The Dolomites are a truly special region, with impressive mountains, quaint villages, flowery meadows, and a rich cultural diversity. Here, the Italian, Austrian, and ancient Ladin cultures intermingle peacefully in the small, scattered villages in this mountainous corner of Italy. The Dolomites also boast a surprising variety of beautiful wildflowers in early summer in the meadows below the mountains. This inn-to-inn tour takes you on a circuit of the Val Gardena, our favorite corner of the Dolomites.
Our tour includes a group taxi transfer from Bolzano to our first hotel in Ortisei. If you’re arriving early, we can help with extra nights in Bolzano, a very pleasant place to spend a night or two and home to the famous Otzi iceman. Bolzano is easily reached by train from Venice, Munich and many other stops, or we can arrange a private taxi on request.
Ortisei is our favorite village in the Val Gardena, a beautiful, walkable town with miles of hiking trails radiating in every direction. We’ll start hiking from there on a looping traverse around the Gardena Valley before arriving in the mountain village of Selva. We’ll have 2 nights in high huts and mountain inns (note, there are no single rooms at the huts), and 4 nights in comfortable and casual 3-star hotels with great food. You won’t want to leave!
Our typical day starts with a delicious buffet breakfast at our hotel – a feast of freshly baked bread and pastries, local meats and cheeses, cereal, fruit, eggs, coffee and freshly squeezed juice – which gives us the energy needed for the task ahead. Soon we’ll be out on the trail, where you’ll get to choose between an easier or more strenuous hike for the day. Each morning, you’ll be handed a lunch to carry, and at a mid-point along the way we’ll choose a beautiful spot to stop and enjoy our picnic. We get a lot of compliments on our imaginative lunches – making them something to look forward to as well!
For our hikes, there are many route options, and a lot of flexibility most days, and we should finish each day around 4 pm, giving you time to wash up, relax, perhaps settle into the pool, or just gaze upon the outside panorama from your room balcony. After that, we’ll enjoy dinner together at our hotel’s fabulous restaurants. These are multi-course feasts, often featuring delicious local Austrian and Italian specialties.
The Dolomites is truly a special region. With beautiful inns and hikes, this Dolomites tour will make an unforgettable vacation. If you are interested in joining us for the full 10-night tour, please see our Guided Great Dolomites Traverse page. If you’re interested just in the 2nd half of this tour, see our page on the Guided Great Dolomites Traverse, East for days 5-11 of the full tour, from Selva to Cortina d’Ampezzo.
Ortisei- Arrive in Italy and transfer by taxi to Ortisei, a beautiful town surrounded by the stunning scenery of the Gardena Valley.
Meet your group here and enjoy a wonderful welcome dinner and settle in to our comfortable and friendly 3-star hotel for the night.
Ortisei – Today, we might start with a cable car ride to a ridge high above town, and take a dayhike through high scenic meadows to the Brogles hut, where you can scan practically the entire Gardena Valley and gaze upon the jagged needles of the Puez-Odle peaks.
In the evening, spend some time exploring town. Ortisei is a beautiful village with shops and cafes lining their cobblestoned, pedestrian-only main road. Your stay also includes entrance to the Mar Dolomit pool and spa, a great place to relax for an hour or two.
Schlernhaus hut – After a slow morning, we’ll begin today by ascending a gondola to the rolling green hills of the Alpe di Siusi, the largest mountain meadow in the Alps. After a mellow crossing of the meadows and an unforgettable stop at the lively Gostner Schwaige for lunch, we’ll continue our steep ascent to the peak.
Finish the day at Schlernhaus, an historic mountain inn atop the mighty Schlern Peak, with breathtaking views in every direction. Trails radiate from the hut for optional walks to even higher views. Schlernhaus is somewhat more rustic, with private rooms, bathrooms down the hall, no showers. Their beautiful dining room is a cozy place to relax in the evening enjoying a night high in the Dolomites.
Plattkofel hut – Hiking hut-to-hut, we’ll start with a circuit of the towering Sassolungo mountain group, to the Plattkofel hut, tucked at the base of jagged, imposing rock spires. The trail provides stunning views of the famed Catinaccio/Rosengarten group enroute
With comfortable private rooms and hot showers, Plattkofel is more a comfortable mountain inn than a hut, with a quiet ambiance that allows us to relax and enjoy a beautiful evening high in the mountains.
Selva- Today we traverse around the northwest corner of the Langkofel Group, towering in stark relief over the Alpe di Siusi. We’ll spend the day winding our way through boulder fields, grassy meadows, and spruce-larch forests before catching a cable car down to Selva.
Selva is surrounded by pleasant hiking trails and is blessed with beautiful views from every corner. Tonight marks the start of the Dolomites East 6-night tour – new arrivals will join the group for dinner.
Selva- Today we’ll work our way up and explore the high meadows of the dramtic Puez-Odle mountain group, and perhaps stopping in at places like the Regensberger or Stevia Huts along the way.
In the evening, you can unwind and enjoy the gourmet cuisine at your tasteful village hotel. This night marks the end of the Dolomites West 6-night trip.
depart – Today, you say goodbye to the Dolomites, and transfer to Bolzano for your post-trip destinations.
Dolomites East starts in Ortisei, and heads east through the Puez-Odle and Fanes National Parks to Cortina d’Ampezzo.Learn more ›
Our guided hut-to-hut hike across the Dolomites is an unforgettable collection of quaint villages, comfortable huts, and rugged landscapes.Learn more ›