Foto © Enrica Pallaver Photography
Only 18 km from Bressanone, Val di Funes is an ideal destination for those who love the idea of an active vacation: the dense forests, green meadows, typical mountain huts, and the imposing Odle offer not only a breathtaking setting but also an outdoor gym in any season. In addition, this “Pearl of the Alps” is committed to promoting sustainable, environmentally friendly vacations
The small village of Santa Maddalena is located in the area called “a monte” (upstream), just because it is the last place you meet going up the valley. With its 370 inhabitants and an altitude of 1,339 meters, Santa Maddalena has become iconic for the small church of San Giovanni in Ranui, which stands at the foot of the wonderful panorama of the Odle Group and which, according to legend, was built on the spot wherein 1394 the waters of the Rio Fiopal swept away a painting depicting the patron saint of the village. This place is perfect to enjoy peace and silence, definitely not to be missed!
In summer, Santa Maddalena is an excellent starting point for numerous hikes through the unspoiled nature of Val di Funes: a short distance away is Malga Zannes, from where you can take the Adolf Munkel path at the foot of the Odle, it leads to Sass de Putia and Malga Gampen. In short, between vie ferrate, forest trails, and hut-lined walks in the Puez-Odle nature park there is something for everyone!
In winter a ski lift starts directly from the village center, ideal for those who want to start skiing. Cross-country skiers can try out the Russis – Halslhütte – Passo delle Erbe slope, as well as the Zannes loop.
You are not particularly fond of skiing? No problem! In Santa Maddalena you can find snowshoeing trails and the Rieferhof riding stables, where you can enjoy the beauty of the snow-covered Dolomites from the comfort of your horse.
Not only sport! It is in this picturesque village that the visitor center of the Puez-Odle Nature Park is located, where you will learn to dwell on the importance and beauty of dolomitic nature!
Foto © IDM Alto Adige – Alex Moling
Foto © IDM Alto Adige – Alex Filz
At 850 meters above sea level, Tiso is the first village you meet at the entrance of the valley and it is located on a promontory facing south-west, where you can enjoy an incredible view of Bressanone and the Isarco Valley. This idyllic village is the home of the “Törggelen” and of the chestnuts: orchards, chestnut woods, vineyards, green meadows…a nature to discover!
During the summer season, you can discover all that the mid-mountain can offer you: from excursions through the woods to small cultural treasures: in Tiso, you can find the parish church in neo-gothic style, while in the village of Nave you can discover small historical and cultural jewels inside the church of San Bartolomeo. Worth a visit is also the Mineralogical Museum, which boasts a fascinating collection of geodes containing magical dolomitic crystals, such as the “Geode of Tiso”, characteristic of its purple color is a unique geological rarity.
In winter, Tiso turns into an enchanted, almost magical place: the marked trails can be walked with snowshoes until you reach a refuge where you can warm yourself in front of a crackling fire and a nice cup of mulled wine. Moreover, Tiso offers three possibilities for cross-country skiers: the ring at Malga Zannes, the slope, and the cross-country center at Passo delle Erbe.
We could call it the “main town” of Val di Funes, as it is located in a sunny central position, at an altitude of 1130 meters above sea level, but it has only 630 inhabitants. The main attraction of this village is the charming little church dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul, known as the “cathedral of the valley”, which is characterized by its 65-meter-high bulbous dome. Moreover, in the historic center of San Pietro, you will come across various buildings for community life, such as the house of culture, the sports center, and the library.
The farms of Piazzago and the hamlet of San Valentino on the opposite side of the valley are also part of the municipality of San Pietro.
Like the whole of Val di Funes, San Pietro also offers its visitors easy low-mountain hikes, panoramic paths, and theme trails to admire the magnificence of the Odle Mountains from all angles. Mountain bikers and motorcyclists will also find what they are looking for on the many trails: from San Pietro, you can reach the Passo delle Erbe and then continue to Val Badia.
During the winter season, you can enjoy the adrenaline-filled slopes, cross-country skiing, mountaineering, sledding, snowboarding, and many other activities!
Foto © Giovanni Serecchia
Did you know that the famous mountaineer Reinhold Messner was born in Val di Funes? He was born in Bressanone but later moved with his family to San Pietro.
To the brother of the world’s most successful mountaineer, a special trail has been dedicated, called Günther Messner. This route is exclusive for the most trained climbers, as it lasts from 6 to 8 hours. However, the effort will surely be rewarded by the breathtaking views.
If you want to live a real fairy tale, spending your winter vacations in Val di Funes is the right choice for you! Snow-covered peaks, the scent of the forest, crisp and clean air…aaaah what a beauty!
In the village of St. Magdalena, famous for the little church of San Giovanni in Ranui, you can have fun with your family in the “Filler” ski area, which with its easy slopes and toboggan runs will introduce your children to the magical world of skiing. For the more daring, there is a large freestyler’s park where you can float through the air.
Due to the central location of Val di Funes, you can easily reach the surrounding ski areas, such as Val Gardena, Alta Badia, Alpe di Siusi, and Plan de Corones. Every day a more exciting descent!
For those, on the other hand, who prefer calm and unspoiled silence, Nordic walking while admiring enchanting views is the ideal alternative: regenerating walks with the sound of snow in the background … a panacea for our body and our spirit.
How better to end a day in the cold Dolomites than with moments of relaxation in the spa areas? How about a dip in a warm pool, a romantic couple’s massage, and a long sleep in the hay beds? All this and much more in your winter in Val di Funes!
Foto © IDM Alto Adige – Dietmar Denger
Foto © IDM Alto Adige Alex Filz
Silence and peace are the keywords for your vacation in the unspoiled nature of Val di Funes. When the mountain sun slowly begins to melt the cold snow, the gentle hills and slopes reveal their green color, the flowers, and all the animals return to inhabit the magical forests. A fairy tale! Maybe you don’t know it, but Val di Funes is also nicknamed “Valle dei Sentieri” (“Valley of Paths”) because of its variety of excursions suitable for every difficulty. Experienced hikers can tackle the vie ferrate and the equipped paths that lead to high altitudes, while families will have the opportunity to take a leisurely walk to discover the Puez-Odle Nature Park. Santa Maddalena also offers an adventure high ropes course designed for everyone! All-round fun! Val di Funes also offers mountain bikers dedicated routes and facilities.
As a skiing area, Val di Funes offers its visitors winter sports enthusiasts the “Filler” ski resort. It is located in the village of Santa Maddalena and is very popular with families because of its easy slopes and because it allows children to introduce themselves to the world of skiing step by step. The bravest ones can let off steam in the Snow Fun Park, while snowboarders will have fun in the Freestyle-Park. In addition, away from the slopes, the whole family can play and laugh together in complete safety on the toboggan run.
Tired and hungry? Well, then it’s time for a nice break in a mountain hut, the ideal place to warm up and recharge to complete the day.
Thanks to its central location, Val di Funes allows its tourists to reach the surrounding ski resorts in a short time. We recommend visiting Plose, Val Gardena, Alpe di Siusi, Alta Badia, Plan de Corones, and Rio Pusteria.
Foto © IDM Alto Adige – Dietmar Denger
Foto © IDM Alto Adige – Alex Moling
One of the most impressive trails in Val di Funes (and in the Dolomites) is the 9 km long loop trail that starts at Malga Zannes and runs through the most beautiful places of the majestic Odle Group. In a little less than three hours, you will discover the vast Dolomite vegetation and forests that every day hide a thousand surprises! Two of the most important stops on this route are the Geisler Alm and the so-called “Odle Cinema”, a panoramic terrace on the Funes Alp with deckchairs, a photo point that you can take right away!
Puez-Odle Natural Park
The Puez-Odle Nature Park is a protected area and covers an area of almost 11,000 hectares, distributed between Val di Funes, Val Gardena, and Val Badia.
Certainly, this park is one of the most varied in the Dolomites and includes the highest peaks: Plose, Monte Gabler, Sass de Putia, the Odle Group with Furchetta, and Sass Rigais (over three thousand meters), and the Puez Group with Piz de Puez and Sassongher.
This park is an open book on the vast territory of the Dolomites: geologists will be able to observe and study every kind of rock, the tectonic movements, and the most evident erosion phenomena. Flora and fauna find here an enormous variety: lush pastures, jagged slopes, imposing peaks, impenetrable forests, and deep gorges. Trust Passione Dolomiti, you will certainly not be disappointed by the wonder of the Odle.