Julie Italy, Itinerary 47 Comments

If you are planning your Dolomites itinerary, there is an overwhelming amount of information to process…both on the internet and in guidebooks. We want to simplify that for you.

In this guide, we share with you the top experiences in the Dolomites, how to organize them day-by-day, and then how to put this all together to create your perfect Dolomites itinerary, whether you have 3 days, 5 days, or more.

Rather than listing one 3, 5, or 7-day Dolomites itinerary, we list multiple daily itineraries. You can pick out your favorite daily itineraries and then put them together to create your perfect Dolomites itinerary.

We will also share with you different ways to put this all together, to simplify your travel planning process.

Let’s get started.

How to Use this Guide

First, we give a brief overview of the Dolomites and a list of the top experiences.

After this brief summary, we list multiple daily itineraries. From these, you can pick your favorites and string them together into a multi-day itinerary. Whether you just have a few days, or an entire week, we have some great options to share with you.

The itineraries listed in this guide are for a visit to the Dolomites in the summer months (June through early October), when the hiking trails are open. You can follow this itinerary outside of this time frame with some modifications (skipping the hikes and just visiting the viewpoints, or skiing instead of hiking).

It is also important to know that the cable cars close for a period of time in spring and fall. In general, from early April through late May and from mid September through mid December, many cable cars will be closed. If you are planning a visit to the Dolomites in April, May, September, October, November, or December, your trip could be affected by these closures.

Overview of the Dolomites

The Dolomites are a mountain range in northeastern Italy. This mountain range spans three regions of Italy (Veneto, Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, and Friuli Venezia Giulia).

To simplify where things are in the Dolomites, the Dolomites are sometimes split into the Eastern Dolomites and Western Dolomites. Val Badia is the dividing line between these two areas.

In the Eastern Dolomites you will find Cortina d’Ampezzo, Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Lago di Braies, Lago di Misurina, the Cinque Torri, Croda da Lago and Lago Federa, and Selva di Cadore.

In the Western Dolomites you will find Val Gardena, the Puez-Odle Nature Park, Alpe di Siusi, Val di Funes, Marmolada, Seceda, and the Sciliar-Catinaccio Nature Park.

On the map below, I highlighted these two regions and labeled a few of the most popular towns and things to do, so you get a basic idea of where things are located.

How to Use This Map: Click the tab in the top left hand corner of the map to view the layers (places to go in the eastern and western Dolomites). You can click the check marks to hide or show layers. If you click the icons on the map, you can get more information about each point of interest.
 
If you click the star next to the title of the map, this map will be added to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu button, go to “Your Places,” click Maps, and you will see this map on your list.

Best Things to Do in the Dolomites

Here is a list of the best things to do in the Dolomites. For the full list, and more information about each activity, take a look at our article Best Things to Do in the Dolomites.

  • Go hiking. Without a doubt, hiking is one of the best things to do in the Dolomites. There is a long list of spectacular hikes which we cover in our Dolomites Hiking Guide, but some of our favorites are the Puez-Odle Altopiano, the Cadini di Misurina viewpoint, the Croda da Lago Circuit, the Cinque Torri, and the short but sweet hike to the Seceda viewpoint.
  • Visit the lovely lakes (Lago di Braies, Lago Federa, Lago di Misurina, and Lago di Carezza)
  • Drive the mountain passes (Passo Pordoi, the Sella Pass, Passo Giau, and the Gardena pass, just to name a few)
  • Visit Alpe di Siusi (Seiser Alm)
  • Visit Val di Funes
  • Ride the Freccia nel Cielo Cable Car to Cima Tofana
  • Ride the Cable Car to Seceda
  • Ride the cable car to Marmolada

Giau Pass | Dolomites Itinerary

Overlooking Passo Giau from Rifugio Nuvolau | Dolomites Itinerary

How Many Days Do You Need in the Dolomites?

If you simply want to drive through the Dolomites and visit a few highlights, two to three days is all you need.

If you love hiking, spend as much time here as you can. I recommend five days at a minimum. So far, we spent 12 very busy days in the Dolomites and still have more that we want to come back and do. So, if you have the time in your schedule, you could easily spend 7 to 10 days hiking in the Dolomites.

How to Get Around the Dolomites

The best way to get around the Dolomites is by car. This gives you the freedom to explore the towns, drive the passes, and get to the lakes and trailheads on your own schedule.

There are public buses but these aren’t always reliable and you won’t have the freedom to explore the Dolomites at your own pace.

So, we recommend renting a car for your time in the Dolomites.

You can rent a car for just this portion of your trip to Italy, doing so from the last major town you visit before entering the Dolomites. Venice, Verona, Bolzano, and Milan are all great options. If you return the car to the same city, you will avoid the drop fee which can help keep your rental car cost low.

Daily Dolomites Itinerary Suggestions

Each of the itineraries below is a one day itinerary. From these, pick your favorites and then string them together to create the Dolomites itinerary that best fits your travel style.

For each Dolomites itinerary, I also list where in the Dolomites it is located (eastern or western Dolomites, or both).

You can visit the western Dolomites from Cortina d’Ampezzo or the eastern Dolomites from Val Gardena (Selva di Val Gardena or Ortisei), but you will need to add on 2 hours of extra driving time to each itinerary. It’s best to stay in two different locations while visiting the Dolomites to minimize how much driving you will do.

Day #1 Getting to the Dolomites

Option #1: Getting to the Dolomites from Venice

Location: Eastern Dolomites
Where to Stay: Cortina d’Ampezzo

In the morning, pick up your rental car in Venice. We typically rent the car at the airport, which is easy to get to using public transportation from Venice.

If Venice is the starting point for your trip, you could pick up the rental car upon arrival at the airport to save yourself another trip to the airport to pick it up. Just be aware that you will have an additional fee to park it in a parking garage during your time in Venice.

To drive from Venice to Cortina d’Ampezzo, it is a 160 km drive that takes just over two hours. If you leave at 9 am, you will be in the Dolomites by 11:30 am. Have lunch in town and then you have the afternoon to go exploring.

Spend the afternoon by hiking one of the nearby trails. For this afternoon, we recommend something short and not too far away: Lagazuoi to the Falzarego Pass or the Cinque Torri with the optional add on of Rifugios Averau and Nuvolau.

If you don’t want to go hiking on your first day, and the skies are clear, ride the Freccia nel Cielo cable car to Cima Tofana. This cable car station is located in Cortina d’Ampezzo and from the mountain station you have jaw-dropping views of the Dolomites.

Afterwards, explore the town of Cortina d’Ampezzo, check into your hotel, and then have dinner.

Cima Tofana | Dolomites Itinerary

The view from Cima Tofana (get here by riding the Freccia nel Cielo cable car from Cortina d’Ampezzo).

Option #2 Arrive in the Dolomites from Milan or Verona

Location: Western Dolomites
Where to Stay: Val Gardena (Selva di Val Gardena or Ortisei)

If the Dolomites fits into your Italy itinerary after a visit to Milan or Verona, it’s best to start your visit in the western Dolomites. Pick up a rental car in Milan, Verona, or Bolzano and drive to Val Gardena.

Here are the driving distances and times for Milan, Verona, and other nearby destinations to Selva di Val Gardena:

  • Verona: 200 km, 2.5 hours
  • Milan: 315 km, 4 hours
  • Bolzano: 43 km, 1 hour
  • Sirmione (Lake Garda): 200 km, 2.75 hours
  • Venice: 200 km, 3.5 hours

PRO TRAVEL TIP: Visit Lago di Carezza on the drive into the Dolomites. It’s one of the most beautiful lakes in the Dolomites and it will be a short detour on your drive.

Depending on your starting point, you will arrive in the Dolomites from late morning to early afternoon. This afternoon, take your pick:

  • Ride the cable car to Seceda (a visit here lasts 2 to 4 hours, depending on how much hiking you do); the cable car station is located in Ortisei (Urtijei).
  • Drive the Sella Pass and Passo Pordoi. Ride the cable car from Passo Pordoi for panoramic views of the Dolomites. From here, you have the option to add on the hike to Piz Boé (5.3 km/3.3 miles, 2 to 4 hours).

Best Seceda View | Dolomites Itinerary

Seceda | Dolomites Itinerary

 

Passo Pordoi | Dolomites Itinerary

Passo Pordoi | Dolomites Itinerary

Day #2: Tre Cime di Lavaredo + Cadini di Misurina Viewpoint

Location: Eastern Dolomites
Where to Stay: Cortina d’Ampezzo

Tre Cime di Lavaredo is one of the most popular hikes in the Dolomites. Afterwards, you have the option to add on the hike to the Cadini di Misurina viewpoint, which starts from the same parking lot.

To get to the Rifugio Auronzo parking lot (the starting point for this hike), it is a 22 km drive that takes about 40 minutes. There is a limit to the number of cars that can park here, as well as a €30 parking fee. To get a parking space, get here no later than 9 am, although earlier is even better.

The Tre Cime di Lavaredo hike is an 8.8 km (5.5 mile) loop, but you can add on detours to viewpoints and alpine lakes. It takes anywhere from 2.5 to 5 hours to do this hike, depending on your speed and how much you add on.

Tre Cime di Lavaredo Hike | Dolomites Itinerary

Tre Cime di Lavaredo Hike | Dolomites Itinerary

 

Laghi dei Piani | Dolomites Itinerary

The Tre Cime di Lavaredo has several short detours, where you can visit alpine lakes or viewpoints of the nearby mountains and valleys.

Once finished the hike, if you still have energy left, add on the hike to the Cadini di Misurina viewpoint. This short hike has spectacular views not only of the jagged peaks of the Cadini di Misurina but you also get a unique view of Tre Cime. This hike is 3.2 km (2 miles) round trip and takes 1 to 2 hours.

Cadini di Misurina | Dolomites Itinerary

Cadini di Misurina viewpoint | Dolomites Itinerary

 

Dolomites | Dolomites Itinerary

View of Tre Cime on the hike to the Cadini di Misurina viewpoint.

On the drive to Cortina d’Ampezzo, visit Lago di Misurina. We ate a very late lunch at Pizzeria Edelweiss.

This afternoon, you can relax at your hotel or ride the cable car to Cima Tofana, if you haven’t done that yet, and the skies are clear.

Day #3: Lago di Braies + Lago di Misurina

Location: Eastern Dolomites
Where to Stay: Cortina d’Ampezzo

Lago di Braies is one of the prettiest lakes in the Dolomites. It’s also one of the most popular places to visit and there are now cut-off times for when you can drive to the lake. From early July through early September, between the hours of 9:30 am and 4 pm, you are not permitted to drive through the Pragser Tal Valley and park at Lago di Braies (see our Lago di Braies guide for more details). During this time, you can walk, bike, or take the bus.

Lago di Braies | Dolomites Itinerary

Lago di Braies | Dolomites Itinerary

We recommend getting to the lake by 9 am. Not only will you be able to park here but crowds are still relatively light.

From Cortina d’Ampezzo, it takes one hour to drive to Lago di Braies.

Once at Lago di Braies, rent a rowboat and/or walk the loop trail around the lake (3.7 km/2.3 miles). A visit to Lago di Braies lasts about 4 hours.

In the afternoon, drive to Lago di Dobbiaco and have lunch at one of the restaurants that sit along the edge of this lake.

After lunch, continue the drive south on SS51. Along this drive, you can stop off at the viewpoint of Tre Cime (called Vista Panoramica Tre Cime di Lavaredo) for a view of the three peaks.

In the afternoon, visit Lago di Misurina or, if skies are clear, ride the Freccia nel Cielo cable car to Cima Tofana.

Italy Travel Guide Florence

Day #4: Hike to Lago di Sorapis

Location: Eastern Dolomites
Where to Stay: Cortina d’Ampezzo

This popular hike takes you to another stunning lake in the Dolomites. For the best experience, get started early (by 9 am). From Cortina d’Ampezzo, it takes 10 to 15 minutes to drive to the trailhead parking lots.

The Lago di Sorapis hike is 12 km (7.5 miles) and takes 3 to 5 hours, a little longer if you hike up and over Forcella Marcuoira, which is a wonderful addition to this hike.

Tyler Rivenbark

Lago di Sorapis | Dolomites Itinerary

 

Best Dolomites Hikes

In the afternoon, spend some time at Lago di Misurina, spend a leisurely afternoon in Cortina d’Ampezzo, ride the Freccia nel Cielo cable car, or drive to Val Gardena and check into your hotel.

Day #5: Cinque Torri + Rifugios Averau & Nuvolau

Location: Eastern Dolomites
Where to Stay: Cortina d’Ampezzo

This is one of our favorite experiences in the Dolomites.

The Cinque Torri is a short, easy loop hike (2 km/1.2 miles) around the five pillars of rock that are an iconic landmark in the Dolomites.

Cinque Torri Hike | Dolomites Itinerary

Cinque Torri | Dolomites Itinerary

It’s also well worth it to add on the hike to Rifugios Averau and Nuvolau (4 km/2.5 miles), for one of the best viewpoints and dining experiences in the Dolomites.

Rifugio Averau | Dolomites Itinerary

Rifugio Averau | Dolomites Itinerary

 Rifugo Nuvolau Dolomites | Dolomites Itinerary

Rifugio Nuvolau  | Dolomites Itinerary

Get started at 8 am and if you do both hikes, you will be finished by early afternoon.

You can spend the rest of the day relaxing at your hotel. We rode the Freccia nel Cielo cable car in the afternoon because the weather was perfect. You can also drive to the Falzarego Pass and ride the Lagazuoi cable car for another great view. From here, if you still have energy, walk the downhill trail back to the Falzarego Pass (4 km/2.5 miles).

Lagazuoi Dolomites Italy

The view from Lagazuoi | Dolomites Itinerary

Day #6: Croda da Lago Circuit

Location: Eastern Dolomites
Where to Stay: Cortina d’Ampezzo

This beautiful hike is also one of quietest trails that we hiked in the Dolomites. The Croda da Lago Circuit takes you to Lago Federa and several spectacular viewpoints along the way.

If you are looking for a less crowded hike that is still BIG on views, this hike is for you.

The trailhead is a 20-minute drive from Cortina d’Ampezzo. The hike is 13 km (8 miles), moderately strenuous, and takes 4.5 to 6 hours.

Lago Federa Dolomites Italy

Lago Federa | Dolomites Itinerary

 

Croda da Lago Circuit

Croda da Lago Circuit | Dolomites Itinerary

In the afternoon, drive to Passo Giau and ride the chairlift to Rifugio Averau for a late lunch, spend a leisurely afternoon in Cortina d’Ampezzo, ride the Freccia nel Cielo cable car, or drive to Val Gardena and check into your hotel.

Day #7: Drive from Cortina d’Ampezzo to Val Gardena

Location: Eastern and western Dolomites
Where to Stay: Val Gardena (Selva di Val Gardena or Ortisei)

If you plan to spend more than three days in the Dolomites, we recommend that you stay in both Cortina d’Ampezzo (or somewhere near here) and Val Gardena (Selva di Val Gardena or Ortisei).

This drive connects these two areas. Note, it can also be done in the opposite direction, if traveling from Val Gardena to Cortina d’Ampezzo.

From Cortina d’Ampezzo, head west towards Marmolada. There are two ways to go, either taking SR48 over the Falzarego Pass (46 km, 1.25 hours) or SP638 over Passo Giau (43 km, 1.25 hours). Both are beautiful drives. If you haven’t driven over one of these passes yet, then choose the route that is new to you.

Marmolada

Marmolada is the highest mountain in the Dolomites and you can get to the top by riding a series of cable cars.

Marmolada View

The view from Marmolada | Dolomites Itinerary

The parking lot for Marmolada is located on SP641 at Malga Ciapela. From here, you will ride a series of cable cars to Punta Rocca. Enjoy the views from the upper cable car station and on the journey back down the mountain, stop off at Serauta, visit the Museum of the Great War, and do the short, optional hike to the Sacred Monumental Area.

A visit to Marmolada lasts about 2 hours. Learn more about things to do and how to plan your visit in our Guide to Marmolada.

Scenic Drive to Passo Pordoi

From Marmolada, drive over Passo Fedaia and past the lovely Lago di Fedaia. Then it’s a lot of twists and turns as you drive to Passo Pordoi, the highest paved pass in the Dolomites.

Lago Fedaia

Lago di Fedaia | Dolomites Itinerary

Once at Passo Pordoi, you have the option to ride another cable car, this time to Sass Pordoi. From the upper station, you have more 360° views of the Dolomites and over Passo Pordoi.

Optional: Add on the hike to Piz Boé, one of the easiest 3,000+ meter peaks in the Dolomites to summit (5.3 km/3.3 miles, 2 to 4 hours).

Sass Pordoi View

Sass Pordoi | Dolomites Itinerary

Val Gardena

From Passo Pordoi, take SS242 north towards Selva di Val Gardena, driving over the Sella Pass, pass #4 for the day.

Once in Val Gardena, check into your hotel and have dinner.

Day #8: Puez-Odle Altopiano

Location: Western Dolomites
Where to Stay: Val Gardena (Selva di Val Gardena or Ortisei)

The Puez-Odle Altopiano is a long hike in the Dolomites but it’s also one of the best. A gondola eliminates the first big climb, making this an overall downhill walk. Along the way, you have awesome views of the Sella group, Sella pass, and the Puez-Odle Nature Park.

This hike starts at the Dantercepies gondola in Selva di Val Gardena. It is a 17 km (10.6 miles) hike that takes 6 to 9 hours.

Spend the rest of the day relaxing at your hotel.

Dolomites | Dolomites Itinerary

View from the Puez-Odle Altopiano hike | Dolomites Itinerary

 

Puez Odle Altopiano Hike

Another view from the Puez-Odle Altopiano hiking trail.

Day #9: Alpe di Siusi

Location: Western Dolomites
Where to Stay: Val Gardena (Selva di Val Gardena or Ortisei)

Alpe di Siusi (Seiser Arm) is the highest alpine meadow in Europe. You could easily spend a day here, hiking or biking the trails.

Hikes in the Dolomites Alpe di Siusi

Alpe di Siusi | Dolomites Itinerary

This is another place where there are morning cut-off times for driving to the parking lot. You can drive to Alpe di Siusi before 9 am and after 5 pm. You can also get here by bus or by cable car (get the details in our Alpe di Siusi guide, (coming soon)).

Once in Alpe di Siusi, spend the day hiking or mountain biking. This is a great place to bike from restaurant to restaurant, trying new foods and dining with a view of the magnificent Sassolungo. Learn how to plan your visit in our Guide to Alpe di Siusi.

Day #10: Val di Funes

Location: Western Dolomites
Where to Stay: Val Gardena (Selva di Val Gardena or Ortisei)

Val di Funes is a picturesque part of the Dolomites. With its green rolling hills, view of the Odle/Geisler group, iconic view of the Santa Maddalena church, and hiking trails, this is another great spot to add onto your Dolomites itinerary. The cover photo for this guide was taken in Val di Funes.

In Val di Funes, you can hike the Adolf Munkel Weg to Geisler Alm. This 9.2 km (5.7 miles) loop takes 2 to 3 hours, but you’ll want to add some additional time to have lunch at one of the rifugios.

Adolf Munkel Weg

Adolf Munkel Weg | Dolomites Itinerary

 

Geisler Alm Hike

Geisler Alm/Rifugio Odle | Dolomites Itinerary

You can also walk the Santa Maddalena Panorama Trail, a 10 km/6 mile loop that has several stunning viewpoints of the area. We shortened this walk to visit the church and the main viewpoint. This walk is 3 km/2 miles, takes about an hour, and you can get the full details here.

Santa Maddalena Panorama Trail

Walking the Santa Maddalena Trail

 

Church of St John Val di Funes

Church of St. John | Dolomites Itinerary

While in the town of Santa Maddalena, we also recommend visiting the viewpoint of the Church of St. John GPS coordinates: 46°38’12.3″N 11°43’19.6″E.

If you hike the Adolf Munkel Weg and walk the shortened trail to the Santa Maddalena viewpoint, the visit to Val di Funes will take most of the day.

Dolomites Travel Guide

Dolomites Itinerary Recommendations

To plan your Dolomites itinerary, take your pick from the daily itineraries listed above. For example, if you have 5 days in the Dolomites, pick your five favorite daily itineraries.

For recommendations on how to put all of this together, below we list sample multi-day itineraries, putting together the daily itineraries listed above.

One Day in the Dolomites Itinerary

With one day in the Dolomites, I recommend starting as early as possible from your starting point (Venice, Verona, etc).

Take your pick from our list of hiking trails, but if you only have one day here, I recommend doing the Cinque Torri + Rifugios Averau and Nuvolau hike, because it’s easy, it’s doable for most people, you get amazing views of the Dolomites, and you get the experience of dining at a rifugio.

You also have the option to add on the Freccia nel Cielo cable car in the afternoon, which is another one of our favorite experiences in the Dolomites.

Unless you arrive to the Dolomites very early, you will have to skip the places with the morning cut-off times, such as Lago di Braies, Alpe di Siusi, and even Tre Cime di Lavaredo, if parking spaces fill up. Or, be prepared to take the bus.

Two Days in the Dolomites Itinerary

Day One: Day # 1 Arrive from Venice, Milan, or Verona

Day Two: If you will be staying in Cortina d’Ampezzo, take your pick from days 2 through 6. If you will be staying in Val Gardena, take your pick from days 8, 9, or 10.

Three Days in the Dolomites Itinerary

Day One: Day # 1 Arrive from Venice, Milan, or Verona

Day Two: If you will be staying in Cortina d’Ampezzo, take your pick from days 2 through 6. If you will be staying in Val Gardena, take your pick from days 8, 9, or 10.

Day Three: Choose another day near your hotel. Or, drive from one area to the other, following Day #7 (Driving from Cortina d’Ampezzo to Val Gardena), so you get to see more of the Dolomites.

Four Days in the Dolomites Itinerary

With four days, stay in both Cortina d’Ampezzo and Val Gardena and spend some time visiting both areas of the Dolomites:

  • Day One: Follow Day #1 (Arriving from Venice), stay in Cortina d’Ampezzo.
  • Day Two: Take your pick from days 2 through 6, stay in Cortina d’Ampezzo.
  • Day Three: Follow Day #7 (Driving from Cortina d’Ampezzo to Val Gardena), stay in Val Gardena.
  • Day Four: Follow Day #8, Day #9, or Day #10, stay in Val Gardena.

Or, stay in Cortina d’Ampezzo for your entire visit:

  • Day One: Follow Day #1 (Arriving from Venice)
  • Day Two: Follow Day #2 (Tre Cime di Lavaredo + Cadini di Misurina Viewpoint)
  • Day Three: Follow Day #5 (Cinque Torri + Rifugios Averau & Nuvolau)
  • Day Four: Follow Day #3 (Lago di Braies + Lago di Misurina)

Dolomites Photo Spot

Viewpoint next to Rifugio Scoiattoli. You can get here by riding the cable car to the rifugio and from here, hike the Cinque Torri and/or to Rifugios Averau and Nuvolau.

Five Days in the Dolomites Itinerary

With five days in the Dolomites, stay in both Cortina d’Ampezzo and Val Gardena and spend some time visiting both areas of the Dolomites:

  • Day One: Follow Day #1 (Arriving from Venice), stay in Cortina d’Ampezzo.
  • Day Two: Take your pick from days 2 through 6, stay in Cortina d’Ampezzo.
  • Day Three: Take your pick from days 2 through 6, stay in Cortina d’Ampezzo.
  • Day Four: Follow Day #7 (Driving from Cortina d’Ampezzo to Val Gardena), stay in Val Gardena.
  • Day Five: Follow Day #8, Day #9, or Day #10, stay in Val Gardena.

Or, stay in Cortina d’Ampezzo for your entire visit:

  • Day One: Follow Day #1 (Arriving from Venice)
  • Day Two: Follow Day #2 (Tre Cime di Lavaredo + Cadini di Misurina Viewpoint)
  • Day Three: Follow Day #5 (Cinque Torri + Rifugios Averau & Nuvolau)
  • Day Four: Follow Day #3 (Lago di Braies + Lago di Misurina)
  • Day Five: Follow Day #6 (Croda da Lago Circuit)

Six Days in the Dolomites Itinerary

With six days in the Dolomites, stay in both Cortina d’Ampezzo and Val Gardena and spend some time visiting both areas of the Dolomites:

  • Day One: Follow Day #1 (Arriving from Venice), stay in Cortina d’Ampezzo.
  • Day Two: Take your pick from days 2 through 6, stay in Cortina d’Ampezzo.
  • Day Three: Take your pick from days 2 through 6, stay in Cortina d’Ampezzo.
  • Day Four: Follow Day #7 (Driving from Cortina d’Ampezzo to Val Gardena), stay in Val Gardena.
  • Day Five: Follow Day #10 (Val di Funes), stay in Val Gardena.
  • Day Six: Follow Day #8 (Puez-Odle Altopiano hike), stay in Val Gardena.

Or, stay in Cortina d’Ampezzo for your entire visit:

  • Day One: Follow Day #1 (Arriving from Venice)
  • Day Two: Follow Day #2 (Tre Cime di Lavaredo + Cadini di Misurina Viewpoint)
  • Day Three: Follow Day #3 (Lago di Braies + Lago di Misurina)
  • Day Four: Follow Day #4 (Lago di Sorapis)
  • Day Five: Follow Day #5 (Cinque Torri + Rifugios Averau & Nuvolau)
  • Day Six: Follow Day #6 (Croda da Lago Circuit)

Seven Days in the Dolomites Itinerary

With seven days in the Dolomites, stay in both Cortina d’Ampezzo and Val Gardena and spend some time visiting both areas of the Dolomites:

  • Day One: Follow Day #1 (Arriving from Venice), stay in Cortina d’Ampezzo.
  • Day Two: Take your pick from days 2 through 6, stay in Cortina d’Ampezzo.
  • Day Three: Take your pick from days 2 through 6, stay in Cortina d’Ampezzo.
  • Day Four: Take your pick from days 2 through 6, stay in Cortina d’Ampezzo.
  • Day Five: Follow Day #7 (Driving from Cortina d’Ampezzo to Val Gardena), stay in Val Gardena.
  • Day Six: Follow Day #10 (Val di Funes), stay in Val Gardena.
  • Day Seven: Follow Day #8 (Puez-Odle Altopiano hike), stay in Val Gardena.

Eight or More Days in the Dolomites

With each additional day you have in the Dolomites, you can add more time in Cortina d’Ampezzo or Val Gardena. You can also visit the Sciliar-Catinaccio Nature Park which is located southwest of Val Gardena.

Lago di Braies

Lago di Braies | Dolomites Itinerary

Our Dolomites Itinerary (What We Did)

On our first visit, we had three days in the Dolomites. We stayed in Selva di Cadore.

  • Day 1: Drive from Venice to the Dolomites; Lagazuoi to Falzarego hike in the afternoon
  • Day 2: Puez-Odle Altopiano hike
  • Day 3: Tre Cime di Lavaredo hike

On our second visit, we had 9 days in the Dolomites. We stayed in Cortina d’Ampezzo from days 1 through 6 and then stayed in Selva di Val Gardena from the evening of day 6 through day 9.

  • Day 1: Drive from Venice; hike Lago di Sorapis in the afternoon
  • Day 2: Cinque Torri, Rifugios Averau and Nuvolau, Freccia nel Cielo cable car to Cima Tofana
  • Day 3: Lago di Braies
  • Day 4: Tre Cime di Lavaredo + Cadini di Misurina viewpoint
  • Day 5: Croda da Lago Circuit
  • Day 6: Drive from Cortina d’Ampezzo to Val Gardena
  • Day 7: Val di Funes, Adolf Munkel Weg hike, Seceda
  • Day 8: Alpe di Siusi
  • Day 9: Morning in Selva di Val Gardena, drive to Lake Garda

Where to Stay in the Dolomites

Trying to decide where to stay in the Dolomites might seem like a daunting task but it doesn’t have to be.

Take the guesswork out of where to stay in the Dolomites in our guide Best Places to Stay in the Dolomites. In this guide, we list the top hotels, B&B’s, lodges, and wellness centers in the Dolomites, organized by location. Get recommendations for the best places to stay in the eastern and western Dolomites for your budget, including Cortina d’Ampezzo, Selva di Val Gardena, Ortisei, Alta Badia, and more. 

Cortina d'Ampezzo

The Cortina d’Ampezzo from the Freccia nel Cielo cable car

Frequently Asked Questions

Are the Dolomites worth it?

Absolutely. The Dolomites are one of the most beautiful places in Europe. With its rocky mountain peaks, rolling green hills, small towns and chalets, the Dolomites are very photogenic and a wonderful place to explore. Cable cars transport visitors to the highest peaks, so you don’t have to be a big hiker to get to the panoramic viewpoints. But if you are a hiker, this is one of top hiking destinations in the world. And in the colder months, the Dolomites becomes a winter wonderland and a world-class skiing destination.

When is the best time to visit the Dolomites?

That depends on what you want to do. If hiking is your thing, June through September is the best time to visit the Dolomites. In October, once the snow begins to fall, the trails close. If skiing is your thing, visit the Dolomites from December through March, although some ski resorts will open sooner than this or close later than this.

Which is better, staying in Cortina d’Ampezzo or Val Gardena?

Both are great areas to stay in the Dolomites. If you can only choose one or the other, look at what you can do from each area and then make your choice based on these activities. For example, if you want to hike Tre Cime di Lavaredo and visit Lago di Braies, it is best to stay in Cortina d’Ampezzo. But if you want to visit Val di Funes and hike the Puez-Odle Altopiano, stay in Val Gardena.

More Information for Your Trip to the Dolomites

HELPFUL TIPS: We cover important things to know before you go and travel tips in our article How to Plan a Trip to the Dolomites.

PLACES TO GO: For ideas on what to do, read our article Best Things to Do in the Dolomites. This article has a long list of things to do that don’t require hiking.

HIKES IN THE DOLOMITES: And if you want to go hiking, in our article Best Hikes in the Dolomites, we cover 15 epic trails in the Dolomites.

WHERE TO STAY: For recommendations on where to stay, check out our guide Best Places to Stay in the Dolomites.

MORE INFORMATION: For all of our articles about the Dolomites, take a look at our Dolomites Travel Guide.

ITALY ITINERARY WITH THE DOLOMITES: In our 10-Day Northern Italy Itinerary, visit the Dolomites, Venice, Verona, Milan, and Lake Como.


If you have any questions about planning your Dolomites itinerary, let us know in the comment section below.

More Information for Your Trip to Italy

VENICE: Learn more about Venice in our article Best Things to Do in Venice. We also have guides about How to Visit St. Mark’s Basilica, where to get the Best Views of Venice, and how to spend Two Days in Venice.

NORTHERN ITALY:  Verona is a beautiful city to add to your Italy itinerary and we also have a detailed guides on Lake Garda on how to day trip to Lake Como and Bellagio.

ITALY ITINERARIES: If you are just beginning to plan your Italy itinerary, take a look at our 10 Days in Italy Itinerary for five different ways to spend 10 days in Italy.

BEST OF ITALY: In our Guide to the Best Places to Visit in Italy, we list 25 beautiful destinations to consider for your next trip to Italy.

TRAVEL PHOTOGRAPHY: For more information about the camera gear we carry, check out our Travel Photography Gear Guide. And tips and tricks for taking great photos in our article How to Take Better Photos while Traveling.

We have TONS more information about Italy in our Italy Travel Guide, including the Amalfi Coast, Florence, Tuscany, Rome, Puglia, and the Cinque Terre.

Best Dolomites Itinerary Italy

 

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Comments 47

  1. Avatar for Yulia
    Yulia

    Hi,
    You provided so much information and details, thank you for your effort! It is so helpful!
    We are planning to visit Dolomites in the summer 2024 for 1 week. I read your article and made our trip schedule:
    Day 1 – getting to Cortina + Cinque Torri with the optional add on of Rifugios Averau and Nuvolau
    Day 2 – Tre Cime di Lavaredo+Cadini di Misurina
    Day 3 – Hike to Lago di Sorapis
    Day 4 – Croda da Lago Circuit
    Day 5 – Cable car from Passo Pordoi + hike to Piz Boe. Cable car to Seceda. Stay in Val Gardena
    Day 6 – Puez-Odle Altopiano
    Day 7 – Val di Funes

    Could you please advise in which day can we visit Lago di Braies early in the morning? Do you think that our program is very ambitious? Am I missing something really nice and a must see?
    Thank you for any advice you cam give me!

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      Hello Yulia. Your itinerary looks great (can I come along 😊). It is not too ambitious as you will have time in the afternoons and evenings to relax. The best day to visit Lago di Braies is on day 3. You can either go first thing in the morning, dealing with some crowds on the Lago di Sorapis trail (we did this midday and it wasn’t too bad) or hike to Lago di Sorapis first, have a late lunch at Lago di Misurina, Lago di Dobbiaco, or Lago di Braies and then do Lago di Braies in the afternoon (don’t forget to make your parking reservation in advance). The only thing I don’t see on your list is the cable car to Cima Tofana. It’s right in Cortina and takes about 2 hours so makes a good add on in the afternoon (maybe day 4 if skies are clear and you aren’t too tired). Let me know if you have any other questions! Cheers, Julie

  2. Avatar for Cindy
    Cindy

    You have provided so much useful information! Thankyou!

    My husband and I would like to do some shorter easier hikes (a few hours, not too challenging). We will staying in Cortina for a night and the next day would like to do some sightseeing, cablecar? and some hiking in one day.

    Is there a route you would suggest and a Rifugio you would suggest to stay for the night, somewhere between Cortina and near Lake Braies? (We wouldn’t be keen on sharing a room with others).

    The day after staying in a Rifugio we have the morning to explore before ending up somewhere near Lake Braies for a night We will visit Lake Braies early in the morning then head to Ortisei for a few days.

    We would love to hear your suggestions and any recommendation about our plan! Thanks.

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      Hello Cindy. We don’t have any experience staying in the rifugios in the Dolomites, so unfortunately you’ll have to do some more research for this. I highly recommend the Freccia nel Cielo cable car in Cortina and our favorite short hike in that area is the Cinque Torri plus Rifugios Averau and Nuvolau. You could look into staying in one of these rifugios, although the are located west of Cortina, not near Lago di Braies. On the Tre Cime hike you could look into staying at Rifugio Locatelli or Rifugio Lavaredo. That is a beautiful hike and a good way to combine a hike with a stay in a rifugio. The add on of the Cadini di Misurina is pretty sweet, too. I hope this helps you make some decisions and let me know if you have any other questions. Cheers, Julie

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