Guided Walking in the Dolomites

Guided Walking in the Dolomites information and booking

from
$1720
  • Duration
    8 days
    Days
  • Group size
    5-15
    Persons
  • Difficulty
    moderate - challenging
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Schedule Details

Summary
  • 7 nights hotels

Highlights

  • A Walking Holiday in the Italian Alps
  • Hiking Beneath Dramatic Limestone Peaks
  • Alpine Pastures and Mountain Passes
  • Tre Cime, Tofana and Sella Mountains

Tour description provided by World Expeditions

The Dolomites are like no other mountains in Europe. They consist of thick layers of the mineral ‘Dolomite’, akin to limestone, originally deposited on the floor of an ancient sea. The Dolomite peaks are gigantic, chiselled monuments to the powerful forces of glacial erosion. Continuous sheer cliffs flank most of the peaks. Although not exceptionally high (the highest peak is Marmolada at 3342m), they are amongst the most striking of all European mountains, coloured in weathered hues of rose, yellow, white and grey and rising in steep spires of fantastic form. Below lie bright green meadows alive with wild flowers all summer. In the lower valleys are orchards, vineyards and a chequerboard of cultivated fields. There is plenty of history here and the region was heavily fought over in the First World War in fact the fighting even changed the shape of some of the mountains. Nowadays, in more peaceful circumstances, we can enjoy a beautiful trek in this region of limestone teeth. This holiday starts with a walk to the spectacular Tre Cime di Lavaredo (or Drei Zinnen), a fantastic first day’s walk if ever there was to set the standard for the week. The scenery continues to impress with new panoramas unfolding with each turn of the paths and crossing of the passes. The cliffs of the Tofana, Sella and Marmolada massifs tower above the winding paths where all this magnificent scenery seems packed into an impossibly small area. High mountain paths are interspersed with lush meadows and pretty hamlets and villages. Refuges and mountain restaurants provide a perfect excuse to rest and drink in the views as well as welcome refreshments. To cap it all there are opportunities for the not so faint hearted to stand on a couple of summits and peer down almost vertical rock faces to the valleys far below.

What's included

  • 7 breakfasts, 2 dinners
  • 6 nights accommodation in 2-4 star hotels and 2 nights in b&b twin share basis with ensuite facilities.
  • Luggage transfer
  • Experienced guide
  • Emergency hotline

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Cortina
Fly to Venice or Verona. Train to Calalzo and onwards by bus to Cortina. Accommodation: in Cortina, a fashionable winter resort that also springs to life in the middle of the summer. At other times the town is quite quiet. We stay in a comfortable 3* hotel not far from the bus station, shops and restaurants. The hotel has a restaurant attached.
Day 2 Circular walk Cortina 16km (6 ½ hrs)
Take a bus ride and then begin trekking by climbing steadily into the Tre Cime mountain group. This is a famous block of three vertical sided finger-like towers. The route is often quiet and the climb unravels with anticipation. We head towards the Rifugio Locatelli, taking lunch at or near to the refuge, then descend around the Tre Cime to Rifugio Auronzo, (shorter option 12km, 5 hrs ends here). The descent from here is through pleasant forest to Lake Antorno. Bus to Cortina. Accommodation: in Cortina, a fashionable winter resort that also springs to life in the middle of the summer. At other times the town is quite quiet. We stay in a comfortable 3* hotel not far from the bus station, shops and restaurants. The hotel has a restaurant attached.
Day 3 Cortina to San Cassian 21km (7hrs)
From Cortina, after a few minutes by bus, we begin our climb to the Rifugio Dibona at the end of the dirt road. From here we climb a little more and then traverse, with the vertical rock walls of the Tofana di Rozes (3219m) and Tofana di Mezzo (3240m) peaks above. We follow a high-level route to the Forc Lagazuoi pass. There is much evidence of First World War trench systems, fortresses, barbed wire etc. Much of the rubble lying around Lagazuoi was not created by glaciation, but by huge mines that were detonated 1915-16. The descent is rocky but easier down to a pretty lake. A steeper section takes us to the Rifugio Scotoni (drinks and strudel) on the way to our hotel at Armentarola near Sare. Accommodation: at a well-appointed 4* hotel in the rural location of San Cassian. There are no local facilities nearby but dinner can be taken in the hotel restaurant.
Day 4 San Cassian to Colfosco 14km (6 hours)
Our route today is a complete change from the harsh rocky tablelands. We hike through forests and climb on to a grassy ridge to Pralongia. The strudel is particularly inviting here. We continue to Col Alti (1983m), with panoramic views of the Tofana and Sella mountain groups, our next destination. We descend steeply to Corvara and stay nearby in the pretty village of Colfosco. Accommodation: Colfosco is a pretty village with an old church, a few shops, a supermarket, bank and a couple of bars. Here we stay in a welcoming and good standard 2* bed and breakfast accommodation. Dinners are not included but there are restaurants nearby, one is just across the road and serves fantastic food at very reasonable prices.
Day 5 Rest day in Colfosco
We have a rest day in this picturesque village; there are, however, some rewarding walks on offer. If the weather is good we recommend taking a morning bus up the short distance to Passo Gardena and then walking up to Sas Ciampac (2672m). This is a fantastic walking peak high above Colfosco rewarded by an impressive picnic spot on the summit. The descent takes you down into a glaciated valley where you might see Edelweiss. You should get back to your accommodation by mid afternoon. Accommodation: Colfosco is a pretty village with an old church, a few shops, a supermarket, bank and a couple of bars. Here we stay in a welcoming and good standard 2* bed and breakfast accommodation. Dinners are not included but there are restaurants nearby, one is just across the road and serves fantastic food at very reasonable prices.
Day 6 Colfosco to Campitello 21km (8 hours)
Starting from Colfosco, we return past the campsite and head up into the trees around the east side of the Sella group. We recommend taking a cable car part of the way to assist in the ascent (saves 2 hrs walking). We then traverse below the cliffs and above the forests, with magnificent views of the Marmolada and peaks to the east. (This route should only be undertaken in dry, clear weather. In the event of poor weather or too much snow, a direct bus can be taken via Arabba to Canazei, with connections to Campitello). From Passo Pordoi, we descend to Campitello (infrequent buses run from Passo Pordoi and a gondola can also be used for the second half of this descent). Accommodation: We stay in the larger village of Campitello in a 3* hotel on a half board basis. This is quite a large hotel with good size rooms and a small spa with a sauna.
Day 7 A day to walk and explore around Campitello
There are a variety of different walks of varied grades available. Routes for the day include a popular trail below the Sassopiatto from Col Rodela with the option to climb the peak and a bus ride to the foot of Marmolada from where you can walk or ride up to the Marmolada glacier. As a group you will normally walk from Col Rodela. Accommodation: We stay in the larger village of Campitello in a 3* hotel on a half board basis. This is quite a large hotel with good size rooms and a small spa with a sauna.
Day 8 End of tour
Depart Campitello after breakfast. Travel by bus and train to Verona or Venice. Fly to UK.