Val Gardena Dolomites
Europe | Italy | Travel Guides

10 top hiking trails in the Dolomites (+Map & Instructions)

I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission. Read full privacy policy here.

The Dolomites in Italy are known as the “temple of hiking.” With their limestone character, these mountains have been listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site since 2009. The Dolomites are nearly twenty peaks culminating at more than 3000 meters above sea level, renowned for their very vertical slopes.

Here, hiking takes on its full meaning, and hikers from all over the world flock here, finding paths adapted to all levels.

Hiking in the Dolomites can be incredible fun if you plan your stay well and choose the right place and accommodation.

Here are my top 10 best hikes in the Dolomites!

  • Lake of Sorapis
  • The Gherdenacia massif
  • Piz Boè
  • Tofana des Rozes
  • Hans Paula Steger trail
  • The Circuit of Sassolungo
  • The ascent of Sassopiatto
  • The Cinque Torri tour
  • The three peaks of Lavaredo
  • Lake Federa

The Lake of Sorapis, a magnificent hike in the Dolomites

  • duration : 5h30
  • distance : 13 km
  • difference in altitude : 600 D+, 600 D-
  • type of route : outward/return
  • difficulty : moderate

Lake Sorapis is the perfect destination for all hiking enthusiasts in the Dolomites. In the heart of the province of Belluno, Italy, the hike to Sorapis Lake offers an enchanted interlude to those who take it.

The hike begins in a forest, through which the sun’s rays filter through the tall conifers.

If the first part of this hike in the heart of the Italian mountains is relatively simple, it becomes more difficult at the end, with a greater difference in altitude and narrow passages (ropes and handrails are installed to advance in a serene and secure way).

If you are prone to vertigo, this last part may seem more complicated, but the arrival at the lake rewards all hearts.

Of a turquoise blue color (due to its glacial origin), this little jewel located at the foot of the Sorapis mountain leaves all hikers amazed.

For the more experienced, this hike in the heart of the Dolomites can be extended to the glacier (about 1 hour of climbing and about 250 meters of positive difference in altitude).

The Massif of Gherdenacia, a sporting hike in the Dolomites

  • duration : 3h30
  • distance: 9 km
  • difference in altitude : 880 D+, 880D
  • type of course : loop
  • difficulty : difficult

This hike starts in the heart of the forest. The first part is rather quiet and allows you to warm up before arriving in a meadow where the trees disappear to make room for the cliffs and the ascent of their sides.

Ropes and ladders are available to facilitate the progress. These wired passages connect until they reach a rocky pasture.

Almost halfway, the Gherdenacia refuge appears, ideal for a break before starting the descent and well organized.

All along this hike in the Italian Dolomites, incredible views follow one after the other, leaving you with unforgettable memories.

But hiking also has a downside: cramps and aches. To avoid these inconveniences as much as possible, I put together a list of tips for recovering after a hike.

Piz Boè, an extraordinary adventure

  • duration : 5h30
  • distance : 7,5 Km
  • difference in altitude : 1500 D+ (1,500 feet)
  • type of course : loop
  • difficulty : difficult

Piz Boé is the highest peak in the Sella massif, with its highest point being at 3,152 meters! This demanding hike in the Dolomites offers unique and unforgettable views. A 360° panorama of the Dolomites rewards the efforts made.

Steep paths, cliffs, and rocky spurs await you on the ascent of Piz Boè. During the ascent, the vegetation gives way to a mineral universe. Because some sections of this Dolomites hike are aerial, you’ll need to be sure on your feet and have a strong sense of balance.

Although it is physically demanding, this hike is nonetheless magnificent. If the end of the hike becomes too difficult, you should consider the option of taking the cable car back down to the village, so as not to take any risks on the way down.

Tofana des Rozes, the 7th highest peak in the Dolomites

  • duration : 6h30
  • distance : 9 Km
  • difference in altitude : 850 D+, 850 D-
  • type of route : loop or round trip
  • difficulty : average +

This mythical summit is the 7th highest of the Dolomites (3,244 meters) and offers, to those who want it, a most memorable hike.

There are two possibilities for climbing this summit:

The round trip from the Angelo Dibona Refuge. This alpine hike in the heart of the Dolomites is for the most experienced and is between level T4 and T5.

The loop, via the Via Ferrata Giovanni Lipella (be aware that complete via ferrata equipment and a headlamp are required).In this case, it is advisable to go with a mountain guide.

The Via Ferrata hiking trail begins with a military gallery dating from the middle of the First World War (it was dug by the Italian army).

Ropes are placed at the exit to help with the ascent. The route ends in a magnificent limestone amphitheater.

Finally, to go down, you will have to take some small paths before returning to the Giussani hut and the parking lot.

An ideal hike in the Dolomites to get a closer look at the skies.

The Hans e Paula Steger trail, a hike in the Dolomites in the heart of a plant world

  • duration : 3h
  • distance : 9 Km
  • difference in altitude : 350 D+, 350 D-
  • type of route : One way
  • difficulty : moderate

This hike in the Dolomites, and more specifically on the Seiser Alm, is a tribute to the mountain guide couple and mountaineering pioneers Paula and Hans Steger.

Along the trail, information points allow you to learn more about the culture of the alp as well as its flora and fauna.

When you think of the Dolomites, you think of the cathedrals and the rock walls. However, the flora and vegetation are very present in the massif!

This hiking path takes you through meadows and valleys, forests and pastures…a real moment of disconnection in the heart of this protected area.

This path is simple; there is no significant difficulty. 

Seiser Alm
Seiser Alm

The circuit of Sassolungo

  • duration : 4h
  • distance : 14 km
  • difference in altitude : 600 D+, 600 D-
  • type of course : loop
  • difficulty : moderate

There are two options to start this hike.

The first is to take the cable car from the Val Gardena valley to the first refuge, Toni Demetz.

The second option is to climb on foot, following the path n°525. With about 500 meters of difference in altitude, this is the hardest part of this hike in the Dolomites. The advantage is that few people take it, so the path is free and you can enjoy the flora and fauna around you at your leisure.

For both options, the starting point once you reach the top remains the same: the Toni Demetz refuge. For the rest, it is better to be equipped with a good pair of shoes. The path is slippery and steep; it is not the easiest of the hikes.

Then, we go to the Vicenza Refuge and then to the Emilio Comici Refuge, which marks the end of this hike. A carpet of greenery, flowers, valleys as far as the eye can see, animals, and rocky mountains—this is the extraordinary landscape that you will see during this incredible hike.

The ascent of the Sassopiatto, an emblematic hike in the Dolomites

  • duration : 3 to 5 hours
  • distance : 8 km
  • difference in altitude : 1425 D+, 1425 D-
  • type of route : outward/return
  • difficulty : average +

The only summit of the Sassolungo massif that is accessible without any climbing experience, the Sassopiatto, starts steeply, along a steep path. This hike in the Dolomites continues in a green environment until the foot of the summit. From there, the path winds its way up to the summit ridge. The steep ascent to the summit ridge offers a reward for all the efforts of the hikers: a view of the Sassopiatto cirque as well as of the Seiser Alm. A 360° view that gives a real feeling of freedom is perched on this Dolomite summit.

However, be careful to follow the signs, because even if the signs are present all along the trail, inattention can quickly take you off the trail and onto a steeper path. In case of inclement weather, the ascent can be hazardous.

But apart from these few precautions, the ascent of Sassopiatto will be remembered for a long time.

The Cinque Torri Tour, the Five Towers of the Dolomites

  • duration : 1 to 2 hours
  • distance : 3 km
  • difference in altitude : 150 D+, 150 D-
  • type of course : loop
  • difficulty : very easy

Two more options before starting this hike:

  • a cable car
  • a winding path that, depending on the walker, will take you between 30 minutes and 1 hour.

The Cinque Torri are famous for many things, such as their varied climbing routes and their history. In fact, the Cinque Torri holds an important place in the history of the Dolomites. As the site of conflicts during the First World War, you can see the remains of trenches and panels that trace this history.

To admire all the splendor of these five rocky mountains, there is nothing better than to go around them. A short walk of one hour is possible at the foot of these mountains. Ideal for families, its ease allows all the practitioners to enjoy themselves on this path.

For the more athletic, you can go directly to the foot of the Cinque Torri chairlift to make the ascent through the woods.

This hike is very relaxing and allows you to rest your mind and let your eyes wander over all the wonders that nature offers us, whether it is the fauna, the flora, or the pastel colors of the sky, for the greatest pleasure of our eyes.

The Cinque Torri

The three peaks of Lavaredo, the most famous hike in the Dolomites

  • duration : 3h
  • distance : 12 km
  • difference in altitude : 300 D+, 300 D-
  • type of course : loop
  • difficulty : easy

The Three Peaks of Lavaredo are a classic Dolomites postcard and souvenir photo location. Iconic, these three peaks are the dream of hikers all over the world.

The first part of this hike goes smoothly, and we even take a wide path that allows us to walk around with our noses in the air to observe the landscape around us.

A small chapel often surrounded by grazing horses borders the path. It is the chapel of Santa Maria Ausiliatrice. A poetic picture is offered to all the hikers before continuing to the refuge of Lavaredo.

Here the hikers are faced with two choices:

on the left: faster, steeper—ideal for all climbing addicts—but with poor visibility.

on the right: longer, but with a spectacular view of the Trois Cimes.s

Throughout this hike in the Dolomites, breathtaking panoramas follow one another, and the desire to escape becomes a reality.

Lake Federa, a hike in the heart of the Dolomites

  • duration : 3h30
  • distance : 8,5 km
  • difference in altitude : 475 D+, 475 D-
  • type of route : outward/return
  • difficulty : moderate

This hike takes you to the heart of the Dolomites. Paths that weave through a forest of conifers, streams that sing in your ears—very rare in these mountains—and remarkable views of the Dolomite monuments.

For example, you can see the Tofana des Rozes!

Located at the foot of the Croda da Lago mountain range, this trail, although short, has a significant difference in altitude. However, the reward at the end is really worth it: a lake in which the surrounding mountains are reflected offers a very satisfying landscape. The ideal place to recharge your batteries. 

This hike takes you through a wide range of natural environments. Between the green valleys and the rocky plains, you will easily find satisfaction.

Conclusion

The Dolomites are full of hiking trails of all kinds, for the more athletic or the more contemplative. A real playground for those who love nature and wide open spaces. It is a dream destination for those who love nature and beautiful landscapes.

If you are a lover of roaming, this 10-day trek in the Dolomites will allow you to discover them in depth! And for those for whom the Dolomites have already lost their secrets, Italy is still full of hikes that will not leave you indifferent.


Did you know….
When you buy something after clicking on one of my links, I get a small commission. However, you continue to pay the same amount!


Love it? Pin it!

10 top hiking trails in the Dolomites

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.