Even in the busiest of seasons, the Dolomites is one of the least-traveled regions of Italy, making for a peaceful ambience perfect for a true mountain-getaway. Head to the snow-covered slopes for an amazing ski trip with the whole family. Or, bring that special someone along for a summer stint into pure bliss. Straddling the Austrian border, the Dolomite mountain range is situated at the wonderful confluence between Mediterranean and Alpine culture and landscape. Year round, the air is cool and crisp, ripe for that much-needed breath of fresh air.
The Dolomites are replete with lavish hotel resorts and oases for both wellness- and active-vacationers. For the former, expect sprawling spa areas with numerous pools and saunas that cater to all the senses. Perfect for a getaway for two, while away a day in a romantic hotel perched high on a mountain top or nestled sweetly in a tiny Italian village. The Dolomites are known the world over as one of the top locations for mountaineering, hiking, and biking. Adventure-seekers can even try their hand at via ferrate, rock climbing using steel cables, or paragliding, but the rest of us will be happy hiking to Lago di Braies, a green-hued mountain lake with a beach. Many hotels in the mountains have onsite stables and offer opportunity for horseback riding through the lush countryside. Bring the whole family along for dips in hotel pools, bike rides on trails of varying difficulty, and days spent on massive golf courses. For a long day of hiking, some hotels will even pack you up a picnic lunch to bring along.
If you’re looking for a deluxe and exciting winter-sport-oriented experience, Italy’s Dolomite Mountains are the choice for you. Travelers flock from all over the world for the dramatic peaks and snow-capped ski resorts of the area. In the depths of the Italian Alps, find luxurious mountain hotels just a stone’s throw from cables cars that will zip you up to high-quality ski areas. Relax in beautiful hotel lounges, enjoying the company of the wood-burning fireplace as you wait for state-of-the-art cuisine to be served. With in-house chefs who pride themselves on serving fare authentic to the region, you’ll be sure to get a full picture of the area’s culinary traditions in every buffet breakfast and slow dinner in the dining room. Set off on a hike past frozen mountain lakes as part of your skiing holiday or give snowboarding or snowshoeing a go. Some of the area’s top ski towns and areas are Funivie Madonna di Campiglio, Campitello di Fassa, and Cortina d’Ampezzo, which was the 1956 site of the Olympics.
Getting there: Begin your journey to the Dolomites with a quick flight to either Venice, Italy or Innsbruck, Austria. Just over a two-hour drive from both airports, there are trains, busses, and shuttles that connect the places regularly. If you choose to rent a car at either airport, opt for the scenic route, which doesn’t add too much more time and allows you to travel through the many charming villages that line the route.