The Dolomites are Italy’s alpine playground, an inspiring landscape of enormous limestone towers, colorful wildflowers, and lush green meadows. Italian, Austrian, and ancient Ladin cultures intermingle peacefully in the small, scattered villages in this mountainous region, and hiking trails range from easy, meandering routes to challenging via ferrata climbs. This self-guided, village-based tour explores the Val Gardena, one of the loveliest and most traditional valleys in the Dolomites.
Your gateway to this Dolomites tour is Bolzano, a beautiful small city filled with plazas and museums, home of the famous Ötzi iceman, and a pleasant Tyrolean ambiance. From Bolzano, you’ll take a private shuttle to the village of St. Ulrich, also known by its Ladin name of Ortisei, for 6 nights. Ortisei is a charming village in the heart of the very traditional Val Gardena, with a pedestrian-only village core and miles of hiking trails radiating in every direction. On this tour you’ll receive a Gardena pass good for free travel on the local busses and cablecars, and you’ll find Ortisei to be a pleasant and central base for exploring the entire Val Gardena region. Optional nights in remote mountain huts can also be arranged on request. The standard tour includes a nice 3-star hotel Ortisei, while the deluxe tour upgrades you to a a friendly 4-star hotel, luxurious yet casual, with a pool and spa, and great food. You won’t want to leave!
Your typical day starts with a delicious buffet breakfast at your hotel – a feast of freshly baked bread and croissants, local meats and cheeses, cereal, fruit, eggs, coffee and freshly squeezed juice – which gives you the energy needed for the day ahead. Before setting out on your hike, visit a bakery and market for lunch supplies, or bring some money for a stop in one of the alpine restaurants along your route. Soon, you’ll be out on the trail for 6-8 hours, with many hiking options to choose from.
You should finish your hike 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, you’ll enjoy dinner at your hotel restaurant. These are multi-course feasts, often featuring delicious local Austrian and Italian specialties. Our hotels all serve fabulous food, and dinners will be hearty, filling, well-earned and very delicious. Typically we leave one dinner free so you will have time to explore on your own in town.
The Dolomites is truly a special region. With gorgeous hotels and an attractive village to go with and numerous exciting hikes, this Dolomites tour will make an indelible impression.
Ortisei - Arrive in Italy and transfer by train to Bolzano, your gateway to the Italian Dolomites. We’ll arrange a private taxi to pick you up in Bolzano, and take you on the 50 minute trip to Ortisei, a charming village with narrow, cobblestoned streets lined with elegant shops – and your base for hiking for the next 5 days.
Ortisei - Ortisei is surrounded by pleasant hiking trails and is blessed with beautiful views from every corner.
Ortisei - We’ll give you plenty of choices for our favorite dayhikes in the region, and fill you in on the local transportation options to get to nearby trailheads.
Ortisei - Explore the U-shaped Langenthal valley or the high scenic meadow trails of Seceda, where you can look back on almost the entire region.
Ortisei - Hike across the Alpe di Siusi, the largest mountain meadow in the Alps.
Ortisei – Circumnavigate the trails surrounding the rugged Sassolungo and Sassopiatto peaks.
depart – After breakfast, your taxi driver will meet you at your hotel to take you back to Bolzano.