Please help with Dolomite plans!

Old Jan 22nd, 2022, 03:25 PM
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Please help with Dolomite plans!

Hello all!
I need some info before I can proceed with travel plans to Italy. Specifically, the Dolomite area which will be new for me. I am looking to find out when the lifts should be open. I want to arrive in mid May if the lifts are operating then. Is there a way to know the opening dates? I would really hate to get there only to find out they are not running yet. I plan to stay Ortesei for 5 nights. Is this enough time? We are planning to hike in the immediate area and enjoy some leisure time as well. Any hotel recommendations you can give are appreciated.

I plan to drive from Venice to Ortesei. Is the drive difficult? I have driven in Italy several times, just not in this area.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2022, 04:56 AM
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The Val Gardena website typically has a complete lift schedule, but it doesn't appear to be updated for summer 2022 yet - and doesn't have 2021 information up any more. According to the current page on that site, the first lifts to open will do so on May 14:

Some lifts have their own websites, so you might try looking for those. For example, it looks like Col Raiser will begin operating on May 21:

Beyond the Val Gardena, some of the other regions still have 2021 lift information on their sites. This might give you an idea of what to expect:
Val di Fassa (a few opened in late May):
Alta Badia (I don't see any that opened until June):

Our trips have been later (August and September), so I can't speak to the hiking in May.
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Old Jan 25th, 2022, 08:42 AM
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Mid-May is pushing the time line for availability of lifts but the good news is Ortisei has several of those that will open early. The Val Gardena tourist bureau has informed me that schedules for summer lifts have not been posted but the 2021 schedule is a good guide. The not so good news is the trail conditions in may which can include snow and mud--who can tell at this point? Generally, the trails are excellent with many refugios and huttes along the way.
As for the drive from Venice--the roads are excellent with the expected climbs and switchbacks along with the busses and motorcycles enjoying the scenery. I like to stop at a cafe or restaurant and enjoy the scenery with a coffee or drink. Its also possible to incorporate a ride on a lift in a pass (Lagazuoie ?) or the terrific WW1 museum nearby. I always look forward to the journey from Venice to Ortisei.
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Old Jan 25th, 2022, 10:00 PM
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We were in the Dolomites in the first half of May and very few lifts (near Castelrotto) were operating. We were given a recommendation to try the lift at Alpe di Siusi and had a wonderful day hiking. There was no one else around, the scenery was spectacular, with snow on the ground but melting, and tiny wildflowers everywhere. We also had one night staying in Cortina, on the drive up from Venice. Cortina was very quiet, we had trouble finding somewhere open to eat.

The drive was not that difficult, it was windy and narrow with few places to stop for food etc. At one point, we reached a barrier over the road and had to backtrack a long way, adding hours to the journey. We couldn't understand the signage but think it was due to snow over the road/avalanche. It is a really beautiful area.
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Old Jan 26th, 2022, 05:37 AM
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Thanks all. Thats what I needed to know. Given this information I think we will move the trip until later in the year. Mid August seems like a better time. Don't want any snow!
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Old Jan 26th, 2022, 07:27 AM
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August is super high season in Italy. Be aware to pay much more than in other months, book well in advance.
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