Is planning an epic 5 days in the Dolomites on your bucket list? Well, you’re not alone! This beautiful area in the North of Italy is growing in popularity year by year. And honestly, it’s not hard to see why. From pristine emerald lakes to mountain ranges that will make you feel like you stepped onto the movie set of Lord of The Rings. It’s safe to say that the Dolomites will take your breath away as soon as you arrive!
If you are currently researching how to organise the most amazing 5 day itinerary in the Dolomites then this blog post is for you! I have been to the Dolomites already 3 times in the mere time span of a year and I am here to share all of my knowledge with you.
This 5 day itinerary is best done from the start of May until halfway November. I advise you to either drive to the Dolomites with your own car or to rent a car there. This way you will have all the freedom you need to explore all of these beautiful places at your own pace!
5 Days in the Dolomites – The Ultimate 5 Days in The Dolomites Itinerary
This 5 day itinerary for the Dolomites is perfect for anyone who visits this area for the first time and maybe even the second time around! It includes all of the main sights and some insider tips on how to enjoy your time here to the fullest!
As said before, the best way to get around in the Dolomites is by car. And why not combine your trip here with a citytrip to Venice? Cause there is nothing like exploring another beautiful mountain range after the other right?
For those of you who are already familiar with my guides know that I try to travel as efficiently as possible. It’s always my goal to see as much of the area as I can so expect an itinerary filled with activities!
Day 1 – Start your 5 days in the Dolomites by exploring Seiser Alm/Alpe di Siusi
During the first days of this 5 day itinerary for the Dolomites you’ll be exploring the beautiful meadows of Seiser Alm. Now, visiting Seiser Alm, also known as Alpe di Siusi, can be rather tricky and a lot of people receive fines because they’re not well informed on the rules that go hand in hand with visiting this place.
When it comes to reaching Seiser Alm by car the following rules need to be obeyed:
- You can only drive up to Seiser Alm before 9am or after 5pm and you can’t drive any further as the main parking lot P2 in Compatsch. A day ticket for the parking lot is €17 and it’s open year round.
- It is strictly forbidden to drive further into the meadow of Seiser Alm
- You can’t drive up the mountain road between 9am and 5pm.
- You can drive down at any time you want.
- If your hotel or lodging is located within Seiser Alm you are allowed to drive up the mountain road between 9am and 5pm. You’ll receive a special permission form that you need to have with you in the car before starting your drive up.
I stayed at Alpina Dolomites in Compatsch for 3 nights and explored the area of Seiser Alm from there. Especially if you want to see the sunrise over the meadow it can be convenient to stay in the area itself.
Since day 1 of this 5 day itinerary is also a travel day we are taking it slow on this first day. Today we’ll have an early dinner at Gostner Schwaige (they close at 5PM) and then go watch the sunset!
The best place to watch the sunset is close to Malga Sanon (here you’ll also find the swing pictured below). It takes about 45 minutes to reach these places on foot from Compatsch.
Day 2 – Easy hiking and emerald lakes
If you’re an early bird I highly recommend watching the sunrise at the same spot from last night. There is something magical about the first light hitting the mountain tops and being the only one there to witness it. Afterwards it’s time for breakfast at the hotel! My personal experience at Alpina Dolomites in regards to Covid-19 safety was really good! There was a lavish breakfast buffet available but only after disinfecting your hands and wearing a face mask!
After breakfast it’s time to put on those hiking shoes and explore the beauty of Seiser Alm a little more! Hiking here is pretty easy, all of the hiking trails are well maintained and pretty flat.
After all that walking around and probably taking a million photos it’s time for lunch! Sit down at the Rauch Hütte and indulge in some of the local delicacies.
The last stop of day 2 in this 5 day itinerary for the Dolomites is a visit to Lago di Carezza, also known as Karersee. Since you can drive down from Seiser Alm at any time you’ll be able to leave before 5pm. From Compatsch to Lago di Carezza it’s about 1 hour driving by car and you’ll find a big parking lot right in front of it. Parking is free for the first 15 minutes, afterwards it’s €1 per hour.
It’s very important to mention that the entire lake is fenced off. It is strongly prohibited to climb over it and it is very clearly stated that it’s not allowed (every 5 meters there is a sign on the fence saying you can’t go over). Unfortunately a lot of people still ignore this so I kindly ask you to not be an asshole and be respectful!
If you’re still spending the night in Seiser Alm make sure you’re driving back up after 5PM. Cause even if your hotel is here you’re only allowed to drive up between 9AM and 5PM on the day of your check in. On all other days you can also only drive up to your hotel before 9AM or after 5PM.
Day 3 – Postcard perfect places and insane mountain ridges on day 3 of this 5 day Dolomites itinerary
On this 3rd day we’ll do a little bit of driving and visit some of the most famous places in the Dolomites!
After breakfast it’s time to drive down Seiser Alm and head towards Val di Funes. This has to be one of the most postcard perfect places that exists and once you arrive you’ll soon realise why! The drive from Seiser Alm to Val di Funes takes about 1,5 hour and will lead you through various mountain passes.
First we’ll visit the beautiful Santa Magdalena church. There is a small parking lot close to the church itself and from here you can hike up the hill to reach one of the most iconic viewpoints in the entire Dolomites. It’s important to know that you can not drive up this road, it is privately owned and you risk getting fined as well.
Our second stop is just a little bit more down the road and is called the San Giovanni church! This has to be one of the most photographed churches in the world. Even so that they decided to make a real tourist attraction out of it! Entry is no longer free and is around €4 to visit this church. However it didn’t really interest me to see it up close and if you only want to see the epic viewpoint you simply walk down the street a little more and you’ll come across a platform. During the day it was really calm here but I can imagine it’s a really popular spot with photographers during sunrise and sunset!
After visiting Val di Funes it’s time to drive to Val Gardena and take the cable car up to Seceda! There is a huge parking lot next to the cable car station and road signs everywhere so you can’t miss it! The price for taking the cable car up and down is €34/per person. Once you’ve reached the top it’s time to explore the Seceda ridge line! Start by hiking up and after 10 minutes you’ll be greeted by one of the most impressive views in the entire Dolomites. Now it’s totally up to you what you do here. We were in a bit of a rush that day so we didn’t walk along the ridge line but if you have the time I wouldn’t hesitate!
If you still have some energy left you can go for another evening hike in Seiser Alm (always a good idea) and otherwise simply enjoy a quiet evening at the hotel. Tomorrow will be a busy day and you’ll need all of your energy!
Day 4 – Swing away and lunch in the clouds
On the 4th day of this 5 day Dolomites itinerary we’ll do a lot of fun activities on our way to the Tre Cime National Park. Today we’ll visit one of the most famous ski areas in South Tyrol: Kronplatz. There are a ton of cable cars leading up to the top but we took the one at the Furkelpass. To take the cable car both up and down is €21/per person.
But once you’re up the mountain the fun begins! For lunch we’ll head to one of the most impressive mountain restaurants but before that it’s time for a little action. On top of the Kronplatz you’ll find the Skyscraper: at a dizzying 2275 m above sea-level, this giant swing is an absolute must for you adrenaline junkies out there. You’ll be hoisted up 15 meters and then you’ll soar through the sky! Perfect to get an adrenaline rush but not for those with a fear of heights. Ticket price is €13.
After the adrenaline has left your body it’s time to head towards AlpiNN restaurant. This modern restaurant is perched on top of the mountain cliff and offers 360° views over the surrounding area.
I highly recommend to also pay a visit to the LUMEN museum, a modern museum with a fresh take on everything about mountain photography.
Day 5 – Reflection games and jaw dropping hikes
Out of all the 5 days in the Dolomites this one will be the busiest for sure! But, it will all be worth it!
Your first stop of the day is Lago di Braies! Now I could tell you to come here early to take photos and to avoid the crowds but that would be a total lie. Cause this place is crowded at any time of day! So make sure to be here around 8am the latest cause otherwise you will have to park your car really really far! The boathouse opens at 8.30AM during the Summer months, otherwise it opens at 10AM. If you want to take photos on the boathouse before 9AM you have to make a reservation here. The price for a boat rental is €19 for 30 minutes and €29 for 60 minutes.
Afterwards it’s definitely worth it to also walk around the lake!
Now it’s time for the moment you’ve all been waiting for! The world famous Tre Cime National Park! If you go in the Summer months it’s best to start your hike as early as possible, before sunrise if you can. During the day it can become really crowded but for this itinerary we’ll arrive around 4PM. This will give you plenty of time to do the loop trail around the Drei Zinnen and afterwards also do the short hike to the Cadini di Missurina!
If you have some extra time on your hands make sure to also pay a visit to Lago di Sorapis! You can find all of the details in this article by my friend Caroline!
READ NEXT – Top 8 Best And Easy Day Hikes In The Dolomites
Even though this 5 day itinerary for the Dolomites is pretty epic there is still a ton more to see and do. So much so that you might even need 2 weeks. But I hope it will help you in the decision making when planning your trip!