Discover The Dolomites, Italy: 8 Breathtaking Hikes and Lakes
During the summer we visited The Dolomites, Italy, on our way to Austria to visit Chris parents.
If you would love to visit The Dolomites but you don’t have enough time and don’t know what hikes you should do. We got you covered.
Below, we’ve listed our top 8 favourite places, ranked based on our personal experiences, to help you prioritise which ones we recommend the most.
Be aware you won’t be able to do more than 1 or even 2 hikes a day and you need to plan them depending on what side of The Dolomites you are.
Cadini Di Misurina
Our first choice would be Cadini Di Misurina.
You will start this hike from the same parking as Tre Cime, so its the perfect combination for one day with a break in between.
This picturesque destination can be found in the Veneto region of northern Italy, just a stone’s throw away from the charming town of Cortina d’Ampezzo.
What truly sets Cadini Di Misurina apart are its enchanting hiking trails. The region offers a range of options suitable for all levels of hikers, from beginners to seasoned trekkers.
Early mornings and late afternoons often provide the most enchanting light for photography. If you’re an avid photographer, don’t forget your camera!
Where to Park
As we mentioned before this hikes starts at the same parking, called Rifugio Auronzo.
You pay per day, no matter how many hours you spend here.
It will cost you 30 euros for a car, 45 euros for a big van and 15 euros for a bike.
Tip: Make sure to arrive before 9 am, as you may not be able to enter after that time as there are limited entry spots.
Our second top pick for a Dolomite adventure is the iconic Tre Cime, conveniently located in front of Cadini Di Misurina. This makes it an ideal combination for a memorable day of exploration.
If you love colorful towns read our article about Cinque Terre, the most beautiful town
Location and Access:
Tre Cime, often referred to as the Three Peaks, is a hallmark of the Dolomites and is situated in the Veneto region of northern Italy.
Accessible from the same parking area as Cadini Di Misurina, it offers a seamless transition from one breathtaking destination to another.
What distinguishes Tre Cime are its awe-inspiring hiking trails that wind through some of the most dramatic mountain scenery in the Dolomites.
The trails cater to a wide range of hikers, accommodating both beginners and experienced trekkers.
Read our stay at Masseria Montenapoleone a sustainable stay
One of the most popular routes is the “Tre Cime Loop Trail,” and it is the one we chose to do as you walk around the peaks getting a 360 degree view.
Tip: If you have a passion for photography, be sure to have your camera ready to capture the ethereal beauty of this iconic location.
For another unforgettable Dolomite experience, we recommend exploring Seceda. This breathtaking location offers a distinct charm and a different perspective on the beauty of the Dolomites.
Location and Access:
Seceda is situated in the heart of the Dolomites, within the Val Gardena region in South Tyrol, Italy.
Accessible by 2 cable car that costs 36 euros return per person.
Seceda provides an excellent opportunity to immerse yourself in the Dolomite’s alpine splendor.
Read about Vipiteno, a colorful town in The Dolomites
What sets Seceda apart are its diverse hiking trails that cater to all levels of hikers.
Whether it’s your fist time hiking, looking for a leisurely stroll or a seasoned trekker seeking a challenge, Seceda has something to offer.
The “Seceda Panorama Trail” is a must, providing sweeping views of the Odle Mountain Group.
After 1 hour walking you will reach the first refuge where families enjoyed a picnic and more advanced hikers will continue their journey.
Tip: Sunrise and sunsets are the best time of the day to capture the magical mountain view
For an enchanting experience in the Dolomites, look no further than Lago di Braies, often referred to as Lake Braies. This stunning alpine lake is a true jewel nestled amidst the majestic peaks of the region.
Location and Access:
Lago di Braies is located in the Prags Dolomites, in South Tyrol, Italy.
Accessible by car or public transportation, it’s one of the more easily reached natural wonders of the Dolomites.
Important: Cars are only allowed before 9 am after that the road will be closed and only the public bus (10euros return) is allowed
Parking fees: You pay around 5-6 euros per hour, this may vary and they said in the future there will be a fixed price like at Tre Cime.
What distinguishes Lago di Braies is its pristine blue beauty and the network of scenic trails that surround it.
The “Lago di Braies Loop Trail” offers a picturesque journey around the emerald-green lake, allowing you to take in the breathtaking views. It’s an easy trail perfect for kids surrounding the lake and takes 2-3 hours
Photographic Paradise: Photographers flock to Lago di Braies for its idyllic scenery. The turquoise waters of the lake, framed by the rugged Dolomite peaks, create a postcard-perfect setting.
Sunrise and sunset are particularly magical here, as the changing light bathes the landscape in a soft and warm glow.
Tip: Avoid weekends as big crowds will be here to enjoy sunrise
For an exhilarating alpine experience in the Dolomites, Passo Giau is a must-visit destination.
This high-mountain pass offers breathtaking vistas and exhilarating hikes that will leave you in awe.
Read about Vipiteno, a colorful town in the Dolomites
Location and Access:
Passo Giau is situated in the heart of the Dolomites, within the Belluno province of Veneto, Italy.
Accessible by car, it serves as a gateway to some of the most dramatic mountain scenery in the region.
Read about a Romantic Weekend in Florence here
Scenic Trails: Passo Giau is a paradise for hiking enthusiasts, offering a variety of trails that cater to different skill levels.
One of the most popular routes among beginners/intermediate level is the “Passo Giau Loop Trail,” which takes you through lush alpine meadows and offers panoramic views of the surrounding peaks.
For those seeking a more challenging adventure, there are options to ascend nearby peaks such as Monte Nuvolau.
For an enchanting and serene escape in the Dolomites, Val di Funes is a hidden gem that promises breathtaking natural beauty and cultural richness.
Location and Access: Nestled in the Dolomites of South Tyrol, Italy, Val di Funes is easily accessible by car. It’s a tranquil valley that beckons travelers to explore its wonders.
As well as Lago Di Braies it locks its entrance if you arrive after 9-9.30am so we didn’t make it on time and it was already closed.
Idyllic Hiking Trails:
Val di Funes offers a myriad of idyllic hiking trails, making it a paradise for nature lovers.
The “Santa Maddalena Trail” is a must, leading you through picturesque alpine meadows with the iconic Santa Maddalena Church framed by the majestic Geisler Peaks in the backdrop.
For those seeking a more challenging adventure, there are routes that ascend the surrounding peaks, providing unparalleled views.
As you may know the roads in The Dolomites are pretty good. But some will be a bit challenging as you ascend the mountains.
Like this one we found on our way back to Austria.
For an exhilarating journey through the heart of the Dolomites, Passo Gardena offers an unforgettable high-mountain crossing with panoramic views and exceptional hiking opportunities.
Location and Access:
Passo Gardena is nestled in the Val Gardena region, in the heart of the Dolomites, South Tyrol, Italy.
Accessible by car, it’s a gateway to some of the most breathtaking landscapes in the region.
Passo Gardena is a haven for hiking enthusiasts, with an array of trails that cater to various skill levels. One of the standout routes is the “Passo Gardena Circuit,” which leads you through alpine meadows with stunning vistas of the surrounding peaks.
For the more adventurous, consider hiking to the summit of Sass Rigais, one of the Dolomites’ iconic peaks.
We only stopped here for lunch and to enjoy the amazing view
Things You Need To Know Before Coming Here
If you are planning a trip to The Dolomites, we would suggest to book your accommodation more than 4 months in advance as they get full pretty quickly and prices will escalate 3 times their original price.
We made the mistake of booking 2 months ahead and it was most of it fully booked.
How to move around:
Bringing a car is definitely a must. In our opinion is 100% necessary as there are not many public buses and they will arrive late when most of the crowds are here.
Vegan & Dolomites?
You won’t find vegan options at the refugios and most restaurants. Maybe plain pizza..
We would recommend bringing your own food (Prepare tuppers or sandwiches).
And book an accommodation with kitchen so you can buy food at the supermarket.
Did you know we had a 100% Vegan Wedding? Read all about it here + Tips
Vegan & Sustainable accommodation
There are 2 places we highly recommend if you are looking for a vegan hotel
La Vimea The first vegan hotel in The Dolomites, hopefully next time we will stay here as it looks amazing
Paradiso Pure Living A vegan eco friendly stay where you can enjoy amazing food, go hiking and do yoga.
Are you coming from Milan? Check The 11 Best Vegan Cafes here