The Dolomites are some of the most majestic mountains in all of Europe. With their might, jagged edges, and steep cliff walls, nothing will amaze you more than seeing these Italian alps with your own two eyes.
Read more for the five reasons why you need to make these mountains your next vacation.
Known as the 'Dolomiti' - the Dolomites Mountain range is known as the Southern Limestone Alps and 19 of these peaks have heights of over 10,000 feet in elevation. And chances are, if you've flown over Europe, you've been able to get a glimpse of these warlocks from 30,000+ feet, at one point or another.
Let me just preface this short blog post with this: I've never seen anything more majestic and crazy with my own two eyes. These mountains appear to shoot straight out of the ground, completely skyward with no sense of limitations for physics or the laws of nature. It's astounding.
Now, if this is the first time you're landing on our site - well, congrats, you've come to an awesome place (sign up for our newsletter, duh) But for those of you in the VoyEdge RX community already, you know we've included a few days to explore the Dolomites in our, 'Northern Italy + Switzerland' itinerary because we LOVE hiking. Nothing allows us to USE our functional fitness like hiking some crazy, epic mountains. That - and the fresh air is so much better up there.
But before we dive into everything we love about the dolomites, let's tackle a simple five facts about the Dolomites that PROVE why you need to head to Northern Italy ASAP.
Let's dive in.
5. The Dolomites were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009, and the mountain region features numerous nature reserves.
That's right. Just about everywhere you go, it's one of the world's most preserved historical sites. Carry-in and carry-out. This is a serious nature preserve (1,914 square miles to be exact) and everywhere you go, you'll be welcomed by adventurers, hikers and world travelers seeking a bit of adrenaline from the Dolomites.
4. World class hiking (and Gondolas to the top).
Love hiking, but hate the actual "walking" part of it? Gondola's are the way to go....! Just kidding, you'll have to do SOME walking, but if you want to get to the top 8,000+ feet of most of the peaks, you can take the Gondola up to the top to cash in on some of the epic views into the valleys below. Just don't forget to bring snacks and drinks with you. Convenience stores are a bit sparse at that elevation.
3. The Dolomites are a historical World War 1 battleground. The entire area was a battlefield with fighting going on between Austro-Hungary and Italy; and evidence of the war can still be seen in the region.
The days of mustard gas, little to no communication, gatling guns, air raids and more were terrifying. Let alone being 10,000 feet up in the mountains and having to worry about your footing.
This is part of the reason the Dolomites are a UNESCO world heritage site, but also the fact that there were THOUSANDS of soldiers stuffed in foxholes throughout these mountains, with little to no access to proper communication or knowledge about where there allies were. The fighting up there got to be so bad at one point that it nearly took a year after the war ended to get the word out to every solider the fighting elsewhere had stopped. Most of these men were on the edge of madness, having been stuck outdoors for months (in some cases years) and on edge from the bloody battles that ensued up there....the remnants and collectible items are still being found by climbers, hikers and tourists even today.
I mean just look at this mountain range. Can you imagine having to fight through this? Eeek.
2. Various sporting activities can be undertaken in the Dolomites’ region, including mountain climbing, skiing, cycling, skydiving, BASE jumping, and paragliding.
Oh, you thought the Dolomites were just there for hiking purposes? Think again. That's only for the few months in the summer for tourists. Being on the border of Austria, Switzerland and Italy, the Dolomites attract everyone from around the world to these luscious, jagged cliffs. From elite cyclists, to world-renowned BASE jumpers and wingsuiters, speedflyers and more, the Dolomites present an annual playground for a multitude of extreme sports.
Watch this blood pumping YouTube video from TURBOLENZA - an Italian BASE jumping team outside of Fano, Italy. It really gives you a clear line on just how CRAZY of a mountain range the Dolomites are.
1. The Dolomites are actually the remnants of the Triassic and Mesozoic era. It's the shell of a large basin, originally formed by volcanic activity, which has since hollowed out and formed into a 'cavernous mountain-range' where a plethora of fossils have been found and collected over the past few centuries.
In Layman's terms: Dinosaur fossils have been found here. That - and volcanic eruptions originally covered ON TOP of these mountain-ranges. Where there was apparently a massive lake and coral reef in the Triassic and Mesozoic eras....kind of crazy right? How high was the ocean back then? It must have been a TOTALLY different world. And now, you're about to go hiking there and see every nook and cranny for yourself.
I mean, who wouldn't want to go see this in REAL LIFE?! Welcome to Northern Italy.
Remember these five fun facts - and shoot me a line if I missed anything :) Our next Northern Italy + Switzerland trip kicks off on August 4th-13th, 2017. Then every August after that. Will be be coming with us at some point?
Email me with questions, comments and concerns at: cam@voyedgeRX.com