Wondering how to get to the Dolomites? Discover your options and the best way.
The Dolomites, a UNESCO World Heritage site in Northern Italy, are a group of mountain ranges located in northeastern Italy. With their breathtaking views, unique geological features, and thrilling outdoor activities like skiing, hiking trails, and rock climbing, the Dolomites are a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.
If you’re planning a trip and wondering how to get to the Dolomites, here’s a comprehensive guide to help you on your journey.
We adore the Dolomites. We first visited a few years ago and spent time meandering from village to village. I recently returned for a birthday trip with my daughter and we had the best time. The views, hiking, mountain biking, food, and lakes, were all breathtaking.
But figuring out how to get to the Dolomites can be a little tricky. It’s a mountain range and there aren’t really any direct trains or direct flights to Dolomites Italy, so if you’re unfamiliar with the area, it can be a challenge. So I wanted to explain how to get to Dolomites towns without causing too much anxiety!
Here’s what we’ll talk about
What we'll be talking about
- Where are the Dolomites?
- How to get to the Dolomites by Car
- How to get to the Dolomites by Train
- How to get to the Dolomites by Plane
- Driving times to the Dolomites from each nearby airport
- How to get to the Dolomites on a Day Trip
- Multi-Day Tour to the Dolomites in Italy
- Exploring Different Regions of the Dolomites
- Essential Tips and Considerations for Visiting the Dolomites in Italy
- Before you go…
- Some related articles that may be helpful
Where are the Dolomites?
The Dolomites are a mountain range located in northeastern Italy. They form a part of the Southern Limestone Alps and extend from the River Adige in the west to the Piave Valley in the east.
The Dolomites are renowned for their breathtaking landscapes, distinctive rock formations, and are a popular destination for hiking, skiing, mountain climbing, and other outdoor activities.
In 2009, they were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to their exceptional beauty and unique geological importance. The region encompasses the provinces of Belluno, South Tyrol, and Trentino in Italy.
How to get to the Dolomites by Car
Up for a road trip? Driving is by far the most common way and the best way to get to the Dolomites.
Renting a car provides the most flexibility and convenience. The main highways leading to the Dolomites are the A22 (Autostrada del Brennero) and the A27. Be sure to have a good GPS or a detailed map, and check for any seasonal road closures, especially during the winter months or during high season.
Driving the mountain passes of the Dolomites region can be challenging if you’re not used to traversing small, winding mountain roads. If you’re not an experienced driver, I recommend getting a car rental with an automatic transmission to save your knees and for a less stressful experience, especially if you’re planning on visiting ski resorts in the winter months.
If you plan on getting a rental car, be sure to get your International Driving Permit before going to Italy. It’s easy, cheap, and you must legally have this to rent a car and drive in Italy. Find out more about how to get your IDP here.
If you’re planning to rent a car in Italy, we recommend booking with Rental Cars. We’ve had the best luck finding the best deals on this site and love their detailed search features.
How to get to the Dolomites by Train
The Dolomites are fairly well-connected by train if you want to stick to all the major towns. The main railway stations are in Bolzano, Trento, and Belluno. From there, you can catch local buses, taxis, and cable cars to reach specific destinations within the Dolomites. But you will have to be patient with the timetables and waiting for public transportation. You lose a lot of flexibility when you get to the Dolomites by train.
If you do opt to use public transportation in the Dolomites, I recommend getting a South Tyrol Mobilcard. You can get one at a tourist information center or train stations.
You should purchase longer train journeys ahead of time here.
How to get to the Dolomites by Plane
Thinking about flying to Dolomites? If you search for Dolomites airport, you’re about to be disappointed. Unless you want to land on a mountain top, the options for an airport near dolomites are not great and not close. The closest major airports to the Dolomites are Venice, Verona, Bologna, Milan, Innsbruck, Munich, and Zurich.
Driving times to the Dolomites from each nearby airport
The best option is to choose one of these airports to fly into and either rent a car, hire a driver or use public transport to get to the small towns in the area. Here is a table that lays out the driving times from each airport to the Dolomites region.
|Milan Bergamo||3.5 hours|
How to get to the Dolomites on a Day Trip
If you’re limited on time and don’t want to bother with a car rental, you can always see the Dolomites on a day trip. It’s a lot to see in one day, and if possible, you should really take several days or longer to explore. But a day trip to the dolomites is a good option if you can’t. Here are some great options.
On this tour, you’ll embark on a 300 km daily journey through the mesmerizing Dolomites. Ideal for those with just a day to explore the magnificent Dolomites, this excursion takes you along the entirety of “The Great Dolomites Road,” stretching from Bolzano to Cortina d’Ampezzo.
Experience the best of both Western and Eastern Dolomites, including their picturesque alpine lakes. This approximately 10-hour adventure is sure to leave a lasting impression! You’ll see Carezza Lake, Sass Pordoi, Three Peaks, Cortina d’Ampezzo, Lake Braies, and more!
This day trip from Venice to Dolomites, drive through the beautiful lakes and Alpine mountains. You stop in lake Santa Croce, Pieve di Cadore, Cortina, lake Auronzo, lake Misurina, and finish in Cortina d’Ampezzo. The tour takes around 8 hours and is a good overview of the area.
This Lake Garda to Dolomites day trip will take you through the adorable small towns of Moena, Cavalese, and up the Pordoi Pass, 2,240 meters above sea level and eventually to the village of Ortisei. This day trip is around 10-12 hours long.
This is a great tour if you’re staying in Verona. It will take you through UNESCO World Heritage Sites including Val di Fiemme, Soraga Lake, Moena, Cavalese, Sass Pordoi, and Ortisei. The tour is around 11 hours.
Multi-Day Tour to the Dolomites in Italy
If one day isn’t enough for you, but you don’t want the hassle of driving or figuring out pulic transportation, you can take a multi-day tour of the Dolomites. Here are my top recommendations for tours.
This is a truly epic multi-day tour that will give you an in-depth overview of the Dolomites without having to do any of the planning. With only a small group of 16, you’ll be in an intimate group of new friends.
If you’re leaving from Milan and want a few days in the Dolomites, this tour is a great option. You’ll see Verona, Cortina d’ampezzo, Lago Dobbiaco, Badia, Lago Misurina, Bolzano, Lago di Braies, and much more on this cultural tour.
Another great 4-day tour from Milan, this popular tour is another good option with a lot of great reviews. You’ll see tons of places in the Dolomites and Verona as well.
Exploring Different Regions of the Dolomites
The Dolomites span several provinces, and the transportation methods may vary slightly depending on where you plan to go.
South Tyrol (Alto Adige)
Home to stunning landscapes and outdoor activities, South Tyrol can be reached by car or public transportation. Buses and trains are available to towns like Val Gardena, Val di Fassa, and Merano.
Belluno offers a unique blend of Italian and Austrian culture. You can reach it by train or car, and once there, local buses connect various towns and villages.
Known for its rugged landscapes and outdoor adventures, Trentino is accessible by train, car, or bus. Consider visiting spots like Madonna di Campiglio or Trento city.
Essential Tips and Considerations for Visiting the Dolomites in Italy
- Check weather conditions and road closures, especially if visiting in winter.
- Respect the environment and follow local guidelines and trail markings.
- Consider hiring a local guide if you plan on undertaking challenging hikes or climbs.
- If driving, familiarize yourself with Italian driving laws and be mindful of tolls on highways.
Before you go…
Now that you know how to get to the Dolomites, you may want to know what to do, where to stay, and the best places to explore in the Italian Dolomites. Check out our super helpful guide to the Dolomites.
How to get to the Dolomites?
The easiest and most affordable way to reach the Dolomites in Italy is to rent a car from Venice Airport and drive which will take around 2 hours. You can use public transportation or a tour if you don’t need want to drive or don’t need the flexibility that driving offers.
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