Day Hikes In The Italian Dolomites

25 Best Day Hikes In The Dolomites Rated From Easy To Difficult

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Are you planning a hiking trip to the Dolomites and don’t know where to start? Today I break down the top day hikes in the Dolomites starting with beginner-level walks to demanding full-day excursions. I hiked all of these trails personally, some multiple times, so don’t shy away from asking me any questions in the comment section below.

What are the best places to hike in the Dolomites?

Even though the Dolomites are a relatively small part of the Alps, the number of accessible trails can be overwhelming. Some of my favourite day hikes in the Dolomites can be found in the following parks:

  • Tre Cime Nature Park
  • Fanes Sennes Braies Nature Park
  • Pale Di San Martino Range
  • Rosengarten Nature Park
  • Dolomiti Ampezzane

If you are planning a holiday in the Dolomites and don’t know which towns to base yourself in, I recommend that you check out my article about the best places to visit in the Dolomites. In it, you will learn what hikes and activities you can do near each town.

TIP: Are you travelling to the Dolomites? Use my guide to plan your trip.

What are the best months to hike in the Dolomites?

The peak season for hiking in the Dolomites is between mid-June and the third week of September or, in some areas, the first or second week of October. This timing corresponds with the opening times of the mountain huts.

This doesn’t mean you can’t scour those trails outside the peak season. On the contrary! My favourite time for hiking in the Dolomites is autumn, between mid and end of October, to be exact. That’s when the Fall colours are in full swing, the air is crispy, and bluebird days are standard.

I wouldn’t recommend going earlier than June if your primary objective is to hike. However, I also included a few options for day hikes, already accessible in May.

The map of day hikes in the Dolomites

I included a map of all the trailheads for the hikes listed in this article above. The colours correspond with the difficulty level.

Green is for easy hikesblue is for moderate, red is for challenging, and black is for expert level. I explain further in the article what you can expect from each type of hike.

How to use the map

Click on the icon in the top left corner of the map, next to my picture, to see different layers of the map. You can switch off the layers by clicking the red ‘check’ icons. Click on each hike to see the link to my detailed guide.

Best easy day hikes in the Dolomites

In this category, you will find walks that require minimal effort yet still deliver great views. You can expect gentle undulating trails with little elevation gain and a maximum distance of 10 kilometres (ca. 6 miles).

If you are not big into trekking, these beginner-level day hikes in the Dolomites might awaken a new passion in you.

1. Vallunga

Vallunga - One of the best day hikes in the Dolomites

Sometimes, your knees need a break from those challenging summits and downhill battles when hiking back down. I know mine do.

The hike through Vallunga is a perfect choice if you need to rest your legs but still want to see some stunning scenery.

Vallunga is a beloved walk amongst the locals and their pups. You can make it as long or short as you want, with a couple of extension possibilities to turn it into a full-day circuit hike or even an overnight hut stay.

READ MORE: Guide To Vallunga Hike

Vallunga hike: the stats

  • Distance roundtrip: 9 km / 5.6 mi
  • Time required: 2-3 hours
  • Total ascent: 230 m / 755 ft
  • When to go: year-round
  • The nearest towns: Selva, Santa Cristina & Ortisei in the Gardena Valley

2. Lago Dobiacco Circuit

Lake Dobiacco 1

Lake Dobiacco is only a 20-minute drive from the famous Lake Braies, yet it receives only a tiny percentage of its visitors.

A path leads around the lake’s shoreline, and the whole circuit can be completed in less than an hour. Interactive learning stations about the local flora and fauna have been placed around the lake, making this trail a family-friendly option.

Lake Dobiacco Circuit: the stats

  • Distance roundtrip: 2.6 km
  • Time required: 40-60 minutes
  • Total ascent: 10 m / 33 ft
  • When to go: year-round
  • The nearest towns: Dobiacco, San Candido, Sesto, Monguelfo in Puster Valley

3. Panorama Trail

The Panorama trail near the Santa Maddalena village in the Funes Valley (Val Di Funes) delivers exactly what its name suggests: The beautiful panoramic view of the jagged peaks in the Odle Geisler Group.

This pleasant little hike leads through the green pastures above the village, mainly along a paved path, before it reaches a great viewpoint of the Odle range.

This is a very romantic option for a sunset stroll when the tops of the peaks light up red. My friends on the Moon & Honey Travel website have an excellent guide to the Panorama trail.

Panorama Trail: the stats

  • Distance roundtrip: 9.5 km / 5.9 mi
  • Time required: 3-4 hours
  • Total ascent: 380 m / 1250 ft
  • When to go: year-round
  • The nearest towns: Santa Maddalena in Val Di Funes

4. Lago Di Braies Circuit

Lago Di Braies Circuit 1

Overcrowding is an issue that is starting to hurt many places around the World, and Lago Di Braies is undoubtedly one of them.

90% of the tourists who flock to this lake don’t go further than 100 meters from the parking lot just to snap the famous Instagram shot right next to the boathouse. 

Few realize that there is a pathway that skirts the lake, taking you away from the craziness of it all—and it only takes one hour to complete!

It’s best to do it early in the morning when the light rays hit the mountains and illuminate Seekofel, the peak that reflects in the lake.

READ MORE: Lago Di Braies Circuit Guide

Lake Braies circuit: the stats

  • Distance roundtrip: 4 km / 2.5 mi
  • Time required: 1-2 hours
  • Total ascent: 50 m / 165 ft
  • When to go: May – October
  • The nearest towns: Monguelfo, Dobiacco, San Candido in Puster Valley

5. Seceda and Puez Odle Altipiano

Seceda Ridgeline 1

The Odle Geisler group must be one of the most photographed mountain ridgelines in the World. It’s the symbol of the Puez Odle Nature Park, and everyone coming to the Dolomites should plan to see it. 

Most hikers just trek from the top of the gondola to the ridgeline and back, but I highly recommend doing a whole loop around the area to see other interesting rock formations. Also, don’t forget to check out Rifugio Firenze. 

READ MORE: How To See The Seceda Viewpoint And Hike In The Puez Odle Nature Park.

Seceda Viewpoint and Puez Odle Plateau

  • Distance roundtrip: 6 km / 3.7 mi
  • Time required: 3-4 hours
  • Total ascent: 400 m / 1300 ft
  • When to go: June – October
  • The nearest towns: Ortisei, Santa Cristina, and Selva in Val Gardena

6. Val Venegia

Val Venegia Hike Dolomites 50

The hike through Val Venegia has, in my opinion, the best views-to-effort ratio in all of the Dolomites.

From the moment you enter the trail until you reach Malga Venegiotta, you will collect your jaw off the floor because of the views of the Pale di San Martino range stretching ahead. All this within a 2-hour walk with a mere 150 meters of elevation gain.

My favourite time of year for this hike is the second part of October, when all the larch trees in the Venegia Valley turn bright orange. This has made it one of my favourite autumn hikes in the Dolomites.

READ MORE: Guide To Val Venegia Hike

Val Venegia hike: the stats

  • Distance roundtrip: 6.6 km / 4.1 mi
  • Time required: 1.5-2 hours
  • Total ascent: 150 m / 492 ft
  • When to go: year-round
  • The nearest towns: San Martino Di Castrozza, Fiera Di Primero in Primero Valley

Best moderate day hikes in the Dolomites

This category is for you if you have some hiking experience in high-alpine areas. Moderate day hikes in the Dolomites will require no more than 600 meters of elevation gain and can be completed in half a day.

7. Cinque Torri via Lago Limedes circuit

This one is for the history buffs. The remains of the trenches at the foot of Cinque Torri (from the Italian – Five Towers) remind us of all of the atrocities of the First World War and the horrendous conditions the soldiers had to live in. 

The whole area can be reached via a cable car, but the hike is so easy and enjoyable that you should walk it. 

The aptly named Cinque Torri means precisely what it is – The Five Towers. They serve as climber’s playgrounds. On a sunny day, you can see plenty of climbers trying to scale them. 

READ MORE: Guide To Cinque Torri Hike

Cinque Torri via Lago Limedes hike: the stats

  • Distance roundtrip: 10 km
  • Time required: 3-4 hours
  • Total ascent: 480 m / 1575 ft
  • When to go: June – October
  • The nearest towns: Cortina D’Ampezzo & San Cassiano in Val Badia

8. Lake Sorapiss

Lake Sorapiss - A top day hike in the Dolomites

If you plan on basing yourself around Cortina D’Ampezzo during your visit, reserve a day to hike to Lake Sorapiss. 

Although elevation-wise, it’s one of the less demanding day hikes in the Dolomites, you shouldn’t underestimate it, especially if you don’t have a head for heights.

A decent section of the trail scales along a rock shelf, on one side protected by a cable, and on the other side, a couple of hundred meters sheer drop.

A prize in the form of a turquoise, glacier-fed lake surrounded by dramatic peaks awaits you at the end.

READ MORE: Guide To Lake Sorapiss Hike

Lake Sorapiss hike: the stats

  • Distance roundtrip: 12.1 km / 7.5 mi
  • Time required: 4-5 hours
  • Total ascent: 520 m / 1706 ft
  • When to go: May – October
  • The nearest towns: Cortina D’Ampezzo, Misurina

9. Tre Cime di Lavaredo Circuit

Tre Cime Circuit. One of the best day hikes in the Dolomites

If you are visiting the Dolomites for just a few days and looking for a hike that you shouldn’t miss, this is it.

The Tre Cime circuit circumnavigates around Dolomite’s famous Three Peaks. The highlights include passing through the iconic Forcella (saddle) Lavaredo and Rifugio Locatelli.

If you are feeling adventurous, you can combine this hike with two famous via ferratas in the area: Innerkofler/De Luca and Torre di Toblin. However, I’d highly recommend spending a night in one of the alpine huts in the area. 

READ MORE: Tre Cime Circuit Guide

Tre Cime di Lavaredo Circuit: the stats

  • Distance roundtrip: 10 km / 6 mi
  • Time required: 4-5 hours
  • Total ascent: 400 m / 1300 ft
  • When to go: June – October
  • The nearest towns: Misurina, Dobiacco, Cortina D’Ampezzo

10. Lago Coldai

Lago Coldai is a small but mighty alpine lake at the foot of Mount Civetta. The lake is also one of the highlights of the Alta Via 1 – a multiday traverse across the Dolomites. There is no need to hike the whole traverse, though, as the lake can easily be reached via a day hike. 

There are a few ways to do it but to avoid any confusion for this blog; I will include just two of them. 

The first and the easiest is to catch the two-tier gondola from Alleghe: Alleghe – Pian di Pezze – Col Dei Baldi. In the summer season, the gondola operates between the end of June and the end of September. 

From the top of the gondola station, you must follow the signs for Rifugio Coldai on path no—561 and then 556. For most of the hike, you will have beautiful views of Mount Pelmo (photo top right). 

Once you reach the refuge, it’s another 10 minutes uphill to Forcella (saddle) Coldai, where you will get a first look at the lake. The whole hike will take between 3 and 4 hours. 

If you want to avoid the cost of the gondola and being tied to its schedule, you can park your car near Rifugio Palafavera, located close to the town of Mareson in Val di Zoldo, and from here, hike path 564, then turn onto 556. Again, follow the signs for Rifugio Coldai. This way is a bit longer, and it will take around 5 hours.

To all of you adventure seekers! Consider staying overnight in Rifugio Coldai and summiting Mount Civetta via the exhilarating via ferrata Degli Alleghesi.

Lake Coldai hike: the stats

  • Distance roundtrip: 10.5 km / 6.5 mi
  • Time required: 4-5 h
  • Total ascent: 480 m / 1575 ft
  • When to go: June – October
  • The nearest towns: Alleghe, Pescul, Selva Di Cadore, Mareson-Pecol

11. Rifugio Fonda Savio

Rifugio Fonda Savio 1

The location of Rifugio Fonda Savio puts it on par with other most photogenic mountain huts I enjoyed visiting during my stay in the Dolomites. It’s also one of the easiest to reach. 

This 3-4 hour round trip hike starts at the parking lot (parcheggio) Libero Cadini near Lago (lake) Antorno and, for the first hour, stays within the tree line. The hike is straightforward and follows path nr 115 the entire way up. The elevation gain is circa 500 meters.  

Rifugio Fonda Savio is a great place to stay for the night if you want to tackle the via ferrata Merlone to the top of Cima Cadin NE. 

Rifugio Fonda Savio: the stats

  • Distance roundtrip: 6 km
  • Time required: 3-4 hours
  • Total ascent: 500 m / 1640 ft
  • When to go: June – October
  • The nearest towns: Misurina, Dobiacco, Cortina D’Ampezzo

12. Adolf Munkel Trail

Adolf Munkel Trail 1 2

The Seceda ridgeline has grown into an icon thanks to the endless photos posted daily on Instagram. Ninety-nine per cent of those shots are taken from the same viewpoint. 

The Adolf Munkel Weg (trail) lets you experience the ridgeline differently. 

The route takes 3-4 hours to complete, and it starts at a parking lot near Rifugio Zanser Alm, located around a 10-minute drive from the town of Santa Maddalena (Bring cash to pay for the parking). 

It’s a loop that can be done clockwise or counterclockwise. To go clockwise from Zanser Alm, follow the path number 6 and then number 35. The trails are signposted and easy to follow. You will be hiking right underneath the sheer walls of La Furchetta and Sass Rigais, the two highest peaks in the Seceda Ridgeline.

After about 1.5 hours, you will reach a big pasture where you can find Malga Geislerarm. It’s the perfect spot for lunch, and if you have a sweet tooth like me, then I highly recommend ordering Kaiserschmarrn—a local pancake-type speciality. Eat it on the outside terrace and watch the world go by. To return to your car, take path nr 36 and go to the car park. 

Adolf Munkel trail: the stats

  • Distance roundtrip: 9.2 km
  • Time required: 3-4 hours
  • Total ascent: 400 meters / 1312 ft
  • When to go: May – November
  • The nearest towns: Santa Maddalena in Val Fi Funes

13. Monte Castellaz

Monte Castellaz 25

A hike to Monte Castellaz is one of the Dolomites’ most incredible half-day summit day hikes. Best part? It won’t leave you breathless.

The hike starts on Passo Rolle, one of the most photogenic mountain passes in the Dolomites, and takes you to the top of Monte Castellaz, where you can admire the dramatic peaks of the Pale Di San Martino range.

You can even kill two birds with one stone and connect the previously mentioned hike through Val Venegia with the summit of Monte Castellaz. Hiking options in the Dolomites are endless!

READ MORE: Hiking Guide To Monte Castellaz Summit

Monte Castellaz hike: the stats

  • Distance roundtrip: 9 km / 5.6 mi
  • Time required: 3-4 hours
  • Total ascent: 468 m / 1535 ft
  • When to go: June – October
  • The nearest towns: San Martino Di Castrozza, Fiera Di Primiero

14. Col De La Puina

Col De La Peina 139

Another autumn favourite! Col De La Puina is the only hike on this list that isn’t official. This means that there are no proper trail markings that generally lead the hiker’s way.

Let that not put you off, though. The path is well-beaten and easy to follow, and with the help of my hiking guide to Col De La Puina, you will be able to reach it without an issue.

Don’t miss out on a chance to get a photograph of yourself standing on this beautiful ridgeline with the sheer walls of Monte Pelmo, one of Dolomite’s highest peaks, as your backdrop!

Read More: Col De La Puina Hiking Guide

Col De La Puina hike: the stats

  • Distance roundtrip: 7.6 km / 4.7 mi
  • Time required: 2.5 – 3 h
  • Total ascent: 550 m / 1800 ft
  • When to go: June – October
  • The nearest towns: Pescul, Selva Di Cadore, Alleghe

15. Col De Locia

Col De Locia

I found the trail to Col de Locia when I was searching for day hikes in the Dolomites that were hikeable at the start of May.

I studied the Dolomiti Ampezzano area map, looking for south-facing trails. Thanks to the location of the Col De Locia hike, its slopes are exposed to the sun, which means snow melts here faster.

Being quite hidden from the boot-beaten footpath, I was pleasantly surprised by the trail’s excellent infrastructure. Railings have been placed in the steepest sections, and a bench awaits you at the top, where you can have lunch and enjoy the incredible views of the surrounding area.

Col De Locia: the stats

  • Distance roundtrip: 4.5 km / 2.8 mi
  • Time required: 2-3 hours
  • Total ascent: 350 m / 1150 ft
  • When to go: May – October
  • The nearest towns: San Cassiano, Corvara

Best challenging day hikes in the Dolomites

Are you up for a challenge? These challenging hikes in the Dolomites might be what you’re looking for. With more than 600 meters of elevation gain, tunnels to cross, or short cable-protected scrambling sections, it will be a fun day of adventuring in the mountains.

16. Croda Da Lago Circuit

Croda Da Lago Circuit, one of the Top Day Hikes In The Dolomites
The jagged Croda Da Lago

This 5-hour-long day hike circumnavigates the jagged peaks of the  Croda da Lago. 

Best walked clockwise, the trail passes along Lago Federa – one of the iconic photography spots in the Dolomites, as well as the cosy rifugio Palmieri, where you can stay the night and experience the typical mountain culture of this area. 

For the best views of Croda Da Lago, go to the summit of Mount Averau or Ra Gusela, both accessible at two beginner levels via ferratas.

READ MORE: Croda Da Lago Circuit Hiking Guide

Croda Da Lago Circuit: the stats

  • Distance roundtrip: 12.5 km / 7.8 mi
  • Time required: 5-6 hours
  • Total ascent: 800 m / 2624 ft
  • When to go: June – October
  • The nearest towns: Cortina D’Ampezzo, Selva Di Cadore

17. Lagazuoi Tunnels

Lagazuoi Tunnels Rifugio Lagazuoi 1

The Lagazuoi tunnels are another critical reminder of the First World War. Due to their strategic position, Italian and Austro-Hungarian soldiers battled fiercely for this area, eventually falling into the Italians’ hands.

Some mountain towns, though, have prevailed in their identity, and even now, over 100 years later, German remains the language often spoken here. 

The hike through the Lagazuoi tunnels starts at Passo Falzarego, a mountain pass connecting the towns of Cortina D’Ampezzo with San Cassiano. It eventually finishes on the top of Mount Lagazuoi (photo above), with the famous rifugio Lagazuoi standing on its top. 

READ MORE: Lagazuoi Tunnels Hiking Guide

Lagazuoi Tunnels: the stats

  • Distance roundtrip: 5 km / 3 mi
  • Time required: 3-4 hours
  • Total ascent: 673 m / 2200 ft
  • When to go: June – October
  • The nearest towns: Cortina D’Ampezzo, San Cassiano

18. Passo Mulaz

Passo Mulaz 1

The hike to Passo del Mulaz qualifies as an off-the-beaten-path experience in the Dolomites. 

Located in the lesser-known and much quieter Pale di San Martino group, this one-way in-and-out hike will take you to a dramatic mountain pass that overlooks the many spires of Forcella (saddle) Farangole. 

You can easily extend it into a 3-day Pale Di Martino range loop, staying at two alpine huts: rifugio Volpi Al Mulaz and rifugio Rosetta. 

READ MORE: Guide To Hiking To Passo Mulaz

Passo Mulaz hike: the stats

  • Distance roundtrip: 14.8 km / 8.7 mi
  • Time required: 6-7 hours
  • Total ascent: 900 m / 2950 ft
  • When to go: June – October
  • The nearest towns: San Martino Di Castrozza, Fiera Di Primiero

19. Piz Boé Summit

Piz Boe Summit 1

Piz Boè is the highest mountain in the Sella group in the central Dolomites, at 3152 meters a.s.l. It’s one of the highest yet easiest summits to reach. 

All of this is thanks to the cable car taking passengers from the nearby Pordoi mountain pass to the top of Sass Pordoi. From here, you can see the Capanna Fassa mountain hut, built right on Piz Boè’s summit. It takes around 1-1,5 hours to reach it. 

I spent a night here and have taken hundreds of photos during the beautiful sunset and sunrise combo I witnessed.  

READ MORE: Guide To Piz Boè Summit Hike

Piz Boé Summit: the stats

  • Distance roundtrip: 5.3 km / 3.3 mi
  • Time required: 2.5 – 3 hours
  • Total ascent: 430 m / 1410 ft
  • When to go: July – September
  • The nearest towns: Canazei, Campitello Di Fassa in Fassa Valley

20. Sassolungo Circuit

Sassolungo Circuit 26

Circuit-type day hikes in the Dolomites are my favourites. The ever-changing mountain scenery and the undulating nature of these trails make them so appealing to me.

The Sassolungo circuit, though long and with a significant elevation gain, never feels too strenuous.

There are five mountain huts along the trail, which means you can make it into a challenge and try local food or have a drink at each one of them whilst enjoying the views from their terraces.

READ MORE: Guide To Sassolungo Circuit Day Hike

Sassolungo Circuit: the stats

  • Distance roundtrip: 16.7 km / 10.4 mi
  • Time required: 5-6 hours
  • Total ascent: 787 m / 2720 ft
  • When to go: June – October
  • The nearest towns: Canazei, Campitello in Fassa Valley or Ortisei, Santa Cristina, Selva in Gardena Valley

Best demanding day hikes in the Dolomites

These last five hikes are full-day excursions, which should only be undertaken if you have enough stamina to tackle 1000 to 1500 meters of elevation gain in a day. On these day hikes, you can also expect some short and steep scrambling sections.

21. Vajolet Towers

Vajolet Towers 1

When I first saw a photograph of the Vajolet towers, I couldn’t believe this place was real, let alone that it was only an hour’s drive from where I was based.  

Then I learned that there was a mountain hut beneath the towers, and I thought my day couldn’t get any better! I ran to a store-bought topography map of the Rosengarten Nature Park, where the towers are located and planned my next adventure. 

There are two ways to reach the towers: first, through the ferrata Passo Santner, and second, through a slightly less demanding day hike.

READ MORE: Guide To Hiking To The Vajolet Towers

Vajolet Towers hike: the stats

  • Distance roundtrip: 8 km / 5 mi
  • Time required: 5-6 hours
  • Total ascent: 650 m / 2100 ft
  • When to go: June – October
  • The nearest towns: Canazei, Campitello, Pozza di Fassa, Vigo di Fassa in Fassa Valley

22. Croda Fiscalina Circuit

Croda Fiscalina Circuit 1

The Croda Fiscalina circuit, starting at the Dolomitenhof Hotel near the town of Sesto (Sexten) in the northern parts of the Dolomites, is one of my favourite day hikes in the Dolomites. 

The Fiscalina Valley is the epitome of what you can expect here – the dramatic spires and sheer walls skirting the deep valleys. With each step, the views get more exciting. Trust me when I say it: this hike should not be missed.

READ MORE: Comprehensive Guide To Croda Fiscalina Circuit

Croda Fiscalina circuit: the stats

  • Distance roundtrip: 19.2 km / 11.9 mi
  • Time required: 7-8 hours
  • Total ascent: 1180 m / 3870 ft
  • When to go: June – October
  • The nearest towns: Moos, Sesto, San Candido, Dobiacco in Puster Valley

23. Tofane Di Rozes Summit

Tofane Di Rozes Summit 1

Another summit reaching over 3000 meters can be found in the Tofane mountain range near Cortina D’Ampezzo

There are two ways to reach the summit of Tofane di Rozes. The first is through a very scenic but challenging via ferrata Giovanni Lipella, and the second via a hiking path. 

The hike starts near Rifugio Dibona, which is about a 20-minute drive from Cortina D’Ampezzo. The last 5 minutes of the drive are on an unpaved mountain road. Access to vehicles no higher than 2.5 meters restricts access to campervans or trucks. 

From the hut, follow the signs for Rifugio Giusanni along path no. 403. The path zig-zags to the hut and poses no challenges. However, once you reach Rifugio Giusanni, prepare for a battle along a scree slope to the summit. 

It’s certainly not the easiest of day hikes in the Dolomites. It’s the most difficult one enlisted here, but it’s also one of the most rewarding, thanks to the views waiting for you at the top.

It takes around 6 hours to make a round trip, so leave early to reach the summit before it is covered by clouds in the early afternoon. Otherwise, all that work you’ll put into it will go to waste!

Tofane Di Rozes Summit: the stats

  • Time required: 6-8 hours
  • Total ascent: 1190 m / 3900 ft
  • When to go: July – September
  • The nearest town: Cortina D’Ampezzo

24. Seekofel Summit

Seekofel Summit 1

Almost everyone visiting the Dolomites for the first time has put Lago di Braies on their ‘must-see’ list. I get the hype surrounding this lake. It’s beautiful. Unfortunately, over-tourism isn’t doing it any favours.

If you want to escape the crowds and see the lake from a different angle, consider hiking up to the summit of Seekofel, also known as Croda Del Becco. It’s a famous mountain reflected in Lago di Braies.

Summiting Seekofel is no easy feat. With over 1300 meters of elevation gain, it’s one of this list’s most demanding day hikes in the Dolomites.

Seekofel Summit: the stats

  • Distance roundtrip: 19 km / 11.8 mi
  • Time required: 7-8 hours
  • Total ascent: 1360 m / 4460 ft
  • When to go: June – October
  • The nearest towns: Monguelfo, Dobiacco, San Candido, Sesto

25. Dürrenstein

Durrenstein 21

This is the last entry on my list of best day hikes in the Dolomites. I hope you are still with me and making notes for your trip.

For a good reason, Dürrenstein is probably one of the most popular summit day hikes in the Dolomites. It’s a pretty straightforward journey to the top, and from the top, you can enjoy uninterrupted views of the surrounding valleys and peaks.

The real challenge can be sun exposure. For this reason, I recommend this hike to anyone who visits the area later in the season. Dürrenstein and a few more hikes on this list feature on my autumn road trip itinerary across the Dolomites.

READ MORE: Hiking Guide To Dürrenstein Summit

Dürrenstein Summit: the stats

  • Distance roundtrip: 10.2 km / 6.34 mi
  • Time required: 5-7 hours
  • Total ascent: 873 m / 2582 ft
  • When to go: June – October
  • The nearest towns: Monguelfo, Dobiacco, San Candido

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45 thoughts on “25 Best Day Hikes In The Dolomites Rated From Easy To Difficult”

  1. Does any of them would be easy to walk/hike with kids?? Like: Vallunga; Lago Dobiacco; Panorama Trial; Val Venegia or Adof Munkel Trial?

    • Hi Tomas. Those would be all very friendly to small kids. Basically all easy hikes enlisted here. I have seen plenty of older kids on all types of hikes and even via ferratas in the Dolomites.

  2. Hi Marta, I love reading your informative articles, thank you for that! I would like to know your opinion: for the day hikes, do you think it would be safe for a woman to hike alone? Thank you.

    • Hi Rachel. Thanks for the great feedback. Hiking on your own always brings a certain level of danger, mostly when something happens. However thanks for the great cell coverage in the Dolomites and busy trails you never really are alone. I’ve hiked solo plenty of times in the Dolomites and never had any troubles nor did I feel unsafe, however you should always let someone know where you are heading etc. I hope that helps.

  3. Hello,
    Thank you for creating such a wonderful blog, it is highly informative and also an excellent read.
    I was planning to visit Dolomites in the next few days because I have some time off work. Can you recommend a trek? I understand that it is quite snowy at the moment, but any recommendation would be fantastic.

    • Hi Niall. Thanks for your great feedback. Not sure how many days you have. You can do the hike through Vallunga, possibly Adolf Munkel Trail (you might need snow shoes for that one) , Val Venegia, To be fair wherever you go there is going to be hiking possibilities at any time of the year. You can also base yourself in Val Pusteria and hike through Val Fiscalina to Rifugio Talschlusshuette and back, do Lake Dobiacco Circuit. Any South facing slopes and until around 1600 meters above see level are snow free. I live in the Alps.

  4. Hi Marta,

    Really love what you’ve done here. We will be in the area of the third week of May this year. I know it’s a bit early for many of the hikes but do you not recommend some of them for May because they aren’t possible then or it’s just not ideal?
    We will have around 4-5 days there and happy to do some more challenging hikes. Is there any combination that you would say we should do?

    • Hi Dane. Thanks for visiting. In the description of the hikes I did put in when they are doable. Generally all south facing hikes are doable in the second half of May, because the Southern slopes are exposed to the sun and loose the snow quicker. Valley walks and lower elevation hikes are doable year round. it’s the high altitude hikes that are not doable yet due to snow.
      Some huts in the Rosengarten group open at the end of May, but most huts are still going to be closed hence doing a 4-5 day hike will not be possible. I hope that helps.

  5. Hi Marta,

    I have loved reading your blog. We will be travelling the Dolomites for a week in July 2024 with our 1 year old. We would love to do a couple of half day hikes off the beaten track with him in a carrier, would you have advice on which trails you think would be suitable for us?

    Regards Rosie

    • Hi Rosie. Dolomites in July are very busy and finding places with less people isn’t easy. You can check out San Martino Di Castrozza / Fiera Di Primero and the range around there. The hikes that I enlisted here as easy would be good for carrying a child in a backpack. Look into Monte Castellaz and Col de La Puina. They felt quieter than some of the other hikes. If however you want to experience peace and tranquility consider going in October instead. I hope that helps!

  6. Hello Marta,
    We are a bunch of very active seniors (ages 60-72) considering a summer hiking trip in late June to the Dolomites next year. I discovered your website today and have loved browsing thru it.
    I so admire your ability to go on all these via ferratas. It must be an amazing experience but unfortunately for me that is something for my next life! 🙂
    For now I have a couple of questions about the Coldai Lake hike.
    1st question: You have listed it as a moderate hike. You have mentioned the easiest option is to take the two-tier gondola from Alleghe. Are your stats for the hike taking into account the gondola ascent or are they listed from the town of Alleghe? You have listed the total ascent as 1575ft but I found another website which lists it as about 920ft and significantly less total distance if you take the two gondolas. Would you mind confirming.
    2nd question: You dont mention it but have you hiked to Rifugio Tissi also after getting to Lago Coldai? If you are familiar with it, would you rate it as a difficult hiking stretch from lago Coldai to Rifugio Tissi? Does this segment have a lot of steep scree?
    Thank you so much in advance and I cant wait to read about your future adventures.

    • Hi Shree. Thanks for visiting. The stats are from the upper gondola station. From the station you first loose a bit of elevation before starting the hike to the lake you will also go over a saddle after passing rifugio Coldai before descending to the lake. On the way back you will also gain and loose elevation.
      Yes I hiked to rifugio Tissi when I walked the Alta Via 1. You can view the description and the photos of this stage in my Alta Via Guide Part 2 (rifugio Coldai to rifugio Vazzoler). The stretch isn’t difficult. The whole Alta Via 1 is well walked. But you definitely will be adding a few hundred more feet of elevation gain.

  7. Dear Marta,
    Your site is extremely informative and beneficial to me in planning our trips to the Dolomites. My son and I visited for the first time this year and your information and hiking guides are spot on! We did a lot of overnight hikes spending the nights at rifugios, such as Seceda where we spent the night at Rifugio Firenze. We had the most amazing time – so thank you very much for taking the time to write these guides up and provide all of the details that you do!

    For our return trip next summer, we are planning to hike Lago di Coldai. Of the two options you provided in this article:
    1. Two-tier gondola from the town of Alleghe: Alleghe – Pian di Pezze – Col Dei Baldi; approx 4 – 5 hours
    2. Parking near Rifugio Palafavera and starting the hike from here; approx 5 hours

    A couple of questions, please:
    1. Which one is the gentler of the two hikes?
    2. Which one is the more scenic hike?
    3. For newbies to the Dolomites looking for that amazing mountain scenery (we live in flat Florida), which would you recommend? My son and I are photo enthusiasts 🙂

    For our hiking abilities, we surprisingly found that it was a lot easier to hike in the Dolomites (probably because we are not carrying a large backpack with all of our camping gear, food, etc.) and the high altitude did not impact us at all (which I was most concerned about).

    Any guidance you can provide us regarding the two options for this hike would be most appreciated. I look forward to your response and thank you very much for your time.

    Best regards,

    • Hi Debbie. Thanks for visiting and your lovely feedback. I am glad you had an awesome time seeing the Seceda thanks to my site.
      Now for your questions. The gondola from Alleghe is definitely easier and with less elevation gain. 2. Both routes eventually turn into the same one so you are not missing out.
      If you will take the gondola I would actually recommend that you continue pass Coldai hut and keep walking to rifugio Tissi. You can view this part of the hike in my Alta Via 1 part 2 guide. (stage from rifugio Coldai to Vazzoler. Rifugio Tissi is half way between the two). Tissi has fantastic views over Monte Civetta. Perfect for sunset photos! If you need any one-on-one tips or help with designing an itinerary focused around photography I do offer trip planning services. Something to consider. I hope that helps!

      • Hello Marta,

        My apologies for my tardy response but I did want to say thank you for the information above and also for letting me know about your Trip Planning Services. That sounds like a great service and I will definitely keep it in mind as we continue to plan our trip for next June.

        Have a wonderful week ahead.


  8. Wow!
    This is amazing!
    I got so impressed by this unrealistic views!
    I’ll be at Bolzano/Brixen on August 2nd, I will only have time from 12pm till 7pm
    What one place would you visit in such a short period of time?
    I’m very well prepared for any type of hiking.


    • Hi Oleg. Thanks for visiting and your feedback. You could do a quick visit to Lake Carezza and maybe take the Paolina chairlift up and do a little hike in the Rosengarten group. There are public buses that travel from Bolzano to Carezza at a regular interval.

  9. Thank you for such a fabulous resource! grateful for the effort you have put into this blog.

    If one is based in Cortina – or another village – it possible to access trailheads without a car, using public transportation?

    • Hi Aimee. Thanks for stopping by. During the summer season you can get to most trailheads by bus. I talk about the bus options in the individual posts for each hike, which I link to from this article.

  10. Dear Marta, Your website is amazing, and the information on it is very extensive. It’s hard to find such great sites! We are supposed to be next week (between June 12 and 16) in Compitello di Pasa. Interested in a four day trip, where at least one day we will go for a walk in the Cortina area. My question, considering the expected weather, and the state of the snow on the peaks, what are the (five or six) most recommended trips? We travel at a good level, and easy to medium level trips are suitable for us. We would be very happy if you could decide for us what you think is the most beautiful and appropriate. Thanks again for everything!

    • Hi Zury! Thanks for stopping by. Campitello di Fassa is a great place to stay. I am happy to help you with organising your trip to maximize your experience. Please visit this page and if you are interested then please contact me directly.

  11. Hi there! Thanks for such a wonderful post. We will be spending a few days in Cortina and a few days in Chiusa. Plus 2 days Parco Naturale Tre Cime: where we will sleep in Refugio Lavaredo and also Locatelli ( thanks for answering my question in your post about Tre Cime!). So we will do a few hikes here: Tre Cime, Cadini di Misurina viewpoint, val fiscalía.
    I was wondering if you could suggest 2 day hikes for Cortina and 2 day hikes for Chiusa. It is very hard to pick when everything is so beautiful. We tend to like hikes with great panoramic views more than walking in forests or around lakes. We would rather not do via Ferratas. Thanks!!

  12. Your guide to the Canadian Rockies was super helpful to me during a past trip, you pretty much planned the whole thing for me. I am super stoked to use your resources again for a trip to the Dolomites. Thank you for such comprehensive guides with great photography that provides an in depth perspective to these places.

    • Hi Zac. Thanks for your awesome feedback. I had a look at your gallery and your photos are lovely. Looks like you had an awesome time in the Rockies. Have lots of fun in the Dolomites and let me know if you have any specific questions.

  13. This blog and especially this article was my stepping stone in planning my trips in Dolomites, such wonderful images and succinct, yet useful information. Could hardly decide for 4-5 days what to do first with so many wonderful options.
    Thank you very much for the info, have sunny and safe paths! <3

    • Hi Delia! Thank you so much for your amazing feedback and for your support on Ko-Fi! I really appreciate it. I hope you have an amazing time in the Dolomites and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

  14. Hello! Thank you for posting such useful information! We will be heading to the Dolomites first week of September for 4 days and are beginner to intermediate hikers. Can you please recommend a “base” place to stay so we can do day hikes during the 4 days we are there? Thank you very much!!

    • Hi Anne, Thanks for stopping by. I have an article about the top places to stay in the Dolomites in the photography category of my Italian Dolomites Guide. Cortina has many amazing hikes around the Dolomites and so do towns in Val Di Fassa or Val Gardena. North parts of the Dolomites (Val Pusteria and its villages are also great) make sure to check my other article.

      • Thank you for such a fabulous resource! grateful for the effort you have put into this blog.

        If one is based in Cortina – or another village – it possible to access trailheads without a car, using public transportation?

        • Hi Aimee, Yes it is. You can visit the individual guides for the hikes which are located close to Cortina and in most of them I have a section where it says how to get there by bus.

  15. Hi Marta thanks for such an amazing site. We are staying in Auronzo mid June for a week and are looking to do some day hikes in this area, do you have any recommendations. We are very keen to walk the Tre Cime loop, is the snow level receding fast enough for this to be possible with no extra equipment. Thanks for any help and advice you are able to give us.

    • Hi Peter! Thanks for stopping by. Don’t worry the snow is melting very quickly and there is already a huge difference between the start of May and now. By mid-June the trails will be mostly clear of snow. Tre Cime circuit is nice, but bear in mind this is a very busy hike. If you want to escape the madness go very early in the morning. Lake Sorapiss is also relatively close to Auronzo. You could also hike up to rifugio Carducci and from there do a via ferrata around Croda dei Toni if you are up for it. I would also recommend that you purchase a map of the Marmarole group which is very close to Auronzo. I am not super familiar with this area yet but I know it’s great for hiking. A great alternative to Tre Cime loop is to hike from Val Fiscalina to rifugio Locatelli and exit back through Val Sassovechio. I have an article about this hike which I link to in this article. From Misurina you could also hike to rifugio Citta Di Carpi or from Lake Antorno hike to rifugio Fonda Savio and do via ferrata Merlone. I hope that helps a bit! Let me know if you have more questions!

  16. Dear Marta,
    Your site is amazing and so helpful! I can’t thank you enough for sharing your expertise.
    If you had to pick 2 day hikes (no ferrata equipment) close to Ortisei, and 2 close to Cortina which would you recommend?
    I would love to know which would be your favorite.
    My trip will be mid June.

    PS: please keep doing your amazing work.
    With gratitude

    • Hi Maria! Thanks so much for the awesome feedback. If I were to pick two around Cortina it would be definitely 1. Croda Da Lago circuit and 2 Lago Di Sorapiss. Both don’t require via ferrata equipment. As for Ortisei you can hike from Passo Gardena to rifugio Puez then exit through Vallunga. I don’t have the description of this hike on my website. I have done this as part of the Alta Via 2. The second one would be the Sassolungo Circuit which I have done for the first time in October last year and am currently working on the article about it. Both would be around 5-6 hour hikes. If you are looking for something shorter then you could hike around the Puez Odle altiplano to seceda ridgeline viewpoint, which I do have a link to within this article. Let me know if you have any more questions!

  17. Ciao Marta Big Kudos to you for your exceptional and inspirational work. Such terrific photos !!! I was obsessed with the books and exploits of Reinhold Messner as a young man and am a lifelong lover of mountains ( treks in Alaska, BC, Patagonia, Swiss Alps, Annapurna, and Everest). So I am very excited to finally get to hike in the Dolomites this coming October. Your fantastic photos only enhance my excitement. I have two weeks to explore and plan to base out of Cortina d’Ampezzo and Ortesei for one week each. Does that make sense to be able to optimize my time ? Are the Refugios and gondolas still running in October ? Finally, wondering if you’ve been to any of the handful of Messner’s mountain museums and if you found them worthwhile. Many thanks for any helpful info !! Stay well. Cheers Ed

    • Hi Ed! Thanks for stopping by and your lovely comment. If you were obsessed with Reinhold Messner perhaps you have heard of Jerzy Kukuczka? He was a Polish guy who was breathing down Messner’s neck on his pursuit to climb all 8000-meter peaks! He is our national hero 🙂 All gondolas around Cortina shut around the third week of September, the same time as the huts close but there is still plenty to do around Cortina that doesn’t require any gondolas. In Val Gardena and Val di Fassa the gondolas tend to stay open until the first or second week of October. You can check the gondola schedules online. I have done the Rosengarten traverse in the first week of October and the huts were still staffed. The second half of October is magical in the Dolomites thanks to the larches turning yellow. It’s quite a spectacle but everything is shut by then so I would then only stick to day hikes. As for the museums, apart from the war museum on the top of Marmolada and a few tunnels and trenches, I have not been to any of the Messner’s mountain museums. I have heard great things about them though and when I get a chance I will definitely visit them! Let me know if I can help further!!

  18. hi! thank you very much for your very detailed posts and amazing photos!! my husband and i are in our late 20s, beginner level hikers, average fitness. we will be going to dolomites in the middle of May 2022. we understand that there will likely be snow on trails and many cable cars will not be open then. therefore, i would really like to get your opinion on these hikes and which you will recommend for hiking in may! thank you so much and really appreciate your help!

    • Hi Yingyin! Thanks for stopping by, You are right May isn’t the time to go into high mountains yet, but you can definitely already do valley walks, lower elevation hikes and anything that makes you stay on the Southern slopes. From the list above I would aim at: Croda Da Lago (not the whole circuit, just to the lake and back), Lake Sorapiss. The slopes are exposed to the sun so there is a possibility that there might not be much snow, but this is a big maybe; Lago di Braies circuit, Adolf Munkel Trail. I would also recommend that you check out Monte Castellaz (I have a post about it in the day hikes section, but it hasn’t been added to this list yet), Val Venegia, Vallunga (the last two are both valley walks and often doable year round). I did both last October and still have to write posts about them. You could also do a circuit around Lake Dobiacco, it’s more of a walk than a hike, but again high altitudes hikes are not a good idea yet. I will be heading to the dolomites at the start of May for some spring hikes so if you chceck back with me after May 9th I will be able to give you a few more pointers. I hope that helps!

      • Hey, Marta! Your article is soo helpful, thank you!! How was your visit during spring? I’ve noted all your suggestions for May but would you have any other notes or hikes to add from your visit? My sister and I are visiting 22nd – 27th May this year and we are really looking forward to some (low elevation) hikes and walks.

        • Hi Bianca. I visited at the start of May and did a few hikes. At the end of May some gondolas start to open so you may even be able to go up to see the Seceda Ridgeline. All in all Southern slopes are free of snow, the Northern ones are the ones that remain snow covered even until early July. If your objective is to do low elevation hikes than you have nothing to worry about. It can rain during spring time but it never really rains the whole day. It’s also still pleasantly quiet as opposed to the summer season. I hope you have a wonderful time!


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