Save the energy for what’s to come. There are plenty of hikes or via ferratas, which you can do once you reach the Seceda viewpoint.

Hiking in the Dolomites is always easy. With plenty of signs and route markings everywhere, it’s hard to get lost. However, if you want peace of mind or plan on exploring the area around Puez Odle National Park more, then I recommend that you purchase Tabacco Map no. 05. 

Map of the hikes, via ferrata, huts, and gondolas

I’ve created a map of the area to give you an overview of the hikes, via ferrata and huts which you can find in the area. Don’t be afraid to venture beyond the Seceda viewpoint and spend a day or two exploring the Puez Odle Nature Park.

TIP: Click on the button in the top left corner to see the map’s legend.

1. From Seceda Around Puez Odle Altiplano to Col Raiser Gondola via Rifugio Firenze

  • Path numbers: 1, 2B, 13B, 13, 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Trail color: green
  • Walking time: 2-3 hours
  • Distance: 6.3 km / 3.9 mi
  • Elevation gain: 136 m / 446 ft
  • Elevation loss: 487 m / 1597 ft

Once you’ve admired the views of the Seceda Ridgeline it’s time to explore the area more. Head directly towards the famous spires on path no 1. This will take you past some incredible huts and viewpoints of the cliffs to your left and Sassolungo to your right.

After around 30 minutes on path no. 1, you will switch to path no. 2B towards Malga Pieralongia – a local high alpine backcountry restaurant, where you can stop for lunch or a quick drink. Nearby you can find the incredible “Lion King Rock” – a small, shark-tooth-looking spire. It’s a name I’ve given it myself. You can guess the reference.

From here follow the signs for via ferrata Sass Rigais, then turn right onto path no 13B then 13, and descend to Rifugio Firenze (Regensburgerhuette).

This is a great place for a cold beer on their huge patio area, overlooking the Odle Geisler Group. From Rifugio Firenze, it’s only a 15-minute walk back to the upper Col Raiser Terminal along Path no. 4 or a 1.5-hour hike back to the Col Raiser bottom terminal along the access road behind the hut (Path no. 1).

2. The circuit around the Odle Geisler Group to the Ortisei-Furnes middle station

  • Path numbers: 1, 2B, 13, 3, 6, 35, 5
  • Difficulty: challenging
  • Trail color: red + yellow
  • Walking time: 8-10 hours
  • Distance: 22 km / 13.7 mi
  • Elevation gain: 1016 m / 3333 ft
  • Elevation loss: 1743 m / 5718 ft

This is a full-day hiking excursion that will take around 7-8 hours of walking (not including breaks). The trail loops around the entire Odle Geisler ridgeline which you can view from Seceda. It’s best to follow it counterclockwise.

The circuit crosses a few mountain passes including Forcella Mont Dal’Ega Forcella de Furcia. The second part of the loop follows the popular Adolf Munkel Trail which runs along the north face of the Odle Geisler group. For best views make sure to stop for a photo at Rifugio Odle.

TIP: If you would like to break down the circuit you can extend the hike slightly (yellow route on the map) and stay overnight in Rifugio Genova. If you plan on doing the circuit in a day, then make sure you take the first gondola up to the Seceda viewpoint and keep up a good tempo throughout the day.

3. Hike to Rifugio Puez and return via Vallunga

  • Path numbers: 1, 2B, 2, 3B, 14
  • Difficulty: challenging
  • Trail color: blue
  • Walking time: 7-8 hours
  • Distance: 18.7 km / 11.6 mi
  • Elevation gain: 774 m / 2540 ft
  • Elevation loss: 1603 m / 5259 ft

This full-day hiking excursion takes between 7-8 hours to complete. The trail will take you across the Puez Odle Altiplano to Forces de Sieles Saddle and Rifugio Puez.

Part of this trail follows Alta Via 2 – the famous multiday trek across the Dolomites. Once at the hut, you can descend back to the Gardena Valley via Vallunga.

4. Via ferrata Sass Rigais

  • Path numbers: 1, 2B, 29
  • Via Ferrata difficulty: beginner
  • Trail color: purple
  • Time: 5-6 hours
  • Distance: 12.2 km / 7.58 mi
  • Elevation gain: 987 m / 3238 ft
  • Elevation loss: 993 m / 3257 ft

Don’t miss a chance to summit one of the peaks in the Puez Geisler Group, which you saw from the Seceda viewpoint.

Via ferrata Sass Rigais is a great beginner route that will take you to the summit of Sass Rigais. The whole trip takes around 5-6 hours to complete. You will need to carry a via ferrata equipment which you can rent in one of the rental (noleggio) shops down in the valley.

Mountain Huts / Rifugios close to Seceda Viewpoint

Rifugio Firenze Puez Odle 3

Rifugio Fermeda

The closest accommodation option to the Seceda viewpoint. Rifugio Fermeda is a traditional alpine-style hut with access to great hikes right at its doorstep. Seceda can be reached within 45 minutes of an uphill walk from the hut.

Rifugio Fermeda also includes a hot tub, sauna, and sun terrace. If you are looking for a place to stay away from the crowds, this should be your top choice

Rifugio Firenze (Regensburgerhuette)

The most budget-friendly option. Rifugio Firenze is a great place to base yourself if you want to explore more of Puez Odle Nature Park. Particularly if you want to tackle the previously mentioned via ferrata Sass Rigais or photograph the Seceda viewpoint at sunrise or sunset.

The hut is only a 15-minute walk from the upper Col Raiser Terminal or a 1-hour hike from the Seceda viewpoint. It typically stays open from the beginning of June until mid-October.

Other activities to do near Val Gardena

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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.

25 Comments

  1. Last year, we’ve taken another option to reach the Seceda ridgeline, on foot, avoiding the cost of the Col Raiser gondola and the parking fee near the gondola.
    We’ve parked the car on a parking called “Cristauta” (look for this parking lot through Google maps) where we found a day price of 6 eur very reasonable and then hiked all the way up following the path called “Sentiero degli scoiattoli” until you finally reach the Baita Gamsbluthütte (this takes about an hour and by crossing a forest you have the advantage of not being exposed to the sun all the time).
    From the Gamsbluthütte onwards you can decide how you want to continue your way up to the Seceda ridgeline.

    • Thanks for the input. I did mark on the map how to hike up to Seceda from Val Gardena to avoid the gondola fees. It is most certainly possible. 🙂

  2. Hi Marta,

    I’m following your blogs here too! 😊
    I just booked a room for next Mid September 2024 at Fermeda rifugio. Do you know which way would be less uphill hiking to the refugio from Colraiser gondola mountain station or from the Saceda mountain station? I should be able to park our rental car safely by the parking garage in the valley either of these gondola stations, right? There shouldn’t be any breaking into the car, right?

    Thank you so much for your detailed blog! We have decided to go in mid September after all to celebrate my husband birthday. 😊

    Nana

    • Hi Nana. Thanks for visiting. I am glad to hear you booked the Fermeda hut and what a fantastic way to spend birthday up high in the mountains. From Colraiser you will have to hike up and from Furnes-Seceda Cable Car you will have to hike down. The second option will be easier and faster. AS for the car, I have left mine plenty of times and never had any issue. You might have to pay for the overnight parking at the gondola station but at least that give you an added security. I hope that helps!

      • Hi Marta,

        Thanks for the tips! We will just pay the overnight parking fee at the Col Raiser gondola station then. Fermeda hut said that we could reach the hut within 17 minutes from the Col Raiser mountain station so I think we will do that. Yes, it will be a great celebration indeed. 😊

  3. Hi Marta – We set off for our third trip to the Dolomites next week – and this time around I’m finding your guides AMAZINGLY helpful! Also new this time is our GPS which we’ve used in the Picos de Europa to plan hut to hut routes. I wondered if you have links anywhere to GPX files for the day hikes that you list or if it’s something you’d consider adding? Thank you!!

    • Hi Susanne. Thanks for stopping by. I am glad you find my blog helpful in planning your trip to the Dolomites. I personally mostly rely on paper maps when I hike but I do track the distances and elevation gain with my watch, however I don’t share these GPX files online due to theft. If it helps I can tell you that navigation in the Dolomites is super easy as trails are very well marked and signposted.

  4. Hello. I plan to visit Seceda on the 1st week of June 2023. Too bad that the cable car from Furnes to Seceda is still under maintenance. Do you have any recommendations about the easiest and fastest way to Seceda?

    (The staff of Seceda cable car told me to hike from Furnes to Seceda. But I’m not sure that the pave will be so steep and slippery. Now I tend to hike from Col Raiser Cable Car Mountain station. But I’m not sure which trail should be I take from there and how long would it take. Which way do you think will be easier?)

    • Hi there. just take the Col Raiser Gondola up then the chairlift to Seceda. If the chairlift is still not operational then follow the path which I talk about in the post.You will find answers for the questions you asked in the article 😉

  5. Hello! I am wondering how long it would take for me to hike from Suisi to Rifugio Firenze you think? Also Seceda is where i will be finishing my journey, what do you suggest as a way to get back down south? I will be heading to the Lake Garda/Verona area after for reference! Thanks so much, i have used your guides in the past for Tre Cime and they helped so much.

  6. Hey! Me again lol i’m going to be doing the Rosengarten area trek this summer and after i’m done i’m spending a night in Suisi. the next day i plan to head to Seceda and stay at Rifugio Firenze, how long do you think that would take me to walk? and i would need map no. 5 for this correct? thanks again! i used your blog to do the Tre Cime trek last year and loved it!!!

    • Hi Matthew. Thanks for stopping by. Are you staying in Rifugio Alpi Di Tires on last night on your Rosengarten traverse? If yes then hike across Alpi Di Siusi then take the gondola down to Ortisei (stay the night here or not) and take the Cable car up to Seceda ridgeline then hike to Rifugio Firenze. If you want to skip the gondolas then I would still recommend staying overnight in Ortisei rather than in Siusi. Yes map no. 5 includes the North part of the Rosengarten group and Puez odle Nature PArk. Let me know if that helps!

      • Yes thank you! Unfortunately all the places to stay in Ortisei were all booked during the night i’d need to stay there so i ultimately have to stay in Suisi. So based on your experiences and the fact my map isn’t here for another week (just ordered!) how long do you think it would take me to reach Rifugio Firenze from Alpi di Suisi? thanks!

        • Oh no sorry to hear that. You can take the gondola back up to Compatsch and keep hiking across Alpi Di Siusi then take the gondola back down to Ortisei and up to Seceda or take the bus from Siusi to Ortisei. Sued Tirol Mobil is a website where you can check connections. You can look for bus stop names by zooming on google maps.

  7. Hello, do you know if by chance there is a bus I can take to get from Passo Falzarego to Ortisei? I know there might not be since it is a high mountain pass and the alternative would be to go back to Dobbiaco and take the train to Waidbruck.

    • Hi Maxwell. There are buses that stop at Passo Falzarego. You might just have to look for connections. For example Falzarego to Corvara and then Corvara to Ortisei. Sued Tirol Mobil is a pretty good site to look for connections. Bus stops are marked on google maps so you will be able to check for the exact names of bus stops when zooming in onto the locations. I hope that helps. Let me know if you have more questions!

  8. Hi Marta – first a big thanks for your travel guides which my girlfriend and I have used in many countries! For this Seceda hike, I thought I’d double check the chairlift schedule as these can change. The website linked below seems to suggest that it is now possible to take the Cableway Ortisei – Furnes, then the Cable Car Furnes-Seceda over the summer from 28 May to 2 Nov: https://www.seceda.it/en/summer
    Can I check if these cableway/car options are indeed reaching the same destination that you hike to in this post?

    • Hi Joe, Yes they are reaching the same destination. In fact, Furnes is actually better as it takes you directly to the viewpoint. My post needs updating as it was written in 2018 when the schedules were quite different.

  9. Hi Marta – My wife and I like best to find one location and do day hikes from there for a week. Rent house/apartments through VRBO or airbnb. Loop hikes of course are best but out and back work for us as well. Hikes of 3-6 hours. Can you recommend good locations for us? Prefer not to be in big ski towns with large complexes and hotels! ANy suggestions would be much appreciated as I am having trouble finding options. Thanks!

    • Hi Gray! Thanks for stopping by. I do have an article about the best places to stay in the Dolomites which is in the photography section of my guide. I recommend that you check it out.
      If you plan on staying for a whole week I recommend either somewhere in Pustertal (Dobiacco, San Candido or Monguelfo with the latter being the least touristic). From there you have easy access to such hikes as Durrenstein, Val Fiscalina, Lake Dobiacco circuit, Lago di Braies to Seekofel, Monte Piana and also a few via ferratas if you were interested in those. Another great place would be Cortina, but it is quite touristy, however San Vito Di Cadore is only 15 minutes drive from Cortina and a lot less touristy, yet still with great access to many hikes in the area. I have an article about via ferratas in the Cortina Area. The hikes easily accessible from Cortina are Croda Da Lago Circuit, Lake Sorapiss, Tre Cime Circuit, Lagazuoi Tunnels, Passo Falzarego to Passo Giau via Cinque Torri, just to name a few. I hope that helps! Let me know if I can help further! P.S. I have guides for most of these hikes I have mentioned.

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