As the month progresses, the foliage turns increasingly orange and golden, reaching a colorful apex in late October. Generally, you can expect fewer people, peaceful hiking trails, virtually no thunderstorms, and lower hotel rates.
An added bonus of hiking in the Dolomites in October is the late sunrise (around 7:30 am).
However, it can also be the beginning of winter, with heavy snowstorms and freezing temperatures (rare, but possible in our experience).
October is firmly off-season, which means most high-elevation rifugios (mountain huts) and cableways are closed for the season. Additionally, many accommodations and restaurants close at the end of September, especially in Trentino and Belluno, Italy.
Autumn is also a very affordable season to travel to the Dolomites, as hotel rates drop significantly.
Visiting the Dolomites in October: Everything You Need to Know
Tips for Visiting the Dolomites in Autumn
- Base yourself in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Alta Pusteria, Val Gardena, or Val di Funes
- Hike in the Dolomites in early October if you want to visit mountain huts and alpine pasture huts. Some huts in Puez-Odle Nature Park and Fanes-Sennes-Braies Nature Park stay open until late October.
- Hike in the Dolomites in late October if you want to see golden larches and fall foliage.
- Mountain lake water levels are extremely low. By the end of the month, some high-elevation lakes (e.g. Lago di Sorapis) might be frozen and some small lakes (e.g. Lago di Limides) might be completely dried up.
- Stay in a hotel with an on-site restaurant, or an apartment/aparthotel with a kitchen. Dining is very limited in October, so we recommend staying in a hotel that offers half board, or in an apartment where you can cook for yourself.
- Stay in a hotel with spa and wellness facilities for bad weather days.
- Rent a car with winter tires (or chains). If it snows, it will be very difficult to drive over mountain passes.
- Bring extra gear for wintery conditions (microspikes, winter coat, gloves, beanie, etc…).
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Weather in the Dolomites in October
The average temperature in October is 6.8°C (44.4°F), with an average high temperature of 11.8°C (53.4°F) and an average low temperature of 1.8°C (35.4°F).
It’s crisp, but still comfortable. Just remember to pack a down jacket, beanie, gloves, microspikes, and hiking poles.
If it snows and temperatures stay low, the snow may linger, specially on north-facing slopes.
We’ve traveled to the Dolomites three times in October. During our first visit, we experienced very heavy snowstorms. During our second trip, the weather was stable and brilliant for the entire duration of our trip. On our third visit, temperatures were low, but the weather was stable.
The mountains are unpredictable and you need to be prepared. For that reason:
Rent a car with winter tires, or chains. If we didn’t have winter tires, we wouldn’t have been able to safely drive across mountain passes to our next destination. We recommend using the Discovercars.com car rental reservation platform to search for and book car rentals in 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.
Bring an ice scraper like this SubZero Ice Ripper Scraper. Most rental car companies provide one, but not always. Most mornings, we had to scrape off the frost from our windshield and windows, before setting off. In late October, it’s usually around 2°C at 8 am and 3°C at 9 am.
Stay in a hotel with wellness and sauna facilities. Bad weather days don’t have to be tragic if you have access to a nice wellness area. We’ve written about our favorite hotels with wellness areas in Best Hotels in the Dolomites.
Pack microspikes and hiking poles. We saw so many people struggling on slippery and icy hiking trails because they didn’t have the proper equipment. We always pack these CAMP USA Inc Chainsen Pro microspikes and these Unisex Black Diamond Hiking Poles.
Where to Hike and Stay in the Dolomites in October
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 Pusteria: blue
- Val di Funes and Bressanone: maroon
- Cortina d’Ampezzo: green
- Alta Badia: yellow
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.
Cortina d’Ampezzo is very quiet in October, as many hotels and restaurants shut down for the season in late September. Most mountain huts and cableways are also closed.
Luckily, the best hiking trails around Cortina do not require cableways. A car, however, is essential in getting around to trailheads.
Shoulder-season travel to Cortina means quiet trails, gorgeous fall colors (mid-late October), no traffic, and readily available parking.
Nonetheless, popular destinations like Lago di Sorapis continue to attract many visitors, especially during the weekends.
Cortina d’Ampezzo October Hikes
Provided that trails are snow-free, it’s possible to hike all of these Cortina d’Ampezzo hikes in October. None of these trails require the use of a cable car.
- Croda da Lago Circuit Trail
- Lake Federa Hike
- Tofana di Rozes Circuit Trail
- Lake Sorapis Circuit Trail
- Passo Giau to Monte Mondeval
- Lago delle Baste, Mondeval Plateau Hike
- Rifugio Nuvolau and Cinque Torri
- Tre Cime di Lavaredo Circuit
- Sentiero Bonacossa Trail – this hike is only possible in excellent conditions. Do not attempt this route if there’s snow, or ice.
- Cadini di Misurina Viewpoint Hike
Learn More: Best Hikes in Cortina d’Ampezzo
Tips for Visiting Cortina in October
Tre Cime di Lavaredo
During your time in Cortina d’Ampezzo, we highly recommend hiking the circuit trail around Tre Cime di Lavaredo (Three Peaks).
Though the mountain huts along the route will be closed, it’s still worthwhile to walk this trail. After completing the circuit, detour to the Cadini di Misurina viewpoint.
This Three Peaks hike begins at Rifugio Auronzo, which is accessible by a toll road. The road stays open until late October, or even early November, depending on snow/ice conditions.
If you’re not sure whether the road is open (e.g. after a snowstorm), contact the Misurina-Auronzo Tourist Office: [email protected]. If temperatures are low and there’s a risk of snow/ice, the toll road is only open during the day. When we visited in late October, the toll gate was only open from 8 am until 6 pm.
Lago di Sorapis
In Fall, water levels decline drastically in mountain lakes in the Dolomites. If temperatures are low enough, high-elevation mountain lakes freeze. So, if you visit Lago di Sorapis in late October, there’s a chance that it will be frozen.
This aerial cable car operates until late October.
Rifugio Croda da Lago / Rifugio Palmieri
Rifugio Croda da Lago (aka Rifugio Palmieri) at Lake Federa usually stays open until end of October, depending on snow conditions.
his is one of the most photographed destinations in the Dolomites in autumn, because the lake is ringed with larch trees. If there’s snow, you may need microspikes to hike up to the this mountain lake.
If conditions are favorable, we recommend hiking the full Croda da Lago Circuit Trail.
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 | 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.
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 | Rosapetra SPA Resort – Small Luxury Hotels of the World is a 5-star hotel with 34 rooms, located 2.2 km south of Cortina’s town center. Interiors combine raw materials of the region – fir wood and stone – with elegant furnishings to create a contemporary mountain retreat. Hotel facilities include: spa, steam bath, saunas, indoor pool, fitness room, and on-site restaurant. Breakfast included.
Luxury | Faloria Mountain Spa Resort is a gorgeous hotel with a dazzling wellness area (large swimming pool, sauna, Turkish bath, Kneipp path). You’ll love the mountain views, the caring staff, and the high-quality breakfast. The hotel is situated 3.4 km south of the town center.
Alta Pusteria is the Dolomites region surrounding the Upper Puster Valley (Val Pusteria/Pustertal) in South Tyrol.
It encompasses the villages of Villabassa/Niederdorf, Dobbiaco/Toblach, San Candido/Innichen, Braies/Prags, and Sesto/Sexten in South Tyrol. Alta Pusteria also includes the side valleys of Braies/Prags, Sesto/Sexten, and Val Fiscalina/Fischleintal.
This South Tyrolean region is also known as the “Three Peaks” holiday region.
Alta Pusteria is an excellent base for exploring both the Braies/Prags Dolomites and the Sesto/Sexten Dolomites. Additionally, Alta Pusteria is only a 35-40 minute drive to Cortina d’Ampezzo. So, the Lago Federa, Lago di Sorapis, and Cinque Torre trailheads are all a short drive away.
October is a great time to visit Alta Pusteria, because there are no traffic restrictions in Braies Valley (like in high summer) and congestion is low.
Many hotels and accommodations stay open throughout the month as well.
Alta Pusteria October Hikes
- Lago di Braies to Hochalpenkopf
- Prato Piazza Plateau to Monte Specie Summit
- Gaisl High Trail – This point-to-point hike is best undertaken when the Ponticello-Prato Piazza bus is operating. If it’s not, a circuit is possible. But, it would add 1:30 hours to the hike (3.8 km / 475 meters elevation gain)
- Val Fiscalina Valley Trail
- Torre dei Scarperi Circuit Trail
- Tre Cime di Lavaredo Circuit
- Sentiero Bonacossa Trail – only in excellent conditions. Do not attempt if there’s snow, or ice.
- Cadini di Misurina Viewpoint Hike
Tips for Visiting Alta Pusteria in October
Rifugio Auronzo Toll Road
The Rifugio Auronzo toll road connects Lake Misurina with Rifugio Auronzo, which is situated at the base of Tre Cime di Lavaredo. The road stays open until late October, or even early November, depending on snow conditions. If you’re not sure whether the road is open (e.g. after a snowstorm), contact the Misurina-Auronzo Tourist Office: [email protected]. If temperatures are low and there’s a risk of snow/ice, the toll road is only open during the day. When we visited in late October, the gate was only open from 8 am until 6 pm.
If the Rifugio Auronzo toll road is closed, you can still hike up to Tre Cime di Lavaredo from Val Fiscalina. Learn more in our Val Fiscalina guide.
An alternative route to Tre Cime di Lavaredo starts at Val Campo di Dentro (Innerfeldtal in German), a side valley of Sesto Valley. This Torre dei Scarperi hike is one of the best hikes in the Dolomites, but if there’s snow in the mountains, it’s not safe, because most of the trail lies on north-facing slopes.
Prato Piazza (Plätzwiese in German) is a plateau high above Valle di Braies/Pragser Tal Valley.
Late October is a great time to visit Prato Piazza with a car, because there are no road restrictions. The road is open all day and there’s no toll fee to drive up. We highly recommend hiking to Monte Specie for sunrise or sunset.
Prato Piazza is peppered with huts, which stay open in Autumn, including Rifugio Vallandro/Dürrensteinhütte and Rifugio Prato Piazza (Berggasthof Plätzwiese in German).
Lago di Braies
Autumn is an excellent time to visit Lago di Braies.
There are no traffic restrictions in Braies/Prags Valley in October, which makes driving to the lake stress-free.
The water level is significantly lower in October, but the lake is ringed with colorful larches.
Braies Valley Accommodations
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 400m² wellness area. Rooms are clean and comfortably furnished in a Tirolean 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.
San Candido Accommodations
Budget | Residence Silvia offers budget-friendly apartments in the town center of San Candido.
Luxury | Naturhotel Leitlhof is a 4-star-superior, climate-neutral wellness hotel in San Candido. Situated at a slight elevation and bordered by forest, idyllic Naturhotel Leitlhof overlooks the village and the gorgeous Sexten mountains including Haunold/Rocca dei Baranci and Dreischusterspitze/Cima di Tre Scarperi. Sunsets and sunrises are glorious here. The 2000 m² wellness facilities and outdoor pool are stellar. And, the cuisine is second to none. Read our Naturhotel Leitlhof Hotel Review.
Sesto Valley Accommodations
Budget | B&B Grüne Laterne – Lanterna Verde is a traditional, alpine guesthouse with an on-site restaurant.
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.
Top Choice – Luxury | Hotel Bad Moos is a spa hotel located at the entrance of Val Fiscalina. Boasting a 2500 m2 wellness area and its own sulphur source, this Sexten wellness hotel offers guests the greatest gift of all: relaxation. The extensive sauna complex lures you in with its cavernous, candlelit sulphur grotto, cold sulphur plunge pool (6.1°C), Kneipp trail, and multiple saunas.
Luxury | Hotel Alpenblick is an exceptional hotel in Sesto with a standout gourmet kitchen, committed to sustainability. Ingredients are sourced regionally and from their very own Alpenblick farm. Breakfast, a 5-course dinner, and an afternoon snack (3 pm – 5 pm) are included in the room rate. Beyond the culinary appeal, Hotel Alpenblick is a super friendly and welcoming accommodation with a spa and pool. 5 nights minimum stay requirement.
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.
Val Gardena (Gröden in German, Gherdëina in Ladin) is a valley in South Tyrol, stretching from Gardena Pass (Passo Gardena / Grödnerjoch) and Sella Pass (Passo Sella) to Valle Isarco (Eisacktal). Val Gardena encompasses the popular villages of Ortisei, Santa Cristina, and Selva.
We really enjoy visiting Val Gardena in Autumn, because many hotels, restaurants, huts, and cableways stay open all month. It’s also the best place to stay if you’re traveling to the Dolomites without a car.
Val Gardena October Hikes
The following hikes require the use of a cable car:
- Seceda to Regensburger Hütte Loop Hike
- Resciesa to Seceda
- Col dala Pieres Summit
- Piz Duleda Summit
- Alpe di Siusi Meadows Circuit Trail
- Hiking across Alpe di Siusi to Monte Pana
The following hikes do not require the use of a cable car:
- Monte Pic and Seceda Ridgeline
- Vallunga Valley and Val de Chedul
- Sassolungo Circuit Trail
- Passo Gardena to Sass da Ciampac
- Passo Gardena to Cima Pisciadù – only in excellent conditions. Do not attempt if there’s snow, or ice.
- Passo Gardena to Gran Cir – only in excellent conditions. Do not attempt if there’s snow, or ice.
Learn More: Best Day Hikes in Val Gardena
Tips for Visiting Val Gardena in October
In most regions across the Dolomites, cableways stop operating by mid/late September. Fortunately, in Val Gardena, many cableways run until late October, or even early November.
Consult val-gardena.com to find out which cableways are open, or closed.
These cableways make certain hikes accessible, by trimming off long ascents/descents.
Seceda Cableways | The Ortisei-Furnes gondola and Furnes-Seceda aerial cable car links the village of Ortisei with Mount Seceda. These cableways will be open from May 27 until November 5, 2023. From the mountain station, we recommend hiking the Seceda to Regensburger Hütte Circuit Trail. Consult seceda.it for more info.
Resciesa Funicular | The Resciesa funicular connects the village of Ortisei with Resciesa plateau from May 13 until October 8, 2023. You can hike a circuit atop the plateau, walk to Rifugio Brogles, the starting point of the Adolf Munkel Trail. If conditions are favorable, you can even tackle this Resciesa – Seceda Hike. Consult resciesa.com for more info.
Mont Sëuc Gondola | The Ortisei-Alpe di Siusi gondola links Ortisei with Alpe di Siusi Plateau. This gondola will be operating from May 19 until November 5, 2023. We recommend following this enchanting Alpe di Siusi Meadows Circuit Trail. Consult seiseralm.it for more info.
Col Raiser Gondola | The Col Raiser gondola connects Selva with Puez-Odle Nature Park. From the Col Raiser gondola mountain station, it’s a 20 minute walk to Rifugio Firenze. This Val Gardena gondola is operating from May 26 until November 2, 2023. From the mountain station, you can hike to the summits of Col dala Pieres and Piz Duleda.
Kabinenbahn Sellajoch-Langkofelscharte (Gondellift Forcella Sassolungo) | The famous 2-person “coffin” gondola links Sella Pass to Forcella Sassolungo (Langkofelscharte in German) and the Toni Demetz Hut. This lift is operating from June 15 until October 8, 2023. In October, we descended to the Langkofelhütte and climbed up the Oskar Schuster Via Ferrata. In hindsight, it wasn’t the best idea, because there was so much lingering snow.
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.
Midrange | Chalet Hotel Hartmann is a charming adults-only hotel featuring tastefully furnished alpine 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 15-minute walk to reach the town center.
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.
Santa Cristina Accommodations
Budget | Smart Hotel Saslong is a no-frills hotel in Santa Cristina featuring modern, minimalist interiors decorated in local wood. Guests have access to a self-service bar, free parking (indoor and outdoor), and on-site restaurant serving local cuisine.
Top Choice – 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. Welcome extras include free garage parking, complimentary guided hiking tours (for hotel guests only), an afternoon snack, and a lovely spa (steam sauna, Finnish sauna, relaxation room, whirlpool, indoor pool, and tea bar). Learn more in our Dorfhotel Beludei Hotel Review.
Luxury | Linder Cycling Hotel 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.
5-star Luxury | Hotel Granbaita Dolomites is an ode to alpine elegance. This 5-star luxury hotel 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
Val Di Funes/Villnösstal 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 enompasses the villages of Tiso/Teis, S. Pietro/St. Peter and S. Maddalena/St. Magdalena.
Val di Funes is a top-choice for October travel to the Dolomites, because all hiking trails are accessible and many alpine pasture huts stay open, weather permitting.
Val di Funes October Hikes
- Adolf Munkel Trail
- Rifugio Genova Circuit
- Tullen Summit
- Santa Maddalena Panorama Trail
- Sass de Putia Circuit Trail – starting at Passo delle Erbe
Tips for Visiting Val di Funes in October
Alpine Pasture Huts
Several trailside alpine pasture huts in Val di Funes stay open until mid-late October. These scenic huts serve food and drinks throughout the day, but unlike a Rifugio, do not accommodate overnight guests.
- Malga Gampen/Gampenalm – open late May until mid-November
- Malga Casnago/Gschnagenhardt Alm – open end of May until the end of October
- Malga Geisler / Geisleralm – open late May until the beginning of November
Val di Funes Accommodations
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 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 provided. Tip: book half board and book a room with a Dolomites view (“Geisler Blick”).
Dolomites October Itinerary
The best way to create a Dolomites October Itinerary is choosing 2-4 bases (Cortina d’Ampezzo, Alta Pusteria, Val Gardena, and/or Val di Funes) and staying in each base 3-4 nights.
Here are a few ways to structure your itinerary.
5 Day Dolomites Autumn Itinerary
If you’re planning a 5 day Dolomites trip, split your time between Val Gardena and Cortina d’Ampezzo. You can follow our 5 day Dolomites road trip itinerary for inspiration.
- 2 Nights in Val Gardena
- 2 Nights in Cortina d’Ampezzo
7 Day Dolomites Autumn Itinerary
With 6 night and 7 days, divide your time between two bases. We have a 7 day road trip itinerary, which is better for summer.
- 3 Nights in Val Gardena
- 3 Nights in Cortina d’Ampezzo, or Alta Pusteria
10 Day Dolomites Autumn Itinerary
With 9 nights and 10 days, divide your time between three bases. You can follow our 10-14 day Dolomites itinerary, but I would stay in Val di Funes instead of San Martino di Castrozza.
- 3 Nights in Val Gardena
- 2 Nights in Val di Funes
- 4 Nights in Cortina d’Ampezzo, or Alta Pusteria
Early October versus Late October in the Dolomites
Hiking in the Dolomites in Early October
Several mountain huts (Rifugio/Hütte) and alpine pasture huts (Baita/Malga/Alm/Ütia) stay open until mid-October (listed in the next section). That means you can enjoy the atmosphere, culture, and food of the huts without the summer crowds.
Also, some cableways still operate until mid-month, which makes popular hiking destinations more accessible.
Use the websites below to find out which Dolomites cableways are open in October:
Hiking in the Dolomites in Late October
If your main objective is to see fall colors and golden larches, it’s best to visit the Dolomites in late October (October 18th – October 31st).
With the exception of Val Gardena, cableways are closed across the Dolomites. That means longer hiking ascents and descents. That also means that some hikes are not possible because there’s simply not enough time in the day.
In addition to the hikes already listed (in the where to stay & hike section), here are a few more hikes you can do in late October (weather depending) that don’t require any cableways. Note: most mountain huts and alpine pasture huts along these routes will be closed.
Alta Badia Autumn Hikes
Pale di San Martino Autumn Hikes
Dolomites Mountain Huts Open in October
There’s a vast network of mountain huts across the Dolomites. These huts are generally open from late June until late September. However, there are a few rifugios that stay open until mid-October and a handful that stay open all month.
During shoulder season, some huts have “rest days.”
Below, we’ve listed out all the mountain huts (Rifugio/Hütte) and alpine pasture huts (Baita/Malga/Alm) that stay open in October, weather depending. All of these huts serve food and drinks during the day. Typically, only Rifugios/Hütten accommodate overnight guests.
Generally, most of these huts are located in Puez-Odle Nature Park and Fanes-Sennes-Braies Nature Park.
Always bring cash with you, because not all huts accept credit card payments.
Hut to Hut Hiking in the Dolomites in October
The hut to hut hiking season is essentially over by late September. However, the mountain huts along the first 3 stages of the Alta Via 1 are open until mid-month. So, if you’re craving an easy hut-to-hut hike in the Dolomites in October, you could do this route:
- Alta Via 1 Stage 1: Lago di Braies – Rifugio Sennes
- Alta Via 1 Stage 2: Rifugio Sennes – Rifugio Lavarella, or Rifugio Fanes
- Alta Via 1 Stage 3: Rifugio Lavarella, or Rifugio Fanes – Rifugio Lagazuoi
- Alta Via 1 Stage 4: Rifugio Lagazuoi – Cortina d’Ampezzo
You can book this self-guided Alta Via 1: Extended Weekend tour, which follows the Northern AV1 route from Lago di Braies to the Cinque Torri Region in four stages.
Learn More: Hut to Hut Hiking in the Dolomites
Cortina d’Ampezzo Huts
Alta Pusteria Huts
Val Gardena Huts
Location: Baita Seurasas is located on the southern slopes of Monte Pic above Santa Cristina, Val Gardena
Recommended Hike: Monte Pic and Seceda Circuit
Trailhead: Praplan/Cristauta Parking Lot in Santa Cristina, South Tyrol
Opening Times: June 10 – October 8, 2023 | Baita Sëurasas website
Baita Gamsblutt Hütte
Location: Baita Gamsblutt is located on the junction of trail 4 and 1A, just below the Col Raiser gondola mountain station.
Recommended Hike: Monte Pic and Seceda Circuit
Trailhead: Trailhead: Praplan/Cristauta Parking Lot in Santa Cristina, South Tyrol
Opening Times: Early June – mid-October | gamsblut.it
Val di Funes Huts
Malga Dusler / Dusler Alm
Location: Trail 36, near the park boundary of Puez-Odle Nature Park
Recommended Hike: Adolf Munkel Trail
Trailhead: Zannes/Zans Trailhead in Val Di Funes, South Tyrol
Opening Times | May 20 – November 10, 2023
Alta Badia Huts
Alpe di Siusi / Sciliar-Catinaccio Huts
Rifugio Bolzano / Schlernhaus
Location: Sciliar/Schlern Plateau
Recommended Hike: Rifugio Bolzano – Rifugio Alpe di Tires Circuit Trial
Trailhead: Compaccio/Compatsch, South Tyrol
Opening Times: June 3 – October 15, 2023 | Rifugio Bolzano website
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Dolomites Trip Planning Essentials
Use our Dolomites Travel Guide to plan an unforgettable trip to Northern Italy.
When to Hike in the Dolomites
The best time to hike in the Dolomites is between mid-June and mid-September. If the weather is stable, the hiking season can extend 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.
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 Discovercars.com 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.
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:
- Where to Stay in the Dolomites in Summer: best villages and towns in South Tyrol, Trentino and Belluno
- Best Hotels in the Dolomites: best boutique and luxury hotels in the Dolomites
- Dolomites Accommodation Guide: farm stays, mountain huts, wellness hotels, aparthotels
- Best Val Gardena Hotels: best accommodations in Ortisei, Santa Cristina, and Selva di Val Gardena
We suggest choosing 2-4 bases for your Dolomites trip and spending 2-4 nights in each base.
- Base 1: Val Gardena
- Base 2: Val di Funes
- Base 3: Alta Badia
- Base 4: Cortina d’Ampezzo
- Base 5: Alta Pusteria
- Base 6: San Martino di Castrozza
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, and Lago di Sorapis.
Dolomites Packing List
- Day Pack: 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)
- CAT 4 Sunglasses: Julbo Shield Mountain Sunglasses
- Hiking Poles: Black Diamond Trail Trekking Poles
Outdoor Photography Gear
- Camera Body: Sony Alpha a6400
- Mid-range Zoom Lens: Tamron 17-70mm 2.8 Di III-A VC RXD
- Wide angle Zoom Lens: Sony – E 10-18mm F4 OSS Wide-angle Zoom Lens
- Backpack Camera Clip: Peak Design Camera Clip
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:
- Best Hikes in Val Gardena
- Best Hikes in Cortina d’Ampezzo
- Best Hikes in Alta Badia
- Sexten Dolomites Hiking Guide
- Puez-Odle Nature Park
Recommended Hiking Guidebook: Cicerone Guide: Shorter Walks in the Dolomites