Cinque Terre & Dolomites--When To Go?


Sep 6th, 2014, 01:26 PM
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Cinque Terre & Dolomites--When To Go?

We are thinking of going to Italy next summer and are considering the Cinque Terre, Dolomites, and Lake Garda among other spots. We can get cheaper flights at the very end of June versus earlier in June. Also, we would have an extra day for the trip if we go in July because of the 4th holiday.

I know June will be less crowded, but will it be very noticeable? Does it make much difference whether we visit the last two weeks of June versus the first two weeks of July in terms of crowds and weather?
Digbydog is offline  
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Sep 6th, 2014, 04:27 PM
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Probably not in weather but crowds may be worse in July.
nytraveler is offline  
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Sep 6th, 2014, 06:06 PM
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Do you know whether crowds would be markedly worse?
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Sep 6th, 2014, 08:20 PM
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I really don't know the comparison, but I was at all three in the end of July/beginning of August this year. While some spots (Cinque Terre especially) were crowded, it was really nothing unbearable for us.
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Sep 7th, 2014, 12:53 AM
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My personal preference would be to hike when the weather is cooler (I assume that's why you're going to the Cinque Terre). Check travel planner on for historical weather.
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Sep 7th, 2014, 01:38 AM
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Early June should be wonderful especially for hiking - we went in early October (some time ago) when it was just right.
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Sep 7th, 2014, 08:14 AM
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We were in the Dolomites in early July last year and the crowds were not bad, even with a Volkssport festival happening in Val Gardena while we were there. Some of the buses were busy, but the lifts were not crowded and once we were on the trails we seldom saw any one else except at the refugios. The weather was cool and some of the higher trails still had snow. Cinque Terre may be a different story. Only been there in October.
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Sep 7th, 2014, 10:00 AM
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Not sure what you're planning to do in the Dolomites, but if your plans include much hiking in the higher trails, you might want to check the lift schedules. Some of the lifts don't open until late June or even into July. We spent a week in the Val Gardena at the end of July a few years ago and there had been some snow the week before.

Here are the current year's lift schedules for Val Gardena and Alta Badia (these are both great planning sites by the way):
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Sep 7th, 2014, 12:46 PM
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I am 100 percent certain nytraveler does not know what she is talking about. I very very much doubt she has been to either place in summer since she has posted many times she doesn't leave her air conditioned apartment during summers. She is very anti-travel to Europe in summer. You really need to recognize you get what you pay for asking travel questions on social media.

End of June in le Cinque Terre will increase your chances for dry weather and you need to wait until July to get the same window for optimal weather in the Dolomiti. If you plan to hike the le Cinque Terre trails they attract crowds from April to October. Best strategy is to hike in early morning or less famous trails and not on weekends if possible. The Dolomiti are rather like the Canadian Rockies in the sense that you will notice crowds in the towns and at some super-famous viewpoints but otherwise will feel like you've got elbow room in the mountains themselves. But it is more important to shoot for clear and dry weather than it is to hope for never seeing a tour bus. In some ways it is heartening to see other people enjoying these natural beautiful sights and you quickly learn how to minimize your time in the towns or in overpopuated places.

In many ways the best time to visit both le Cinque Terre and the Dolomiti is right now -- during the first weeks of September -- but then you should go to the Dolomiti first and le Cinque Terre second. In June/July you need to do it the other way around.
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Sep 7th, 2014, 05:40 PM
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Thanks all for your replies.

Ms. Go--I just read your fabulous trip report, and it helped us to decide to go in early July, thinking that we will have more hiking options then. (Your comparison of the Dolomites and the Berner Oberland was also very helpful).

Sandralist--we would love to go in September, but we will have our son with us, and so we need to go during summer break. We will visit Cinque Terre first (will be there mid-week) and deal with bigger crowds for the few days we are there.
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