For lovers of natural wonders, The Dolomites are an essential stop in a visit to Italy. I fell head over heels in love with The Dolomites! I want to share with you 10 reasons why you will fall in love with The Dolomites too.
1. The diverse, awe-inspiring landscapes
Italy is particularly famous for its manmade masterpieces; the paintings, sculptures, churches, iconic buildings and its food (yes, that counts in my books!). You might not be aware that Italy has awe-inspiring landscapes that rival the beauty of these masterpieces.
The Dolomites are one of my favourite mountainous regions in Europe, with the most epic, imposing mountains towering over every single view. The sunrises and sunsets light up these mountains in all different hues that will without a doubt take your breath away. There are also countless lakes, forests, meadows and valleys in The Dolomites. Every single landscape in The Dolomites will touch the soul of any nature lover.
2. The German and Austrian influences
A very unique feature of this region of Italy is the strong German and Austrian influence. This factor makes The Dolomites look and feel like it isn’t even a part of Italy.
Languages spoken in The Dolomites include Italian, German and dialects of these languages. You will find that signs are in Italian and German and that some attractions have both an Italian and a German name.
The architecture clearly has a strong German and Austrian influence, with the buildings in these alpine areas being in an identical style to those in Italy. The buildings here have serious character! The hotels, houses, hiking huts and even stores often have charming wooden exteriors. You will often see pretty painted frescoes on stone buildings, with old-German style lettering. The churches and chapels in The Dolomites have a style that is very distinctive to the Alpine areas in Germany and Austria, with dome-shaped roofs and pointed bell towers.
Interestingly, most of the food in this region also has this German/Austrian influence, you won’t find much of the typical Italian fare. I highly recommend trying Spätzle which is an egg pasta typical to this region and tasting the many delicious varieties of alpine cheeses.
3. The options for outdoor adventures are endless
Against the backdrop of idyllic landscapes, The Dolomites are the perfect setting for outdoor adventures! From leisurely walks to more challenging hikes, snow sports, water sports, cycling or mountain climbing, there is something suitable for everyone.
In The Dolomites, outdoor activities are somewhat dictated by seasonal changes. This region of Italy is best known for winter sports because competitive snow-sport events are often held there.
4. The perfect place for an unforgettable road trip
The Dolomites are one of the best places to drive in Italy! This is confirmed by the fact that next year car models are frequently test-driven here. You can identify these cars by a distinctive wrap that imitates a smoke pattern, hiding details of the car. The well-surfaced roads make driving pretty breezy, you have to take it slow around the mountain passes but it is impossible to complain with the kind of views you get. I recommend driving through Pordoi Pass and Gardena Pass for spectacular views.
By car is definitely the easiest way to get around The Dolomites, if you love to drive this is the place for you! Stelvio Pass, in particular, is unmissable for motoring enthusiasts. For more specific tips and insights on road tripping in Italy, check out my blog post here.
5. It’s a landscape photographers dream destination
One of my absolute favourite activities in The Dolomites was simply photographing the landscapes. This picturesque destination is an ideal place for landscape photography enthusiasts who will be spoiled for choice for potential photographs. Even the most amateur photographer would be able to capture a breathtaking photo here!
6. It is an increasingly popular destination but you can still find your own private piece of paradise
The Dolomites may not be as famous in comparison to other parts of Italy in the sense that not everyone is aware of them like they are about Rome or Venice, for example. It is nevertheless, a popular destination.
Busloads of tourists flood places like Lago di Braies/Pragser Wildsee which has become very well-known, especially because it is quite ‘Instagrammable’. I was surprised to find about 30 other photographers there before sunrise on a weekday, with drones buzzing around and impromptu photoshoots taking place. It is, however, for sure, one of those places where if you are willing to put in a little bit of effort by driving or hiking a little further that it will pay off big time. The Dolomites covers over 140,000 hectares, so there is a place for you to quietly enjoy the serenity of nature away from the crowds.
7. Seeing beautiful alpine cows living their best lives
If you love animals, it will warm your heart to see the pretty alpine cows grazing in fluffy green grass, roaming happily over the hills. You will likely spot sheep and goats too.
8. Cosy accommodations
The hotels and apartments in this region often have wooden interiors with lots of wooden furnishings. They give off a very satisfying ‘ cosy cabin in the wood’ vibe, exactly where you want to be resting after a long day of exploration!
9. It is a destination for all seasons
The Dolomites can be visited in all different seasons. Its appearance changes depending on the season, revealing a different side to The Dolomites. In autumn the leaves are painted in an array of golden colours, in winter the landscape is blanketed in snow and in spring you will find dainty wildflowers blossoming.
10. A great place to start a bigger European trip
The Dolomites are situated in northeastern Italy, close to the borders of multiple countries including Austria, Switzerland and Germany. If you are planning a greater European trip, this area of Europe is in the vicinity of many other incredibly beautiful countries. So, The Dolomites would be a great addition to a larger trip, especially a road trip.
Thanks for reading
Marko and I left The Dolomites reluctantly and abruptly due to unforeseen circumstances but that is a story for another time. You can expect to hear more about this in my next Youtube video. We will definitely be returning one day as a week didn’t feel like long enough at all especially because we didn’t have the best weather.
I hope this has inspired you to add The Dolomites to your bucket list, you won’t regret visiting! If you are looking for Italian destinations rich in natural wonders I also strongly recommend Gargano National Park.
Loved this post? Pin it for later!