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Self-Guided Great Hikes of the Dolomites

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

Self-Guided Great Hikes of the Dolomites

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

  • Self-Guided,
  • Base Camp Adventures,
    Activity Level
  • Relaxed to Moderate,

The Dolomites, eight 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 stunning hikes into the surrounding landscape. The Dolomites are fantastic… Italian, Tyrolean and Ladin culture melding into a perfect whole, with 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 and the mouth-watering 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.

  • 9 days, 8 nights
  • Jun 9 – Oct 12, 2024
  • $3690 June/Sep
  • $4290 July
  • $4890 August
  • $1200 Single

Itinerary At a Glance

Day 1-4


Ortisei is a great place to start, a sunny walkable village in the fantastic Val Gardena, home to one of our favorite 4-star hotels anywhere. Hike to the beautiful Brogles hut to see the famous Odler mountains. Take time for an adventurous via ferrata route. Walk across the Seiser Alm, the largest “alp” in the Alps, and just generally enjoy the ambiance of this amazing valley.

Day 5-9

San Cassiano

Now either hike or hop on your private taxi east to the Alta Badia region, to serene San Cassiano and another beautiful 4-star hotel. This is a very traditional region, with a strong Ladin culture and seemingly endless views. WW1 tunnels dot the rocky mountains, and there are numerous huts to visit and scenic vistas. Leave time for the pool and spa afterwards! Depart by private taxi back to Bolzano at the end of your stay.


This tour includes 8 nights in luxurious 4 star hotels, with all breakfasts and 6 dinners. Your tour includes a private taxis from Bolzano to Ortisei, to San Cassiano, and back to Bolzano at the end of your tour. You will also receive topo maps, detailed route descriptions, gps routes and sightseeing suggestions. We are always available by phone if you have questions during your tour.

Full Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in 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.

Arrival: Bolzano. 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 few days.  We normally plan this trip for a 5 pm pickup in Bolzano, but this can be adjusted to suit your schedule.

4-star Grones or similar
  • Dinner

Day 2

Ortisei, hike Alpe di Siusi

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.

HIKE: 6-8 hours, 13 miles; Elevation: 2870 ft up, 2870 ft down (shorter options available)

4-star Grones or similar
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Day 3

Ortisei, hike to Pic and Selva

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 Seceda 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 and famous Odle mountain group, where a cable car whisks you back to Ortisei.

HIKE: 6-8 hours, 10 miles; Elevation: 4180 ft up, 3230 ft down (shorter options available)

4-star Grones or similar
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Day 4

Ortisei, hike to Brogles hut

Today’s hike starts with a funicular train ride to a ridge high above town, and hike through high scenic meadows.  We love hiking to the Brogles hut, where you can scan practically the entire Gardena valley and gaze upon the jagged needles of the Puez-Odle peaks towering over the Funes valley.

A quiet trail from here brings you back down to a gondola to Ortisei. In the evening, spend some time exploring town.  Dinner will be on your own tonight in Ortisei.

HIKE: 5-7 hours, 8 miles; Elevation: 1180 ft up, 2360 ft down

4-star Grones or similar
  • Breakfast

Day 5

Transfer to San Cassiano, hike Gardena pass

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 today, a long and beautiful trail leads you through the U-shaped Vallunga valley, up to the Gardena pass, and down to Corvara in the Alta Badia region.  We can arrange for your taxi to meet you here.

HIKE: 6-8 hours, 10 miles; Elevation: 3160 ft up, 3360 ft down

4-star Hotel Diamant or similar
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Day 6

San Cassiano, hike Pralongia meadows

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.  Take a gondola up to the meadow and walk along scenic trails to the Pralongia hut, for a delicious lunch.

This is also a popular biking area, and you can rent e-bikes in San Cassiano.

HIKE: 5-7 hours, 8 miles; Elevation: 2140 ft up, 2270 ft down

4-star Hotel Diamant or similar
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Day 7

San Cassiano, hike to Lagazuoi

A big uphill hike heads south from San Cassiano into a dramatic valley through the Fanes-Sennes-Braies Nature Park 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 informational placards describing life as a soldier on the front.

It’s also a beautiful hike in its own right, passing the friendly Scotoni hut, a small lake, 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.

HIKE: 5-7 hours, 7 miles; Elevation: 3890 ft up, 120 ft down

4-star Hotel Diamant or similar
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

Day 8

San Cassiano, hike to la Crusc

You’ll start today with a short bus ride, and then a breezy gondola 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 in San Cassiano.

HIKE: 5-7 hours, 10 miles; Elevation: 2580 ft up, 1940 ft down

4-star Hotel Diamant or similar
  • Breakfast

Day 9


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.

Departure: A private taxi to Bolzano, a 1½ hr trip, is included in your tour.  We normally book a 9:00 am taxi, although this can be adjusted to fit your schedule. We can book additional taxis or custom travel to other destinations, at extra cost, if needed.  Venice is 3 hrs from San Cassiano by taxi, and is the closest major airport.

  • Breakfast

What's great about this tour

  • Perfect flexibility for easy, moderate or epic hiking days
  • A flexible base camp adventure with 2 stops in 8 nights
  • Luxurious and memorable 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

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