What to do in The Dolomites alps italy

The Dolomites, splendid rocky roof of Italy

The Dolomites are a mountain range located in north-eastern Italy. A grandiose creation of nature, which cannot be expressed in words. The Dolomites offer a magnificent panorama: mountains constructed with walls of rock, ice caps, karst systems, unbelievably high spires, towers, and pinnacles – mountains molded and shaped by the elements, and where the cultures of Italy, Germany, and the native Ladin community all meet and intertwine.

Located in northeastern Italy, they occupy a vast territory between Veneto, Trentino-Alto Adige and Friuli Venezia Giulia. Their particularity and uniqueness, moreover, distinguish them from the rest of the Alps so much so that they are classified according to nine Systems by SOIUSA (International Unified Orographic Subdivision of the Alpine System): Pelmo, Croda da Lago – Marmolada – Pale di San Martino, San Lucano, Dolomiti Bellunesi, Vette Feltrine – Dolomiti Friulane and d’Oltre Piave – Northern Dolomites – Puez-Odle – Sciliar-Catinaccio, Latemar – Bletterbach – Brenta Dolomites.

Summer is a popular time for tourists visiting the Dolomites for hiking, mountain biking, and climbing.

The summer months in Italy are warm and sunny, with temperatures that average between 22-27 degrees Celsius. The Dolomites provide an ideal location for taking part in some great outdoor activities such as hiking, mountaineering, or horse riding.

But it’s not just nature, skiing, climbing, cycling, admiring picturesque lakes, but also high-quality products, traditional food, and wine. The area is famous for a selection of excellent wines, including the famous Brut Trento DOC, as well as for the production of the most typical Italian distillate: Grappa.

Wine, its flavor, and bespoke Dolomites itinerary including; travel along lakes and vineyards make for an authentic experience.

The Dolomites are the most beautiful mountains in the world: the words of Reinhold Messner, a famous mountaineer who knows the mountains of the world, including Himalayan peaks, very well. Soaring spires, pristine nature, and crystal-clear lakes create a unique landscape that manages to enchant anyone who finds himself immersed in these vistas.

What to do in the Dolomites?

1. Visit Val Gardena, the heart of Ladin culture

Given the extent of the area, there are indeed numerous places to visit in the Dolomites, from towns to small villages. In the beautiful Val Gardena (BZ), surrounded by towering mountains that are true sculptures and the heart of Ladin culture, there are several tourist attractions that will not disappoint any visitor.

The valley has three municipalities: Ortisei, known for the art of woodcarving and considered the most beautiful village in the Dolomites; Santa Cristina, the sun-kissed village at the foot of Sassolungo; and Selva di Val Gardena, the highest village in Val Gardena that lies below the Sella massif. Near Ortisei, don’t miss the church of St. James, the oldest in the valley, and the many castles such as Castel Gardena, the ruins of Wolkenstein Castle and the medieval Stetteneck Castle, witnesses to the area’s early settlements.

Val Gardena, however, is above all renowned as a winter sports paradise. It boasts, in fact, 500 km of unique slopes, modern ski lifts, 30 km of hiking trails and 115 km of cross-country skiing. With its connection to Dolomiti Superski, the world’s largest ski carousel, the Sellaronda and the nearby Alpe di Siusi, Val Gardena is an eldorado for winter sports. But it can also be explored in spring, when nature begins to be tinged with a thousand colors again and the lakes glow blue from the thawing water. Summer, on the other hand, is the best time of the year for trekking and hiking enthusiasts. In fact, 600 km of hiking and mountain biking trails, such as the new Trail Arena Val Gardena, and countless climbing routes can be found here. Don’t forget to take a break at one of the beautiful mountain huts, where you can sample the local cuisine.

2. Discover the most beautiful lakes

The Dolomites are home to many picturesque lakes. Lakes, in whose waters are reflected deep green forests and imposing rocky spires. Enchanted oases, which invite you to splash in the water, take a break and relax. Places of natural charm, thrilling both young and old tourists on vacation in the Dolomites.

  • Lake Braies, Pragser Wildsee in German, is located at the northern edge of the Fanes-Sennes-Braies Nature Park in eastern South Tyrol. Situated at 1,496 m above sea level, this mountain lake will especially impress you with its midnight-blue waters with light emerald reflections, and with the surrounding peaks of the Dolomites.

Calculate 1 hour to go around the lake, and even here, try to arrive as early as possible!

  • Located in the province of Belluno and accessible from the Landro Valley or Cortina d’Ampezzo, Lake Misurina is a popular destination in the hot summer months. It is also a well-known starting point for numerous hikes.

Thanks to its crystal-clear waters and the imposing mountains that surround it, Lake Misurina is also nicknamed the “Pearl of Cadore.” In addition to Piz Popena, Cristallino d’Ampezzo, Monte Piana, Marmarole and Sorapiss, we also find the majestic Three Peaks as a backdrop to this glacial lake.

One of the most beautiful hiking trails, the scenic toll road, leads to the slopes of the three famous peaks. From Lake Misurina, the (toll) road leads up to the Auronzo Refuge. The lake is an ideal destination for both bicycle enthusiasts and tourists looking for a pleasant excursion. You can explore the surroundings on a mountain bike tour or take a leisurely stroll along the shores, letting your spirit wander and forgetting the stress and hustle and bustle of everyday life. But that’s not all: the area’s accommodations, from hotels to apartments, will also thrill visitors.

  • Lake Sorapis is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and fascinating places in the Dolomites. It belongs to the province of Belluno and is part of the Sorapis mountain range. The lake is located about 12 km from Cortina d’Ampezzo and has an altitude of 1,925 meters above sea level. L’intenso colore turchese del Lago di Sorapis è così unico da lasciare a bocca aperta appena si scorgono le sue acque. Questa particolare tonalità è dovuta alla conformazione delle rocce provenienti dal ghiacciaio da cui ha origine, le cui polveri, depositandosi sul fondale del lago, gli donano le sfumature di blu per cui è diventato famoso.

3. Explore the Christmas markets

Lovingly designed ornaments and fairy lights on snow-clad trees and houses will give you a new, completely different experience in the Dolomites. Let yourself be seduced by the scent of roasted chestnuts and sweet cinnamon, warm yourself with one or two hot cups of tea or mulled wine.

  • The Bolzano Christmas Market is the most famous in all of Trentino Alto Adige. It takes place in the setting of Walther Square, the center of the city and the crossroads of all city life. Surrounded by elegant and important historic buildings such as the Greif Hotel and Stadt Hotel Città, the atmosphere of the Bolzano Christmas market is impossible to replicate elsewhere.

The market was directly inspired by the famous German Christmas markets, reinventing them by combining Central European tradition with South Tyrolean peculiarities.

All your senses are involved at the Bolzano Christmas market: the colors and lights of Christmas, banquets of traditional sweets such as strudel and Christmas cookies, mulled wine and the notes of Christmas carols performed by local groups.

  • The history of Christmas markets in Trento is an ancient one, considering also the history of the city that has always together with Bolzano been the “gateway” of the Central European world to the Mediterranean world and vice versa.

The Christmas Market held today in Trento descends directly from this tradition and is now spread over the city’s two most important squares, Piazza Cesare Battisti and Piazza Fiera, as well as Via Ss. Trinità, completely transforming the face of downtown of Trento for more than a month.

Trento’s Christmas Market is characterized by the strong local feel of the exhibitors, who, housed in more than 90 quaint little wooden houses, showcase the best of Trentino’s handicrafts in all sectors, from Christmas decorations to wood carvings, from heavy wool knitting to felt slippers.

  • The village of San Candido (German: Innichen) is located in the fascinating scenery of Alta Pusteria (BZ), near the Dobbiacco Saddle and at the foot of the Baranci, in the fabulous setting of the Sexten Dolomites.

The town of San Candido also boasts an important and very rich history. Among the major monuments of interest in this South Tyrolean town is the Collegiate Church of San Candido built from 1043, which is the most important Romanesque monument in South Tyrol (it is also often referred to as the “Cathedral of San Candido”).
The town center also boasts the church dedicated to St. Michael, built in 1150 and later adapted to the Baroque style. Another important church is that of the Franciscan Monastery, built in the 17th century and overlooking Rio Sesto. Every year from late November to early January, the town’s pleasant and centrally located pedestrian zone is home to the traditional Christmas Market.

4. Winter ski holidays in the Dolomites

Winter is the best time for snow sports enthusiasts: from skiing to cross-country skiing to snowboarding, there are slopes for every discipline here. But this season is also suitable for softer activities such as Nordic walking, snowshoeing or hiking in the snowy wilderness, making stops between huts and alpine pastures.

Snow-covered landscapes and ski slopes are the postcard of the Dolomites in their winter guise. Their slopes offer alternatives for everyone’s taste and possibilities. Whether one is an experienced or novice skier, a lover of snowboarding as well as ski mountaineering, the Dolomites are littered with black runs, night-lit slopes, snowparks, and much more.

Among the most famous slopes are the Gran Risa in Alta Badia, the Saslong in Val Gardena, and even the Erta on Plan de Corones. The jewel in the crown? Without a doubt, Dolomiti Superski, which, with 1,200 kilometers of slopes and 450 lifts, accessible with a unique skipass, is the largest ski area in Italy.

Skiing in the Dolomites is synonymous with the ultimate skiing pleasure and ranges from skiing on the slopes of Marmolada to quiet descents in many smaller ski areas, but also lots of action in South Tyrol’s most beautiful snowparks. Skiing vacations in the Dolomites also mean refreshments in original mountain huts, sunbathing on large sun terraces, Après-Ski fun, fine dining even in mountain huts, following the FIS World Cup up close – in short: unlimited winter fun.

5. Hiking, cycling and mountain biking

In summer, on the other hand, it becomes the ideal destination for those who want to go on long walks, follow mountain bike trails or climb rock faces. Finally, the nature of the Dolomites is a valuable source of wellness where you can experience practices in freedom, such as forest bathing and Kneipp paths in the cool alpine waters.

Several excursions are possible throughout the Dolomite area. In this sense, it is impossible not to mention the walk that leads to the Tre Cime di Lavaredo: what opens before the eyes is an immense, majestic, unparalleled spectacle.

Among the various noteworthy routes, the one that reaches the Altipiano delle Pale di San Martino stands out: a desert, almost lunar landscape that inspired Buzzati in the writing of his The Desert of the Tartars.

And how can we not mention the undisputed queen of the Dolomites: her majesty the Marmolada, characterized by immense meadows and verdant forests. Here the possible walks are truly numerous, suitable for experienced hikers but also for families.

Our most selected tours in the Dolomites

Plan an Unforgettable Experience in the Dolomites Today!

We can help you fit your stay and experience within your allotted budget.

Book Your Stay Now

Open chat
How can we help you?
How can we help you?