4 fantastic minor valleys of Val di Fassa to visit absolutely

4 fantastic minor valleys of Val di Fassa to visit absolutely

Val di Fassa is one of the largest valleys in Trentino, starting from Moena and reaching the foot of the Marmolada with Penia di Canazei. The mountains that surround it are among the highest in the Dolomites and offer extraordinary landscapes.

However, to make the Val di Fassa one of the most loved by tourists there are some corners of paradise that are not always known, we are talking about the smaller valleys of the Val di Fassa.


The minor valleys (or side valleys) are secondary valleys that develop on the sides of the main valley and usually end at the foot of the peaks.

The characteristic of these side valleys is that they do not host villages or inhabited centers, making them real corners of relaxation immersed in authentic nature. In recent times the side valleys have also been largely closed to traffic, further reducing the influx of mass tourism in order to preserve their beauty.

Here are the side valleys of Val di Fassa to visit in summer:

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Val San Nicolò

Val San Nicolò (Pozza di Fassa) in summer

Of all the Val San Nicolò is certainly the most famous. It develops from Pozza di Fassa and climbs up to the slopes of Cima dell'Uomo belonging to the Marmolada group.

The large lawns used for pasture are a treasure trove of flowers in spring and a green carpet in summer, these intense colors contrast with the "pale" colors (the Dolomites are also called pale mountains due to the light color of the rock) and the snow that on the peaks resists until the first days of July.

Val San Nicolò also owes its charm to the mountain pastures present here, they are different and each has preserved the barns of the past, transforming them into typical mountain huts.

These well-preserved huts immersed in the magnificent landscape make a visit to Val San Nicolò a unique experience. It seems to be in an alpine postcard of other times.

Cabin at the waterfall in Val San Nicolò

A tip is to reach the hut at the waterfall and stop for a break, here and there you can also observe the marmots running undisturbed between the meadows and the woods.

Val Monzoni

Parallel to Val San Nicolò is Val Monzoni, another side valley with a unique charm.

Unlike the Val San Nicolò it is less wide but wilder, to reach it you have to immerse yourself in the woods crossed by a magnificent alpine stream. Only after a gradual climb can you reach the meadows where there is a mountain hut where you can stop and taste the typical dishes of the Trentino tradition.

Val Monzoni is less frequented than Val San Nicolò but this does not mean that it boasts a less fascinating landscape. From here you can also reach other destinations such as Lake Lagusel, a small body of water at the foot of the Dolomite peaks that are reflected.

Val Contrin

Trails in Val Contrin

Val Contrin is another secondary valley to visit in Val di Fassa. It was born in the shadow of the Marmolada and offers a unique landscape and tranquility.

Unlike the other 2 valleys we have already talked about here, the path that leads us to their discovery is more demanding in terms of height difference, so it is advisable to use the shuttle service that goes up from the Ciampac cable car lifts (8 euros per person + 8 euro return). It is especially recommended for families with children who are not used to the mountains.

The destination of this excursion in Val Contrin is the Contrin Refuge which is located at about 2000 meters above sea level located right at the foot of the Dolomite peaks.

Val Contrin looking at the Marmolada

Here a magnificent stream descends and there are large meadows where you can spend a day in absolute relaxation surrounded by nature.

Val Contrin is also the starting point for numerous high altitude excursions, in particular towards the south face of the Marmolada or towards the other peaks of the Marmolada group.

Coming down from Val Contrin you can admire a magnificent view towards the Sassolungo.

Val Duron

Sassopiatto seen from Val Duron

Val Duron is the valley that rises from Campitello di Fassa and leads to the South Tyrolean territory. Val Duron, like Val Contrin, also requires a greater effort in the ascent than val san nicolò or val monzoni.

After the Micheluzzi Refuge (which can also be reached with the shuttle bus service) the climb becomes less demanding and it is here that for many the excursion to Val Duron begins.

It is a narrow but long valley where there are many pastures but above all many haymaking areas. Here on a day of good weather you can smell the scent of mountain hay, which thanks to the mountain flowers gets a pleasant fragrance.

Like the other valleys, here too we find a stream that descends from the highest peaks, especially when you reach the end of the valley there are canyons carved by the water where you can find crystal clear water, probably the clearest and most crystalline you have ever seen. .

Towards the end of the valley there are also numerous marmot dens which have their home right here on the slopes of Val Duron. You will be able to see them standing at attention always ready to burrow into their lairs in case of suspected danger.

In the middle of the valley there are some refreshment points where you can stop for a lunch or simply a healthy snack while enjoying the typical products of Trentino.

Val Duron is also the starting point for many more demanding but certainly rewarding excursions. The main destinations are the Antermoia Lake and Refuge (nestled between the walls of the Catinaccio), the Denti di Terra Rossa Refuge, which can be clearly seen from the beginning of the valley and the Sassopiatto Refuge which is located right on the border between Trentino and South Tyrol. at the foot of the majestic Sassopiatto from which it takes its name.

Val Duron is a destination suitable for everyone, a family with children will have no problem having fun among large green spaces, the cows and horses of the mountain huts and marmots.

For more information on the shuttle buses that take you to these valleys you can visit the page small trains and shuttle bus Val di Fassa

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