Four incredible hikes in the Dolomites

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Get Outside / Travel

It’s a muggy afternoon and I’m home in the country, under the air con, escaping the shimmery 40 degree heat outside. It’s always a struggle to crack open the laptop on the weekend (mainly because my 9-5 has me glued to a screen) but there’s so much from our time in Europe I want to share that today’s heat is as good an excuse as any.

I want to start with probably one of our favourite outdoor experiences – hiking and eating our way through the Italian Dolomites. Since we’ve come back to Australia, the number one thing we’ve been asked about is our time in Italy, particularly what it was like to stay in the Italian Rifugios (mountain huts).

The Dolomites are one of the most beautiful parts of the world we have been lucky enough to explore. Nothing prepares you for the combination of oh-so-perfect Italian villages surrounded by tall, jagged, snow capped mountains towering in all directions. The huge number of hikes and trails leading to picturesque rustic mountain huts is a feast for the eyes and the ‘gram (I promise, you literally cannot take a bad photo).

Huge fans of the illusive ‘shoulder season’, we timed our Dolomite hikes in autumn – when the colours of the trees are brightest and the crowds are at their lowest. There were days when we only passed a single fellow hiker – something that would be near impossible in the peak summer season. And not a selfie stick to be seen.

Here are our four favourite one-day and overnight hikes in the St Magdalena and Cortina areas of South Tirol, Italian Dolomites. If you’re looking for something pretty spectacular to add to your Euro itinerary, I couldn’t recommend this area more.


Rifugio Genova Overnighter

Area: Val de Funes, Italy
Where we slept: Rifugio Genova mountain hut. Around 15 euros per night, per bunk bed depending on the season.
Closest town: St Magdalena, Italy. 

We hiked from just outside St Magdalena to Rifugio Genova (2,300m) in around four hours, stopping for a lunch of locally churned cheese, veggie soup and some ice cold Austrian beer. I was lucky enough to wake up at 3am to a small sprinkling of snow starting to fall outside the refuge.

Trek 1-4030_29024_23 004_3Trek 1-1

Val Salata Day Hike

Area: Val Salata, Italy.
We walked: To Refugio Sennes return.
Where we slept: AirBnB in Cortina d’Ampezzo 

There are endless hikes you can do from Cortina d’Ampezzo, one of Italy’s most beautiful towns and a high end ski resort in the winter. Our Airbnb hosts were kind enough to let us in on some of the local secrets – the Val Salata area being one of them. The landscape on this hike was some of the most spectacular we’d seen, changing constantly from hour to hour. Refugio Sennes was closed when we visited, so we packed our own lunch of Italian produce and had a one-in-a-lifetime picnic on the sunny deck.

Val Salata 1Val Salata 4Val Salata 3Val Salata 2

‘Cinque Torri’ Day Hike

Area: Cinque Torri
We walked from: From Rifugio 5 Torri to Rifugio Nuvalo return – about 5 hours.
Where we slept: AirBnB in Cortina d’Ampezzo

One of our last hikes out of Cortina, we only passed one fellow hiker the entire day. Bliss! Unfortunately for him, as he was chatting to us a bird stole his lunch (inapproproate laughter ensured from my end) so we shared our picnic with him and the 360 degree views surrounding Rifugio Nuvalo.

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Nuvalo 1Nuvalo 2IMG_3623-Recovered


Easy Three Peaks of Lavaredo

Where: Around Tre Cime di Lavaredo.
Where we slept: AirBnB in Cortina d’Ampezzo

Definitely the most touristy hike of the four, however the stunning backdrop makes up for the crowds. If you stick to the track, you can do this walk in your Nikes. Go early and make sure you explore the many secret World War II tunnels winding their way through the sheer rock faces. Stop for a beer by Lagos de Misurina on the way back to Cortina.

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The Author

Aussie food lover, holistic health coach, adventure seeker and marketer. Packing the happy & healthy into every day.


  1. Alana Holmberg says

    Amazing post Eb! Stunning photography. I want to go there.

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