The Dolomites in Italy is truly a majestic and spectacular landscape that proves that the Earth is filled with wonderful creations.
A mountain range located in northeastern Italy, the Dolomites are filled with smaller regional parks which care for and sustain the mountains in their respective areas. In 2009, the Dolomites were declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Read on and discover some of the best trail hikes to take when visiting Italy’s Dolomites and discover why they should be on every traveler’s/hiker’s bucket list.
Lago Di Federa Hike
Surrounded by many larches which make for the perfect backdrop during fall, Lago di Federa is hidden under the radar from most travelers. However, with its beauty and stunning landscapes, every traveler should visit this trail hike.
Suppose you do not have time to complete the entire Croda do Lago hike, which the Lago di Federa is a part of (it takes 7 to 8 hours to finish the whole loop circuit of Croda do Lago). In that case, you can follow the hiking trail up to Lago di Federa and turn back towards the car/transport that you came from.
It is recommended to bring hiking poles because the trail can get pretty steep. Without slippery snow and ice on the ground, the hike can take less than three hours.
Tre Cime Di Lavaredo Hike
The most popular hiking trail in the Dolomites, the Tre Cime di Lavaredo is something you definitely should not miss, especially if it is your first time visiting the South Tyrolean region. This unmissable hiking circuit is located in the UNESCO World Heritage site, Tre Cime National Park.
It is recommended to start this hike early in the morning to beat the crowd and be able to enjoy the sunrise in solitude. While it is not entirely bad to hike alone, nothing spoils spectacular scenery like crowds and noise.
While the Tre Cime National Park offers many different hiking trails, the Tre Cime di Lavaredo guarantees the best view over the Drei Zinnen. The hike, which starts at the Rifugio Auronzo, takes about four hours to complete. Photographers will want to factor in an extra hour because there’s so much scenery and beauty to capture!
Col Raiser To Seceda Hike
One of the cult favorites among all the hiking trails, the Col Raiser to Seceda trail starts with a steep incline at the Col Raiser cable car, which you can take during the high season. However, note that you’ll be missing a lot of scenery if you ride the cable car to the top.
After going through the steep incline, you’ll be treading through a pine forest until you are surrounded by a 360-degree breathtaking view of mountain ranges. As you near the end of the hike, you’ll be walking along the Seceda ridgeline to reach the iconic viewpoint.
The hike takes around four hours to complete, give or take some stops in between.
Alpe Di Siusi Hike
The beautiful meadows of Alpe di Siusi, also known as Seiser Alm, is one of the most iconic places in the Dolomites that should be on everyone’s Dolomite trip bucket list. Located in the western region of the Dolomites, Seiser Alm has an altitude of 1680 meters and a length of 52 square kilometers.
While there are plenty of hiking trails that are spread out over this meadow, you will most likely start in Compatsch, where you will also have to park your car.
It is ideal for spending half a day or even an entire day in Seiser Alm and indulging in the delectable cuisine over at the South Tyrolean restaurants in the area.
Lago Di Carezza Hike
Also known as Kareresee, the Lago di Carezza is a stunning emerald green lake located in the province of South Tyrol. Just a 20-minute hike, this hike offers several points and angles where you can admire the beauty of the landscape.
Legend says that Lago di Carezza has emerald green waters because of a wizard who fell in love with a mermaid residing in the lake’s waters. The wizard, who wanted to lure the mermaid out of the water, created a rainbow in the sky. However, the mermaid grew terrified upon seeing the wizard and went back into the lake.
As a result, the wizard threw the rainbow into the lake, turning the mix of colors into a rich, vivid shade of emerald green.
Cadini Di Misurina Hike
Most travelers who’ve reached the Cadini di Misurina trail will say that being in the mountains would make you feel as if you’ve set foot in the fictional world of Mordor from the Lord of the Rings.
The hike has two primary viewpoints that people climb: a small pinnacle that should only be climbed on a dry and clear day. Due to its narrow trail, hiking the trail can be dangerous, so it should only be visited when the land is dry, and there are no rains. However, many people still insist on visiting the trail to take a photo with that iconic backdrop.
The second viewpoint is equally stunning and is the safer trail to take, so this could be a better alternative. It only takes an hour and a half to complete the hike. If you want more, you can combine this hike with the Tre Cime di Lavaredo Circuit.
One of the most well-kept secrets of the Dolomites, the Stiergarten trail starts at the foot of the Tre Cime cable car in the Sesto and climbs up to the meadows of Stiergarten. The hike takes about 4 to 5 hours to complete, but this can take more if you want to hike up to other viewpoints.
During summer, you can see grazing cows from the top. Completing this trail will provide you a stunning and breathtaking view over the entire Tre Cime National Park. Moreover, the Stiergarten trail is a great starting point for hiking up to other incredible viewpoints.
Lago Di Braies Hike
Also known as Pragser Wildsee, Lago di Braies is one of the most popular attractions in the Dolomites and is considered one of the most popular mountain lakes in Europe. Travelers visiting this spot usually stop at Lake Braies without hiking the wonderful trail of Lago di Braies.
The hiking trail, which circles around the entire lake, takes around an hour to complete, with a few stairs to climb. The climb is relatively easy, which you can do with kids and younger children without worrying if they will get exhausted or harmed.
It is advised to arrive as early as possible to admire the beauty of the sunrise as the sun peeks through the mountains. One of the best sceneries to witness is the first light that hits the mountain tops, which causes their color to turn into a vivid orange or shade of pink! That’s an unmissable view!
Lago Di Dobbiaco Hike
Also known as Toblacher See, this hiking trail around Lago di Dobbiaco is another trail that is family-friendly and can be completed by all ages. This stunning alpine lake is located in the municipality of Dobbiaco and marks the beginning of the Tre Cime National Park.
The hiking trail follows a circular path that goes around the entire lake. It is a relatively short and easy hike, taking just less than an hour to complete.
Val Fiscalina To Drei Zinnen Hike
Val Fiscalina is a spectacular and stunning valley in the township of Sesto. The valley also doubles as the starting point for one of the Dolomites’ grandest and most popular hikes. This hiking trail is best visited from spring to early fall, but sometimes, you can experience snow in some areas even when you visit at these times.
Hiking with snow is tricky business, so be sure to contact some of the people working at the Dolomites to inform you of the conditions. Without the snow, it should take you five to six hours to complete the hike.
The hike starts by walking through a majestic forest, then a little river stream until you reach the end of the trail, which is the valley underneath the Drei Zinnen.
Hiking up the Dolomites is a trip and experience every nature lover should be able to experience. Seeing the beauty of nature such as lakes, mountain cliffs, forests, sunsets, and the sunrise through hiking is a great way to reconnect with Mother Nature.
These are just some of the best hikes in the Dolomites of Italy. There is a lot to explore, but be sure to visit these hiking trails to make the best out of your trip. Stay safe and responsible as you enjoy hiking up the Dolomites!