Last updated on September 18th, 2023
If you’re planning a visit to the Dolomites with kids, I highly recommend using the fairytale village of Fiè allo Sciliar (Völs am Schlern, in German) as a base for all or part of your trip.
I first visited in 2004 as a cycling guide, and I’ve continue to return (at least once per year) every single year. I now visit with my three kids, and we can’t get enough of Fiè allo Sciliar!
Why stay in Fie with kids? It’s a lovely place for a family vacation because it’s:
Have I sold you on Fiè allo Sciliar?
Let’s take a closer look at Fiè allo Sciliar so you can see if it’s a village you’d like to use as a base for your Dolomites family vacation (or for part of it).
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Where is Fiè allo Sciliar (Völs am Schlern)?
Fiè allo Sciliar (Völs am Schlern) is in the Dolomites in Northern Italy. Fiè is a small village (800 meters above sea level) located in the autonomous province of Bolzano in the Italian region of Trentino-Alto Adige/Süd Tirol.
Distances to Fiè allo Sciliar From
Bolzano – 15 km
Milan – 290 km
Venice – 250 km
Verona – 170 km
Innsbruck – 120 km
Map of Fiè allo Sciliar (Völs am Schlern)
How to Arrive in Fiè allo Sciliar with Your Family
You can arrive easily by car or by train+bus.
I’ve traveled both ways with my family. I find that with smaller children, it’s easiest to arrive by car because you have a little more flexibility with schedule and the amount of luggage and kid equipment (like strollers). But we’ve also traveled by public transportation and the area is well set up and buses and trains are very dependable.
Getting to Fiè allo Sciliar by Car
If you’re not traveling from within the Dolomites, you’ll likely arrive in to the area on the A11 Autostrada, and then make your way to Fiè (Völs) on smaller mountain roads. We usually arrive from the south, so we exit the A22 at Bozen Nord and take the SS12/LS24 up to Fiè.
Having your car in the Dolomites and Fiè allo Sciliar isn’t necessary, but I find it makes things a little easier when you’re traveling with kids. You can stop to use the bathroom whenever you want, pull over to say ciao to cows, or plan your day around your schedule (and things like nap times).
If you’re traveling from a great distance, typically the fastest way to travel to Bolzano (the main city closest to Fiè) is by train, followed by car and bus.
Getting to Fiè allo Sciliar by Train
You can’t take a train directly to Fiè allo Sciliar, but you can take one to Bolzano and then take a 25-minute bus ride up to the village. You can take a fast train from all over Italy and from neighboring countries.
Read our guide to Taking the Train in Italy
Getting to Fiè allo Sciliar by Bus
If you’re already in the Dolomites, you can reach Fiè using the region’s excellent bus network. The buses into and out of Fiè are dependable, comfortable, and punctual. Even if we drive to Fiè, we use the buses to get around (for example, to get to the base of the Alpe di Siusi cable car).
You can also take long distance buses to Bolzano, and then take the local bus up to Fiè. The Bolzano bus station is just 200 meters from the Bolzano train station.
Helpful Tip: While it’s possible to reach Bolzano by long-distance bus, I recommend traveling by train to save time. For example, the train from Rome to Bolzano takes 5 hours, while the bus takes 7-10 hours (with at least one change).
Getting to Fiè allo Sciliar by Plane
Bolzano does have a small domestic airport, but if you’re arriving from outside Italy, look at flights to Verona (VRN), Venice (VCE), Innsbruck (INN), Milan (MXP), and Bologna (BLQ). You can then take a train to Bolzano from any of these cities, followed by the bus up to Fiè allo Sciliar.
Family-Friendly Accommodation in Fiè allo Sciliar
- B&B Residence Hubertus – family-run; B&B and apartment options, grassy area, near pond which kids love, walking distance to grocery store, main piazza, playground, restaurants; Daniela and her crew are wonderful and helpful.
We’ve enjoyed all of our stays at the Hubertus apartments, and I’ve also stayed with the kids in the partner B&B next door, Pension Hubertus.
- Romantik Hotel Turm (for older kids and teens) – my favorite hotel in Italy; unique décor, spectacular views, excellent meals and aperitivo; kids will love rock climbing on the indoor wall; great location on the main piazza; a little too quiet for kids, but we’ve stayed here with babies and toddlers and been fine (hotel is great with kids)
- Hotel Emmy – family hotel option in ‘upper’ Fié, so a little bit further of a walk to town, but gorgeous setting and family-focused. I haven’t stayed here since the hotel rebranded as a ‘family hotel,’ but I’ve heard good things.
- Vikoler Apartments – These are the apartments we stay in the most often. Centrally-located (next to Hotel Turm); walkable to playgrounds, grocery store, restaurants, trails, and transport; gorgeous balcony views; grassy area for kids to play; very friendly owners. There are four apartments for rent: Apt 1, Apt 2, Apt 3, Apt 4. Two of them have one bedroom, and the other two have two bedrooms. Beautiful views of the Schlern range from the balcony.
- Florerhof – nice location with small kids play area and indoor playroom; near the main playground in Fiè; it’s a working farm and kids can feed the cows and meet other animals like rabbits and goats
- Moarhof – in ‘upper’ Fiè but still easy to walk everywhere; small kids play area; swimming pool; gorgeous views
- Pitschlmann Farm is also a nice choice (gorgeous views, great restaurant, kids play area, farm animals) but best with a car because it’s downhill from town.
Best Things to Do in Fiè allo Sciliar with Kids
Go to the Playground
There are two playgrounds in Fiè! The main one is down by the tennis courts and is the one used by most families in Fiè allo Sciliar. It has:
- a zipline
- swings (regular, net swing, baby swing)
- a fun bumpy slide
- a fast metal slide
- a climbing structure
- a little kids play area with sand
- slack line
- spinning rope climbing structure
- a grassy area for running around, soccer, etc
- ping pong
- mini fenced soccer pitch – you can use it when its free
There’s are tennis courts next to the park and there’s also a small restaurant/café.
Good To Know: It’s not totally fenced. The road that runs by the park isn’t busy, but cars do drive by.
The upper playground is used less, but still fun. It also has a zipline, a sandy area for play, and a few toys for smaller children (like a merry-go-round and rocker toy). It’s fenced.
Swim and Play at Laghetto di Fiè
Everyone talks about the beautiful alpine lakes in the Dolomites, but many of them are freezing or swimming isn’t allowed.
At the Laghetto di Fiè (Little Fiè Lake), kids can swim (but it’s deep and there is only a tiny gated baby/toddler wading area), play volleyball, look for frogs, explore the trails in the forest, go for a hike, get a snack or popsicle at the lakeside bar, or walk in the chilly Kneipp trail.
Walk up to Malga Tuff Alm
Take a walk up to a green plain nestled in the forest at the base of the Schlern. At Tuff Alm, your kids will love listening to traditional local music, playing at the playground, and seeing the animals. Can walk from town (follow signs for Laghetto di Fiè) or drive (or bus) up to the Laghetto di Fiè parking lot for a much shorter walk that skips a lot of uphill.
To hike, walk to the village’s main traffic circle and pick up a trail map at tourist info (if you haven’t gotten one already from your accommodation). You can either walk from town up to Malga Tuff Alm, or you can drive and park here for a much shorter walk.
The hike on the way to Tuff Alm is all uphill and there are steep sections. If you’ve got a baby or toddler in a carrier, you’ll be fine (as long as you’re ok with the up!). If you have a small child that wants to walk, you’re better off parking closer and doing the shorter walk.
Climb to the San Pietro Church
You can see St. Peter’s Church rising from a large hill to the east of the village center. It’s easy to walk to its base (at the pond and cemetery) and climb up the dirt trail to the top. On the way up, you’re likely to see the resident goats, and you’ll for sure get some spectacular views. This is just challenging enough that it feels like an accomplishment, but not so much that it takes all day or wears everyone out.
Helpful Tip: Bring a small snack from the grocery store and rest up top in the grass or on the small bench.
Look for Frogs at the Pond
My boys love walking the gravel trail and looking for frogs in the small pond. You can hear them croaking in the evening. Spoiler: We’ve never seen one here, but have seen them up at Laghetto di Fiè.
Shop at the Weekly Market
Head to the farmer’s market on Wednesday mornings and let your kids speak Italian or German and purchase snacks or ingredients for a meal.
Have Dinner at Pitschlmann
My boys always ask to eat at Pitschlmann and as a mom, I’m happy to oblige. The outdoor terrace has beautiful views of the valley and the land on the other side of the valley, and there’s a grassy hillside with kids toys (like a slide, a little wooden house, swings, foosball, an in-ground trampoline, and a sandbox).
Helpful Tip: Reserve a table on the edge of the terrace close to the play area so you can let your kids play while you finish eating.
Good To Know: Pitschlmann is below town and the road isn’t lit well, so I recommend driving down to it.
Good To Know: Have your kids check out the bar stools inside. Fun foto opp!
Walk in the Village Center & Visit the Snail Fountain
Walk your little ones to the ‘snail fountain’ in the middle of Fiè allo Sciliar’s main piazza. You can fill water bottles and relax on one of the benches.
In the summer, you can sit here and listen to the classical music as young adults practice their instruments during the Schlern International Music Festival.
Helpful Tip: Grab a gelato at the bar on the square.
Good To Know: There’s a clean public toilet in the village center.
Join an Event
For being such a small village, Fiè is quite festive. It feels like there’s always something going on. Some of the village’s events you may want to check out with your family:
Helpful Tip: You can find event flyers in the tourist info center by the main traffic circle, on the board by Binderstube, and on the board by the fruit shop at the main traffic circle.
Snack on Loacker Cookies
If you’re traveling in Italy with kids, you’ll likely be pressured to buy Loacker wafer cookies at some point. While you’re eating them, look at the company logo on the package and then up at the Sciliar range.
Where to Eat with Kids in Fiè allo Sciliar (Völs am Schlern)
Make your own meals – grab picnic supplies or ingredients for your own meals and cook at your apartment or eat on the trail
Pistchlmann – Our favorite place in Fiè to eat with kids because they can play while you finish up your meal on the terrace (that also has amazing views)
Pizzeria at the tennis court – check, but they typically have pizza on Fridays. You can also get it to go (per portare via).
Romantik Hotel Turm – a more elegant option; nice if your kids are quiet, otherwise I find it stressful (it’s a quiet dining area); excellent salad buffet and menu options
Tuff Alm – yes, it’s outside of town, but the atmosphere is perfect at lunchtime, especially if the live band is playing
Pizzeria Tschafon – great pizza
Binderstube – eat outside on the patio; kid-friendly options
Things to See and Do Near Fiè allo Sciliar with Kids
- Prösels Castle – One of our favorite Castles in Italy to Visit with Kids.
- Bolzano – See Ötzi the Ice Man, eat a sausage, play at the amazing Talvera Park playground. Read our guide to Visiting Bolzano with Kids.
- Castelrotto – Find the murals on buildings, visit the playground, take the chairlift to Marinzen. Read more about Castelrotto with Kids.
- Pflegerhof Herb Farm – See the gorgeous organic herb farm, small kids play area
- Alpe di Siusi – Hike to mountain huts, visit playgrounds, take in the views, ride the cable cars. Read our tips for visiting Alpe di Siusi with Kids.
- Ortisei – Visit the town center, hike Resciesa or Seceda. Read more about Visiting Ortisei with Kids.
- Cinque Torri – Explore the WW1 Open Air museum, hike to Averau for lunch, keep your eyes open for marmots. Read our guide to the Cinque Torri.
- Corvara in Badia – Beautiful village, family-friendly hikes and restaurants, nice river trail. Read more about visiting Corvara in Badia with Kids.
- Colfosco – Aventure Park, hike to the Cascate del Pisciadù
- Cycling in Dolomites Valleys
Parking in Fiè allo Sciliar
Most hotels and apartments have parking, but you can also park in the paid public parking, in free spaces in town, or in the small garage in town. There are also electric vehicle charging stations in the lot near the main traffic circle (across from Romantik Hotel Turm).
If you drive up to Laghetto di Fiè, you can park in the paid lot there (5-minute walk to the lake).
You can also park for free in a few spaces at the playground by the tennis courts.
Pitschlmann has free parking as well.
Read more about Parking in Italy
Getting Around Fiè allo Sciliar
One of the best things about being in Fiè with kids is that you can move around on foot. We also sometimes bring bikes for the kids and let them ride around town, on the gravel trails, and to and from the playground. The area is stroller-friendly!
You can use the excellent public bus system to get to villages, cable cars, and Bolzano.
Family Logistics in Fiè allo Sciliar
Strollers – There are cobblestone areas, but you can take your stroller everywhere. I also use a stroller on some of the gravel trails. Read my guide to Strollers in Italy.
Diapers – The best place to get diapers is at the Despar Dolomiti grocery store in town (parking available). Learn more about Diapers in Italy.
Breastfeeding – You can breastfeed outdoors on benches in town or in restaurants or cafes. Italians are very open to breastfeeding and won’t blink an eye if you need to feed your baby.
Bicycles – Occasionally, I see bikes for rent in a shop window in Fiè, but the most consistent place to rent is at the Alpe di Siusi cable car. You can also rent bikes (and bike trailers, helmets, etc) in Bolzano or along one of the Dolomites Valley bike trails.
Baby Supplies – You can find the basics at the grocery store in town or the pharmacy. There are larger grocery stores in Castelrotto and Bolzano, and there are baby shops in Bolzano.
Pharmacy – Fiè allo Sciliar’s pharmacy (farmacia) is by the main traffic circle. You can also get first aid supplies and blister care supplies. Read our guide to Going to the Pharmacy in Italy.
Groceries – The Despar Dolomiti has a great selection of local products and foods. You’ll also find:
- a couple of bakeries
- a small grocery store by the main traffic circle (walk down the steps)
- a fruit shop (also has dried fruit) on the main traffic circle
What to Wear in Fiè allo Sciliar (Völs am Schlern)
Unlike in other parts of Italy, you won’t feel out of place if you show up to dinner in casual mountain clothing. Restaurants are full of other outdoor enthusiasts wearing fleeces, pants, and casual sneakers.
That doesn’t mean you can’t wear ‘fancier’ clothing – just know that you won’t feel out of place if you show up to a restaurant in casual attire. Note: You’ll want to have appropriate clothing if you decide to dine at a Michelin-starred or elegant restaurant in the Dolomites (but that’s probably not your first choice if you’re visiting with kids).
As far as what to wear during the day, remember that you’re in the mountains, where the weather can change in an instant. It’s important to pack:
- Mountain gear (raingear, warm layers)
- Layers (dress like an onion!)
- Casual clothing
- Comfortable shoes
- Sun gear (hat, sunglasses, sunscreen)
- Backpack (for extra layers, water, snacks, sunscreen, etc)
I always have a dependable fleece for each of my kids (usually Patagonia), a sunhat or baseball cap, quick-dry layers (for sweating and easy washing if needed), worn-in hiking shoes (we like Salomon but also use regular sneakers because we don’t do any epic Dolomites hikes with our kids). My boys also love having their own backpacks.
Things for Parents and Adults in Fiè allo Sciliar
Spa at Romantik Hotel Turm
We (adults) love the spa at the Romantik Hotel Turm. Adults can trade off and visit for massages, dry and wet saunas, the salt room, and unique treatment rooms.
Have a hugo cocktail, the regional refreshing alternative to the Aperol Spritz. I love the outdoor bar terrace at the Romantik Hotel Turm. You can also grab a drink at the Alpin Roof at the main traffic circle, or sit outdoors with the locals at Paulis Caffè or on the quiet, flower-framed terrace of Binderstube.
Dinner at Romantik Hotel Turm
Request an outdoor table (or, if the weather doesn’t cooperate, ask for an indoor table next to the windows).
Haybath at Hotel Heubad
Visit the home of the haybath in Fiè.
Go for a Walk or Run
There’s a nice loop around Fiè, or you can walk some of the smaller trails and do out-and-backs (for example, to San Antonio or up to Laghetto di Fiè).
Have Coffee at Caroma Kaffeerösterei
There’s a small coffee roaster just outside of Fiè. Stop in for a unique brew.
Fiè allo Sciliar with Kids FAQ
Yes, Fiè makes a nice stop for a day or even an afternoon. You could walk up to TuffAlm, visit Laghetto di Fiè, or just stay in town and visit the main piazza, have a meal, and go to the playground.
Our family uses Fiè as a base for trips of a week or longer. But, you could also spend an afternoon, a day, or a few days in Fiè and have a great trip.
Yes, you can hike directly from Fiè with kids. You can walk up to St. Peter’s Church with little kids, or you can walk up to Laghetto di Fiè or Tuff Alm. There are numerous other hikes you can take from Fiè.
Last I saw, camper parking wasn’t allowed in Fiè allo Sciliar. Signs were posted in multiple places in town. Check in with the Fiè (Völs) tourist info office for the latest camper rules and regulations.
Need help deciding where to go in Italy with your family?
Read about the Best Places to Visit in Italy with Kids!