Forget about the ocean, plan your summer holiday in the mountains! The Dolomites are the ultimate playground for those looking for an active vacation. Alta Badia has not only amazing things to do it also offers fantastic gastronomy and very laid-back and welcoming people.
This summer on my roadtrip through the Germany, Austria and Italy I ended up in the mountain villages around Alta Badia. I stayed in Natur Hotel Miraval in La Villa and explored the nearby towns of San Cassiano, Colfosco and Corvara on foot, by bike and took several gondolas. Alta Badia is sincerely a great summer destination to visit!
In the list below I will give you all my tips and the best things to do in Alta Badia. Im sure you are going to find your preferred activity for your summer holiday in the Dolomites.
Actually no need to tell you that hiking in Alta Badia and the Dolomites in general is one of the best things to do. There are so many trails that your best bid is to just find yourself a mountain hut you want to hike or go to any lift station and get yourself a trail map.
I would recommend you to ask at the hotel you are staying at for the best hiking trails in Alta Badia. At the end of the day, locals know best!
There are also multi day trekking routes available for those hiking fanatics with a duration up to 7 days through these UNESCO world heritage landscapes. A challenge that I really would like to try is the 4 Peaks Alta Badia challenge. Summiting 4 peaks of the Dolomites in 24 kilometers (15 miles) and almost 2,000 altitude meters (6,560 ft.).
Even for those who don’t feel fit enough to conquer those steep mountains, there hiking in Alta Badia can be fun. You can walk the path of the artists in the valley from La Villa to San Cassiano. It is relatively flat and easy terrain, traffic free. You will pass by art works from local artists.
Another tip for Alta Badia in summer is to take up one of the gondolas, fulfil your hiking craving for the day on one of the higher plateaus and take the lift down again.
2. Summer beach at Bioch Hütte
Either you go hiking or your take the lift up, chilling out at the summer beach of Rifugio Utia de Bioch is a must do in Alta Badia. This is one of my favorite mountain huts in Alta Badia and the multiple beach chairs with the most amazing views over the Dolomites putting it high on the list of my tips for Alta Badia.
The hut owner has a passion for wines and the wine list at the Bioch Hütte is endless. Great quality wines from all over the world can be ordered here on 1,645 meters altitude (5,400 ft.). Sipping wine was never that exciting with those fantastic views.
3. Picnic at Pralongia Mountain Hut
Imagine picking up a picnic basket and searching for a quiet place somewhere on one of the green meadows. Yes you can do this! Alta Badia came up with this ingenious idea of picnicking on the mountains.
There are actually 10 different huts all over the Alta Badia mountains that offer this service, but I did it at the Pralongia because it has an amazing backdrop of some peaks of the Dolomites.
Inside the basket you will find gourmet food: salad box, small main course, a dessert and a fresh juice. Such a great initiative and one of the most relaxing things to do in Alta Badia in summer.
4. Visit Lake Boé
One of those things to do in Alta Badia in summer that can’t be missed. This amazing mountain lake should be on everyone’s Alta Badia itinerary and is fairly easy to get to as well. From the top of the Piz Boé gondola it is only about 15-20 minutes walk uphill.
The backdrop of a steep wall of one of the Dolomite peaks is amazing. I even saw people swimming, but officially it is not allowed I heard, but I didn’t see any signs. The water is pretty cold anyway, I can tell you, I dipped my feet in.
Some people brought some food, drinks, picnic blanket, etc. and were just chilling there. When you ask me Lake Boé is much better than the ocean and yet another reason to travel to Alta Badia in summer.
5. Aperitivo in style @ Piz Boé Alpine Lounge
Looking for a more fancy style mountain hut for fine dining with breathtaking views? Reserve your table at the Piz Boé Alpine Lounge. This completely renovated restaurant offers the most amazing views over the Dolomites from your table. For the best table make a reservation in advance.
Outside there is a much more casual area with bean bags, a food truck with burgers and often a DJ playing some funky tunes, but without the good views.. Piz Boé Mountain Lounge has something for everyone and is located directly at the top station of the Piz Boé gondola coming from Corvara.
6. Lunch at Rifugio Franz Kostner
This Alta Badia summer activity is not about the food really. The Franz Kostner is more about the hut itself as it is located in an utterly stunning location on 2,500m (8,200 ft.). Far above the tree line in close proximity to some of the most amazing peaks of the Dolomites you can find this mountain hut run by the Agreiter Family. This is the traditional mountain hut in Alta Badia that you are looking for.
To get to Rifugio Franz Kostner you can either hike up from Corvara or take the Piz Boé gondola that brings you to the Piz Boé Alpine Lounge and then take the Vallon chairlift. From the top of the Vallon chairlift it is a 20 minutes relatively easy walk towards the Franz Kostner Hutte.
There are also some via ferrata’s (protected climbing routes) around, the hut owners are more than happy to guide you in the right direction. If you are really into an adventure you can spend the night here. Click here to make a reservation through their website. Nightly rates already start from around €10! It totally is my secret travel tip for Alta Badia.
A little west from Rifugio Franz Kostner there is another mountain lake off the beaten path where you guaranteed will be the only one. The 15 minute hike is worth it.
7. Road cycling - Sella Ronda
When visiting Alta Badia and you are a fan of road cycling then Im sure you want to ride the famous Sella Ronda. It is not particularly long with around 65 kilometers (40 miles), but the almost 2,000 altitude meters (6,500 ft.) will be killing. You will cross the famous mountain passes: Pordoi, Gardena, Sella and Campolongo and reach a max altitude of 2,241 meters (7,352 ft.).
There is an event called Sella Ronda Bike Day every year were roads are blocked for other traffic. It is mostly held in the month of June.
A may be even more famous road cycling event held in Alta Badia is the Maratona dles Dolomites. This single day race is covering 7 mountain passes in the Dolomites that have to be conquered by bike with start and finish in Alta Badia. The Maratona dles Dolomites is also generally held in June.
This is something I would love to do some day, but I guess I have to train harder than hard.
Follow the crowd with this fairly new trend! You can rent e-bikes everywhere and it is worth giving it a try. Mountain biking never was that easy. Not that you won’t have to do anything anymore, you will still need to push the peddles, but the integrated battery will help you.
It is a great way to cover a lot of ground either on the mountain or in the valley. Also a great way to tour your favorite mountain huts in Alta Badia.
9. Paragliding - tandemflight
This is your chance to come as close to flying as possible! Don’t be afraid you will be in the hands of professionals. They will guide you through the take off and after that it really is just sit back, relaxed and enjoy the flight.
It was one of those Alta Badia activities that was really high on my bucketlist. It felt really chilled and there was not a single moment that I felt anxious or anything. Must say when I finished I felt pretty dizzy, but so extremely happy. I did flew with the guys from Tandemflight Alta Badia.
10. Deer Park Sompunt
A completely different Alta Badia activity is to visit the Sompunt Deer Park between La Villa and Badia. More than 30 species of deer and fallow deer live here on 7 hectares of grassland and forest. Go to restaurant Paraciora (try the local burger here, it is good) and follow an easy path for about 1 kilometer to spot some epic deer from close up.
Every Tuesday from July to October between 10:00 and 11:00 you can visit the deer park with the owner. When you are luckily he will be feeding them and you can get up close to these massive animals. This is one of the best things to do in Alta Badia with kids.
Other things to do around Alta Badia
Don’t miss out on some great lakes in the area, like Lago di Braies and the rainbow lake of the Dolomites: Lago di Carezza. Want to know how to get to the Carezza Lake and everything you need to know before visiting check out my Lago di Carezza guide.
Recommended place to stay in Alta Badia
You don’t need a 5 star hotel to wake up with incredible views of the Dolomites. I stayed in Natur Hotel Miraval and can only speak highly about it. The staff is extremely friendly and helpful, the views are magnificent and my room was very clean, modern and spacious. Oh forgot about the lovely breakfast and quality dinner.
The outdoor terrace in front of my bed was heavenly with the best views ever. There is also a wellness area with a sauna, a steam cabin and a relaxing area with outdoor hot tub with stunning views of the Dolomites.
On the day of check out I came back at around 18.00 to take a shower and that was not a problem. I had been sweating up on the mountain all day and I was offered to freshen up before my long trip back home. Thanks again for the great service!
I hope the above list of tips and things to do in Alta Badia are helpful for your next trip to the Dolomites.
Safe travels and enjoy!