After traveling to the Dolomites 4 times now I am ready to share my favourite hikes with you! Some of these hiking guides are not for the faint of heart but some are also perfect if it’s your first time hiking in the Dolomites (or at all for that matters).
The Dolomites are a true hiker’s paradise with rugged mountain peaks everywhere you look. The crystal clear lakes and enchanting valleys that you encounter along the way are simply the icing on the cake.
All of these hikes can be done in one day and don’t require any additional equipment besides good hiking shoes. So far I don’t have any experience with via ferrata’s in the Dolomites so don’t worry about bringing a helmet etc if you want to complete any of the hikes below!
Every single hike on is this list is one that I experienced myself. If you want more information simply click on the link provided with each hike and then you’ll be redirected to the full article which also includes all of the photos I’ve taken.
- Dolomites Hiking Guide: 11 Best Hikes In The Dolomites
- When is the best time to go hiking in the Dolomites
- Essential tips for hiking in the Dolomites
- Planning your trip to Norway
- 11 Best Hiking Trails in the Dolomites
- Where to stay in the Dolomites
Dolomites Hiking Guide: 11 Best Hikes In The Dolomites
When is the best time to go hiking in the Dolomites
The official hiking season usually starts in May and ends somewhere halfway through October. Before and after that it is still possible to visit the Dolomites and to enjoy some of the more easy hikes but the higher hiking trails will most likely be covered in snow.
My 3 favourite months to hike in the Dolomites are as followed
- June – Temperatures are slowly rising, meadows are covered in beautiful wildflowers and the amount of tourists is still ok.
- September – Still warm but towards the end of the Summer you’ll find a lot less tourists here. During this month you also have a high chance of seeing cloud inversions.
- October – This is the ideal month if you want to photograph the Fall foliage in the Dolomites. Then again you can already encounter snow on some of your hikes.
Essential tips for hiking in the Dolomites
- Wear sturdy hiking shoes, preferably mountain trail shoes. A lot of the trails can be rocky and uneven and you don’t want to loose your balance.
- Pack for 4 seasons: even in the Summer months it can be very cold if you start hiking in the early morning. Make sure you’re wearing layers so you can easily take something on or put on an extra layer if you’re taking a break.
- If you want to sleep in one of the rifugio’s during high season you need to book well in advance.
- Make sure to arrive early at the most popular hiking trails to ensure you have the best experience.
- Bring polarised sunglasses with you if you plan on hiking in the snow. Otherwise you risk of becoming snow blind.
- Bring a small first aid kit with you. You can always hurt yourself during a hike and it’s important that you’re able to disinfect wounds as fast as possible.
- Almost all of the hiking trails are well marked but make sure to plan your route on maps.me as well.
Planning your trip to the Dolomites
11 Best Hiking Trails in the Dolomites
1. Tre Cime di Lavaredo Hike
The Tre Cime di Lavaredo Circuit is by far the most popular hiking trail in the Dolomites and one that you absolutely shouldn’t miss if it’s your first time visit the South Tyrolean region. The hiking circuit is located in the Tre Cime National Park which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.
There are many different hiking trails in the Tre Cime National Park but this one definitely offers the best view over the Drei Zinnen. The hike starts at the infamous rifugio Auronzo and takes about 4 hours in total to complete. If you’re a photographer you might want to calculate in an extra hour cause you’ll be in for a real treat during this spectacular hike.
I totally recommend starting this hike early in the morning cause it’s one of the top things to do in the Dolomites. Start walking at sunrise and you’ll have a wonderful time without hundreds of other people.
VIEW THE FULL BLOG POST: Hiking The Tre Cime Di Lavaredo Circuit
2. Lago di Federa Hike
A visit to Lago di Federa might not immediately be on your radar when planning a tip to the Dolomites, but it should be! Lago di Federa is a crystal clear lake high up in the mountains near Val Gardena. It’s surrounded by tons of larches which make for the most magical backdrop during Fall season.
The hike to Lago di Federa is actually part of the Croda do Lago hike! If you have enough time make sure to complete the entire loop circuit which takes around 7 to 8 hours. It’s also possible to simply follow the hiking trail up to Lago di Federa and then turn back towards the car.
I did this hike during the second half of October and you may not believe me but there was already snow on the ground! If that’s the case you really want to bring hiking poles with you cause the trail is pretty steep. In total it took me 3 hours to hike up and back down but my guess is you can do it much faster without slippery snow and ice on the ground!
VIEW THE FULL BLOG POST – How To Visit Lago Di Federa
3. Lago di Braies Hike
Lago di Braies, also known as Pragser Wildsee, is one of the most popular mountain lakes in Europe and one of the top attractions in the Dolomites. For a lot of people it’s the highlight of their holiday in the Dolomites and most of them visit lake Braies to just take a couple of photos, preferably all in the exact same spot.
But what if I told you there’s actually a beautiful hiking trail which circles around the entire lake? It takes around 1 hour to complete this circular loop and besides a few stairs up and down now and then it’s a really easy hike that you can even do with kids.
To have the best experience at Lago di Braies make sure to arrive as early as possible. If you can muster it, sunrise is a really good idea. Not only will you be one of the only ones hiking you’ll also be able to admire the beauty of sunrises in the mountains. Cause when the first light hits the mountain tops their colour turns into the most magnificent orange shade of pink.
VIEW THE FULL BLOG POST – Lago di Braies Hiking Guide
4. Lago di Carezza Hike
Lago di Carezza, also known as Karersee, is a beautiful emerald green lake in the province of South Tyrol. This is one of the shortest hikes in the Dolomites (only 20 minutes haha), but it’s definitely worth to walk around the entire lake to catch its beauty from different angles.
Legend says that Lago di Carezza owns it colour due to a wizard who fell in love with a mermaid that lived in the lake. The wizard wanted to lure the mermaid out of the lake and created a rainbow in the sky but as soon as the mermaid saw him she got scared and disappeared into the lake, never to be seen again. In al of his rage the wizard tore down the rainbow and threw it into the lake.
There’s a huge parking lot right next to Karersee and when you reach the lake you’ll clearly see that it’s fenced off. Please respect the rules and don’t climb over the fence.
5. Cadini di Missurina Hike
Cadini di Missurina is a mountain range that is located in the province of Veneto and one of the most beautiful places in the Dolomites. With its rugged mountain peaks this hike will make you feel like you’ve set foot on Mordor.
There are two main viewpoints in total that people hike up to. The first one is a small pinnacle and you should only attempt to go here on a dry and clear day. The hiking trail that leads here is very narrow and it can be dangerous. Unfortunately over the past years this spot became a victim of its own popularity and it’s no exception that you will have to stand in line if you want to take a photo.
The other viewpoint however is way safer and equally as impressive! The total hike to go there and back to your car takes about 1,5 hour. This is the ideal hike to combine with the Tre Cime di Lavaredo Circuit.
VIEW THE FULL BLOS POST: CADINI DI MISSURINA HIKING GUIDE
6. Col Raiser to Seceda Hike
The Col Raiser to Seceda hike is one of my favourite hiking trails in the Dolomites. You’ll start your hike up with a steep incline at the Col Raiser cable car (in high season you can take the cable car up but you would miss a lot of stunning viewpoints if you do that!).
After that you’ll walk through a stunning pine forest and then you’ll be surrounded by insane mountain ranges everywhere that you look. I was in awe (and out of breath) the entire hike up and this is the number 1 hike I recommend to people if they”re looking for a more unique approach to the Dolomites.
In the end you’ll walk up along the Seceda ridgeline where you’ll end at the well known viewpoint. In total this hike takes around 4 hours to complete, for us it just took a little longer cause I was knee deep in snow for half of the hike up.
VIEW THE FULL BLOG POST – Col Raiser to Seceda Hike
7. Val di Funes Hike
If you’ve ever seen a postcard from the Dolomites, chances are very high that Val di Funes is pictured on it. The Seceda ridgeline in the back and a small church in the middle of a green meadow. It’s by far one of the most photographed places in the Dolomites but the same goes here as with Lago di Braies: there are actually a lot of beautiful hiking trails leading around Val di Funes.
One of the most beautiful hikes in Val di Funes is to hike up to the Santa Magdalena viewpoint and from there make your way down to Zanser Alm and then even up to Kanserill Alm.
VIEW THE FULL BLOG POST – Val di Funes Santa Maddalena Guide
8. Val Fiscalina to Drei Zinnen Hike
Val Fiscalina is a beautiful valley located in the township of Sesto and the starting point for one of the most impressive hikes in the Dolomites. This hiking trail is at its best from Spring to early Fall and we were actually greeted by a thick blanket of snow.
This did make things a little more complicated and it certainly made us a lot slower but I would do this hike again in a heartbeat in the Summer months.
You’ll start by walking through a beautiful forest and from here you walk up next to a little river stream until you reach the valley underneath the Drei Zinnen hut.
The total hike should take around 5 to 6 hours without snow :).
VIEW THE FULL BLOG POST – Val Fiscalina to Drei Zinnen hike
9. Alpe di Siusi Hike
Alpe di Siusi, also known as Seiser Alm, is a beautiful meadow and one of the most iconic places in the Dolomites that’s definitely worth the day trip. Seiser Alm is located in the Western part of the Dolomites at an altitude of 1680m and it goes on for 52 km².
There’s a ton of hiking trails spread out over Seiser Alm but most of them start in Compatsch where you also have to park your car. The best thing to do is spend half a day or an entire day on this meadow cause there’s plenty of good South Tyrolean restaurants here as well.
VIEW THE FULL BLOG POST – Alpe di Siusi Hiking Guide
10. Stiergarten Hike
The hiking trail to Stiergarten is one of those hidden gems in the Dolomites. The trail starts at the foot of the Tre Cime cable car in Sesto and climbs all the way up until you reach the Stiergarten meadow.
During the Summer months you’ll find tons of cows grazing here and living their best life. It’s a pretty steep climb but the view that comes after makes more than up for it. You get an overview over the entire Tre Cime National Park and from Stiergarten you can climb up even more and witness some incredible viewpoints!
In total this hike takes around 4 to 5 hours to complete but more time can be added to it depending if you hike up to any of the other viewpoints.
11. Lago di Dobbiaco Hike
The hiking trail around Lago di Dobbiaco, also known as Toblacher See, is another one that you can do with the entire family. This beautiful alpine lake can be found in the municipality of Dobbiaco at the start of the Tre Cime National Park.
The hiking trail is a circular path that goes around the entire lake and in total it takes less than 1 hour to complete it.
Where to stay in the Dolomites
Best stays near Lago di Braies & Tre Cime National Park
- Hotel Lago di Braies – You can’t get any closer to the lake than with this hotel. Watch the sun rise above the lake from you hotel window.
- Steinwandterhof – A farm stay with a relaxing sun terrace. It offers free Wi-Fi and Alpine-style accommodation with Dolomite Mountain views and a private bathroom.
- Gstattlhof – Set in front of the cross-country ski runs in the Braies Valley, Gstattlhof offers modern apartments with flat-screen TVs and fully equipped kitchenettes.
- Steinerhof – Offering a garden and a sun terrace, Hotel Steinerhof has Alpine-style rooms with a balcony. With free bikes and free parking.
- Hotel Trenker – With its peaceful location in the hamlet of San Vito and km from Lake Braies, 4-star Hotel Trenker offers a restaurant and a spa.
- Residence Nordik – Residence Nordik features mountain views, free WiFi and free private parking.
- Villa Grüne Laterne – Situated 3.2 km from Orto del Toro, Villa Grüne Laterne offers a restaurant, ski-to-door access and accommodation with a balcony and free WiFi.
Best stays near Alpe di Siusi
- Piccolo Hotel Sciliar – Occupying a panoramic position, close to the ski lifts that lead to the slopes, the hotel offers you the ideal base for a relaxed holiday in the heart of Alpe di Siusi.
- Aparthotel Kastel Seiser Alm – Located in Castelrotto, the 3-star Aparthotel Kastel Seiser Alm offers a free wellness centre and a bar open every day.
- Hotel zum Wolf – Set in the centre of Castelrotto, this family-run hotel offers carpeted rooms with an LCD satellite TV. The Alpe di Siusi Ski Slopes are 3 km away.
- Villa Tilia – Villa Tilia is immersed in a peaceful, green area, 1.5 km from the centre of Siusi allo Sciliar. It features a garden with sun terrace, and offers modern Alpine-style apartments with mountain views.
Best stays near Val di Funes
- Haus Tannenburg – Haus Tannenburg is set in central Santa Maddalena di Funes, 20 km from Plose ski lifts . It offers views of the Geislerspitzen mountain, a furnished sun terrace and a garden.
- Putzerhof – Featuring Dolomite-view rooms and apartments with a balcony or garden access, Alpine-style Putzerhof is set in Funes.
- Burgerhof – Offering a garden, Burgerhof offers pet-friendly accommodation in Santa Maddalena in Casies.
- Mountain Residence Montana – Mountain Residence Montana has direct access to the Santa Maddalena ski slopes. Located 10 km from Valle Di Casies centre, it offers spacious apartments with balcony overlooking the Dolomites.
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