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

So, you need 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 one of the best locations in essentially the most smart order. It’s essential to know what’s price your time, what you’ll be able to neglect and the place it’s best 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 not like wherever else we’ve been. We’ve road-tripped round Europe for years- and this place took our breath away. 

We’d all the time hurried previous Northern Italy earlier than, desirous 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 laborious to elucidate the fantastic thing about these mountains, or how they differ from the Alps or different European mountains we’ve seen. The mixture of HUGE inexperienced meadows, jagged peaks, mountain climbing trails and a few of the most stunning locations we’ve ever seen- the entire bundle is charming.

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 are actually firmly in our high 3 favorite locations to highway journey in Europe- they are surely THAT spectacular.

Satisfied it’s someplace you need to go to? Even when you solely have a brief break? Good- let’s plan your excellent 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 out of doors explorations, particularly mountain climbing, images, canine walks, star-gazing, highway journeys, picnics and simply feeling awe-struck at the fantastic thing about nature. Severely, it’s a kind of locations the place you simply need to be outdoor ALL. THE. TIME. Even when the climate isn’t at its greatest.

In winter, most of the cities develop into ski resorts, which might be an exquisite method 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 prefer to know extra about mountain climbing to a glacial lake or which mountains are best/ most enjoyable to hike, this book will inform you the whole lot it’s worthwhile to know.

Additionally, ensure you know what to wear while hiking and costume for regardless of the climate might have in store- these are large mountains and it’s straightforward to get sucked in by their magnificence and neglect the risks of mountain climbing if unprepared.

As an alternative, we centered on a few of the most stunning lakes which had been only a brief stroll or brief hike away, so we may see as a lot as potential within the brief time we had.

After all, you are able to do an all day hike if you want, however that may not be the most suitable choice when 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 method to go to the Dolomites

Should-Know Suggestions to your Dolomites Itinerary

The place are the Dolomites?

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

The realm is protected as a Unesco World Heritage web site because of the ‘sequence of extremely distinctive mountain landscapes which can be of outstanding pure magnificence. Their dramatic vertical and pale colored peaks in quite a lot of distinctive sculptural varieties are extraordinary in a worldwide context.’ (taken from the UNESCO website)

Why Is It Referred to as ‘the Dolomites’?

The 250-million-year-old formation also referred to as 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 one of the best 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 one of the best ways to discover the Dolomites?

Ideally, you need to discover the Dolomites in your personal automotive or car. We visited as a part of our motorhome tour in Italy. Foolishly, as a result of we had been heading to Croatia, we didn’t take our bikes with us, nevertheless it’s a incredible place to go bike touring in Italy. 

You probably have a rental automotive, ensure you 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 providers may not be as common as you might be used to, so you might want to spend greater than at some point within the space.

The city of Ortisei or Cortina D’Ampezzo are the primary cities to goal for, particularly from Venice – it’s a lovely drive at any time of 12 months though the route has many hairpin turns and isn’t suggested for these susceptible to movement illness.

You may take the prepare 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 may 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 look forward to finding cities and villages sharing Austrian and Italian names, and generally even Ladin, the traditional Roman language handed down by the primary valley inhabitants.

Nearly everybody speaks Italian, German, Italian and English, however don’t be stunned when you discover most Dolomites talking the native Ladin.

What’s the Foreign money within the Dolomites?

The forex within the Dolomites is the Euro, similar to in most components of Italy. All main debit and bank cards are extensively accepted, however be ready for these $5 withdrawal charges if it’s worthwhile 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 motels within the Dolomites differ, however you’ll be able to count on an ordinary 8:00 am to 7:00 pm timetable for many providers. Eating places hours lengthen till 10:00 pm or later.

A phrase of warning: be certain that to test your lodge’s test in time rigorously as some don’t supply 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 primary squares and carry 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).

Mountaineering within the Dolomites

The Dolomites and South Tyrol are an important place for many who like to hike in mountainous areas. The most well-liked hikes can get busy in summer season, 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 potential.

For even longer hikes, there are mountain huts (rifugio) in all places which might be booked prematurely and are an important choice for multi-day hikes. One of the crucial 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 appreciated was that you just don’t HAVE to go for lengthy hikes when you don’t need to; most of the hottest places and plenty of 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 need to see. 

Driving within the Dolomites

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

Is it Secure to Drive within the Dolomites?

The roads are properly maintained with highway indicators in each German, Italian and generally English. All passages by the mountains are pretty straightforward to cross, apart from cases of heavy snowfall when you will discover them often closed.

Within the Dolomites, folks drive on the correct aspect of the highway similar to in most different locations in Europe. The velocity restrict is 50 km/h in cities and 90 km/h on nation roads. So long as you retain a watch out for gas indicators and toll roads, you might be certain to have a secure journey within the Dolomites.

NOTE: Make sure to be careful for cattle! They have a tendency to cross the roads steadily in lots of farmed areas, usually with out warning indicators.

Driver’s License & Autostrade (Toll Roads)

Toll Roads, or Autostrade are the frequent 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 automotive, campervan, or trailer.

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

How Many Days Do You Want within the Dolomites?

As many as you can- and it nonetheless gained’t be lengthy sufficient! On this information, you’ll uncover varied choices for experiencing the fantastic thing about the Dolomites, whether or not it’s for a period of a at some point go to, a weekend/ two days or 3-5 days. Intention to spend at the very least 5 days when you take pleasure in 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 one of the best of them in just some days.

plan YOUR excellent Dolomites Itinerary

Beneath, I’ll share our 3-day Dolomites itinerary, however earlier than I do, I need to share a few fast ideas that will help you plan your personal journey.

  • Determine on what’s necessary to you. With solely 3 or 4 days within the Dolomites, you will be unable to see all of it. Heck, you couldn’t see all of it in a whole week! There are simply too many issues to do. So choose just a few issues which you REALLY need to see, and luxuriate in these.
  • HIRE/ TAKE a car. The Dolomites are MADE for highway journeys. They’re excellent for picnics up mountains with unbelievable views, mountain climbing, late-night images 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, prepare, and shuttle service. 
  • In the event you can, journey the Dolomites in a motorhome or campervan. That approach, you’ll be able to keep in some INCREDIBLE places for a lot much less cash than the value of a Dolomites lodge. It’s undoubtedly a less expensive choice and campervanning in Italy is superior anyway.
  • Exit of season. Both Could/ June or September/ October. We went at first of October, and it was the PERFECT time- clear days, cool nights with shiny stars and unbelievable 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 one of the best ways 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 way in which to Slovenia with none plan in any respect.

Due to this fact, we didn’t actually have a Dolomites itinerary deliberate and as an alternative simply crammed as a lot as we may into 3 days (technically, we had been there for 4 days however we spent one full day camped on the high 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 crucial 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 may see the roads we took. Beneath, I’ll break it down into day-by-day and mileage/ cease factors/ issues to see within the Dolomites on the way in which.

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 place to begin 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 means that you can plot as much as 10 factors at one time for a route map. Nevertheless it reveals all of the roads we drove over the three days so you need to use it as a Dolomites route planner to 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 the right way 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 might take- until 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 a few of the greatest views, roads, lakes, mountains and extra! 

It’s a loop which is definitely driveable in daylight (each in summer season or winter) and is a incredible introduction to those stunning mountains. As a primary day introduction to the world, it was unbelievable. 

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 a whole lot of tour buses arriving.)
  • Sella Move in the 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 most important 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 subject and some of the photographed church buildings on the earth. 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 a few of the greatest spots within the area. It’s greatest to have an early begin and get as a lot accomplished as possible- it additionally means you’ll be able to reap the benefits of areas within the free parking tons.

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 Automotive) – 31 minutes • 39km
  • Gardena Move (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 excellent to remain in when you don’t have a campervan.

In the event you keep close by and it’s a transparent night time, getting as much as {photograph} the celebs over the lake is a good idea- it’s critically 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 excellent itinerary.
  • Col Raiser/ Seceda/ Alpe di Siusi Cable automotive–go to the highest of Seceda when you can, however motorhome parking on the cable automotive station is a NIGHTMARE, so Col Raiser is less complicated for vans to go to.
  • Another choice is to go to Alpe di Suisi (known as Seiser Alm in German) on the alternative side- it’s the most important high-alpine pasture in Europe.
  • Gardena Move – this was breathtaking–properly price going this fashion as an alternative of the faster autoroute to Lake Braies.
  • Lago di Braies – we arrived the night time earlier than and stayed in a single day. In the event you’re not staying on web site, get right here REALLY early or you may be overrun by Instagram picture hunters… many in wedding 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 at present, 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 night time, both in a camper or a tent or at a hostel. You gained’t remorse it!

Day Three Dolomites – Issues to do and issues to overlook

  • Subsequent morning, stand up EARLY to see Lago di Braies at dawn for one of the best expertise of this stunning lake. The excellent news is you’ll see the dawn and keep away from the a whole bunch of Instagrammers!
  • Lake Braies to Lake Misurina – 43 minutes • 35km (you cross Lake Dobbiaco and Lake Landro on the way- each fairly and price a cease)
  • Lake Misurina to Cortina d’Ampezzo – 23 minutes • 15km (missable- we solely went for gas and purchasing)
  • 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 when 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 frequent 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 when you don’t need to.

When Ought to I go to the Dolomites?

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

September/ October is gorgeous. Don’t come any later than mid-October as most of the cable vehicles/ mountain passes within the Dolomites will likely be closed and never re-opened till April-ish. Snow and ice could cause difficulties reaching most of the greatest issues to do within the Dolomites throughout winter, so whereas it may be fairly, you might not see the whole lot you need to. (Listed here are some extra unbelievable locations to take pleasure in in Europe in October)

If Autumn isn’t an choice, try to go to Could 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 largely melted, and it’s best 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 suggest), 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 a whole lot of mountain climbing and images 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 Automotive- 40€ for two adults and a canine (canine free)
  • Cake and low at high of Col Raiser = 17€
  • In a single day parking at Lake Braies = 8€ (15€ as of 2022)

Day Three

  • Reward 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 had 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 concept on what you possibly can count on to spend by yourself highway journey.

The place to remain if you go to the Dolomites?

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

You may both convey your personal van, or rent one close by.

If that’s not an choice, rent a automotive and be ready to maneuver motels every night time, so that you’re not losing time returning to a lodge again the place you began.

The motels we suggest are:

Journey Necessities to your Dolomites Itinerary

Whether or not it’s a shock hailstorm in the course of summer season 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 may mean you can 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 if you go to. Dolomite summers are delicate with common most temperatures in July and August not often spiking over 25°C – however, let’s face it, an surprising sunburn can actually wreck a vacation so it’s greatest to be ready.

Sturdy footwear or sandals – capable of stand up to spontaneous hikes and the difficult 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 outdoor adventures within the Dolomites. Visiting in Could or throughout the summer season months? You would possibly need 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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