December 17, 2012, Belluno, Bolzano, Camping & Outdoor Recreation, Hiking, Hobbies & Leisure, News, Notes, Travel & Tourism, Trentino - Alto Adige, Trento

Dolomites Outdoor activities

The Dolomites
Outdoor activities with boots, bikes and boards

The Dolomites range among the most spectacular mountain landscapes anywhere, and their beauty can be experienced and explored in many different ways. Here are some suggestions for Dolomites outdoor activities

There is something utterly fascinating about the grey, vertical mountains that tower abruptly above gentle Alpine foothills. The Dolomites that are recognized as UNESCO World Heritage stretch over an area of 140 000 ha with a spectacular diversity of landscapes of deep long valleys contrasted by 18 peaks and sculptural limestone formations such as pinnacles, towers and spires.  And the beauty is quite easily accessible.


The Dolomites are a hikers’ paradise offering plenty of easy to moderately strenuous itineraries. There is almost no peak nor valley that does not provide a handful of appealing walking-tours .One of the most popular day hikes is the Tre Cime di Lavarendo around the region’s most famous landmark. From the car park near Lake Misurina it will take you about 2.5 hours to complete the 9.5 km circuit, unless you have to stop for cappuccinos or other refreshments at all the Rifugios along the way

Another easily accessible point of departure is Alpe di Siusi from where there is a variety of walks and hikes with magnificent views of the characteristic landscape.


If you want to go on a self-guided 2-3 day itinerary make sure to bring a detailed map and to book overnight stays well in advance. Tenting is not allowed, and in the high season from July to October many rifugios are fully booked, which is understandable considering the view you’ll have with your dinner. Apart from that there are trails for all levels of ability and experience. Just remember to bring water, snacks and a fully charged cell phone.

Dolomites: Outdoor activities


As a step up from ordinary mountain walking, the Dolomites have a number of Vie Ferrate or iron roads where a steel cable fixed to the rock serves as an aid to climbing iron rungs or carved steps and ladders. In this way otherwise dangerous routes can undertaken without climbing equipment and climbing experience. Thus they enable the relatively inexperienced a means of enjoying the dramatic positions and accessing difficult peaks normally the preserve of the serious mountaineer. Via Ferrata routes can vary in length from less than an hour to multi-day climbing tours at high altitudes.


The Dolomites has one of the most extensive networks of interconnected cycling trails and paths in Italy with easy and challenging routes for mountain bikes, tour bikes and racing bikes. Visit all the charming valleys and villages and switch between difficult mountain trails with panoramic views, forest routes and freewheeling through the valley. There are bicycles for rent in eg. Dobbiaco, Cortina and on the Passo di Cimabanche.


In winter the Dolomites have developed into a phenomenal ski region with about 450 lifts and cable cars and 1200 km well maintained ski slopes are spread over the entire region. In addition to the outstanding skiing facilities, the area offers great food and cultural events and a range of other winter sports like  tobogganing, snowboard, snowshoing and cross country skiing.

More on outdoor activities in Italy:

UNESCO World Heritage in Liguria

5 facts about Mount Vesuvius

Hikes on Etna – the edge of an active volcano

Hike to Cava Grande del Cassibile

Hiking in Calabria

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December 17, 2012 2:12 pm

Turkey’s For Life

The first two options and the biking (in the valleys) really appeal to me. Looks beautiful there.

December 17 2012 15:50 pm


My choice as well:)

December 17, 2012 4:10 pm


Gorgeous! I’m not very familiar with this region of Italy, so would love to get a closer look – and what better way than these. All of these! Also, really like the way you present the photos.

December 17 2012 16:23 pm


Thank you:)

December 17, 2012 8:16 pm


Oh I love Dolomites.
I use to ski in Cortina D’Ampezzo when I was young. Still have great memories. Also trekking and climbing I am sure it must be a breath taking adventure.

December 18 2012 08:48 am


Yes, those mountains are really special.

December 18, 2012 10:09 am

Mary {The World Is A Book}

Absolutely beautiful scenery! It looks so scenic and peaceful and so full of activities year round. I’m not very familiar with the Dolomites either and would love to visit to enjoy everything it has to offer.

December 18 2012 11:01 am


It's the kind of scenery that makes a lasting impression.

December 18, 2012 3:40 pm


The Dolomites are WAY up there on my wish list to visit – would love to do everything you mentioned. The only question is when.

December 18 2012 16:15 pm


Can't wait to see the photos. With your skills they will be fantastic:)

December 18, 2012 6:21 pm

TheTuscan (@anylatitude)

…and the sunsets! What an unforgettable view!
It is amazing to think that shells of crustaceans living millions of years ago in the seas were dropped on the seabed, got embedded in the rock, then slowly rose thousand meters over the sea level, and now light up the Dolomites with such bright colors when the sun is low on the horizon…

December 19 2012 08:50 am


What a beautiful story. I'd never thought about why those mountains light up pink, but now it makes sense. Thanks:)

December 19, 2012 8:08 pm


Thanks for the tips. Have been all over Italy but never to the Dolomites.

December 20 2012 09:03 am


It's a beautiful part of the country - with some really remarkable scenery.

December 20, 2012 1:48 pm

Laura @Travelocafe

Oh, I so have to do this!!

December 20 2012 15:48 pm


It's absolutely recommendable:)

December 25, 2012 1:31 pm

D.J. – The World of Deej

What an incredible place…of course, there are no shortage of incredible places in Italy:)

December 26 2012 15:31 pm


No. Even though I have visited most of the country several times over the past decades, new fascinating places keep cropping up.

February 6, 2013 1:39 am

Natasha von Geldern

Just adore the Dolomites. We spent 4 days doing via ferrata routes based from Cortina, simply stunning and so much fun!

February 06 2013 08:57 am


Yes, it could seem like a contradiction in terms, but the via ferrata routes really offer action-packed hiking.

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