The ULTIMATE Dolomites Itinerary for 1-5 days (with Maps!)

So, you wish to go to the Dolomites however solely have just a few days. You want a brief Dolomites itinerary for a day journey, weekend or go to as much as 5 days which provides you ALL the perfect locations in essentially the most wise order. It’s essential know what’s price your time, what you’ll be able to neglect and the place you need to keep. 

And right here it is- the right Dolomites Itinerary for brief highway journeys.

Our Dolomites journey weblog posts cowl most of our favorite locations in additional element, however that is an summary of the routes and itinerary we took, together with driving distances and stops.

Seize a espresso and let’s get began.

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Table of Contents

Why go to the Dolomites?

The Dolomites are in contrast to anyplace else we’ve got been. We’ve road-tripped round Europe for years- and this place took our breath away. 

We’d at all times hurried previous Northern Italy earlier than, eager to discover the Italian lakes, the Alps, or Slovenia- all of that are stunning and completely price a visit- however we REALLY want we’d stopped on the Dolomites earlier.

It’s onerous to clarify the great thing about these mountains, or how they differ from the Alps or different European mountains we’ve seen. The mix of HUGE inexperienced meadows, jagged peaks, mountain climbing trails and among the most stunning locations we’ve ever seen- the entire package deal is fascinating.

Dare we are saying it, however after 4 brief days, we had fully fallen in love with this region- each nook is one other ‘wow’ second. And after Norway, our ‘wow’ meter is about fairly excessive. 

The Dolomites at the moment are firmly in our prime 3 favorite locations to highway journey in Europe- they are surely THAT spectacular.

Satisfied it’s someplace you wish to go to? Even in the event you solely have a brief break? Good- let’s plan your good Dolomites itinerary.

What’s there to do within the Dolomites?

There are SO MANY THINGS to do within the Dolomites.

It’s a spot for outside explorations, particularly mountain climbing, pictures, canine walks, star-gazing, highway journeys, picnics and simply feeling awe-struck at the great thing about nature. Critically, it’s a type of locations the place you simply wish to be outside ALL. THE. TIME. Even when the climate isn’t at its greatest.

In winter, lots of the cities develop into ski resorts, which might be an exquisite technique to benefit from the views.

We didn’t have a lot time to spend within the space, so we didn’t add any of the large or greatest hikes into our Dolomites itinerary. In the event you’d wish to know extra about mountain climbing to a glacial lake or which mountains are best/ most enjoyable to hike, this book will let you know every little thing it’s good to know.

Additionally, be sure to know what to wear while hiking and costume for regardless of the climate might have in store- these are massive mountains and it’s simple to get sucked in by their magnificence and neglect the hazards of mountain climbing if unprepared.

As a substitute, we centered on among the most stunning lakes which have been only a brief stroll or brief hike away, so we may see as a lot as attainable within the brief time we had.

After all, you are able to do an all day hike if you want, however which may not be the best choice in the event you’re brief on time. 

 Dolomites Italy- Road Trip itinerary for 1, 2, 3 or 4 days. Things to do in the Dolomites- route planner and map for Dolomites ItineraryDolomites Itinerary for 1-5 days. A Highway journey is a PERFECT technique to go to the Dolomites

Should-Know Suggestions on your Dolomites Itinerary

The place are the Dolomites?

The Dolomites are in northeastern Italy and one of the stunning mountain ranges I’ve ever skilled. In addition to mountains, there are many quaint cities and implausible driving roads- making it top-of-the-line highway journeys in Italy.

The world is protected as a Unesco World Heritage website as a result of ‘collection of extremely distinctive mountain landscapes which can be of remarkable pure magnificence. Their dramatic vertical and pale colored peaks in a wide range of distinctive sculptural varieties are extraordinary in a worldwide context.’ (taken from the UNESCO website)

Why Is It Known as ‘the Dolomites’?

The 250-million-year-old formation also called the “Pale Mountains” took its title from the French geologist Dieudonné Dolomieu, who studied the area’s geology and dolomitic limestone formations within the 18th century.

When is the perfect time to go to the Dolomites?

I visited the Dolomites in early October and in my view that’s a good time to visit- significantly better than in excessive season (which is July and August). 

What’s the easiest way to discover the Dolomites?

Ideally, you wish to discover the Dolomites in your individual automobile or automobile. We visited as a part of our motorhome tour in Italy. Foolishly, as a result of we have been heading to Croatia, we didn’t take our bikes with us, however it’s a implausible place to go motorbike touring in Italy. 

In case you have a rental automobile, be sure to take time so as to add the Dolomites to your itinerary. In the event you’re solely utilizing public transportation, you’ll be able to nonetheless discover the Dolomites, however companies won’t be as common as you’re used to, so it’s possible you’ll want to spend greater than at some point within the space.

The city of Ortisei or Cortina D’Ampezzo are the principle cities to goal for, particularly from Venice – it’s a ravishing drive at any time of yr though the route has many hairpin turns and isn’t suggested for these vulnerable to movement illness.

You’ll be able to take the practice to Bolzano and Val Gardena from Venice, Milan, or Verona.

The place is the closest airport to the Dolomites?

The closest airports to the Dolomites area are in Venice – Marco Polo and Treviso. You’ll be able to attain Venice from most main hubs throughout Europe and the US. 

Are the Dolomites Italian or German?

The Dolomites are a little bit of each. The language is bilingual – and even trilingual in some locations – so anticipate finding cities and villages sharing Austrian and Italian names, and generally even Ladin, the traditional Roman language handed down by the primary valley inhabitants.

Virtually everybody speaks Italian, German, Italian and English, however don’t be shocked in the event you discover most Dolomites talking the native Ladin.

What’s the Foreign money within the Dolomites?

The foreign money within the Dolomites is the Euro, similar to in most elements of Italy. All main debit and bank cards are extensively accepted, however be ready for these $5 withdrawal charges if it’s good to use an ATM for money and plan for these bills prematurely.

What are the opening hours within the Dolomites?

Opening hours for the lifts, cable vehicles, and lodges within the Dolomites differ, however you’ll be able to count on a regular 8:00 am to 7:00 pm timetable for many companies. Eating places hours prolong till 10:00 pm or later.

A phrase of warning: ensure that to verify your resort’s verify in time fastidiously as some don’t provide reception service after 5 p.m. in chosen areas.

How Good is the Web within the Dolomites?

The 4 main cell networks in Italy are Vodafone, Windtre, TIM, and Iliad.

Some city present free WiFi in the principle squares and raise services, but when your smartphone helps it, you’ll be able to have web on the highway with a regional Eurolink e-sim (costs begin from $5).

Mountain climbing within the Dolomites

The Dolomites and South Tyrol are an awesome place for many who like to hike in mountainous areas. The preferred hikes can get busy in summer time, so that you would possibly want to begin within the early morning for longer day hikes as a way to get the path to your self as a lot as attainable.

For even longer hikes, there are mountain huts (rifugio) all over which might be booked prematurely and are an awesome possibility for multi-day hikes. One of the vital well-liked of those is Rifugio Auronzo on Tre Cime, one of many favourite hikes for a lot of guests. 

Dolomites for non-hikers

What we actually preferred was that you simply don’t HAVE to go for lengthy hikes in the event you don’t wish to; lots of the hottest places and many the best lakes in the Dolomites are fairly near the highway and simply accessible. So you’ll be able to choose and select precisely what you do or don’t wish to see. 

Driving within the Dolomites

Within the Dolomites, you’ll be able to get pleasure from just a few of essentially the most scenic routes Europe has to supply. Driving throughout the mountains would possibly seem to be an intimidating possibility, particularly if it’s your first time in Italy, however driving within the Dolomites is definitely method simpler than you suppose!

Is it Protected to Drive within the Dolomites?

The roads are nicely maintained with highway indicators in each German, Italian and generally English. All passages via the mountains are pretty simple to cross, apart from situations of heavy snowfall when you can find them often closed.

Within the Dolomites, individuals drive on the correct facet of the highway similar to in most different locations in Europe. The pace restrict is 50 km/h in cities and 90 km/h on nation roads. So long as you retain an eye fixed out for gas indicators and toll roads, you’re certain to have a protected journey within the Dolomites.

NOTE: Remember to be careful for cattle! They have an inclination to cross the roads ceaselessly in lots of farmed areas, typically with out warning indicators.

Driver’s License & Autostrade (Toll Roads)

Toll Roads, or Autostrade are the widespread Italian highways, motorways, and freeways marked by easy-to-spot inexperienced indicators. You’ll want a full driving license or worldwide driving allow to journey on these by automobile, campervan, or trailer.

If you’re touring on a finances, you’ll be able to keep away from these by taking different, longer routes–simply be certain your map is updated.

How Many Days Do You Want within the Dolomites?

As many as you can- and it nonetheless received’t be lengthy sufficient! On this information, you’ll uncover numerous choices for experiencing the great thing about the Dolomites, whether or not it’s for a length of a at some point go to, a weekend/ two days or 3-5 days. Intention to spend a minimum of 5 days in the event you get pleasure from mountain climbing and plan to go on Alpine hikes or strive a biking journey.

 Looking for things to do on your Dolomites Itinerary? Whether you visit in summer or winter, this is the perfect road trip in Italy.The Dolomites are BREATHTAKING! This highway journey itinerary reveals you the perfect of them in just some days.

The way to plan YOUR good Dolomites Itinerary

Under, I’ll share our 3-day Dolomites itinerary, however earlier than I do, I wish to share a few fast suggestions that can assist you plan your individual journey.

  • Resolve on what’s essential to you. With solely 3 or 4 days within the Dolomites, you won’t be able to see all of it. Heck, you couldn’t see all of it in a complete week! There are simply too many issues to do. So choose just a few issues which you REALLY wish to see, and revel in these.
  • HIRE/ TAKE a automobile. The Dolomites are MADE for highway journeys. They’re good for picnics up mountains with unimaginable views, mountain climbing, late-night pictures and getting up early to see the dawn. This itinerary is designed for highway trips- taking public transport will take you for much longer, however there are alternatives for bus, practice, and shuttle service. 
  • In the event you can, journey the Dolomites in a motorhome or campervan. That method, you’ll be able to keep in some INCREDIBLE places for a lot much less cash than the worth of a Dolomites resort. It’s undoubtedly a more cost effective possibility and campervanning in Italy is superior anyway.
  • Exit of season. Both Might/ June or September/ October. We went at the start of October, and it was the PERFECT time- clear days, cool nights with brilliant stars and unimaginable foliage. The Dolomites in Autumn are breathtaking.
  • Use Google Maps. We plotted all of the issues we needed to do and see on Google Maps, after which drove between them. It’s undoubtedly the easiest way to plan a visit. Learn to use Google Maps to create an epic itinerary.

Our 3-4 day Dolomites highway journey itinerary & highlights

We didn’t imply to go to the Dolomites in any respect; we detoured on the best way to Slovenia with none plan in any respect.

Subsequently, we didn’t actually have a Dolomites itinerary deliberate and as a substitute simply crammed as a lot as we may into 3 days (technically, we have been there for 4 days however we spent one full day camped on the prime of Tre Cime- we’ll get to that shortly!)

All the best things to do in the Dolomites- in one Itinerary. Here's everything you need to know to plan your perfect Dolomites road trip.

One of the vital iconic pictures within the Dolomites- however is it REALLY price your time?

Italian Dolomites Itinerary Highway map

Map of our Dolomites highway journey itinerary

Right here’s the route planner for our Dolomites itinerary. You’ll be able to see the roads we took. Under, I’ll break it down into day-by-day and mileage/ cease factors/ issues to see within the Dolomites on the best way.

Map of the Dolomites- road map and Dolomites route planner for Dolomites itinerary in Northern ItalyDolomites 3 and 4-day highway journey itinerary map and route planner.

Our start line was Bolzano (A) and completed in Tre Cime (J). After all, you’ll be able to add and amend this itinerary or do it in reverse order if you want.

NOTE- Not each level we stopped at is listed on the map above- Google Maps solely lets you plot as much as 10 factors at one time for a route map. However it reveals all of the roads we drove over the three days so you should use it as a Dolomites route planner on your personal highway journey. 

Dolomites Route Planner

One day in the Dolomites itinerary- what to see, what to avoid and how to plan your route with a map.

At some point within the Dolomites itinerary- what to see, what to keep away from and easy methods to plan your route!

Day One (or One Day within the Dolomites Itinerary!)

One Day in the Dolomites- perfect route and map.

In the event you solely have at some point within the Dolomites, that is the route we’d take- except you go to Tre Cime!

Dolomites One Day Itinerary & Route Planner

Bolzano (A) to Val di Funes (F) • 170km • 5h 40 minutes (together with stops)

In the event you solely have at some point within the Dolomites, that is the itinerary I’d choose. It showcases among the greatest views, roads, lakes, mountains and extra! 

It’s a loop which is well driveable in sunlight hours (each in summer time or winter) and is a implausible introduction to those stunning mountains. As a primary day introduction to the realm, it was unimaginable. 

Day One Route & Highlights

  • Driving the Nice Dolomite Highway (SS241) from Bolzano to Canazei- 2 hours • 76km (Level A- Level C) READ: 9 important tricks to drive the Nice Dolomites highway
  • Cease at Lake Carezza (Lago di Carezza) en-route (Level B)- that is the place we had a late breakfast (TOP TIP: get there early- even in October there have been quite a lot of tour buses arriving.)
  • Sella Go in direction of Ortisei (SS48, turning into SS242) – 3 hours • 76km  (Level D)- stopped for lunch close to the highest the place you’ll be able to see Alpe di Siusi- the biggest alpine meadow in Europe
  • Ortisei to Val di Funes, to see Santa Maddalena church (precisely known as St Johanns Church)- the little chapel within the discipline and one of the photographed church buildings on this planet. Solely a brief drive at 40 minutes and arrived late afternoon • 32 km (D to E)
  • Stayed in a single day close to Santa Maddalena (see precisely the place right here)

Day Two- Dolomites Journey weblog

Dolomites Itinerary for day two of your roadtrip- including map and route planner

Map and route planner for Dolomites roadtrip planning for 2 days

Weekend/ Two Day Dolomites Highway Journey Itinerary

In the event you’re visiting the Dolomites for a weekend or two days, I’d do Day 1 and Day 2 to showcase among the greatest spots within the area. It’s greatest to have an early begin and get as a lot executed as possible- it additionally means you’ll be able to reap the benefits of areas within the free parking heaps.

Val di Funes (A) to Lago di Braies (Lake Braies) (D) on the map above • 130km • 2h 30 minutes (NOT together with stops)

  • Val di Funes to Ortisel (Col Rainer or Seceda Cable Automobile) – 31 minutes • 39km
  • Gardena Go (B/C) – 49 minutes • 32km 
  • Lago di Braies for night – 1h10 minutes • 59km

This hotel at Lago di Braies is RIGHT ON THE SHORE of the lake and can be good to remain in in the event you don’t have a campervan.

In the event you keep close by and it’s a transparent evening, getting as much as {photograph} the celebs over the lake is a superb idea- it’s severely stunning.

Day Two – Highlights for the place to go to within the Dolomites

  • Val di Funes- St Johann’s Church/ Santa Maddalena- READ : Val di Funes good itinerary.
  • Col Raiser/ Seceda/ Alpe di Siusi Cable automobile–go to the highest of Seceda in the event you can, however motorhome parking on the cable automobile station is a NIGHTMARE, so Col Raiser is simpler for vans to go to.
  • An alternate possibility is to go to Alpe di Suisi (known as Seiser Alm in German) on the other side- it’s the biggest high-alpine pasture in Europe.
  • Gardena Go – this was breathtaking–nicely price going this fashion as a substitute of the faster autoroute to Lake Braies.
  • Lago di Braies – we arrived the evening earlier than and stayed in a single day. In the event you’re not staying on website, get right here REALLY early or you’ll be overrun by Instagram photograph hunters… many in marriage ceremony attire… #notevenkidding.

Day Three- Dolomites Journey weblog

Tre Cime within the Dolomites- our absolute FAVOURITE place! Dolomites Itinerary and road trip route planner- Day 3Dolomites Itinerary and highway journey route planner- Day 3

Day Three Dolomites Highway Journey Itinerary

Lake Braies (A) to Tre Cime (D) • 73km • 2 hours

A shorter highway journey route in the present day, with loads of fairly lakes and gorgeous views. Don’t miss Tre Cime di Lavaredo– regardless of the expense it was our favorite a part of the Dolomites.

In the event you can, keep up there for the evening, both in a camper or a tent or at a hostel. You received’t remorse it!

Day Three Dolomites – Issues to do and issues to overlook

  • Subsequent morning, rise up EARLY to see Lago di Braies at dawn for the perfect expertise of this stunning lake. The excellent news is you’ll see the dawn and keep away from the a whole lot of Instagrammers!
  • Lake Braies to Lake Misurina – 43 minutes • 35km (you go Lake Dobbiaco and Lake Landro on the way- each fairly and value a cease)
  • Lake Misurina to Cortina d’Ampezzo – 23 minutes • 15km (missable- we solely went for gas and procuring)
  • Cortina to Tre Cime – 42 minutes • 23km
  • Keep up Tre Cime for the night so you’ll be able to see sundown and dawn. Each are gorgeous. We selected to spend two nights up right here, however you don’t have to in the event you’re brief on time. 

In the event you can’t keep up Tre Cime itself (an additional value, however price it), this is one of the closest hotels to Tre Cime– the views are SPECTACULAR!!

Some widespread questions concerning the Dolomites:

Dolomites Itinerary- one of the best road trips I have ever been on!Dolomites Itinerary- top-of-the-line highway journeys I’ve ever been on!

Dolomites Itinerary for non-hikers- do I HAVE to stroll or hike?

We didn’t do many BIG hikes in our 3-day Dolomites itinerary. On the 4th day, we spent it mountain climbing and exploring Tre Cime. However you’ll be able to simply spend three or 4 days within the Dolomites and never hike in any respect in the event you don’t wish to.

When Ought to I go to the Dolomites?

In our opinion, Autumn is ideal. It’s truly certainly one of our favorite locations to expertise Autumn in Europe. The timber are a ravishing backdrop to the views, the climate remains to be heat sufficient to go outdoors and but the customer numbers are a lot fewer than in summer time, which makes the entire expertise significantly better.

September/ October is gorgeous. Don’t come any later than mid-October as lots of the cable vehicles/ mountain passes within the Dolomites will likely be closed and never re-opened till April-ish. Snow and ice may cause difficulties reaching lots of the greatest issues to do within the Dolomites throughout winter, so whereas it may be fairly, it’s possible you’ll not see every little thing you wish to. (Listed here are some extra unimaginable locations to get pleasure from in Europe in October)

If Autumn isn’t an possibility, try to go to Might or June, which is an ideal time to benefit from the spring flowers on the alpine meadows. The climate will simply be warming up, snow will likely be principally melted, and you need to get many alternatives to benefit from the spectacular views!

The place can I go to the Dolomites?

The Dolomites are in Northern Italy, about an hour north of Lake Garda. 

How do you get to the Dolomites from Venice/ from Milan?

In the event you’re doing a Dolomites Highway Journey Itinerary (which we extremely advocate), you’ll be able to simply get to the Dolomites from Venice or Milan. 

Venice to Bolzano (the beginning of our Dolomites itinerary) will take you about 3 hours (267km)

Milan to Bolzano is about 3 and a half hours (278km)

How a lot does it value to go to the Dolomites?

One of many benefits to visiting an space with quite a lot of mountain climbing and pictures spots is that it may be visited fairly cheaply, particularly out of season.

Our 4-day Dolomites itinerary didn’t value us a lot in any respect:

Day One

  • 4€ parking at Lake Carrezza, plus items and memento postcard (we accumulate them)= 25€
  • Gasoline = 70€

Day Two

  • Breakfast and bread for lunch from bakery = 6€
  • Col Raiser Cable Automobile- 40€ for two adults and a canine (canine free)
  • Cake and occasional at prime of Col Raiser = 17€
  • In a single day parking at Lake Braies = 8€ (15€ as of 2022)

Day Three

  • Present store at Lake Misurina = 35€ (purchased superb woolly slipper socks – price it!)
  • Tre Cime for two nights with a motorhome = 70€
  • Gasoline and LPG = 80€

Day 4

  • Not a thing- we have been up Tre Cime! Though there’s a restaurant and a store there, we didn’t use it.

TOTAL prices for Dolomites highway journey = 351€

This doesn’t embrace journey to or from the Dolomites, or meals which we already had in our motorhome, however ought to provide you with an thought on what you might count on to spend by yourself highway journey.

The place to remain whenever you go to the Dolomites?

I’ve talked about it a few occasions already, however we extremely advocate visiting the Dolomites with a motorhome or campervan. That method, you’ll be able to keep in campsites or use aires (known as Sostas in Italy.)

You’ll be able to both carry your individual van, or rent one close by.

If that’s not an possibility, rent a automobile and be ready to maneuver lodges every evening, so that you’re not losing time returning to a resort again the place you began.

The lodges we advocate are:

Journey Necessities on your Dolomites Itinerary

Whether or not it’s a shock hailstorm in the course of summer time or a spontaneous hike, it doesn’t harm to be able to face the surprising within the Dolomites. Learn on and make an inventory of the necessities that can will let you relish within the Alpine expertise, rain or shine!

What to Put on within the Dolomites

A rain jacket – ideally light-weight and insulated to accompany you in each exploration.

Solar hat & Sunscreen – relying on whenever you go to. Dolomite summers are gentle with common most temperatures in July and August not often spiking over 25°C – however, let’s face it, an surprising sunburn can actually damage a vacation so it’s greatest to be ready.

Sturdy footwear or sandals – capable of face up to spontaneous hikes and the tough cobblestone streets of the scenic cities alongside your journey.

What to Pack for the Dolomites

An influence financial institution, journey adaptor, mountain climbing footwear, and your trusty reusable water bottle go a good distance in any trip and can show important in your outside adventures within the Dolomites. Visiting in Might or through the summer time months? You would possibly wish to pack your swimsuit, however provided that you’re courageous sufficient to strive the chilly waters in Lake Braies. 

What Subsequent?

If you wish to see extra pictures of the gorgeous Dolomites, check out our Instagram.

There may be a lot to see within the space, it may be overwhelming making an attempt to slim all of it down. Listed here are a few of our favorite guides to assist:

We hope you discovered these itinerary concepts for the Dolomites helpful. You would possibly discover these posts useful too:

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