Where to stay in Ortisei, the heart of the Dolomites – Casa al Sole

Seceda, Ortisei, Val Gardena

A vacation to the impressive Italian Dolomites is always a good idea. During every season you can enjoy beautiful views. With or without snow, adventure is never far away here. One of the places I absolutely wanted to visit was Val Gardena. This well-known valley is surrounded by some of the most imposing peaks of the Dolomites. I went there in September with Jan. As a base we chose to stay in Ortisei, located in Val Gardena, the heart of the Dolomites.

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Picturesque Ortisei in Val Gardena, the heart of the Dolomites 

Val Gardena also known as Gröden located in South Tyrol is often described as a popular ski destination. This is because the valley is surrounded by some of the most majestic peaks of the Dolomites. It is therefore no secret that these mountains have been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 2009. Even outside the winter sports season you can enjoy the most phenomenal views and various, adventurous outdoor activities such as hiking, mountain biking, climbing, etc. In short, the perfect destination for active travelers.

There are three villages in Val Gardena: Ortisei, St. Cristina and Wolkenstein. The most famous and largest mountain village is Ortisei or Urtijëi located at an altitude of 1236 meters. From Ortisei you can easily reach the most impressive peaks of the Dolomites via the cable cars. Besides that, Ortisei is also a very pleasant town to stay. In the center you will find a pedestrian zone where you can stroll along local boutiques or relax in one of the traditional restaurants or cafes. Ortisei is also the international center of original woodcarving.

Ortisei Val Gardena
Ortisei Val Gardena

B&B Casa Al Sole

Looking for an accommodation to stay in Val Gardena I came across B&B Casa al Sole located in a beautiful red building on the outskirts of Ortisei. Casa al Sole immediately caught my eye, not because of its striking red color, but because of its uniqueness. It is not exactly the kind of accommodation you would expect in the Dolomites. But it is one that I can highly recommend.

Casa al Sole Ortisei
So what makes Casa al Sole so unique? At first sight, Casa al Sole looks like a traditional South Tyrol building, but when you enter you are completely surprised by the minimalistic interior. A few years ago, the building went through a thorough renovation. Many authentic elements were preserved. For the finishing touch and furnishings, the owners opted for natural elements that radiate tranquility, but also add a very minimalistic, contemporary touch. The combination of old and new is a perfect match and makes Casa al Sole a real unique gem in the heart of the Dolomites.
 

Casa al Sole Ortisei
Casa al Sole Ortisei
Casa al Sole Ortisei
Casa al Sole Ortisei

And then there are the owners Manuel and Alexandra themselves, who passionately give the best of themselves every day. Thanks to their personal approach, knowledge of the region and experience in the catering industry, but also because of their well-considered choices for certain products, they lift Casa al Sole to a higher level. This makes Casa al Sole a B&B with just that extra little bit more!

What can you expect from the rooms? 

The eclectic style of authentic elements and contemporary design is also continued in the rooms. I really liked the wooden floors with the beautiful armchair in combination with modern black metal elements.

My favorite elements in the room were the beautiful double windows that opened onto the balcony. It was lovely how the morning sun came in here. From the balcony we also had a dazzling view of the Sassolungo.
 Casa al Sole Ortisei
Furthermore, the room has everything you need for a successful stay.

What can you expect from the breakfast? 

Breakfast was my favorite moment of the day during my stay at Casa al Sole. The first thing I thought when I woke up was what would Manuel have made for breakfast today?

Manuel’s motto is: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. And that you will definitely experience in this breakfast. A great thing is that you take a seat at your table and that you are served on the spot. Manuel will bring you your own rich breakfast buffet with different, varied dishes. Both savory and sweet dishes such as bread, local charcuterie, jam, yogurt, fresh fruit and delicious homemade patisserie are served on your table. You can also ask for some eggs.

Casa al Sole Ortisei
Casa al Sole Ortisei

Believe me, you really don’t want to miss this breakfast. Because Manuel prepares everything himself, there are also different dishes every day. This way you don’t only eat varied during your stay, but also get to know different local flavors and products every day.

What else has Casa al Sole to offer? 

Every evening from 4 to 8 pm, with the exception of Tuesdays, you can enjoy a snack and drink in the bar. Because Manuel has so much knowledge about local products, it’s just amazing to tell him what you like and then he will look for the right wine for you. But you can also come here for a delicious house cocktail.
 

Casa al Sole Ortisei
Casa al Sole Ortisei

I already told about the personal approach of Alexandra and Manuel. This is not only reflected in the choice of products or the preparation of the homemade dishes for breakfast. Since they are both from the region, they know the nicest and most beautiful places.

You can always contact Alexandra for advice. She will be happy to help you map out an unforgettable itinerary through the Dolomites. She also gave us the tip to visit Cinque Torre, a slightly less well-known mountain. This one wasn’t on our itinerary initially, but I’m so glad we followed Alexandra’s advice. This was one of our most beautiful walks in the Dolomites.

How can you get to Casa Al Sole in Ortisei? 

Since Casa Al Sole in Ortisei was a destination on our South Tyrol road trip, we traveled there from Belgium by car. Prepare for a few hours of meandering on narrow mountain roads and don’t forget to enjoy the spectacular views.

Once you have arrived at Casa al Sole you can leave your car in the parking lot. The nearest sights are within walking distance, so you can safely leave your car here.

Casa al Sole Ortisei

Of course you can also travel there by plane. The nearest airport is located in Bolzano. During the winter season you can you can easily fly to Bolzano with the airline skyalps from Antwerp in Belgium. In just 2 hours you are in beautiful South Tyrol.

From the airport in Bolzano you can choose to rent a car. It is best to book this online before you arrive there.

But of course you can also use public transport such as the  bus that takes you to Ortisei in Val Gardena. The nearest bus stop to Casa al Sole is St. Ulrich, Sarteur.

Flying to the airports of Innsbruck or Verona are also an option. Then it is best to take the train to Bolzano and take the bus to Ortisei from there.

Things to do in the neighborhood of Casa al Sole in Ortisei?

Enjoy a dazzling view from on the top of Seceda

The Seceda is a 2518 m high mountain in the Natural Park Puez-Odle and is an absolute must visit when you are in Val Gardena. This because of the breathtaking views at the top.

Seceda, Ortisei, Val Gardena
From Ortisei you can perfectly take the cable car  to enjoy this beautiful view without having to make too much effort. The cable car is less than a 10-minute walk from Casa al Sole. Are you going by car? Keep in mind that you also have to pay for parking. The price for a return ticket for the cable car is 36 euros per person. Two elevators later you arrive at the top. In front of you you can admire the Sassolungo and the Sella massif and on the left you see the Odle group recognizable by its famous steep peaks and deep chasms. For the best photos, it is best to go a little closer and choose the highest walking route.
 

Seceda Ortisei Val Gardena
Seceda Ortisei Val Gardena

Are you an avid hiker? Then you can also choose to walk all the way up from Ortisei. Personally, I would recommend taking the cable car and opt for a walk at the top while enjoying the most spectacular views. You can take a break at restaurant Sofie. If you are hungry, be sure to try the local, homemade dumplings.

Knödels, Seceda, Ortisei, Val Gardena

Experience your ‘the sound of music’ moment in Alpe di Sussi /Seiser Alm

The hills are alive with the sound of music! These lyrics instantly pop into your head when you take one look at the sloping, green hills of Seiser Alm with the most majestic mountains in the background. In the distance you can hear the soft tinkling of the bells of the mountain cows. So you literally imagine yourself in a movie scene of The sound of music.

Seiser Alm Ortisei Val Gardena
Seiser Alm Ortisei Val Gardena

Seiser Alm is the largest mountain pasture in Europe and, together with the Schlern mountain, it is part of the Schlern-Rosengarten nature park. This beautiful area is not only perfect as a photo location, but it is also a must visit for nature lovers and adventurers. In addition to hiking, you can practice many other outdoor activities here.

Seiser Alm, Alpe di Siusi, Ortisei, Val Gardena

From Ortisei you can also easily go to Seiser Alm by cable car . This is a 10-minute walk from Casa al Sole. Here you pay 21.90 euros for a return trip. Do you want to go even deeper into the meadow? Then you can take another chairlift. A combination ticket for both lifts is 26.90 euros. 

Passo Gardenda 

As we drove from Ortisei to our next destination in the Dolomites, we took the Gardena Pass. The Passo Gardena is a mountain pass that connects Val Gardena with Val Badia. This winding road runs along the impressive Stella massif.

This view naturally caused many WOW-moments. And I yelled to stop countless times, causing Jan to brake abruptly because I saw an unmissable photo spot.

Passo Gardena
For me personally the most beautiful view point over the Passo Gardena is in Corvara. Here you can admire the monumental peaks of the Sella massif, but also the gigantic monolith the Sassongher.
 

Passo Gardena
Passo Gardena

The Passo Gardena is often ridden in combination with passo Sella, passo Pordoi, and passo Campolongo. This way you can drive the famous Sella ronda around the Sella mountain massif.

Go on winter sports in Dolomiti superski

During the winter season, Ortisei turns completely white and this becomes the place to be for winter sports enthusiasts. For many, Val Gardena is really the ski paradise par excellence because you can enjoy a particularly long winter sports season here. Besides that South Tyrol has over 300 sunny days a year, which makes winter sports here extremely pleasant. Skiing with the sun on my face, that’s definitely something I’d like to come back to Val Gardena for.

In total, the ski area of Val Gardena has more than 175 km of slopes. But that’s not all! Along with 15 other ski areas, it is also part of the Dolomiti superski, the world’s largest ski area. So you can easily explore different regions with one ski pass. The well-organized public transport ensures that you return safely to your destination, in this case Casa al Sole, after a long day of skiing or snowboarding.

Where can you enjoy good food in Ortisei?

Last but not least my favorite places to eat delicious food in Ortisei. These places were also recommended by Casa al Sole and I can only agree with their recommendations.

Near Casa al Sole you will find the Sneton Stube. A small, cozy family restaurant where you can get acquainted with the local cuisine of South Tyrol.

For the best pizza in Ortisei, you absolutely have to go to Turonda. Here you can also enjoy a nice drink and snack after a long day of hiking.

Authentic and cozy dining in a former mountain barn is possible in Restaurant Tubladel. Here you can enjoy local food and an extensive menu. The house specialty is ribs. Not coincidentally Jan’s favorite meal. As a real rib connoisseur he tasted that it was good.

For homemade pasta and South Tyrolean meat dishes, you have to go to Restaurant Concordia. Here too you can dine in a super cozy and authentic setting.

Casa al Sole in Ortisei is the perfect base for exploring the heart of the Dolomites in depth. You are not only within walking distance of the most famous sights in Val Gardena. But Ortisei is a very pleasant city to stay.

We enjoyed our stay at Casa al Sole immensely. The beautiful mix between authentic and contemporary, minimalist elements in the interior, the relaxing vibe, the sublime view of the Sassolungo from our room, the delicious, homemade breakfasts from Manuel, the local wines in the bar and above all the hospitality and helpfulness of the owners Alexandra and Manuel made this a memorable stay.

Would you like to stay at Casa al Sole in Ortisei, the heart of the Dolomites?

Let me know in the comments.

Do you want to read more about Italy?

Be sure to check out these blog posts as well.

10 things Italy is famous for

How to spend 3 days in Florence

Tips for the perfect Cinque Terre itinerary

A long weekend in Umbria

The ultimate Puglia road trip

Thanks for reading.

Your truly,

Sarah

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4 thoughts on “Where to stay in Ortisei, the heart of the Dolomites – Casa al Sole

  1. Michelle says:

    Hi Sarah, I never thought of Ortisei as a vacation, nor did I know of the area. Somehow in my life this area kept coming across my path, by pictures and people. I decided the Universe was telling me to ‘go there” lol. I too while investigating the area sang, “The hills are alive with the sound of music”; I laughed at your perfect comment. Thanks for sharing, I love the information.
    Michelle, from British Columbia, Canada

    • Sarah De Gheselle says:

      Hi Michelle, Thank you so much for your reaction. Glad to hear that you liked my blog. Now I’m curious. Did you go to Ortisei or are you traveling soon? And what did you think about it?

      With kind regards,

      Sarah

  2. Glenna says:

    Hello Sarah, I have found a house I like that is closer to La Poza. Is this too far away? The owner says I can use the Col Raiser cable
    Car? I think this is quite a distance to Seceda

    • Sarah De Gheselle says:

      Hi Glenna,

      I just searched at google maps and yes you can take the Col Raiser cable car from there to go to Seceda. Have a great trip!

      Sarah

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