The Italian Dolomites is a hikers' paradise. Dolomites hiking offers much more than the thousands of trails which wind their way between fantastic pinnacles and jagged mountains. Here are 5 reasons why you should experience Dolomites hiking:
1. Hiking Italian Alps is a unique yet easily accessible adventure
A section of the Italian Alps, the Dolomites are located primarily in the province of Belluno. The Italian Alps feature some of the most outstanding photogenic majestic cliffs, tall sharp peaks, impassible overhangs, jagged summits and an abundance of flora. The mountains' unique geographic properties combine of a limestone-like rock atop volcanic bedding. It is a paradise for fossil researchers as well as hikers. Hikers have the opportunity see fossil sea shells and marine remains along its paths. The Dolomites are easily accessible by car, bus and in some areas by train.
2. Enjoy a unique phenomenon
“Enrosadira”, which means 'to become pink', is a unique phenomenon of the Italian Dolomites. Due to the unique mineralogical composition, the presence of calcium carbonate and manganese cause some of the Dolomite rocky cliffs to glow during the sunset. From bright yellow to red to shades of violet, the phenomenon is most visible at sunset while dolomites hiking in the summer evenings.
3. No hiking experience needed
Comprised of over 90,000 acres of mountainous terrain, there is an infinite variety of dolomites hiking opportunities for all ages, fitness levels and hiking experience. Some routes provide the option of taking a funicular, or cable-car, up or down various stretches, therefore creating an easier hike. Dolomite Mountains provides guided and self-guided trips. Hiking trails are well maintained so if you do not choose a guide, you may follow the route without getting lost. Accommodations range from refugios to chic boutique hotels. Refugio accommodations, overnight mountain huts, enable a hiker to carry only a modest pack to stay out on the trail for days or even weeks at a time. The Italian Alps is a natural playground for family fun. In addition to easy hiking trails, various schools offer climbing courses for children. The technically adept rock climber will not exhaust the many challenges of hiking Italian Alps. For example, the Marmolada is comprated of some of the most difficult routes of the Dolomite Mountains.
4. Experience a fascinating blend of culture
Part of Austria for centuries, the Dolomites became part of Italy when the border was moved north to its present position. The area is comprised of a unique confluence of Italian, Austrian, and ancient Ladin traditions and languages.
5. Discover the appeal of Via Ferrata
Via Ferratas are established climbing routes using ladders, grips, cables, suspension bridges and tightropes to help hikers navigate the steep mountainous terrain. Originally built during the First World War for fighting soldiers, the Dolomite Via Ferrata is popular among individuals of all ages and hiking experience.
If you are considering hiking Italian Alps, make arrangement between May to September. Dolomites hiking is mountain climbing made easy, but an experience not easily forgotten.