Italy’s stunning Dolomites have been officially classified by UNESCO as a natural paradise and who are we to argue? These uniquely beautiful mountains form part of the Northern Italian Alps and include eighteen peaks that soar to well over a thousand feet.

Whether you’re a keen skier or just a fan of picturesque snowy landscapes, winter is the perfect time for a visit to the Dolomites to enjoy its breathtaking nature.

Skiing in the Dolomites

Skiing in Italy offers the ideal combination of fantastic slopes, incredible views, stylish après-ski hangouts, and delicious food.

Cortina d’Ampezzo, in the Southern Dolomites, is Italy’s top skiing destination and is synonymous with world-class downhill skiing. Cortina, as the locals tend to shorten it to, will also be hosting the 2026 Winter Olympics. Nearby Madonna di Campiglio is another of the Dolomites’ chicest ski destinations.

Another spot in the Dolomiti Superski region that is home to fifteen ski resorts, Arabba offers access to the slopes of the Marmolada, the Dolomites’ highest peak. This quaint village preserves the culture, traditions, and values of the local Ladin people and has a genuinely authentic flavor.

Finally, Val Gardena is a very popular place to stay in the Dolomites if skiing is what you’ve come for. The resort boasts a high-tech lift system and plenty of quieter trails and pistes if you’re keen to get away from the crowds for a more tranquil back-to-nature experience.

Enjoying the outdoors in the Dolomites in winter

The Dolomites in winter doesn’t necessarily have to all be about skiing. Even if you’re not a skier, as long as you have a love of the outdoors, plenty of unforgettable activities are on offer to keep you busy. The simplest of these is a snow-shoe walk, a fun activity in its own right that provides access to some of the most spectacular landscapes the region has to offer. You’ll also be able to see just how far you’ve come!

Why not take a snowcat ride up to a mountain refuge for the night? Sample some legendary mountain hospitality, enjoy delicious local dishes such as hot canederli dumplings, and gaze at the stars as they twinkle brightly above.

If snowcats are too noisy for you, what about dogs? A dog sled adventure across a wintry landscape is something every animal lover should experience at least once. The enthusiasm shown by the dogs will literally carry you away as they dash across the snow in this high-octane sport. You can even learn to be a “musher” yourself—no previous experience required!

Top spots to visit in the Dolomites in winter

Although it would be a shame not to at least once, winter in the Dolomites doesn’t have to be all about getting out into nature; there are plenty of more leisurely activities to complement being active. One of these is visiting some of the region’s pretty small towns that boast photogenic views around every corner. San Candido—known as Innichen in German in this bilingual region—is one of the best places to stay in the Dolomites and its main sight, the castle-like Villa Wachtler, is home to the Dolomythos Museum, the largest museum in the region dedicated to the history and traditions of the Dolomites. The town is also home to the beautiful white and gold baroque church of San Michele.

Dobbiaco is another beautiful small town known for its mountain hospitality—if you’re up early, you may catch a magnificent sunrise over the distant peaks from your chalet window.

Finally, the Dolomites are particularly well known for their unbeatable lakes. Some of the most accessible, even in winter, are the Lago di Braies, with crystal-clear green water and traditional wooden boats, and the large Lago di Misurina, which can be walked around easily and reflects the mountain peaks behind it in its mirror-like surface. Grab your own shot of one of the region’s most iconic images!