Self-guided Dolomites Dayhikes: Ortisei and San Cassiano

Italy Village-based

Explore the Dolomites of Gardena and Alta Badia, an inspiring landscape of enormous limestone towers, colorful wildflowers, and lush green meadows.

Self-Guided Tour

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  • Length
  • 7 days, 6 nights
  • Departure Dates
  • Jun 01 – Sep 30, 2021
  • Tour Cost
  • Jun/Sep $2690/person
    July $2990
    Aug $3690
    $550 single
Reserve this Tour

More options for this tour

Guided Dolomites Dayhikes

Small group guided tour with guaranteed departures, max size 14 people.


The Dolomites, six days, need to get away… where should you go?  We have the answer.  The Val Gardena and Alta Badia are our two favorite regions in the Dolomites, and Ortisei and San Cassiano are the two best villages to base yourself for hikes into the surrounding landscape.   The Dolomites are really fantastic… Italian, Tyrolean and Ladin culture melding into a perfect whole, wonderful pampering hotels in dreamy villages, and hiking trails that range from easy, meandering routes to challenging via ferrata climbs.  Don’t forget the spa or the fantastic food.

Explore the Dolomites with flexibility and comfort.  Ortisei is a charming village in the heart of the traditional Val Gardena, with a pedestrian-only village core and miles of hiking trails radiating in every direction. San Cassiano sits in a dreamscape of mountains and rolling hills in nearby Alta Badia.  You will have plenty to do, and plenty of time to slow down, breathe and simply be.  It might just be the perfect getaway.

What makes this tour unique?

  • Perfect flexibility for easy, moderate or epic hiking days
  • A relaxed village retreat-based tour with 2 stops in 6 nights
  • Comfortable and welcoming 4-star hotels in both villages
  • Want to splurge?  5-star options available.
  • A beautiful mix of Tyrolean, Italian and local Ladin cultures
  • Fascinating WWI history
Map of Self-guided Dolomites Dayhikes: Ortisei and San Cassiano


Day 1

Ortisei – Arrive in Italy and transfer by train to Bolzano, your gateway to the Italian Dolomites. Bolzano is a pleasant city with large squares, outdoor markets, and an captivating natural history museum (home of the Ötzi iceman) and is worth a stop if you have extra time. 

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 3 days.

  • 4-star Grones or similar
  • D

Day 2

Ortisei – Ortisei is surrounded by pleasant hiking trails and is blessed with beautiful views from every corner.  One favorite hike takes you up to the Seiser Alm, or Alpe di Siusi, the largest high alpine meadow in the Alps.  Siusi is threaded with trails of all varieties, with gorgeous views of the Sassolungo and Sassopiatto group, and the massive Schlern mountain.

Walk through flower-filled meadows, past alpine farms and huts, perhaps stopping in for a special gourmet lunch at a favorite local restaurant.  In the evening, you can unwind in the sauna or pool in Ortisei, and enjoy the gourmet cuisine at your tasteful hotel.

  • 4-star Grones or similar
  • B / D

Day 3

Ortisei – Another favorite hike starts right from town through a hidden valley behind Ortisei.  Hike up through wooded trails past the oldest chapel in the valley, gaining more and more spectacular views as you ascend.  An optional detour brings you to the Pic mountaintop for a 360-degree panorama.  Now through the Siusi meadow, a variety of trails lead past alpine farms and huts where you can stop for lunch.

Options include hiking down to the village of Selva, where you return to Ortisei by bus, or continuing up toward the jagged Odle mountain group, where a cable car whisks you back to Ortisei.

  • 4-star Grones or similar
  • B / D

Day 4

San Cassiano – We’ll send a private taxi to your hotel to pick you and and take you one valley to the east, the Alta Badia region, and the pleasant little village of San Cassiano.  If you’d like to hike to day, your taxi can drop you in Selva, where a long and beautiful trail leads you through the U-shaped Vallunga valley, up over high, rocky passes, and down to Alta Badia.

For an easier day, ask to be dropped at the Gardena pass enroute, where a pleasant downhill trail offers a half-day of walking with jaw-dropping views of the gigantic Sella massif.

  • 4-star Hotel Diamant or similar
  • B / D

Day 5

San Cassiano – Alta Badia, is a wide valley with numerous hiking possibilities.  The meadows of Pralongia above town beckon with miles of trails, and surprising views in all directions.

An alternate mountain route starts with a gondola ride high above the nearby town of Badia to the small chapel of la Crusc.   A very pleasant trail starts below the mountains and offers delightful views as it traverses the hillsides back down to San Cassiano.  Dinner will be on your own to explore at your leisure.

  • 4-star Hotel Diamant or similar
  • B

Day 6

San Cassiano – A more dramatic and longer hike heads south from San Cassiano into the Lagazio valley and up to the famous Lagazuoi hut. Lagazuoi was the scene of fierce fighting during WWI, and many trenches and tunnels remain to this day, with a few informational placards describing life as a soldier on the front

It’s also a beautiful hike regardless, passing a small lake, a good lunch-time hut, and gaining incredible views from Lagazuoi itself.  From the top, a cable car brings you down to a bus to return to the valley below.

  • 4-star Hotel Diamant or similar
  • B / D

Day 7

depart – After breakfast, your taxi driver will meet you at your hotel to take you back to Bolzano or Bressanone.  Alternate final destinations can be arranged on a custom basis.

  • B
Included 6 nights prepaid 4 star hotels
6 breakfasts, 5 dinners
private taxis from Bolzano to Ortisei, San Cassiano and back
topo maps
detailed route descriptions
sightseeing suggestions
local contact for questions

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