The Dolomites

  • The Dolomites - ? From Rif Dibona, Morning. - © William Mackesy
  • The Dolomites - ? From Passo Giau - © William Mackesy
  • The Dolomites - Pelmo through clearing - © William Mackesy
  • The Dolomites - Evening Light From Passo Giau - © William Mackesy
  • The Dolomites - Ra Gusela - © William Mackesy
  • The Dolomites - Lago di Braies - © William Mackesy
  • The Dolomites - Nuvolau Group - © William Mackesy

Key information: The Dolomites

    • The Dolomites attract extravagances - spectacular, marvellous, outlandish - and have long been one of the world's most loved walking areas.
      • Huge, wildly eroded limestone cliffs and spires soar above meadows, forests and lakes. Walk through varied and always dramatic scenery. Revel in beautiful and rich plant and animal life. Contemplate the horrors of the high altitude World War I battlefields, then stay in comfortable and gemutlich refuges. The area is deservedly a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Walkopedia rating

(Top 100)
  • Walkopedia rating96
  • Beauty37
  • Natural interest17
  • Human interest8
  • Charisma36
  • Negative points2
  • Total rating96
  • Note: Negs: popularity, possible crowding in places

Vital Statistics

  • Length: Variable
  • Maximum Altitude: Variable
  • Level of Difficulty: Variable
The Dolomites - Nuvolau Group - © William Mackesy


The Dolomites are, in Walkopedia's opinion, Europe 's most thrilling mountains, arguably it's most beautiful and certainly it's most outlandish. The area is riddled with outstanding walks.

Everyone has seen pictures of the Dolomites, but the reality will always exceed your expectations. The vast limestone towers that soar, thousands of feet above the surrounding scree and high meadows, with beautiful, often virgin, mixed forest on the lower slopes, evoke the grandest serene majesty. They are not as high as the tallest Alps, but outdo all but the greatest (the Matterhorn, the Eiger and the like) for sheer drama. 

The crown jewel Alte Vie routes are brilliantly chosen, winding across high stony plateaus and meadows, under an ever-changing backdrop of cliffs and soaring massifs.


Best walks include:

​​Note: via ferrata sections involve real risk (don't try them in bad weather and make sure you are suitably equipped) and are probably a thrilling challenge for the minority of walkers, terrifying for the rest. There are good alternatives to all via ferrata sections. 

A glory of the Alte Vie is the regular refuges, simple but comfortable and providing food, with some at hotel standards. Many have outstanding views. You can, as a result, walk for days with a medium weight pack only.

The Dolomites enjoy a rich plant and animal life you will be delighted by the bright alpine flowers you will see throughout the walking season. The forests are a mixture of pine and deciduous trees. You are likely to see marmots and may see chamoix. Eagles, white partridges, choughs and capercaille are about.

Other accounts: share your experiences

Your comments on this walk, your experiences and suggestions, and your photos are very welcome. Where appropriate, you will be credited for your contribution.


We have a lot of helpful practical information and tips about this walk, covering everything from the best books and maps, to timing and weather, geting there, possible problems, whether you need a guide and where to find them, and useful websites. This section is only open to members.

Membership is FREE AND JOINING TAKES 30 SECONDS. To login or sign up click here

Safety and problems: All walks have inherent risks and potential problems, and many of the walks featured on this website involve significant risks, dangers and problems. Problems of any sort can arise on any walk. This website does not purport to identify any (or all) actual or potential risks, dangers and problems that may relate to any particular walk.

Any person who is considering undertaking this walk should do careful research and make their own assessment of the risks, dangers and possible problems involved. They should also go to “Important information” for further important information.

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

The Dolomites - Evening Light From Passo Giau - © William Mackesy

share your experiences

Add your experiences, suggestions and photos. We would be delighted to receive your writing and ideas (which will be attributed appropriately where published).

Anyone planning an expedition to this place should see further important information about this walk.

The Dolomites - ? From Passo Giau - ©William Mackesy...

Responsible travel matters, a lot. How you travel will make a real difference - for better or worse. PLEASE consider this when making plans. Read more

Our partners Responsible Travel 

have carefully chosen expeditions 

and holidays around the world.    

Great walking, and much else...

Walkopedia Sponsor

See their site for inspiring ideas.

For £100 off your trip, contact them quoting WW50

All material on this website is © Walkopedia Ltd 2008 - 2015, unless specified otherwise.