Table of Contents:
- Dolomites Elopement FAQ’s
- 10 Best Places to Elope in the Dolomites, Italy
- Full Dolomites Elopement Guide
- Dolomites, Italy Elopement Photographer
The Dolomites of northern Italy are one of my favorite places on earth and have got to be one of the most EPIC destinations for an elopement in the mountains. They’ve got so many beautiful hikes to choose from, breathtaking landscapes literally everywhere you look, and a ton of little Italian mountain towns to explore. There are honestly too many places to choose from, so I narrowed down a list of my top 10 favorite locations to elope in the Dolomites to help you get started. Some of these require longer hikes than others and don’t necessarily need to be where we go on your wedding day (they might be good for just adventure portraits), but all of them are STUNNING and the hikes are totally worth doing!
(Sadly, I don’t have my own photos of all the locations on this list, as I wasn’t a photographer when I went to some of these places. Yes, I beat myself up for this daily lol.)
Dolomites Elopement FAQ’s
Before we get going and you start falling love with every single hike that the Dolomites have to offer, let me answer a few FAQ’s!!
Can foreigners elope in Italy?
Yes you can! Buuut it may be easier for you to just do a symbolic ceremony in Italy instead.
If you want to get married legally in Italy as foreigners, you have to go through the process of getting an Italian marriage license—I talk more in-depth about this process in my Dolomites elopement guide here. But a quick overview: Italy requires that your ceremony is performed in an approved location like a venue or some place of historical significance, so basically you’ll have to have your legal ceremony somewhere approved—then have a symbolic ceremony and/or take portraits in the Dolomites afterward. You ceremony will also have to be conducted in Italian, whether you’re having a civil or religious ceremony.
So keeping all that in mind, it’s often easier to just get married legally in your home country beforehand, and have a symbolic ceremony in Italy. This way you don’t have to worry about the nitty-gritty of getting an Italian marriage license and it’ll be wayyy easier for you to plan!
Can you get married in the Dolomites?
Hell yeah you can! You don’t need a permit to elope in the Dolomites, AND you don’t need a permit to bring a photographer with you to document your symbolic ceremony. We love an easy, stress-free planning process 🙌
Where can you elope in the Dolomites?
Wherever you want! Since you don’t need a permit to get married in the Dolomites, you can elope wherever you please—as long as you stay on permitted trails and respect the local rules + regulations, of course. This is why sooo many couples love eloping in the Dolomites; your options are literally endless and you cannot go wrong anywhere you choose.
If you have more burning questions about eloping in the Dolomites and want to know EVERYTHING there is to know, make sure you check out my Ultimate Dolomites Elopement Guide. In that one, I give you sooo much more than just the best hikes—including permit info, where to stay, the best time of year to elope, & tons more info!
10 Best Places to Elope in the Dolomites, Italy
Okay now let’s dive into what ya came here for: my top 10 fave Dolomites elopement locations!
1. Cinque Torri
Hike distance: 1.2-mi loop
Elevation gain: 430 ft
Average completion time: 1 hr
Best time to elope: June-October
Cinque Torri is so gorgeous and has so many stunning views of the surrounding landscape! The aptly named Cinque Torri means exactly what it is: The Five Towers, and there’s always climbers clinging to the rocks as you hike. The remains of the trenches and weaponries at the foot of Cinque Torri (from Italian – Five Towers) are left over from the First World War and if you’re into history (like my boyfriend that made us spend way too long looking at WWI memorials!), this is a cool place to visit!
The distance you hike to get to Cinque Torri will vary depending on which route you take, because there are a ton of different starting points you can choose from, including trails from Falzarego Pass, Giau Pass, the Cinque Torri parking area, Ru Corto, and Rifugio Col Gallina. The easiest route starts directly under the Cinque Torri chairlift, which is about 25 minutes outside of Cortina d’Ampezzo! The hike is pretty easy and fun to do and is sooo worth it for the iconic views you get.
Alternatively, if you don’t want to hike up to Cinque Torri & would rather just relax, you can just take one of the many cable cars or chairlifts instead. The Lagazuoi cable car from Falzarego Pass only takes about 3 minutes to get you up to an altitude of nearly 10,000 feet, or you can take the Cinque Torri chairlift for 6 minutes to get up to Cinque Torri and see the magical spires of the castle. You can also take a chairlif from Giau Pass, Croda Negra, or Falzarego del Col Gallina. So many options, so choose the one that’s best for you and what you’re feelin’!
Hike distance: 2.5-mi loop
Elevation gain: 165 ft
Average completion time: 1-2 hrs
Best time to elope: June-July or September-October to avoid crowds/driving restrictions
Lago di Braies is by far the most popular place in the Dolomites, but 90% of the tourists only get out of their cars to walk 100 feet to the lake and snap a few photos. Hardly anybody does the actual hike that goes around the lake! It’s only about 2.5 miles in length and travels through the forest allll the way to the lake, giving you tons of views that you won’t see on Instagram! The lake is at an elevation of nearly 5,000 feet, and is part of the Fanes-Sennes-Braies nature park, which is one of 10 nature parks in the Dolomites. You can also head to the south end of the lake and find more hiking trails that go further up into the mountains if you want a bit more of a challenge!
The scenery of the bright blue alpine lake nestled in the heart of the mountains is simply breathtaking, whether you spend your time hiking around the lake or you want to actually get out on the water in a rowboat. If you want to do the latter, I suggest getting to these boats by 9:30am, when the boathouse opens, to snatch them up before tourists arrive. It costs €25 EUR to rent a boat for one hour, perfect for some epic portraits (and drone shots!) of you and your love out in the middle of the emerald-green waters!
Best time to elope: June-October
The Seceda Ridgeline is one of the most iconic places in the Dolomites—you’ve probs seen it on Instagram at some point! It’s one of the easier ways to get epic views of the Dolomites if you don’t want to hike a ton or you have limited time. Located in the Puez Odle Nature Park, Seceda offers insane 360° views of the famous Odle/Geisler pinnacles that you’ll see in photos, but also of the Sella massif, Sassolungo, and Marmolada. If it’s super clear out, you might even be able to see Grossglockner, which is Austria’s highest mountain.
The easiest way to get up to Seceda is by taking the Ortisei-Furnes-Seceda cable car from Ortisei in Val Gardena for €20 EUR, which usually operates from late May to early November. Most tourists stay around the cable car, and it’s pretty easy to find in town as it’s probably the biggest tourist attraction they have. Once you get to the Seceda mountain station, it’s only about a 10-minute walk to get to the summit lookout point, and then you can continue hiking along the ridgeline toward the Odle Peaks if you want to. If you don’t want to take the cable car, you can certainly hike from the two but it will extend the hike by about two hours or so! There’s even a little restaurant at the upper cable car station, where you can sit back, relax, and admire the otherworldly mountain views while you have a bit to eat + a refreshing drink.
Whether you decide to take the cable car & make the easy walk to the summit, or you opt for a longer route, the views are spectacular and are honestly a must-visit during your time in the Dolomites!
Hike distance: 7 mi round trip
Elevation gain: 2,800 ft
Average completion time: 6 hrs
Best time to elope: June-October
Croda da Lago can be viewed from several different hikes, but in my opinion the most enjoyable one is the Croda da Lago circuit! The circuit is almost 8 miles long, but has so many amazing views that it is a MUST-DO. The hike starts in the forest and then soon winds through meadows, and then up to the cliffs where you can see SO many peaks and views. The trail heads up to the high Forcella Ambrizzola pass and then turns north, tracking the Crodas western flank to the high point at Forcella Rossa di Firmin. Here you’ll find wondrous views over to the Pelmo, and then descend a wild, wild rocky valley back to the treeline!
After hiking through the hills and taking in all the amazing sights along the way, you end up at a gorgeous lake (best viewed after May when the snow has melted, or in the fall when the larches are vibrant yellow!). You’ll even be rewarded with a bite to eat if the little refugio at the end of the hike is open (usually through the first week of November). 🙂 I love this hike because not only do you get jaw-dropping views at the end—the views are insane the whole entire way! So even if you end up not wanting to finish the hike & turning around partway through, you’ll still get to enjoy incredible scenery and a good mix of terrain throughout the trail. I def recommend taking your time on this one to stop and enjoy all the sights, so plan for more than 6 hours to complete the hike.
Hike distance: 6.2-mi loop
Elevation gain: 1,600 ft
Average completion time: 3.5 hrs
Best time to elope: September-October
This is an easy-moderate hike to one of the most amazing views in the Dolomites, circling three iconic peaks: Cima Piccola, Cima Grande, and Cima Ovest. The three of these are known as, well, Tre Cime di Lavaredo—aka the Three Peaks of Lavaredo! The 3.5-hour hike takes you through a variety of terrain and diverse landscapes, from dramatic cliffs to deep valleys to tranquil mountain lakes, and panoramic views galore.
You can hike Tre Cime at ANY time of day because it looks amazing no matter what—sunrise, sunset, midday, whenever! Though it’s more likely to be less crowded + more private at sunrise. The main and easiest access to the trail is by car from Misurina, after paying a toll along the scenic route, which is about 4.5 miles long. The road leads you to the foot of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo!
If you’d rather do a shorter hike, there are plenty of other routes and detours you can take instead, such as the approximately 0.6-mile hike from Rifugio Auronzo to Capella degli Alpini. From here, you can continue along the trail or take a detour to an amazing viewpoint, then head back! Honestly, no matter where you go or how far you hike, you’re guaranteed to get spectacular views of the Dolomites.
Best time to elope: May-October
Lago di Misurina is definitely a hidden gem of the Dolomites, located in the gorgeous village of Misurina. It’s an ideal spot for elopements if you don’t want to hike a ton, as you can simply walk around the lake as much (or as little) as you want—a walk around the entire lake will only take about 30-40 minutes, so it’s really not bad and the views are epic! You can also head into Tre Cime Park from the end of Misurina, and start that hike from there. There are plenty of easy walks, lush green meadows, and amazing mountain views in the area that make it a great place for anybody to visit! It’s also a great base for your Dolomites elopement because there are plenty of hotels by the lake, so you could stay right by the water and then explore the area via the nearby trails + hikes to higher peaks.
Best time to elope: June-October
Dürrensee is a STUNNING mountain lake located in Three Peaks Nature Park, about 4.5 miles from Toblach in Höhlenstein Valley. You can experience the lake by foot, bike, cross-country ski (in the winter), or even by climbing! There’s a vertical, partially overhanging wall above Dürrensee that makes for rad climbing opportunities, so if that’s your thing, then this lake is the place to go. You’ll get breathtaking views in the heart of the Dolomites no matter how you explore the lake, and there’s even a viewpoint nearby that faces the Tre Cime!
Hike distance: 10.5-mi loop
Elevation gain: 3,211 ft
Average completion time: 6-7 hrs
Best time to elope: May-October
Located about 1.2 miles north of Lago di Misurina, Lago d’Antorno is a small but beautiful lake that overlooks Tre Cime di Lavaredo, surrounded by gorgeous views of the Dolomites. It’s a great hike if you’re looking for a good challenge, as the hike (which starts from a parking lot near the lake) takes you up in elevation quite a bit + takes 6-7 hours to complete—it’s long, but so worth it for the scenery! There are also several other trails around the lake that you can check out, including the popular hike that leads to the Rifugio Auronzo (where you get incredible views of the Tre Cime).
Hike distance: 2 mi round trip
Elevation gain: 690 ft
Average completion time: 1-2 hrs
Best time to elope: June-July and September-October
Cadini di Misurina is another one of those spots that you have most DEFINITELY seen on Instagram before—the views are some of the most iconic in all of the Dolomites. It’s an ideal hike for couples who want to do a little bit of a trek but don’t want to spend more than an hour or so getting to the views! You’ll park in the Rifugio Auronzo parking lot, which is the same parking lot for the Tre Crime hike, and you’ll want to get there as early as you can because there’s a daily limit to the number of cars that are permitted to drive up the road. You’ll pay a €30 EUR toll to drive to and park in this lot, and then head off to the trail from there. The panoramic scenery from the viewpoint is absolutely epic and will seriously leave your jaw on the floor (or way down in the mountain valleys, for that matter)—a dream come true for mountain lovers!! Just make sure to be careful as you walk along the narrow spot that’s covered in tree roots & rocks.
10. Lago di Carezza
Hike distance: 2.2 mi round trip
Elevation gain: 919 ft
Average completion time: 1.5-2 hrs
Best time to elope: Spring-summer
Last but not least, we have Lago di Carezza. This lake, located in the south Tyrol region, is also known as Karersee, and the mountain range you can see in its reflection is Latemar. The lake is super easy to access with a parking lot right next to it, and it’s closest to the town of Nova Levante. Lago di Carezza actually means “Rainbow Lake” and according to legends, once upon a time there was a mermaid living in the lake! So if you love Italy and mermaids, this is the lake for you haha!
Even if you don’t care about the mermaid legends, this lake is so breathtaking, especially at sunrise and sunset. It’s open 24/7, all year-round, so it’s a great place to visit during any season! Summer has the best weather by far, and that’s when the water is highest, but the lake is insanely beautiful in fall too, with gorgeous autumn colors all along the mountains. No matter what time of year you visit, try to go as early as you can to avoid crowds and have the lake to yourself!
Ok so are you totally obsessed with, head-over-heels-in-love with the Dolomites yet?! If not, then I’m not sure you read this whole guide 😉 But if you are and now you’re dying to know more about how to elope in this incredible part of Italy, you should head on over to my Full Dolomites Elopement Guide where I talk about EVERYTHING you need to know: seasons, weather, permits, costs, hikes, places to stay, and so much more.
Thennn when you’re ready to hire a Dolomites elopement photographer to document your epic mountain adventure in Italy, I’ll already have my bags packed and ready to go—seriously! I literally cannot wait to hear all about what you’re envisioning for your unique Dolomites adventure elopement and would LOVE to help you plan it. I gotchu. Reach out to me here so we can start chatting and getting excited about all the gorgeous Italian views!😍