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Visiting the Dolomites in September: Weather, Special Events, Hikes, and Where to Stay

September is the perfect month to hike in the Dolomites. The weather is generally stable, skies are clear, temperatures are mild, rifugios are open, hotels aren’t full, and cableways (chairlifts, gondolas, funiculars, etc… ) operate all month.

Though certainly not as crowded as July and August, September is still bustling with hikers.

September very much feels like the extension of summer. Though there are no wildflowers, landscapes are still vividly green across the Dolomites. If you’re interested in seeing fall foliage, it’s better to visit in mid-late October.

Late September is rutting season, so you may hear roaring stags in more remote areas of the Dolomites.

In this guide, we’re going to outline everything you need to know about visiting the Dolomites in September.

Almabtrieb Seiser Alm to St. Valentin, Dolomites, Italy
  • The weather is generally stable throughout the month of September.
  • The average daytime temperature hovers around 20°C /  68°F
  • Rifugios (mountain huts) are generally open until late September. Some high-elevation huts close the third week of September. Some huts stay open until mid-October, depending on snow conditions.
  • Cableways (gondolas, chairlifts, etc…) operate all month. 
  • Buses (in South Tyrol) operate the whole month of September, though there is a schedule change starting in mid-September, with reduced bus frequency. 
  • Between July 10th and September 10th, driving access to Lago di Braies/Pragser Wildsee is restricted during peak hours (9:30 am – 4 pm).
  • The Rifugio Auronzo – Tre Cime di Lavaredo toll road is open all month. In the unlikely event of a snow storm, the road will be closed.
  • The Dolomites Hut to Hut Hiking season ends around the third week of September.

Weather in the Dolomites in September

Pala Group in September, Dolomites
Passo Rolle to Monte Castellaz

September has a reputation for being stable. And for the most part, it is. But, freak storms can certainly happen. 

We’ve visited the Dolomites in September three times.

During our first visit to the Dolomites in September, we only experienced 4.5 days of rain out of 21 days. On the days that it rained, it poured all day. 

On one such rainy day, while hiking the Alta Via 1, the rain turned into sleet, which then turned into snow. And before we even realized it, we were in the middle of a snow blizzard trying to find Rifugio Lagazuoi (September 8th). For a semi-dramatic retelling of getting through this storm, check out this Instagram post.

Rifugio Lagazuoi September Snow Storm, Dolomites, Italy

Note to everyone: if it starts to snow and you still have a lot of elevation to gain, turn back around. Footprints and waymarks get covered up and you’ll have an impossible time trying to find your way when the snow is blinding you and you’re freezing cold.

The weather gods must have felt sorry for us. Because for the next 17 days we had brilliant weather with clear skies and burning red sunsets. 

The point is that September is generally a great month to hike in the Dolomites, but like anywhere in the mountains, the weather can be unpredictable.

During our second visit to the Dolomites in mid-September (specifically to San Martino di Castrozza), the weather was brilliant again. It only rained once during our seven-day trip.

During our third visit to the Dolomites in late September, we experienced unusually cold temperatures. Mornings were frigid, around 2°C (35.6°F). We had to scrape the frost off our windshields in the morning. We wore puffer jackets and leggings under our hiking pants. During this particular trip, the weather was actually sunnier and warmer in mid-October.

Average Temperature in the Dolomites in September

The average daytime temperature is 20°C (68°F).

The average nighttime temperature is 9°C (48.2).

Special Events in the Dolomites in September

Cattle Drives 

Alpe di Siusi / Seiser Alm to San Valentino / St. Valentin Almabtrieb, Dolomites

In the Alps, cattle, goats, and sheep graze in the mountain pastures during the summer months. At the end of the grazing season, farmers steer their cattle, goats, and sheep back down to their winter stalls in the valley. 

In many places, this cattle drive descent (Almabtrieb, Alpabzug, Desmontegada, Viehscheid) is a festive occasion. Locals celebrate the safe return of the animals by crowning their cattle with headdresses and outfitting them with large ceremonial bells. The farmers and herdsmen typically wear traditional folk costumes (“Trachten”). 

The “Almabtrieb” (German) / “Desmontegada” (Italian) marks the end of the summer in the Alps.

Customarily, these cattle drives occur on Saturdays throughout the month of September. 

In the Dolomites, you can see a traditional Almabtrieb in several places.

One of the most spectacular celebrations takes place in Primero Valley in Trentino. The “Gran Festa del Desmontegar” is a 4-day event culminating in the “Desmontegada” cattle drive. 

Almabtrieb in the Dolomites, Italy

In South Tyrol, there are several festive Almabtriebe including the Sextner Almabatrieb, the Langalm and Flodige Alm in Dobbiaco/Toblach, the Castelrotto/Kastelruth Almabtreib, the Compaccio/Compatsch Almabtrieb on Alpe di Siusi/Seiser Alm, and others. 

If you decide to participate, we recommend reaching out to the local tourist office in advance to find out where to stand. It’s not always clear where the procession takes place. 

Almabtrieb in Alpe di Siusi Seiser Alm, Dolomites in September, Italy

It’s a privilege to be able to see these traditional alpine events. In some places in the Alps (e.g. Schönau am Königssee), tourist offices have stopped publishing the dates of their Almabtriebe, because of idiotic spectator behavior, which has endangered and stressed out the animals. 

Please respect this tradition by not obstructing the way of the animals and farmers. Take your photos from the side of the road.

Learn More: Almabtrieb: Cattle Drive Festival in the Alps

Dolomites Rifugios Opening Times in September

Rifugio Firenze, Puez-Odle Nature Park, Dolomites
Rifugio Firenze / Seceda Hike

One of the most memorable experiences you can have in the Dolomites is visiting a rifugio. On a day hike, you can visit a mountain hut for lunch, or simply a refreshing beverage. On a hut to hut hike, you’ll overnight in rifugi at the end of each stage of your trek.

Mountain huts in the Dolomites are generally open from late June until late September. Some huts close down for the season on the last Sunday of September, while others close down on the last day of September.

If you’re planning a hut to hut trek in the Dolomites in September, it’s important to research the opening times of each mountain hut.Depending on the weather conditions, some rifugi will stay open until mid-October.

You can read about which mountain huts stay open in October in our guide to hiking in the Dolomites in October.

Hikes to Mountain Huts

Below, we’ve linked to all the hikes we’ve done, where you can visit a mountain hut along the way. Unless otherwise specified, these are day hikes. For a round-up of our favorite day hikes, read Best Day Hikes in the Dolomites.

Ampezzo Dolomites Mountain Hut Hikes

Puez-Odle Nature Park Mountain Hut Hikes

Sassolungo Group Mountain Hut Hikes

Marmolada Group Hut Hikes

Pale di San Martino Mountain Hut Hikes

Catinaccio/Rosengarten Group Mountain Hut Hikes

Sexten Dolomites Mountain Hut Hikes

Sella Group Mountain Hut Hikes

Fanes-Sennes-Braies Nature Park Mountain Hut Hikes

Gondolas, Chairlifts, and Cable Cars Operating Times in September

Col dala Pieres to Forcella Forces de Sieles secured route, Dolomites
Col dala Pieres

Hiking in the Dolomites is extremely accessible due to a system of gondolas, chairlifts, and cable cars across the region. Many hikes begin with cableways, thus cutting out long tedious ascents. 

Most cableways in the Dolomites operate the whole month of September. Very popular cableways will open up as early as mid-May and stay open until mid-October

We’ve listed which cableways you should take advantage of in September in the next section.

Where to Stay in the Dolomites in September

How to use this map | Click on each accommodation to display further information. Each color signifies a different Dolomites destination:

  • Val Gardena: coral red
  • Alta Badia: orange
  • Alta Pusteria: blue
  • Val di Funes and Bressanone: maroon
  • Alpe di Siusi and Castelrotto: black
  • San Martino di Castrozza: purple
  • Cortina d’Ampezzo: green
  • Val d’Ega: yellow
  • Val di Fassa: wine red

San Martino di Castrozza

San Martino di Castrozza, Passo Rolle in September, Italian Dolomites
Baita Segantini Hike

San Martino di Castrozza is an alpine resort town in Primiero Valley in the Italian Province of Trentino. This alpine town lies between the impressive Pale di San Martino Group (Pala Group) and the Lagorai mountain range. 

The Pala Group is the largest massif in the Dolomites. Its vast central plateau is easily accessible from the center of town via the Colverde Gondola and Rosetta Cableway. 

The Pale di San Martino Dolomites are breathtaking and often overlooked. Start your September trip here and you won’t regret it.

When to Visit: We recommend visiting San Martino di Castrozza in early-mid September. The summer season shuts down by mid-September. Start your Dolomites

Learn More: Top Things to Do in San Martino di Castrozza 

San Martino di Castrozza Summer Cableways

Colverde Gondola and Rosetta Cableway 

The Colverde and Rosetta cableways connect the town center of San Martino di Castrozza in Primiero Valley to Altopiano delle Pale di San Martino, a vast stone plateau reaching an elevation of 2700 meters.

From the Rosetta mountain station, hikers have access to many popular day hikes and via ferrata climbing routes. We highly recommend the Rifugio Rosetta to Rifugio Pradidali Circuit (aka Pala di San Martino Circuit).

Expert hikers may want to summit the highest peak in the range: Cima della Vezzana Summit.

Pale di San Martino September Hikes

Passo Rolle to Baita Segantini Day Hike

Val Venegia to Rifugio Mulaz

Where to Stay in San Martino di Castrozza

Budget | Residence Taufer is an affordable apartment-style accommodation, located 1 km from the center of San Martino di Castrozza. Apartments are clean and fully equipped, with all necessary appliances to make your stay here comfortable. The check-in/check-out is easy and uncomplicated. There’s a welcoming bar downstairs, where you can order espresso, drinks, and snacks throughout the day. And, the views of the Pala Group are sublime!

Midrange | Hotel Vienna is a welcoming family-run hotel, set in the heart of San Martino di Castrozza. This 3-star hotel delivers gorgeous mountain views, cozy and spacious rooms, and a great breakfast. The staff is very friendly and helpful.

Luxury | Sayonara Nature & Wellness Hotel is a top-rated luxury hotel in San Martino di Castrozza. Stay here for the spacious, alpine-modern rooms, the rich and varied breakfast buffet, and the 1000 m2 spa and wellness area. The hotel is a 5-minute walk to the center of town. The hotel’s on-site restaurant is open daily for dinner.

Look for accommodation in San Martino di Castrozza.

Cortina d’Ampezzo

Mondeval Plateau, Lastoni di Formin, Dolomites
Mondeval Plateau

Cortina d’Ampezzo is a resort town and municipality in Ampezzo Valley in the Italian province of Belluno in the region Veneto. The town is encircled by the Tofane, Sorapiss, Cristallo and Croda da Lago mountains. 

When to Visit: Most mountain huts around Cortina d’Ampezzo close late September. A few huts stay open until October, including: Rifugio Croda da Lago, situated along the shores of Lago Federa, and Rifugio Lagazuoi

Also, most cableways around Cortina stop operating in mid-late September. The good news is that there are many amazing trails around Cortina that don’t require a cableway ascent/descent (listed below).

For a more lively atmosphere, we recommend visiting Cortina early-mid September. If you’re more interested in quiet trails, visit later in the month.

Learn More: Cortina d’Ampezzo Travel Guide

Cortina d’Ampezzo September Hikes

Lago di Sorapis 

Croda da Lago Circuit

Tofana di Roses Circuit

Passo Giau to Mondeval

Lago delle Baste

Cinque Torri and Rifugio Nuvolau

Tre Cime di Lavaredo Loop Trail

Cadini di Misurina Viewpoint

Sentiero Bonacossa North Trail

Learn More: Best Hikes around Cortina d’Ampezzo

Where to Stay in Cortina

Hotel de Len, Cortina d'Ampezzo

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 rooms, 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 offers 12 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.

Luxury | Dolomiti Lodge Alverà is a splurge-worthy hotel in Cortina d’Ampezzo, featuring an on-site spa and pool, on-site restaurant, and plush suites. Guests rave about the hotel’s mountain views, breakfast, wellness facilities, and design. 

Luxury | Grand Hotel Savoia Cortina d’Ampezzo, A Radisson Collection Hotel is a top-rated, 5-star hotel in the center of Cortina d’Ampezzo. Although housed in a historic building, the entire interior has been renovated. Rooms are delightfully modern. Stay here for the superb on-site restaurant, impeccable staff and concierge, top-notch facilities (spa, indoor pool,  bar, and lobby area). 

Look for accommodation in Cortina d’Ampezzo.

Val Gardena

Col da la Pieres hike, Dolomites
Col dala Pieres Hike

Val Gardena is a valley in South Tyrol, stretching from Passo Gardena/Grödnerjoch and Passo Sella to Valle Isarco/Eisacktal.

The valley is surrounded by the Puez-Odle Group, Sella Group, Resciesa Plateau, Alpe di Siusi Plateau, and the Sassolungo Group. 

There are three notable villages in Val Gardena: Ortisei, Santa Cristina, and Selva di Val Gardena. 

When to Visit: Val Gardena has a very long summer season, beginning in early June and ending in mid/late October. Cableways, huts, hotels and restaurants stay open all month. So, you can visit Val Gardena anytime in September. It’ll be more peaceful later in the month. 

Val Gardena Summer Cableways

Most summer lifts in Val Gardena are open from mid-May until late October. If you visit in September, you can take advantage of all of the following cableways.

Resciesa Funicular

The Resciesa funicular connects Ortisei village with the Resciesa plateau. There are a lot of hikes you can do starting on this plateau, including the Resciesca to Malga Brogles to Seceda hike.

The Ortisei – Furnes – Seceda Cableways

The Seceda cableways connect Ortisei village with Seceda mountain in the Odle Group, one of the most iconic places to visit in the Dolomites. The summit and ridge of Seceda affords unforgettable views of the jagged Odle Peaks. We recommend completing this very pleasant Seceda to Regensburger Hütte circuit hike, starting at the Seceda mountain station.

Ortisei Alpe di Siusi Ropeway

The Ortisei-Alpe di Siusi Ropeway connects Ortisei with the Alpe di Siusi plateau. There are no shortage of hiking options. We hiked from the Ortisei-Alpe di Siuis gondola mountain station to Saltria and onwards to Monte Pana. For more hiking ideas, read our Alpe di Siusi guide.

Col Raiser Cable Car

The Cola Raiser gondola connects Selva di Val Gardena with Puez-Odle Nature Park. From the mountain station, you can hike to Seceda, Rifugio Firenze, and the Stevia Alp. You can also tackle these demanding summit hikes: Col dala Pieres and Piz Duleda.

Val Gardena September Hikes – no cableway needed

Vallunga Valley and Val de Chedul

Sassolungo Circuit hike

Monte Pic

Gran Cir

Sass da Ciampac

Cima Pisciadù 

Learn More: Best Hikes in Val Gardena

Where to Stay in Val Gardena

Dorfhotel Beludei, Santa Cristina, Val Gardena
Dorfhotel Beludei

Read our Val Gardena hotel guide to learn about the best accommodations in Ortisei, Santa Cristina, and Selva.

Budget | Garni Le Chalet is a traditional guesthouse in Santa Cristina. Stay here for the cozy atmosphere and affordable room rate. Breakfast is included.

Budget Hotel Garni Morene is a clean and comfortable family-run guesthouse, set in an idyllic location outside the town center of Selva. Stay here for the unbeatable price, mountain views, and hospitality. Breakfast included.

Budget | Garni Sunela B&B is an immaculate bed and breakfast in Selva with spacious rooms, a spa, bar, parking garage, and a phenomenal breakfast, including fresh eggs from the resident chickens. Check-in is only until 7 pm.

Midrange | Garni Hotel Bel Vert is a B&B in Selva, located on the Biancavieve Slope, outside the town center. Rooms are beautiful and spacious. There’s even a small spa. 3 nights minimum stay.

Midrange-Luxury | Hotel Freina is a welcoming family-run hotel in Selva with an excellent on-site restaurant (serving vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free options), wonderful spa, and free garage parking. 

Midrange | Casa al Sole 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.

Adults-Only Luxury | Perched high above Ortisei, the young, fun, and newly-renovated La Cort My Dollhouse – Adults Only hotel offers 26 stylish rooms, a rooftop spa and pool, and fabulous views. 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 Linnerl (4 pm – 7 pm) – are included in the rate.

Luxury | Dorfhotel Beludei is the finest hotel in Santa Cristina and one of the best hotels in the Dolomites. With inspiring mountain views, gorgeous alpine-style rooms, hiking trails right on the doorstep, and a chef that puts ingenious and creative riffs on regional cuisine, this darling hotel is quite the Dolomites dream. Breakfast, an afternoon snack, and dinner are included in the rate. Read our Dorfhotel Beludei Hotel Review.

Luxury | Linder Cycling Hotel in Selva stands out with its bold architecture, stylish urban accents, and laid-back atmosphere. Beyond the captivating design, Linder Cycling Hotel boasts excellent facilities, including a rooftop terrace, indoor pool, bar and the à la carte Luis Eatery restaurant.

Luxury | Hotel Tyrol is a traditional alpine hotel centrally located in Selva. The hotel’s restaurant offers creative interpretations of Ladin tradition with a Tuscan twist. Stay here for the cozy ambience, the wellness area (saunas, indoor and outdoor heated pool, indoor and outdoor whirlpool, salt cave with chromotherapy), and comfortable rooms. Outdoor parking is free and garage parking is an extra charge. 

5-star Luxury | Hotel Granbaita Dolomites is an ode to alpine elegance. This 5-star luxury hotel in Selva pampers guests with its lavish rooms, extensive spa area (7 saunas, indoor-outdoor pool, fitness room, spa), and decadent tasting menus. Book half board.

Val di Funes

Santa Maddalena, Val di Funes, Dolomites
Santa Maddalena Panorama Trail

Val Di Funes/Vilnösstal is located in South Tyrol in Northern Italy. The 24-km-long valley runs from Valle Isarco/Eisacktal Valley, just north of Chiusa/Klausen and south of Bressanone/Brixen, to the Odle/Geisler mountain range.

Val di Funes encompasses the villages of Tiso/Teis, S. Pietro/St. Peter and S. Maddalena/St. Magdalena.

When to Visit | You can visit Val di Funes all month. The alpine pasture huts stay open until mid-October, but the grazing animals descend to their winter pastures usually in mid-September. 

Learn More: Val di Funes Travel Guide

Val di Funes September Hikes

Adolf Munkel Day Hike

Rifugio Genova Circuit Hike 

Tullen Peak Hike

Santa Maddalena Panorama Trail

Drive to Passo delle Erbe and hike the Sass de Putia Circuit

Where to Stay in Val di Funes

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). 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 Slow Living is a 4-star hotel in Santa Maddalena in Val di Funes. Directly facing the Odle/Geisler Group, guests can enjoy the mountains from the hotel pool, garden lounge area, and bedroom balconies. If you stay here, make sure to book a room with a Dolomites view (“Geisler Blick”). We loved the hotel’s location, local cuisine, and attentive dining staff.

Look for accommodation in Val di Funes.

Alta Badia 

Fanes Group, Alta Badia, Dolomites
View from Badia Hill

Alta Badia is a mountain region nestled between the Fanes Group, the Sella Group, and the Puez Group in South Tyrol. Val Badia is connected to Val Gardena via Passo Gardena and Cortina d’Ampezzo via Passo Falzarego. 

Alta Badia encompasses the villages of Colfosco, Corvara, La Villa, San Cassiano, Badia, and La Val.

Alta Badia is a particularly polished region, famous for its Ladin culture, wellness hotels and exquisite cuisine. 

When to Visit: Anytime in September. Summer cableways and mountain huts typically stay open all month.  

Learn More: Alta Badia Summer Guide

Alta Badia Summer Cableways

In Alta Badia, summer lifts are generally open from mid-June until late-September/early October. See all Alta Badia cableways here.

La Crusc 1 (chairlift) and La Crusc 2 (gondola)

The La Crusc cableways connect the village of Badia in Val Badia with the Santa Croce Sanctuary. This is the start of the easy and romantic Armentara Meadows day hike.

Gardenaccia (chairlift)

The Gardenaccia chairlift connects the village of La Villa with the Gherdenacia plateau in the Puez Mountains. We used this chairlift to start the point-to-point Gherdenacia Plateau to Rifugio Puez hike.

Alta Badia September Hikes

Sass da Ciampac

Lake Pisciadù Day Hike

Rifugio Fanes Day Hike

Sass de Putia Circuit Hike

Trail of the Larches 

Gran Cir

Where to Stay in Alta Badia

Badia Hill, Alta Badia, Dolomites
Badia Hill

Midrange | Hotel Jägerhof is a fantastic alpine hotel and restaurant in Colfosco. With its attractive price point, modern alpine interiors with light wood furnishings, and high-quality cuisine, we recommend booking this gem as soon as possible. The hotel’s spa area comprises a Finnish sauna, steam bath, plunge pool, foot whirlpool, sensory shower, and relaxation room.

Midrange | Ciasa De Munt Lifestyle Living strikes just the right balance between urban and the outdoors, with its clean aesthetic, modern elegant lines and location in Corvara. Guests have access to top-notch wellness facilities, storage lockers, and a  washing machine. A fresh breakfast buffet featuring homemade cakes, cold cuts, and eggs is laid out each morning. Take advantage of the mountainside breakfast offering in their Piz Boé Alpine Lounge (2200 meters).

Luxury | Hotel Col Alto is a 4-star hotel in the heart of Corvara. We were impressed by the staff, the design, the extensive wellness facilities, deluxe bedding, and generous breakfast buffet.

Luxury | Hotel Ciasa Soleil is a boutique hotel in La Villa that wowed us with its excellent cuisine, relaxing indoor and outdoor wellness facilities, unbeatable sunset views, and striking design.

Top Choice – Luxury | Badia Hill is a 4-star boutique hotel with 33 rooms in Badia. This new property is an alpine-modern masterpiece with elegant and spacious communal areas, harmonious lighting and color schemes, and nature-inspired accents. Stay here for the sweeping mountain views, the infinity pool, the wine bar, and the overall design. Read our Badia Hill hotel review.

5-star Luxury | Hotel Fanes dazzles with its first-class spa facilities and skypool, phenomenal food, flawless staff, and magical setting in San Cassiano. Breakfast, a Marende (afternoon snack buffet), and dinner are included in the rate.

Dolomites September Itineraries

Val Venegia, Pala Group, Dolomites in September
Val Venegia

5 Days in the Dolomites

With 4 nights and 5 days, we recommend staying 2 nights in Val Gardena and 2 nights in Cortina d’Ampezzo. Read our 5-Day Dolomites Itinerary.

Alternatively, you can stay 4 nights in a single base. There is no need to move around if you don’t want to. If you stay 4 nights in Val Gardena, for example, you can also visit neighboring Alta Badia and Val di Funes.

7 Days in the Dolomites

With 6 nights and 7 days, we recommend dividing your time between two destinations. Stay 3 nights in San Martino di Castrozza and 3 nights in Cortina d’Ampezzo. Or stay 3 nights in Cortina d’Ampezzo and 3 nights in Val Gardena.

7 Day Dolomites Itinerary with Integrated 3-Day Hut-to-Hut

If you’re curious about hut-to-hut hiking and want to give it a try, you can easily integrate a short hut hike in a 1-week trip to the Dolomites. Read our 7 Day Dolomites Itinerary for inspiration.

If you’re planning a longer trip to the Dolomites, read our 10-14 Day Dolomites Itinerary.

Transit in the Dolomites in September

Pieralongia Spires, Val Gardena Dolomites
Seceda – Rifugio Firenze Hike

The information below is based on our experience using buses in South Tyrol. Use the Südtirol Mobil site for bus timetables. 

Buses run throughout the whole month of September. However, starting in mid-September, the bus schedule changes. 

High season is roughly from late-June until mid-September.

Shoulder Season is from late-May until late-June and from mid-September until mid-October.

The main difference between high season (early September) and shoulder season (late September) is the bus frequency and last bus departure. For example, in late September, some buses will stop operating an hour earlier than in high season.

What to Wear in the Dolomites in September

Mont de Stevia, South Tyrol, Dolomites

In early September, we hiked in shorts and athletic t-shirts. In late September, we wore hiking pants, merino wool jackets, vests, and even puffers in the morning. When overnighting in the mountain huts in September, bring a down jacket and fleece-lined leggings.

Hiking Clothing

Hiking Pants

Hiking Shorts

Base Layer: Quick-Dry, or Merino Hiking Shirts. We’re obsessed with these soft merino Arc’teryx lana crew neck shirts – Women’s / Arc’teryx lana crew neck shirts – Men’s.

Mid Layer: We never go on a hiking trip without this Columbia Women’s Powder Lite Vest

Mid Layer: Quick-Dry, or Merino Long Sleeve Zip Hoodie: We each own two of these merino Icebreaker Quantum III Long-Sleeve Zip Jacket – Women’s / Icebreaker Quantum III Long-Sleeve Zip Jacket – Men’s

Outer Layer: Rain Jacket

Outer Layer: Puffer Jacket

Wool Hiking Socks: We each own 7 pairs of these Smartwool womens Performance Hike Full Cushion Crew / Smartwool Men Performance Hike Full Cushion Crew



Sun Hat

Hiking Gear

Day Hiking Backpack: Osprey Tempest 30 Women’s Backpack / Osprey Talon 33 Men’s Backpack

Grade B/C high-cut hiking boots: Meindl Schuhe Island Lady (Kati’s Boots), Women’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX (Sabrina’s Boots), Men’s Hanwag Tatra II GTX (men’s equivalent)

Polarized, CAT 4 SunglassesJulbo Shield Mountain Sunglasses 

Hiking Poles: Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles

Reusable Water Bottle: Ion Leakproof 32 oz Water Bottle

Hiking Accessories

Climbing Gloves: Black Diamond Half Finger Gloves

Headlamp: Black Diamond Equipment Spot 350 Headlamp

Micro Spikes: CAMP USA Inc Chainsen Pro

Special Equipment

If you plan on hiking the Sentiero Bonacossa Trail or Gran Cir, we recommend bringing a helmet and climbing gloves.

Women’s Climbing Helmet: black diamond women’s climbing helmet

Men’s Climbing Helmet: black diamond men’s climbing helmet

Unisex Climbing Gloves: Black Diamond Crag Half-Finger Gloves

Dolomites Trip Planning Essentials

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

When to Visit the Dolomites

Winter Season. For skiing and winter activities, the best time to visit is between mid/late December and March.

Summer and Fall Seasons. The best time to road trip and hike in the Dolomites is between mid-June and mid-September. If the weather is stable, the hiking season can easily continue until late October.

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 three guides to help you decide where to stay:

We suggest choosing 2-4 bases for your Dolomites trip and spending 2-4 nights in each base.

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 iconic attractions as well as lesser-known destinations across the Dolomites, including Alpe di Siusi, Lago di Braies, Prato Piazza, and Lago di Sorapis.

Dolomites Packing List

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

Hiking in the Dolomites in September

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Moon & Honey Travel is an independent blog created by two passionate hikers. We are able to provide free content to you, because of ads and affiliate links. When you make a purchase using one of these links, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Happy travels and happy trails, Sabrina and Kati

6 thoughts on “Visiting the Dolomites in September: Weather, Special Events, Hikes, and Where to Stay”

  1. Hello. We plan to stay in Dolomites in the end of September for 8 days (22-30 Sept). We are family with kids (well trained for daily mountain hikes-did a lot of long hikes in French and Spanish Pyrenees). With a car. We would like to divide or stay between 2 places, not more.
    What areas you will suggest to stay in this time of the year? We would like to go to nice hikes within 1-1.5 hour of drive.
    Thank you

  2. Thank you!
    And if we’ll stay 10-11 days in Dolomites, do you suggest to split them equally-5 days Cortina 5 days Val Gardena? Or it is better to stay in Val Gardena more days than in Cortina? Is it not too much for Dolomites in this time of the year?

    • Hi Ann,

      10 days in September are great if you love to hike! I would divide equally. If I had 10-11 days, I personally would add in another base.
      – Val Gardena
      – Cortina d’Ampezzo
      – Alta Pusteria (Braies, San Candido, Sexten).

      When you’re in Cortina, you can focus on the Ampezzo Dolomites. And then you can head to Val Pusteria to hike in the northern Braies/Prags and northern Sexten Dolomites.

      Kind Regards,

  3. Hello. We plan to stay 5 days in the dolomites in the first week of september, but i am very indecisive about where to stay. What is, in your experience, the best place to stay having in consideration the hikes that it provides and the views? For example, if we stayed in Cortina could we easily hike or take a bus to Val di funes or Val Gardena?

    • Hi Alfonso,
      It sounds like you’re traveling without a car, correct? If so, it will be easier if you base yourself in Val Gardena, or Alta Badia. The transit system in South Tyrol is easier to navigate. Depending on where you stay in Val Gardena/Alta Badia, you may be able to access trails directly from town. The trails around Cortina d’Ampezzo are excellent, but it’s easier to get around with a car.


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