Ready for that mountain escape, love? The Dolomites Mountains are located in the Northeast of Italy and form a picturesque landscape that are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I recently traveled the Italian Dolomites on a road trip in early summer and was overwhelmed by the many local things to do and experiencing the breathtaking atmosphere of being so close to the mountains. I made up a list for you containing well-known sights and also new unique things to explore during one week of travels. ⛰️⛰️⛰️
General travel info
How to get there and around? South Tyrol is easily reachable by car from one of its surrounding countries. If you’ll arrive by airplane, there is an airport in Bozen (IT) very close by such as are Verona (IT) and Venice (IT) or Innsbruck (AT) with only a short distance to drive. I totally recommend renting a car as this allows you to drive around on your own and to the places you want to visit. The streets are well-maintained and perfectly signposted. In Italy you drive on the right side of the roads and might need an international drivers license (please check in advance before your car rentals). The official tourism website of South Tyrol provides much more info about the region.
Where to stay? I stayed in Campill (local: Lungiarü), a nice little mountaineering village in the heart of the Dolomites. Thus, the village was the perfect starting point for activities and hiking trips in the region. I can fully recommend Les Dolomites Mountain Lodges a newly opened and modern accommodation. The lodges are fully equipped with a super comfy double bed, kitchenette, dining area and sofa, and have an excellent mountain view (furnishings vary between lodges). Further, the accommodation comes with a gym, wine cellar, and a spa facility with sauna and whirlpool making it perfect to relax after a long hike. The hosts offer outstanding services, an amazing breakfast with local products, and besides, they arrange a special dinner with traditional dishes from South Tyrol on Mondays.
You can even listen to beautiful birds that fly around or the cows ‘moo’ from the farm next door. Such an authentic experience!
Note: COVID-19 pandemic might affect the activities described below. They might get cancelled or do not take place at your time of visit. Please check the providers’ pages carefully and regularly as things might change on short notice. Check out the government’s website from your home country for the latest immigration updates that apply to you.
Update 06/2021: Italy at my time of visit was totally safe for travels. Especially in South Tyrol they’ve implemented a Green Pass only for people being vaccinated, recovered or have been tested properly. With this Green Pass you get access to the best sights, restaurants, and so much more. On site the hotels and restaurants have had security measures in place providing hand sanitizers, keep the required distance between tables, and wear masks. Besides, the infection incidence turned down during my time of visit allowing for further openings and timely shortened or lifted curfews during nights.
What to expect? hiking. mountain. activity.
This is the first amazing sight you can visit on your travel to the Italian Dolomites: Cinque Torri (2,220m). It’s a famous mountain formation located between Cortina d’Ampezzo and Falzaregopass (Passo di Falzarego). The largest of the Five Towers is 2,361m high (Torre Grande). Starting at Falzaregopass, Bai de Dones, you can start your circular hike (path 424) and reach the mountain station of chairlift at Cinque Torri or Rifugio Scoiatolli after one hour. Alternatively, you can take the chairlift taking you up directly.
Your hike on top of the mountain leads you to an open air museum and to Rifugio Cinque Torri while you have a breathtaking view over the mountain landscape. Afterwards, the hiking trail leads to Lago Bai de Dones and back to the valley station of the chairlift (path 425). In total, the hike takes 2.5 hours without taking the lift. It’s 1.5 hours when taking the chairlift way up to Rifugio Scoiatolli to start the trail from there.
Update 06/2021: The chairlift was closed and the entire valley station was under construction. Hiking the way to the mountain station was impossible due to the snow masses that still blocked the trail. Alternatively, there are so many beautiful trails in this area and you can enjoy the picturesque mountain scenery from various places around.
Tre Cime di Lavaredo
What to expect? mountain. hiking. enjoy UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Welcome to this magnificent mountain range in the Dolomites located in between provinces Belluno and South Tyrol. Nearly 3,000m reaches the highest rock of this three-parted stone formation you can experience on your travel to the Italian Dolomites. Tre Cime di Lavaredo, also known as Drei Zinnen or Three Peaks landmark is officially declared as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Best views are guaranteed on a circular path starting at alpine refuge Auronzo. Parking facilities are available next to it, but can get crowded throughout the day, especially on summer days. To reach the parking lot, you have to pass a toll road that is 30€ per vehicle. You can also park you vehicle overnight (extra fees apply). Besides, there is a shuttle bus running up to the refuge starting at Toblach bus terminal. Check out the price list and shuttle times to find the most suitable option for you.
Let’s start this amazing circual path at Rifugio Auronzo. The trail takes about 4 hours for 7km and comes with an only low height difference making the hike really comfortable. On this hiking trail you enjoy a breathtaking view over the mountain panorama, pass relaxing mountain lakes and caves. All the sights on your way come with another outstanding view over the Three Peaks, just around every corner. Further information provides the official tourism board of South Tyrol.
Lago di Braies
What to expect? lake. walk. relax. row.
Well, this is one of the most often mentioned tourist spots when you search for Dolomites! Lake Braies or Pragser Wildsee is THIS Instagram hotspot, babe. Truly, it’s a magical place with the turquoise water, the romantic rowing boats, and the beautiful mountain scenery in the back. However, you have to completely ignore the mass tourism and the many people visiting this place every single day. That’s why they close the road to the parking facilities from July-September every day from 9:30am till 4pm. Access is granted only for guests holding a hotel or restaurant reservation (you can directly book a parking voucher). Besides, they provide a shuttle bus from nearby village Schmieden. For more advices and costs check the South Tyrol info website.
And now let’s start exploring this beautiful place! There is a circular path around Lake Braies which you can pass within 1 hour. It’s absolutely easily walkable. Along the walking trail you find so many beautiful spots that show you so different and outstanding facets of the lake. The famous boat rental facility is located in the center, left to both the hotel and restaurant. The boat rental opens daily, during summer from 8:30am till 6.30pm. Check out their website for their opening times in the other months. Renting a boat is 19€ for 30 minutes and 29€ for one hour. They also offer great photo shootings around the lake. I totally recommend visiting the lake early in the morning or later the day and whether you decide to walk around the lake or row across it, it’s both a totally magical experience.
Are you interested in more beautiful spots across Europe that you can visit this summer? Then read more on my blog post.
Find more great highlights of your travel journey to the Italian Dolomites in the paragraphs below.
Sass de Putia
What to expect? mountains. hiking. alpine pasture.
Another highlight of your travel to the Italian Dolomites is the Sass de Putia or Peitlerkofel mountain (2,875m). It’s located in St. Martin in Thurn and belongs to the nature park Puez-Geisler. And the best thing, you can go on a circular hiking tour just as close to the mountain as it can be. You start your hike at the parking facility at Würzjoch/Börz.
Be prepared that this hiking trip will take more than 4 hours and requires better hiking skills for the 13km, but no special equipment apart from regular safety features and your hiking gear. Along the path 8A you pass picturesque alpine pastures and forests until you reach the alpine refuge Munt de Fornella right in front of the Sass de Putia. They offer great food and drinks for your hiking break. From this point you turn right on path 8A until you reach the highest point of this route the Peitlerscharte at 2,357m. You continue the trail on path 4B and 35 down to Göma-Joch (2,111m). Then you continue to the north side of Peitlerkofel and pass Munt de Fornella on the way back to the parking facility.
Alpe di Siusi
What to expect? alpine pasture. mountains. walk. hike.
Another travel highlight in the Italian Dolomites marks Alpe di Siusi or Seiser Alm. It’s only 20km away from main South Tyrolean city Bozen and known for the many great hiking tours and sightseeing spots in the region while the sun shines on 300 days a year. You can reach the Seiser Alm by car, especially when you have a hotel or restaurant reservation, or you arrive before 9am. However, from 9am to 5pm the main road will get closed. In this case, you can park your car at the foot of the Seiser Alm (valley station in Seis am Schlern) and use the chairlift Seiser Alm Bahn. It takes 20 minutes to the mountain station and costs 13€ oneway and 19€ for a roundtrip. Check on their prices and time schedules for your time of visit.
Once you’ve reached the Seiser Alm, a breathtaking view over the legendary mountain scenery awaits you. Super green and beautiful alpine pastures, small huts, and cows chilling in the sunny weather. You might hear their cowbells already. Seiser Alm is perfect for your hiking passion or shorter strolls to enjoy nature.
Munt da Rina
What to expect? mountains. hiking. alpine chalet. south tyrolean dishes.
You start your hiking trip at the parking lot next to the sports ground in Welschellen. Parking is free of charge. Then you follow the way up on path 26 “Munt da Rina”. You pass coniferous forests, wide meadows, and the stunning mountain Peitlerkofel. And after approximately 1.5 hours you reach the Welschellener Alm (1,950m). In this alpine refuge you already get greeted by the owner’s dachshund. You can enjoy the beautiful mountain scenery while having a good beer, the delicious “Kaiserschmarrn” (literally the best one I’ve ever had!!) or another typical South Tyrolean dish.
Or you can continue the path 26 up to the top. Right next to the Welschellener Alm this path continues to the peak “Col dal Lè” (2,175m). You hike through forests and picturesque meadows with colorful flowers blooming in summer. The path is easily hikeable and takes another 45 minutes until you reach the mountain peak. From the top you have an amazing 360 degree view over the entire mountain landscape. From the mountain peak a small trail leads you to a romantic mountain lake “Lêch de Munt da Rina” or Glittner See (2,180m), just another 15 minutes away. The crystal clear water of the lake perfectly reflects the mountain scenery and mystical Peitlerkofel mountain.
Girl, what also makes an amazing road trip destination, is beautiful Croatia! Explore great beaches, ancient cities, amazing sea foods, waterfalls, and the friendliness of Croatian people. You’ll love it! Find my tips for road trippin’ through Croatia.
// Disclaimer // I was not paid for my reviews and recommendations mentioned in this blog post. The views and opinions expressed in this blog post are purely my own and can be considered as honest evaluations.
Have something to add or want to share your experiences with our travel community? So please leave your comments and thoughts below and share these insights with other travel lovelies. The Italian Dolomites already await you on your next travel trip ♥