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The Dolomites is a compact and easily accessible range in the Sudtirol autonomous region of northern Italy. But because of its many valleys, mountain passes, winding roads, and scattered clusters of mountain groups can make these beautiful mountains seem particularly daunting to first-time visitors. Here are a few tips to help you feel more at home, capture the best of the Dolomites, and make the best use of your time.
When to Go
Great hiking options abound in the Dolomites from June through October. Many lower elevation trails will be accessible in May, but many of the higher elevation routes will be snowbound until early July. So for maximum accessibility on a wide range of trails, we recommend planning your trip between the first week in July to the third week in September, when most of the mountain lifts cease operations. The mountain rifugi are generally open from late June to late September. Local bus services also run from late June to late September.
July is the peak wildflower season, although many of the later-blooming varieties are still providing dazzling displays into August. Trails are fresh and moist in July and temperatures are generally very comfortable in the higher elevations.
The busiest month is August, the peak vacation period for Italy and the rest of Europe. But don’t let that keep you away. As long as you have advance reservations you’ll still find ample opportunities to get off the beaten track and find some solitude on a mountain trail.
The summer crowds dissipate by September as do most of the wildflowers, but there are still plenty of beautiful hiking days with plenty of daylight hours and perfect hiking temperature—though there may be a touch of fall in the air and even a surprise dusting of snow—but that’s rare.
The towns and villages throughout the Dolomites offer an excellent range of accommodations with many 3, 4, and 5-star hotels, guesthouses, bed and breakfast, and some apartments. Away from the towns, in the more remote mountain regions, you’ll find rifugi. The traditional alpine accommodations provide comfortable, simple bedding, generally in a dormitory or small shared room, and family-style dining, often in a particularly scenic location. Alpenwild travel specialists are happy to recommend a variety of options based on your preferences and budget.
Types of Hiking Tours
You’ll find lots of options for planning a perfect hiking and outdoor vacation in the Dolomites. Alpenwild offers small-group, 7-night/8-day, guided hiking tours throughout the summer. You can also work with us directly to arrange a private guided adventure for a family or group of friends consisting of as few as six people. Talk with an Alpenwild tour specialist to explore these options.
If our dates don’t match yours, consider a self-guided hiking tour. This option gives you the freedom and flexibility to travel independently and on your own schedule and timetable. We book the accommodations, transportation, and most meals, then provide you with a detailed daily itinerary featuring village-based hiking options with many of the best dayhikes in the Dolomites awaiting you.