More than just winter sports: the Dolomites in summer

The Dolomites are probably one of the most popular regions for skiers, snowboarders and other winter sports enthusiasts around the world. There are a total of 12 ski resorts here, which attract millions of active guests every year. However, the mountains have much more to offer than just winter sports. The Dolomites are also a popular destination in summer and offer, in addition to sporting activities such as hiking, biking and climbing, even wellness and culture. We have summarized the best tips for the next summer vacation in this beautiful mountain range at this point.

Dolomites, South Tyrol

The Dolomites themselves

The Dolomites are a mountain range of the southern limestone Alps. It was formed about 200 million years ago. The area extends over five Italian provinces, South Tyrol, Trentino, Belluno, Udine and Pordenone. Since 2009 the mountain range has been part of the UNESCO World Natural Heritage Site.

Particularly characteristic is the landscape of the Dolomites. There are sudden alternations of sharp rock formations with rolling clearings and alpine meadows. The highest peak of the formation is the Marmolata with a height of 3.342 meters. The most famous section is probably the Three Peaks, which is located in the Sesto Dolomites.

Hiking and discovering nature

Not only ski and winter sports fans enjoy the mountainous landscape. In summer, hikers also get their money's worth in the Dolomites. The best possibilities are offered by the small town of Cortina, which became famous as the venue of the 1956 Winter Olympics, among other things.

Cortina offers more than 400 marked hiking trails, through meadows and forests, past alpine pastures and lakes. For hiking fans it is a perfect destination, as there are many different levels of difficulty and trekking options. Hikes lasting several days are possible, as well as simple walks.

If a path is too difficult, all gondola and chair lifts as well as public transport can be used with the appropriate hiking pass.

Climbing in all levels of difficulty

Especially in summer the Dolomites become a climbing paradise. The region around the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, mentioned at the beginning of this article, is the ideal place for this kind of activity. Every year the area attracts countless climbing enthusiasts from all over the world to South Tyrol.

The difficulty levels range from easy via ferrata to difficult climbing walls. Here you can find some of the most important climbing routes of the Alps.

Especially people who have little experience with climbing, however, should always take a professional in the form of a mountain guide to the side and be accompanied. In advance it is important to keep an eye on the weather situation.

Rafting for adrenaline junkies


A sport that is only possible in summer in the Dolomites is rafting. Here it goes with a rubber dinghy through the wild waters of the mountains. A popular water for this is the Rienz river. It rises at the foot of the Three Peaks. There are also different levels of difficulty.

Basically, the participants of a rafting tour should have an average condition, be able to swim as well as bring team spirit and good mood. A minimum age of 5 years is recommended. Very wild rafting tours are possible only from the age of 16 years.

All tours are supervised by special rafting guides.

Pure relaxation in the wellness hotel

Less action, but more relaxation, summer vacationers can expect in the tranquil Kastelruth. In a wellness hotel in the Dolomites you can really relax. Moreover, the Abinea can be a perfect base and starting point to tackle all the undertakings in the Dolomites.

In addition to a panoramic sky pool, the hotel offers a salt pool grotto, an extensive sauna area and various wellness treatments and massages.

The whole program is rounded off with attractively furnished rooms as well as South Tyrolean gourmet cuisine, which thrives on its local products. So active vacationers can always be well rested for the next adventure in the Dolomites.

Exploring the landscape on the bike

Dolomites Cycling

We go back to the area around Cortina. Here is one of the most popular and famous bike paths in the Dolomites, the Lunga Via delle Dolomiti. This long route of the Dolomites is a bike path built on the former route of the Dolomite Railway.

With a distance of 66 kilometers it can be mastered in one or two stages. The bike path leads from Dobbiaco to Calalzo die Cadore. Halfway down the mountain lies Cortina.

The route offers a number of spectacular sights and buildings: the cycle path leads through a total of 10 tunnels and over several bridges and viaducts. A disadvantage of the route is, however, that it is not asphalted throughout.

Follow the water course: Canyoning

At the end we have again a more action-packed activity. Canyoning allows you to experience completely new dimensions of water. Through rivers and their gorges the active holidaymakers move around and experience firsthand incredible natural spectacles.

Canyoning combines water and mountain sports. There is swimming and climbing. A good basic condition is required.

A nice spot for this is Val die Sole in the Brenta Dolomites. However, nobody should dare to go canyoning without a professional guide.


The Dolomites have much more to offer than just winter sports. Above all, there is a lot of action in nature in the mountains, but also recreation is not neglected. A summer vacation or a biking vacation in the Dolomites is perfect for all active nature lovers and recreation addicts.

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