Are you interested in a private guide? A private guided tour is booked specifically for you and your friends and family. You choose the dates that work best for you and choose the itinerary that feels right. We can help you make any custom changes you like to our guided Great Dolomites Traverse itinerary and we will take care of all the details. Hotels are booked, taxis reserved, and your own private guide will be waiting, so all you need to do is show up and enjoy your trip!
The Dolomites are stunning location for a private guided trip, with dramatic mountains, flowery meadows, beautiful villages, and great hotels. The fascinating culture melds Italian, Austrian, and ancient Ladin in this mountainous corner of Italy. The Dolomites also boast a surprising variety of beautiful wildflowers in the grassy meadows below the mountains.
Your tour will begins in Bolzano, a beautiful small city filled with plazas and museums, including the South Tyrol Museum of Archeology, where you can see Ötzi, the 5300 year old ice man found in a nearby glacier; it’s considered the gateway to the Dolomites. You’ll be met by a private taxi for the 1 hour drive to Selva, a small, sunny village at the upper end of the Gardena valley, with miles of hiking trails radiating in every direction. Your inn-to-inn trek starts with a loop around the Gardena valley, visiting a couple favorite huts along the way, before arriving in Ortisei. From here, you’ll hike east past the mighty Sella mountain to Alta Badia, then on to the historic mountaintop Lagazuoi, and finally to Cortina d’Ampezzo. You’ll have 4 nights in high huts and mountain inns (note, there are private doubles, but no single rooms at the huts), and 6 nights in comfortable and casual 3-star hotels (standard tour) or exquisite 4-star hotels (deluxe tour) with great food. The Dolomites also boast some fantastic 5-star hotels and Michelin-starred restaurants, so please ask if you’re interested in a custom proposal. Shorter and longer itineraries are also easy to arrange on a custom basis. 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 your hikes, there are many route options, and a lot of flexibility most days, so you can work with your guide on the route that is best for you. You 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.
With beautiful hotels and a great variety of hikes, this Dolomites tour will make an unforgettable vacation.
Ortisei – Arrive in Italy and and meet our shuttle in Venice. If you are arriving early or to a different airport, we can help with arrangements on getting to Ortisei independently. Ortisei is a lovely little village surrounded by the stunning scenery of the Gardena valley.
You’ll meet your guide, talk about the trip to come. Afterwards, 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.
Afterwards, spend a little time in town. Ortisei is a beautiful village with shops and cafes lining their cobblestoned, pedestrian-only main road. The village pool and spa is also included in your stay and is a great place to relax for a couple hours.
Schlernhaus hut – We’ll enjoy a slow morning today and then begin our hike 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 fairly rustic, with private rooms, bathrooms down the hall, and 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 traverse east toward 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.
For those with extra energy and time, an alternate hike up to the peak of Sassolungo will reward you with spectacular views of the whole region. 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 dramatic 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.
Corvara – A dramatic hike through the U-shaped Vallunga valley leads us to the Puez hut. From here, a high, rocky traverse to the the Gardena pass, where the massive Sella mountain dominates.
A scenic descent along a wooded trail or a short bus transfer brings us to Corvara in the traditional Alta Badia region. Stay comfortable and friendly hotel in this pleasant village.
Corvara – We have a number or great choices for a dayhike from Corvara.
Perhaps an energetic ascent up into the high rocky plateau of the Sella, to the rifugio Boe. An easier option leads us through gentle, scenic meadows of Pralongia, with constant panoramic views of the entire region. Stay in Corvara a 2nd night.
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 a treat… a beautiful 4-star hotel with a very welcome pool and spa!
Lagazuoi – Today’s dramatic walk takes us high above the valley to the rifugio Lagazuoi, a popular 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 its mountaintop position, Lagazuoi has comfortable rooms and hot showers, and takes care to serve abundant and delicious meals.
Cortina d’Ampezzo – Finally, you’ll cap your trip with a hike to Cortina d’Ampezzo, and your choice of hikes. A strenuous option includes a long descent on a quiet, lightly-traveled route through the Fanes National Park. This surprising descent is filled with waterfalls, and promises yet another memorable day.
For a more relaxing day, take a shorter traverse beneath the Tofane di Rozes mountain. This brings us to a mountain inn where we arrange a taxi for a short transfer to Cortina, 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.
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