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Dolomites in early May

I was thinking about a Dolomites trip in early May. Is this too early? Will everything be shut down then? I want to do some hiking. And, what towns would you recommend staying in to be close to hiking/biking? Can anyone recommend a guide/tour group for finding the best hiking?


Dennis Hughes

Posted by
12040 posts

I have never visited the Dolomites, but I know the Alps pretty well. Early May is usually not the best time of the year. You can probably accomplish some hiking, but expect conditions to be somewhat muddy. May is also one of the rainier months in the Alps. Overall, May is better than April, but not as good as June.

Posted by
850 posts

I have been in Mid May and the lifts were closed as was some lodging facilities. We drove from Venice to the Great Dolomite Road as described in Rick's book. It was a beautiful drive and even though many things were closed the positives were the lodging was cheaper and the tourists were few. We did not hike except for a little at the Alpi di Siusi but we saw a number of hikers during our three days in the Dolomites. Flowers were beginning to bloom and it really was pretty in May. We did have excellent weather however. A week prior there was a good amount of snow that fell from what we were told by the locals but you can never predict what the weather will be. The Dolomites are beautiful and well worth a visit.

Posted by
1087 posts

Collets are a firm that do mountain holidays.
That said the routes are well marked if you are used to trail walking.
You might consider Riva del Garda,there are some astonishing low level(under4000ft) via ferratas there,which are just about open all year.
You can hire the kit at Arco,and I believe there are trail guides there if required.
Cicerone do excellent guide books.

Posted by
2886 posts

Hi Dennis,

We've been to the Dolomites a number of times (3 trips in Oct. and 1 trip in late April/early May). No, everything will not be shut down. It will be quieter than say summer, and of course ski season, but enough will be open so you won't be too limited concerning lodging and restaurant choices.

While we love staying in Alta Badia, I'd suggest staying in any of the 3 towns/villages (Ortisei, St. Christina, Selva) of the Val Gardena. Ortisei is the largest and has a nice, although somewhat small, pedestrian zone. The Val Gardena offers more in the way of lodging, restaurants, shops, etc. than Alta Badia, especially in early May.

If you're traveling by car, I wouldn't let the fact that most (if not all) lifts are closed bother me. The Dolomite Passes near Val Gardena (Gardena and Sella Passes) are simply spectacular for up close, dramatic Dolomite scenery. You'll find some places for parking along the passes (we stopped in a parking area along the Sella Pass) with trails leading into the Dolomites. We saw quite a few hikers walking into the Dolomites from this one (along the Sella) in particular.

We stayed at and can recommend the Garni Ariston in St. Christina, Val Gardena.

By the way, the 3 towns/villages that comprise the Val Gardena are just a few minutes drive from one to the other.

In Alta Badia, we love the Ciasa Montanara in La Villa.

If interested, we have some photo's at:

These websites are worth looking into:

Hope this helps.