In the heart of the Dolomites – Italy

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We choose to go to the Dolomites because this destination is not far from France and the mountains over there are crazy !

Day 1 : Venice

To visit the Dolomites, we landed in Venice! It’s the opportunity to discover this famous city on the water. We slept in Mestre (15 minutes away by tram from Venice) because Venice is expensive to stay. You will probably arrive in Venice by train. (the ticket is really cheap) We did not planned anything for Venice, we just took the time to walk wandering between canals and majestic buildings. However, we had just spotted some places to go such as St. Mark’s Square, the Rialto Bridge and a roof where you can see the whole city from the top. If you are interested, just go to shopping mall Fontego dei Tedeschi and take the lift to the roof.

Advice for the hotel ? We stayed in a Airbnb in Mestre for 60 € a night.

 

 

Day 2 : Passo Giau – Lago di Sorapis

After a day in Venice, we jumped a train to join Treviso airport to pick up the rental car. In the early morning we took the road to Passo Giau. We must admit that we slept very badly with the freezing cold weather last night. Arrived in the Dolomites national park, we finally started to drove on the zigzag’s roads. It’s a very beautiful panorama. So, we parked the car directly in front of a hostel to admire the spot of Passo Giau. Because there was snow everywhere, we did not “explore” so much all the surroundings. After admiring this white and super bright landscape, we took the road directly Lago Di Sorapis.

You must know that it was a little too early to go there. We met very few people (2 people only if I remember well). There was a lot of snow and the hiking trails were hard to spot. Some trees were broken and blocking the way. We were easily sinking to the knees in the snow. (snowshoes would have been nice) In addition, some trails were dangerous, we could have slipped and made a red ski trail on the buttocks directly to the bottom of the mountain. No surprise, the lake was frozen but you could see its color through the ice! It’s a very nice place that I want to discover in summer too!

So, I advise to go there at least in June because in summer it’s easier, paths are more perceptible and hiking is accessible for all levels. You must be equipped with good shoes. It’s around 2h30 of walking one way, a little less to go down .. The hike gives an incredible panorama over the whole valley during all the walk. We recommend the greatest caution in case of rain during a hike to Lake Sorapis : the trail is essentially made of slippery rocks. Hiking shoes required!

Day 3 : Tre Cime di Lavaredo

After spending the night in Cortina d’ampezzo, we headed out to our next stop known as Tre Cime di Laverado. The toll was not opened yet because it was the low season (normally 30€ for 24h), so we walked 2hours to get to the first Refuge named Auronzo. After that, we took a break surrounded by nearly 360 degree views of beautiful mountains. We decided to stay to take pictures of this wonderful view. Then, we took the most popular hike in this area: Drei Zinnen hut.

It’s a day hike, easy and for all levels. The hike to Tre Cime di Lavaredo consists of a hike to the Locatelli hut and a return by the same path. No need for a hiking map, just follow the wide track from the refuge of Auronzo. It will take you to the Lavaredo refuge, halfway, then to the Locatelli refuge at the end of the race.

It is after almost 2 hours of walking that we find ourselves behind these immense Tre Cime di Lavaredo. Unfortunately we could not go further because too much snow and traces of avalanches blocked the road. We have the advantages of being out of season but the spots are not as passable as in summer. The landscape was still breathtaking! So we decide to stay admire the view from here, then turn around before dark. We stopped to eat a pizza near Misurina Lake. Many hotels were closed so we slept right by the lake.

 

 

Day 4 : Lago di Braies

So, we started from Lake Misurina to go to Lago di Braies. We had a break for lunch in front of a beautiful lake. It was sunny and temperature was pretty hot! (I was wearing a light dress) Very pleasant landscape to walk around the lake and relax. If you want to stop there, it’s called Lago di Dobiacco.

Second spot and much more known … Lago di Braies. It’s located in the municipality of Braies, between Cortina d’Ampezzo in the south and Brunico in the north. Almost at the border with Austria, Lake Braies is located in the heart of the Fanes-Sennes-Braies Nature Park. It’s undoubtedly one of the most popular tourist place of the Dolomites. Magnificent place. Parking is a bit expensive but hey, it’s tourist attraction so we bended to the rule without complaining. (20 €)

The weather changed from a very beautiful sunny sky 40 minutes before to a torrent of rain. We hesitated to ask a little before going around the lake of Braies but the bar was full. We put on the kway and braved the rain! The place was still sumptuous although we would have loved to capture the reflection of the mountain on the lake …. The small boat activity was not opened because of the weather I guess. I’ve heard that during summer, this place is really really crowded so if you want to do a boat ride, I advice you to come in the morning! Soaked to the skin, we went in the hotel / restaurant right in front of the lake to get a hot chocolate. Then we took the road to join our hotel and get the first shower of the trip ! Yaaay ! It was a lovely apartment not expensive at all ! It’s called : Haus Mucher and you have all amenities you need : bank, supermarket etc…

 

Day 5 : Val di Funès

We took the time to enjoy a comfortable night & morning in a bed for a change !  It’s was so nice to wake up with energy from a very good night on a good mattress and a big blanket. After a delicious breakfast made by my myself (yogurt with fruits pieces,, fresh toast and coffee), we drove to join a famous place on Instagram : Val di Funès. The star there is the tiny chapel just in front of huge mountains. For a change, the weather was not so good ahah and clouds were hiding everything. Because we cannot see the mountains at all, we went to a small bar in the town to select pictures and edit them. We waited for the all afternoon but clouds were still there. So we decided to spend the night there and catch the sunrise to see this magnificent spot. Fortunatly it was a good idea because we had the most impressive sunrise of the trip.  It was so beautiful, the height of mountains was incredible !

 

Day 6 : Alpe di Siusi

This spot has to be on your bucket list : Alpe di Siusi. This place is so idyllic with its rustic old cabins. You have a view on the Sasso Lungo peaks. It’s breathtaking and so great to have a huge valley like this to get fresh air! Important thing: You can’t drive on the Alpe di Suisi road without a permit. (owner of one of the cabins, hotel client…).

You can hike from Kompatsch parking and walk along the road. It will takes you about 45 minutes to reach an ideal view point overlooking the valley. Otherwise, you can join Compaccio / Compatsch with a cable car. There is a multitude of outdoor activities in Alpe di Siusi : mountain bike (classic or electric), climbing, paragliding, golf, horse riding, races, or ski during the winter … Do not forget to relax yourself tin a spa or a good restaurant. We didn’t have the time to do any activities but we just walked and it was wonderful !

 

Day 7 : Seceda

To reach the top of Seceda, in Puez-Odle, you have 2 choices :

1. A cable car from Ortisei : It’s around 15 minutes and a breathtaking panorama to reach the summit of Seceda, emblematic place of the Dolomites mountains. (30 €)

2. Hiking from Ortisei: it lasts around 2h30 hours with rude slopes. If you want to challenge yourself and if you like walking and have time. During our trip, the cable car was closed because the season was not yet started. After hours of walking with a wet weather and a steep climb, we arrived at the famous Mont-Odle. The place is to die for. We immediatly recognized Seceda and its characteristic form, hidden in the low clouds. Due to the bad weather,, we were alone in this huge place. We decided to wait about 30 minutes with this cold weather  to see the whole mountain. The wind was freezing but this view was worth it!

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