A few weeks ago, the UNESCO added 13 properties to its World Heritage list. Among these is the site of the Dolomites, in Italy. The now protected area covers 141,903 hectares and comprises parts of the provinces of South Tyrol, Trento, Belluno, Udine and Pordenone. The Dolomites were mostly chosen because of their unique geological history, having been formed around 250 million years ago as a giant coral reef in the ancient Tethys Ocean. Its nomination was also based on the Dolomites diverse ecosystem, rich in botanical variety and rare species of fauna, which is also well worth protecting, and not to forget that it is considered by many as offering the most beautiful mountainous landscapes of the world.
To visit the Dolomites, head for any of the following Italian mountain or ski resorts: Alta Badia, Alta Pusteria/Hochpustertal, Arabba Marmolada, Civetta, Cortina d’Ampezzo, Kronplatz/Plan de Corones, San Martino di Castrozza, Tre Valli, Val di Fassa, Val di Fiemme or Val Gardena.
The Dolomites are an excellent destination both for summer vacations and for ski holidays. In summer, numerous hiking, climbing and mountain biking routes are offered to the public to explore the mountain range. Also, the Dolomites are home to the world’s most fascinating secured climbing routes (or Vie Ferrate).These provide safe access to some of the most scenic points high up among the barren rocks by means of ladders, iron steps and fixed ropes.
All above-mentioned holiday destinations are part of the Dolomiti Superski association, the world’s largest area of interconnected winter sport resorts. In winter, skiers and snowboarders can choose from close to 1200 km of downhill ski runs and parks to enjoy their sport. Countless cross-country ski trails also lead holidaymakers deep into the Dolomites.
If you are still wondering if the Dolomites are worth the trip, this video will certainly convince you!
The Jungfrau region, in Switzerland, is also on the World Heritage list. Do you think any other European mountain range should be on the list?