Welcome to Val di Funes, a hidden gem among the imposing Dolomites of South Tyrol.

Known for its breathtaking landscapes, lush alpine meadows, picturesque mountain villages and spectacular rock formations, Funes Valley offers a unique escape off the beaten tourist track.

In this guide, we will take you through all that Val di Funes has to offer. From activities for each season, through details on how to get there and where to stay, to discovering local culinary delights and cultural events.

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Whether you are a thrill-seeking adventurer, a nature lover or one seeking peace and quiet, you will find everything you need here to plan your visit to Funes Valley.

Revive your adventurous spirit, prepare your senses for extraordinary beauty and join us on this journey through the Funes Valley, a place where natural beauty meets rich Alpine culture.

Be amazed by the breathtaking sights, rich flavors and fascinating sounds of this enchanting South Tyrolean valley.

What to see in Val di Funes

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Funes Valley, nestled in the heart of the Dolomites, is a very special destination for nature lovers. Today we will explore some of the natural beauty this fascinating valley has to offer.

Picturesque Villages of Val di Funes

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Hidden among the vertiginous peaks of the Dolomites, the picturesque villages of Val di Funes are unique gems to explore. Each village has its own unique charm, immersing you in an environment where time actually seems to stand still.

Saint Magdalene

Santa Magdalena is, without a doubt, among the most beautiful. Located at the base of Mount Ruefen, it offers breathtaking views of the Odle group. The village is made famous by the small church of Santa Maddalena, an icon of the valley, with its soaring steeple and prime location on a green meadow, overlooking the entire valley.

St. Peter’s

San Pietro is another charming village in the Funes Valley. This picturesque village is famous for its late Gothic church, dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul. With its traditional houses and cobblestone streets, it offers an atmosphere of authenticity rare to find.

Funes

Funes is the main town in the valley and has a fascinating historic center. The narrow streets, wooden and stone facades of houses, and historic buildings such as the Church of St. John the Baptist make it a fascinating place full of history.

However, the real magic of these mountain villages lies not only in their architectural beauty or breathtaking views, but also in the rhythm of life, in the traditions kept alive by the people who inhabit them. These are places that speak an ancient language of simplicity, hospitality and a deep connection with the land.

At traditional markets, you can savor the authentic tastes of local dishes, such as speck and dumplings, and discover traditional South Tyrolean handicrafts. Folk festivals, which celebrate the rhythm of the seasons or religious holidays, are a prime opportunity to see Ladin traditions and culture up close.

In discovering these villages, one has the opportunity to experience South Tyrol in an authentic way, away from the beaten tourist paths, in a close dialogue with nature and traditions. Every village in Val di Funes is a treasure to explore, a story to listen to.

Odle Group

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Among the natural wonders of the Dolomites, the Odle Group represents an unprecedented spectacle. This wonderful mountain group, part of the Funes Dolomites, rises majestically, dominating the Eisack Valley and the Funes Valley.

The Odle Group consists of two main subgroups, the Odle di Eores to the north and the Odle di Funes to the south. It stretches about 10 km in length, with peaks reaching altitudes of more than 3,000 meters. Its most famous peaks include Punta Furchetta, Sass Rigais and Little Fermeda, each with its own distinctive and unmistakable silhouette.

The Odle Group is known for its towering limestone rock formations, whose colors range from gray to pearly white, contrasting with the deep green of the alpine pastures below. On sunny days, the light makes the rock walls glow in a magnificent natural spectacle.

Excursions and Activities

The Odle Group offers a plethora of possibilities for mountain lovers. Well-marked trails and routes offer hikes of varying duration and difficulty, reaching scenic mountain huts, picturesque alpine passages and unforgettable views. Popular hiking destinations include the Adolf Munkel Trail, trails at the foot of Sass Rigais, and hikes to the top of Little Fermeda.

During the winter, the Odle Mountains turn into a winter paradise for ski and snowboard enthusiasts. Cross-country skiers will enjoy well-prepared and scenic trails, while winter hikers and snowshoers will find numerous routes to discover the silent and snowy beauty of the mountain range.

Puez-Odle Nature Park

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The Puez-Odle Nature Park, located in the heart of the Dolomites, is a true paradise for nature lovers. This vast park covers more than 10,000 hectares between Val di Funes, Val Gardena and Val Badia.

The real charm of the Puez-Odle Nature Park lies in its exceptional diversity of landscapes. Being part of “The Dolomites – a UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site,” it presents an incredible array of geological formations and landscapes that include towering mountains, emerald-colored alpine lakes, lush rivers and flower-filled meadows.

The park is characterized by two main mountain groups: the Odle Group in the south and the Puez Group in the north. These two formations offer spectacular views of peaks, cliffs and sinkholes.

The Puez-Odle Nature Park is home to an extraordinary biodiversity of flora and fauna. Among flower meadows, coniferous forests and alpine rocks, more than 1,200 plant species can be found, including some very rare and endemic to the area.

The park’s wildlife is equally rich and diverse, with animals typical of alpine regions including chamois, marmots, imperial ravens, ibex, and the majestic golden eagle.

Activities and Excursions

The Puez-Odle Nature Park offers a wide range of outdoor activities for all ages and fitness levels. With its many hiking trails and paths, it is a great place for walking, trekking, climbing and mountain biking.

A popular hike is the Odle tour, one of the most scenic and scenic routes in the park, offering breathtaking views of the surrounding valleys.

For birdwatchers, the park offers opportunities to observe a wide variety of species, some of them very rare.

Alpine pastures of Val di Funes

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Malghe represent a typical feature of the Alps, being used mainly as alpine mountain houses. In Val di Funes, alpine huts are places of special interest, both for their historical value and for the contribution they make to local gastronomy.

What are The Huts?

An alpine pasture is a mountain pasture used for herding during the summer months. In these places, milked milk is processed into delicious dairy products, such as cheese, butter and yogurt. Alpine huts, therefore, are both places of production and places of hospitality, where visitors can taste fresh products and buy them directly.

In Val di Funes, several alpine huts offer the opportunity to savor the taste of tradition and have a unique experience in an authentic atmosphere. Here are some of the best known:

Geisleralm

Located at the foot of the Odle Group, the Geisleralm offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains. In addition to being a grazing place, during the summer months, you can enjoy delicious local dishes, including homemade cheeses and traditional meat dishes.

Zannes Alm

The Zannes Alp is the starting point for many hikes in the Funes Valley. In addition to the opportunity to taste local products, it offers a pleasant rest after a long day of walking.

Gampenalm

Situated in a scenic location, the Gampenalm is known for its delicious snacks. During the summer season, you can taste typical South Tyrolean dishes, such as speck and dumplings, accompanied by a glass of fresh apple juice.

Walks in Val di Funes

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There is no better way to explore the pristine beauty of the Dolomites than to immerse yourself in nature through hiking. The Funes Valley, with its winding paths, undulating green meadows and towering peaks, offers some of the most idyllic walks in the region.

Here are some of the must-do trails in Funes Valley that allow you to absorb the abundant heritage and amazing panoramic views.

Adolf Munkel Trail

Experience the heart of the Puez-Odle Nature Park by walking the Adolf Munkel Trail. Beloved by visitors and locals alike, this trail is known for its breathtaking views of the towering Odle peaks. The trail meanders through lush green forests, along clear springs and through beautiful alpine meadows. Each bend reveals a new, fascinating view, making it one of the most picturesque treks in the valley.

Sass de Putia Circuit

If you yearn for a challenging hike combined with spectacular views, the Sass de Putia circuit is the right choice for you. This circular route takes you around the distinctive and isolated peak known as Sass de Putia. Although physically demanding, the magnificent 360-degree view from the summit is worth every drop of sweat. Remember, this hike is for experienced hikers and not suitable for those who suffer from vertigo.

Walk to the Church of St. Magdalene

This easy walk is perfect for those seeking a relaxed exploration of the Funes Valley. The walk begins at the Church of Santa Maddalena, a postcard-worthy symbol of the Dolomites that adorns countless postcards. The trail meanders through quiet, wide pastures leading to sunny benches-perfect places to take a break and enjoy the view.

Zannes Hut – Gampenalm

This trail offers an excellent introduction to the culture of alpine pastures in Val di Funes. The trail from Malga Zannes to Malga Gampenalm is mostly flat and takes you through beautiful undulating meadows. Once at Gampenalm, you can indulge in traditional South Tyrolean dishes while admiring the view of the Odle Peak dominating the horizon.

Puez Group Circular Excursion

For a complete hiking adventure, take the Puez Group circular hike that takes you through a large part of the Puez-Odle Nature Park. This trail covers varied terrain, from rocky landscapes to dense forests to flower-filled meadows. With spectacular views of the Dolomites and a remarkable variety of local flora and fauna, this hike encapsulates the essence of Funes Valley’s natural beauty.

When to visit Val di Funes

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Visiting Funes Valley is an atmospheric experience at any time of year, with each season offering unique features that contribute to an authentic and engaging experience.

Spring

This period brings with it an awakening of nature, with wildflowers coloring the meadows and paths and pleasantly mild weather. The days are getting longer, which allows for extended hikes. This is the ideal time of year for those who want to spend an active vacation surrounded by nature bursting with life.

Summer

Summer in Val di Funes is mild and pleasant, with temperatures rarely exceeding 30 degrees. This climate makes it possible to explore the mountain trails, picnic in the lush meadows or swim in the waterways. The valley also offers a range of summer activities such as climbing, paragliding, and mountain biking.

Fall

Autumn is perhaps the most fascinating season to visit Funes Valley. The bloom of fall colors transforms the valley into a kaleidoscope of red, gold and brown. The clear and cool days are ideal for hiking, plus it is the time of year to enjoy local products and participate in traditional fall festivals.

Winter

Despite the cold, winter in Val di Funes is magical. Snow covers the valley giving it a unique charm. Winter sports such as cross-country skiing, downhill skiing and snowboarding are among the main attractions. In addition, for the less adventurous, the charming Christmas markets offer a festive and welcoming atmosphere.

Funes Valley: where it is located and how to get there

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Val di Funes is located in South Tyrol in the east between the towns of Brixen and Klausen.

This fascinating valley includes several villages, including Tiso, San Pietro, San Valentino, San Giacomo, Colle, and Santa Maddalena, the last village before the end of the valley at the Puez-Odle Nature Park.

To reach Funes Valley, there are several options depending on your starting location. As for directions, you can consult an online map service or a GPS to get the most efficient route.

Alternatively, if you are traveling by train, you can reach the stations in Brixen or Klausen and from there take a bus or cab to the valley.

However, wherever you are starting your journey, once you arrive, you will be rewarded with views of the spectacular Dolomites, quaint villages scattered throughout the valley, and the chance to explore the stunning natural beauty of the Puez-Odle Nature Park.

FAQ

1. Is a trip to Val di Funes suitable for children?
Absolutely, yes. Funes Valley offers many activities suitable for even the youngest children, including easy walking trails, playgrounds and educational farm tours.

2.What kind of outdoor activities can be done in Funes Valley?
Popular activities include hiking, climbing, and mountain biking in summer, and skiing, snowshoeing, and sledding in winter.

3. Is Funes Valley a good place for hiking?
No doubt. With its location in the Dolomites and numerous slopes and trails, it is a true paradise for hiking enthusiasts.

4. What are the main villages in Funes Valley?
The main villages are Tiso, San Pietro, San Valentino, San Giacomo, Colle and Santa Maddalena.

5. Are there any local culinary specialties I should try?
Absolutely, there are many South Tyrolean specialties such as knödel, speck, dumplings and apple strudel.

6. Is Funes Valley expensive to visit?
It depends on the type of vacation you plan. There is a range of accommodation options, ranging from more luxurious to cheaper.

7. Can I rent a bike in Val di Funes?
Yes, there are several places where bicycles and mountain bikes can be rented.

8. Is Funes Valley a pet-friendly place?
Absolutely, many trails are dog-friendly and many hotels accept guests with pets.

9. Are there services available along the hiking trails?
Some trails have shelters or huts where you can buy food and drinks, but it is always advisable to bring your own supplies.

10. Are there routes suitable for beginners?
Yes, Funes Valley offers a variety of trails ranging from easy, suitable for beginners, to more difficult for experienced hikers.

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