The Dolomites are the Alps’ great secret… a hiker’s paradise. A land where tidy Tyrolean hospitality meets passionate Italian charm. You’ll hike through flower-filled meadows tucked against breathtaking pink and yellow cliffs and to sunny villages with trails radiating in every direction. Challenge yourself with rugged hikes into rocky towers and stumble upon a serendipitous hut serving the best coffee you’ve ever had. A hearty hike to a welcoming inn, followed by a 5 course feast with local wine. It’s perfect, really.
The Dolomites are notable for having so many great routes, with trails everywhere, and no real central massif. It feels like you can explore forever and never run out of mountains, huts and charming villages. We’ve developed one of the best routes in the Dolomites, hiking from verdant Val Gardena through beautiful Alta Badia to rugged and rocky Cortina d’Ampezzo. We have a great mix of village hotels and scenic huts, with beautiful culture, striking mountains, off-the-beaten-path surprises, and memorable cuisine.
Our guided tours are all guaranteed… if you sign up, the trip is going. Our guides will help you find the right pace on the trail and order the right wine once you stop. They can teach you about the culture and history of the region, which is fascinating, identify the flowers, and generally make your life easy. If you want to hike, relax and not worry about anything, this guided group Dolomites Traverse is the good life. We promise.
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 a comfortable 3-star hotel in town.
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 town 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 (no singles) 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. Peaceful and relaxing.
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.
Afterwards, spend a little time in town. The hotel spa is a great place to relax for a couple hours before dinner. This night marks the end of the Best of the Dolomites 6-night trip.
Corvara – We’ll start out with a mellow hike through the glacially-carved U-shaped Vallunga Valley, 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. San Cassiano is a lovely little town with amazing views all around. The Hotel Steinrosl is one of our favorites.
Lagazuoi hut – Today’s dramatic walk takes us high above San Cassiano through a quiet 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 it’s mountaintop position, Lagazuoi has comfortable rooms and hot showers, and takes care to serve abundant and delicious meals. There are no singles here, and our group will be sharing a variety of rooms and small dorms.
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. We’ll have a group taxi available for the 2 hour drive to Venice.
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