Are you ready to explore the mountainous region of the Dolomites in Italy? This once in a lifetime getaway will check all of your travel boxes. Activities can range from outdoor adventures, such as hiking, to relaxing evenings while enjoying the mountain views.
There are so many things to do at this Italy destination, offered during all four seasons. It can be challenging to navigate through this large and exciting region. That is why we narrowed the list down to 9 amazing things to do in the Dolomites! Keep reading to learn which activity is on your Dolomites bucket list.
Why visit the Dolomites?
So why should you visit the Dolomites? Because it is accessible all year with tons of activities! You can try out rock climbing, on some of the most beautiful mountains in the world. You can also go on a bike ride, through the alpine meadows. Spend your days escaping into nature by indulging in the many hiking trails.
Looking out for hiking trails in the Dolomites? This blog may interest you!
If adventure activities are not your thing, you can escape by getting a massage at one of the spas. Shop til you drop at the local markets and boutiques. There is also a famous food scene that will allow you to indulge in an Italian culinary experience!
Things to do in the Dolomites
Get ready to explore everything the Dolomites have to offer. With so many options, it can be difficult to even know where to start. We listed some of the best things to do in the Dolomites. Keep reading to find the activities that are right for you.
1. Visit Tre Cime di Lavaredo
A bucket list item for many is visiting the Tre Cime di Lavaredo. These are three infamous and massive peaks that sit in the Dolomites. You can view the peaks easily from the Rifugio Auronzo parking lot. Others will choose to hike to the peaks, which is truly a once in a lifetime experience.
If you are interested in hiking, you will begin your six mile trek. The elevation gain is about one thousand feet, which makes the hike rated as moderate. The hike takes an average of 3-5 hours to complete. Making it an exciting day trip when visiting the Dolomites. Here is also a good guide about Tre Cime di Lavaredo.
2. Hike to Lago di Sorapis
Lago di Sorapis is a gorgeous turquoise blue lake that is located in the mountain range Sorapiss in the Dolomites. The unique bright blue water comes from the dust that is on the glacier. A truly stunning destination in the Dolomites that can only be reached by foot.
Most visitors will hike to Lago di Sorapis. The hike takes about four to five hours in total and is rated as hard, but not difficult.
It is 4.3 miles each way, creating a loop totaling 8.6 miles. Pack a lunch with you to enjoy near the lake, before heading back out. It really is a beautiful day hike that will bring you out into the vast nature that the Dolomites have to offer.
3. Take Amazing Photographs in Pragser Wildsee
Calling all photographers, the Dolomites has a gorgeous spot that is waiting for you. The Pragser Wildsee, also known as Lake Prags. It is one of the most photographed lakes in the Dolomites. The crystal blue water provides an intense reflection of the mountain peaks and lush forest behind it.
In addition to snapping some pictures, you can also take a swim in Lago di Braies. This is a rare opportunity since most lakes in the Dolomites are not allowed for swimming. Don’t be fooled though, you will not be floating around in warm water. Since it is a glacial lake, the water gets slightly above freezing. Some hikers will take a polar plunge to cool off on hot summer days.
4. Spend A Night in Alpe di Siusi
Get ready to relax at the largest high-altitude alpine meadow in all of Europe. Alpe di Siusi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a great area for history lovers. The lush green meadow will take your breath away. This is why Alpe di Siusi is recommended as one of the top places for a relaxing overnight stay.
Spend your evening shutting off in the unique Zallinger Mountain Hotel. Upon arrival you will park your car at Altria, you will then be escorted to the top of the mountain via the Almtaxi. In the winter when the taxi is closed, you will be taken by snow vehicle. A fun and adventurous way to start your stay!
The mountain hotel has cozy rooms and a relaxing spa on site. Enjoy the vibrant green alpine meadows views, all from the comfort of your room.
You can also check out the beautiful and centrally located Hotel zum Wolk for your stay. If you are a ski lover, then the Alpe di Siusi Ski Slopes is just 3 km away from this hotel!
5. Enjoy the Panoramic View of Seceda
Visiting Seceda is a top-rated day trip when visiting the Dolomites. The 8261-foot mountain is located inside the Puez-Odle Nature Park. It has one of the most iconic mountain views in Italy due to its panoramic views of Odle and Geisler Peaks.
How do you get to explore this loved area? You start your journey at the Seceda Cableways from Ortisei in Val Gardena. You will take the cableway to the top of the mountain, where you will begin your quick 10-minute walk to the summit. Once you reach the summit, you can spend some time marveling at the panoramic view of the ridgelines and peaks.
There is also an option to hike to the Secada from where the Seceda Cableway mountain station is. The distance of the hike is 3.8 miles with a difficulty rating of moderate. It takes an average of three and a half hours to complete the hike. Visitors say that every step of the hike is worth the view at the summit!
6. Walk around the Lago Di Carezza
Explore the well-known Lago Di Carezza which is an alpine lake in the Dolomites. This enchanting lake is filled with a lot of history and myths. The ancient story states that a water nymph lives beneath the service, causing the lake to change different colors. Due to this legend, the lake is commonly known as Rainbow Lake.
You can walk around the lake and take in its beauty. The hike takes an average of twenty minutes and it is only 0.8 miles long. You can visit Rainbow Lake any time of the year too. Summer is the best time, due to its high water levels from spring melts. Winter visits can be equally exciting since it can be a unique place to snowshoe at. Curious about winters in the Dolomites? Check out all the details about the Dolomites in winter.
7. Enjoy The Local Cuisine
The Dolomites are normally famous for their massive mountains. But, did you know this Italian region also has a delicious food scene too? Traditional cuisines are known to be simple yet showcase big and bold flavors. All of the food is locally sourced from farms and ranches in the areas. This includes fresh vegetables, fruit, and meat dishes.
If pasta is more your style then try the Casunziei. Which is a handmade ravioli stuffed with either pumpkin or spinach. Then taste the potato gnocchi, filled with smoky cottage cheese and a side of hot barley soup. Are you hungry yet?
Schlutzkrapfen is another fan favorite, which is pierogies stuffed with parmesan, mashed potatoes, and spinach. You can try these local dishes at top-rated restaurants in the Dolomites. Find the one that is perfect for your next date night on the Tripadvisor list here.
8. Spend a Night in a Refugio
There is no better way to shut off than to get out into the mountains. That is why staying in a Refugio when visiting the Dolomites is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Refugious are rustic mountain huts that can be accessed by cable car or hiking. The remote location of the huts makes the overnight stay alluring to visitors who want to escape.
Try a night at Passo Giau, located in the heart of the Dolomites. The hut is located on the Giau pass and has been around since the 1980s. You can dine at their mountain kitchen, which features homemade cakes and seasonal entrees.
Later, cozy up in their relaxing wooden rooms that feature fresh lines and modern decor. Their location is not driveable and can only be accessed by foot, skis, or bikes. The remoteness of the property makes it even more elite and is a must-stay during your visit to the Dolomites.
9. Visit Val di Funes
Get ready to visit the charming churches of Val di Funes. These churches are some of the most photographed in Italy. The historic architecture accompanied by green meadows in the background is just one of the reasons it is highly trafficked.
Whatever you do, do not miss the San Giovanni Church in the small village of Ranui.
This church is by far the most sought-after photograph that your Instagram feed is missing. The church is surrounded by a lush forest with the Odle-Geisler behind it. Its white and brown exterior cannot be missed when spending the day in Val di Funes.
Wrapping up the Dolomites’ Things to Do List
The Dolomites provide an activity for everyone! Escape into the mountains or explore the history of the area. Indulge in the local Italian cuisine before spending your evening relaxing at one of the spas. You can even simply just be, sitting in silence and marveling at the magnificent Dolomite Mountains. This Italian treasure is ready to host you, any time of the year, so pack your bags and visit the Dolomites.