The BEST Times to Visit the Dolomites!
The Dolomites feature year-round beauty – whether it is the pristine winter snows primed for skiing, spring with valleys full of wildflowers to hike through, summer when all of the hiking trails, via Ferrata, and climbing routes are open, or fall when the larch trees turn golden yellow and you have the trails to yourself. So when is the best time to visit the Dolomites you ask? The depends entirely on you!
If you like active vacations, summer is the prime time to visit the Dolomites. Hiking, climbing, via Ferrata, road and mountain biking, the Dolomite Mountains have it all! These Italian Alps are traversed by a network of trails that cross through entire Dolomite groups and allow for an in-depth understanding of the area. Plus, all of the rifugi (mountain huts) are open during the summer, so you can do an overnight trip on the mountain, hike, or bike hut-to-hut, or simply stop for lunch while you’re on the trail!
Throughout the summer, music festivals can be found throughout the Dolomites. And for cycling fans, in late June / early July the Maratona dles Dolomites takes place, the biggest of the annual Italian Granfondo bicycle races. This is always complemented by the Sella Ronda Bike Day, where all four passes are closed to automobile traffic, reserved exclusively for bicycling!
Visiting the Dolomites in autumn is otherworldly. The larch tree needles turn golden yellow, the air is crisp and fresh, and there are fewer tourists to share the trails with! It is also a fabulous time for photography, as the shadows become longer and the alpenglow on the dolomite rock formations turn to rich hues of golden orange and rosy pink.
If you visit in early September, there is a 3-day Ladin Festival in Canazei to celebrate the end of summer. Here you can get a taste of this Rhaeto-Roman culture including music, food, clothing, and crafts.
The imposing peaks of the Dolomite Mountains provide extraordinary terrain for skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and other winter activities. Boasting the number one ski resort in the world, and a past Winter Olympics site to boot, the Dolomites are a winter sports paradise for families, beginners, and champions alike! Plus, the sun shines an unparalleled 8 days out of 10 in the sunny winter paradise of the Dolomites – more than any other range in the Alps!
During the winter, many of the rifugi are open for lunches, dinners, and overnights, so you can take a break for a meal on the mountain, or do a winter traverse from hut-to-hut! And, if you arrive early enough in the season, you’ll also find several Christmas markets throughout the Dolomites. It makes for a guilt-free adventure when you can do your holiday shopping on vacation!
The Monti Pallidi, or Pale Mountains as the Dolomites were first known, shed their snow and the true color of the dolomite limestone is again revealed. Contrasted with green pastures full of wildflowers, the spring is a wonderful time to take have an adventure in the Dolomites! Hiking and biking trails reopen as the snow melts, the roads become full of cyclists, and the via Ferrata and dolomite walls are again ripe for climbing.
But why decide! The Dolomite Mountains are worth visiting over and over again!