Up there with Patagonia, the Rockies, and the Swiss Alps in terms of breathtaking mountain ranges, the Dolomites are a collection of mountains in northeastern Italy. Unsurprisingly, UNESCO named the Dolomites as one of the most beautiful mountain landscapes in the entire globe.
The Italian Dolomites are renowned for their imposing peaks, charming communities, and top-notch skiing. There is a sense of calm and tranquility here that is unmatched in a city thanks to the pure, fresh air.
Why Then Are The Dolomites Frequently Ignored?
There is the challenge first. People believe that it would be impossible to walk these mountains. To be honest, it is simple to understand why if you review the Google images. The second is geography of the world. People mistakenly believe that they are difficult to reach because they don’t know where they are. The third is knowledge. They aren’t as well-known as the Swiss Alps or other spectacular mountain ranges that have often garnered more media attention or have been promoted to tourists as a vacation destination.
Ten Lessons I Learned from Spending a Summer in the Italian Dolomites
The Dolomites have captured my heart this summer despite the fact that I have always liked being in the mountains. I discovered a few things throughout a month-long exploration of the majority of the valleys. Basically, I feel like I can breathe more deeply and live more leisurely while I’m in the Dolomites. This makes it my favorite place to visit in all of Italy.
1. Easy and medium difficulty for hiking
European hikers and environmental enthusiasts frequently travel to the Dolomites, but Americans do not. Why do Americans avoid visiting the Dolomites when they have access to some of Europe’s most beautiful hiking trails?
Many people are unaware of how accessible these magnificent mountains are for hiking. The Dolomites, in contrast to other mountainous areas, feature a number of clearly marked paths with varied degrees of difficulty, making it simple to pick one that suits your skill level. My preferred easy to moderate hikes are:
Geisler Alm to Adolf Munkel Hike (Medium )
Hike to the Cadini di Misurina Ridge (Easy)
Hike to Seceda Ridgeline (Easy)
The Italian Dolomites are a great place to go hiking whether you’re an experienced hiker or a first-time tourist. Be sure to bring your camera, though. These peaks are so high that the views are stunning.
2. Instagram Is Nothing Compared to These Views
The Italian Dolomites were beautifully captured in a picture I came upon the other day while perusing through Instagram. It appeared so flawless that Photoshop must have been used. And the truth is that no amount of beautiful imagery can do it justice.
Actually, the mountains engulf your entire field of vision. You are surrounded by everything; the mountains, trees, wildflowers, and even the mountain cows add to the atmosphere. Simply put, it’s impossible to portray that experience on camera. The inherent beauty of these mountains is unmatched by any filter or application.
3. Value for Your Money Unlike the Swiss Alps
My favorite b-word is budget. The Italian Dolomites are very affordable when compared to hiking and lodging in and around the top mountain locations in Europe!
The French Vosges, the Spanish Pyrenees, the Swiss Alps, the Austrian Alps, the Norwegian Mountains, and even the walks in Iceland are examples of similarities I’m making. All of those, as well as the Italian Dolomites, are stunning on their own. And pizza in the Dolomites!
On a road trip, it is feasible to spend under $4,000 for two weeks in Italy and Switzerland, as we did.
4. Planning Is Definitely Important
Any vacation involving mountains should be thoroughly planned because things always take longer than expected, are more sold out than anticipated, or the weather causes more problems than anticipated. Even in the busiest summer months, I’ve found that making reservations in the Dolomites a month in advance is preferable.
If you have time to explore some of the nearby valleys, there are so many Hidden Gems in Northern Italy in the Dolomites.
5. Via Ferratas and Hut to Hut for the Brave
I place an emphasis on picturesque views and experience when hiking. However, there are numerous easy, medium, and hard-rated walks and Via Ferratas in the Italian Dolomites. There are hikes in this mountain range for people of all experience levels.
A multi-day hiking trip with a rucksack is called hut to hut hiking. In essence, you’re hiking from peak to peak while staying the night at several mountain huts, where most day hikers have dinner and drink beer before heading back to the parking lot. Even if you don’t go with Hut to Hut, the huts are adorable and worth a night’s stay.
A Via Ferrata is the ideal way to get your heart racing while taking in some breathtaking views for people who prefer an adventure. Italian for “iron ways,” via ferratas are climbing routes that have metal ropes and ladders to aid climbers as they ascend cliffs and cliffsides.
While via ferratas were invented in the Italian Dolomites during World War I, they can now be found all over the world and range in difficulty from very easy to quite difficult. Tridentina al Pisciadu, a medium-level via ferrata, was my favorite.
6. Italian and German are both used.
Pizza and beer are the best ways in the world to bring together the seemingly incompatible cultures of German and Italian! The Dolomites are situated at this precise juncture in the Sud Tyrol region.
Here, people speak Italian, German, or a combination of the two. Of course, they can converse with you in English as well. Pizza and pasta, bangers and beer, and a distinctive German delicacy known as Kaisersmarn are all easily available. Everything was delicious.
7. Pick Your Airport Wisely
Three international airports are accessible from the Dolomites and Sud Tyrol, my favorite place to stay: Munich, Germany (three hours away), Innsbruck, Austria (two hours away), and Venice, Italy (2 hours away). Simply because it provided the finest connections from the United States and the cost of the car rental was less expensive than the alternatives, we chose the Munich airport. Considering that the possibilities can differ, be sure to compare and contrast them all.
8. You Should Rent a Car
You’ll want to rent a car even though there is a vast transit network that circles the mountain so you can normally do things at your leisure. Relying on the bus schedule could be difficult for Americans if they are used to the American system of time and schedules.
We were fine because we leased a tiny automatic automobile from the Munich airport close by for two weeks for just under $500. Make sure you carefully study the documentation requirements before renting a car. Driving in Europe can be a little strange for Americans, especially in Italy, but as long as you go in understanding what to anticipate and have a strong stomach for twisting mountain roads, you should be alright!
9. Travel during the summer
The Dolomites are well-known for their outstanding summer hiking, fantastic skiing, and wildflowers. Of course, they are beautiful all year round, but some of the hikes require gondolas or funiculars that aren’t operational until the beginning of the summer.
In addition, towns and restaurants are busier in the summer or winter but less so in the spring and fall. Although the fall is a lovely time of year, it is also the busiest for European travelers, so it will be crowded.
10. Don’t Have Complete Faith in Weather Apps
Mountain weather is unpredictable. Wherever you are, the sun or the clouds are moving fast in and out. Although the weather app on our iPhone was inconsistent, we did our best to monitor it. Every day there was rain, but it only rained heavily for 30 minutes before the beautiful July sunshine returned.
The key takeaway from this experience is to make your call while on the hike you had planned for the day. You should avoid the hike if the weather is bad and instead visit a nearby wine and cheese bistro. Instead, you might take pleasure in a leisurely day and the aroma of fresh rain.
Consider rerouting to the adjacent Italian Coastal Towns for some sunlight if it looks like your entire trip will be wet out in the highlands.
Additional Content from Wealth of Geeks:
Wealth of Geeks syndicated this article, which was written by Planner at Heart.
Courtesy of Mariana Barbuceanu, the featured image.
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