The ultimate Dolomites Experience
The ultimate Dolomites experience: a unique tour!
A complete traverse of the world’s most beautiful mountains!
This hiking tour goes through the ‘Heart of the Dolomites, from West to East, from Trento, past the Marmolada Glacier, Passo Sella, Val Gardena, Val Badia, Fanés –Sennes to Cortina d’Ampezzo. Enjoy the most intriguing part of the Alps – Italian style!
The enormous pinnacles and towers of the majestic Dolomites are the crowning glory of Italy’s northern border, and play host to our alpine adventure. A fairyland where lush meadows nestle against towering limestone peaks, of all different colours. With beautiful small lakes, and wooden houses in the valleys. Small family run hotels and comfortable ‘rifugi’ (mountain huts) welcome grateful hikers with delectable cuisine, the ubiquitous grappa and steaming cappuccino. Drink in this dramatic limestone setting as we make our way through the different parts of this beautiful mountain range. Because there is not one ‘Dolomites’, on this special tour we show you the different ranges, and the different cultures: Italian, Tyrolean and ‘Ladino’.
We start our tour from the charming small town of Trento, with its wonderfully decorated houses and impressive castle. From here we travel to the great glacier of the Marmolada, before settling in our next base in the Alta Badia valley, the heartland of the ‘Ladino’ culture.
We’ll explore the plateau of the Puéz Mountains, towering high above the Val Gardena. Then we explore the different part of the Fanes-Sénnes range, may be the prettiest part of the Dolomites. We hike along well-marked paths that lead into majestic mountain scenery. Stroll through alpine meadows carpeted with wildflowers, where by day we soak up the invigorating mountain air on our unforgettable ascent towards alpine bliss. On one night we relax in the warm embrace of our alpine lodging, savouring hearty gourmet cuisine.
The last few days we spend in charming Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy’s most renowned mountain resort, from where we walk to what may be the most beautiful peaks of the area, the Tre Cime di Lavaredo. At the end of the walk we descend to the Misurina Lake and then back to Cortina again. Here we have a last memorable evening, with again a great dinner. Our trip ends in Cortina the next morning. It’s possible to spend a few more days here. From here it’s also easy to travel down to Venice, either by shuttle bus or by private minibus.
The premises where we will stay are all very special, full of historical interest. The standard of the tour is 3/4 stars.
Please note: this is a moderately easy tour which is suitable for those who have some experience with walking and a good general physical condition. Most of the walks are on good paths, some of them just recently restored by the local authorities. Average walking times: approx 5 hours each day.
Day 0 Verona or Trento
Arrival in Verona or Trento in case you arrive earlier. From Milan, Venice and Rome (and many other cities) Verona and Trento can easily be reached. There are regular AV (High-Speed), Eurostar and Intercity trains. Several hotels can be booked for you, according to your wish (either ‘downtown’ centrally located, or near the train station, ranging from 3 to 5-star).
N.B. If you arrive one day earlier in Trento you have the possibility to go and explore the mountain range at theopposite site of the Adige-river, which can easily be reached by cablecar, right from ‘downtown’ Trento. Another good option is to spend a night in Verona, to explore this beautiful city, which origins go back to ancient times. For example pay a visit to the world famous Roman amphitheatre and go to see the ‘Balcony of Romeo & Juliet’. From Verona to Trento it is one hour by train.
Day 1 : (Verona) Trento
The starting point of our tour is the beautiful city of Trento, the most northern Italian speaking city, on the frontier between Mediterranean and Alpine cultures. And it seems to have taken the best of both worlds! We settle in our hotel and here, at 4 PM in the afternoon, we will meet our tour leader and fellow travellers for a short introduction on what lies ahead for the next week. Then we make a relaxed afternoon walk through the historical city centre, with its beautifully painted facades. Here we have our ‘aperitivo’ and then may wish to spend some time for relaxation in the hotel. But also the Castello del Buonconsiglio is definitely worth a visit! In the evening we go out for dinner together in a nice restaurant which offers the typical regional cuisine.
Total walking time: around 4-5 hours. Total driving: around 1,5 hour. Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 dinner
Day 2 : Trento – Mount Marmolada – LaVilla
After breakfast this morning, we travel by private minibus up North and then penetrate into a landscape dominated by enormous pinnacles that must be seen to be believed – the mighty Dolomites! We first travel up the Adige valley and then into the Val di Fiemme, passing some charming villages along the road. Here we can make a short coffee stop and buy our stuff for a good picnic lunch, before travelling on towards one of the most beautiful peaks of the Dolomites, Mount Marmolada. Here we make a great walk, not to the top, but along the Lake of Fedaia and down into the valley of Canazei, with spectacular views on Mount Marmolada. If the weather permits we can also take the lift up onto the Marmalada and make a beautiful roundwalk. After our walk we drive to the famous Sella pass, from where we walk down into the Gardena valley, one of the prettiest valleys of the massive and may be have a drink in one of the villages along the road. At the end of the afternoon we arrive in the Alta Badia valley, dotted with lovely alpine villages, vibrant meadows and pastures. Our base here is in LaVilla. In the evening we can take a sauna, and then enjoy a dinner with local specialties in our hotel.
Total walking time: around 3-4 hours. Total driving: around 2,5 hours. Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 dinner.
Day 3 : LaVilla – Puez Plateau
After breakfast this morning, we walk (optional bus) to the small village of Colfosco, from where we start our hike onto the Puez Plateau. A first stop can be made at a beautifully located mountain hut, overlooking the whole Val Gardena (optional 4WD-ride to here). Then we continue our climb onto the high plain. Here we make a beautiful walk, with amazing views, towards the mountain hut, (‘Rifugio’ or ‘Utia’, in local dialect) of Puez. We pass along the impressive Ciampani Mountain, following partly the ‘Alta Via delle Dolomiti’. Somewhere near the hut (or at the hut itself) we enjoy a (picnic) lunch in the mountains. Then, along the edge of the Vallunga and the Col Dalla Sone we continue our walk on the high plain. We come along the Gherdenaccia pass and then start the descent, with great views on the Fanes – Sennes range in front of us, all the way down to our hotel in LaVilla. In the late afternoon we recover in the sauna to relax from our hard walk and in the evening there are several options to go for a nice dinner.
Total walking time: around 5-6 hours. Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch.
Day 4 : Val Badia – San Vigilio – Pederù – Fanes Valley
We enjoy a hearty breakfast in the hotel to prepare for our hike up into the Fanes-Sénnes range. A short scenic drive by private minibus takes us to San Vigilio. Here we have the option to visit a very interesting museum on the Dolomites. Then we start to climb up into the valley, until reaching the mountain restaurant of Pederù, where we can stop for a quick snack. From here, our hike starts as we ascend into the real mountains, climbing towards the pass of the Fanes Valley, underneath the towering Col de Ru (2076 m.), beautifully coloured. From this pass on the path flattens out, and it becomes a very scenic easy walk into a quintessential Alpine setting – the splendid Fanes valley. We hike along two spectacular alpine lakes, and end our walk ends at the beautifully located – and luxurious – mountain hut of Fanes, where we’ll spend the night.
Total walking time: around 3-4 hours. Total driving: around 1 hour. Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 dinner.
Day 5 : Fanes – Alta Via – Lagazuoi – Cortina d’Ampezzo
Today’s hike starts directly from the front door of our hut after breakfast. This part of our journey sees us enter the real world of the Dolomites with the presence of the great mountains – Cima Scotòni and the Cima Fànes Sud. These mountains are perforated by mazes of the operations during World War I (1915-18), bitterly fought in this area. We hike the ‘Alta Via’ of the Dolomites (also called the ‘High Route’ number 1), a long-distance footpath that traverses the Dolomites from north to south. Our route passes alongside some of the most impressive scenery of the area. At the end of the afternoon we reach the shores of the gentle lake of Lagazuòi and the Rifugio Lagazuoi (2773m) which is awesomely sited, with world-class mountain views. Here we can enjoy a drink, before travelling down by cable car into the valley. We’ll experience one of the world’s finest views here: the surrounding valleys disappear into the shadows, highlighting rock pinnacles which—still exposed to sunlight—take on an extraordinary palette of ever-changing colours. Down in the valley our minibus waits for us and brings us back to Cortina.
Total walking time: around 5-6 hours (several shorter options). Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch, 1 dinner.
Day 6 : Cortina & the Tre Cime di Lavaredo
After the challenging walks of the last two days, we make an easier walk today. But a splendid one, around the Tre Cime (‘three tops’) of Lavaredo, one of the most famous postcard images of the Dolomites. A short drive brings us to the Misurina Lake, and then up to the Auronzo hut, from where our walk starts: along the three mountain tops of Lavaredo we walk towards the Rifugio Locatelli (Drei Zinnen Hutte). Then we cross to the other side of the mountain chain and we enjoy excellent views of the North face of the Tre Cime. Along a beautiful path we return to the Auronzo hut, from where we take the bus back. Now we have to possibility to recover and discover the charm of the valley of Cortina d’Ampezzo, a famous resort for the Italian jet set. We relax a while along the shores of Lake Misurina, with the option for a nice stroll along the lake shore, in the beautiful and relaxing surroundings, before travelling back down to Cortina. In the evening we enjoy our last great meal, our farewell dinner to the Dolomites !
Total walking time: around 3-4 (+1) hours (several shorter options). Meals included: 1 breakfast, 1 lunch.
Day 7 : Cortina – Venice
This morning after breakfast, our journey ends. We can opt to spend some more time in the Dolomites, or travel down to Venice, which can easily be reached by public transport. A transfer back to Venice can be arranged at any time. Meals included: 1 breakfast
ACCOMMODATION & MEALS
All nights are spent in beautiful, characteristic hotels, mostly historical buildings (generally 3/4-star), and one night in a luxurious ‘mountain hut’. All rooms have en-suite facilities.
Accommodation is on HB basis, in all accommodations. Only on one night you are free to choose from the wide choice of restaurants in the area. Your guide can give you good tips for these evening dinners.
Almost all (picnic) lunches are included in the tour price. On other days you are free to have your own lunch. Here you have the option to have your lunch in a nice restaurant, or purchase your supplies for a picnic lunch.
Night 1 : This night is spent in a good 3-star hotel, located in the centre of Trento, at walking distance from all main monuments and the river.
Nights 2 & 3: These two nights are spent in a charming 3-star hotel in the heart of the Val Badia, renowned for its special ‘Ladino’ kitchen and with a beautiful wellness centre.
Night 4: This night is spent in a wonderful ‘Rifugio’. Rather than just a ‘mountain hut’, this is a good 3-star hotel, with also a good kitchen, in a wonderful setting on the high plain of Fanes.
Nights 5 & 6: The last two nights we stay on the romantic & fashionable village of Cortina d’Ampezzo, capital of the Italian Dolomites. We’ll stay in a beautiful family-run 4-star hotel. The friendly staff will make you feel at home.
On our GUIDED WALKING TOURS we include almost everything :
• Private English speaking tour leader for 10 days
• Accommodation: 1 night Trento, 2 nights Val Badia, 1 night Rifugio Fanes, 2 nights Cortina d’Ampezzo, all in good ***/**** hotels (1 night 3-star level ‘mountain hut’)
• Meals: all breakfasts, 4 dinners (good restaurants!), 3 lunches
• All private & public transfers as indicated throughout the entire itinerary
• Entrance fees of all sites along the itinerary
• All special activities as outlined in the day by day itinerary
• Luggage transport
• All gratuities for baggage, porters & hotel service
• Departure taxes
• Travel Insurance
• Drinks and meals not mentioned in the itinerary
• Optional additional tours or activities
• Items of a personal nature
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY
Moderately easy (3): Mostly moderately easy walks, along well maintained footpaths, with nonetheless rough surfaces. On some days some stretches are difficult for those suffering from vertigo (but NOT dangerous!). On these days alternative options are available. Extensions or shortcuts are also possible on most days.
Fitness: High standard of fitness is not necessary but you should be able to walk for up to 5 hours a day in hot sun on dusty or stony tracks.
ARRIVAL & DEPARTURE
Arrival: The tour starts in TRENTO (Hotel), connected with Verona, Venice, Milan & Rome (and all other major Italian cities) by a frequent (high speed) train service. The nearest city with an international airport is Verona. From the airport there are regular shuttle buses to the train station. It then takes an hour by train to Trento.
Departure: The tour ends after breakfast on day 7 in CORTINA D’AMPEZZO. A short transfer brings you to the train or bus station (included), from where you travel back by bus or train to Venice. Several taxi services are available to bring you directly to your next destination.
AVAILABILITY & CONDITIONS
There are no scheduled departures for this tour in 2019, but on request a tour can be planned at any date – between late May and late September – for private groups. Just contact us!
We can then also personalise the tour with respect to duration and lodging. We can offer you a large selection of ‘Premiere Inns’, very good hotels, many among the world’s best hotels, as acclaimed from Condé Nast Traveler, Travel+Leisure and many others. Genius Loci Travel, as the leading adventure travel company in Italy, can book your room in any hotel you could dream of!
N.B. For this tour tailor-made private departures (for groups of minimum 4 persons) can be planned on any date. Availability & prices on request. Prices start from 1250 euro p.p., depending on the season, accomodation and number of persons in your private group.
INDEPENDENT ‘SELF-GUIDED’ TOURS
Of course this tour can as well been done as an independent ‘self’-guided tour: The ultimate Dolomite Experience: Cortina, Val Badia & Val Gardena Prices of this tour are as follows:
|01 June - 30 June 2019||€ 890||€ 150||RESERVE YOUR PLACE|
|01 July - 19 July 2019||€ 975||€ 150||RESERVE YOUR PLACE|
|20 July - 25 August 2019||€ 1125||€ 150||RESERVE YOUR PLACE|
|26 August - 31 August 2019||€ 975||€ 150||RESERVE YOUR PLACE|
|01 September - 15 September 2019||€ 890||€ 150||RESERVE YOUR PLACE|
|Places available. You can book this tour with a minimum of 1 person.|
|Guaranteed Departure. Still some places available.|
|There are a very limited number of available places on these dates. Immediate booking is recommended.|
|Availability and prices on request.|
|Fully booked. Departure closed.|
- Prices are per person and based on 2 people sharing double or twin accommodation.
- Single rooms (mostly double rooms - single use) are available on all trips. The supplements listed apply.
- Prices are expressed in Euro's. There will never be a currency surcharge.
- Actual exchange rates: GB £ - US $ - CAN $ - CHF - DKK - SEK - NOK - Other currencies.
- A 5 % early booking discount applies for several trips.
It is possible to include some extra nights before or after your tour, in any of the accommodations ‘en route’. For those who have never been in Verona an extra day here is strongly recommended.
The tour can easily be extended with a few days in Cortina d’Ampezzo.
At the beginning or the end of the tour there is the opportunity to visit Venice. The tour can also easily be extended with a few days here. Several good accommodations are available. Details and prices on request.
SHORTER & LONGER VERSIONS
A shorter, 5-day version of this tour is also available. See also our other tours !