Had Your Fill Of The Himalayas? Trek These Dizzying UNESCO-Approved Mountains In Italy Instead 

19th Jul 2017

Between hitting the trails in summer or the slopes in winter, the Dolomites have something for everyone year round. You don't even have to go far to experience expansive scenery that makes you feel tiny against the grand scale of nature – just a short walk from the side of the road can give you that feeling and incredible views.

Lago di Braies

Lago di Braies, Credit @katieshowblog

Photo of Lago di Braies, Prags, Province of Bolzano - South Tyrol, Italy by Katie McIntosh

Located in South Tyrol, Lago di Braies, also known as Pragser Wildsee, is one of, if not the most famous place in the Dolomites. Many visitors are attracted to this lake to get that perfect Instagram shot on the stairs leading into the lake water, but there’s a lot more to the lake than just the perfect photo.

To experience the beauty of the area by foot, you can walk the easy path around the lake which takes about an hour. There are benches along the way to sit and lots of areas for a picnic. Small paddle boats can be rented for 20 Euro if you prefer to get out on the water.

Parking: Allow 3-5 Euro

Lago di Tovel

Lago di Tovel, Credit @katieshowblog

Photo of Lago di Tovel, Tovel, Province of Trento, Italy by Katie McIntosh

Set in the Adamello Brenta Nature Park in Trentino, the emerald colors of Lago di Tovel surrounded by rugged mountains will completely mesmerize you. To experience the views from all angles you can walk around the lake on the easy path which takes about an hour and a half. If you want to add more walking to your visit there are a number of other trails and maps out the front to give you the details of these.

The park is home to a wide variety of nature including Brown Bears which were reintroduced to the area in the late nineties.

Parking: Allow 5 Euro

Lago di Carezza

Lago di Carezza, Credit @katieshowblog

Photo of Lago di Carezza, Welschnofen, Province of Bolzano - South Tyrol, Italy by Katie McIntosh

Known as the rainbow lake of the Dolomites for the stunning layering of colors that can be seen in the water, Lago di Carezza is a popular and unmissable sight in the Dolomites. The lake is surrounded by a fence to help preserve the gorgeous colors, hence this is a no swimming lake. Instead, you can walk the flat path around the outside of it to view the scenery.

It is a popular spot, particularly with tour busses, so be prepared for a crowd unless you visit in the morning or evening.

Parking: 3-5 Euro

Torrente Canali

Torrente Canali, Credit @katieshowblog

Photo of Torrente Canali, Province of Trento, Italy by Katie McIntosh

Hidden in the mountains of Trentino is something a little different to the larger and more popular lakes. Torrente Canali has a small but impressive bright turquoise pond that almost needs to be seen to be believed. On weekends you can find locals here having a quiet lunch with their families by the water.

Though the pond itself is small, it sits in an area filled with clearly marked scenic trails which are perfect for nature walks.

Parking: 3-5 Euro

Don't Miss

Cortina D’Ampezzo

Cortina D’Ampezzo is a popular area in Belluno which offers a range of outdoor activities to suit all types of travelers, from high action, adrenaline filed sports to slower paced, outings in nature.

Val Gardena

A simply stunning area of South Tyrol that is well known for it’s outdoor sport opportunities and nature walks. Even if you do not stay in Val Gardena, driving through is a must to see the impressive mountain views.

Val Gardena, Credit @katieshowblog

Photo of Val Gardena, Santa Cristina Gherdëina, Province of Bolzano - South Tyrol, Italy by Katie McIntosh

How to get there

The views you get as you drive through the Dolomites will leave you in awe. The best way to explore the Dolomites is by car which not only allows you to explore at your own pace but also the freedom to stop at any one of the many incredible vantage points along the way. Some of the most awe inspiring sights I have seen have been when I have been driving without a plan. When choosing your rental car, consider a compact car as the roads can be narrow and winding.

If you cannot rent a car there are trains and bus services you can utilize. The trains can take you to any of the larger towns including Bolzano Bolzen, Trento or Cortina D’Ampezzo and buses can take you to the local areas from there.

For train schedules visit the Trenitalia website.

For bus schedules visit ATVO, Val Gardena or SIT.

For more information see the Visit Dolomites website.