Seceda in the Dolomites is absolutely gorgeous year round, especially in the winter. We visited Seceda in January and it was so incredibly beautiful. Even if you are not a skiier, there are so many beautiful things to see. The Dolomites in the winter is so worth visiting!
One thing I love about Italian mountain destinations is that you can still go to the top of the mountains in the winter via cable cars. It has totally changed how we explore mountains in the winter. The Dolomites are so incredible all times of year, but maybe even more so in the winter with snow. Funnily enough, there are less crowds in the winter than in the summer. Seceda is one of those places that will give you a unique winter Dolomites experience. Read further to see why you should visit Seceda in the winter!
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Seceda is located in the Italian Dolomites in northeast Italy. It is located next to the Parco Naturale Cisles-Odle and is part of UNESCO World Heritage site.
How to get to Seceda
Since Seceda is deep in the mountains, it’s not simple to get there (but trust me its worth it!). If you are flying to Italy and plan to go to Seceda, there are several options. Technically there is an airport in Bolzano, one of the larger towns close to Seceda, but it is a small airport and quite expensive. Some bigger airports within several hours are Verona, Venice, Bologna, and even Milan. Everytime we go to Italy, we always fly to Milan (for multiple reasons), but also because the flights are usually always cheapest through Milan. If you’re renting a car upon arrival (which you will need to if going to Seceda), it is also usually cheapest to rent a car from Milan.
If you’re on a budget, I recommend looking for flights on Google Flights and playing around with the destinations and dates to find the cheapest flight.
To find the cheapest (and best) car rental, I recommend looking on Booking.com for cars. We always use Booking.com for cars (and hotels too), as it is so easy to reserve and usually has the cheapest prices.
Driving and Parking
To get to Seceda, you will first need to drive to the town of Ortisei. There is not really much public transportation to get to the area, so the best way is to have a car.
Set your GPS or Google Maps to “Funivie Seceda Spa” in Ortisei. This will allow you to arrive at the correct place. Once you arrive here, there is parking to the left of where you will see the cable cars leaving. Parking in the garage here is 1.90 Euros/per hour, so it is reasonable to park here.
Cable Cars to Seceda
After parking, you need to buy tickets to take the cable cars (funivie). Follow the signs to the ticket purchasing area. To get here you will need to take the stairs up through the bar and not the tunnel that goes down without stairs. That sounds confusing, but you will know what I mean when you get there.
When purchasing tickets, make sure to tell them that you want to go to Seceda and also return down from Seceda. There are two cable cars that you need to take from Ortisei to Seceda. They are connected, so as long as you buy tickets for both, you will get off one and immediately get on the second. Make sure that you also have purchased return tickets as you will need to scan you tickets to come down the mountain also.
The first cable car is “Ortisei-Furnes” and the second cable car is “Furnes-Seceda.” Current rates and hours can be found on their website. (The page also has a great webcam to see current conditions.)
From the ticket purchasing area, you will see where you can scan your tickets and enter to take the first lift. When you get off the first lift, it will be clear where to go to get on the next. The second cable car is different than the first in that it is one giant cable car that many people get on, rather than multiple small ones that are constantly moving. After you get off the second cable car, you will have arrived at Seceda.
Things to do in the winter at Seceda
The big thing to do at Seceda in the winter is skiing and skiing is what is mainly advertised. However, we don’t ski but love pretty mountains, so we take the cable cars even though we don’t ski.
If you do ski though, the skiing seems incredible. Even though at the time we visited there was much less snow than usual throughout Europe, Seceda still had gorgeous fresh powder and snow as far as the eyes could see. The skiing at Seceda has gorgeous views and runs for all levels, so it truly would be a great place to ski or snowboard if you can.
Walk up to the PanoramaPoint at 2500m
If you go up the hill behind the building where the cable car enters, you can walk up to a high point where there is a large cross and gorgeous 360 degree views. Before we walked up, I didn’t think there would be too much of a difference in views, but walking up to the top made much more of a difference and allowed for some spectacular scenery. From the top, you can see a large portion of the Dolomites and Alps.
Walk a little further for great views of the Seceda Ridgeline
If you continue along the ridge from the Seceda Cross, there are better, closer views of the Seceda Ridgeline. I had often seen images of the Seceda Ridgeline taken in the summer, but never in the winter. I can say that it is just as pretty (maybe even prettier) in the winter all covered in snow. There area wooden railings to prevent you from falling off the edge of the mountain and you can sit and admire Seceda.
Grab a bite to eat or a hot chocolate
There are two places to grab food with a view at Seceda. The first is the Restaurant Seceda which is immediately when you get off of the cable car. There is seating indoors and outdoors with the views.
A little walk aways from the cable car exit, there is the Baita Sofie Hutte which has gourmet South Tyrol delicacies. You can see it from where you get off the cable car and you will have to walk down on the side of the ski slope to get there.
Both options have great food and great views.
Walk to better views of Santa Cristina
If you walk straight in the direction you face when getting off the cable car, you will be able to walk up on the snowy slope that will give you better views of Santa Cristina and also the valley down below. Skiiers and snowboarders have the ride of way and make sure you’re walking on the edge of the groomed ski trails if you are walking around in the area.
Tips for visiting in the winter
Don’t Miss the Last Cable Car!
The last cable car going down is early in the evening, usually sometime between 4-5pm. When you buy your tickets, make sure to ask what time the last cable car goes down. When you’re up at Seceda, keep track of time and check to make sure you get on the last car down so you’re not stuck at the top for the night. It is a good idea to arrive back at the cable car a little earlier than you think you’ll need to as the last cable cars of the evening are pretty packed.
Don’t lose you’re paper ticket as you’ll need it multiple times since there are 2 lifts you’ll have to take
Your ticket will be a little wallet-sized card that all of the tickets you paid for will be on. Make sure to keep your ticket in a safe place so that you can take both cable cars up and both cable cars down.
Dress warm as it will be colder and windier on top compared to the bottom
It will always be colder at the top of a mountain than in the valley. This especially rings true in the winter. Make sure you wear warm clothes (warmer than you think you’ll need) so that you can enjoy your time at the top.
We wore our KÜHL hiking pants on this trip and they kept us super warm and cozy, even with the mountain winds. I have had KÜHL pants as my winter pants for several years now and they are my favorite winter hiking pants to wear. If you’re interested in checking out the KÜHL pants we wear, you can check them out on the KÜHL Website. I’m wearing the TREKR Pant and Luca is wearing the RADIKL OUTSIDER Pant in the images below. I also have the Frost Softshell Pant (not pictured) which is amazing for winter hiking.
The KÜHL hiking pants are super comfortable and helps us be prepared for whatever we may encounter in the mountains. If you are looking for durable, but comfortable hiking pants, then look no further than KÜHL hiking pants.
Summer in Seceda
Even though we didn’t visit Seceda in the summer, it would be wrong of me to not mention that it is an amazing summer destination too. In the summer you can hike up to Seceda or take the cable car up to start your hike all around Seceda and the surrounding mountains. You can take the cable car up the exact same way as in the winter to jumpstart your summertime Seceda adventures.
If you liked this post, you may like some other Italian Mountain posts of mine, such as:
I hope that this blog post helps you plan a trip to Seceda and convinces you that it is a must see in the Italian Dolomites! Please let me know if you have any questions or personal experiences in Seceda down in the comments below!
Thanks for reading!