The Dolomites– UNESCO world natural heritage site
They originated on the sea bed millions of years ago, while today towers and spires of the Dolomites soar skywards in Italy’s northernmost province exceeding 3,000 metres (9,850 ft) elevation, for example the Drei Zinnen. They were named Dolomites after the geologist Déodat de Dolomieu and in 2009 their unique beauty was recognised by UNESCO which designated them a world natural heritage property. The inhabitants love their ‘pale mountains’ and not only since they became world famous. For the majestic rocks have strongly characterised the region and its people since time immemorial and have made South Tyrol what it is today: a region of contrasts. For this reason we entreat you not just to admire them, but also to explore them.
Bird’s eye view
The natural sculpturing of the Dolomites take one’s breath away at first sight, alone because of their daring architecture. For example the rock formations of the Sciliar/Schlern and the Sella massif resemble table mountains. They stand in stark contrast with the rugged towers of the Drei Zinnen and the Rosengarten. Mountain summits are especially scenic vantage points. For example the 360° panorama on top of South Tyrol’s number one ski mountain, the Plan de Corones/Kronplatz. more...
Anything but hot air
A balloon flight above the Dolomites with views from 16,500 feet altitude provides panoramic vistas of these mountains surpassing anything a mountaineer has ever seen.Ballonfestival Dobbiaco/Toblach
In harmony with rugged nature
The Dolomites are inhabited by Ladin-speaking people. Fleeing from migrating Germanic tribes, they populated the Dolomite valleys where the seclusion enabled them to preserve their traditions, customs and language. Their tiny hamlets comprising farmhouses huddled together on the mountainsides are called Viles and hark back to the necessity of surviving as close-knit communities in the face of the hostile elements. On long winter evenings some farmers developed skills as wood carvers. This soon provided them with their main source of income. more...
Luis Trenker: mountaineer & film director
Luis Trenker worked as an actor, director and screenplay writer. He wrote movie history with his film "The Mountain Calls". His career was marked by the turbulent history of the 20th century.
Active leisure pursuits
With the Dolomites, now a UNESCO natural heritage property, 350 ‘three-thousanders’ (peaks exceeding 3,000 m/9,850 ft elevation), seven nature reserves and one national park, hikers, cyclists and extreme athletes are spoilt for choice in South Tyrol. In addition, 13,000 kilometres of well-marked walking trails and 300 sunny days per year. Spending a night at one of the numerous mountain refuges or mountain inns is a truly memorable experience, especially if you get up early to savour the colours of the sky and mountains just before sunrise. more...
Safe hiking with Vitalpina
All 33 hikers‘ hotels set store by a healthy mixture of guided hikes, light cuisine and wellbeing. All garnished with traditional products from the region.more
When do the mountains glow or gleam at their finest? In the early morning, when the sun burns off the dawn mist? At midday when the sky seems to be reflected in the rocks, or in the evenings when the ‘pale mountains’ burn crimson in the sunset? The alpenglow is called ‘Enrosadüra’ in the Ladin valleys. Here hundreds of legends tell of witches, nymphs and moon princesses. The dwarf king Laurin’s curse makes the Rosengarten massif near Bolzano glow red in the evening light. Magical, or a unique natural spectacle? more...
The legend of King Laurin and his rose garden
In ancient times when giants and dwarfs populated the Alpine valleys the dwarf King Laurin reigned inside the mountain which we now call the Rosengarten (‘rose garden’). He owned vast treasures though his most important possession was a magic hat which rendered him invisible...Read the legend
Awesome peaks, rushing streams and a diversity of fauna and flora characterise the eight nature reserves and one national park in South Tyrol. They protect the morphological diversity of the Dolomites and provide nature lovers with unique experiences. The Geoparc Bletterbach gorge is a canyoning adventure park, a hiking tour with added value. The Fanes-Sennes-Braies/Prags nature reserve is characterised by fantastic contrasts between lush meadows and bare Dolomite rock. The Stelvio/Stilfser-Joch national park extends to the highest summit in South Tyrol at 12,812 ft/3,905 m. more...
The big hiking guide
To help you enjoy South Tyrol’s unspoilt nature without foregoing creature comforts we have put together the following recommendations for you. Our on-line walking and hiking page will get you to your destination safe and sound.more
Other items that may interest you
Walking & hiking
A four-and-a-half-hour, easy hike to the most striking peaks of the South Tyrolean Dolomites: ... more...