Dolomites hiking traverse, Italy


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Dates: June – September

The Dolomites might just be the world’s most beautiful construction, on this both architect Le Corbusier and alpinist Reinhold Messner can agree. See and experience true South Tyrolean beauty whilst pondering the towers of Three Peaks (Drei Zinnen) or basking in the last rays of evening light that redden the mountains around Pederü mountain guest house. Hike along the Dolomites High Mountain trail and enjoy the very tasty, local food in this UNESCO World Heritage site. Our hiking traverse brings us from Cortina d’Ampezzo to Val Gardena and the impressive Sella mountain range and ends at the foot of the impressive Rosengarten towers at Karer pass.

There are great differences between the Himalayas, the Rocky Mountains and the Alps. It is yet not easy to tell them apart, by just giving a quick glance at a picture of the ranges. Generally speaking, mountains have common features, such as rocky summits, trees growing on hillsides, snow remaining in shady couloirs… 

The Dolomites however show very specific characteristics and are impossible to mistake for other massifs. Not only were they made from coral, but their history, flora and fauna make them truly unique. Mountain lovers find the views offered by these spectacular landscapes striking. 

We will discover the pretty mountain villages, 3 different natural parks and 5 mountain Dolomite mountain ranges. We will stay in beautiful Hotels with one night in a traditional mountain Guesthouse.

Picture credit: Keith Wagner, Canada

The Dolomites: “Born as coral reefs 250 million years ago, today they soar skywards proud and confident as white towers of rock.”

Dolomites hiking Itinerary

Day 1: Cortina d’Ampezzo

We all meet at the Hotel in Cortina at 7pm to get to know your hiking guide, and talk about the itinerary for the week. We enjoy a delicious dinner together.
Night and dinner at Hotel in Cortina 

Day 2: Tre Cime di Lavaredo

10.5km, 4 – 5hrs, + 378m – 378m // 6.5 miles, 1240ft elevation gain, 1240ft loss 
After a short drive past beautiful Misurina lake we start with a gentle hike at the foot of the famous vertical rock needles Tre Cime di Lavaredo. 
Night at Hotel in Cortina, no organized dinner (many options in Cortina)

Day 3: Around Croda di Lago

13,4km, 6hrs,  + 864m – 327m // 8.3 miles, 2834ft gain, 1073ft loss
A short drive brings us to the south side of the Cortina valley from where we hike to the beautiful mountain lake Mondeva located at the foot of the imposing Croda da Lago. Here we stop for a drink at the mountain hut and can later admire the Mondeval alpine pastures from the Forcella Ambrizola Pass. We continue to Forcella Giau and meet our minivan at Passo Giau.
Night at Hotel in Cortina, organized dinner

Into the mountains we go…

Day 4: Malga Ra Stua – Rifugio Seekofel – Pederü 

15 km, 5hrs, + 730m, – 840m // 9.3 miles, 2395ft gain, 2756ft loss
We hike through the Fannes-Sennes nature park today on the Alta Via, a high trail that crosses the Dolomites, and visit the Seekofel hut, one of the oldest mountain huts in the Dolomites. Over green pastures we reach Fodara Vedla to test the best Apfelstrudel in the area. Down a steep military road and we are in Pederü.
Night and dinner at Mountain Guesthouse Pederü

Day 5: Pederü, Lavarella hut, Fanes Alm, Capana Alpina

14,3km, 5hrs, + 635m, – 575m // 8.8 miles, 2083ft gain, 1886 loss
A trail through beautiful alpine pastures in the heart of the Fannes – Sennes Nature park and a sea of rocky limestone formations decorate our way up to Fanes Alm. A short way down a steep valley and we’re in the Alta Badia valley.
Night and dinner at our Mountain Explorers Hotel in the beautiful small town of San Cassiano, Spa

Day 6: San Cassiano – Kolfschung – Crespeina alta via – Wolkenstein (Val Gardena) 

7.4km, 5hrs, + 545m, – 339m // 4.6 miles, 1788ft gain, 1112ft loss
From Kolfschung we take a small cable car up to our hiking start. We hike a panoramic high trail today and finish the hike in the beautiful small town of Wolkenstein in the famous Val Gardena.
Night and dinner at Hotel in Wolkenstein, Spa

Day 7: Wolkenstein – Sassolungo loop (Langkofel / Plattkofel) – Sellajoch 

13km, 5hrs, + / – 540m // 8.1 miles, 1300 gain, 1772ft loss         
This hike leads us around one of the mightiest of the Dolomite mountains. Thanks to this loop path, you can circumnavigate the whole Langkofel / Sassolungo mountain range and enjoy continuously different sceneries and panoramas, always spectacular, while you proceed. We start and finish our hike with cable cars.
Night and dinner at Chalet Hotel in Fassa valley, Spa

Day 8: Rosengarten explorer – Refugio Vajolon  

11km, 6hrs, + 538m, – 290m // 6.8 miles, 1765ft gain, 951ft loss
The Rosengarten towers are very unique and our loop brings us to the Vajolon mountain cabin which is situated right underneath the steep rocky faces of the Rosengarten towers. We might spot some rock climbers on our way back towards the cable car.
Night at Hotel in Fassa valley, organized dinner

Day 9: Panoramic high trail Campiedi – Paolina hut – Fronza hut

10km, 4hrs, + 615m, – 200m // 6.2 miles 2018ft gain, 656ft loss
This relaxing walk is perfect to enjoy the views over the Fassa valley and up to the beautiful Rosengarten towers. A great hike up to a relaxed meal at Paolina hut with lots of time to enjoy the beauty that surrounds us. A chair lift brings us back down to our beautiful Hotel at Karer pass.
Night and farewell dinner at our beautiful Hotel at Karer pass, Spa

Day 10: Departure day 

Bye – Bye hikers Breakfast at the Hotel before your onward journey or your travel back home.
From Karer pass it’s only about a 1.5hr drive to Bolzano.

Map for the Dolomites hiking traverse:

Dolomites hiking tour

Fees  Dolomites hiking traverse:
  • 4982.00 USD per person with 6 guests, single supplement $270.00
    Minimum of 4 persons needed to conduct the tour (ask for prices); tour will be cancelled if less than 4
    Ask for discounts for bigger groups.

Included in the price: 
Accommodation and meal reservations and organization of the trip, UIMLA hiking guide, 9 nights in nice Hotels in private double rooms, 1 night in a cozy mountain guesthouse in private double rooms, private transportation to the hikes and back to the hotels, luggage transfer to all hotels, 8 dinners (as noted), park entries, cable car fees.

Not included in the price: 
1 dinner, lunches and snacks, beverages, personal insurances (accident, travel, cancelation etc.), transport to Cortina and back from Karer pass.

Changes to the itinerary: 
Note: All itineraries are subject to change due to circumstances beyond our control including, weather, road or trail conditions and flight schedules.

Hiking Level for Dolomites hiking traverse:
  • This is a moderate trek 
    8 hiking days with 4 to 7 hours of hiking daily, with 1900ft of average vertical gain each day. Hiking will generally be on well-maintained mountain trails, sometimes including easy off-trail sections. This trip is for active people who don’t mind training to prepare for the hike, or a great multi- day hike for people with trekking experience. 

Accommodation: 
3 nights at Hotel in Cortina d’Ampezzo
1 night at the mountain guest house in Fanes Natural Park 
1 night at Hotel in San Cassiano
1 night at Hotel in Wolkenstein
2 nights in Fassa valley
1 Nights at Karer pass

Lunches: 
We didn’t include the lunches because we have had big differences in eating preferences in the past. Some people only want to eat an energy bar, others like more a buffet style picnic or to stop at one of the many great mountain restaurants. Once in Cortina you can let me know your preferences and I can organize a picnic style buffet each day or box lunches for you. Also often there are many great mountain restaurants along the way where we can stop for lunch.

Dinners: 
1 dinner in Cortina d’Ampezzo is not included. The guide will help you find the perfect dinner place for you.

Insurances: 
Travel insurance is not included in your tour.
We strongly recommend that you purchase insurance to cover cancellation, medical expenses, personal accident, personal baggage, money and public liability. 

Climate: 
Alpine weather can change suddenly, involving wide temperature variations. Temperatures also drop with altitude, and snow falls in summer are not rare. You should be prepared for cold and  hot weather, while minimizing items you need to pack. 

How to get to Cortina d’Ampezzo:
Venice has the closest airport and is a great location to start the tour. We recommend spending a day or two in this beautiful town prior or after the trip.

Private transportation from Venice airport:
If you like I can organize a private shuttle from the Venice airport to Cortina and back for those who would like to go back to Venice on the last day.  

By train:
If you prefer traveling by train, the main railway line is Venezia S.Lucia – Calalzo di Cadore, then transfer to Cortina by a connected bus service. The next railway station is at Calalzo di Cadore, 21.7 miles away.

By bus:
There is a 2-hours direct bus service from Venice to Cortina called the Cortina Express. It operates daily: http://www.cortinaexpress.it/en/index.htm 

How far is Cortina from … / miles:
100 from Venice
268 from Milan
430 from Rome 
102 from Innsbruck 
820 from Calais
  27 from the Austrian border  
  45 from A27-Belluno motorway   

How to get back from Karer Pass at the end of the tour
I’m happy to arrange a Taxi for you or you can take the public bus to Bozen/Bolzano and than a train to Venice or where ever you like. From Bozen there are trains in all different directions.

Packing list for this Dolomites hiking tour:
Recommended clothing:
(We’re fans of Merino wool clothing for hiking, they dry fast and don’t smell)
  • 1 pair of hiking boots or shoes (high or low is up to you, I always recommend higher ones but the trails are in very good shape)
  • functional underwear
  • hiking socks
  • 1 long sleeve shirt
  • 2-3 T-shirts
  • 1 fleece or soft-shell jacket
  • 1-2 pair synthetic hiking pants or shorts
  • 1 pair long pants
  • 2 – 3 pair hiking socks – wool or wool blend
  • 1 pair shoes for wearing after the hiking in the towns
  • 1 sun hat, 1 warm hat
  • thin Gloves
  • 1 set Gore-tex rain gear
  • 1 thin down jacket
  • Casual outfit for dinners
  • Gaters (for tours in early spring) 
Optional clothing:
  • Swimsuit (many Hotels have a Spa)
Gear:
  • 1 day backpack
  • 1-2 water bottles, thermos bottle
  • Sunglasses
  • Personal toiletries
  • Wollte or similar for hand washing clothes at Hotels
  • 1 pair trekking poles
  • Camera
  • Blister tape
  • Pocket knife
  • Personal medicaments

Read more about our last Dolomites hiking traverse from our friend and travel writer Laura Gosset

Please press on the “make a booking” button to send us an e-mail with your questions!

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