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Visiting the Dolomites in October: Everything You Need to Know

October in the Dolomites can be an extension of September, delivering clear skies and comfortable daytime temperatures, perfect for day hiking and photography.

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.

Larch in late October, Dolomites
  • 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…).

Weather in the Dolomites in October

Passo Falzarego in October, Dolomites, Italy

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.

Path of the Larches, San Cassiano, Dolomites

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:


Cortina d’Ampezzo

Lago Federa, Cortina d'Ampezzo, late October, Dolomites
Lago Federa

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.

Learn More: Best Hikes in Cortina d’Ampezzo


Tips for Visiting Cortina in October

Cadini di Misurina, Sexten Dolomites, Belluno, Italy
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: iat@comune.auronzo.bl.it. 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.


Lagazuoi

At Passo Falzarego, there’s a cable car, which connects the mountain pass with Rifugio Lagazuoi, one of the most impressive Rifugios in the Dolomites.

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.

Look for accommodation in Cortina d’Ampezzo.


Alta Pusteria

Monte Specie View, Dolomites
Monte Specie

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.

The main attractions of Alta Pusteria are Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Val Fiscalina, Lago di Braies, Prato Piazza, and Lago di Dobbiaco. 

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

Lake Prags, Lake Braies, Dolomites
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: iat@comune.auronzo.bl.it. 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

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. 

Look for an accommodation in Braies Valley.


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.

More San Candido Accommodations: Hotel Andermax (midrange) and Boutique & Gourmet Hotel Orso Grigio (luxury)

Look for an accommodation in San Candido.


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. 

Look for accommodation in Sesto.


Monguelfo Accommodations

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

Monte Pic, Dolomites
Monte Pic Summit

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.

This Ladin valley is wedged between the Puez-Odle mountains, the Langkofel Group, and Sella Group. This is the best place to stay if you want to hike to Seceda and across Alpe di Siusi.

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:

The following hikes do not require the use of a cable car:

Learn More: Best Day Hikes in Val Gardena


Tips for Visiting Val Gardena in October

Mount Seceda Photo Spot, Dolomites, Northern Italy
Cableways

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 31 until November 3, 2024. 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 18 until October 13, 2024. 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 11 until November 3, 2024. 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 17 until November 3, 2024. 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 13 until October 13, 2024. 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.


Ortisei Accommodations

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.

More Ortisei accommodations: B&B Lavi Ortisei val Gardena (budget) and Hotel Niblea (luxury)


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

More Santa Cristina accommodationsHotel Garni Ruscel (budget), Bed & Breakfast Kaserer (budget), Charme Hotel Uridl (midrange), and  Hotel Touring Dolomites (luxury)

Look for accommodation in Santa Cristina.


Selva Accommodations

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.

Find an accommodation in Selva di Val Gardena.


Val di Funes

Adolf Munkel Trail, Val di Funes, Dolomites
Adolf Munkel Trail

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

Val di Funes in October, Dolomites
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”).

Look for accommodation in Santa Maddalena.


Dolomites October Itinerary

Passo Falzarego, Ampezzo Dolomites, Italy

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

Croda da Lago Circuit Hike, Cortina d'Ampezzo, Dolomites
Late October 2021

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

Sass de Putia Circuit

Lake Pisciadù

Path of the Larches

Rifugio Fanes 

Passo Gardena to Gran Cir


Pale di San Martino Autumn Hikes

Val Venegia to Rifugio Mulaz Circuit

Baita Segantini


Dolomites Mountain Huts Open in October

Rifugio Sasso Piatto, South Tyrol, Dolomites

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:

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

Rifugio Croda da Lago in late October, Dolomites

Rifugio Lagazuoi


Location: Mount Lagazuoi, above the Falzarego Pass

Recommended Hikes: Rifugio Lagazuoi Hikes

Trailhead: Falzarego Pass / Falzarego-Lagazuoi gondola

Opening Times: Rifugio Lagazuoi website

Rifugio Croda da Lago / Rifugio Palmieri


Location: Lake Federa, beneath Croda da Lago

Recommended Hike: Croda da Lago Circuit or Lago Federa Hike

Trailhead: Ponte di Rocurto SP638, between Pocol and Passo Giau

Opening Times: June until late October/early November, depending on weather conditions.

Rifugio Fodara Vedla


Location: Fanes-Senes-Braies Nature Park, South Tyrol

Recommended Hike: Ra Stua – Sennes Plateau Circuit, as described in our Cortina d’Ampezzo Hiking Guide

Trailhead: Ra Stua

Opening Times: Late May until early November | fodara.it/en

Rifugio Averau


Location: Nuvolau-Averau Group

Recommended Hike: Cinque Torri and Rifugio Nuvolau

Trailhead: Col Gallina

Opening Times: Mid-June until early October, depending on weather conditions | rifugioaverau.it

El Brite de Larieto


Location: Larieto larch forest

Recommended Hike: Crepe de Zumeles Circuit Trail as described in our Cortina d’Ampezzo Hiking Guide

Trailhead: El Brite de Larieto car park, or Rio Gere

Opening Times: Mid-May until early November | elbritedelarieto.com


Alta Pusteria Huts

Rifugio Vallandro in October, Dolomites

Rifugio Vallandro / Dürrensteinhütte


Location: Prato Piazza, Braies/Prags Dolomites, South Tyrol

Recommended Hike: Monte Specie

Trailhead: Prato Piazza Car Park

Opening Times: mid-May to beginning of November, depending on weather conditions | vallandro.it

Malga Prato Piazza / Almhütte Plätzwiese


Location: Prato Piazza

Recommended Hike: Monte Specie or Gaisl High Trail

Trailhead: Prato Piazza Car Park

Opening Times: Early May until mid-October | almhuette-plaetzwiese.com

Rifugio Fonovalle / Talschlusshütte


Location: Val Fiscalina

Recommended Hike: Val Fiscalina Valley Trail

Trailhead: Sesto

Opening Times: mid May – October 20th approximately. During low season, the hut is closed on Thursdays | Talschlusshuette.com


Val Gardena Huts

Rifugio Firenze, Dolomites

Baita Sëurasas


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: mid-June until early October | Baita Sëurasas website

Baita Troier


Location: Puez-Odle Nature Park

Recommended Hike: Seceda to Rifugio Firenze

Trailhead: Praplan/Cristauta Parking Lot in Santa Cristina, South Tyrol

Opening Times: Baita Troier website

Rifugio Sasso Piatto / Plattkofelhütte


Location: Rifugio Sasso Piatto is located at the foot of Sasso Piatto on the Sentiero Friedrich August trail.

Recommended Hike: Sassolungo Circuit Trail

Trailhead: Passo Sella

Opening Times: Late May until early November | Rifugio Sasso Piatto website

Rifugio Firenze / Regensburgerhütte


Location: Puez-Odle Nature Park

Recommended Hikes: Col dala Pieres Summit, Seceda to Rifugio Firenze, or Piz Duleda

Trailhead: Col Raiser gondola mountain station / Seceda mountain station

Opening Times: Early June until mid-October | Rifugio Firenze website

Rifugio Fermeda / Fermedahütte


Location: Puez-Odle Nature Park

Recommended Hike: Monte Pic and Seceda Circuit 

Trailhead: Trailhead: Praplan/Cristauta Parking Lot in Santa Cristina, South Tyrol

Opening Times: Rifugio Fermeda 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 Geisler / Geisleralm


Location: Trail 34, 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: Late May until early November | Geisleralm website

Rifugio Genova / Schlüterhütte


Location: Puez-Odle Nature Park

Recommended Hike: Rifugio Genova Circuit

Trailhead: Zannes/Zans in Val Di Funes, South Tyrol

Opening Times: mid-June until early October | Rifugio Genova website

Malga Casnago / Gschnagenhardt Alm


Location: Trail 36, just meters away from Puez-Odle Nature Park

Recommended Hike: Adolf Munkel Trail

Trailhead: Zannes/Zans Trailhead in Val Di Funes, South Tyrol

Opening Times: mid-June until early October | Gschnagenhardt Alm website

Malga Gampen / Gampenalm


Location: The trail 33 and trail 35 junction in Puez-Odle Nature Park

Recommended Hike: Rifugio Genova Circuit 

Trailhead: Zannes/Zans Trailhead in Val Di Funes, South Tyrol

Opening Times: Malga Gampen website

Ütia de Göma


Location: Puez-Odle Nature Park

Recommended Hike: Sass de Putia Circuit

Trailhead: Passo delle Erbe, Alta Badia, South Tyrol

Opening Times: Ütia de Göma Facebook Page

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 | late May until mid-November


Alta Badia Huts

Rifugio Lavarella / Lavarellahütte


Location: Fanes Sennes Braies Nature Park

Recommended Hike: Rifugio Fanes and Rifugio Lavarella Hike

Trailhead: Capanna Alpina, Alta Badia, South Tyrol

Opening Times: mid-June until mid-October | Rifugio Lavarella website

Rifugio Fanes / Faneshütte


Location: Fanes Sennes Braies Nature Park

Recommended Day Hike: Rifugio Fanes and Rifugio Lavarella Hike

Trailhead: Capanna Alpina, Alta Badia, South Tyrol

Opening Times: early June until mid-October | Rifugio Fanes website

Ütia Ranch da Andrè


Location: Armentara Meadows above Badia

Recommended Hike: Armentara Meadows 

Trailhead: Santa Croce, Alta Badia, South Tyrol

Opening Times: early June until late October | Ranch da Andrè Facebook Page


Alpe di Siusi / Sciliar-Catinaccio Huts

Rifugio Alpe di Tires / Tierser Alpl


Location: Catinaccio/Rosengarten Group

Recommended Hike: Compatsch to Tierser Alpl, or Rifugio Bolzano Circuit

Trailhead: Compaccio/Compatsch, South Tyrol

Opening Times: late May – Mid/Late October | Tierser Alpl website

Rifugio Bolzano / Schlernhaus


Location: Sciliar/Schlern Plateau

Recommended Hike: Rifugio Bolzano – Rifugio Alpe di Tires Circuit Trial

Trailhead: Compaccio/Compatsch, South Tyrol

Opening Times: early June until mid-October | Rifugio Bolzano website

Rauchhütte


Location: Alpe di Siusi 

Recommended Hike: Alpe di Siusi Meadows Circuit Trail or Hans and Paula Steger Trail

Trailhead: Ortisei-Alpe di Siusi gondola mountain station, or Compaccio

Opening Times: late April until late October | Rauchhuette.com

Saltner Schwaige


Location: Saltria, Alpe di Siusi 

Recommended Hike: Alpe di Siusi to Monte Pana 

Trailhead: Ortisei-Alpe di Siusi gondola mountain station, South Tyrol

Opening Times: Saltner Schwaige Info

Gostner Schwaige


Location: Alpe di Siusi 

Recommended Hike: Alpe di Siusi Meadows Circuit Trail or Hans and Paula Steger Trail

Trailhead: Ortisei-Alpe di Siusi gondola mountain station, or Compaccio

Opening Times: late May until mid/late October | Gostner Schwaige website

Malga Sanon


Location: Alpe di Siusi 

Recommended Hike: Alpe di Siusi Meadows Circuit Trail

Trailhead: Ortisei-Alpe di Siusi gondola mountain station, or Compaccio

Opening Times: sanon.it



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


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 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.

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, and Lago di Sorapis.


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

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 & Kati

16 thoughts on “Visiting the Dolomites in October: Everything You Need to Know”

  1. I am a student studying abroad in San Sebastian, Spain this semester and am planning a trip for my boyfriend and I in the dolomites when he visits. We will be flying into Venice (October. 28th) and our return flight is a short 4 days later. I haven’t been able to pint point where we will be and what hikes will work the best for us but I want to say a big THANK YOU! This website has so much information, and I would feel lost without it all in one place. Also, thank god I found your page because I would have had no idea the Secada cable car will be closed when we go. Any who, thank you so much for your post and know it will go to good use.

    Reply
    • Hi Robin,
      Thank you so much for the feedback! Wishing you great weather this October! Have fun in the Dolomites!!
      All the best,
      Sabrina

      Reply
  2. Hello!
    Wonderful post. My daughter and I will be travelling to Italy October 13th. We don’t wish to rent a car, and wonder if it’s possible to visit the Dolomites without a car rental. Are there some tour buses? Public transportation? We do wish to do some hiking and of course will require accomo dations The airport we fly into is somewhat flexible.

    Reply
    • Hi Diane,
      If you’re traveling without a car, you can take this direct coach from the Venice Airport to Cortina d’Ampezzo (2 hours). Buses connect Cortina d’Ampezzo with major destinations, but you’ll need to plan ahead, due to reduced frequency.
      All the best,
      Sabrina

      Reply
  3. My partner and I have 4-5 nights to travel to the Dolomites from Venice in early/mid October. We will be renting a car. I was thinking of staying in Cortina D’Ampezzo for half and then possibly at the Utia de Borz, or would you recommend somewhere closer to a village? If so which area? We are looking to enjoy as much hiking as possible late in the season. This website has already been so helpful, thanks for any further insight!

    Reply
    • Hi Bridget,

      I would split your time between Cortina and either Val di Funes or Val Gardena, for the most flexibility/hiking options.

      If you can extend your trip by 2 days, I would then add in Ütia de Börz.

      Best wishes,
      Sabrina

      Reply
  4. Hello, I am planning to visit the Dolomites in Oct 17-20, 2022. Am planning to visit San Maddalena and thinking of staying at Hotel Proihof. From the website description the place looks quite isolated. This is my first time in this region. Would it be a good place to stay without restaurants nearby? My objective is to see the fall foliage.

    Reply
  5. Thank you for this post! My husband and I and our 2 year old son and 4 month old son are heading to the Dolomites this October for 2 weeks. I can’t tell you the number of times I have read this article as I’ve been trying to figure out the best options for where to stay, rifugios that are open in October, etc. – it’s been a real lifesaver! Thank you for all your research and documentation.

    Reply
    • Hi Beth,
      Thank you so much for the kind feedback! So happy we could help.
      Have an unforgettable trip to the Dolomites in October.
      -Sabrina

      Reply
  6. I’m visiting the Dolomites in late october this year, and boy oh boy your website has been a lifesaver! I can’t appreciate the detailed guidance enough! I realized too late in the game that Italian Alps in late October is a gamble, and have been panic googling non stop for a week. Found your site last night and felt the weight lifted off immediately. Tip of the hat to you, and stay gold!

    Reply
  7. Wow, you have so much information. I am wondering if you have any information for someone wanting to hike to the New Bivouac Fanton, near the Forcella Marmarole pass? I can’t seem to figure out what the closest town is that would be a good base. My son is studying in Florence and wants to go there the last weekend of this month, October 2022. Any advice would be helpful and much appreciated.
    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Hi Ayrin,

      The shelter looks amazing! But, we haven’t been. I recommend reaching out to a few local tourist offices for help.

      -Sabrina

      Reply

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