Most people think of cities like Venice, Rome and Milan or countryside getaways in Tuscany whenever holidays in Italy come up. But the Dolomites are one of THE most beautiful corners of Italy. In fact this is a UNESCO Heritage Site by virtue of being an area of outstanding natural beauty. We highly recommend visiting this corner of Italy – here is everything you need to know about planning this beautiful road trip in Dolomites
Nearest Airport for Dolomites, Italy
The Dolomites are a 3-4.5 hour drive from most major hubs like Venice, Milan, and Florence. You can fly into an airport that is most convenient for you and rent a car from that airport. We flew into Florence and rented a car from the airport itself. if you’re flying from Europe, then there are plenty of flights to all these cities. If you’re flying from India, the best option might be to fly to Milan.
Renting a car for Dolomites, Italy
It is easy to rent a car from most major airports in Italy. We compare prices here and then go with the most feasible and reasonable option. Tip – Make sure you examine the car for any scratches and inform the car rental before you start driving as inspections can be quite strict in Europe when you drop the car off.
Best Time to Visit Dolomites, Italy
The Dolomites are gorgeous all year round but they are especially beautiful during peak summer. This means late May-August is the best time to plan a road trip in Dolomites
Where to Stay In Dolomites, Italy
There are endless options for stays in Dolomites. However, no matter what hotel you choose, make sure it has a good view. For that will elevate your stay in Dolomites manifold. Here are a few options
- Forestis Dolomites is one of the most luxurious and scenic hotels in the world – perfect for a honeymoon or special ocassion
- Rosapetra Spa Resort is a luxurious boutique hotel with great views
- If you’re on a budget, try to look for a scenic apartment such as Töniglerhof Apt Abendrot or Casa Nobili .These are amazing options if you’re planning to spend most of your time driving around or hiking!
11 Must dos In Dolomites
It is easy to spend weeks hiking and driving in Dolomites. Literally every corner is breathtaking and gorgeous. However here are a few things you absolutely MUST DO on your road trip in Dolomites, Italy. You can select the ones that suit you best from this list below:
1. Lago di Braie
This famous lake is truly as gorgeous as you’ve heard! However it tends to get really crowded as the day goes by, so make sure you arrive early. It has a beautiful mist cover early morning which lends it a magical touch
2. Three Peaks Viewpoint
It is hard to pick favourites because the views on any road trip of Dolomites are so stunning, but if I could, this is the one I would pick. The Three Peaks viewpoint is absolutely gorgeous and it is easy to reach if you’re driving. Drive to Auronzo Hut and you will see this amazing view
3. Lake Misurina
The turquoise blue waters of the largest Alpine lake in Dolomites will leave you spellbound! Period!
4. Cadini Di Misurina & Tre Cime Hikes
If you enjoy hiking, then this is one hike you must undertake! You can get to the Cadini viewpoint in approximately 40 minutes from the Rifugio Auronzo parking. Another day long hike that starts at Rifugio Auronzo is the Tre Cime Circuit Hike – this is a moderate hike and it’s quite popular, so you’ll definitely have company along the way. Expect incredible views – this place is a photographer’s haven.
5. Val Di Funes
Whether you enjoy hiking or ogling at incredible views, Val Di Funes will have you wrapped around its little finger. This valley is home to some of the most instagrammable panoramas in the world. Make sure you drive to San Giovanni Church in Ranui and Santa Maddalena Church and village for some of the best views of the Italian Alps.
For the hikers, there are some great trails including the iconic Adolf Munkel hike – this trail goes along the Geiser/Odle mountain range in Val Di Funes and you can expect breathtaking views along the way. Two more hiking trails in this area provide a peek into rural Italian countryside -Panoramaweg and Sunnseitenweg. These trails are much quieter than the ones around Three Peaks, so make sure you carry snacks, water, and first-aid supplies with you at all times.
6. Sass Di Putia
What can I say? The views in the Dolomites keep topping each other! Sass Di Putia is another one of the those stunning places that seem almost unreal. You can drive up to a view point and in case you’re in the mood for a hike, the Sass Di Putia Circuit Trail can be completed easily in a day
7. Passo Giau/ Giau Pass
This curvy road should definitely be on the list for all you road trip enthusiasts
8. Paso Gardena/Gardena Pass
Speaking of love for road trips, Gardena Pass at 2121m above sea level, is one of the most beautiful stretches of road in Italy. Make sure you drive through it on your road trip in Dolomites
9. Seiser Alm/Alpe di Siusi
The largest Alpine Plateau in Italy, the views here will remind you of Switzerland. If you’re not driving, you can also take the bus to this spot. This is a major hub for hikes in the summer time and skiing during winter time.
10 Torri Del Vajolet/Vajolet Towers
One of the most recognizable spots of the Dolomites, Torri Del Vajolet in South Tyrol is not as crowded as the Tre Cime Circuit Hike. But that doesn’t make it any less spectacular. This is a must visit for photography and nature lovers!
11. Sass Pordoi
Perfect lunar landscapes in Val Garden, Sass Pordoi is a plateau-like formation. You can take the cable-car from Passo Pordoi Ridge. If you’re after snowy views, even in summer, this is a good place to find them.
8 thoughts on “11 Must Dos in Dolomites, Italy – plan the perfect road trip in Dolomites”
Do you recommend only taking a car here? Can we enjoy the place with public transportation too?
Hey you can take public transport (buses) to a most of the major spots. However it is definitely handy to have a car if you would like to go to all the places mentioned above 🙂
It’s definitely possible. I visited the Dolomites with the sole intention of hiking the Alta via uno . I flew into Venice and bused up to the mountains. Perfectly doable.
Hi, is it good to travel to Dolomites with kids or Switzerland is a better choice?
Also is driving too difficult for a new driver?
Hey Switzerland is a better choice if your kids are too young to walk/hike. You should be comfortable driving if you’ve driven a fair bit in your home country 🙂
Dolomites is a wonderful destination. I visited here last year, and I also want to travel it again.
Hi guys, thanks for the recommendations. We normally just blindly follow your suggestions and have always had a great time so thanks a lot!
In terms of driving around the Dolomites, would
you advise renting/purchasing a GPS for the rental car or is it safe to rely on mobile networks and apps?
Hey Gaurav – thanks a ton. You can rely on mobile networks no problem – It’s best to purchase a temporary SIM upon landing. Data is cheap and this option is more cost effective than renting a GPS