The Dolomites is a mountain range in northern Italy known for its breathtaking beauty, crystal-clear lakes, green valleys, and towering mountains. Each of the Dolomites’ attractions has a wow-factor. You can go on hikes ranging from a few hours to 7 days or longer. Luckily, you don’t need to be an experienced mountain climber to visit the most beautiful places. Many locations are even accessible by car! We visited the Dolomites in 8 days and will share the most impressive attractions with our tips here.
Different Names for Attractions in the Dolomites
When searching for beautiful attractions in the Dolomites, you’ll notice that many places have different names. Until 1918, the Dolomites belonged to Austria, which is why many locations have both a German and an Italian name. To avoid confusion, we will mention both names below if an attraction has multiple names.
The Mountain Lake Lago di Carezza / Karersee
A mountain range wouldn’t be complete without mountain lakes, and the 300-meter-long (984-feet-long) Karersee has everything you expect from an idyllic mountain lake. The emerald green water is crystal clear, it is surrounded by thousands of pine trees, and the wall of mountain peaks in the background completes the picture. Some mountain lakes in the Dolomites are hidden between the mountains, but Karersee is literally alongside the road. Swimming is unfortunately prohibited, but you can take a walk around the lake, which is about 2.5 kilometers (1.6 miles) long. There is a large paid parking lot next to the lake that is accessible day and night. Make sure to have coins with you to pay at the machine for the exit ticket.
One of the Most Beautiful Attractions: The Famous Mountain Seceda
The 2,519-meter-high (8264-feet-high) mountain Seceda is an attraction you don’t want to miss. This mountain is literally a gigantic rift in the Earth’s crust. Seceda is located in Val Gardena, one of the most beautiful ski resorts in Europe, but in the summer, it’s a fantastic place for a short or long day hike. You can climb Seceda, but it’s a huge climb of about 4 hours, so it’s better to conserve your energy and take the cable car up. Up top, you’ll find much more beautiful hiking trails! Read our tips for a beautiful hike at Seceda beforehand.
Alpe di Siusi / Seiser Alm Alpine Meadow
Seiser Alm is the largest alpine meadow in Europe, covering an area of 60 km2. The undulating meadow resembles a folded blanket of grass. Mountain and shepherd huts are scattered here and there, and in the morning, there is often a layer of mist. This is the Dolomites at its most beautiful! Seiser Alm is beloved by both hikers and mountain bikers. In the nearby town of Urtijëi / Ortisei, you can rent electric and regular mountain bikes.
Getting there: You can find the location of the photo below here. This is an amazing spot to watch the sunrise or sunset. Keep in mind that the road to this spot is closed between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm. However, you can drive back during these hours. You can park your car at Hotel Seiser Alm Urthaler because driving further is unfortunately not allowed. They charge an outrageous fee of $28 per day for parking, but early in the morning, there is no one present, and you can simply leave the premises without paying. From here, it’s a 45-minute walk to this viewpoint. If you want to visit Alpe di Siusi / Seiser Alm between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm, you can reach it with this cable car from Ortisei. You can also rent mountain bikes at the cable car and take them up with you.
The Hike around Tre Cime di Lavaredo / Drei Zinnen
Drei Zinnen is iconic for the Dolomites and probably the most visited attraction in the entire area. Three enormous peaks rise abruptly to a height of almost 600 meters (1969 feet). The photos are already impressive, but this is one of those places that is 10 times more impressive in person. Dedicate a whole day to Drei Zinnen because hiking here is incredibly beautiful. Along the way, you’ll come across various mountain huts where you can enjoy some food and drinks while taking in the spectacular views. If you’re curious about the most beautiful spots at Drei Zinnen, check out our hiking route at Drei Zinnen.
The Mountain Pass Gardena Pass / Passo di Gardena
The attractions of the Dolomites are not just mountain lakes, viewpoints, and hikes; they also include mountain passes. Driving through the Dolomites by car is delightful because the views are so beautiful that you’ll want to pull over every few miles to take a photo. The Gardena Pass is perhaps the most famous mountain pass in the Dolomites, connecting Val Gardena and Val Badia.
If you want to admire the winding roads of the Gardena Pass from above, you have to go higher. From the Gran Cir mountain, you’ll have a view of the entire Gardena Pass and the surrounding mountains. The view is breathtaking, and the climb takes only about an hour. Despite that, it is still (relatively) unknown as an attraction, and we had the place all to ourselves. Officially, the route is a via ferrata, where you clip yourself to an iron cable attached to the rock face, but even without a harness, it’s doable. There is a short section of about 20 meters (65 feet) that can be a bit thrilling, but the danger is very limited. Read our tips for climbing Gran Cir beforehand.
The Most Beautiful Viewpoint of the Dolomites: Cadini Di Misurina
Just behind the parking lot of Drei Zinnen, you’ll find the hidden viewpoint Cadini Di Misurina that you may have seen on Instagram. This is, in our opinion, the most impressive viewpoint in the Dolomites, yet few travelers manage to find their way here. Not that the way is difficult to find, but for some reason, this place is still unknown to the general public. And all the while, 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) away, hundreds of people park their cars every day to visit Drei Zinnen! You can find out how to get there in our article with tips for Drei Zinnen.
Ultimate Relaxation at QC Terme Dolomiti
Okay, maybe this isn’t necessarily a sightseeing spot, but it’s one of the better tips we want to give you. After a few days of hiking in the Dolomites, it’s delightful to spend a day of ultimate relaxation at QC Terme Dolomiti. Plunge into the various indoor and outdoor pools, the jacuzzi with mountain views, the ice bath, the sauna, or a steam bath. The different hot and cold baths offer a complete experience and are incredibly relaxing. Even if you don’t normally go to a sauna or spa, you’ll definitely enjoy it here. Swimwear is mandatory, and it’s recommended to make a reservation in advance.
The Blue Mountain Lake Lago di Sorapis
Some places are extra beautiful because they are remote and require some effort to reach. You can reach the mountain lake Lago di Sorapis by a beautiful hike of about two hours. During this hike, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views, and here and there, you’ll come across thrilling cliffs. Eventually, you’ll stand face to face with the baby blue Lago di Sorapis and can treat yourself to a cold beer or a nice cup of coffee at the Rifugio Alfonso Vandelli mountain hut. If you want to know more about what the hike looks like, read our tips for the hike to Lago di Sorapis.
Giau Pass / Passo di Giau
Giau Pass is a wonderful place to visit around sunset. It’s beautiful here during the day, of course, but with the soft colors of the sunset, it becomes even more enjoyable. You can walk towards the mountain or head to the nearby hill for a fantastic view of the mountain pass.
The Photogenic Lake Lago di Braies / Pragser Wildsee
Lago di Braies is one of the most photographed attractions in the Dolomites. The turquoise lake is surrounded by towering mountains, and if you go early enough (and are lucky with the weather), the water appears like a mirror. Here, you’ll be awe-inspired by the natural beauty. You can reach the lake by car, and as a result, hundreds of people visit it daily. Going early pays off so that you can have the best experience and admire the lake in peace. You can rent a boat and row on the lake for half an hour or take a leisurely walk around its perimeter.
Note: During the summer months, you need to reserve a parking space in advance to access the road to Lago di Braies. You can find more details in our article with tips for Lago di Braies.
Another remarkable attraction in the Dolomites is Cinque Torri. The five rock towers on top of the green hill look as if they have fallen from the sky. Here, you’ll also find the Museum Of The Great War, where you can take a walk along the trenches and remnants of World War I. The easiest way to reach it is by taking the ski lift from Rifugio Bai de Dones, but you can also hike up on your own from here if you prefer.
What is a good base for visiting these attractions in the Dolomites?
In the article about where to stay in the Dolomites, you’ll find information on convenient places to stay if you want to visit these attractions. You’ll also find some good hotel recommendations and a 7-day itinerary that covers all the above-mentioned places!