The Dolomites: Five fabulous days you’ll love

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Lake reflection
Reflection at Lago di Braies Dolomites Italy

There always seems to be one more thing to tick off on your bucket list for Italy.

Each day, we seem to find yet another inspiring destination. And having seen so much of Europe, there’s always one more destination to visit. No wonder our bucket list keeps expanding.

And one place we wanted to tick off our list was the Dolomites.

Over the years, we’ve watched many YouTube videos of others’ experiences. We’ve absorbed a lot of information on the Dolomite area.

This is why when we were planning our six-week road trip for our youngest son, Alex, we sent him a photo of Seceda.

And the response?

Seceda has been Alex’s screen saver for many years. Yip, he definitely wanted to visit.

Five Fabulous Days in the Dolomites

Chapel with a view of the Dolomites
St Andreas Chapel (Chiesa di Sant’Andrea) near our Airbnb with a fantastic view of The Dolomites

Of course, we were excited Alex was keen to see the Dolomites.

He’d told Terry, the itinerary planner, that he loved the outdoors and the small villages. So, his two weeks in Italy would include five days in the Dolomites.

And what a treat it was for all of us.

The scenery is spectacular. With its rolling landscape and mountain backdrop, it sometimes reminded us of the South Island of New Zealand.

Arriving from Innsbruck, Terry had chosen the perfect farm stay for our five nights after many stops for photos.

Where to Stay in the Dolomites

View of the Dolomites
View of the Dolomites from our farm stay, Longostano

Thankfully, it’s not this old shed.

Instead, it is a cosy apartment with a fantastic view of the mountains.

Sitting on our balcony became our morning and evening routine. Coffee and the view for breakfast. Wine and sunset for the evening.

It made us feel so relaxed, surrounded by the beauty of nature, that we didn’t want to leave.

Our Airbnb was a two-bedroom apartment above the main house. It was comfortable and clean. Our farm stay was with a lovely, welcoming family.

But the real treat was …

Alpine House
Airbnb: Apartment ‘Edelweiss’ – Rautnerhof, Ebnerweg 4, Ritten, Bz


Cow Bells and Fresh Milk at Apartment Édelweiss

Farm Stay with the milk can facing the mountain view
Our daily can of fresh milk. Apartment Edelweiss,

The allocation of one litre of fresh cow’s milk every morning.

So delicious. We had forgotten how good fresh milk tastes.

The 30 cows milked each morning and evening have some accolades for their quality on the barn wall. All the cows appeared very relaxed in the barn, with only the noise of their bells ringing as they chewed another mouthful of hay.

The farm also had four rabbits who got on well with the two kittens, and the yard was full of chickens.

We did threaten to sing and dance ‘Edelweiss’ to Alex for a Sound of Music moment. But he thought his parents had lost the plot.

Thankfully, there were plenty of nearby walks to enjoy and burn off some energy.

Six Places to Enjoy Around Ritten

Earth Pyramids of Clay
Earth Pyramids of Clay, Renon

Nearby the farm stay, there are plenty of walks to enjoy mother nature.

It’s only a short drive to Collabo, where you can ride the Cog Railway to Soprabolzano for lunch with a view.

Afterwards, you could take the cable car to Bolzano’s old town.

Our favourite places:

  1. St Andreas Chapel (Chiesa di Sant’Andrea) – an easy walk from the farm stay
  2. Longostagno village – a short walk across the field and through the forest
  3. Earth Pyramids Renon and Bruke Erdpyramiden – clay spires and covered bridge
  4. Albergo Maria Saal – the tasty menu at a restaurant with a view of the Dolomites
  5. Cog Railway from Collalbo to Maria Assunta – for coffee or hikes
  6. Cable car from Bolzano to Soprabolzano

Having these places nearby meant we could explore for a few hours and relax with our mountain view at Apartment ‘Edelweiss’.

But for tomorrow, it was time to visit the mountainside, which stared at us every morning.


Spend a Day at Seceda

View of a mountain top
Seceda Dolomites, Italy – even here, the grass is mowed!

In 2008, the Dolomites became part of UNESCO World Heritage. Seceda is located in a nature reserve (Parco Naturale Cisles-Odle) in Val Gardena, South Tyrol.

We had a sunny day, zero degrees and on the first cable car to the mountain.

Alex was in awe, Terry was already taking photos, and Maura was trying to stay warm. But what none of us expected was the altitude. Walking up to the summit, it felt like we had a brick in our chest.

But, of course, the views of the Dolomites had us forging ahead to the summit.

We were once again impressed with the neatly mown fields.

We chatted with a couple of goats who needed some attention, had a small snow fight, and stopped for a drink to “drink” in the views.

Getting to Seceda

Snow fall
Hey Alex – It’s snow time

Driving from the Airbnb, we parked the car at Ortisei and took the Cableway (Gondola) and Cableway to Seceda.

We had a gondola to ourselves before changing to the cable car that can hold large groups. You travel 4,500 meters and climb nearly 1,000 meters in altitude.

It’s not for the faint-hearted.

Nearing the top of the mountain, it almost feels like you will hit the rock face. Maybe this was why a French woman in our car was having a panic attack.


Get Refreshments on Seceda

Three people having a drink
Enjoy a drink on Seceda Mountain.

A mountain drink was perfect, with the sun shining and the temperature up a few more degrees. What a view to enjoy with a beer.

Chatting to a couple of goats

Patting a goat
Patting a goat, Seceda

What would we do next time?

We would also book a stay in Val Gardena. With Seceda at your front door, you can take longer hikes or hire a mountain bike to explore the trails.

But one place we certainly would return to is Lago di Braies.

Walk around Lago di Braies

Two people looking at a lake
Admiring the splendour of Lago di Braies

We arrived at Lago de Braies in the Dolomites on another cold morning. The emerald-colored water, with a backdrop of Croda del Becco mountain, was a memorable moment.

This lake reminded us of photos of Lake Louise in Canada, which our good friends Kerry and Louise showed us.

As we walked the circumference of the lake, the sun shone, and the breeze settled so that we could see a fantastic lake reflection.

Alex, wearing his shorts, took a bet with us; he’d shout a drink for anyone else wearing shorts. He thought wearing shorts like him was too cold for other people.

Poor Alex lost majorly on these stakes.

Thirteen other people were also wearing shorts! We had coffee at the lake and then went to Cortina d’Ampezzo for the first drink.

Stop at Cortina d’Ampezzo

Church in the Dolomites
Cortina d’Ampezzo, Dolomites

One place to sit and enjoy a coffee is the piazza of Cortina d’ Ampezzo.

The Dolomites surround this town.

Skiing in winter or hiking trails in summer is popular, especially on weekends. In 2026, the Winter Olympics will be held on the slopes.

We would definitely add a few nights here to cycle the Old Railway to Dobbiaco (to the North) or Calalzo (to the South). The trail takes you through forests and valleys.

And if it rains, there’s always ice skating.

But for photos, you need to drive the Falzarego Pass.


Panorama views at Falzarego Pass.

Car in the mountains
Ideal car for the Falzarego Pass hairpin corners

The Great Dolomites Road (SS48) travels between Arabba and Cortina. The mountains of Lagazuoi and Col Gallina rise above the road, as does Mount Sasso di Stria at 2477 metres.

At the top of the pass, you will find a small chapel, an Open-air Museum of the First World War and memorial, and a restaurant and cafe.

The drive would be perfect for a Bond movie. It has many tight corners as it zig-zags its way from Cortina d’Ampezzo to the top.

As you drive the Falzarego Pass, you’ll notice the Lagazuoi Cable Car, which connects Falzarego Pass with the Lagazuoi Refuge.

At an altitude of 2,746 metres, the panorama views of the Dolomites are one memory you won’t forget.


Where are we – Austria or Italy?

Cows in a field
Cows enjoying their view

OK, sometimes we were a little confused about the nationality around the Dolomites.

Besides the crazy driving, which reminds you, you’re in Italy. The language on many menu boards or signs was German first, Italian second.

And the fields.

Perfectly mowed. Farms are pristine, and houses are very tidy.

Perhaps it’s an exaggeration, but close to the point.

To clarify, we asked one of the locals, and they said they are Italians, but their history is Austrian.

It explains why the fields are mowed regularly and perfectly, and why strudels and bretzels are on the menu.

So come prepared with some German and Italian greetings.


Are the Dolomites worth a visit?

Dolomite mountain range
Dolomite mountain range

Absolutely. Even if you aren’t a hiker, the Dolomites are majestic.

Having the opportunity to walk the mountain paths of Seceda with views on a clear day of Austria, you have to tick the bucket list box.

To absorb the beauty of the stunning emerald lake of Lago de Braies. Or the panoramic views from Falzarego Pass.

The Dolomites are where you’ll have five fabulous days to love.

For us, it is an inspiring destination for a return visit for five days or more.


  1. Nic says:

    I did exactly that… made a coffee and read your wonderful account of the Dolomites – I almost felt as though I was there! Amazing nature, fantastic humour and poor Alex losing the shorts bet – in seton degrees he was very tough. Looking forward to the next adventure 😻

  2. Marlene says:

    What an absolutely amazing experience. No wonder you will spend more time there.

  3. Jo Prior says:

    Sounds great! What a wonderful five days you had.

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