Venice offers plenty of old-world charm in its beautiful historic metropolis, but how about a day trip from Venice to Dolomites, in the Italian Alps?
Traveling north brings you from the bustling markets of Venice to the Dolomites, the northern region of one of the world’s most beautiful mountain ranges.
But how long does it take to get to the Dolomites from Venice?
It all depends on how you get there. It can take anywhere from just over two hours by car or bus to seven hours by train. Let’s explore the costs and different ways you can reach this Italian outdoor adventure.
The Dolomites: An Adventurer’s Dream
First, let’s talk about what to do in the Dolomites. At 11,000 feet, the Dolomites (read the post) exhale fresh, crisp air. At Lago di Braies, you can swim in, boat on, and hike around glacially cold mountain water. Passo Giau looks like a portal to a mystical mountain realm.
While hiking journeys start here, you can take in the beauty just steps away from your car. Relaxing in the Dolomites soothes minds and bodies with gentle breezes, lush valleys, and awe-inspiring peaks.
The Dolomites aren’t all peaceful picnics, far-off binocular visions, and easy hikes, though. Vajolet Towers Trail’s jagged otherworldly spires provide exciting rock climbing. You can even see it all at once (almost) by paragliding with tandem flights.
Driving From Venice to Dolomites
Before setting off on your countryside drive, you’ll more than likely need to rent a car. RentalCars.com is a great service for international travelers looking to rent a car with prices starting at about 50 euros for one day.
The Route to Dolomites by Car
First thing’s first: you want to know, “How far are the Dolomites from Venice?” The route we’ll outline here is about 165 km and takes about two hours. For a lot of people, that’s less than a trip home for the holidays.
The most direct route from Venice to the Dolomites by car starts up the A27 highway. This autostrada (national highway) is marked by green signs and toll booths.
When you enter the autostrada, you will first follow signs to the biglietto, or ticket, gates. Hang onto this ticket as this is how your toll will be calculated. If you don’t, your toll will be calculated as if you’d entered the highway at its earliest starting point.
You will leave the highway at the Belluno/Agordino-Dolomitl exit after about 85.5 km.
When you exit, do not use the Telepass lane unless you have signed up for the service, which costs 15 euros to activate. Instead, you will pay with your ticket. Some international debit and credit cards may not work, so be sure to have cash.
After exiting the autostrada, you will take a combination of regional roads and highways to the Dolomites. The whole trip takes just over two hours at the standard 130 km/h speed limit on the autostrada (the other highways vary). Plan to take in some beautiful pastoral scenes along rivers, lakes, and hills.
Tolls can fluctuate, so Michelin’s travel cost calculator is a great tool. As of now, it calculates the toll for this route at about 8 euros and another 16 euros for fuel in a standard hatchback. Fortunately, you can add your own car to better calculate driving costs.
From Venice to Dolomites by Bus
If you’d rather not work out how to get to the Dolomites from Venice, take a bus to the town of Cortina in the mountain range’s southern region.
Nestled in the Boite River valley, this little town tops the list of travel destinations in Italy with world-renowned ski trails and luxury accommodations.
Because of this, it’s a frequent stop on bus routes from Venice to the Dolomites. With a travel time of about 2 and a half hours, bus routes are perfect for enjoying views without sacrificing transportation time.
Bus cost and departure locations vary by provider, but rates average around 40 to 50 euros. Cortina Express is one of the more popular options with frequent routes and Wi-Fi, power outlets, pet-friendly buses, and luggage included in the 40 euro cost for two adults. With this company, departures from Venice start at Marco Polo Airport with stops at the Plaza Hotel and Mestre borough just outside of central Venice.
You can use this service to book a bus ticket, anywhere in Italy (or Europe) towards the Dolomites.
From Venice to Dolomites by Train
While not as direct as car or bus trips, traveling from Venice to the Dolomites by train offers comfortable accommodations and luggage options.
Starting at Stazione di Venezia Santa Lucia, a train station in central Venice near many hotels, you can reach Cortina anywhere from four to seven hours. Use this train service website to book ahead.
Traveling by train, however, does require at least two one-hour bus trips.
The simplest routes have two transfers: trains arrive in Ponte nelle Alpi after about two hours where a bus will take you to Calalzo-Pieve di Cadore-Cortina station. From here, you’ll take a second bus to Cortina. And there you are!
Train cost and transfers total about 15 euros for one adult, though you may need to pay for luggage.
Enjoy the Ride and the Stay
With all of these options, anyone can get from Venice to the Dolomites easily.
There’s a reason this magical mountain range is one of the most popular Italian tourism destinations for locals and intrepid jetsetters from abroad.
Whether you want to be in charge of your own destiny by car or enjoy the leisure of a train and bus ride, just go to the Dolomites if given the opportunity.
Keep an eye on the Mindful Travel Experiences blog for more detailed posts about some great spots in the Dolomites!