Tourist guides and information on Dolomites mountains in Italy include the weather, how to get to the them, all the tours of the Dolomites and a lot of things to do in these spectacular mountains. As well as other tourist information to assist you planning how to spend your time on the Dolomites.
Introduction to Dolomites Mountains, Italy
The Dolomites' mountain range is the most dramatic and beautiful range of mountains in Italy. They are also the most accessible ones. Its crags and jagged peaks are accessible through one of the most complex systems of hiking trails in Europe. With the help of numerous cable cars, chairlifts and gondolas, its awe-inspiring beauty is well within the abilities of all levels of walkers and hikers.
In Dolomites' travel guides you'll find all the available trails you can do. The system of trails around the Dolomites provide walking routes from easy walks of two or three hours to more extensive trails providing excursions that can last several days. The trails vary greatly for level of difficulty: easy hikes traverse alpine meadows while the high altitude hikes involve routes where hikers have to be able to scale the highest peaks by utilizing iron cables latched onto the mountains faces, or through tunnels excavated during the First World War.
Dolomites mountains came into existence when the continents of Europe and Africa collided two hundred million years ago, pushing up the previous low-lying tropical sea above the rest of Italy. The mountain range is primarily made up of two types of limestone: Calcium carbon limestone and Calcium magnesium carbon limestone (dolomite rock).
These types of stone are very weak and fragile, and when the glaciers of ice age passed through the mountain range they carved the soaring peaks and deep verdant valleys that now characterize Dolomites. Punctuated by glaciers, emerald green lakes and lively mountain villages, the Dolomites offer an ideal destination all year round. In the winter months skiing is the biggest pastime, while in high Summer hiking, mountaineering and mountain biking take over as principal activities.
Dolomites took their name after a French geologist Dolomieu, who was the first scientist to analyze the geological history of these mountains in the 17th century. Originally, Dolomites were called “Pale Mountains”, according to a local legend about a prince who lived on the mountains and who wished to travel to the moon. One day his wishes were granted, and while he was there he fell in love with the princess of the moon.
After marrying her, they returned to the mountains on the Earth, but after a couple of years the princess pined for the pale mountains of his home, the moon. Unfortunately, the prince could not take her back to the moon because if he did it he would have become blind. But, he had the good fortune to meet a group of homeless gnomes who in exchange for a home in his kingdom, they weaved the rays of the moonlight into a fine gossamer that they used to cover the mountains, creating the pale color the mountains are so famous for, and so the prince and the princess lived happily ever after.
Nowadays, these same pale mountains magically change color throughout the day depending on the intensity of light. A few minutes before sunrise and a few minutes after sunset, in a clear day, you may be able to witness the Alpenglow phenomenon, when the mountains turn purple in color for a few minutes.
The mountains have numerous legends related to their form, as well as intriguing stories related to the First World War when the frontline between Italians and Austrians ran right through the highest peaks and mountain passes of Dolomites.
The man has been present on these mountains since the 2nd century BC, when Celtic hunters from the north began to build settlements in the Dolomites. Today, the people of the Dolomites live in harmony with their environment, and its development is strictly controlled by local family communities whose origins date back to the times of the Longobards rule of Italy. Even famous ski resorts like Cortina D'Ampezzo and Val Gardena retain their village like atmospheres that till enchant the visitors of Dolomites.
Since 1956, when Cortina hosted the winter Olympic Games, the fortunes of the local people changed dramatically as quickly as they realized that tourism was where their future lay. In the following years they developed all kind of services on their precious mountains to offer a vast variety of outdoor activities that make the Dolomites an ideal destination for adventure travelers.
Weather in Dolomites, Italy
Dolomites are usually warmer and receive less precipitation than Alps. As in all mountainous areas, the weather can change suddenly and here, it can vary greatly between the regions within the Dolomites. Typically, bad weather arrives from South, while the winds from North usually bring good weather.
Typically, the south and south-western areas of the mountains have more foggy days as they are closer to the warm Venetian plain and the Adriatic Sea. The northern sections of the mountains generally receive less precipitation as storms arriving from South generally lose most of their moisture laden before arriving in the northern sections of Dolomites.
In Summer, from mid-June to early August, days are pleasantly warm with cool nights and some occasional storms. September tends to be clear and fairly warm with consistent good weather through the middle of October. Snow begins to arrive around the end of December continuing through March, although snow at higher altitudes can arrive all year round.
How to Get to Dolomites, Italy
Dolomites are located in the north of Italy, in the regions of Trentino-Alto Adige and Veneto. For travelers arriving by air from outside Europe, the two major international airports of Milan and Munich are the closest arrival points for Dolomites, while for those flying from JFK airport in New York the closest arrival point is Marco Polo airport.
By car from Milan it would take a 4 hours' drive to reach Dolomites mountains, from Munich 3 and a half hours and from Venice 1 hour and a half. You can also reach the Dolomites by train on the main line crossing the Brenner Pass and connecting Austria with the major Italian cities.
The Fortezza train station would be the ideal departure point for people wanting to visit the northern section of Dolomites, while Bolzano would probably be the most convenient for the southern parts of the mountain range. Thanks to its fame, it will be easy to find directions on how to get to the Dolomites.
Getting Around the Dolomites
Once reached the Dolomites you'll find a dense network of local roads that make it very easy to get around all the major points of interest by car. The mountains also boast a very extensive bus network that is particularly useful during the summer months since the access to many of the trails is provided by a regular schedule bus service. There are also numerous private taxi companies that offer specialized services that can assist walkers who need to get to isolated walking routes.
Tours of Dolomites from Venice
Small Group Day Tours of the Dolomites mountains depart on a daily basis from Venice. Enjoy an intimate experience of Europe's most beautiful range of mountains with a fascinating tour that incorporates all the major attractions of these mountains. From the soaring peaks to the emerald green lakes and lively mountain villages you'll enjoy a thorough exploration of these enchanting mountains.