The Dolomites are stunning location for a private guided trip, with dramatic mountains, flowery meadows, beautiful villages, and unforgettable hotels. The fascinating mix of Italian, Austrian, and ancient Ladin cultures makes this mountainous corner of Italy unique as well as beautiful. The Dolomites are the Alps’ great secret… a hiker’s paradise. You’ll hike through flower-filled meadows to sunny villages, and up rugged trails into rocky peaks where an Italian serves the best espresso you’ve ever tasted. At night, a welcoming inn followed by a 5 course feast with local wine. It’s ideal.
The Dolomites are notable for having so many great routes… you can explore seemingly forever and never run out options. We feel our private guided tour is one of the best routes in the Dolomites, hiking from lush Val Gardena through traditional Alta Badia to the WW1 tunnels surrounding Cortina d’Ampezzo. But on a private tour, there are very few limitations, and we can adjust and customize this trip for you until it is perfect.
Our private guides will help you find the right pace on the trail and order the right wine once you stop. They can talk about the culture and history of the region, identify the flowers, and generally make your life easy. Your hotels are booked, taxis reserved, and your own private guide will be waiting. All you need to do is show up and enjoy your trip!
Ortisei – Arrive in Italy and and meet your private taxi in Venice. If you are arriving early or to a different airport, we can help with arrangements on getting to Ortisei from other regional airports. 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. Stop at Tierser hut for a hearty lunch before continuing to your inn for the night.
For those with extra energy and time, an optional hike up to the peak of Sassolungo will reward you with spectacular views of the whole region. Plattkofel is more a comfortable mountain inn than a hut, with private rooms and hot showers. They have 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 Sassolungo 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. Take an evening stroll and enjoy the mountain views from the highest village in the Gardena valley.
Selva- There are plenty of great day hike options from 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.
Corvara – A dramatic hike through the U-shaped Vallunga valley leads us to the Puez hut. Puez hut has a large outdoor terrace and is a great place to stop for lunch or even just a cold drink. From here, a high, rocky traverse to the the Gardena pass, where the massive Sella mountain dominates.
After reaching the Gardena pass, 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.
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. A private taxi from Cortina to Venice is included in your tour.
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