The Dolomites really are a destination for all seasons
In a world where luxury is redefined by the concept of time, being able to identify our interests – and choose our holiday destination - is key to a fabulous experience. Active folks may enjoy adrenaline-filled adventures while book lovers can lose themselves in the pages of their latest novel, relaxing by a lake or strolling along an easy path. Whatever your choice, inclination or passion, some locations seem to offer the best of all worlds. We believe the Dolomites are always a good idea: no matter what season you decide to visit, the sight of the majestic rock cathedrals will enthral and entice, luring you into coming back, again and again.
And that stands to reason, even more so if you are into sports: endless mountain bike or road bike routes along famous cols, exciting, history-laden Via ferrata routes that will test your skills, hiking opportunities where nature reveals its many facets, and of course the ever enjoyable sunset colours and rugged beauty of the magical Dolomites, whose peaks have inspired countless poets and writers. Gourmet lovers will not come short of a marvel, with delicious food and wine to be found throughout.
The Dolomites really are a destination for all seasons.
Walking, hiking, trekking, exploring. Discovering the Dolomites is a gift that bestows happiness onto anyone visiting the area; akin to a superb treasure hunt, experienced hikers and Sunday strollers in search of a dream will be in their element. Opportunities are endless and will suit all tastes, from the majestic meadows of Alpe di Siusi- Seiseralm, Europe’s largest plateau, for easy and more demanding trails in a fairy tale setting, to the renowned Tre Cime di Lavaredo: three nature parks are dominated by them (Tre Cime, Fanes-Sennes-Braies and Dolomiti d’Ampezzo) and they all entail magical surprises, such as the enticing Lago di Braies, said to mark the entrance to the Kingdom of Fanes. Val di Funes, the birthplace of the great mountaineer Reinhold Messner, provides the perfect picture-postcard backdrop for magical hikes: start from Saint Magdalene’s Church and follow the aptly named Panoramastrasse for mesmerizing views or go a longer way, choosing the Adolf Munkel Trail for an exceptional outing. The Cinque Torri hike, in the Cortina d’Ampezzo area, is also a truly staggering loop tour with many unforgettable viewpoints.
Considering its exceptional geography, the endless trails and superb views, cycling in the Dolomites should be on every rider’s bucket list. You will find easy as well as more challenging trails, going from one peak to the other, far from the noise of towns, feeling at one with nature. Being so popular with hikers and climbers, the Dolomites offer so many choices and you are invited to join in! Try an e-bike to up your game and increase the intensity of your tours, or to enjoy adventures you would not usually embark on; fun is guaranteed, with the added marvellous sight and a close encounter with the majestic Dolomites. Val Gardena offers a stellar selection of world-class trails like the Sellaronda mtb tour – touching on four famous passes (Gardena, Campolongo, Pordoi and Sella), entailing many single tracks, flow trails and technical descents. You will also find a Trail Arena, with freeride trails, jump lines, but also family lines, for easier trails. Other options may be the Family tour Val d’Anna, with gentle gradients, the Tour San Giacomo – Rifugio Firenze or the Saint Oswald tour, setting off from Kastelruth. You can also use the many lifts and gondolas to go from one place to the other and then ride down for the adventure of a lifetime!
You will sense a proper road bike heritage in the Dolomites, for the famously challenging Giro d’Italia first visited in 1937 and it’s been back here numerous times. Climbs in the area are spectacularly tough, with the added mesmerising scenery, making the experience a unique one. One col leads onto another and you’ll retrace the steps of famous cyclists, enjoying the ride: Passo Pordoi, Giau and Gardena, Falzarego and Valparola, as well as Passo Sella have marked the history of many an adventure on two wheels.
Famous road bike events are the Sellaronda Bike day, when the roads are closed to traffic (10 June and 16 September 2023), the Maratona dles Dolomites, attracting amateur riders from all over the world (July 2nd, 2023), or the Giro delle Dolomiti (24 – 28 July 2023).
Make the Dolomites your next big adventure!
The Dolomites are the birthplace of Via Ferratas – iron cables and ladders that make progression on steep section easier. Bolted during WWI to help soldiers move along these exposed terrains, most routes have been re-equipped and offer a fabulous adventure for thrill seekers. Bearing in mind that you will require the adequate gear (helmet, harness and a via ferrata kit with lanyards and a shock absorber, plus the appropriate hiking boots) and be moderately fit, some of the easiest ones are the Sentiero De Luca – Innerkofler, Monte Paterno in the Dolomiti di Sesto, with views onto the Tre Cime di Lavaredo; Piccolo Lagazuoi along the Martini ledge around the Passo Falzarego, where many battles where fought during the Great War. The ledge is in fact dedicated to a major who guided his soldiers on the battlefield and it offers superb viewpoints. In the Dolomiti di Brenta, the equipped trail Sentiero Benini presents great views and leads to way to another, more demanding via ferrata, the Via delle Bocchette. More experienced hikers may choose the Via Schuster, around the Sasso Piatto, for an adrenaline-filled adventure!
Come and see what surprises this magic place has in store for you.
Three distinct cultures peacefully coexist within the Dolomites: Tyrolean German, Italian and Ladin, a minority group, whose language is native to the area. This means local habits are the outcome of fascinating combinations, whose results are seen in the realm of food, as well. After all, the whole of Italy is a kaleidoscope of diverse dialects and traditions, with regional varieties that make a visit to the peninsula an alluring voyage of discovery, wherever you’ll go.
In the past, the mountains did not provide the variety of food that one may find elsewhere, and yet the creativity of inhabitants meant that even humble food became a source of inspiration, revealing succulent, juicy and appetizing dishes employing fresh, authentic ingredients. Start with crusty bread in its numerous varieties like the typical Schüttelbrot, try a hearty barley soup, dumplings, mezzelune filled pasta, such as cajincì blanc and then fritters with spinach, ricotta, sauerkraut and poppy seeds. Season them all with a delicious wine and you are in for a memorable gourmet experience.
A flaky crust and a delicious apple filling that is loved by everyone, apple strudel is famous for its exceptional taste. Stemming from Austria, Trentino Alto Adige is where you’ll find the best examples, primarily in view of the numerous apple orchards you will find on its soil. Traditionally, the dough is made from scratch, but puff pastry may also be employed.
Preparation time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 40 mins
Make the dough by pouring the sifted flour and salt into a bowl, adding the egg and water.
Knead with your hands and add the oil to form a smooth dough.
Transfer it to a flat surface and knead until elastic.
Form a ball and transfer to a lightly greased bowl, then cover with a plastic wrap. Leave to rest for an hour in a cool place.
In the meantime, soak the raisins in warm water.
Melt two tbsp. (30gr) of butter in a frying pan and toast the breadcrumbs when the butter begins to sizzle. Stir with a wooden spoon to keep the breadcrumbs from burning and brown for a few minutes; turn off the heat and leave to cool.
Peel the apples and cut them into wedges, then into thin slices; place them in a large bowl with the sugar, pine nuts, grated lemon peel, a pinch of cinnamon and the raisins, previously well drained and squeezed.
Melt the remaining butter in a small saucepan over a low heat.
Take the dough ball and roll it out on a lightly floured dish towel to form a rectangle measuring approximately 14x18 inches (34x45cm).
Place the apple mixture on top, then roll the strudel up from the longest side, taking care not to break the pastry. Seal the sides and place the strudel on a baking tray. Brush with melted butter and place in the oven. Cook at 260º F (180º C) for 30 minutes. Once ready, sprinkle with casting sugar and serve warm.