The Dolomite mountain range is located in northern Italy along the border of Austria. The giant limestone peaks make for spectacular scenery, when we drove in, it vaguely reminded me of Yosemite just by sheer epicness. In the winter the area is known for world renowned skiing, and in the summer hikers, climbers, and cyclist take over.
We spent a couple days just outside of the town of Colfosco hiking, biking, and enjoying the outdoors. If you are looking for something a little different than your average outdoor vacation the Dolomites are the place to go!
Adventurous things to do in the Dolomites
There are tons of day hikes to do all over the Dolomites region. Hikes range from easy to difficult, so there’s something for every skill level. Here’s a great map of the area and hiking trails.
If you are looking for something a little more adventurous try an overnight hike and stay in a refugio, or mountain hut. You can do these hikes for just one night or hike from refugio to refugio for a multi day journey. These hikes can be done as a package tour, Dolomite Mountains offers some cool routes, or if you are the outdoorsy self sufficient sort, grab a map and go for it!
The Dolomites are home to beautiful and smooth winding mountain roads, making it perfect for road cycling. It’s no wonder it’s destination any cyclist has on their bucket list. If climbing up mountain passes and bombing down into the valleys below is your jam, the Dolomites are the place.
The mountains also have trails for mountain biking. The nice thing about mountain biking is that you don’t have to contend with cars on the road, so it’s just you, the beautiful scenery, and an adrenaline high. There are tons of trails to check out, you can find more info about them here.
With all those giant rocky peaks that make the Dolomites landscape so spectacular you’ve got to expect there to be some rock climbing, and you would not be disappointed. There are a number of different type of routes you can do from, single pitch sport routes to longer and more demanding alpine climbs. Guide Dolomiti has all the good spots scoped out and can provide guides for you too.
Another kind of climbing experience unique to the Dolomites are the Via Ferratas. These routes take you up the mountain by a series of hiking paths, climbing cables, and ladders. It’s sort of the best combination of hiking and rock climbing, and no prior experience is required. You can rent gear (helmet, gloves, harness, carabiners, and rope) from most any of the sport shops and go for it yourself, or if you are looking for a little extra guidance you can always go with a tour group.
Explore WW1 Tunnels
Get a little history by checking out the Lagazuoi Tunnels, originally constructed by the Italian army during World War 1, the network of mountain tunnels are a cool day hike. Make sure to bring your headlamp or flashlight since the tunnels do go deep into the mountain, but if you hike all the way to the top you will come out right below the summit for some pretty awesome views.