The Seceda is one of the most jaw-dropping vantage points in the Dolomites, a must see for every tourist and landscape photographer out there. In this article the Portuguese photographer Dario Viegas introduces us to the best ways to reach the top of the mountain and when you should visit it best.
With all of Italy’s monumental mountain ranges, typical rock formations and idyllic views in mind, the Fermeda Towers and its ridgeline – located on the Seceda Mountain in the Dolomites – has the view which probably triggers the most jaw-dropping reactions.
No wonder, because with its 2,500 meters the Seceda is the highest vantage point in the Val Gardena valley, making it a vantage point that allows you to admire the skyline over the dolomites, for as far as you can see. With some luck (and good weather), you’ll even be able to see the top of the Großglockner Mountain, which is located in Austria at a distance of more than 150 kilometers!
The moment you actually stand on top of the Seceda and witness its iconic ridgeline – which the locals call “La Forcella Pana” – is the moment when you realize why the Dolomites are an important part of the UNESCO World Heritage and why it’s a popular destination for hikers.
How to reach Seceda
Portuguese photographer Dario Viegas, known for his stunning landscape photography, visited the Seceda Mountain in the summer for 2020, and told us how there are two different options to reach the top of the Seceda.
“The first option would be to hike your way to the top. It’s a relatively difficult hike and if you’re aiming to reach the spot at sunrise, you would need to start your hike at 3AM to arrive on time.
Secondly, you could take the gondola to the top … which only takes 10 to 15 minutes but is very expensive (35 euros for a return ticket) and only starts at 8 AM, meaning you’ll definitely miss the sunrise.
I was already hiking through the Dolomites for 6 days, before I decided to visit the top of the Seceda, waking up early every morning .. so I decided to go for the second option: the gondola. Most (local) photographers arrive before sunset, set up their tent and leave after sunrise.”
About the shot
Landscape photography might seem as black magic for some of our adventurous readers and aspiring photographers, that’s why we decided to break down the technical details behind this shot.
When asked for tips regarding the photo’s Dario took, Dario told us we should keep track of the weather: “When I visited the Dolomites, at the end of August, the weather was actually pretty sunny: which made sure I could enjoy both the sunset and the sunrises! For the Seceda, I kept an eye out on the weather, to make sure there would be clouds when I was at the top of the mountain.
Personally, I was present from 8 am to 4pm, waiting for the best weather conditions to launch my drone and to get these shots. As you might notice from my pictures: I tried to move around and look for alternative angles with both my Sony A7III and my DJI Mavic Air 2 drone in mind. And honestly? I’m very happy how these shots turned out!”
- Body: Sony A7III (review)
- Drone: DJI Mavic Air 2 (review)
- Shutter speed: 1/1.000
- Aperture: f/2.8
About Dario Viegas
Dario Viegas is a Portuguese-born photographer who graduated in Communication and multimedia design and is known to travel the world to increase and develop his skills and taste for art.