Rough Draft: The Dolomites, Italy
Due to the COVID quarantine, I am creating rough draft, “off the shelf” travel itineraries for when travel resumes normal operations so we do not waste any time getting out and exploring!
It was only recently I was exposed to the incredible mountain range hiding in Northern Italy – the Dolomites. The landscape is completely different than 1) you would expect in Itlay and 2) you would expect in European mountain range. When I started looking into how to incorparte a visit last year, the Dolomites seemed difficult to get to. As someone that needs to fly there, The Dolomites are away from any major cities. Suddenly, this characteristic seems to be a more desirable aspect of a trip in a post-quarantine world – the less people, the better. Dolomites here we come! In doing this research, it is even more stunning than I knew in my brief exposure and I cannot wait to visit.
Getting there will definitely require a car so hook yourself up with an international drivers license (easy process through AAA). While you will have a several hour drive from the airport, there are a number of airports to chose from which means you have more flexibilty on ticket prices to get the best deal and flight times. It is a 3 hours drive from Munich, a 4 hour drive from Milan, a 3 hour drive from Venice, and a 2 hour drive from Verona.
If you are looking to go for a non-winter trip, visit the Dolomites from June through September. This itinerary will be reflecting a trip during this time frame. In reading other bloggers, September seems to be ideal since it can be rainy in the summer and some things start to close as early as October.
What is there to do?
There are so many ways to mix and match all that the Dolomites offer to create the itienrary that works for you. From easy trails to rock climbing, from spring flowers and fall foilage to a winter wonderland, this can really be a different trip a number of times over.
Trails – There is no way I can name every hike as there are countless trails and iterations that can be done. You can hike some of these trails for days with overnights in huts or can do day hikes. It depends on how much time you have and what you want to do.
- Tre Cime di Lavardeo Circuit
- Fanes-Sennes-Prags Nature Park
- Puez – Geisler Nature Park
- Alpe di Siusi or the longer Sassolungo – Langkofel Circuit
- Adolf Munkel Trail
- Grand Cir
Lakes – The lakes here are absoltuely stunning! From what I read they get crowded for “instagram” pictures… I will leave that there but defintiely worht visiting.
- Lago di Baies
- Lago di Landro
- Lago di Sorapiss
- Lago di Carezza
There are a number of towns you can base yourself out of if you are not staying in the mountain huts. Based on where the major trails are, I split the trip between the towns of Cortina and Ortisei.
Where to eat?
While you may be far from any major city, that does not stop the caliber of food in this region! There are tons of options both one hikes and in the towns. You will notice huts or “Rifugio” on trails that have overnight accomodations as well as dining establishments ranging from quick refreshments to fine dining.
Additionally, in the towns of Cortina and Ortisei there are many places that look quite delicious!
Ristorante Lago Pianozes di Alberti Massino
Ristorante Al Camin di Pompanin Fabio
Il Vizetto di Cortina
Rizzati Shop (Chocolate!)
Pasticceria Panificio Alvera (cafe)
Mauriz Keller Pizzeria
Cercia Enoteca (wine bar)
Ustaria Da Checco
Pitla Stua (cafe)
Cafe Val d’Anna (cafe)
Based on all of the above, here is how I would plan a week in the Dolomites!
|Day 0||Afternoon||Arrive Cortina|
|Day 1||Morning||Drive 1 hour to Rifugio Auronzo for Tre Cime di Lavaredo Loop (9.7km/4hrs) Trails: 105, 102, 101 – hike counterclockwise||Rifugio Langalm
Rifugio Locatelli (Drei Zinnen Hütte), Malga Rin Bianco
|Afternoon||Drive 30 min to Lago Brais (P3 has free parking)- walk around lake / boat ride|
|Evening||Drive 30 min to Lago di Landro (parking area di parcheggoi)
Drive 30 min to Cortina
|Day 2||Morning||Drive to Lagazuoi and Cinque Torri|
|Afternoon||Drive 1.5 hours to Pederü Berggasthaus for Fanes-Sennes-Prags Nature Park
|Evening||Drive 1.5 hours to Cortina|
|Day 3||Morning||Dive 30 min to Passo Tre Coci for Lago Sorapiss (3 hours) Tail #215|
|Afternoon||Drive 2.5 hours to Ortisei (scenic route through Passo Falzarego and Pordoi Pass)|
|Evening||Arrive in Ortisei|
|Day 4||Morning||Drive 30 min to Passo Gardena for sunrise at Via ferrata Gran Cir (5km/2hrs) Trail 1A||Rifugio Jimmi|
|Afternoon||Drive 1.5 hours to Malga Zannes for Adolf Munkel Trail Overview (8.8km/3.5hrs) Trails: 6, 35, 36
||Geisleralm, Malga Casnago|
|Evening||Drive 1 hour to Ortisei|
|Day 5||Morning||Drive 30 min to Passo Sella for
Sassolungo – Langkofel Circuit (including Alpe di Siusi) (17.6km/6 hrs) Trails: 557, 527, 526 –
|Rifugio Friedrich August|
|Afternoon||Rifugio Vicenza, Rifugio Comici|
|Evening||Drive 30 min to Ortisei
|Day 6||Morning||Take the cable car to Seceda for
Puez – Geisler Nature Park (8.7km/ 3hrs) Trails: 1,2B,1
|Rifugio Firenze, Malgna Pieralongia Alm, Baita Troier, Baita Sofie|
|Afternoon||Drive to 1 hour to Lago di Carezza||Oberholz Alpine Hut|
If you have been to the Dolomites, let me know what I missed and what your favorites are!
Don’t forget to check out all DESKRIB itineraries here!