The Dolomite mountain range of northern Italy, a limestone section of the southern Alps, is a breathtaking region, with its craggy peaks, pure air and crystal-clear lakes. It is justifiably popular with all kinds of outdoor enthusiasts, attracting visitors in all seasons.
During the winter time, the skiing here is excellent, and the warmer months are ideal for hiking and free-climbing, whilst the more adventurous can also enjoy base jumping and hang gliding amidst the scenic peaks. The natural beauty of the area has attracted its status as a national park, and, since 2009, as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Amongst the twenty peaks over 3,000m, Marmolada is the highest, topping out at over 3,340m. The passes are every bit as scenic as the peaks themselves, and the area is criss-crossed with a network of paths. The Via Ferrata, protected climbing paths, of the Dolomites are world renowned.
The town of Cortina d'Ampezzo is the best known of the region's resorts, having hosted the Winter Olympics and a number of skiing championships, whilst smaller resorts such as Misurina offer tranquil lakeside settings amidst the grandeur of the mountains.