The Dolomites is a pretty spectacular mountain range in the South Tyrol. It borders both Switzerland and Austria and, in fact, it’s only in fairly recent history that it has become part of Italy. Consequently, it has a really unique culture, with overtones of all three countries.
It’s a fantastic place for family adventure holidays, mainly because the stunning mountains open up a world of possibilities in terms of active pursuits. As well as skiing, cycling, water sports and hiking, Via Ferrata is an activity that offers a unique way to explore the region, even for those with little experience.
The Iron Walk of Italy
In times gone by, the Via Ferrata (‘Iron Walk’) was a way for the locals to travel from one village to the next, and then the routes were further expanded during the First World War. In fact, there are still remnants of the trenches used for battle throughout the region! Today, the Via Ferrata makes the perfect activity to build into family adventure holidays to the Dolomites – and there are various routes to suit different levels of fitness across all ages.
The Thrill of Via Ferrata
The only thing you need to get started on the Via Ferrata is a reasonable level of fitness and a head for heights! The routes are defined by a series of metal ladders, cables and lofty suspension bridges, allowing you to get to places that are usually reserved for experienced climbers. It’s a thrilling experience – although not for the faint hearted. The bridges do swing – so be ready – but they are very safe, with regular checks and maintenance scrupulously carried out.
It’s always ‘safety first’ on any of our family adventure holidays, so the entire family will undergo training and preparation with our wonderful local mountain guides. You decide on the level of difficulty that will suit all the members of your family or group, and you’ll be fully kitted out with safety equipment, including helmets, harnesses and special lanyards, which attach securely to the steel cable that runs along the walkways.
Enjoy the Beauty of the Dolomites
Not only will you be treated to some amazing scenery complete with gorgeous wildflowers along the routes of the Via Ferrata, you’ll also encounter the local wildlife in the form of squirrels, deer and maybe even the majestic Golden Eagle. For longer hikes you will get to stay in traditional mountain huts overnight.
The Dolomites is a fabulous destination any time of the year, so even if Via Ferrata doesn’t appeal to you, you might want to have a look at our other itineraries to somewhere like San Cassiano, for example, for magical winter family adventure holidays.