Hiking in the off season in Badia and discovering serenity!

When we decided to visit the Dolomites we had no real idea what or what we wouldn’t be able to do. It was a little bit of a last minute ideas to swing by this region as we travelled from Milan over to Venice. We had always wanted to visit and do the Via Ferrata and scale one of the amazing mastiff. Unfortunately we pretty much came at the worst time of year for activities!! The ski season had just ended but it was still too cold to climb, the cable cars had all shut down until summer and the clouds rolled over the sky! So, what to do in what was essentially a stunning ghost town? Go for a wonderful, wild and secluded 3.5 hour hike through the thick forest towards a wonderfully serine lake!

Hiking in the off season in Badia and discovering serenity, sud tyrol, south tirol, italy, italia, dolomites, hiking, mountains, outdoors, scenery, the alps, forest, alpine, peace,

We set off with little idea of where we were actually heading, probably not a good idea in all fairness. This isn’t a country park in the UK, this is the wild and huge Dolomites of the Italian Alps…but where would we be without adventure!

Hiking in the off season in Badia and discovering serenity, sud tyrol, south tirol, italy, italia, dolomites, hiking, mountains, outdoors, scenery, the alps, forest, alpine, peace,

We had sat inside through a storm the say before and wanted to get out and explore this wonderfully rugged region for ourselves. We knew we couldn’t tackle the 8hr hike over to the nearby peaks but settled for exploring the dense forrest instead.

Hiking in the off season in Badia and discovering serenity, sud tyrol, south tirol, italy, italia, dolomites, hiking, mountains, outdoors, scenery, the alps, forest, alpine, peace,

We found a bunch of signs pointing us in the direction of a couple of lakes, one half an hour away and the other 2 hours. We decided to follow the red and white painted signs and see where we ended up!

Hiking in the off season in Badia and discovering serenity, sud tyrol, south tirol, italy, italia, dolomites, hiking, mountains, outdoors, scenery, the alps, forest, alpine, peace,

The first lake was only a stroll up a short but steep path in sight of the huge snow covered mountains we had awoken too. The feeling of hiking in such a region really is quite epic and pretty awe inspiring. It makes you realised sometimes just how much bigger than you the world really is, how insignificant our problems are and of course, just how amazing the world really is!

Hiking in the off season in Badia and discovering serenity, sud tyrol, south tirol, italy, italia, dolomites, hiking, mountains, outdoors, scenery, the alps, forest, alpine, peace,

After being chased down by an over confident swan we decided to name Barry (probably the reason it swam after us) we took the path that lead around the back of the first lago. The wonderful alpine chalet and the enchanting forest beyond reflected perfectly in the crisp blue waters. Now it was time to enter the woods and begin the steep climb!

Hiking in the off season in Badia and discovering serenity, sud tyrol, south tirol, italy, italia, dolomites, hiking, mountains, outdoors, scenery, the alps, forest, alpine, peace,

The trees enclosed us rapidly and before long we were surrounded by the thick forest of high trees and a floor covered in purple and lilac wild forest flowers. It was really like something from a fairy tale but at the same time a little unnerving too.

Hiking in the off season in Badia and discovering serenity, sud tyrol, south tirol, italy, italia, dolomites, hiking, mountains, outdoors, scenery, the alps, forest, alpine, peace,

The only noises around us were that of the birds singing high above us, the wind rushing through the leaves on the trees and the nearby river trickling away.

Hiking in the off season in Badia and discovering serenity, sud tyrol, south tirol, italy, italia, dolomites, hiking, mountains, outdoors, scenery, the alps, forest, alpine, peace,

We walked further and further into the forrest, down gullies made of the same dolomites rock as the two huge mountains that encased this valley, through magnificent openings that allowed us to take in the vista and narrow parting in thick undergrowth. At one point we lost the trail and it did cross our minds how we would ever get out of here if we got lost, the place is so vast and dense.

Hiking in the off season in Badia and discovering serenity, sud tyrol, south tirol, italy, italia, dolomites, hiking, mountains, outdoors, scenery, the alps, forest, alpine, peace,

Getting back on track our legs were weary after 2 hours trekking though this wonderful and isolated area. Finally as the rain began to come down a little harder we could hear the rain drops crashing into the stunning lake we had been searching for.

Hiking in the off season in Badia and discovering serenity, sud tyrol, south tirol, italy, italia, dolomites, hiking, mountains, outdoors, scenery, the alps, forest, alpine, peace,

The deep green and yet amazingly clear water was well worth the walk, set amongst one of the most beautiful settings we have ever set eyes on we only wished the weather was nice enough to sit here and relax for longer!

Hiking in the off season in Badia and discovering serenity, sud tyrol, south tirol, italy, italia, dolomites, hiking, mountains, outdoors, scenery, the alps, forest, alpine, peace,

Returning to our amazing AirBnB mountain chalet after our trek we realised that we had not set eyes on another human for the entire 4 hours we had been walking. The isolation up here is unreal, but after the chaos and heat of Milan and the upcoming frenzy that will be Venice it really is wonderful to find our own little slice of serenity in Italy!

Hiking in the off season in Badia and discovering serenity, sud tyrol, south tirol, italy, italia, dolomites, hiking, mountains, outdoors, scenery, the alps, forest, alpine, peace,

Have you ever visited Badia, or do you love hiking?

Read more about this country:

ITALY

Read more about our backpacking adventure:

UK to NZ

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Nicola Hilditch-Short

Nic is one half of the Roaming Renegades, a passionate traveller, climber, adventurer, photographer and artist who has a B.A in Fine Art and M.A in Design & Art Direction.