The Italian Dolomites is the most spectacular alpine destination in the world. There’s no question. After eight visits, we’re still not satiated. Visiting the Dolomites is like stepping into a high fantasy novel.

The scenery is mesmerizing. The cuisine is heartwarming. And, the hiking trails are spectacular and highly accessible. There are many ways to experience the Dolomites, but a road trip is certainly the best introduction.

The route outlined below is our itinerary from our first trip to the Dolomites, with some modifications for improvement.

It will take you to the Dolomites’ most celebrated places, including Val di Funes (Villnöß), Alpe di Siusi (Seiser Alm), Puez-Odle Nature Park (Naturpark Puez-Geisler), Val Gardena (Grödnertal), SecedaCortina d’Ampezzo, Lago di SorapisTre Cime di Lavaredo (Drei Zinnen), Cadini di Misurina, and Lago di Braies (Pragser Wildsee).

We’ve summarized each day of our Dolomites road trip, with links to more in-depth blog posts. We promise that you’ll fall head over heels in love with this mountainous region and plot your return immediately. 

Our Dolomites road trip is a bit unconventional because we integrated this fantastic 3-day Tre Cime di Lavaredo trek into our itinerary. This trek is the perfect intro to hut to hut hiking in the Dolomites.

If however, you don’t want to do that, you can easily modify our itinerary, so that you’re staying in the valleys instead. We’ve outlined alternative options for each day.

At the very end of this guide, we’ve included a few ideas on how to extend this Dolomites itinerary to 10 days, 12 days, and 2 weeks as well as a Venice-Dolomites itinerary map. Also check out our new 5 Day Dolomites Itinerary and 10-14 Day Dolomites Itinerary.

To learn more about where to base yourself in the Dolomites, read Where to Stay in the Dolomites in Summer.

Dolomites Road Trip Itinerary

Alpe di Siusi, Dolomites, Italy

1 Week Dolomites Itinerary

  • Day 1: Val di Funes 
  • Day 2: Alpe di Siusi
  • Day 3: Seceda
  • Day 4: Great Dolomites Road, Sella Pass, Pordoi Pass, Cortina d’Ampezzo, Lago di Sorapis, Sesto
  • Day 5: Tre Cime di Lavaredo Trek (Stage 1) / Sexten Dolomites Hike (Alternative Day 5)
  • Day 6: Tre Cime di Lavaredo Trek (Stage 2) / Ampezzo Dolomites Hike (Alternative Day 6)
  • Day 7: Tre Cime di Lavaredo Trek (Stage 3), Lago di Braies & Prato Piazza

With 3-Day Hut-to-Hut Hike

  • 1 Night in Santa Maddalena, Val di Funes
  • 2 Nights in Ortisei, Val Gardena
  • 1 Night in Sesto or Val Fiscalina
  • 1 Night in Rifugio Locatelli/Dreizinnenhütte
  • 1 Night in Rifugio Pian di Cengia/Rifugio Büllelejochhütte

Without 3-Day Hut-to-Hut Hike

  • 1 Night in Santa Maddalena, Val di Funes
  • 2 Nights in Ortisei, Val Gardena
  • 2 Nights in Cortina d’Ampezzo
  • 1 Night in Braies Valley

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Dolomites Road Trip Map

How to use this map | Click directly on each icon on the map to find out more information about specific places (trails, photo spots, accommodations, etc…). The driving route is highlighted in blue and nearby airports are marked in grey. Each destination in the Dolomites is marked in a different color.

  • Val di Funes: coral red
  • Val Gardena and Alpe di Siusi: yellow
  • Cortina d’Ampezzo and the Ampezzo Dolomites: Green
  • Sesto/Sexten Dolomites: purple
  • Braies/Prags Dolomites: black

What Languages are Spoken in the Dolomites?

The Dolomites are located in 5 different provinces (within 3 regions) in Northeastern Italy. One province, South Tyrol (Südtirol in German; Alto Adige in Italian), was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire prior to World War I.

German continues to be the primary language spoken in this province. When traveling and hiking through South Tyrol, every street, advertisement, nature park, mountain hut, etc… is written in both German and Italian

Another language that you may encounter is Ladin, a romance language spoken in the provinces of South Tyrol, Trentino, and Belluno, by the Ladin people, who are the oldest inhabitants of the region.

In Val Badia and other valleys, you’ll see signage and names (e.g. towns, mountain huts) in three languages: Ladin, German, and Italian. 

When to Road Trip in the Dolomites

We’ve explained the best time to visit the Dolomites in our Dolomites Travel Guide.

We recommend doing this specific road trip in July, or September. August is very busy and very expensive.

Early October is still promising, but you wouldn’t be able to do this 3-Day Tre Cime Trek, because the rifugios (mountain huts) close by late September.

How to Get to the Dolomites

Puez-Geisler Nature Park - Dolomites Road Trip Itinerary

The closest airport to the Dolomites is Bolzano Airport in South Tyrol, which is recently back in operation.

The Bolzano Airport is serviced by the SkyAlps fleet, which offers nonstop flights to small and medium-sized cities in Europe including Berlin, Hamburg, Dusseldorf, Copenhagen, Billund, and Antwerp.

It’s only a 45 minute drive from Bolzano to Val di Funes, the starting point of this Dolomites itinerary.

If you’re flying from overseas, look for flights to these international airports.

  • Munich International Airport, Germany
  • Malpensa Airport, Milan, Italy
  • Marco Polo International Airport, Venice, Italy

If you’re flying more regionally, also look for flights to these airports:

  • Valerio Catullo Airport, Verona, Italy
  • Innsbruck Airport, Austria
  • Treviso Airport, Treviso, Italy

From the airport, rent a car and drive several hours to Val di Funes/Villnöß. Here are the approximate driving times it takes to get from each respective airport to Val di Funes. You’ll probably want to add some buffer time, because… mountains.

  • Munich to Val di Funes: 3 hours
  • Milan to Val di Funes: 4 hours
  • Venice to Val di Funes: 3 hours
  • Verona to Val di Funes: 2 hours
  • Treviso to Val di Funes: 3 hours
  • Innsbruck to Val di Funes: 1:15 hours

Learn More: How to Get to the Dolomites

Renting a Car in the Dolomites

We recommend using the car rental reservation platform to search for and book car rentals in Northern Italy. This easy-to-use booking platform compares car rental deals from 500+ trusted providers, so that you can choose the best option for your trip. 

Tip: If you can only drive automatic transmission cars, as opposed to manual transmission cars (stick shift), book your car rental as early as possible.

Check car rental rates here.

Driving in the Dolomites

SS243, Passo Gardena, Dolomites Road Trip Itinerary

Driving in the Dolomites is riveting. Serpentine roads cut across mountain passes delivering nonstop memorable views. Generally, roads are in great condition and by no means perilous.

Though Italy has a reputation for aggressive driving, we didn’t get that impression in the Dolomites. 

The only thing to be aware of is congestion. During peak summer months, some roads get really busy, especially the main road through Val Gardena. If you’re weary of traffic and backing up (to let buses pass), start your drive a bit earlier.

In July and August, there are also a lot of cyclists and motorbikes on the road (especially around mountain passes). That might be the hardest and most frustrating part about driving in the Dolomites.

Autostrade (Toll Roads)

There are toll roads across Italy called Autostrade. When you enter a toll road, marked by a toll gate, a machine will dispense a paper ticket (like in a parking garage), which marks where you entered the Autostrade.

When the toll road ends, or when you exit the toll road, you’ll drive through a second toll gate. Here, you’ll pay your toll, which is calculated by your Autostrada usage. 

You can pay in cash, or by credit card. To be safe, always have extra cash for tolls. 

In the Dolomites, we didn’t pay any tolls other than the road to Rifugio Auronzo. 

However, if you’re starting your Dolomites road trip in Verona, Venice, or Milan, you will likely drive on an Autostrade. 

International Driver’s License

An International Driving Permit (also called an International Driver’s License) is required for non-EU drivers.

When driving in Italy, you need to carry both your International Driving Permit and your overseas driver’s license.

Day 1: Val di Funes and the Adolf Munkel Trail

Geisler Alm, Adolf Munkel Trail, Dolomites Itinerary

Your Dolomites road trip begins with a drive to Val di Funes/Vilnöss, a 24-km-long valley in South Tyrol, stretching from Valle Isarco/Eisacktal Valley to the Odle/Geisler mountain range.

There’s no need to rush to get here because the best time to visit Val di Funes is in the late afternoon when the toothy Odle/Geisler peaks are illuminated by the sun. 

When you enter the valley, continue towards the village of S. Maddalena/St. Magdalena, which is the best place to stay in the valley. We recommend checking into your accommodation first.

As an overnight guest (of Hotel Fines and  Hotel Tyrol Dolomites) you get a free DolomitiMobil Discount Card, which gives you free use of public transit and a parking discount at the Zannes and Ranui parking lots. 

Learn More: How to Visit Val di Funes

Drive to Zannes Car Park

After checking in, drive to the head of the valley to Zannes/Zans car park, a popular trailhead in Val di Funes. The parking fee is 6 EUR per day, 3 EUR for half a day (arriving after 1 pm), or 2 EUR for DolomitiMobil cardholders.

From here, you can embark on many different hikes to scenic alpine pastures and mountain huts in Puez-Odle Nature Park. 

Hike the Adolf Munkel Trail

The Adolf Munkel Trail (Via delle Odle) is a hiking path at the foot of the Geisler/Odle Peaks.

Starting at Zannes/Zans, this gratifying circuit trail strings together some of the loveliest alpine pastures in Puez-Odle Nature Park, including Gschnagenhardt Alm, Geisleralm, and Dusleralm.

This hike is all about savoring the journey. So, go slowly, eat tons of South Tyrolean food, drink beer (or your favorite drink), and enjoy the view. The whole loop is about 9.2 km and takes 3:30 hours to complete. 

Learn More: Adolf Munkel Trail Guide

Hike the Rifugio Genova Circuit Trail 

If you’re spending more time in the valley, we also recommend hiking from Zannes/Zans to Rifugio Genova/Schlüterhütte via Furcella de Furcia/Kreuzjoch.

Learn More: Rifugio Genova Circuit Trail

More Things to Do in Val di Funes

Stay in Santa Maddalena

The best place to stay for this hike and any other hike starting in Val di Funes is the village of Santa Maddalena. Here are three central options for every budget:

Budget Appartements Pension Sonia

Budget | Fallerhof is an active farm and a great-value apartment-style accommodation with stunning views of the Geisler Group. It’s a short walk to the Santa Maddalena Church (5 minutes) and the famous Chiesetta di San Giovanni in Ranui (15 minutes). It’s also an 11-minute drive (or 1.5-hour walk) to the Zannes/Zans trailhead. Breakfast is available upon request.

Midrange | Hotel Fines is a welcoming, 3-star hotel in Santa Maddalena, owned by a young and enthusiastic team. Guests love the rich breakfast buffet, central location, and hotel restaurant. Definitely book half board (breakfast and dinner) here. The DolomitiMobil Card is free for all guests.

Luxury | Hotel Tyrol Dolomites is a family-run hotel in Santa Maddalena. This is the best place to stay when you want to combine outdoor exploration with wellness and relaxation. Their wellness area encompasses a Finnish sauna, steam bath, outdoor pool, whirlpool, and a garden with sun loungers and parasols. However, the main reason to stay here is their South Tyrolean cuisine, made with locally sourced ingredients. The DolomitiMobil Card is free for all guests. Tip: book half board and book a room with a Dolomites view (“Geisler Blick”).

Look for accommodation in Santa Maddalena.

Day 2: Alpe di Siusi and Val Gardena

Alpe di Siusi, Dolomites

Drive to Ortisei in Val Gardena

Your Dolomites road trip continues to Ortisei/St. Ulrich/Urtijëi, a village in Val Gardena/Gröderntal. The drive takes about 40 minutes. 

If you’re staying directly in Ortisei (e.g. Hotel Angelo Engel), head to your accommodation first to park, check-in, and get your complimentary Val Gardena Mobil Card, which gives you free transit in South Tyrol.

From the village, you can walk to the Ortisei – Alpe di Siusi cable car valley station. 

If you’re not staying directly in town, you can also park in the paid parking garage located directly at the Ortisei-Alpe di Siusi Cable Car valley station. Parking costs 0.50 EUR/hour.

Related: Ortisei, Val Gardena Travel Guide

Walk across Alpe di Siusi 

Today, you’re going to explore Alpe di Siusi (Seiser Alm in German, Mont Sëuc in Ladin), the largest high alpine pasture in Europe.

Measuring 56 km², this expansive plateau is a great place for casual walking and spectacular views of the Sassolungo/Langkofel Group and the Catinaccio/Rosengarten Mountains. 

Because driving up to Alpe di Siusi is restricted during the day, you have to take the Ortisei – Alpe di Siusi cable car up to the plateau.

Alpe di Siusi is etched with 450 kilometers of hiking trails. We recommend the Alpe di Siusi Meadows Circuit Trail, which takes 4:25 hours.

From the Ortisei-Alpe di Siusi gondola mountain station, follow trail 9 to Schgaguler Schwaige and all the way down to Saltria, a small settlement on the plateau. Next, ascend the Hans and Paula-Steger Path (trail 30) in the direction of Compaccio/Compatsch, detouring to Gostner Schwaige and Rauchhütte along the way. Complete the circuit to the gondola mountain station via Malga Sanon.

Learn More: How to Visit Alpe di Siusi

Eat Dinner in Ortisei

We had dinner at La Cërcia Enoteca, a charming wine bar with live music. 

Address: Via Rezia 30, 39046 Ortisei, Italy | Google Maps

Stay in Ortisei, Val Gardena

B&B – Top Choice | Casa al Sole (3 nights minimum) is a newly renovated bed and breakfast in the center of Ortisei, only a short walk from the Seceda cableway and the Resciesa funicular. Highlights of staying here include the modern minimal interiors, comfortable bedrooms, warm hospitality, and delicious and plentiful breakfast. At Casa al Sole, Alexandra and Manuel host with great care and enthusiasm, and are always available to offer advice and help make dinner reservations.

Midrange | Chalet Hotel Hartmann – Adults Only is an excellent hotel featuring tastefully furnished interiors, a delicious breakfast buffet, a complimentary afternoon snack, and a spa area (bio-sauna, steam bath and solarium). This is an ideal accommodation for couples and anyone traveling without children. It’s a 20-minute walk (1 km) to reach the heart of Ortisei.

5-Star Luxury | Hotel Gardena Grödnerhof is a 5-star hotel in the heart of Ortisei, home to the Michelin star Ann Stuben gourmet restaurant. This wellness hotel offers unparalleled spa facilities, flawless service, guided hikes and mountain bike tours, and a weekly fitness program. Guests are treated to a welcome cocktail, generous breakfast buffet, and afternoon cakes and snacks (3 – 5 pm).

Luxury | Hotel Angelo is situated directly in the village center of Ortisei, walking distance to the Resciesa funicular, Ortisei-Furnes-Seceda cableway, and the Ortisei-Alpe di Siusi gondola (Mont Sëuc Ropeway). We loved the central location, the courteous staff, the wellness and sauna area, and our spacious room.

Luxury | Perched high above Ortisei, the newly-renovated La Cort My Dollhouse – Adults Only hotel offers 26 stylish rooms, a rooftop spa and pool, and fabulous views of Val Gardena. La Cort is a great choice for travelers who want more flexibility during their visit (no rigid eating times, etc..). Breakfast (7:30 am – 11 am) and Linner (4 pm – 7 pm) are included in the rate. If you stay here, you will have to drive 7 minutes into Ortisei to access the cableways (the only disadvantage).

Look for accommodation in Ortisei.

Day 3: Seceda and Puez-Odle Nature Park

Fermeda peaks, Val Gardena, Dolomites Itinerary #dolomites #italy

Hike the Seceda Ridgeline

Day 3 of your Dolomites itinerary is all about experiencing the striking Odle/Geisler Peaks from the Seceda ridgeline – that view you’ve probably been dreaming about since you decided to travel to the Dolomites.

There are several approaches to the Seceda Ridgeline. The first two options require cableway ascents/descents. The third option does not.

Option 1: The Ortisei – Furnes – Seceda Cableways

This is the easiest and fastest way to see Seceda. You’ll take the Ortisei-Furnes-Seceda cable car from Ortisei directly up to the Seceda mountain station.

At the summit station, it’s a 10-minute walk to the Seceda lookout point.

The best way to experience these stunning mountains is to hike along the Seceda ridge to the Pana Scharte and then continue to Pieralongia and Rifugio Firenze/Regensburger Hütte (2040 m).

Learn More: Seceda to Rifugio Firenze/Regensburger Hütte Trail Guide 

Option 2: Resciesa Plateau to Seceda

In this option, you’ll approach Seceda via the Resciesa plateau. First, take the Resciesa Funicular up to Resciesa plateau and then hike to Malga Brogles.

From here, it’s a steep ascent to the Seceda ridge via the Mittagsscharte.

This is a challenging route for experienced hikers.

Learn More: Resciesca to Malga Brogles to Seceda Trail Guide

Option 3: Hike to Seceda without a Cableway 

If you’re visiting off-season, when the cableways aren’t operating, you can also hike from the valley.

Starting at the Cristauta/Praplan Parking Lot above Santa Cristina, you can hike up to Seceda.

We recommend descending via Monte Pic on your way back down. 

Learn More: Monte Pic and Seceda Trail Guide

More Hikes in Val Gardena

If you’re extending your stay in Val Gardena, also check out our Puez-Odle Nature Park guide and these trails:

Stay in Ortisei, Val Gardena

Stay another night in Ortisei: Casa al Sole (midrange), Chalet Hotel Hartmann (midrange), Hotel Engel Angelo (luxury), La Cort My Dollhouse – Adults Only (luxury), or Hotel Gardena Grödnerhof (5-star luxury).

Look for accommodation in Ortisei.

Day 4: Sella and Pordoi Passes, Cortina d’Ampezzo, Lago di Sorapis

Lago di Sorapiss - Dolomites Road Trip Itinerary - 7 Days

Drive to Cortina d’Ampezzo

On day 4 of your Dolomites road trip, you’ll depart Val Gardena and drive to the town of Cortina d’Ampezzo in Ampezzo Valley, Belluno.

There are two main routes to Cortina d’Ampezzo:

  1. Via Passo Sella, Passo Pordoi, and Passo Fazarego mountain passes (2:00 – 2:30 hours) 
  2. Via Passo Gardena, Alta Badia, Passo Valparola, and Passo Fazarego mountain passes (1:40 – 2:10 hours)

Both routes are stunning. In the first option, you’ll drive a longer distance on the Great Dolomites Road (Grande Strada della Dolomiti), a dramatic route that connects Bolzano with Cortina d’Ampezzo (110 km).

Along the way, you can hike the panoramic Viel dal Pan trail, starting at Passo Pordoi.

If you’re looking to expand this 7 Day Dolomites itinerary, we recommend heading to Alta Badia first.

Spend at least 2 nights in Alta Badia (in Corvara, La Villa, or San Cassiano), before continuing your journey to Cortina d’Ampezzo via Passo Valparola and Passo Falzarego

Hike to Lago di Sorapis

Lake Sorapis is a glacial lake in the Sorapiss Group in the province of Belluno.

Set in a natural natural amphitheater and ringed by forest and rock, Lago di Sorapis enchants with its milky-turquoise hue and imposing mountain backdrop. 

The easiest way to get to Lake Sorapis is from the Passo Tre Croci mountain pass, located about halfway between Cortina d’Ampezzo and Lake Misurina. It’s a 15-minute drive from Cortina to the pass.

From Passo Tre Croci, follow trail 215 in the direction of Rifugio Vandelli. Trail 215 is initially wide and level. After about an hour, the trail becomes increasingly steep and narrow. There are some exposed sections, secured with cables. 

Shortly before arriving at the lake, you can detour to the Rifugio Vandelli mountain hut.

Most hikers will return to Passo Tre Croci along the same route. However, there’s an exciting alternative route via the Forcella Marcuoira saddle.

The Forcella Marcuoira route is best undertaken by experienced alpine hikers, who are confident in steep rocky terrain. 

Learn More: Lago di Sorapis Trail Guide

Insider Tip: If you’re visiting during high season, you may way to skip Lago di Sorapis. For a quieter trail experience, consider the Tofana di Rozes circuit trail, or even the Croda da Lago circuit trail.

Stay in Sesto or in Cortina d’Ampezzo

If you’re planning on doing this Tre Cime di Lavaredo 3 Day Trek, continue driving to Sesto/Sexten. 

If you’re not planning on doing the hut-to-hut hike, stay tonight in Cortina d’Ampezzo

Sesto Accommodations

Budget | B&B Grüne Laterne – Lanterna Verde is a traditional, alpine guesthouse with an on-site restaurant.

Midrange | Hotel Royal is a 3-star-superior hotel with alpine-modern rooms and apartments in Sesto. Stay here for the hospitality, dreamy mountain views, and fantastic breakfast buffet. 

Midrange | Hotel Schoenblick is a lovely 3-star hotel with sparkling clean rooms and apartments facing the Sesto Sundial. Breakfast is included and half board is optional. 3 nights minimum stay requirement in high season.

Luxury | Boasting a 2500 m2 wellness area and its own sulphur source, Bad Moos Dolomites Spa Resort offers guests the greatest gift of all: relaxation. Learn more about this spa hotel in Best Hotels in the Dolomites.

Luxury | Hotel Dolomitenhof & Chalet Alte Post is located directly at the Fischleinbodenhütte trailhead in Tre Cime Nature Park. The views of Val Fiscalina/Fischleintal Valley and the Sexten Dolomites are spectacular. Guests love the breakfast terrace, wellness facilities, restaurant, and of course the location. 

5-star Luxury | Hotel Monika – MY WELLBEING HOTEL DOLOMITES enjoys a splendid setting on the edge of a meadow with views of the Sexten Dolomites. The hotel spa dazzles with its sky infinity outdoor pool, indoor pool, five saunas, and relaxation zones. You can schedule massages and other treatments as well. Book half board to savor the full experience. 

Look for accommodation in Sesto/Sexten.

If you’re having trouble finding accommodations in Sesto, you can also stay in nearby San Candido: Residence Silvia (budget), Residence Kugler (apartments), ATTO Suites & Cuisine (luxury), or Naturhotel Leitlhof (luxury).

Cortina d’Ampezzo Accommodations

Budget | Hotel Meuble Oasi is a guesthouse set in the town center of Cortina d’Ampezzo, walking distance to the pedestrian zone and bus station. Book this 2-star hotel for the unbeatable price, location, spotless ooms, and on-site parking. 

Midrange | Baita Fraina is a charming B&B with six rooms with balconies, 3km from Cortina’s town center (5 minute drive). This guesthouse is also home to a Michelin recommended à la carte restaurant, which serves regional cuisine. Stay here for the mountain views, the affordability, and the food.

Midrange | Hotel Villa Alpina is a centrally-located 3-star-superior hotel housed in a historic villa. Rooms are comfortable and feature parquet floors and alpine furnishings. The room rate includes breakfast and outdoor parking. 

Midrange | Ambra Cortina Luxury&Fashion Hotel is a lovely boutique hotel with 24 thematic rooms and a bar in the very center of Cortina. Guests are treated to free on-site parking and an excellent breakfast. 

Top Choice – Luxury | Camina Suite & Spa is a 4-star boutique hotel, 1 km north of Cortina’ town center. This intimate hotel with 12 rooms offers alpine-style suites with comfy beds and ample closet space. Rooms are equipped with nespresso machines, air-conditioning, and soundproofing. We loved the high-quality breakfast and complimentary spa (3 saunas, relaxation zone, and showers). Read our Camina Suite & Spa hotel review

Top Choice – Luxury | HOTEL de LËN is a fresh-faced luxury hotel in Cortina d’Ampezzo’s town center. Interiors blend natural and sustainable materials with fine furnishings to create a relaxing, yet refined atmosphere. The hotel restaurant showcases local Ampezzo flavors in unique and exciting ways. We loved the charming, enthusiastic staff, the rooftop spa (1 complimentary hour), and communal areas (living room, cocktail bar, and restaurant). Breakfast is included in the room rate. Parking is off-site and an extra charge. Read our Hotel de Len review.

More Luxury Hotels in Cortina d’Ampezzo: Dolomiti Lodge Alverà, Grand Hotel Savoia Cortina d’Ampezzo, Rosapetra SPA Resort, and Faloria Mountain Spa Resort

Look for accommodation in Cortina d’Ampezzo.

Day 5: Tre Cime di Lavaredo Trek Stage 1

Tre Cime di Lavaredo Hike, Dolomites, Italy

Val Fiscalina to Tre Cime di Lavaredo

Today, you’ll begin this 3-day hut-to-hut hike in Tre Cime Nature Park, starting in Val Fiscalina/Fischleintal in Sesto/Sexten.

Due to new traffic regulations in Val Fiscalina, we recommend starting stage 1 of your Tre Cime di Lavaredo trek in the village of Sesto, or at the Parcheggio Croda Rossa/Parkplatz Rotwand car park. Exact Location: Google Maps.

Stage 1 of this Tre Cime trek begins with a steady ascent to Rifugio Locatelli/Dreizinnenhütte (2438 m). It takes about 3:30 hours to reach the refuge via trail 102 from the Fischleinbodenhütte. Add an additional 1:15 hrs if you start in Sesto, or 30 minutes, if you start at the Croda Rossa car park.

Directly facing the north side of the iconic Three Peaks (Tre Cime/Drei Zinnen), Rifugio Locatelli is arguably the most perfectly positioned mountain hut in the Dolomites.

And luckily for all hungry visitors, the hut has a restaurant serving South Tyrolean cuisine.

Learn More: Hut to Hut Hiking in the Dolomites

Stay in Rifugio Locatelli/Dreizinnenhütte, or Rifugio Lavaredo

Tonight, you can stay in Dreizinnenhütte. Or, you can continue on Trail 101 to Rifugio Lavaredo, or even Rifugio Auronzo. 

The location of the Rifugio Lavaredo is absolutely spectacular and definitely rivals that of Locatelli. The jagged, purple Cadini di Misurina mountains form the backdrop of the hut.

We stayed in a 6-bed dormitory-style room in Rifugio Lavaredo, which was clean and comfortable. However, in comparison to the other mountain huts, the food was subpar.

IMPORTANT: Make reservations for mountain huts months in advance of your Dolomites trip .

Alternative Day 5 Dolomites Itinerary

Tre Cime di Lavaredo Sunset, Dolomites

Tre Cime di Lavaredo Circuit Trail & the Cadini di Misurina Viewpoint

For those who opted out of the 3-day trek, you can still experience the beauty of Tre Cime di Lavaredo (Drei Zinnen, Three Peaks) by driving directly to Rifugio Auronzo via the Auronzo – Tre Cime di Lavaredo toll road.

  • Toll Road Seasonal Opening Times: Late May/Early June – Late October/Early November, depending on weather conditions. 
  • Toll Road Operating Times: The operating times change throughout the season. Email [email protected] for current times. 
  • Payment: Cash or Credit Card 
  • Cost: 30 EUR for cars, 20 EUR for motorcycles, 45 EUR for campervans/caravans
  • Parking: There are 700 parking spaces next to Rifugio Auronzo. The toll gate closes when the parking lot reaches full capacity. 

From Rifugio Auronzo, you can circuit the famous three peaks along the well-trodden Tre Cime di Lavaredo Circuit Trail.

Before, or after completing the circuit, we recommend detouring to the Cadini di Misurina viewpoint (30 minutes one-way).

Insider Tip: If you’re looking for a more challenging hike in the Sexten Dolomites, consider the Sentiero Bonacossa Trail.This hiking trail traverses the Cadini di Misurina mountain group. We hiked the northern route, starting at Rifugio Auronzo. You can also start the hike at Lago d’Antorno (and skip the expensive toll road).

After the hike, stop at Malga Rin Bianco for a delicious lunch, or dinner.

Stay in Cortina d’Ampezzo

Stay another night in Cortina d’Ampezzo: Hotel Meuble Oasi (budget), Baita Fraina (midrange), Hotel Villa Alpina (midrange), Ambra Cortina Luxury&Fashion Hotel (midrange), Camina Suite and Spa (midrange), Hotel de Len (luxury), or Dolomiti Lodge Alverà (luxury).

Look for accommodation in Cortina d’Ampezzo.

Day 6: Tre Cime di Lavaredo Stage 2

Cadini di Misurina Mountains, Tre Cime Di Lavaredo Trail, Dolomites

Tre Cime di Lavaredo to Büllelejochhütte

Continue the circuit trail around Tre Cime di Lavaredo to Rifugio Auronzo. From Rifugio Auronzo, Trail no. 105 begins at the end of the parking lot.

The trail continues to the saddle Forcella del Col de Mezo and then to the alpine pasture of Langalm. 

Langalm is a wonderful spot to grab a mid-morning snack. tTheir cakes are always delicious.

From Langalm, continue to Rifugio Locatelli/Dreizinnenhütte. We recommend eating lunch here, before starting the ascent to Rifugio Pian di Cengia/Büllelejochhütte.

Stay in Rifugio Pian di Cengia/Büllelejochhütte

Büllelejochhütte is a place where dreams come true.

Remotely situated, surrounded by dramatic mountain scenery, and gracing the clouds, Büllelejochhütte is the most charming mountain hut we experienced.

The staff was beyond kind and friendly. And, the hearty food was divine.

Alternative Day 6 Dolomites Itinerary

Lago Federa, Cortina d'Ampezzo, Dolomites

Hike in the Ampezzo Dolomites

Today, we recommend exploring the Ampezzo Dolomites. Here are our favorite hikes near Cortina d’Ampezzo. None of these trails require cableways.

Tofana di Rozes Circuit Trail. This thrilling, little-known loop trail starts at Rifugio Dibona, at the foot of the north face of the Tofane Group. The path circuits the majestic Tofana di Rozes mountain, delivering splendid views of Travenanzes valley.

Croda da Lago Circuit Trail. This moderately-difficult trail loops around Croda da Lago, passing Lago Federa and Rifugio Croda da Lago along the way.

Passo Giau to Monte Mondeval. This easy hike starts at the Giau mountain pass and ascends to Mondeval, a high alpine plateau bounded by the vertical walls of Lastoni di Formin, Croda da Lago, and Monte Mondeval.

Rifugio Nuvolau and Cinque Torri. Starting at Col Gallina, this short hike links together popular destinations in the Nuvolau-Averau Group, including Lago di Lìmedes, Rifugio Averau, Rifugio Nuvolau, Rifugio Scoiattoli, and the Cinque Torri rock towers. 

Stay near Lago di Braies

After exploring another trail in the Ampezzo Dolomites, continue your Dolomites road trip to the Braies/Prags Dolomites.

You can stay anywhere in Alta Pusteria/Hochpustertal: Braies/Prags Valley, Dobbiaco/Toblach, San Candido/Innichen.

Check out these places to stay: Garni Bergblick (Budget), Berggasthaus Agritur Moserhof (budget-midrange), Farmhouse Hanslerhof (midrange), Hotel Erika (midrange), or Silentium Dolomites Chalet (luxury).

Day 7: Tre Cime di Lavaredo Stage 3

Büllelejochhütte (Rifugio Pian di Cengia), Trekking Tre Cime di Lavaredo - Hut to Hut

Descend to Val Fiscalina/Fischleintal 

After breakfast, start your descent to Fischleintal via Trail 101 and later Trail 103.

After an hour, the trail winds around the Rifugio E. Comici/Zsigmondy Hütte, a lovely mountain hut surrounded by bell-wearing donkeys.

From this mountain hut, it takes about 1:30 hours to get to Talschlusshütte.

The trail eventually intersects 102 (the trail you took on the way up). From the fork, hike the familiar flat trail back to Talschlusshütte and Parkplatz Fischleinbodenhütte. 

Visit Lago di Braies

Lago di Braies / Pragser Wildsee, Northern Italy

The iconic Lago di Braies / Pragser Wildsee is an alpine lake in the UNESCO World Heritage Site Fanes-Sennes-Braies Nature Park.

More specifically, Lake Braies is located in Braies Valley (Valle di Braies in Italian, Pragser Tal in German), a side valley of Upper Puster Valley (Alta Pusteria, Hochpustertal) in South Tyrol.

Braies Lake lies at the foot of the north face of Croda del Becco (Seekofel in German, Sass dla Porta in Ladin), a towering massif (2810 m), which creates the jaw-dropping, picture-perfect backdrop of Lake Braies.

There’s a reason it’s called the Pearl of the Dolomites. And like any declared “pearls,” Lake Braies is not a secret. 

To enjoy your visit, it’s important to set expectations. You won’t be alone. There will be tons of other people, whether you arrive at 5 am or 5 pm.

Visit Lago di Braies by all means, but then continue exploring the nearby peaks and valleys of the Prags Dolomites. From Lake Braies, you can hike to Lake Hochalpensee (2254 m) and Hochalpenkopf (2542 m).

You can also tackle the demanding summit hikes to Seekofel (2810 m), Herrnstein (2447 m), and Grosser Rosskopf (2559 m).

If you’re spending more time in Braies Valley, don’t miss out on visiting the Prato Piazza high alpine plateau, the starting point for the easy Monte Specie summit hike and exciting Gaisl high trail.

Must-do Hike in the Prags Dolomites: Lago di Braies to Hochalpenkopf

Driving to Lake Braies

If you’re visiting Lago di Braies between July 10th and September 10th, you can only drive to Lago di Braies before 9:30 am, or after 4 pm. There are no access restrictions before July 10th, or after September 10th.

For information on parking and pricing, read our Lago di Braies guide.

If you’re visiting Lago di Braies during peak hours during the high season, pre-book your parking either on (P1 or P2), (P4), or (P3).

The P4 car park is the closest car park to the lake, followed by P3 (500 meters to the lake), and then P2 (800 meters to the lake). The P1 car park (formerly “Säge/Segheria car park”) is 5.5 km from the lake.

Stay in Braies Valley

Budget | Garni Bergblick is a darling guesthouse in Braies/Prags Valley, located a mere 5.6 km (8-min drive) from Lago di Braies, 6.2 km (9 min drive) from Ponticello, and 11.3 km (18 min drive) from Prato Piazza. Set in an idyllic meadow surrounded by trees, Garni Bergblick is the perfect base for exploring the Braies/Prags Dolomites. Breakfast is included in the rate.

Budget-Midrange | Berggasthaus Agritur Moserhof is a traditional and cozy farm stay, perched high above Braies/Prags Valley. Breakfast and dinner are included in the rate. From Moserhof, it’s a 5-minute drive down to the valley and a  11-minute drive to Lago di Braies.

Midrange | Farmhouse Hanslerhof is a mountain guesthouse and farm overlooking Braies/Prags Valley and surrounded by meadows. Guests love the charming stone pine rooms, homemade breakfasts (included the room rate), and quiet location. From Hanslerhof, it’s an 8 minute drive to Lago di Braies.

Midrange Hotel Erika is a 3-star hotel situated at the entrance of Valle di Braies. Guests have access to a lovely 400m² wellness area containing a Finnish Sauna (90 °C), steam bath (42-45° C), bio sauna (60 °C), infrared lounge, jacuzzi, and relaxation rooms. Rooms are clean and comfortably furnished in a Tyrolean-alpine style. A rich and varied breakfast buffet and a  5-course dinner are included in the room rate (half board). From Hotel Erika, it’s a 10-minute drive to Lago di Braies and a 20-minute drive to Prato Piazza. 

Look for an accommodation in Braies Valley.

Or, Stay in Puster Valley

Luxury | Hotel Christof is a new and stylish hotel in the village of Monguelfo/Welsberg in Val Pusteria. Stay here for the striking fresh-faced architecture, modern 600 m² wellness area, and excellent cuisine (you can book breakfast-only or half board). This modern hotel is a splash of cheerful color and laid-back fun on the South Tyrolean hospitality scene. From the hotel, it’s a 13-minute drive to Lago di Braies.

Luxury | Silentium Dolomites Chalet Since 1600 is tucked away on the edge of a forest, 2-km from the town center of Monguelfo/Welsberg. It’s a 15-minute drive from Silentium Chalet to Lago di Braies. Guests love the kind hospitality, picturesque location, and excellent breakfasts (included) and dinners (optional).

Look for accommodation in Munguelfo/Welsberg.

How to Shorten this Dolomites Itinerary

5 Day Dolomites Road Trip

If you have less than 7 days in the Dolomites, we recommend following this 5-day Dolomites Itinerary. Stay 2 nights in Val Gardena and 2 nights in Cortina d’Ampezzo.

  • Day 1: Drive to Val Gardena, Vallunga Valley
  • Day 2: Seceda, Baita Seurasas 
  • Day 3: Alpe di Siusi, Passo Gardena, Armentara Meadows, Cortina d’Ampezzo
  • Day 4: Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Cadini di Misurina, Lago di Misurina, Lago d’Antorno
  • Day 5: Lago di Landro, Lago di Dobbiaco, Lago di Braies, Prato Piazza

How to Extend this Dolomites Itinerary

10 Day Dolomites Road Trip

You could easily extend this Dolomites route by adding another day to Val di Funes, staying in Alta Badia, and adding another day in Alta Pusteria (Braies Valley/Puster Valley/Sexten Valley).

Alta Badia is the alpine resort region surrounding the upper Val Badia valley in South Tyrol.

During your stay in Alta Badia, we recommend hiking the Armentara Meadows (easy day hike), Cima Pisciadu (challenging day hike), Sass da Ciampac (moderate day hike), Gran Cir (easy via ferrata), Rifugio Fanes (moderately-difficult day hike).


  • 2 Nights in San Martino di Castrozza
  • 2 Nights in Val di Funes
  • 2 Nights in Val Gardena or Alta Badia
  • 3 Nights in Cortina d’Ampezzo

We also just published a 10-14 Day Dolomites Itinerary, which outlines a similar, but slighting different route.

12 Day Dolomites Road Trip

Many Dolomites accommodations require a minimum stay of 3-4 nights.

So in this Dolomites road trip, you can visit Val di Funes as a day trip from Val Gardena and you can visit Lago di Braies as a day trip from Cortina d’Ampezzo.

With extra time, we highly recommend visiting San Martino di Castrozza in Trentino, the best base for hiking in the Pale di San Martino Dolomites (aka Pala Group).

This destination is sadly almost always overlooked. And, it’s quite possibly the most impressive mountain range in the Dolomites.

Check out Baita Segantini (easy day hike), Val Venegia to Rifugio Mulaz (moderately difficult hike), and the Pala di San Martino Circuit (difficult day hike).

  • 2 Nights in San Martino di Castrozza
  • 3 Nights in Val Gardena
  • 3 Nights in Alta Badia
  • 3 Nights in Cortina d’Ampezzo

2 Week Dolomites Road Trip

In this 2 week Dolomites itinerary, you have ample time to explore all the top destinations in the Dolomites.

Like the 12-day variation, we highly suggest integrating a few days in San Martino di Castrozza to hike in the Pala Group and several days in Alta Badia to explore the Sella Group, Cir Mountains, Puez Dolomites, and Fanes Group.

  • 2 Nights in San Martino di Castrozza
  • [Optional: Add a night in Carezza, Val d’Ega, to hike to the Vajolet Towers]
  • 2 Nights in Val di Funes*
  • 2 Nights in Val Gardena*
  • 2 Nights in Alta Badia
  • 3 Nights in Cortina d’Ampezzo
  • 2 Nights in Alta Pusteria

*You can also base yourself 3-4 nights in Val Gardena and visit Val di Funes as a day trip.


  • 3 Nights in San Martino di Castrozza
  • 3 Nights in Val Gardena
  • 3 Nights in Alta Badia
  • 4 Nights in Cortina d’Ampezzo*

* From Cortina, you can visit the Northern Braies/Prags Dolomites (Lago di Braies and Prato Piazza) as well as the Northern Sexten Dolomites (Val Fiscalina) as day trips.

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Dolomites Trip Planning Essentials

Use our Dolomites Travel Guide to plan an unforgettable trip to northeastern Italy.

How to Get to the Dolomites

Read How to Get to the Dolomites to find out how to travel to the Dolomites from the closest airports, train stations, and bus terminals.

If you’re traveling without a car, also check out How to Visit the Dolomites Without a Car

Car Rental

The easiest way to travel between hiking destinations in the Italian Dolomites is with your own car. Check out our itineraries for trip inspiration:

We recommend using the car rental reservation platform to search for and book car rentals. This easy-to-use booking platform compares car rental deals from 500+ trusted providers, so that you can choose the best option for your trip.

Tip: If you can only drive automatic transmission cars, as opposed to manual transmission cars (stick shift), book your car rental as early as possible.

Check car rental rates here

Best Places to Stay

Figuring out where to stay in the Dolomites is probably the biggest hurdle to planning a trip to the Dolomites. We’ve created several guides to help you decide where to stay:

What to See & Do

During your trip to the Dolomites, you can go via ferrata climbing, culinary hiking, hut to hut hiking, cycling, paragliding, and so much more. We’ve highlighted our favorite experiences in Best Things to Do in the Dolomites.

Wherever you decide to stay, you’ll be surrounded by glorious mountain scenery and incredible natural landmarks.

In Best Places to Visit in the Dolomites, we’ve outlined the most impressive attractions across the Dolomites.

Dolomites Packing List

Hiking Gear

Outdoor Photography Gear

Dolomites Hiking Guides

Hiking in the Dolomites is our passion. Year after year, we love discovering new trails and expanding our knowledge of the area. For day hiking, check out Best Day Hikes in the Dolomites. For trekking, take a look at our guide to Hut to Hut Hiking in the Dolomites and Alta Via 1.

For region-specific hiking trails, check out:

Recommended Hiking Guidebook: Cicerone Guide: Shorter Walks in the Dolomites

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