Best hikes in the Dolomites, 3 itineraries not to be missed
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«Get yourselves back on track. Mountain hikes are one of the most Zen ways to do so. Today we present you the best hikes in the Dolomites: 3 itineraries for 3 Italian latitudes, all to try out »
If you are among those who say “ok, but compared to the sea…” it’s clear that you’ve never gone on a proper walk in the mountains. The truth is that the mountains are a place for the few, which forces you to deal with yourself, and for those of us who want to do it, it would mean to become aware that life is not what flows in the timeline of our social networks, but it goes a tad deeper. Ok, let’s move past this moment of seriousness and unveil the arcane: walks in the mountains are good, they are relaxing, bring you back to the slow state of life, are a great antidote to stress, and they are beautiful, guys, let’s not joke around here! So let us show you what the best hikes in the Dolomites can offer.
From the Dolomites, that the whole world envies us, to the barren landscapes of the Apennines, which slide along Italy as a beautiful backbone, there are many places that it would be worthwhile to cross during mountain walks, but for convenience we only mention 3, democratically selected in the north, in the center and in the south of the country. They’re also suitable for who’s a triple gainer champion on the sofa! Don’t you say then that we don’t make your lives easy…
Lake Braies, Alta Pusteria, Trentino
Number 1 in our list of the best hikes in the Dolomites: 1500 meters above sea level, and at the highest point of the Fanes-Senes-Braies Nature Park, Lake Braies is one of the most photographed places in Italy in recent months. Surely you will have seen at least one image of its emerald green waters, scrolling down your home pages. The lake is ideal for unpretentious mountain walks, suitable for everyone. Formed as a result of a landslide, it became a fetish for hikers and mountain lovers, set within a breathtaking view. According to a legend, the area would have been inhabited by savages, so called because of their appearance, who lived scouting for gold and precious stones: soon they began to sell them to the shepherds of the valley, who became so greedy that they robbed the savages. As punishment, the savages opened underground sources that swallowed their riches, forming the Lake of Braies, so as to separate their lands from those of the shepherds. In order to reach the lake, you can start from the bottom of the valley and coast down it or you can get little boats for hire. Various paths surround it, without ever letting you lose sight of it, despite the bush. Along the way you will find a picnic area where you can stop. There is a famous church on the lake dedicated to the Madonna, where the heirs to the Austrian throne stopped to pray before being killed and where the most illustrious prisoners of Hitler were freed.
Number 2 on our list of the best hikes in the Dolomites is Cicerana, in Abruzzo. Not to anger the other regions of central Italy, but Abruzzo has always had a special place in the heart: barren, mysterious, reserved, simple and – at the same time – majestic in its views, it does wonders for the soul and, for this reason, it’s the destination of one of our mountain walks. In particulare, we go to Cicerana, one of the most beautiful plains of the Abruzzo National Park, surrounded by beech trees and breathtaking views. At almost 6000 above sea level, it’s one of the most untainted places in the region and, therefore, the ideal place to unplug. We advise you to organize yourself in groups or to have a guide, if you aren’t familiar with the place, because the valley is the shelter of some protected species, like the Marsican brown bear and the Apennine wolf. You can, however, choose between various routes, of variable difficulty and length, from Passo del Diavolo to Favone, from Vallone Lampazzo to Prati d’Angro. Find the most suitable path for you and enjoy the view. On the Cicerana there is also an equipped shelter where you can eat and spend the night (booking is required).
Monte Botte Donato, Sila Grande, Calabria
So you’ve never been to Sila? That’s not good. In some areas of this park (which includes Sila Grande and Sila Piccola) it seems as though you’re in Switzerland, between small villages with wooden houses with sloping roofs and paths that get neatly lost between the heights and the shadows of the giant pines. It’s definitely one of the most evocative places for your walks in the mountains. The routes here are many, you can also find ones with themes – historical, religious, naturalistic – and at varying heights, from 1100 to 1900 meters. One of the most travelled, of medium length and with an average duration of 4 hours, is the Lorica – Botte Donato, in the territory of the municipality of Pedace. It starts from a quota of 1373 and you get to 1928, so open up your lungs well. Among the most beautiful walks in the mountains of the Sila, the path is released through Serra di Mola and reaches the watershed between Fiego Soprano and Seni di Coppo, then descends to Lorica and finally goes up to Monte Coppo and Monte Botte Donato, where you can stop at the bar and restaurant. The mountain top is the highest of the Sila plateau, needless to say that from here the view is incredible, you get to see Sicily and Mount Etna.
More info can be found here.
Now that you know 3 of the best hikes in the Dolomites, you have no more excuses: get your hiking boots on and go and explore!
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