Champagne air, awe-inspiring mountains and green forests is what the Parco Nazionale delle Dolomiti Bellunesi is all about. It is a place of great peace and of exceptional natural beauty.
Holidays in the Dolomites are the ideal summer retreat – if you have children
they will love it and if you enjoy hiking, cycling and outdoor sports so
In winter people still visit but I am not a great one for the cold so my preference is summer.
Others say that the park and the Dolomites in general are more spectacular when covered by snow in winter but I would rather see the park when it is lush, green and carpeted with flowers.
However, If winter sports are more your thing then our Veneto winter holiday guide is a must-read.
One of the world’s most beautiful mountain reserves, extending over 32,000 hectares and of huge botanical importance in preserving indigenous Alpine vegetation and fauna.
If you visit the park between March and November I can recommend that you do the Val Falcina trail. It requires no great physical exertion and takes only two hours but it will give you a good idea of the park.
The trail offers some memorable views of snow-capped peaks and follows the course of the Val Falcina stream through forests and flower filled meadows.
Encounters with deer and mountain goats, grazing in mountain meadows and forest glades, is a wonderfully common occurrence. I can still remember the first time I saw a lone deer standing in a field of flowers - exactly like something out of Bambi.
Of course there are many more trails, of varying difficulty, and they are all well marked and not difficult to follow. It is really up to you as to how much you want to exert yourself.
To the north of the park are some of the most awe-inspiring lakes in Italy. These are our two favorites...
The colors of this lake, the setting; you will not forget them for a long time. Every minute of the day it changes, every season is another world. Watch the video below to see what I mean.
The great news is that this lake is far less crowded than Lago di Braies and maybe even lovelier.
The bad news? It is far harder to get to which is probably why there are fewer tourists. Once you have parked your car at the Passo Tre Croci starting point you need to hike 14 kilometers.
Agriturismo Sant'Anna (see photo to the right) is a great place to stay. I felt a little like Heidi when we visited, dancing through the meadows and singing away.
Probably just the mountain air that makes you feel a little lightheaded and a little crazier than normal. Still you never know...visit and let me know what it did for you!
Another good option is to stay in Belluno and use it as a base to explore. Belluno is a lovely town in its own right and certainly one of the prettiest mountain towns in Italy.
Do pay a visit to a little town nearby that I love dearly called Alleghe - don't miss it, it is enchanting!