8 days

Walking in the Dolomites

Walking in the Dolomites

Venice - the 'City in the Sea'

Trip rating
  • 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.

    Why we love it

    • Explore Verona, the city famous for inspiring Shakespeare's most famous love story, Romeo and Juliet
    • Discover the frontier between Italy's Mediterranean and alpine scenery
    • Take in spectacular view of Mount Marmolada, arguably the most beautiful peak in the Dolomites
    • Take a walk around Tre Cime (‘three tops’) of Lavaredo, one of the most famous postcard images of the Dolomites


    Day 1 - Verona

    • Your trip starts today with your arrival in Verona, a city that proved to be the inspiration for William Shakespeare's most famous love story, Romeo and Juliette.
    • Whilst at your discretion, we recommend arriving/departing by train where possible within Europe due to this method of transport's minimal carbon emissions.
    • No activities are planned until your welcome meeting, so you may arrive at any time. Please make your own way to the joining hotel (details are in your travel documents) which is centrally located and close to all the major sights.
    • In the evening you will meet your tour leader and your fellow travelling companions at a welcome meeting (this is usually at 6pm, but you will be advised as to the exact time and place in a notice, located near the reception at our hotel), where your leader will give you a briefing on what lies ahead on our tour.
    • This evening you'll have the opportunity to get to know your group at a welcome dinner at a local, traditional restaurant.
    Hotel Giulietta & Romeo or Hotel San Luca or similar

    Day 2 - Trento & Monte Bondone

    • After breakfast this morning, we catch a local train and travel in northern direction along the Adige river, and after a short journey we reach Trento, the most northerly Italian speaking city, on the frontier between Mediterranean and Alpine cultures. And its seems to have taken the best of both worlds!
    • From here we travel up by cable car, over the river, onto the ‘house mountain’ of Trento, Monte Bondone. Although at a very short distance, this area has kept an amazingly quiet, rural atmosphere. We make a beautiful panoramic round-walk here, with beautiful views over the city of Trento and the river Adige, with a backdrop of the different ranges of the Dolomites!
    • We’ll have a picnic lunch in the mountains, or if we wish we can enjoy some local specialties at one of the first ‘agriturismos’ of Italy.
    • After lunch we make our way back to Trento. We have some more time to look around in this beautiful small town.
    • Enjoy some time wandering around the historical city centre, with its beautifully painted facades, or visit one of its great museums. Make sure you visit the Castello del Buonconsiglio, where the Council of Trent was staged in the 16th century, if alone for the famous Cycle of the Months, one of the most fascinating secular pictorial cycles of the late Middle Ages.
    • In the late afternoon, we go for an ‘aperitivo’ and in the evening we go out for dinner together to a nice restaurant which offers the typical regional cuisine.
    • Total walking time: around 4-5 hours, 10 km; total driving time: around 1,5 hours.
    Hotel America or similar
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 3 - Mount Marmolada & La Villa

    • Today 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 continue up the Adige Valley and then into the Val di Fiemme, passing some charming villages along the road. Here we will make a short coffee stop and buy our ingredients for a good picnic lunch, before travelling on towards one of the most beautiful peaks of the Dolomites, Mount Marmolada.
    • Here we go for a great walk 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 Mount Marmolada and do a beautiful round-walk. 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 massif and maybe 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, and quiet meadows and pastures. Our base here is in La Villa.
    • In the evening we have the option to take a sauna, and then enjoy a dinner with local specialties in our hotel.
    • Total walking time: around 3-4 hours, 12 km; total driving time: around 2,5 hours.
    Hotel Dolomiti
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 4 - 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 the mountain hut overlooking the whole Val Gardena. Then we continue our climb onto the high plain. Here we do a beautiful roundwalk towards the mountain hut (‘rifugio’ or ‘utia’, in the local dialect) of Puez. We pass along the impressive Ciampani mountain, partly following the ‘Alta Via delle Dolomiti’.
    • Somewhere near the hut, or at the hut itself, we enjoy a picnic lunch. Then, along the edge of the Vallunga and the Col Dalla Sone we continue our walk on the high plain. Once at the Gherdenaccia pass we will start our descent, all the way down to our hotel in La Villa.
    • In the late afternoon we recover in the sauna to relax from our hard walk and in the evening there are several options for dinner.
    • Total walking time: around 5-6 hours, 10 km
    Hotel Dolomiti

    Day 5 - 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 about 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 (2076m). After the pass 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 at the beautifully located, comfortable mountain hut in Fanes, where we’ll spend the night.
    • Total walking time: around 4-5 hours, 10 km; total driving time: around 1 hour.
    Rifugio Fanes
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 6 - 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 due to the operations during World War I (1914 to 1918), 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 Lagazuòi (2773m) which is awesomely situated, 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 colors.
    • Down in the valley our minibus waits for us and brings us to Cortina.
    • Total walking time: around 5-6 hours, 12 km; total driving time: around 30 min.
    Hotel Olimpia
    Breakfast | Lunch | Dinner

    Day 7 - Cortina & the Tre Cime di Lavaredo

    • After the challenging walks of the last two days, we will go on an easier but equally splendid walk today, around the Tre Cime (‘three tops’) of Lavaredo, one of the most famous postcard images of the Dolomites.
    • A short local bus ride brings us to the Misurina Lake, and then further 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 an excellent views of the North face of the Tre Cime.
    • Along a beautiful path we return to Auronzo Hut, from where we take the local bus back towards Cortina. Enjoy the charm of the valley of Cortina d’Ampezzo, a famous resort for the Italian jet set. There is the option to relax a while along the shores of Lake Misurina, before travelling back down to Cortina, or even go for yet another nice hike along the lake shore, in beautiful and relaxing surroundings.
    • In the evening we can choose where to go for our last great evening meal, our farewell dinner to the Dolomites!
    • Total walking time: around 3-5 hours, 12 km; total driving time: around 1 hour.
    Hotel Olimpia

    Day 8 - Venice

    • This morning after breakfast, you will transfer to Venice where this trip will end either at Venice Marco Polo Airport or Venice Mestre Train Station. Please don't book any international flights out of Venice before 3pm.
    • There is no accommodation included for tonight, but additional nights can be booked for Cortina or Venice. Please enquire at the time of booking.
  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • Private English speaking tour leader
    • Accommodation as specified in the itinerary
    • Meals as specified in the itinerary
    • All private & public transfers as indicated in the itinerary
    • Luggage transport
    • Gratuities for essential services in tour package

    Not Included

    • International flights
    • Arrival and departure transfers
    • Visas
    • Travel insurance (compulsory on all trips)
    • Meals (where not listed as included in the itinerary)
    • Optional additional tours or activities during free time
    • Tips
    • Items of a personal nature
    • Gratuities for tour leader
  • Past Travellers' Ratings & Comments

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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PEID
Start City: Verona, Veneto, Italy
End City: Venice, Veneto, Italy
Style: Small Group

What to know

A good level of fitness is required. You may be walking for up to 6 hours per day. While the footpaths are well maintained, you will still be walking over rough surfaces with some 'ups and downs'. While perfectly safe, some sections of the itinerary may prove challenging to sufferers of vertigo, however, alternative options are available on these days.

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