Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Dolomites, Italy

Escape to the Pale Mountains: Discover the Dolomites

These mountains come with their own enchantments. This scene, whatever time of year, is one comprised of spindly edges, jagged spikes and fantastical rock shapes striking out towards the stars. These silvery summits are rocky and sparse, offering vertiginous views across the neighbouring mountains and valleys.

The dramatic play of sunlight on the Tre Cime The dramatic play of sunlight on the iconic Tre Cime

 

In summer, the mighty, pale peaks resemble a whipped meringue, their light colour collecting the sun’s golden shine majestically in the late afternoon warmth and early mornings. High summer brings an abundance of wildflowers, whilst September ushers in a wave of autumnal, golden leaves to admire.

Sankta Magdalena and Dolomites range, Funes, Tyrol Sankta Magdalena and Dolomites range, Funes, Tyrol

 

Winter’s white mantle covers the slopes and green valleys with dramatic flair. The entire region is covered in monumental drifts of beautiful, white snow. From the second the first snowflakes appear, snowshoers and cross-country skiers peer into the skies, hoping and waiting for when they can head for the hills.

Dobbiacco in the snow Dobbiacco in the snow

 

The huge white expanse of snow stretches all the way to the horizon. These mountains seems surprisingly quiet, compared to the mighty numbers which head for the Chamonix Valley.

Snowshoeing up Mudlerhof Snowshoeing up Mudlerhof

 

Year-round the food is enough to convince anyone to visit. Apfelstrudel (freshly made), kaiserschmarren (sugared pancakes filled with plump raisins), hot chocolate and great beers all make satisfying treats at the end of a day’s activity. Dishes of the region have been passed down from generation to generation, a merge of Austrian and Italian influences. Classics include the Spatzle (green gnocchi type pasta) and Specknodel (bread dumplings with speck).

Spaetzle Spaetzle

 

The region is rich in modern history, with the steely remains of the WWI via ferrata routes across Italy still bearing travellers across the mountains today. This was the front line between a fascist Italy and the lumbering might of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in its death throws. Between these jagged peaks, ferocious fighting claimed high casualties on both sides as each grappled to gain even the tiniest amount of terrain. It’s a stark reminder of how recent the war was, and a sign of how far we’ve come that they’re now used to welcome tourists from all over Europe and across the world.

Via Ferrata Via Ferrata

 

Cyclists may be surprised to learn you can take to two wheels to see these mountains – without having to struggle up endless hills. Linking the lakes that sparkle like jewels between the mountains, quiet winding roads and pretty cycle paths line up scenic spot after scenic spot, with views that just keep coming – a huge pay off, and all for relatively low effort.

Tyrolean villages Tyrolean villages

 

Hikers, of course, are in heaven - who wouldn't be, with such inspirational peaks to traverse and discover, always awaiting the next breathtaking moment a particularly savage and beautiful rock formation comes into view. And with views like this, who can blame them?

Climber, Tre Cime in the distance Climber, Tre Cime in the distance

 

Discover the Dolomites

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