If you’re a lover of the great outdoors, then the Italian Dolomites is one of the best places in Europe to explore untamed wilderness. Found in the north-east of Italy, the Dolomites are a stunner of a mountain range. Whether you’re travelling to the Dolomites in the winter or summer months, you’ll be gob-smacked by the views here. You’ll have plenty to keep you occupied too. For more than 100 years, holidaymakers have been travelling to the Dolomites to ski. There are almost 1,000 pistes to test your winter sports skills on, whether you’re an experienced snowboarder or a novice skier.
When the weather warms up, the Dolomites retain their sense of adventure. Picture jagged mountains surrounded by untouched rivers and forests. You’ll soon see why the area has been named a UNESCO Natural Heritage site. There are hundreds of trails and pathways to explore, and a network of cable cars giving access to the smaller resorts. If you’re a keen hiker or cyclist, you’ll face a gruelling, but rewarding challenge. When you’re looking for a break from the mountains, there’s plenty of culture, history and shopping opportunities to explore in the towns of the Dolomites. Cortina d’Ampezzo is a particularly popular spot for holidaymakers. This area is renowned for the quality of its grub too. A day of breathing in mountain air will leave you with a healthy appetite. You can indulge in hearty, simple Italian cooking.
Known as the ‘Pearl of the Dolomites’, Cortina d’Ampezzo will instantly catch your eye, due to the circle of mountains surrounding the town. Holidaymakers have been coming here since the 1930s for skiing trips. If you’re a beginner, there’s an excellent ski school with small training slopes. But seasoned skiers equally love Cortina, which has previously staged the Winter Olympics. If you’re looking for a souvenir from your holiday, there’s a good range of shops in Cortina too.San Cassiano
Found at the foot of the Dolomite peaks of Lavarela and Conturines, San Cassiano is a charming mountain village. During the winter, it’s a popular spot for cross-country skiing, while there’s tons of hiking trails leading out from San Cassiano in summer. But San Cassiano is also a brilliant destination for foodies. There are two Michelin-starred restaurants where you can treat yourself in the village.Cibiana di Cadore
If you’re looking to learn more about the culture and history of the Dolomites, then Cibiana di Cadore is a great place to start. The village is like an art gallery in the mountains. There are murals telling the history of Cibiana on the walls of houses and shops throughout the village. There’s also a First World War fortress in Cibiana that has been turned into a museum telling the story of the mountains.
Exploring the DolomitesHike in the national parks
Beautiful views confront you in every valley that you explore in the Dolomites. There are nine regional parks that make up the area and has seen it classed as a UNESCO Heritage site. These include the D’Ampezzo park, which has been managed by local families since the 13th century. One of the best ways to explore this scenery is on foot. There are miles of trails for all fitness levels.Cycling
The Dolomites are as popular with cyclists as they are with skiers. It’s one of the great cycling areas of the Alps, with mountain passes to climb up and valley paths to plunge down. Don’t worry. If you’re only a casual cyclist, then there are short, flat rides through towns too! You can explore small hamlets in between the valleys and enjoy a hearty lunch when you take a break from the pedaling.Museums
There are plenty of museums in the Dolomites if you’re looking to learn more about the area. These have exhibitions ranging from pre-historic man to the horrors of modern warfare. At the Vittorino Cazzetta Museum, in Selva di Cadore, you can see the remains of a caveman frozen in the ice. The Museum of the Great War, in Marmolada, reflects on the fierce fighting which took place in the region.Skiing
Many holidaymakers head to the Dolomites with a pair of skis. There are pistes aplenty here for skiers of all abilities, or for snowboarding. There are also cross country circuits and off-piste descents for more experienced skiers who are looking to test their skills.
After a day of skiing or hiking, you’ll be desperate for a bit of good grub. You’re in luck. The Dolomites is an area with a rich culinary history. You’ll find simple dishes here that are done really well. Locally-made cheeses, hams and hearty bowls of pasta are some of the main items on the menu. There’s some local tipple to sample too. Delicious wines are made from the high-quality grapes grown in the Dolomites.Restaurants in the Dolomites
All budgets and tastes will be able to enjoy a scrumptious slap-up dinner in the Dolomites. There are pizzerias and cafes specialising in pasta where you can enjoy the Italian classics for a reasonable price. But you can also push the budget out in the Dolomites. You’ll come across plenty of fine-dining restaurants, including Michelin-starred eateries.
If you’re looking for a holiday chock-a-block with outdoor activities, then the Dolomites is a great destination. During the winter, you won’t know where to start with all the skiing and snowboarding pistes available. When it starts to warm up, there’s hiking and cycling trails aplenty too. Booking your holiday to Dolomites with easyJet holidays couldn’t be simpler. The best bit? You can save on the cost of your trip when you book a hotel and flight together with easyJet holidays. Have a read of our destination guides in the Dolomites for further inspiration.