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Self-Guided Best of the Dolomites

This self-guided loop through the Gardena Valley is our favorite week in the Dolomites

Self-Guided Best of the Dolomites

This self-guided loop through the Gardena Valley is our favorite week in the Dolomites

  • Self-Guided,
  • Inn-To-Inn,
    Activity Level
  • Moderate to Challenging,

The Dolomites are even prettier than you have been led to believe. They really are.

You’ll find flower-filled meadows tucked against breathtaking pink and yellow cliffs. Charming, sunny villages with trails radiating in every direction. There are easy walks and sturdy, rugged hikes into rocky peaks with a cozy hut just where you need it. It’s a cultural delight with tidy Tyrolean hospitality and hectic Italian charm, and it’s perfect. Each day is another great hike to a welcoming inn, followed by a 5 course feast with local wine. A striking sunset. Relax. It can’t be beat.

If you don’t have time for our full Dolomites Traverse, this 6 night circuit of the Gardena is a great way to spend a week in the Dolomites. Visit beautiful villages and fantastically scenic huts. Striking mountains, fresh air, cultural charm and memorable cuisine. It’s everything you want in a hiking tour.  The best of the Dolomites.


See our guided version

  • 7 days, 6 nights
  • Jun 01 – Sep 30, 2022
  • $2590 Jun/Sep
  • $2690 July
  • $3090 August
  • $500 Single

Itinerary At a Glance

Days 1-2


Ortisei is a perfect starting point, a sunny village with a pedestrian-only core in the fantastic Val Gardena. Miles of hiking trails radiate in every direction. After a scenic day hike above town, you’ll then head to the Alpe di Siusi, the largest alpine meadow in the Alps.

Days 3-4

Schlernhaus to Plattkofel

You’ll do a three-day hike across the Alpe di Siusi, first up to the historic mountaintop Schlernhaus hut. After a peaceful night among the stars, you’ll spend an unforgettable day traversing to Plattkofel, a beautiful, newly renovated lodge at the base of an impressive mountain.

Days 5-7


Rolling trails loop you from Plattkofel to Selva, the highest village in Gardena valley. Another great day hike to a high alpine hut caps your time in the Gardena valley, with gorgeous views all around. We’ll book a private taxi to take you back to Bolzano for departure.


Your tour includes 4 nights in 3-star village hotels and 2 nights in mountain lodges with private rooms.  4-star upgrades are available. We include all breakfasts and dinners. Luggage transfers between villages are included, as well as private taxis from Bolzano to Ortisei and Selva back to Bolzano. You will also receive topo maps, detailed route descriptions, and sightseeing suggestions. We are always available by phone if you have questions during your tour.

Tour Options

Self-guided Best of the Dolomites


  • Great inn-to-inn choice for shorter hikes
  • An easy to moderate inn-to-inn with 4 stops in 6 nights
  • Private rooms all nights and luggage 4 nights
  • A beautiful mix of Tyrolean, Italian and local Ladin cultures
  • Historic mountaintop hut at Schlernhaus
  • Friendly hotels and memorable cuisine – high on comfort
  • Great choice for early and late season, June and September
  • $2590Jun/Sep
  • $2690July
  • $3090August
  • $500Single

Self-guided Classic Dolomites Traverse


  • Great options for both harder and easier days
  • A moderate inn-to-inn with 8 stops in 10 nights
  • Private rooms 9 nights and luggage 7 of the 10 nights
  • A beautiful mix of Tyrolean, Italian and local Ladin cultures
  • Historic mountaintop stops at Schlernhaus and Lagazuoi huts
  • Fabulous hotels and memorable cuisine – high on comfort
  • Fascinating WWI history
  • $3490Jun/Sep
  • $3790July
  • $4190August
  • $850Single

Self-guided Deluxe Dolomites Traverse


  • Great options for easier hikes
  • A moderate inn-to-inn with 5 stops in 8 nights
  • 4 & 5-star hotels, private airport transfers, luggage each night
  • A beautiful mix of Tyrolean, Italian and local Ladin cultures
  • Our most luxurious inn-to-inn hiking tour
  • Easily customizable to include extra nights
  • $4790Jun/Sep
  • $5190July
  • $5590August
  • $1100Single

Full Itinerary

Day 1


Arrive in Italy and make your way to Bolzano, a beautiful small city surrounded by vineyards and filled with plazas and museums. Bolzano’s natural history museum is home to the famous Ötzi iceman, and it’s worth spending some time here to see the museum and other nearby attractions.

We’ll have a private taxi meet you in Bolzano and take you to Ortisei, a beautiful town surrounded by the stunning scenery of the Gardena valley. Enjoy a wonderful welcome dinner and settle in to your comfortable and friendly 3-star hotel for the night.  If you like a bit more comfort, ask about 4-star upgrades in Ortisei and Selva.

3-star Hotel Stetteneck or similar
  • Dinner

Day 2


Today’s hike starts with a funicular train 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.

In the evening, spend some time exploring town. Ortisei is a beautiful village with shops and cafes lining their cobblestoned, pedestrian-only main road. Your stay also includes entrance to the Mar Dolomit pool and spa, a great place to relax for an hour or two.

HIKE: 5-7 hours, 7.5 miles; Elevation: 380 ft. up, 3210 ft. down

Hotel Stetteneck or similar
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Day 3

Schlernhaus hut

After a relaxing morning, begin today by ascending a gondola to the rolling green hills of the Alpe di Siusi (called Seiser Alm in German), the largest mountain meadow in the Alps. After a mellow crossing of the meadows and an unforgettable stop at the lively Gostner Schwaige restaurant for lunch, continue on a short but 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, and bathrooms down the hall. Their beautiful dining room is a cozy place to relax in the evening enjoying a night high in the Dolomites.

HIKE: 5-7 hours, 9.5 miles; Elevation: 2590 ft. up, 1110 ft. down

Schlernhaus Hut
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Day 4

Plattkofel hut

Off to the next lodge, you’ll make a moderate high traverse toward the towering Sassolungo mountain group. The trail provides stunning views of the famed Catinaccio/Rosengarten group enroute, with the Tierser hut as a perfect lunch stop.

Plattkofel hut is tucked at the base of the pyramidal peak it is named for, and an optional trail leads to the top, if you are in the mood for an energetic day. Plattkofel hut is a very comfortable mountain inn, with cozy private rooms and hot showers, and a quiet ambiance that encourages relaxation.

HIKE: 5-7 hours, 8 miles; Elevation: 1260 ft. up, 1750 ft. down

Plattkoffel Hut
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Day 5


Today you traverse around the northwest corner of the Langkofel Group, towering in stark relief over the Alpe di Siusi. You’ll spend the day winding your way through boulder fields, grassy meadows, and spruce-larch forests before catching a cable car down to Selva.

A more strenuous optional trail leads right through the heart of the mountains, crossing a high pass in the middle of steep cliffs, and is a fun, dramatic detour for those looking for a challenge.  We stay in a cozy 3-star hotel in town. 4-star upgrades are available if you are looking for a more luxurious stay.

HIKE: 5-7 hours, 7 miles; Elevation: 2000 ft. up, 2200 ft. down

3-star Hotel Krone or similar
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Day 6


Today you’ll hike up to explore the high Seceda meadows below the dramtic Puez-Odle mountain group, perhaps stopping in at the Regensberger or Stevia huts along the way. There are dozens of criss-crossing trails through this area that invite exploration, and all boast unforgettable views of the region.

In the evening, you can unwind and enjoy the delicious cuisine at your tasteful village hotel. Many of our Selva hotels include small spas if you would like to relax before your final dinner.

HIKE: 6-8 hours, 9 miles; Elevation: 3150 ft. up, 3150 ft. down

3-star Hotel Krone or similar
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Day 7


After breakfast, your taxi driver will meet you at your hotel to take you back to Bolzano.

  • Breakfast

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