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.
We’ll start with 2 nights in Ortisei, 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, at the high end of the valley. 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 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 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 Classic Dolomites Traverse page. If you’re interested just in the 2nd half of this tour, see our page on the Guided Classic Dolomites Traverse, East for days 5-11 of the full tour, from Selva to Cortina d’Ampezzo.
Ortisei – Arrive in Italy and and meet our shuttle in Bolzano. If you are arriving early, we can help with extra nights in Bolzano or 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. Ortisei is a pleasant walkable village and is blessed with beautiful views from every corner. We’ll stay in one of our favorite hotels, the always friendly 4-star Hotel Grones.
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 hotel pool and spa is a great place to relax for a couple hours before dinner.
Schlernhaus hut – Hiking hut-to-hut, we’ll traverse the famous Alpe di Siusi, the largest meadow in the Alps. We’ll first make an unforgettable gourmet stop at Gostner Schwaige for lunch, and then after a mellow crossing of the meadows, we’ll tackle the steep ascent to the mountaintop Schlernhaus.
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 – Today we’ll continue along the ridgeline high above the rolling green hills of the Alpe di Siusi, with breathtaking views in every direction. We’ll stop for lunch at the beautiful Tires hut, and finish the day at Plattkofel hut.
For those with extra energy and time, an alternate hike up to the peak of Sasso Piatto 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 descend from Plattkofel and make our way to Selva, circling around the towering, jagged Sassolungo group. After a stop at a dramatic mountain hut tucked inside a cirque of mountains, we’ll cross a series of meadows to a cable car that whisks us down to town.
Selva is a lovely little village surrounded by the stunning scenery of the Gardena Valley. Tonight marks the start of the Dolomites East 6-night tour – new arrivals will join the group for dinner.
Selva – For our final hike 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 enjoy a final farewell dinner at our tasteful village hotel.
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 ›