The Italian Dolomites are some of the most beautiful mountains in Europe, and some of the most popular too. Many people choose them for hiking trips, as well as skiing during the winter. When not spending time outdoors, there are opportunities to experience culture and history or to spend time enjoying the local cuisine. It is Italy, after all. If you’re considering a trip to the Dolomites, you can choose a ready-made itinerary or plan to do your own thing. If you haven’t decided yet whether it’s an area for you, here are some great reasons to choose the Dolomites for your next trip.
Hiking the Dolomites
The Dolomites are incredibly popular for walking vacations, offering both short and long routes to explore. There are a number of accommodation options available, so you could do some short day trips using a hotel as your base, camp, or stay at rustic huts called rifugios along on a longer hike. Expert guides are available to show you the best parts of the region, but you can also arrange a self-guided hike. With a decent GPS device, maps as a backup, and a good plan, experienced hikers can easily go off on their own. The stunning region offers some of the best hiking opportunities to both casual and serious hikers.
Other Outdoor Activities
If you don’t feel like hiking, there are other ways to take in the beautiful Dolomites. There are plenty of opportunities for skiing or other snow sports during the winter. It’s one of Europe’s best locations for skiing, and shouldn’t be missed. Cortina D’Ampezzo is arguably the most famous resort, an Olympic resort which is often called Queen of the Dolomites. Consider taking a ski tour from the resort to see some important First World War sites. In the summer, if you would prefer not to hike the mountain range, you could bike it instead.
Culture and History
You can’t visit Italy without taking in plenty of culture and history. Even when you’re out enjoying nature, it’s almost impossible to avoid. If you like your culture in museums and galleries, you might like the Museo Archeologico Dell’Alto Adige, Bolzano, where you’ll find the well-preserved iceman, Ötzi. Try spending some time in as historical town like Trento, where you can visit the castle or just enjoy walking the streets. Even on a hiking trip, you’re sure to find sites that are of some historical or cultural significance.
Food and Nightlife
You might not visit the Dolomites to party, but there are still some great places to enjoy eating and drinking. To combine history and food, Al Vò is the oldest trattoria in Trento and the perfect place for lunch. There are plenty of traditional Italian places to eat, as well as local favorites for wine and beer, and some more modern offerings to try too. You’ll also see plenty of Austrian influence on the food, with Tyrolean items on the menu in many eateries.
The Dolomites are a treat for anyone who loves spending their time in the mountains. After you’ve been once, you won’t be able to wait to go again.