Is Venice too far from Dolomites to make viable a day trip to these wonderful mountains?
Maybe you are one of the 20 Millions tourists that every year pass by Venice and Veneto Region, and because you love mountains, you would like to have a day trip to Dolomites. Of course, yes, you can.
The point is: how? and where to go? and how much does it cost?
First of all it depends from WHO are you and what do you want:
I am just a traveller who want to see this beautiful mountains and their landscapes
I am a hiker and I would like to taste the Dolomites with a 1 Day trek
If your goal is to visit the Dolomites area without having any kind of trek, you really have many possibilities and kind lanscapes and small towns to choose. Venice is close to some of the main Dolomites towns, such as Alleghe, Caprile, Auronzo di Cadore (Misurina Lake), Cortina d’Ampezzo, Sappada.
The distance between Venice and these towns is no more than 150-170 km.
HOW TO TRAVEL
Train: is the worst idea you can have. Sustainable mobility is still not a reality in Italy, and often rail connections with small towns are not fast, often are delayed or require changes of train. The Venice-Belluno railway line is one of them. The arrival in Belluno requires at least 2 ½ hours, usually with at least one change of train, and once you are in Belluno you will need to take a bus that in about 1 hour takes you to Alleghe. To go to Cortina, Auronzo or Sappada, from Belluno you have to continue by train to the station of Calalzo-Pieve di Cadore (1 hour more train ride) and from there you need to take a bus that in 1 hour takes you in one of these locations.
So either you get up at dawn or it is better to choose another kind of transport. But if you love trains, here is the link to the timetables of the Venice railway station and bus from the Calalzo train station.
Train Ticket from Venezia to Calalzo: 10-12 Euros (1 way)
Bus Ticket from Calalzo to Cortina (or other destinations): 4-5 Euros (1 way)
Bus: travel by bus from Venice is not such a bad idea, but only if you want to go to Cortina d’Ampezzo. The Queen of the Dolomites has a direct bus line from Venice via the public company ATVO and private CortinaExpress, which in just 2’30 hours take you to Cortina. The first bus departs from Venice at 7:50 AM, which is a good time to enjoy a day at Cortina.
For the other Dolomites towns there are also bus lines, but with slower travel easily exceeding 4 hours. Here the link to the ATVO companion and CortinaExpress.
Bus Ticket from Calalzo to Cortina (or other destinations): 25-27 Euros (1 way)
Rent-a-Car: To rent-a-car could be a good and cheap solution. From Venice to Dolomites you have to consider 1’30-2’00 hrs depending from your destination. From Venice to Longarone (a small town few kilometres far from Belluno) the Highway A27 takes you easily in the hearth of the mountains, and then in less than 1 hour you will be at destination. Check everything when you rent the car, expecially where you have to pick up and to return the car. Venice is a no-car city, so only few rent-a-car companies are allowed to park in the city, and the most of them could tell you to pick up the car at Mestre or Venice Airport (15-30 minutes far).
Private Tour: some companies also offer you to rent a minibus with driver that will pick up and return you at Venice Piazzale Roma (very comfortable!), and they offer a lot of 1-day tours to Dolomites. For more infos about this solution please contact me email.