I visited the Dolomites last summer while on the most wonderful holiday at Lake Garda in Italy. If you love the Dolomites for winter snowsports, it is as stunning and as much fun in summer. A holiday in these mountains just two hours from Venice can be as active or as relaxing as you like, and with Venice on the doorstep there is the opportunity to combine city and mountains in one trip, not forgetting the delicious Italian food.
Outdoor Activities in Summer in the Dolomites
The mountains in summer lend themselves to some great outdoor activities with some breathtaking scenery.
You can pedal your way through the Dolomites on a road or mountain bike, enjoying fabulous ascents, descents, and landscape.
The Dolomites are without doubt one of the greatest cycling areas. Spectacular mountain passes and lush valleys create dramatic ascents and descents that make for exhilarating cycling and sightseeing . Add to this “bike friendly” hotels and B&Bs, plus hearty South Tirolean meals, and you have the perfect biking holiday.
Daily excursions are limitless – from steep grades over passes to exploring small hamlets set in the valleys between – and you’ll likely never ride the same road or trail twice. Whether you prefer road riding or mountain biking on gravel or single track, there are routes for bikers of all abilities and interests.
Hiking and Trekking
From short day hikes to long treks there is something for all levels in the Dolomite Mountains.
Wild alpine meadows, deciduous and evergreen woods, lunar landscapes, high altitude terrain, alpine lakes, soaring peaks, dramatic walls, and towering heights, the Dolomite Mountains feature an infinite number of trails winding their way through these incredible landscapes.
You can choose a challenging multi-day trek staying at high altitiude rifugio (mountain lodges) along the way, or have your days filled with more leisurely walks. In addition to the stunning surroundings explore the local culture (where Italian and Austrian collide) and the historical significance of the Dolomites from WW1.
Climbing and Via Ferrata
The Dolomites are a veritable climber’s playground! Sought after by climbers from around the world, there is terrain for every experience level. Protected top roped climbs are perfect for novices wanting to learn, while more challenging multi-pitch climbs are a great way to stretch your skills.
Short “approaches” (the path to the base of a climb) let you spend your time climbing, rather than getting to the climb. Incredible vistas from the top of each climb.
Or experience the adrenaline rush of climbing a via ferrata – the “iron paths” of the Dolomites built during WWI. Climbing a via ferrata is an exhilarating way to enjoy the magnificence and sheer magnitude of the Dolomites. In this awesome mountain environment, protected on a rock wall high above the valley floor, you will be stopped in your tracks by amazing views while you learn valuable mountain safety skills.
Via ferrata literally means “iron path,” originating from the metal ladders used by the military in WWI to navigate these mountains. While most of the ferrata have been replaced with newer hardware, they follow the same routes the military used, high into the mountains.
All via ferrata and climb trips are led by UIAGM/IFMGA Professional Mountain Guides.
Savour the adventure of the magnificent Dolomite Mountains, paired with refined Northern Italian cuisine, fine wines, and cooking classes!
Gourmet itineraries blend the adventure of this magnificent mountain region with the refined cuisine of northern Italy. Hands on cooking classes, visits to traditional farms, wine tasting, Michelin-star rated restaurants and luxury hotels. Adventure gourmet trips combine incredible food and wine with active adventures.
From delicate pastas to game meats, traditional regional dishes to more experimental fare, Northern Italian to International cuisine and wines- you’ll see how it is prepared, meet the masters behind the menus, and discover the best wine pairings for each course – a complete Dolomites culinary experience.
Discover Italian Adventures in the Dolomite Mountains
You can get lots of helpful information from the Dolomite Mountains website. There are full details of holidays and itineraries for all the above suggestions.