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The dolomites. WELCOME TO THE new ADVENTURE

Hello!

This space will be dedicated to share our trips and experiences , so that when you want to go on an adventure you know which are the best destinations, what to visit, where you can sleep or eat, and some tips that are good to know before packing.

The first post of this blog is dedicated, of course, to de Italian Alps, also known as Dolomites.

It's the place where we went to film the video of the new collection Autumn-Winter, and many of you asked us to share the trip because you loved the location. So well, here's everything you need to know to make an unforgettable trip!

The Dolomites are a mountain ensemble located in northern Italy, and it is a very crowded destination during Winter due to the good facilities that they have for practicing snow sports such as skiing or snowboarding. What it isn't known so well of this place is it's beauty during the rest of the year, for hiking, climbing, mountain biking or even paragliding for the most adventurous.

And that is why we decided to go there, for its spectacular scenery, the diversity of activities and for being a little crowded place out of the ski season.

Our idea was to make a 4-5 day trip visiting the most spectacular sites, so we looked at the weather to avoid going on rainy days, booked dates, bought plane tickets... and let's fly!

The places we saw were the following:

Day 1: Arrival in Bologna and visit to Lake Caresse.

Day 2: Sunrise in Alpe di Siusi, hike through Seceda 2500 and panoramic helicopter flight.

Day 3: Lago di Braies and Tre Cime di Lavaredo.

Day 4: Sorapis Lake and Tre cime part 2.

Day 5: Back home!

Before beginning with all the explanation, I leave you a Mymaps so that you see well the route we did and you locate a little better:


Day 1: Arrival in Bologna and visit to Lake Caresse.

We start the trip on September 16 from Bologna, the city to which we flew from Spain. It's a bit far from the Dolomites, but we caught it on short notice and it was the cheapest nearby airport. I leave here this table where I put the nearby cities and what it takes to get by car to Ortisei, a village in Val Gardena, the heart of Dolomites:

Bookshelf


If you fly to Innsbruck keep in mind that it is Austria, and that the car rental will surely be more expensive than in Italy, and if you fly to Verona surely you will not find direct flights, because it has a small airport, so I would recommend you to fly to Bergamo, and rent the car there.

Anyway, as you can see, it's not the most accessible place in the world, but that's the key to charm, isn't it?

One of the things you should know before you go is that, because it is on the border with Austria, all sites have two names, one in Italian and one in German, keep that in mind when you see the signs on the road, because it can be very easily confusing. And speaking of roads, go prepared for tolls, because they are not few, nor cheap!

Our first stop was Lake Di Caresse, or Karersee in German, an incredible mountain lake less than 1 hour from Bolzano, the largest city in the Dolomite area.

I recommend that you go at the last minute, because the light is spectacular, the peaks of the background remain an orange color and it is really pretty. Besides, you'll get there when the peak hours are over and you probably won't find many people there.

We pay 4€ for the parking, which is on the left hand side if you come from Bolzano. And the best thing is that you don't have to walk at all! The lake is crossing the road at 20 meters. AMAZING!


From 18 to 19:30h we went around the area, surrounding it and recording clips for the video of the new collection... which, by the way, if you haven't seen the video, here it is:

https://www.instagram.com/p/B3C9TZZDxuD/ 


After visiting the lake we went to the hotel, in Ortisei, Val Gardena. We showered and dined at the Érica pizzeria, super affordable for what's out there. They were 13€ for pizza and beer approx, so not bad to be in the mountain paradise.

Note: If you want to order a shandy, which you are going to order, order a beer with lemon, because if you order a shandy they will probably bring you an Italian beer that has a similar name, and that does not have lemon. You're welcome.

With our bellies full we went straight to bed, because the next day we woke up early (5:30am) to leave the hotel at 6am and get to see the sunrise at Alpe di Siusi at 7am.

The first night we stayed at Classic Hotel Am Stetteneck, where we paid 100€ per double room with breakfast included, with private parking and very well located, no doubt recommended!


Day 2: Sunrise in Alpe di Siusi, hike through Seceda 2500 and panoramic helicopter flight.

As I told you, we woke up early and went straight to Alpe di Siusi, which after all is a huge green meadow full of wooden huts and cows, and surrounded by very photogenic mountains. I recommend you take the first light of day, so you can see it like this:


We were recording there 1h and a half approx, with all the place for us. The good thing about going out of season is that you cross with very few people, and even less if you hit the early morning!


Alpe di Siusi is a very big area, so to get exactly to the place where we went, put on the maps: Malga Sanon, which is a hotel/restaurant where you can park for free. If you go, watch out for the dirt road at the end.

We finished recording in Alpe di Siusi around 8:30am, and left for the hotel to take advantage of the breakfast included, which on top was buffet... the best after almost 2 h recording!


After a historic breakfast, we went to our next destination, Seceda 2500m, which can be reached in 2 different ways, either walking about 2 hours in constant ascent (1000m drop) or funicular, which costs 32 € and in 15-20 minutes you are up. We took the funicular, which was a 10-minute walk from the hotel, and by 11:30 in the morning we were already up. Seceda was one of the places where we found more people, since, apart from going at noon, is very well known. You'll see why:



We were around the area until 2pm, flying the drone and rolling over the grass, and then we went down to eat. With the restaurant we did not get too complicated, considering that at 14-14:30h all restaurants close (in Italy they eat early), we ate in the bar of the funicular station, where we did not eat badly, but it was not something exquisite either.

Note: If you have a good view, in the last stretch of the funicular up to Seceda, you can see marmots in the sun. They camouflage super well but are huge!


As you can see we were going at a good pace, it was barely lunchtime and we had already been in 2 places where you can spend a whole day in each one. Well, there was still the best part, a helicopter flight!

Once we finished eating, we rested a bit on the terrace of the restaurant and took the van to go to the headquarters of Elikos, the only company that offers panoramic flights by helicopter through Dolomites. It was a 20-minute drive from Ortisei, so it was great for us!

We took the shortest flight (and the cheapest), 15 minutes 120€ per person. Not bad eh? I know, it's not cheap, but it's worth it. I'd never been on one before, and it's one of the craziest experiences I've ever had!


We saw the sites we had visited that morning from a whole new perspective, and seeing mountains and mountains as far as the eye could see was mind-blowing.

With the adrenaline still in our bodies, we took the van and as we commented on the madness of the flight, we headed to the hotel where we were going to spend the second night; Hotel PörnBacher, 20 minutes from the most photographed lake in the world, Lago di Braies, or Pragser Wildsee, depends on who you ask.

That night we had dinner in Ristorante Christl, 5 mins from the hotel, and I also highly recommend it, because they were very fast and again very affordable .

After some good pizzas we went to bed early, because the next day we were up again early!


Day 3: Lago di Braies and Tre Cime di Lavaredo

At 6am the alarm went off, we got ready and went directly to Lago di Braies to do the first shooting of the day. We arrived before the sun, and were a little disappointed to see that the reflection of the lake that we had seen in the photos, had disappeared because of the wind.

We started circling the lake, and half an hour later, suddenly the mountains began to draw in the water, and we were all hypnotised!

We started recording and taking the photos we had gone for, and we didn't stop for 2 hours.


Notes

- The water level can vary 2 or 3 meters depending on the time of year. We went after the summer and before the rains started, that's why the level was so low. If you go in March or April, when the thaw starts, surely the water level will reach the height of the wooden hut in the photo. I leave here a picture of our collaborator José Zepev, who caught the lake quite fuller!

- From 10 a.m. the boats can be rented for 20€ per hour.



With the SDs full of content, and after returning to the hotel for breakfast (included with the reservation) we headed to the next spot of the day; Tre Cime di Lavaredo.


Yes, you have guessed it, it means Three Summits, and it is precisely the peculiar thing of the place, the three peaks of stone that stand out more than 500 meters from the parking of the refuge and almost 3000 from the level of the sea. And the craziest thing of all, is that we saw people climbing them!

The entrance to the place costs 30€ and you can spend up to 24h, so, if you go camping or in a caravan, you can sleep upstairs and pay the same as if you go up and down on the same day.


Our plan was to circle the three summits and reach the shelter on the other side, Rifugio A. Locatelli Innekofler, where we ate a good plate of pasta and took a nap like good Spaniards.

Afterwards, we went through the back of the refuge to explore some caves that we saw while eating, and they turned out to be small tunnels that connected between them and took you to another side of the mountain.

Once we had eaten and seen the tunnels, the idea was to go back to where we had started, and continue in the other direction to find a cliff that we had seen in videos and photos and that we were dying to see live because it was a amazing. So we undo the way, and in 1 hour we are in the van to change the sweatshirts, lighten the backpacks and start the next hike in search of the cliff.

And in the blink of an eye, as we were changing our sweatshirts in the van, there came a very dense fog that made us wonder whether or not to go on the excursion, because we didn't see shit!


Anyway, of course, we went out to try our luck, and we found the cliff, yes, but not with the views we had imagined…


Tired of all day walking, and disappointed by not seeing anything, we decided to fly the drone, to try to get over the fog and see the sunset through the mobile screen. And we got it! 300 meters above us was setting the sun in a sea of orange clouds, of which we took breathtaking pictures!


With a bittersweet taste we returned to the van and headed for Cortina d'Ampezzo, a village full of brand shops in the middle of the Alps. There we watched the Juve vs Atleti game and slept like marmots at the Hotel Aquila after a binge of pizzas and pasta at the Pontejel restaurant, which wasn't bad, but it wasn't anything incredible either. 

Day 4: Sorapis Lake and Tre cime part 2:

On day 4 we took it easy, we woke up at 8:30 a.m.. Wow! After two days of little sleep, that night tasted like glory to us. As always, we had a free buffet breakfast at the hotel, and we departed in the van to the starting point of the trip to Lake Di Sorapis. We arrived at Passo Tre Croci 15 minutes later, and started walking. The tour is a little less than 2 hours, and the views are incredible:

We arrived at Lake Sorapis with a good leg pain, but it is looking at the landscape and forget everything, that color of the water is spectacular! We took some pictures and went straight to a shelter 100 meters from the lake (Rifugio Alfonso Vandelli) to eat there.

Note: It's a fairly remote site and they don't have a dataphone to charge for food, so carry cash with you. And I take this opportunity to recommend you the vegetable soup, with the cold it’s the best option.

We just ate and started talking to one of the waiters, who knew the brand and followed one of us - in the middle of the mountain in a shelter lost at the hand of God, and knew Blue Banana and Axel! We were so stoked!

We started the way back, with the idea of going back to the hotel and taking a quiet shower and taking a walk around the town, we had had a few exhausting days and we had earned it. But things got twisted, the eagerness for adventure exceeded us, and we ended up heading for the cliff we visited the day before, it was our last chance to get it!

We paid again the 30€ of the parking fee without thinking about it, we took only what was necessary, and we began the excursion running like wild boars, because there was 1 hour of sun and there was a half hour of way to arrive. Not to mention that there was also fog when we arrived, but not as dense as the day before.

We got to the cliff on time! And this time with views, what a blast!



But the day didn't end there, we wanted more! So we went up a little higher, set up the tent to record some shots and saw the last sunset of the trip.
  

After a crazy afternoon full of adrenaline, we started our way back to the van.

Super satisfied with the result of the last day, we had dinner in a restaurant in Misurina, a town very close to Tre Cime, and set course for the hotel, in Passo Pordoi, 2 hours away... It's the other face of the adventurous spirit, I suppose, if we hadn't returned in search of the cliff, at 9pm we'd already be showered and ready for dinner. On the other hand, at the same time we hadn't had dinner, we were devastated and we still had 2 hours left to get to the hotel, but the experience we had just had amply justified the situation!

The hotel was called Col Di Lana, and like the rest, the double room with breakfast included was around 100€. We wanted a hotel in Passo Pordoi because the next day, before going to the airport, we wanted to make a mini trip to Fredarola shelter (less than 1 hour walk) to see Lake Fedaia and the Marmolada in the background (the highest mountain in Dolomites).


Day 5: Back home!


Finally we decided to take it easy and go down to Bologna soon in case we caught traffic. We ate along the way in Treviso, in a very cheap and very good pizzeria, called Zeus. If you go you can park in Piazza Vittoria, it's 3mins walk away and there's pretty big parking.

From there we went to the airport with sad faces but very grateful for the days we had spent, and we returned to Spain with the SD full and swearing not to eat pizza or pasta for many days!

It was an incredible trip that completely surpassed all our expectations, both for the places we saw and for the experiences we had, so I can't recommend it to you being more convinced that it will freak you out!

If you have any doubt, you can leave it in the comments and I will be happy to answer it.

Greetings, and let's get on with the adventure!

Author Profile

Gonzalo Pasquier es un joven aventurero y fotógrafo español. Vive por y para viajar, y sus fotografías están inspiradas en su pasión por la naturaleza. En Blue Banana tenemos la gran suerte de contar con él dentro del equipo, y su misión no es otra que la de hacer realidad la nueva aventura y conseguir plasmarlo en nuestra marca a través de un contenido con un punto de vista propio, que vaya al siguiente nivel. Esto no va del qué hacemos sino del cómo lo hacemos. Y Gonzalo Pasquier es el encargado de demostrarlo. 

WILLKOMMEN BEIM NEUEN ABENTEUER