The mountain village of San Cassiano lounges between the Lavarela and Conturines peaks of the Alta Badia – a lively ski region that transforms into a laid-back hikers’ haven in summer. Active folk pilgrimage here from all over the world to spend their days walking, cycling, rock climbing and practising yoga in the crystal-clear mountain air. Come evening, you don’t need to look further than the town centre, where restaurants range from no-nonsense trattorias to Michelin-star eateries. This is also where you’ll find the ski lift that whisks you up to the mountain plateau for an aperitivo with a view.
Introducing: San Cassiano
At barely a kilometre long from top to toe, it’s easy to get to know San Cassiano (or San Ćiascian, in the local language of Ladin). Its roads smooth out along the green valley floor, leading between timber inns and eateries. San Cassiano church seems to mirror the mountains around, with its limestone cap, snow-white walls and finery-filled insides. There’s a Wednesday market too – check out the salami and olive oil stalls – and the summertime concerts.
Larches, lakes and limestone peaks
For an easy walk, head for the Path of the Larches, which loops around the – you guessed it – larch forests just north of San Cassiano, passing by water mills and stone-walled farms. It’s an easy route to some spectacular views. The neighbouring Fanes-Senes-Braies Natural Park is also best seen from its footpaths. From here, you can walk to peaks and high mountain meadows, or you could do a more moderate walk to the mirrored waters of Lago Lagazuoi or the slab-like peaks of Brunecker Turm; both of which can be reached by cable car. Alternatively, swap boots for bikes on one of the many cycling routes.
Mountain cuisine with a Michelin twist
San Cassiano might be small, but the food scene is mighty. Farmhouse restaurants and trattorias cook up rich mountain dishes like spinach ravioli (cajincí te ega) and apple pancakes (pössl da pom). The bakeries and delis are the best place for a cappuccino and the Dolomites’ signature bomboloni alla crema doughnuts. There’s even a Michelin-star restaurant, St Hubertus, that makes magic out of local mountain ingredients. The sommeliers here can pair your plates with rare wines from small vineyards in the Tyrol. “Bun pro!”, as they say in Ladinia.
Ursus ladinicus: the bear bones
You never know what you might find while walking in the mountains around San Cassiano. In 1987, a local hiker exploring Conturines Cave made the headlines by stumbling across the remains of 12 prehistoric bears. The reconstructed skeletons are now at home in the Museum Ladin Ursus ladinicus in San Cassiano. Over three floors, discover how archaeologists pieced together this previously unknown species of cave bear, while learning more about the intriguing geography and geology of the Dolomites.
Why book a summer holiday in San Cassiano with Inghams?
At Inghams, we do walking holidays differently. With no fixed itinerary, you have more time in your destination and the freedom to walk as much or as little as you like, discovering some of San Cassiano's best walking routes and activities at your own pace.
With over 85 years of outdoor travel experience, our holiday packages to San Cassiano include flights, transfers, and accommodation, so you can relax and leave the small details to us. Our experts can help you choose the best holiday for you, and our team in resort can give you the inside scoop on how to spend your time away with us.