The Italian Alps are a hiker’s dream, with a variety of mountain sceneries and excellent huts and inns in the most attractive spots. Our Italian Alps hiking destinations include the Dolomites, the Pennine Alps (including the Matterhorn and Monte Rosa), Mont Blanc, the Lake Garda region, and more. The excursions include guided and self-guided choices, multiday hut-to-hut itineraries and village-based programs, and difficulty levels ranging from easy to demanding.
This is our list of the best 10 Italian Alps hiking destinations. It’s a must-read for anyone planning a trip to this corner of the world for a once-in-a-lifetime walking adventure.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
- WHERE ARE THE ITALIAN ALPS
- STELVIO NATIONAL PARK
- AOSTA VALLEY
- CINQUE TERRE
- LAKE COMO
- AMPEZZO DOLOMITES
- SELLA GROUP
- PUEZ ODLE NATURE PARK
- SCILIAR CATINACCIO NATIONAL PARK
WHERE ARE THE ITALIAN ALPS
The Italian Alps form an arc from Monaco in the west to Trieste in the east, encompassing Italy’s northernmost tip. They are divided into three major sections.
Western Alps – The Western Alps are the southernmost extremity of the high Alps, a dramatic playground of snowcapped mountains that borders France and Switzerland.
Central Alps – The central region includes the Italian Lakes, which are framed by smaller hills and picturesque settlements.
Eastern Alps – The eastern half has the Italian Dolomites, which include jagged rocky peaks framed by beautiful alpine meadows.
STELVIO NATIONAL PARK
The Stelvio National Park (Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio/Nationalpark Stilfserjoch) is a remarkable nature reserve nestled in the heart of the Italian Alps, making it one of the top Italian Alps hiking destinations. Spanning Lombardy and South Tyrol-Trentino, this park is home to the majestic Ortler-Cevedale Group, a renowned mountain range led by the iconic Mount Ortler (3905 m).
If you’re driving through the area, we recommend trekking from Stelvio Pass, Italy’s highest paved mountain pass, to Rifugio Forcola/Furkelhütte along the Goldseeweg Trail. This easy path provides some of the nicest views of the Ortler Alps while decreasing the entire time.
The Aosta Valley, nestled among the gorgeous Italian Alps, is a refuge for outdoor enthusiasts looking for adventurous adventures. This scenic region, known as one of the best Italian Alps hiking destinations, offers breathtaking views and awe-inspiring trails for hikers of all ability levels.
Nature enthusiasts can explore a varied range of terrains and immerse themselves in the awe-inspiring majesty of the alpine wilderness, from the towering peaks of Mont Blanc and Matterhorn to the serene serenity of Gran Paradiso National Park.
Whether you’re looking for difficult treks, tranquil nature excursions, or cultural exploration, the Aosta Valley has it all. In this lovely Italian paradise, immerse yourself in the pristine alpine vistas, breathe in the crisp mountain air, and make lasting memories.
Five settlements collectively known as the Cinque Terre are located north of Pisa on Italy’s stunning coastline and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site. With their stacks of pastel buildings overlooking the harbors below, the towns are clearly identifiable. Picking a favorite town is part of the excitement of visiting the Cinque Terre because each town has a little something to offer that sets it apart from the others. One of the greatest ways to see these five towns is by hiking the Cinque Terre.
The Blue Trail, an 11 km long path, connects Riomaggiore and Monterosso al Mare. The paved segment of the trail that connects Riomaggiore and Manarola is one of the trail’s easier sections, while other sections of it climb up and over slopes with breathtaking views of the coast.
Lake Como is nearly 50 miles long from north to south, with 200 kilometers of shoreline and the distinction of “Deepest Lake in Europe.” Lake Como forms an inverted ‘Y’ shape, with each branch flanked by stunning Alpine peaks that reach 2500 meters in places.
As one of the top Italian Alps hiking destinations, Lake Como boasts an extensive network of hiking trails that cater to all levels of hikers. A number of the most beautiful hiking paths in the area are accessible from the lake’s charming towns and villages, which are encircled by the towering Alps. There are trails around Lake Como for everyone, whether you’re an experienced hiker or a casual walker.
The Sorapiss Group, Tofane Group, Cristallo Group, and Croda da Lago mountain groups that surround Cortina d’Ampezzo in the Ampezzo Valley are included in the Ampezzo Dolomites, one of the premier Italian Alps hiking destinations also known as the Cortina Dolomites.
The Italian Province of Belluno in the Veneto region contains the Ampezzo Valley, which is the upper portion of the Boite Valley. The Cortina Dolomites are a top priority for most visitors to the Dolomites who are making their first trip because they are home to some of the region’s most recognizable features, such as Lake Sorapis, Lake Federa, and Cinque Torri.
The Val Badia, Val Gardena, Val di Fassa, and Valle di Fodom are all renowned Italian Alps hiking destinations that are surrounded by the flat-topped Sella Group. Cima Pisciadu, which begins at Passo Gardena, the mountain pass that connects Val Gardena and Val Badia, is our favorite walk in the Sella Group.
The trail ascends the rocky Val Setus to Lake Pisciadu fast after a gradual start. The summit is another hour away from here. Although the Sella is a fascinating place to hike, the best views of the massif are from a distance. For the most striking views of stunning Sella, we advise trekking to Monte Pic or Gran Cir.
PUEZ ODLE NATURE PARK
The spectacular Puez-Odle Nature Park, also known as Naturpark Puez-Geisler in South Tyrol, is tucked away among the alluring Italian Alps hiking destinations of Val Gardena, Val Badia, and Val di Funes. The Puez Mountains and the Odle Mountains, two well-known Dolomites mountain groupings, are included in the park.
Due to its scenic beauty, geomorphologic significance, and geological importance, Puez-Odle Nature Park was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2009.
Puez-Odle Nature Park, which is home to some of the Italian Alps hiking destinations’ most readily recognizable peaks, is beautiful from every vantage point and trail. The Fermeda Peaks appear to be sharp blades poised for precise use from atop Seceda. The razor-sharp Odle spires appear like jagged teeth biting the sky as viewed from the Val di Funes Alpine Pastures.
SCILIAR CATINACCIO NATIONAL PARK
The Sciliar Massif, Catinaccio Group, and a portion of the Alpe di Siusi Plateau are all included in the Sciliar-Catinaccio Nature Park, or Naturpark Schlern-Rosengarten in German.
This Italian Alps hiking area has a lot of strategically placed mountain lodges, which adds to its allure. The Denti di Terra Rossa/Rosszähne summits are beneath the red-roofed Rifugio Alpe di Tires/Tierser Alpl. On the Sciliar plateau, the Rifugio Bolzano/Schlernhaus overlooks the Catinaccio, Latemar, and Sassolungo mountain ranges. The Vajolet Towers are located at the foot of Rifugio Alberto/Gartlhütte. Between Rosengartenspitze and Kesselkogel is Rifugio Passo Principe/Grasleitenpasshütte.
When to Hike in the Italian Alps?
In the Italian Alps, mid-June to mid-September is the ideal hiking season. The hiking season may last until the end of October if the weather is good.
What are some of the best Italian Alps hiking destinations?
Are there hiking trails suitable for beginners in the Italian Alps?
Yes, there are beginner-friendly hiking routes in the Italian Alps. For hikers of all skill levels, the Dolomites’ Val di Fassa offers simple and beautiful hikes.