Val San Nicolò

Val San Nicolò

Val San Nicolò is one side valley which develops from Pozza di Fassa (Val di Fassa) and it is one of the most fascinating destinations in the Trentino Dolomites.

Like all minor valleys it ends under the high peaks offering a stupendous landscape where the green grass of the meadows contrasts with the rock of the Dolomites, here and furrowed by the snow-laden gullies.

A real postcard landscape that in Val San Nicolò is enriched by a stream that springs from a magnificent waterfall and many small wooden huts still well preserved.

Closed to traffic

To preserve this corner of paradise from mass tourism and above all from smog from cars, the municipal administration has decided to close the entire road that leads from the pool to Val San Nicolò to traffic.

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Now for access this enchanting corner of paradise it is necessary to purchase a ticket for the shuttle buses that punctually take tourists from the parking lot in Pozza to the beginning of Val San Nicolò. Alternatively, those who aren't afraid of struggling can decide to start right from the town of Pozza and walk up along the same route taken by the shuttle buses.

However, the excursion on foot from the village has its own charm as even the access road to the val san nicolò offers magnificent landscapes made of green woods and streams that cross them between wooden bridges and some green lawns. Halfway there is also a small refuge where you can stop and a pretty church.

This closure to traffic has enhanced the beauty of the Val San Nicolò making it a real natural jewel without a car.

Visit the Val San Nicolò

La Val San Nicolò is an enchanting valley lying in the wider territory of the Val di Fassa in Trentino, famous for its large green expanses scattered by numerous barns, huts and huts and for its Breath-taking view on some of the most beautiful peaks of the The Dolomites.

It's a place much loved and frequented during the summer, thanks to the ability to do simple walks immersed in a wonderful mountain landscape but also because various paths start from the Val San Nicolò that allow you to complete more demanding excursions.

But let's get to know this valley and its surroundings better.

Where is it and how can it be reached?

La Val San Nicolò it is located in the municipality of San Giovanni di Fassa and, more precisely, in the hamlet of Pool of Fassa, from whose patron saint it takes its name.

This small valley is surrounded by several peaks of the Dolomite group Marmolada, including the With Ombert (2670 m) with a characteristic pointed top, the Top of Man (3010m) and the Costabella peak. It is also crossed by a stream, the Rio San Nicolo which arises from the suggestive Jonta waterfalls, at the top of the valley.

La Val San Nicolò can be reached through a single driveway which starts from the town of Pozza di Fassa. It is also connected to the adjacent valleys through some passes that can only be traveled on foot, such as the San Nicolò pass and Passo Paschè which join it to Val Contrin.

Unlike a few years ago, the road that leads to the entrance to the valley is no longer passable by car, but it is only possible to get up to the resort Vidor, near the campsite of the same name, where ample parking is available. From here, during the summertime a convenience is available bus leading up to resort Sauch, the rest of the valley can then be traveled only on foot.

Il ordinary shuttle price for a return ticket it costs around € 10, it is reduced for children under 10 and it is free for under 8. Dogs are also allowed on the bus, for a return cost of around € 3,50. Simple rides can be purchased at slightly higher prices. Who owns the Val di Fassa Guest Card is entitled to discounted tickets.

Also for the summer period - and to the delight of the children - transport with a rubber train which starts from the center of Pool of Fassa and goes up to Ciampie hut, just beyond the entrance to the valley, at slightly higher prices than the shuttle. The rides available are approximately 7/8 per day.

Hiking in Val San Nicolò: here are the simplest ones

Le excursions in Val San Nicolò they are varied and with different degrees of difficulty. The most popular routes are those at the bottom of the valley, which from Vidor they reach the suggestive waterfalls. They are very simple, suitable for families with children, even small ones: all you need is a trekking stroller or, if you choose the paths, a baby carrier backpack.

From Vidor to Saùch (Baita Ta Ciajaa)

If you decide not to use the shuttle service but to complete the entire journey to Val San Nicolò on foot, after parking in resort Vidor it is possible to choose to take the paved road in any case or to opt for a dirt road, which is decidedly more suggestive.

We are talking about path 615 which you take on the right, before the bridge, near the Soldanella restaurant. This path develops in the wood, with the stream and its relaxing sound accompanying the journey and, after becoming 615 B for a short distance, ends just before the Malga al Crucifix, where it rejoins the paved road.

Just beyond the malga, the road forks: to enter the Val San Nicolò you have to follow the road to the left. The walk continues peacefully, walking surrounded by conifers and with pleasant views of the stream. Towards the end of the route, the trees thin out and the valley begins to reveal itself in all its beauty.

A few more steps and you arrive at the locality Sauch, At the Ta Ciajaa hut (1725 m), a delightful farmhouse with restaurant and B&B. This is also the terminus for the shuttle bus.

This pleasant itinerary does not present any difficulty and is really suitable for everyone, both on foot and by bicycle. One-way travel time is approx 1 hour and 15 for a distance of 4 km and an altitude difference of 350 m.

From Saùch to Baita della Cascate

This path in the heart of Val San Nicolò, reveals its most evocative territory and winds partly along an asphalted road, after which it turns into a dirt road, which is however easily passable.

Here the valley opens up in all its magnificence, revealing conifer woods, gentle slopes that house perfectly kept wooden houses and the marvelous tops of Marmolada, which stand out in the sky with their majesty.

For the little ones, part of the journey is accompanied by some wooden notice boards that tell of the adventure of Simillight, a legendary girl raised by a king who, having to reach the Marmolada through this valley, meets and faces various evil creatures.

After about 1 km of walking from Saùch, it is possible to make a small detour to the left to reach the Malga Mezza Selva and the small and suggestive cave of the Our Lady of Light, and then return to the main road.

Walking in complete tranquility and pausing to admire the beauty of the landscape, you can reach Ciampie hut (1826 m) in maximum 30 minutes. This charming hut is used as a bar and restaurant, so it is possible to stop and refresh yourself with the local delicacies offered here, enjoying the natural spectacle that can be admired from the outside tables.

Immediately after Ciampie hut, the road becomes a dirt road but still in good condition and the slope remains quite contained, even if you walk constantly uphill.

A few hundred meters from Baita Ciampiè it is possible to linger at a monument which lists the names of commanders stationed in this area during the World War I. In fact, we recall that during this conflict, the Marmolada area was the scene of bloody battles and that in these places there were trenches, troops and military posts, evidence of which is still visible today.

Continuing further, it is possible to take a path to the right that enters the larch woods, so as not to have to walk too much exposed to the sun. After meeting another monument, dedicated to the mountain guide Josef Premstaller who died in 1916 on the Costabella, the view opens onto wide meadows that end in the presence of majestic peaks – including Col Ombert – and on the beauties Jonta waterfalls, which descend from a slight slope in many branches of water, very pleasant to admire.

There is also the Cabin at the Falls (2011 m), a typical wooden building that houses a very popular restaurant both for the goodness of the dishes offered and for the incomparable, truly suggestive location. It is also possible to have your packed lunch in the large green spaces surrounding the Baita and the waterfalls, relaxing in the sun.

Speaking of the sun, if you are in this area on a sunny late afternoon it will be possible to witness a wonderful show, as the surrounding Dolomite peaks will light up with a beautiful color, also perfect for photographing.

Upon returning, it is possible to retrace the same route or take the next one path 641, known as Road of the Russians. This road was in fact built by Russian prisoners, so that it went deep into the woods and could be used as a way to get food and ammunition without being noticed by enemy patrols.

From this path you can go back to the resort Sauch but it should be kept in mind that it is not as easily passable as the main road, for example it is impracticable with a trekking stroller.

The excursion from Saùch to Baita alle Cascate lasts approx 1 hour and 10 in one way, for a distance of 3 and a half km and an altitude difference of 290 m. We must also consider the return time, which varies according to whether or not you decide to use the shuttle.

Other excursions in Val San Nicolò and surroundings

Trekking routes, more or less demanding, are certainly not lacking in Val San Nicolò and in the surrounding areas. We describe some of them below.

From the waterfalls to the San Nicolò pass

Just before the Baita delle Cascate, in the area Ciamp, you can see a path, signpost 608which develops to the left. If you take this road, you will reach the San Nicolò pass and, a little further on, the refuge of the same name (2339 m).

This path, called Pociace, has a altitude difference of 340 meters it's hard about 1 hours. The path is uphill but having recently been rebuilt and made with hairpin bends, it is less steep than the previous one. Despite this, it is still a challenging trail, with a significant slope and exposed, therefore suitable for expert hikers.

Once at the top, the show is truly breath-taking, with the gaze wandering over the group of Rosengarten, on the Sella, on the Langkofel Marmolada. You can also admire the whole from above Val San Nicolò and the adjacent Val Contrin.

Lake Lagusel and Passo Sella Palacia

This loop hike has a degree of difficulty planet, altitude difference of 640 m and a duration of 4 hours.

It starts from the location Sauch and you take the pathway 640 up to the indication towards the Lake Lagusel. From here the forest path begins to climb rapidly, up to the fields of Lagusel and the homonymous alpine lake: the landscape is truly idyllic.

It now follows the waymark 641 to go direction Sella Palacia Pass (2302 m), from where it is possible to admire the group of Rosengarten. Going down a very steep path, you reach the Falls Cabin and from there you follow the dirt road and then the paved road to return to the locality Sauch.

From Buffaure to the San Nicolò refuge

It is a very demanding and long journey, suitable for trained hikers. From Pool of Fassa take the cable car up until you reach the basin of the buffaure (2020m). From here you can choose whether to reach the Col de Valvacin (2354 m) on foot – with 1 hour of walking and about 330 m in altitude – or by chairlift.

From Col de Valvacin, remaining at high altitude and following trail sign 613, you can reach it Saddle Brunech (2428m) in about 50 minutes. Here you can enjoy a privileged view of the Sella and the Marmolada. From Sella Brunech, follow the trail to enter the Lino Pederiva equipped path, challenging trail both for the ups and downs and for the fact of being very exposed. In the most demanding points, you can count on a metal rope to proceed safely.

After about 1 hours on this path, you finally reach the San Nicolò pass. From there you can decide whether to return by the same road or whether to go down the Val San Nicolò and return from the bottom of the valley. The travel time for this excursion varies according to whether you decide to use the chairlift for Col de Valvacin and the return route, however the total time is about 5-6 hours.

Malga Monzoni and Taramelli Refuge

This route allows you to explore a side valley to the Val San Nicolò, the Val Monzoni, a less known place but with a wild beauty.

The route always starts from resort Vidor. From this locality, take the road that leads to Malga Crucifix. Continuing a little further, you will find the crossroads which divides the two valleys. To enter the Val Monzoni, take the right and continue on the road which becomes increasingly steep.

A very interesting point encountered during the walk is the gorge of the Monzoni, a suggestive canyon visible from the bridge, deeply excavated by the force of the stream. Continuing on, at an altitude of 1850 m you come across the beautiful Malga Monzoni. Continuing to walk on path 603 up to 2046 m in height, finally reaching the Taramelli Refuge.

This shelter is one of the oldest in Trentino and this can also be understood from its very rigorous architectural structure. The building is cantilevered over a lookout that offers a memorable view of the whole valley and the peaks that surround it. It offers the possibility to eat and its courses are simple but tasty.

The total time of the ascent is approx 4 hours. If you want to lengthen the route further, you can continue on path 604 up to Lake of the saddles, a small natural basin.

Other routes in Val San Nicolò

There are still many paths that connect the Val San Nicolò to other noteworthy sites and shelters. We have indicated a part of it here, but we invite you to further explore the possibilities by going to the Trentino Tourist Board website or other specialized portals.

Where to stay to visit Val San Nicolò

We conclude this article by suggesting some places to stay Pool of Fassa, to be able to explore the Val San Nicolò and its surroundings.

Pool of Fassa it is in fact the closest fraction to the Val San Nicolò and it is also a very pleasant tourist resort, thanks to its beautiful centre, the presence of thermal waters and valuable monuments such as the Church of San Lorenzo di Pera, with its particular Baroque-style bell tower.

This church also houses a valuable altar with doors, a German late Gothic work dating back to 1612. Also worth seeing is the Pozza Tower, the only example of a fortress in Val di Fassa, located on a hill overlooking the Avisio stream.

Places to stay to visit Val San Nicolò

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