A tourist mecca, the Dolomites are famous for skiing in the winter months and mountain climbing, hiking, cycling, and Base Jumping, as well as paragliding and hang gliding in summer and late spring/early autumn. Free climbing has been a tradition in the Dolomites since 1887, when 17-year-old Georg Winkler soloed the first ascent of the pinnacle Die Vajolettürme. The main centres include: Rocca Pietore alongside the Marmolada Glacier, which lies on the border of Trentino and Veneto, the small towns of Alleghe, Falcade, Auronzo, Cortina d’Ampezzo and the villages of Arabba, Urtijëi and San Martino di Castrozza, as well as the whole of the Fassa, Gardena and Badia valleys.
The Maratona dles Dolomites, an annual single-day road bicycle racing race covering seven mountain passes of the Dolomites, occurs in the first week of July.
Other characteristic places are:
- Mount Pasubio and Strada delle 52 Gallerie (a military mule road built during World War I with 52 tunnels)
- Altopiano di Asiagoand Calà del Sasso, with 4444 steps, the world’s longest staircase open to the public.
- Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park77,865 acres (315.11 km2)
- Parco naturale regionale delle Dolomiti d’Ampezzo 27,675 acres (112.00 km2)
- Naturpark Fanes-Sennes-Prags 25,680 ha (257 km2)
- Parco naturale Paneveggio – Pale di San Martino 48,680 acres (197.0 km2)
- Naturpark Schlern-Rosengarten 6,796 ha (68 km2)
- Naturpark Sextener Dolomiten 28,750 acres (116.3 km2)
- Naturpark Puez-Geisler10,196 ha (102 km2)
- Parco naturale provinciale dell’ Adamello-Brenta 153,320 acres (620.5 km2)
- Parco naturale regionale delle Dolomiti Friulane