Here's the part two of hiking in Europe. You likely already read about my hiking recommendations and experience in Madeira, Portugal. Here's the Dolomites portion. I have lots to share here as we hiked nearly every day we were in Italy.
HIKING IN THE ITALIAN DOLOMITES
The Dolomites were a dream. The scenery, the food, the language. All of it was beautiful. When I shared with people that I was traveling to Northern Italy, many were confused why I wasn't going to Southern Italy or the Mediterranean side. Although I'd love to visit that area, Northern Italy was 100% worth it and I plan to go back for more adventures such as snowboarding and rock climbing.
To travel to the Dolomites, you can arrive via many airports and take public transportation or a car to get there. We chose to fly into Innsbruck, Austria and drive 1.5-2 hours into Northern Italy. We stayed in two different villages while there to explore more than one area and to be closer to some of the hikes we planned for.
Hiking/Wandering Alpe di Siusi
On the first day, we had planned to visit Seceda but we struggled to find the cable car/gondola we needed to go to (poor planning on my part), so we pivoted and went to Alpe di Siusi. We took the gondola up to wander around and take in the beautiful sights. You'll find lots of cows with cowbells and views for miles. We stopped for lunch before heading back down.
Hiking Barbianer Wasserfalle
This is a 5.2 mile, 1,604' gain, loop trail. This moderate trail was only 15 minutes away from our hotel making it a great option to see a lovely waterfall and wander through an Italian village. This trail is a combination of pavement and dirt/rock, which really tied in the nature-y and village-y feel we were experiencing. You can even drink water straight from the mountain from a fountain found along the trail. It was quite refreshing and cold!
Hiking Lake Sorapis vis Passo Tre Croci This is a 7.6-mile, 1,978' gain, out & back trail. This is marked on AllTrails as a moderate hike, although I would consider this a challenging hike due to the fact that there are sheer drop-offs, use of cables in some areas, and the terrain is more technical with lots of thick tree roots and slick rocks. This is a very busy trail, especially in the summer. I would recommend getting started early in the day, otherwise you could be waiting in lines for the cables where it needs to be single file and you have people trying to get up and down the mountain. I would not recommend this hike to a beginner hiker or someone who struggles with a fear of heights. Unfortunately we saw many people who were not fit for the trail making it challenging to get up and down the mountain in a timely or safe manner. When you get to the lake, you can choose whether or not you hike around the lake or stay at the main entry point. Beautiful views can be seen from all around. Be sure to have plenty of water and snacks for the trek.
Hiking Cinque Torri
This is a 1.9-mile, 508 gain, loop trail. This is an easy-moderate trail. By the time we hiked this trail, we were a bit tired from hiking nearly every other day in Italy, so we mixed and matched trails within this area. We took a gondola up to Cinque Torri and followed the path around Cinque Torri learning about World War II history along the way. We also saw many rock climbers and backpackers beginning their journey near Cinque Torri. Rock climbing here is definitely on our list of things to do next time!
There are a couple refugios around so you can grab a bite to eat there or bring your own snacks and hydration.
If we would have had more time, I would have loved to explore Seceda. Seceda requires either an extended hike up/down or a cable car/gondola ride up/down the mountain to hike around. This is definitely an area I would like to go back to visit and explore. If you have questions on these areas or hikes, feel free to email me at email@example.com or slide into my IG DMs.