Are you looking for the most beautiful places to visit in the Dolomites? No need to look further, cause this blogpost covers them all! Including some insider tips on how to get there and when to go!
So far I have been to the Dolomites 4 times already: 3 times during Summer season and once during Fall season. And I already know it probably won’t be the last time that I visit this amazing place.
The Dolomites are one of the most beautiful mountain ranges in Europe and are part of the Italian Alps. But they look nothing like their neighbours in Switzerland or Austria.
The Dolomites have a rugged look but their true magic comes to life every day during sunrise and sunset. Then the phenomenon of Enrosadira takes place, where the mountain tops colour from orange to pink to in the end purple. It’s one of my favourite things to watch when visiting the Dolomites! The reason behind this is their high concentration of Calcium and Magnesium Carbonate.
But enough technicalities! Let’s take a look at the best places to visit in the Dolomites!
18 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in The Dolomites
1. Lago di Braies – the most photographed lake in the Dolomites
Lago di Braies, also known as Pragser Wildsee is one of the most beautiful and also most Instagrammable places in the Dolomites! No trip to South Tyrol is complete without paying a visit to this magical place.
During my road trip I saw a lot of lakes, but none of them come even close to the beauty of Lago di Braies! This is one of the few places that looks even better in real life than on any photograph. It’s safe to say that this is one of THE best places to visit in the Dolomites.
How to get there – Lago di Braies is very easy accessible. The most convenient way to get here is by car. There is a big parking lot right next to the lake (€6/hour) and from there it’s only 5 minutes walking to the pier.
When to go – Due to it’s accessibility it can get very crowded at Lago di Braies very early on. I opted to go for sunrise and arrived about 20 minutes before the actual sunrise! This is also the time when the water is still and you can clearly see the reflection. For a mere 5 minutes the mountain tops will light up in orange-pink tones which is a magical sight not to be missed.
Insider tip – This infamous pier is located behind a boathouse which only opens around 9.30am. The place was already buzzing with people at 7am so I can’t even imagine what it would be like 2,5 hours later! There is no direct way to access the pier when the boathouse is closed. If you really want to take photos on the pier itself you either have to wait until the boathouse opens and hope for the best or you can reserve a 1,5 hour time slot with them to take photos.
Where to stay near Lago di Braies in the Dolomites
- 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.
2. Tre Cime di Lavaredo – One of the best hikes in the Dolomites
The Tre Cime di Lavaredo are also called the Drei Zinnen, and are probably the most famous mountain peaks in the Alps. The Three Peaks are the symbol of the Dolomite UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the best places to visit on your first time in the Dolomites.
The entire hike is about 10km and took us around 4 hours, mainly because I was wearing All Stars ( don’t do that :p) and because we were stopping every few meters to take photos :p.
There are different routes that you can follow but the most scenic one is definitely the one that goes from Rifugio Auronzo to the Dreizinnen Hut. The next stop is at Malga Langalm which tends to be surrounded by the cutest cows! From here it’s only 30 more minutes to where you’ve parked your car!
How to get there – Don’t be discouraged when you’re surrounded by fog during the drive up there. I was so the entire time but once I drove more up into the mountains you’re actually so high up that you will be above them. The most convenient way to reach the trail to the Drei Zinnen is to go by car. Park at Parkplatz zu den Drei Zinnen (€30 for cars) and start your hike at Rifugio Auronzo.
When to go – I made sure to arrive at 7am and was one of the first ones there! Make sure to be there before 9am, after that you might have to wait in line for a while to park your car.
Where to stay near Tre Cime di Lavaredo in the Dolomites
- 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.
Curious how I plan for a trip like this? Read all about it here!
3. Alpe di Suisi/ Seiser Alm – One of the best photo spots in the Dolomites
If there is one place in the entire Dolomites area that I wish that I had spent more time in, it’s this one! Alpe di Suisi is by far the BEST and one of the most beautiful places to visit in the Dolomites.
The Seiser Alm measures over 56 km² and is Europe’s largest expanse of high alpine meadowland.
How to get there – There is a road leading all the way up to Alpe di Suisi BUT it is closed for cars from 9am to 5pm. You can however still go up with the cable car if you like to visit during these hours. What I would do is drive up for sunrise, park your car at the parking lot in Compatch (€18 in cash) and you can drive back down whenever you want.
When to go – As mentioned before if you want to go by car either go before 9am or after 5pm.
Insider tip – This is the spot where you can find the most instagrammable swing in the Dolomites – stunning background included! This is the exact location!
Where to stay near Alpe di Suisi in the Dolomites
- 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.
4. Val di Funes – One of the most beautiful places in the Dolomites
If you’ve ever Googled images of the Dolomites, chances are high this post card perfect place popped on your screen! Val di Funes is a beautiful valley and one of the best areas to visit in the Dolomites. It’s also a beautiful places to stay during Summer in the Dolomites if you’re into photography or looking for some of the most best photo spots!
How to get there – If you’re just passing by to capture the most famous viewpoint then the easiest way is to go by car. The little village you’re looking for is Santa Magdalena. Here you’ll be able to simply walk around and take stunning photographs!
Where to stay in Val di Funes in the Dolomites
- 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.
Karersee, also known as lake Carezza is a small alpine lake in the Dolomites. It’s famous for its calm and drak green coloured waters and the beautiful mountain panorama in the background.
You’ve probably seen this photograph already all over Social Media. Nevertheless it is worth the hype and its place in this list of best photography spots in the Dolomites.
How to get there – Karersee is easy to reach by car and is actually a pretty touristic place. You can leave your car at the nearby parking lot (to pay) or if you’re visiting in the early morning or late afternoon you can easily find a spot alongside the road to park. If you’ve parked your car on the parking lot you’ll have to go through a manmade tunnel to access the lake.
When to go – I would really advise you to come here early morning. I visited Karersee after first going to Val di Funes and on my way to Venice. Needless to say that by 1PM the place was swarming with tourists. Nevertheless it was still possible to take beautiful photos!
Important to know – The entire lake is surrounded by a fence which clearly states every few meters that you can’t go over it! The fine for doing so is €41! Please respect this and don’t be an asshole.
Where to stay near Karersee in the Dolomites
- Residence Chris Appart – Only 300 metres from the Carezza ski area and 1 km from Lake Carezza, Residence Chris Appart boasts a wellness area, a furnished garden with terrace and free BBQ facilities.
- Hotel Castel Latemar – Set 1690 metres above sea level, Hotel Castel Latemar is located directly on the Carezza ski slopes. It features free Wi-Fi, a wellness area and a restaurant/pizzeria.
6. Capanna Presena
Ever wondered what it’s like waking up on top of a mountain? And to walk through the crisp morning snow and all you can hear is the sound of your footsteps crunching in the snow? Capanna Presena is one of my favourite photography spots in the Dolomites and the options to take photos here are absolutely endless.
How to get there – This will totally depend if you’re traveling during Summer or Winter time. In the summer you can simply hike up the mountain. During winter time you can use one of the ski gondola’s (be aware that they close at 4PM). If you want to go up the mountain later you either have to walk or hire a snow mobile. The cable car you need to go up is located right across from this parking lot.
When to go – You don’t want to miss the light during sunset and sunrise, it is absolutely magical! To make sure you don’t miss anything you can stay at the Rifugio Capanna Presena.
Make sure to also go to the top at 3000 meters after sunrise!
Where to stay near Capanna Presena in the Dolomites
Since staying in a mountain hut isn’t for everyone you can also stay at the beautiful Hotel Chalet al Foss. It’s a beautiful luxury hotel with an even more amazing spa!
7. Pejo 3000
Are you ready to be blown away by another amazing viewpoint in the Dolomites?
How to get there – You can get here pretty easy by cable car from Peio Fonti. It’s just two cable cars up and there is only one route available. You literally can’t miss it. This viewpoint is located on the right once you exit the second cable car.
When to go – Try to go as soon as the cable car opens!
Where to stay near Pejo 3000 in the Dolomites
- Hotel Ortles – Located only 10 minutes driving from Pejo 3000
- Hotel Chalet Genziana – Rustic and authentic lodging that offers free breakfast
This has to be one of my favourite locations in entire Trentino and one of the best places to visit in the Dolomites! The view over the mountains is absolutely breathtaking and from the top you can even see Lake Garda in the distance!
How to get there – Take the cable car up in Andalo and stay seated until you reach the last stop. From there go left and walk down through the tunnel and more downwards towards the next cable car. This one will take you all the way to the top to Rifugio La Roda. This is also the place where you can go tandem paragliding!
When to go – Go in the afternoon to enjoy lunch on top of the mountain!
Google Maps Location – Click here
Where to stay near Paganella in the Dolomites
The beautiful town of Andalo will serve as the perfect home away from home:
- Hotel Eden – A beautiful chalet style hotel that offers a stunning view over the mountains and Andalo.
- Cavallino Lovely Hotel – Located in the heart of Andalo and only five minutes walking from the cable car.
9. Lago Dobbiaco
Lago Dobbiaco is a beautiful lake located right behind the town of Dobbiaco and right before you enter the Tre Cime National Park. It’s a beautiful place in the Dolomites to go for an afternoon stroll and there’s an official car park next to it. Make sure to carry some cash with you cause the parking lot machine here doesn’t accept cards.
If you’re in the area I can recommend you two restaurants: Pizzeria Hans, for some delicious Italian food and the biggest selection of pizza’s I have ever seen. Or Tilia, a Michelin star restaurant that you simply have to try! During the Summer months they also offer the option of a take away pic nic.
10. Lago di Landro
This is another easy find right in the middle of the Tre Cime National Park, one of the best areas to visit in the Dolomites.
During the Summer months you can swim in the lake but of course now during Fall it was a little too cold for that :). There’s free parking spaces right next to the lake so it would be pretty much a crime to not take the time to stop here for at least a few minutes!
If you’re on your way to hike the Tre Cime and you’re coming from either Dobbiaco or Sesto you’ll pass by this lake!
11. Lago Antorno
You’ll find this beautiful lake right before you drive up to rifugio Auronzo! Plus it’s also the starting point for a beautiful hike in the Dolomites that will lead you all the way up to the Tre Cime! There’s a ton of free parking space available right at the lake and it’s at its most beautiful during Fall season when the larches turn yellow and orange!
12. Cadini di Missurina
This is probably one of the most beautiful places in the Dolomites to take photos and one of the most searched after view points! And the best part? It’s actually pretty easy to reach!
There are two view points for the Cadini di Missurina: one is the famous pinnacle and the other one is on top of the mountain. I visited both of them but have to tell you that taking photos at the pinnacle doesn’t come without risks!
This place has become so popular over the last months that it actually fell pray to its own popularity. It’s a small ridge where you have to walk over and due to erosion the ridge is becoming more and more narrow and thus more dangerous!
In no way should you ever attempt to visit this pinnacle if you’re not wearing proper hiking shoes or if you have a fear of heights. Do not go here when the ground is wet or when there is snow. The best time to visit this place is during Spring and Summer.
The other viewpoint however is way safer and all you have to do is turn right after you’ve parked your car at rifugio Auronzo. Instead of walking towards the Tre Cime trail you’ll be walking away from it and simply follow the red marks that lead up the hill opposite of the parking lot.
13. Lago Federa
Lago Federa is in my personal opinion one of the most beautiful lakes and places in the Dolomites! The lake is part of the Croda da Lago circuit and if you have enough time you should definitely complete the entire hike cause rumour has it it’s one of the most beautiful hikes in the Dolomites.
The starting point for this hike is here and after a while you’ll come to a fork road where you’ll take the left side. This way you’ll reach Lago Federa sooner.
The hike goes through the forest and up the mountain and can be pretty steep at some points. Make sure to wear proper hiking shoes and honestly, if you have hiking poles take them with you!
14. Passo Giau
The Passo Giau is a high mountain pass and one of the most surreal places in the Dolomites. You can drive all the way up, using the winding roads that never seem to stop. But once you reach the parking lot you’ll be blown away by the views on a clear day!
Seceda is one of those mountains that when you arrive to the top you’ll think like you stepped into Mordor. There are several ways to reach the top of Seceda but the easiest one if to take the cable car up in Ortisei. You’ll take two separate cable cars all the way to the top. Do know, that these only run during Summer and Winter season and their dates change every year!
Another option is to go on foot, not from Ortisei cause that hike is really really boring but from the start of Col Raiser cable car station. I am so happy I found this hike while doing research cause it’s truly one of the most beautiful hikes I ever did! Even the fact that I was knee deep in snow for half of it seemed to fade away when I looked around me to see the views.
This is one of those hidden gems in the Dolomites, one that will offer you incredible views over the entire Tre Cime National park once you reach the top!
To do so during Summer months is rather easy, there’s a cable car (the one called Tre Cime in Sexten) going up and from there it’s only a short hike to the top. During Fall season however all of these cable cars are closed so the only way to reach the top is to hike up. The hike starts down at the start of the Tre Cime cable car but thrust me, the views are worth the hike!
17. Val Fiscalina
The hike from Val Fiscalina up to the Drei Zinnen hütte has to be one of the most spectacular hikes in the Dolomites! When you attempt to do it, do not underestimate it and don’t do it when there is snow on the ground like we did haha. The snow made the hike pretty brutal and we weren’t even able to touch down at the Drei Zinnen hütte… We saw it from a distance but that’s pretty much it.
But Val Fiscalina, near Sexten, is one of those utter beautiful and way less visited places in the Dolomites! Even just walking around in the valley is amazing and should be something you add to your Dolomites itinerary!
The beautiful Peitlerkofel reminds me a little of the mountain range up at Seiser Alm. Only, this one is way less famous! The easiest way to reach Peitlerkofel is to go by car. It will lead you up a winding mountain road and provide you with stunning vista’s over Val di Funes.
There are several hikes possible here but the most famous one is the circular hike around the Peitlerkofel. It’s a nice alternative to the always crowded Tre Cime Loop trail and also very impressive! The best place to park your car and also the place where most of the day hikes start is Wurzjöch.