Home » Kids In Italy » Seceda (Dolomites) with Kids – A Family-Friendly Guide to the Breathtaking Mountain 
Mother and three kids walking on dirt trail with Seceda and other mountains in the background.

Seceda (Dolomites) with Kids – A Family-Friendly Guide to the Breathtaking Mountain 

Updated on January 15, 2024

Are you coming to the Dolomites with your kids and trying to figure out which hikes to do? 

Has Seceda been popping up in your internet search of ‘best hikes in the Dolomites?’

Maybe you already know you want to explore Seceda but you’re not sure if there are any kid-friendly hiking routes.

I recently visited Seceda with my kids (ages 2, 5, and 9), and we all had fun!  While my kids do generally enjoy hiking, the key to a successful day was making sure the hike wasn’t too long and that there were rewards (playgrounds, snacks). 

Let’s take a look at how you can spend a fuss-free, epic, and fun day hiking at Seceda in the Dolomites with your family. 

Where is Seceda?

Seceda is a mountain located in the Dolomites in northern Italy.  You may also hear the area called Alpe di Seceda.  It’s fast becoming one of the most well-known places in the Dolomites for spectacular scenery that’s accessible to everyone. 

Seceda, at 2500 meters (8200 feet) can be easily reached from the village of Ortisei (1230 meters, 4035 feet) in the Val Gardena. 

Should You Just Take Your Kids to the Viewpoint (and Skip the Hike)?

No!  First of all, the price of the Seceda cableway and Seceda cable car is a whopping €39.50 round-trip for an adult in 2023 (reduced rate of €21 for kids ages 8-15 inclusive). While the views at the top of Seceda are spectacular, that’s a hefty price to pay for a few minutes of nice views. 

Also, the main viewpoint at the top of the cable car is a 10-minute steep uphill hike with steep drop offs and no real barriers for little kids, so I’d skip it (the main viewpoint) if you have little ones with you. 

Definitely go for at least a short hike with your kids if you pay the ticket price to get up to Seceda.   

Good To Know:  Looking for a less-pricey alternative that still has spectacular views?  You can reach Alpe di Siusi (just across the Val Gardena) from Siusi (€24/adult, round-trip) or Ortisei (€28/adult, round-trip). Check the gondola / cableway websites for up-to-date prices and schedules.

You may want to read
Alpe di Siusi or Seceda – Which Should You Choose?

Can All Ages Hike at Seceda?

Boys walking the trail toward mountains in the Dolomites.
My boys on a summer hike at Seceda

My 5-year-old and 9-year-old had a blast on the hike we did (more on that below), but we had to carry my 2-year-old most of the time for safety reasons (drop offs, and narrow, steep trails) and because the uphills and downhills were tough for him.

Helpful Tip:  If you have babies or toddlers, bring a backpack or carrier.  They will need to be carried for some or all of the hike. 

How to Get to Ortisei and the Seceda Lift

Road sign in Ortisei leading to the town center and the various lifts and passes.
Arriving in Ortisei, follow signs for the centro (the bullseye icon) and then park at the Secëda garage or the Central garage.

You need to make your way to the village of Ortisei (St. Ulrich in German, Urtijei in Ladin) in the Val Gardena.  The easiest way is to arrive by car, but you can also use the area’s excellent bus system.

The lift is in Ortisei, not on the outskirts, so you need to find parking in town. 

Parking Options for Seceda

The most convenient parking is at the base of the Seceda lift.  There’s a gravel lot that is currently for day parking (flat fee) and a two-story parking garage.  Combined, they have just under 300 spaces, but in summer months, they both fill up quickly. 

On our recent trip, we tried parking at the lift first, but ended up having to park at the Central parking garage in Ortisei, which is a pain in the bum because you have to walk a steep uphill to the lift with your kids (“Moooooom, are we there yet?”).  But, if you’re planning on visiting Ortisei after your hike, you’re close to the Central parking garage when you’re finished.

Good To Know:  The parking garage at the base of the lift has two entrances and if the garage is full and you’re waiting for someone to exit, wait at the second entrance because it lets cars in before the first entrance (I learned this the hard way).

In the future, I’ll just park at the Central parking garage and avoid the hassle, maneuvering, and traffic around the funivia garage and lot.

Taking the Cable Cars Up to Seceda

Good To Know:  There are a lot of words thrown around when we talk about how we get from the bottom to the top of a mountain – cable car, cableway, chairlift, gondola, funivia, cabinovia, funicolare, seggiovia and more.  And the chosen words aren’t always consistent, even on the same website.  Keep that in mind.

There are a couple of ways to reach Seceda with assistance. I’m going to focus on the way we went up (which I recommend and would do again).

  1. First, take the Seceda gondola from Ortisei up to the Furnes station
    You can buy tickets online or at the bottom of the lift.  I’ve never run into long lines, and as much as I like to plan, I don’t pre-purchase lift tickets with kids (unexpected illnesses, delays, change of plans, etc). 
    Walk upstairs (or take the elevator) to board the cable car.
    The Ortisei-Furnes gondola is small, seating small groups of around 6 people. 
  2. At the Furnes station, you’ll exit and board the cableway that takes you from Furnes up to Seceda.  This is a large one that takes large groups.  This second one is quite high off the ground, but if you don’t mind that, it’s a great opportunity to see the rock face up close when you’re near the top of the lift. 
  3. Arrive at the top of Seceda and enjoy!

Good To Know:  If you have kids that don’t pay (like my 2-year-old and 5-year-old), they need to be in your arms or walk under the turnstile when you scan your tickets.

Good To Know:  Use the toilet at the bottom station (downstairs).  It’s €0.50, or you can buy something at the bar.  It’s nice to ride the cable cars without having a child that needs to go to the bathroom.

Helpful Tip:  If you or your kids are a little nervous about the second cable car, take a spot in the middle and don’t look out the windows.  I’ve used this method with plenty of hikers wary of the high cable cars and it has always worked.  The key is to distract.  Once you get to the top, it’s worth it and everyone is happy to take in the amazing views!

Arriving at Seceda

When you arrive at Seceda, take a moment to put on an extra layer if you need to.

The views here are amazing, so you’ll probably want to snap a few photos.  I tried to take a family photo here.  I hope you have better luck (or skill) than me – or at least less-wiggly kids.

Take a few minutes to let your kids play at playground, but don’t stay too long because you want them to have some energy for the hike! You can always remind them you have to come back to the cable car, so they can play again after the hike.

If you have more than one adult in your group, one can stay with the kids at the playground while the other(s) walk up to viewpoint (the sign says 10 minutes, but if you’re not in decent shape, don’t rush – just take breaks on the way up and enjoy the views!). 

Up top, you’ll get 360° views, and you can see which mountains you’re looking at if you step inside the large metal mountain ring. You can see mountains in the region you’re in (Trentino-Alto Adige) as well as Lombardia and even neighboring Austria (which is actually really close).

Helpful Tip:  Only offer the viewpoint option to adults, older kids and teens in your family.  It’s a steep walk for little legs, and they’ll have more fun at the playground.  Also, there are STEEP drop offs and many places with no barrier between you and the drop off.   

View from Seceda toward Val Gardena. You can see the steep drop off on the left.
You can see the drop offs on the left

Good To Know:  You can see the viewpoint (it’s the big, dark red circle) and decide for yourself if you want to make the climb.

Hiking from Seceda to Pieralongia with Kids

After stopping at the playground, it’s time to hike!

We did the hike (it’s not a walk) from the top of the Seceda funivia to Malga Pieralongia.  Malga Pieralongia has fresh milk, so you can have hot chocolate or coffee with fresh milk – you can see the cows!

There’s also a small play area with swings, a sandbox with toys, and a little play house.  We were greeted by a group of donkeys along the trail near the malga.

Seceda Mountain Station to Malga Pieralongia

Printed map of Seceda area in the Dolomites.
You can find this map at the bottom of the lift and on the Seceda website, or you can pick up a paper copy at the ticket booth

Hike Type:  Out-and-back
Distance: 4 kilometers
Elevation Gain: 190 meters
Trail: Hard-packed dirt, some concrete sections
Stroller-Friendly: No
Toilet: At Seceda Mountain Station and Malga Pieralongia
Food: At Seceda Mountain Station (restaurant) and Malga Pieralongia (drinks, meat/cheese platters, cakes, light snacks)

Good To Know:  You can see Pieralongia – it’s the tall, large stone sticking up in the distance. The malga is just before it.

It took us 55 minutes to walk the 2 kilometers from the top of the cable car to Malga Pieralongia. 

Follow trail 1 and then trail 2B toward Pieralongia. The trail is narrow, but my kids were fine and never expressed worry or concern.  My two-year-old didn’t walk much, but it was easy to carry him on the trail (easy footing). 

When we arrived, my kids played on the toys, we looked at the animals, and we had drinks at the picnic tables.  You can also have one of their homemade cakes or more filling food like a meat and cheese platter.

There is a clean toilet (in the back of the building opposite the malga).

We spent about 45 minutes playing and relaxing, and then we walked back.  The walk back felt a little bit harder (more uphill), but we ended up making it back to the funivia in under 50 minutes.  It must’ve been the sciwassers (refreshing drinks with raspberry syrup and lemon) we had at Malga Pieralongia.

Kids playground at Seceda mountain's Malga Pieralongia in the Dolomites. You can see mountains in the background. Kids are playing in sandbox, on small tractors, and on the swingset.
My boys playing at Malga Pieralongia

Good To Know:  If you’ve had enough uphill, instead of walking the same trail back to the mountain station (mostly uphill), you can walk downhill to the bottom of the Seggiovia Fermeda lift and take it up to the top of Seceda.  From there, walk the short downhill to the Seceda Mountain Station and take the two cable cars down to Ortisei.  Note that the lift is open, so it’s best for older kids. 

Tips for Visiting Seceda with Kids

Boy hiking on packed dirt path on Pieralongia trail in the Dolomites.
My son running on the trail
  • Check the forecast.  The best thing about Seceda is taking in the incredible views – which you won’t be able to do if it’s cloudy or raining. 
  • Check the cable car opening hours on the official site. This is VERY important because the second cable car opens late in the summer.  You’ll be quite disappointed if you can only reach the intermediate (Furnes) station, because it’s a long hike from from Furnes to Seceda Mountain Station (don’t do it with kids).
  • Bring an extra layer for the top.  Even if it’s a sunny day, it’s often chilly at Seceda, and cold kids are grumpy (same goes for adults).
  • Wear appropriate shoes – you and your kids.  The trails can be steep in places, and if they’re wet they can be slick.  There are also sections with gravel which can be slippery.  Make sure everyone’s shoes have good traction. Read our guides to the Best Shoes for Italy and Kids Shoes for Italy.
  • Play at the park at the top of the lift but set a time limit and let your kids play after the hike.  You don’t want them to use all of their energy before the hike!
  • There are toilets in the Central parking garage, at the tops and bottoms of the lifts, and at rifugi (mountain huts).  Use one when you see it.
  • Pack snacks for the hike.  Yes, you can get food at the huts, but sometimes with kids, things take a little longer than expected.  I was happy to have GORP (good ol’ raisins and peanuts) for my kids on our hike to Pieralongia (don’t tell my kids I ate the M&Ms while they were walking ahead of me).
  • Allow plenty of time for your hike and playing at the park.  There’s nothing worse than stressing about getting yourself back to the cable car in time to catch it before it closes – except maybe stressing about getting yourself and your kids back to the cable car in time.

Things to Do Near Seceda

Boys hiking on the Resciesa path above Ortisei in the Dolomites, Italy.
The Resciesa hike is reached by a kid-favorite funicular from Ortisei

When you’ve finished exploring Seceda, take some time to check out some of the other kid-friendly activities and destinations nearby:

Enjoy your time at Seceda with your kids!

Seceda with Kids FAQ

Can I mountain bike at Seceda with my kids?

Yes, you can ride mountain bikes around the Seceda plateau and trails.  You can also rent mountain bikes in Ortisei.  If your children aren’t experienced mountain bikers, I recommend mountain biking with them on Alpe di Siusi first, where they can ride on wider trails and have more selection of trails with less elevation gain and loss. 

What are the main Dolomites peaks you can see from Seceda?

You’re surrounded by mountains at Seceda, including the famous Marmolada, the Tofane, Sassolungo, the Sciliar range, and the Sella group.

Can you visit Seceda year-round?

You can visit Seceda all seasons of the year, but if you want to take the gondola and cableway up, check the official Seceda website for the opening dates.  For the summer hiking season, the cableway from Furnes to Seceda doesn’t open until late-June and it closes at the beginning of November.  The late-June opening puts a wrench in many hikers’ plans. 

Is Seceda in South Tyrol? 

Yes, Seceda is in the Italian region of Trentino – Alto Adige.  You’ll also hear the region called Trentino – Südtirol or Trentino – South Tyrol.

Can I bring my baby on the Seceda hike?

Yes, you can bring a baby on a Seceda hike, especially a route like we did from the top of the Seceda cable car Station to Pieralongia. We saw babies in baby carriers on the hiking trail to and from Malga Pieralongia.  I did the hike with my toddler but ended up carrying him most of the way.

What is the best town to reach Seceda from by cable car? 

You can reach Seceda from Ortisei (Seceda cable cars) and Santa Cristina (Col Raiser cable car). 

Is it worth taking my kids up to the Seceda ridgeline?

Seceda is gorgeous, and the views are some of the best in the Dolomites.  Taking the cable cars up to Seceda is one of the best things you can do in the Dolomites! However, keep in mind that the upper part of Seceda doesn’t have protective barriers (it’s a mountain) and has steep drop offs, so you may want to keep your kids away from the top and the ridge. We stick to hikes in the plateau, which are still incredibly scenic!

Is wild camping allowed on Seceda mountain peak?

No, you can’t camp on Seceda. 

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