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7-Day Best of the Dolomites: Hiking and Gourmet

7-Day Best of the Dolomites: Hiking and Gourmet

7 days

7-Day Best of the Dolomites: Hiking and Gourmet
from $2395 USD

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Always wanted to visit the Dolomites, but never knew where to start? This is the perfect trip for you! We have assembled an itinerary that includes our favorite hikes, the most famous vistas, and the best restaurants – all in one great trip! You’ll hike your way through Cortina d’Ampezzo, around the Tre Cime di Lavaredo – perhaps the most famous peaks in all the Dolomites. You will explore two natural parks and a plethora of vistas as you hike to the Alpe di Sennes. You’ll discover Alta Badia – “the heart of the Dolomites” – with it’s towering peaks and lush valleys, and experience the three cultures that thrive here – Italian, German, and Ladin. You’ll straddle the landscape and history of these two areas, hiking through tunnels created during World War I, where the Italians and Austrians battled for this territory in the early 20th century.

And what’s better than complementing all that hiking with incredible cuisine? You’ll dine on traditional Italian fare in Cortina, heavily influenced by its location in the Veneto and proximity to Venice. In Alta Badia you’ll discover South Tyrolean cuisine, with its Austrian and Ladin influences. Your culinary experience will be well rounded, introducing you to everything from the best and most highly regarded restaurants in the region, to hearty Dolomites cuisine at rifugi (mountain inns), to a meal at a historic, working "malga" or dairy farm. The culinary highlight? Dinner at a 1-Star Michelin restaurant! This trip truly is the best of the Dolomites!

Available early June through end of September.

Accommodations are just examples -- actual accommodation will depend on availability.  Rifugios are shared dormitories unless requested and available.

It is easiest to access the trek from Venice.

Full Itinerary DETAILED ITINERARY >> ITINERARY IN BRIEF >>

Day 1: 7-DAY BEST OF THE DOLOMITES / Arrive in Cortina d’Ampezzo (D)

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Arrive in Cortina d’Ampezzo (1,224m / 4,016') on your own (private transfer on request), and check into your hotel. Cortina d’Ampezzo is a charming alpine resort town surrounded by stunning peaks. Host to the 1956 Winter Olympics, Cortina enjoys a reputation for great skiing in winter, and in the summer attracts hikers and climbers who challenge the rocky faces of the nearby mountains.  Dinner at your hotel.

If you are doing this trip as a self-guided adventure, you will meet with a local representative who will provide a trip briefing and orientation, as well as maps, and everything necessary for your self-guided adventure, typically around 6-7pm.  Guided treks have their briefing tomorrow.

Meals included: Dinner
Mid-Range Accommodations: Hotel Beppe Sello (Cortina)

Day 2: Hiking Tre Cime di Lavaredo (BD)

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For guided treks, you will meet with your guide who will provide a full trip briefing and orientation at 8:30am.  Self-guided treks have a briefing the night before.

Take a transfer to Rifugio Auronzo (2,320m / 7,611'). Today is a superb itinerary to the soaring Tre Cime di Lavaredo – probably the most famous landmark in all the Dolomites, and known across the world. Hiking a loop around these mountains is one of the most wonderful ways to appreciate the Tre Cime in summer, during which their shapes mutate from sharp points to soft corners, the three sections of the mountain apparently merging into one. The area is a sort of “open air museum,” as there are lots of reminders of the First World War – tunnels, bunkers, and old barracks. Tre Cime is also part of the world history of mountaineering – the first routes were climbed in the 1930s. Enjoy lunch in one of the rifugios in the area, tasting local specialties such as canederli (a Tyrolean dumpling) and goulash (a beef soup or stew). Return by transfer to Cortina. (~4 hours hiking 8.6km / 5.4 miles, 568m / 1,863' ascent and descent, option to do a longer hike, to be discussed with your guide.)

Tonight, enjoy dinner at a famous restaurant of the area. Mentioned in a number of Italian dining guides, you will discover a varied selection of both local specialties typical of the region.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Mid-Range Accommodations: Hotel Beppe Sello (Cortina)

Day 3: Hiking Alpe di Sennes Circuit (BD)

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This walk to the Alpe di Sennes uplands entails a wonderful range of scenery and habitats, two natural parks – Dolomiti d’Ampezzo and Fanes-Sennes-Braies – and the spectacular Croda Rossa mountain group. In the morning take a private transfer to the Rifugio Malga Ra Stua (1,688m / 5,538'), a cozy hut-cum-dairy farm set in a valley lying between the Croda Rossa (northeast) and Lavinores (west) Dolomite groups. From here, you hike uphill on a wide gravel trail to Rifugio Sennes (2,126m / 6,975'), and on to Rifugio Fodara Vedla (1,980m / 6,496') where you stop for lunch and enjoy a lovely view east to the Croda Rossa. After lunch, you’ll hike on a stony track, a former wartime mule route, traversing a series of grassy basins dotted with bushes and dwarf mountain pine, the ideal home of marmots and chamois. The final part of today’s hike winds steadily down through Arolla pine and larch, back to the Rifugio Malga Ra Stua. Private transfer back to your hotel. (~4 hours hiking 9km / 5.5 miles, 500m / 1,640' ascent and descent, possibility to do a longer hike, to be discussed with your guide.)

Tonight's dinner is included at a highly esteemed restaurant serving delicious gourmet dishes and boasting a great selection of pairing wines.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Mid-Range Accommodations: Hotel Beppe Sello (Cortina)

Day 4: Hiking Cinque Torri Area (BD)

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In the morning, take a private transfer to Passo Giau (2,236m / 7,336'). From here hike to the Cinque Torri area, and on to Passo Falzarego (2,105m / 6,906'), where you will have a private transfer to La Villa in Alta Badia and check into your hotel. 
(~4-5 hours hiking 6.9km / 4.3 miles, 477m / 1,566 ascent, 615m / 2,019' descent.)

Alta Badia is a sunny hollow on the south side of the Val Badia in the South Tyrol / Alto Adige region of the Dolomites. Incredible hiking, skiing, and vistas abound – particularly of the Sella Massif. Home to three cultures – Italian, Austrian, and the native Ladin, most signage in Alta Badia is written in three languages – Italian, German, and Ladin!

Tonight you’ll enjoy dinner at a traditional Ladino working farm with local Ladin dishes, an "Agriturismo" characteristic of the region. Transfers to/from the restaurant are included.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Mid-Range Accommodations: Hotel Stores (Alta Badia)

Day 5: Hiking Santa Croce Sanctuary (BD)

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Today you’ll hike to the Santa Croce Sanctuary at the base of the Sasso della Croce (Sass dla Crusc for the Ladin-speaking population). From your hotel, walk uphill passing through a number of closely knit hamlets formed of clusters of ancient shingle-roofed timber farmhouses and barns known as viles. Continue walking through the pine forest with great views of the Santa Croce, Conturines, and Sella mountain groups as well as the towns of La Villa, San Cassiano, Corvara, Pedraces, and San Leonardo – all part of the Val Badia. Along the way there are a couple of steep ascents. It takes about two hours to get to the church and sanctuary of Ospizio Santa Croce (2,045m / 6,709').

The sober white church was consecrated in 1484 and holds an image of Christ bearing the cross, hence the name of the mountain – Sasso della Croce, “Stone of the Cross.” Enjoy lunch at the adjacent Rifugio Santa Croce: the place is very inviting, and the food is delicious. You’ll be able to taste the turtres (Ladino vegetable pancake like pastries, filled with potatoes and spinach or other fillings), often accompanied with barley soup, grilled vegetables, and homemade cakes. In the afternoon hike back to your hotel on the same path. (4-5 hours hiking 11km / 7 miles, 590m / 1,935' ascent and descent.)

Tonight you are in for a treat, dining at a Michelin 2-Star-rated restaurant (from July to Mid September only; not available in June or October). Touted as one of the best restaurants in the Dolomites, this simple yet elegant dining establishment reaches all new heights of taste and gourmet cuisine. Nestled amidst the towering peaks of the Dolomites, the restaurant offers a menu of traditional mountain dishes and Mediterranean specialties, as well as international cuisine, set in a traditional-style dining room. Eating here isn’t simply dinner – it’s a one of a kind experience. Private taxi to and from the restaurant.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Mid-Range Accommodations: Hotel Stores (Alta Badia)

Day 6: Hiking Fanes-Sennes-Braies (BD)

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In the morning take a transfer to Capanna Alpina, a restaurant built just at the edge of the Fanes-Sennes-Braies Natural Park, from where you will start your hike with a steep 1-hour ascent. After arriving at Col de Locia (2,069m / 6,788'), the path climbs more slowly as you enter a fairytale-like valley set in the midst of the mountains, with lush green pastures that will take your breath away. Climb to the Forcella del Lago, a narrow and dramatic gap in the mountain, with a trail descending through steep talus on the south side. At the base of the slope is Lago di Lagazuoi, a lake whose green waters are framed by pines with a backdrop of the sheer walls of the Cima del Lago and the Cima Scotoni. Reach Rifugio Scotoni (1,985m / 6,512') and finally descend again to Capanna Alpina from where you will have a transfer back to your hotel. (~ 6 hours hiking 16km / 10 miles, 600m / 1,968’ ascent and descent.)

For guided trips, option to hike through WWI tunnels near the top of Monte Lagazuoi, where the Italian and Austro–Hungarian armies dug shelters out of the mountains. Numerous routes take you on a behind-the-scenes tour of dramatic, high-altitude battles where the mountain was transformed into an impenetrable 20th century fortress of tunnels, trenches, and machine gun posts.

Tonight, enjoy dinner at your hotel’s restaurant. Featured in the Michelin Guide, the restaurant offers new and exciting variations on local, South Tyrolean game dishes, and an excellent wine bar that includes 500 excellent wines from their cellar.

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
Mid-Range Accommodations: Hotel Stores (Alta Badia)

Day 7: Depart Cortina (B)

Breakfast and departure on your own (private transfer on request).

Meals included: Breakfast

Pricing

7-Day Best of the Dolomites: Hiking and Gourmet

Prices are Per Person and Valid for Trips through December 31, 2019

# People in Group: 2+
3-Star / Guided: $3795
3-Star / Self-Guided: $2695
4-Star / Self-Guided: $3895
NO Gourmet / 3-Star / Self-Guided: $2395

NOTE: Prices are per person in U.S. dollars based on double/triple occupancy. All quotations are based on the current rates of park fees, VAT, other government taxes, and current exchange rates. Should any of these be increased or a new tax introduced, these increases will be added on even if your trip has already been paid for.

INCLUDES:
  • All accommodations per itinerary
  • All meals per itinerary (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)
  • All tours and entrance fees per itinerary (unless listed as excluded)
  • All transportation and transfers per itinerary
  • Trip briefing and orientation
  • Logistics and map of the area
  • 3 nights accommodation in Cortina d' Ampezzo
  • 3 nights accommodation in Alta Badia
  • All breakfasts and gourmet dinners (optional)
  • Transfers in the area as per itinerary. Some services may be shared with other guests
  • Luggage transfer from Cortina to Alta Badia
  • Local tourist tax
  • Italian VAT tax

GUIDED:

  • Local English speaking professional hiking guide for 5 days (guided trips)
EXCLUDES:
  • International and domestic flights
  • Meals not listed
  • Beverages and alcohol
  • Tips for guides, drivers, hotel staff
  • Optional tours
  • Single room supplement
  • Personal expenses (visas, airport taxes, Internet, etc.)
  • High season supplement -- July 20th to August 31st: 5% surcharge
  • Local bus, cable car, and chairlift transfers
  • Airport transfers available on request
  • Upgraded accommodations

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