In Italy you will find the scenic Dolomites, an absolute mecca for outdoor enthusiasts. With many activities to choose from, hiking in the Dolomites is one of the most popular things to do. From short, easy hikes to challenging hikes with great elevation changes, day hikes to multi-day excursions, the Dolomites offer many opportunities for hikers of all levels.
Also read: Dolomites | 5 tips for novice hikers
Also read: Packing list tips | Hiking and walking in the mountains | Hut tour Dolomites
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Which route will you walk and where will you spend the night?
Exactly the questions we had. Fortunately, we were taken in tow by our friends Hanna & Kajan, who, with their years of mountain experience, know exactly how to find out. They have arranged the most fantastic overnight stays and explained to us how it actually works with all those huts in the mountains.
In our blog '5 tips for novice hikers' we already told you how to prepare for a hike in the Dolomites. We also shared a 'hiking tour packing list' so that you don't forget anything on this fantastic trip. Read it especially if you can still use help with that.
Options and hiking trails in the Dolomites
Below we share three options for hiking in the Dolomites, two of which we experienced ourselves.
1. Day hike
Walk during the day and make a round from your accommodation. Then choose between a campsite, hotel or B&B as “base camp”. The advantage is that you can walk comfortably during the day and come back to a fixed place to sleep in the evening. So you don't have to take a lot of stuff with you while walking and you can have a nice extensive meal when you get back. The disadvantage is that, unless you can walk around, you can see less in a day. There is a chance that you will have to walk back the same way. That is definitely worth seeking out.
2. Overnight stay in a rifugio
The Dolomites offer an incredible amount of rifugi (mountain huts), which are considered some of the best in the Alps. Not that we have experience with that, okay.
Meals and bed linen are provided – so you only need to bring a small day pack with snacks, clothing and personal items for the night. Some rifugios have fantastic cuisine, so check the reviews carefully. We had a really great meal during our walking tour. But hey, I think everything tastes delicious after 12 hours of walking..
The big advantage is that you can experience a sunset and sunrise. So if that's what you want, an overnight stay in the mountains is a must.
If you'd rather be out and about for several days, as we did, hike from rifugio-to-rifugio. We can really recommend it. While it may be exciting and take more time to plan, you get to see the most of an area this way. Especially because you don't always have to walk back to your sleeping place.
More unique hikes and trails
- Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) | United States
- Salkantay Trail (Machu Picchu) | Peru
- Peaks of the Balkans Trail | Albania and Montenegro
- The Great Divide Trail | Canada
- Plain of the Six Glaciers Trail | Canada
- Ice Lake Trail | Canada
- The Grand Canyon Trail | United States
- Acatenango Trail | Guatemala
- Roy's Peak Trail | New Zealand
- Olpererhütte – Schlegeis Stausee Trail | Austria
- Dolomites Trails | Italy
- Cinque Terre Hike | Italy
- The 8 most beautiful hikes in the world | Worldwide
Hiking in the Dolomites – YouTube series
Are you curious about the route(s) we have taken? Where we slept and what it looks like from the inside? Then watch the three YouTube videos of our multi-day hut tour in the Dolomites below or take a look at our YouTube channel† In these videos you really get a good idea of how we experienced hiking in the Dolomites. So watch!
Seen a mistake? Ask? Remark? Let us know in the comments!