Table of Contents
- Where and what are the Dolomites?
- Why Trentino?
- For whom?
- When to visit?
- How to get here?
- Perfect 4 Day Dolomites Itinerary
- Day 1 – Discovery of Fiera di Primiero
- Day 2 – Pale di San Martino
- Day 3 – Van Canali and Lago Welsperg
- Day 4 – Val Venegia
- How to move around?
- Where to stay?
- Hotels I recommend
- Final Thoughts & Tips
Hello, lovely people. I have been getting a lot of questions about my Trentino trip, therefore I have decided to put together a perfect 4 day Dolomites itinerary for you.
I love being in touch with you – my readers but time is precious, especially when you have a tendency to spend too many hours on Netflix (Narcos is my guilty pleasure!)
My trip to Trentino was pure magic, beautiful views, superb hiking routes and concerts in the high mountains.
Did I mention that in Trentino they take ‘aperitivo’ very seriously? Just like me! It seems like Trentino and I are a match made in heaven and we gonna live Happily Ever After.
After all, it does looks like a fairytale!
Where and what are the Dolomites?
Never heard about the Dolomites before? Maybe because the ‘Italian Alps’ term is often used in regard to the Dolomites.
It is a mountain range in northeastern Italy, which is a part of the Southern Limestone Alps, therefore, I guess you can technically use the Italian Alps wording if you insist.
The Dolomites are also known as the “Pale Mountains” because of the carbonate rock dolomite they are made of.
Due to the calcium and magnesium carbonation, there is an unusual natural phenomenon you can observe in the Dolomites – Enrosadira, which literally means ‘turning pink’ in Ladin, an ancient language of inhabitants of Dolomites.
It takes place both at dusk and dawn but highly depends on weather conditions and time of the year, I wasn’t lucky enough to catch it, but you can easily check it on the Visit Trentino page.
Le Corbusier called the Dolomites “the most beautiful natural architectures in the world” and I truly agree with him.
The Dolomites are nearly equally shared between the provinces of Belluno, South Tyrol and Trentino. I have chosen to explore and do some hiking in the Dolomites in Trentino for many different reasons.
Some of the most beautiful peaks – Cimon della Pala, unusual nature parks – Pale di San Martino and hiking trails with spectacular mountain views – Val Canali and Val Venegia are here. You don’t believe? Go check ‘50 Most Beautiful Pictures of Trentino’ I took.
Do you need more? Fine, people and food. Both are a mix between Italian and Germanic roots and heritage.
I’m talking Italian appreciation of good life with Germanic logistics. Or venison, mushrooms and polenta next to pizza and pasta in the restaurants. The best of both worlds.
For serious hiking enthusiast, for food and ‘aperitivo’ aficionados, for mountain and nature lovers, for ‘perfect Instagram spots’ hunters, for photographers in search of divine landscapes, for mountain bikers…
I could continue for a good few hours. You get the point.
When to visit?
The whole year round. Trentino has something to offer every season but if you want my honest opinion summer is when you should go.
This perfect 4 day Dolomites itinerary is written with summer trips in mind, but September is still good too. The best hiking conditions, long days and ‘I Suoni delle Dolomiti’.
Sounds of Dolomites Festival is a music festival which takes place on the most unusual and unparalleled stages high in the mountains, where both audience and musicians have to reach on foot.
Superb performances ranging from jazz through the world to classical music pressed against spectacular backdrops of the Dolomites, something you never gonna experience anywhere else.
I attended a truly magical concert of Girls from ‘Ten Thing’ in the Pale di San Martino, unforgettable!
And all that for free. Yes, no kidding, concerts are free, you just need to hike there!
How to get here?
By car, if you live in neighbouring countries, otherwise by plane.
You can get to Trentino by train and the bus as well, but considering you will be needing a car to move around, it is the easiest to rent it straight away from the airport.
The list of airports you can fly into is quite overwhelming and most of them are just a few hours drive away from your hotel.
Verona is the closest with Alitalia, Lufthansa, British Airways and many low-cost airlines flying in. But many others such as Bergamo, Milan Linate, Milano Malpensa, Venice, Bologna and even Inssbruck are easily doable.
I flew in from Poland and flew out to Romania via Bologna airport and then had a car take me to Trentino. As you know I have no driving licence, so public transport, hiking or a car with a driver for me.
But let’s talk about this perfect 4 day Dolomites itinerary I have prepared for you. I mean for myself, but now you can replicate it and do not stress much about planning it yourself.
Perfect 4 Day Dolomites Itinerary
I have chosen to visit Fiera di Primiero, Val Canali, Val Venegia and Pale di San Martino. I planned my trip around Sounds of Dolomites Festival and you should check that option as well.
Day 1 – Discovery of Fiera di Primiero
Take an early morning flight to be in Trentino by noon. This way you have a whole day to take it easy, to discover the town and its surroundings.
Lunch – First and foremost, have a good lunch, let’s be honest priorities!
Check out great ‘Al Bus’ Restaurant close to Fiera di Primiero on your way to the afternoon activities in Mezzano.
The cheese selection is to die for!
Borgo Mezzano – one of the most beautiful medieval villages of Italy you will see.
Host very original ‘Cataste & Canazei’ exhibition, which incorporates creative woodworks and art pieces into the natural environment of the village.
A must see!
Fiera di Primiero– Next, after admiring Mezzano, check out beautiful Fiera.
Explore the town first, get some gelatos, photograph colourful houses and on the way to your dinner stop on the Via Bellavista to admire those spectacular views!
Dinner – After all the sightseeing it is finally time for ‘aperitivo’ and dinner.
You should book a table at the Rifugio Caltena, to watch the sun setting over the mountain peaks while you are sipping on Aperol Spritz. Try their amazing homemade grappas!
Pro Hike – If you are eager to start hiking today, you can always trek up from Fiera di Primiero to Rifugio Caltena for dinner and back. It is a 5km hike with 547m ascent, which takes about 1,5h.
Day 2 – Pale di San Martino
Easy hike – There are two options. First, you use Colverde-Rosetta cableways and you hike around Pale di San Martino as long as you feel like it.
Grab a lunch in Rifugio Rosetta and go back with cable cars to spend the rest of the day exploring San Martino.
The second option is to avoid cable cars and climb up to the plateau from Colverde Station as a starting point, enjoy lunch in Rifugio Rosetta and then back with cable cars. It is a 4-hour hike with 1195m up and 130m down.
You can hike down, but let’s be honest it is better to save your knees for the rest of the Trentino trip.
Pro hike – You should arrive early morning and take a Colverde cable-car – Rosetta cableway to reach Pale di San Martino.
The hike is from Refugio Rosetta through Passo Pradidali Basso. It is 3,5-hour hike with 200m ascent and 400m descent and back.
Please remember it is a 7h hike plus breaks plus lunch, therefore, you need 9h in total.
With a cable car, it makes 10h round trip from San Martino di Castrozza.
Lunch in Rifugio Pedrotti.
To check all possible hikes go to San Martino website.
Dinner – You start in La Mia Enoteca for some ‘aperitivo’ and wine and move to Chalet Prà delle Nasse – Ristorante da Anita for an excellent dinner.
Day 3 – Van Canali and Lago Welsperg
Easy hike – You should start with Lago Welsperg after breakfast, morning is the best time of the day to get a perfect reflection of rigid peaks in the water.
From the lake, it is an easy 50-minute walk, 3,3km and 203m ascent to Malga Canali, through Piereni Chalet.
Lunch – Malga Canali, it is one of the cutest places with the most amazing mountain view I have seen and it was my best meal in whole Trentino.
Tosella cheese with a sausage, potatoes with eatable flowers and fresh salad. Heaven! Tosella is a must try in Trentino!
Pro hike – From Malga Canali follow the road up to Rifugio Pradidali and Lake. It is a 2-hour and 6,7km hike with 1096m ascent and 125m descent.
It is 3h up from Lago Welsperg to Rifugio Pradidali. 1,5-2 hours back to Malga Canali and another 1h to Lago Welsperg plus lunch plus breaks you need 8h in total.
Dinner – Enjoy dinner in your hotel, most hotels in the region offer full board packages
and have some fine restaurants.
That is my trick if I want to enjoy the SPA and Wellness Center and not to rush to get ready to go out for dinner. You deserve some ‘you time’ after all the hiking.
Day 4 – Val Venegia
It is the last day of my perfect 4 day Dolomites itinerary and I promise to have sth special for you!
Easy hike – You go by car to Passo Rolle and climb from a parking lot to Baita Segantini and its amazing pond, where you can get some of the best reflection shots of Dolomites, I wasn’t lucky with the weather.
If you are into photography you want to be here at sunrise or sunset.
Next, you follow to Malga Venegio where you can stop for a great lunch and some hot tea. After lunch, follow through the woods to Malga Juribello and then back to Passo Rolle.
It is a 12km hike, which will take about 3 hours. With decent and ascent not crossing 500m.
Pro hike – You do the easy hike with one little change.
From Baita Segantini you climb up to Rifugio Volpi al Mulaz where you can get some amazing views of Cima Bureloni and then down to Malga Venegio.
From here you follow the easy hike instructions. It is 17,3 km hike with ascent and descent not crossing 600m mark. You choose which rifugio you have lunch in :)
It is a 5-hour hike plus lunch plus breaks, consequently are looking at 7-hour trip.
Dinner – You can finally have your well-deserved pizza. There is a great place in Tonadico – Lanterna Verde.
Always filled with happy locals, therefore, make sure you book, don’t expect a quiet meal out :)
If you have to take a plane in the evening do switch day 3 and 4. Val Canali can be done in half day so you can easily reach your airport for the evening flight.
I hope you enjoyed my perfect 4 day Dolomites itinerary. In addition, if you have any questions do not hesitate to comment on this post or send me an email.
How to move around?
The best thing you can do is to rent a car. Trentino Trasporti provides great service all over the region with super modern buses but to have a freedom of moving where and when you please car is your best friend.
Unless you are a biker or a motorbike, then you go with your two-wheelers and wind in your hair.
Where to stay?
To check out all of the above places your best option is to stay in Fiera di Primiero. You could stay in San Martino di Castrozza, but that is way too much driving for my liking.
I always go for an optimal option( therefore this perfect 4 day Dolomites itinerary is designed by this rule) as little car time possible so the rest of the day I can enjoy hiking and being outdoors, in nature. Or just sip Aperol spritz while looking at the rigid peaks playing ‘hide and seek’ game with clouds.
Hotels I recommend
Hotel Isolabella Wellness – A charming property in the centre of Fiera di Primiero with an SPA Center hard to beat. For all art and music enthusiast. Every room is dedicated to a different artist! Ultimately best place to stay!
Hotel Al Ponte – Central and very quiet location near the historical centre of Fiera di Primiero, boasts a long tradition of family management dating back to 1923.
Hotel Astoria – Located in a traffic-free area of Fiera di Primiero, set on the banks of Cismon River offers amazing views of Pale di San Martino mountain range.
Final Thoughts & Tips
◊◊◊ Pack for the mountains. Even if you travel in the summer, don’t be this tourist in flipflops on a hiking trail complaining it is not paved! (A real-life situation). Raincoat, fleece, trekking shoes, you know the drill.
I bet you want to mention my A Girl with a Scarf picture?! Points on you for being a sharp observer. It is indeed part of my image but as boring as it sounds I do change into those cute dresses.
I hike in long trousers, dirty trekking shoes and professional sportswear. The only fancy thing I own is my juicy red Jack Wolfskin raincoat.
◊◊◊ Don’t expect to lose much weight from all that hiking, food is way too good in Trentino.
◊◊◊ Plan your trip well in advance, this region gets busy and having considered how beautiful it is, no wonder!
◊◊◊ Don’t forget your camera gear. I did forget my tripod and options are very limited, especially in smaller mountain towns. The shop in Fiera di Primero had exactly one, which I bought, lucky me!
◊◊◊ And last but not least prepare to totally fall in love with everything Trentino.
In my modest opinion, this is a truly perfect 4 day Dolomites itinerary however if you want to check some other villages or hikes I do recommend checking Visit Trentino website.
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And do not hesitate to get in touch with me if you have any questions about Trentino.
More than happy to chat!
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