We are back from a wonderful vacation that took us through South Tyrol in Italy and then into Slovenia. Today I am going to share part 1 of our road trip and will help you if you only have two days in the Dolomites.
We only had two days in the Dolomites and we traveled in our VW T3 so I will also make sure to leave the places we camped at if you are also traveling in a camper van. I never thought I would be a camping person because I do not like sleeping in a tent but I love the T3 and it really became our little home on four wheels.
Now to get this blog on the Dolomites started you might be wondering what the Dolomites are and where they are.
The Dolomites are a mountain range located in northeastern Italy and stretch over 1419.028 square kilometers. In 2009, they were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are nine national parks.
We knew we only had two days there so we had to be strategic about where exactly we were going to visit. We ended up deciding to hike the Tre Cime (Dreizinnen), visit the Lago di Braies (Pragser Wildsee), and see more by just driving through the mountains.
Driving into the Dolomites
We drove into the Dolomites coming from Austria passing the Gardena pass (Grödner Joch) which gave us some incredible views. The streets were your typical alpine passes with hairpin roads so you just have to be careful driving. This road took us all the way the foot of the Tre Cime Mountains passing through Cortina d’Ampezzo.
Those first few moments seeing the mountains for the first time where just breathtaking, but then they kept stretching on and on and on and we just sat in our car in awe trying to process the beauty that was surrounding us.
I have been to the Swiss Alps and I have also see parts of the Rocky Mountains but the Dolomites were truly something else. The way the rocks are formed and the peaks reach out is something I have never seen before.
Our plan for the next day was to hike the Tre Cime.
The Tre Cime hike
The Tre Cime hike is something I definitely recommend doing if you only have two days in the Dolomites. It helps you get out of the car and move your body. You get to see spectacular views and it is not so hard that beginners would not be able to do it.
The Tre Cime hike starts at Rifugio Auronzo and takes you up all the way to the Rifugio a Locatelli from where you truly have the best view of the Tre Cime.
The hike is 10 kilometers long and very well marked. Most of the path is pretty even, and because of that, the elevation that you do make is intense. However, it is also the best feeling to come up and stand in front of the Tre Cime.
We stopped at one of the lakes and had our breakfast/lunch before we continued the hike. The silence, the moving of the clouds, the colors, and the flora around us was just beautiful to take in and it is in those moments that you find rest.
After our hike, we drove a little further to stay at a campground next to the Toblacher See, which was stunning.
We spent one night there and then drove over to the Lago di Braies or Lago di Instagram, how many call it. We were there shortly after 7am and there were already instagrammers out, flying their drones and taking pictures.
Lago di Braies
I will be honest with you it did take away from the experience a little bit but once you start walking around the lake, which is a 3.5 kilometers hike the masses will get less.
Lago di Braies is absolutely gorgeous and it has been said to be the most beautiful lake in all of Europe. It is hard to capture the colors and beauty of the lake so I would recommend going there if you only have two days in the Dolomites. However, be sure to be there either early before 9 am or after 4 pm as the roads are closed for visitors in between.
I would also recommend doing the hike around the lake. It is pretty easy to do but you really get more than just your typical boathouse view.
Unfortunately, the skies had not cleared up when we were there but I kind of like it that way after all.
The visit to Lago di Braies ended our two-day adventure in the Dolomites but we will most definitely go back. There is so much more to explore a see and there is so much beauty around. However, if you only have two days in the Dolomites I would recommend visiting these two as they are not too far from each other and by driving there, you get amazing views and a great first impression of a long love story to come.
As always, I would love to hear if you have been in the Dolomites yet and if so what your highlights were. Leave me a comment below so we can share some tips.
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