Are you Craving for Holidays in the Dolomites? These Photos will Inspire You

Italy, Dolomites, Alpe di Siusi

Are you Craving for Holidays in the Dolomites? These Photos will Inspire You

There are so many beautiful places to spend holidays in the Dolomites that choosing an area is a challenge. I’ve been to the Dolomites on several occasions, trying every time to discover new spots, and there are still many areas that I haven’t explored yet.

I don’t know about you, but when I have to choose a destination or to get a better idea of a given region, Images are my driver. Photography is the first step, and then I go more in-depth.

Dolomites, Hiking Alpe di Siusi

Hiking Alpe di Siusi

Wherever you go, you can hardly go wrong in the Dolomites. It’s one of the most magnificent mountain ranges in Europe, I dare even say in the world, and a unique UNESCO World Heritage Site. And if you wonder what to do in the Dolomites, the answer is a lot! Hiking, climbing, mountain biking, paragliding, skiing, and many more activities for unforgettable active holidays.

Holidays in the Dolomites also mean a lot of pampering at one of the many wellness hotels, excellent food, and lovely towns perfect for a romantic getaway.

Although I love skiing, I am even more passionate about hiking and mostly go to the Dolomites sometime from late Spring to early Autumn. I’m a solo hiker, and I like being able to hike on trails of medium difficulty. I know that there are many mountain huts along the way and that makes me feels safer. Traveling in the Dolomites without a car is relatively easy thanks to regular bus service, and this allowed me over time to discover new areas.

Seiser Alm: The Largest Alpine Pasture in Europe

Emerald green meadows, colorful wildflowers, and on the horizon the Sciliar, Saas Long (Sasso Lungo), and Plattkofel (Sasso Piatto): every time Seiser Alm (Alpe di Siusi) takes my breath away.

Seiser Alm meadows

Rather than staying at the Compatsch, the main town on the plateau and the arrival of the cable car, I prefer spending a few days at one of the excellent mountain huts spread all around.

A few years ago, as I was facing a severe burnout, I had a short holiday in the Dolomites, knowing that the unspeakable beauty of nature would heal, if only a little, my soul. I spent a few days at the lovely Rifugio Zallinger, resting in the cozy room and enjoying the excellent food. I savored the silence and the soothing views of the idyllic landscape.

From the Zallinger mountain hut, I went for some memorable hikes, following the trail to the scenic Rifugio Vicenza, the famous circular route around the Sasso Piatto/Plattkofel and Sasso Lungo/Langkofel, and more wonderful hiking paths.

Italy, Dolomites, Approaching Rifugio Vicenza

Approaching Rifugio Vicenza

Dolomites, Rifugio Vicenza

Dolomites, Rifugio Vicenza

Dolomites, Hiking Seiser Alm

Dolomites, Hiking Seiser Alm

Seiser Alm seen from Val Gardena

Seiser Alm seen from Val Gardena

Seiser Alm is also one of the places where I went tandem paragliding, one of the most exhilarating experiences I ever did. Flying gently amid a stunning scenery, tasting the sound of the wind, and feeling like a bird is unique and you should try it at least once in your life.

Dolomites, Paragliding at Seiser Alm

Dolomites, Paragliding at Seiser Alm

Italy, Dolomites, Castelruth Clock Tower

Castelruth Clock Tower

Italy, Dolomites, Castelruth

Strolling in Castelruth

Kastelruth Painted Houses

Kastelruth Painted Houses

A couple of times, at the beginning or the end of the season, I stayed in the pretty towns of Castelruth (Castelrotto), and Seis am Schlern (Siusi allo Sciliar). From there, it’s easy to have day hikes at the Sciliar-Catinaccio/Schlern-Rosengarten Nature Reserve and other surrounding areas, like the lovely Fiè allo Sciliar lake, very crowded in high season but otherwise peaceful. It may not be as beautiful as some alpine lakes in Switzerland, but it’s quite pretty.

Fiè allo Sciliar Lake

Val Gardena and the Puez Odle Nature Park

If you are passionate about alpine ski competitions, you certainly know Val Gardena (Gröden, in German), hosting the men downhill race on the famous Saslong slope and the Super G.

Val Gardena, however, is not only a well-known winter ski resort, but it’s also a beautiful area for hiking, climbing, and mountain biking.

Dolomites, Hiking Val Gardena

Hiking the Puez Odle Nature Park

Val Gardena is an alternative access to Seiser Alm, although my heart beats stronger when I hike the Puez Odle Nature Park. The jagged rocky mountains are awe-inspiring. Walking at their feet, I feel elated and a little intimidated. Looking at such gorgeous scenery, thinking at the millions of years it took to create such a perfect landscape, I sense how little and finite I am. This is one of the many reasons I love mountains: if you get into them, they teach you to be humble.

Dolomites, Hiking Val Gardena

Hiking Val Gardena

In this picture-perfect valley, you can have short and easy excursions or more extended and challenging treks.

Val Gardena, Col Raiser

Val Gardena, Col Raiser

Dolomites, Hiking Val Gardena

Beautiful spikes in the Puez Odle Nature Park

One walk you shouldn’t miss is the hike from Col Raiser to Rifugio Firenze and down to Santa Cristina. As soon as you step out from the cable car, you’ll face the beautiful Odle mountain range. The trail will gently lead you closer and closer to the rocks, and you’ll marvel at the ever-changing shapes of the peaks.

Dolomites, Col Raiser

Dolomites, Col Raiser

Dolomites, Val Gardena

Dolomites, Val Gardena

Val Gardena Rifugio Firenze

Val Gardena Rifugio Firenze

Val Gardena Behind Rifugio Firenze

Val Gardena Behind Rifugio Firenze

Dolomites, Val Gardena Behind Rifugio Firenze

Behind Firenze mountain hut

Dolomites, Val Gardena

Val Gardena and the Odle

Tires and the Sciliar-Catinaccio Nature Park

Another valley and more stunning views. The charming town of Tires overlooks the Rosengarten/Catinaccio mountain range, whose peaks remind me of Milan cathedral spires.

Tires is easy to reach from Bozen/Bolzano and Seiser Alm/Alpe di Siusi for a day walk, but it’s worth spending a night. When the sun starts setting in front of the Rosengarten, you’ll understand why the Dolomites are so unique. The rocks get shaded in yellow, orange, and finally purple, offering spellbinding views.

Dolomites, Rosengarten Range

Rosengarten mountain range

The Schlern-Rosengarten Nature Park is the smallest of the Dolomites, but nonetheless beautiful. One of the most renowned hikes is the climb up to Rifugio Bergamo (Grasleitenhűtte). After a 2 1/2-3 hours ascent and an elevation gain of over 1000 m (3280 ft) you’ll be rewarded by a jaw-dropping view.

If you’re looking for a more relaxed and shorter hike, walk up the trail from Bagni Lavinia Bianca/Weisslahnbad to the Tschafon hűtte. It’s a lovely spot for a picnic, but keep in mind that this mountain hut offers delicious home-made food. Have a go with the nettle omelet: as common a choice as it may sound, it will be the best one in your life.

_______

I recently came back from another holiday in the Dolomites, and I’m already thinking of where to go next time.

Indeed, I dream of doing a long-distance hike, like the one my friend Laurel of Monkeys and Mountains Adventures organizes. The Dolomites Trek from San Candido/Innichen to Val Gardena, which goes through the Tre Cime Natural Park and the Fanes-Senes-Braies Natural Park, two areas I haven’t explored yet, must be pure bliss.

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Travel addict and passionate about photography, Simon Falvo started Wild About Travel back in 2009. Leveraging her strong PR background, she developed an extensive knowledge of Digital Communications and Social Media Marketing. Besides travel writing SImon holds workshops and trainings, she collaborated with tourism boards for digital marketing campaigns and participated as a speaker at several events.

The Dolomites are so beautiful that choosing an area is a challenge. Have a look at the photos of my recent trip to discover stunning valleys and great hikes.
Where to go to the Dolomites | Hiking the Dolomites
2 Comments
  • James Ian
    Posted at 03:24h, 30 August Reply

    Wow. Such dramatic photos. I’ve never been but have always wanted to. Do you have a favorite place to go? With limited time (short vacations), I would want to try to visit your top pick.

    • Simon
      Posted at 13:34h, 06 October Reply

      It’s hard to pick a place because every valley is gorgeous in its own way. However, if I had to choose only one, I’d probably go to Ortisei and the Odle.

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