Seceda, Dolomites, Italy

Best Time to Visit the Dolomites – Detailed Guide Month by Month

May 19, 2024

Planning a trip to the Dolomites in northern Italy? This detailed month-by-month guide will help you decide the best time to visit the Dolomites. Learn about weather, prices, activities, and crowd levels to ensure you make the most of your adventure. Find out the ideal periods for hiking, skiing, and budget travel, along with essential travel tips.

The Dolomites are a mountain range in the Alps in northern Italy, famous for their stunning peaks, beautiful lakes, and many outdoor activities.

The Dolomites are a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts and a popular destination all year round.

In the Dolomites, you’ll find the most unique rock formations of the Italian Alps, the most beautiful lakes, and the most exciting hiking trails of Italy. It’s an ideal place for outdoor recreation during many times of the year.

A key question when planning a trip to the Dolomites is when is the best time to visit. This article aims to answer that question. We will explain the most important things to know about the Dolomites, such as the weather, prices, crowd levels, opportunities, and limitations. Our personal experiences will help you find the ideal time to visit the Dolomites, no matter what your preferences are.

This detailed travel guide will help you plan your trip to the Dolomites so you can make the most of visiting this beautiful mountain region.

So first, let’s take a look at our personal recommendations on which periods and months we believe are most ideal for traveling to the Dolomites.

Then, we’ll break it down by season and month, discussing what you should know if you choose to travel to the Dolomites during that time.

Finally, we’ll answer some other questions that may arise when planning a trip to the Dolomites. We’ll provide accommodation and other recommendations to make organizing your trip easier.

So, let’s start with our personal recommendations.

Best time to visit the Dolomites: Our recommendations

  • Which period of the year has the most beautiful landscapes: Summer
  • Best time to travel to the Dolomites for hiking: July and August
  • Best time to go to the Dolomites for skiing: January
  • Best time to visit the Dolomites on a budget: September

When to visit the Dolomites: Detailed guide month by month

Let’s look at what to know about the Dolomites by seasons and months. We’ll show you the expected weather, the best activities, and what to prepare for in each season and month.

Dolomites in winter

Pros: Beautiful winter scenery, lots of skiing opportunities

Cons: Higher prices, difficult transportation


Early December marks the beginning of the ski season in the Dolomites. Some slopes might open earlier, but by December, you can be sure there’s enough snow for skiing.

In December, you can expect typical Alpine winter scenery with snowy landscapes, mountain peaks, and snow-covered pine trees, creating a true winter wonderland.

The downside of December is that it gets dark very early, in the afternoon, which shortens the time you can enjoy the daylight activities.

Additionally, the Christmas period is very popular for skiing in the Dolomites, attracting many tourists from nearby countries. Because of the high prices and crowded places, we recommend avoiding a Christmas visit unless it’s your only option.


January in the Dolomites is similar to December. It features snowy winter landscapes and early sunsets.

We recommend visiting in January for those who want to ski at a slightly cheaper time. After the Christmas break (which lasts until January 6th or the following Sunday in some neighboring countries), you can expect more affordable prices and fewer crowds from mid-January onward.


February is also a favorite month for skiers in the Dolomites, so planning a ski trip in February is still a great idea.

In February, the days start to get a bit longer, and while there might not always be snow in the lower areas, the ski resorts are still in full swing.

Prices vary, but are generally similar to those in the second half of January.

Dolomites in winter

Dolomites in spring

Pros: Lower prices, less crowded

Cons: Many places closed, often still snowy


In other parts of Europe, March marks the beginning of spring, but in the Dolomites, there is still plenty of winter in March. While snow may be melting in lower areas, the higher ski slopes are still open.

Therefore, we recommend a March visit to the Dolomites for those who want to ski one last time in the season. Hiking may not be ideal yet due to the weather.


In April, the Dolomites still have somewhat wintry weather. Some ski slopes may still be open, even until May, but most close in early April. April is mostly considered off-season because it’s neither ski season nor hiking season.

Hiking may not be suitable everywhere yet, as trails in lower areas may still have snow. Places like Tre Cime may not be accessible yet. Lakes are often still frozen, offering less impressive views than in summer.

Some hotels may take a spring break during this time, so you can expect a more limited selection of accommodations for a few weeks in spring. The advantage of this period is that you won’t encounter too many tourists.


In May, all ski slopes in the Dolomites are closed, and the region enters a transitional period.

Similar to April, there may still be snow in some areas, especially at higher altitudes, and certain attractions may be inaccessible or difficult to reach.

Additionally, many places are closed during this time as they prepare for the summer hiking season.

The weather is variable: in lower areas, you can expect spring-like conditions, while higher altitudes may still experience cold weather and snow.

Traveling during this time is recommended for those who want to avoid the summer crowds and are willing to compromise on limited hotel availability and variable weather conditions.

Dolomites in May

Dolomites in summer

Pros: Ideal weather for hiking, everything is open

Cons: Very crowded, very expensive


In June, the hiking season begins in the Dolomites.

Although you may still find snow in the highest places (like Tre Cime), most hiking trails are already accessible. For hiking, we mainly recommend the second half of the month, which offers slightly warmer weather and full availability.

In the first half of the month, some places may still be closed (like some lifts).

Compared to other summer months, June tends to have slightly cooler temperatures and smaller crowds. Therefore, it’s worth considering traveling to the Dolomites during the second half of the month.


In July, the hiking season is in full swing in the Dolomites. Everything is open and accessible, and the hiking trails are at their most enjoyable, with the landscapes being the greenest. You can find flowery meadows and green lakes during this time. July is a truly idyllic period to travel to the Dolomites.

However, the downside is that July tends to be crowded, making transportation, parking, and hotel bookings difficult. Consequently, prices are high, making July one of the most expensive months in the Dolomites.

Regarding the weather, you may encounter summery temperatures in lower areas, while higher hiking spots may require a jacket. A characteristic of the Dolomites worth noting is that the weather is supposedly nicer in the mornings, with storms coming in the late afternoon or evening. Since we’ve experienced this ourselves too, and the weather forecast didn’t predict the storm, it’s advisable to plan hikes accordingly.

It’s also worth noting that even though it’s cold up in the mountains, you still need sun protection, as you can get sunburned even at 15°C!


August is peak season for hikers, similar to July. You can expect similar weather conditions as in July: mild summery weather in lower areas and the need for a jacket in higher places.

Similarly, everything is open in August, and prices remain high. It’s worth noting that August 15th is a public holiday in many surrounding countries, resulting in huge crowds traveling to the Dolomites for their vacations. Therefore, the second and third weeks of August are some of the busiest times in the Dolomites. If possible, don’t plan your Dolomites trip for this period.

Seceda in July

Dolomites in autumn

Pros: Early autumn is still great for hiking, fewer tourists, more affordable prices

Cons: The second half starts to get too cold, many places are closed, and there may be snow


We believe September is one of the best times to visit the Dolomites. Although the weather may be slightly cooler than in the summer months, and there may be more rain, the advantages outweigh these factors.

On one hand, you can expect much smaller crowds compared to summer, and on the other hand, prices are lower accordingly in September. Everything is still open, just like in summer, so the options are still plentiful.

We recommend a September visit for those seeking smaller crowds, more affordable prices, and those who are more flexible with timing, such as not being tied to school holidays or fixed vacation dates. If you can, consider exploring the Dolomites in September because conditions are optimal during this time.


October is a very varied month in the Dolomites to consider for travel. The beginning of the month still often offers pleasant, sometimes chilly weather, allowing you to enjoy the Dolomites’ most beautiful places in all their beauty for the last time. Hiking trails are still passable, and snow is not common in the first half of the month. If it does snow, it melts quickly. In October, the landscape transitions from green to yellowish or brownish, offering a unique spectacle. Hotels are usually still open at this time of year.

However, in the second half of October, a transition period similar to spring begins again, when most hotels and lifts close (and lifts may close earlier, so check early) and prepare for the winter ski season.

In terms of prices, you can expect better rates, but the offer may be limited. There are significantly fewer tourists than in summer, which makes driving and parking less of a problem.

Overall, it may still be worthwhile to visit the Dolomites in the first week or two of the month, but for the rest of the month, it is not recommended.


November is a transitional period in the Dolomites, which we do not recommend for visiting. Many places are closed, the weather is unpredictable, cold, often rainy or snowy, and outdoor activities are less enjoyable due to early darkness.

Some ski slopes may open at the end of November, but if you’re planning to ski in the Dolomites as a foreigner, it’s better to book your trip for the winter months.

Lago Antorno in October

So that’s all about traveling to the Italian Dolomites, looking at it season by season and month by month. We’ve covered the basic weather information, what prices to expect, and why certain times are or aren’t recommended.

We hope we’ve provided enough information to help you decide when the best time is to travel to the Dolomites. We’ve tried to gather as much information as possible to assist in planning your next trip to the Dolomites.

Lastly, let’s take a look at what else is worth knowing about the Dolomites. These are the most interesting questions when it comes to traveling to the Dolomites:

FAQ: What to know about traveling to the Dolomites

Best places to visit in the Dolomites

Here are the most popular highlights of the Dolomites:

  • Tre Cime di Lavaredo
  • Lago di Braies
  • Lago di Sorapis
  • Seceda
  • Alpe di Siusi
  • Lago di Carezza

Of course, there are many other places to see, but these are the most famous.

Where to stay in the Dolomites

If you want to check out the best accommodations in the Dolomites, we recommend our special post on this topic.

Generally speaking, it’s best to stay close to your destinations because transportation in the Dolomites is very slow, and travel times are long. So, look for hotels as close as possible to the places you’ve planned to visit.

To mention a few of the best places to stay in the Dolomites:

How to get to the Dolomites

If you travel from further away, the nearest airports to the Dolomites are in Innsbruck, Venice, and a bit farther away in Milan.

However, the Dolomites can be reached almost exclusively by car. So whether you’re traveling with your own car or renting a car, for example, in Milan, Venice, or Innsbruck, we suggest traveling by car. Public transportation in the Dolomites is very limited, and you’ll have to miss out on many places if you don’t have a car.

Is Dolomites better in summer or winter?

If you love skiing, winter is the best time for you. If you love hiking, then summer is better.

We prefer summer, but the best time to visit depends on each person’s preferences.

What is the best month to visit the Dolomites?

The best months for hiking in the Dolomites are July and August. September is also great because there are fewer people and prices are lower. For skiing, the best months are January and February.

How hot are the Dolomites in the summer?

The Dolomites are not as hot as other parts of Italy. In fact, it is one of the coolest areas in Italy. In the lower areas, temperatures usually don’t go above 28-30°C on the hottest days. In the higher areas, it can be up to 20°C, but usually it’s cooler. So, if you want to escape the summer heat, the Dolomites have nice, cool weather.

Is a trip to the Dolomites expensive?

Yes, unfortunately, the Dolomites have become a very expensive destination in recent years. Hotels have become especially expensive. You can save money by camping or choosing cheaper accommodations, but if you want to stay in nicer hotels, it will be very costly.

How many days do you need in the Dolomites?

Our Dolomites itineraries include 3-day trips, which are enough to explore one part of the Dolomites. If you want to see the whole area, you will need at least 7 days, but if you can, plan for even more. The ideal time to stay is between 7 and 14 days.

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