The Dolomites created for us some of the best travel experiences we’ve ever had in the great outdoors. Here we saw some of the most spectacular natural landscapes dotted with quaint mountainside towns full of refined accommodations, handcrafted cuisine and goods.
The Dolomites are huge and can be overwhelming at a first look so here are our recommended highlights all of which are within a two hour driving radius of each other.
This is the gem of the Dolomites. Think Aspen or St. Moritz, it is full of world class events such as summer and winter sports, high end restaurants, hotels and shopping. Walking the scenic streets and visiting the Cooperativa department store are great activities.
Cristallo Resort and Spa
This is the top of the top among hotels in the Dolomites. It is the best hotel we’ve ever experienced in Italy. Service is impeccable, the spa is rejuvenating and rooms are palatial escapes with spectacular views.
This is the domineering cliff that overlooks the city of Cortina D’Ampezzo. It offers amazing skiing in winter and great hikes in summer. Take some photos from the south side of town for the best view.
Lago di Sorapis
This lake sits high in the mountains after a somewhat challenging (but not requiring tools) mountain hike of 12km roundtrip. The remote beauty is worth the effort as the electric blue waters look so surreal.
Tre Cime di Lavaredo
This often described lunar landscape is one of the most iconic spots in all the Dolomites. It costs 25 Euros to park and the hike is at a fairly easy grade and takes around one hour. For the best photos come at sunrise if you have a clear day.
This is a plateau that gave us the most spellbinding views of the whole trip. If there is only one place you can stop in the Dolomites, this is it! There are 360 degree views of mountains all around from beautifully flowered meadows. It can be reached by numerous trails and ski lifts from surrounding small towns.
This small town has beautiful alpine hotels for every sort of active traveler: hikers, bikers, climbers, skiers, snowboarders and runners. It has a beautiful center of town with high end mountain gear stores, restaurants and artegianal souvenir shops.