Italian, Austrian, and ancient Ladin cultures intermingle peacefully in this mountainous corner of Italy. Sheer pink and yellow limestone pinnacles tower like monuments over quaint villages, flowery meadows, wooded valleys, and sun-soaked trails. This inn-to-inn tour starts in the Val Gardena, our favorite corner of the Dolomites, and begins with a taxi ride from Bolzano to Ortisei, where you’ll join up with the longer Great Dolomites Traverse tour. From Ortisei, your group will hike eastward, past the mighty Sella mountain, through the Alta Badia region and finally to Cortina d’Ampezzo. We’ll have 1 night in a high hut and 5 nights in comfortable and casual 3-4 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 hotels’ 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 in just the 1st half of this tour, see our page on the Guided Great Dolomites Traverse, West for days 1-7 of the full tour, a circuit of the Gardena valley.
Ortisei – Arrive in Italy and transfer by train to Bolzano, your gateway to the Dolomites. Bolzano is a pleasant city with large squares, outdoor markets, and a captivating natural history museum (home of the famous Ötzi iceman). From Bolzano, you’ll be shuttled to Ortisei to meet your group.
Ortisei is a beautiful village with shops and cafes lining their cobblestoned, pedestrian-only main road. In the evening, you can settle in at our wonderful 4-star hotel and join the group for an excellent welcome dinner.
Ortisei – Today, we start with a cable car ride to a ridge high above town. Here, one of our favorite dayhikes in the valley takes you through the high scenic meadow trails of Seceda, beneath the rugged Geisler mountains, where you can look back across the valley.
This night marks the end of the Dolomites West 6-night trip. In the evening, you can unwind and enjoy the gourmet cuisine at our tasteful village hotel, where the entire group will have a farewell dinner for those who will be departing in the morning.
Corvara – We’ll start out through the glacially-carved U-shaped Vallunga valley before climbing to the Puez hut high above the valley. A rocky traverse from here leads to the next valley and down to the village of Corvara, in the Alta Badia region.
An easier option starts with a bus or gondola ride to the Gardena pass, where the massive Sella mountain dominates your view. An easy descending trail through meadows winds down to Corvara from here.
San Cassiano – Hiking uphill from Corvara, we’ll cross the Pralongia meadows, criss-crossed by numerous hiking trails and dotted with small mountain inns. The views are surprisingly vast, including the Marmolada mountain to the south – the highest peak in the Dolomites.
Although there are some easier options, a good rugged trail leads past the Pico Setsas mountain before descending to San Cassiano and our comfortable 4-star hotel.
Lagazuoi hut – Today’s dramatic walk takes us high above the valley to the rifugio Lagazuoi, a hut perched at the summit of a mountain with incredible views and rich history.
This was the scene of fierce fighting in WWI, and many tunnels and artifacts remain to this day. Despite it’s mountaintop position, Lagazuoi has comfortable rooms and hot showers, and takes care to serve abundant and delicious meals.
Cortina d’Ampezzo – Finally, we’ll cap our trip with a scenic traverse below the Tofane di Rozes mountain. Optionally, we may cross the valley to explore the Cinque Torre region, where more WWI artifacts remain.
We’ll finish in Cortina d’Ampezzo, the lively town at the heart of the eastern Dolomites for a final, celebratory evening.
depart – Today we say arrivederci, and depart for our post-tour destinations.
Our guided hut-to-hut hike across the Dolomites is an unforgettable collection of quaint villages, comfortable huts, and rugged landscapes.Learn more ›
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