Hiking in the Dolomites
|Hiking in the Dolomites
Enjoy scenic treks through alpine meadows and pine forests as you explore the beautiful rock towers and limestone cliffs of the Dolomites, a UNESCO world heritage site. Stay in a comfortable family-run hotel with indoor pool in the small town of Dobbiaco, gateway to the mountains.
Tre Cime – Trek with amazing views of these three iconic limestone peaks
Day 1 Join trip in Venice; drive to Dobbiaco (1200m)
Our trip begins in the Arrivals Hall at Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE) at 15.45pm. If you would like to join the complimentary airport transfer today, the latest your flight can arrive is 15.15 pm. We will travel together as a group (around three hours’ drive) t o our hotel in Dobbiaco (1217m). Located in the far north of Italy, we are close to the border with Austria. There are great views of the mountains from our hotel and it is well-located for all the shops, restaurants and other facilities in the town. There will be a short briefing on arrival by our tripLeader about the week ahead.
Day 2 Walk to the shores of emerald green waters Lake Braies
Taking the public bus we travel to St Vito to begin our walk to Lake Braies (1494m). We make our way through the fields and forest paths to arrive at the grandeur of the hotel at the head of Lake Braies – a justifiably popular lake spot with high sided cliffs and deep green emerald waters. We have lunch and explore further around the lake before taking the public bus back to our hotel.
Today’s 14 kilometre walk is expected to take around five hours with a total ascent of 536 metres and a descent of 200 metres.
Day 3 Trek through forest and alpine meadows to the Putzalm hut
We take the bus to Bagni di Braies Vecchia (20 mins) and begin our walk on a piste and then up through typical Alpine meadows and then through forest. We climb around 400m to a mountain pass at 1803m and then descend quickly to the remote mountain hut at Putzalm (1743m) run by a friendly guardian. After some refreshments we continue to another pass, the Suisridl at 2013m. Our trek then takes us down through more forest and eventually to the doorstep of our hotel.
Today’s 11 kilometre walk is expected to take around six hours with a total ascent of 750 metres and a descent of 850 metres.
Day 4 Ridge walk along the Austria/Italian border
We take a bus to Moso and then a cable car to the top station of approx 1900 metres and then ascend Mt Elmo at 2434m. Our walk takes us along a ridge that marks the border between Austria and Italy and has a number of bunkers and look-out posts from WW1. There is also a great and unusual photo opportunity – a foot in both countries! After walking the ridge and possibly bagging another summit we descend through the forest to Moso (1337m) and take public bus back to hotel (20mins).
Today’s 15 kilometre walk is expected to take around six hours with a total ascent of 630 metres and a descent of 1250 metres.
Day 5 Free day: optional visits to Cortina, Leinz and Bolzano
Today is an opportunity to rest your legs and explore the cultural side of the region. There are various possibilities including making a trip to Cortina – arguably Italy’s premier ski resort with smart shops and craft stores; Lienz in Austria with beautiful architecture, museums and cafes; or Bolzano (you can use your free bus pass) which is home to the remarkable Ice Man, discovered in the Schnalstal Glacier in the Otztal Alps in 1991. At over 5000 years old, he is Europe’s oldest natural human mummy and the discovery of his body, along with the remnants of his weapons and clothing has helped to throw some light on the life and times of the region’s Chalcolithic (Copper Age) Europeans. All of these excursions can be made using public transport. You can also take a jeep ride up to Monte Piana and Monte Piano to see the WWI remains and trenches. The walk across the plateau here is beautiful and poignant. A further option is to visit Brunico and the Reinhold Messner (mountaineering) museum. Alternatively you can take further walks or stay at the hotel and make use of the indoor pool and spa.
Day 6 Trek around the three iconic limestone peaks of Tre Cime
We take the bus to the Auronzo hut at 2320m, just below the famed UNESCO site of the Tre Cime de Lavaredo. From here we see the south face of the Tre Cime. We traverse around the mountain and then on to the Locatelli hut at 2405m where we are rewarded with wonderful views of the striking cliffs of the north face of the Tre Cime, arguably one of the most iconic mountain views in the whole of Italy. Our descent takes us east, past a waterfall, and along a path by the river. We arrive at the Dolomitenhof for a well-earned drink.
Today’s 13 kilometre walk is expected to take around seven hours with a total ascent of 500 metres and a descent of 1190 metres.
Day 7 Trek from Pratopiazza to Strudelkopf summit
We take the public bus to Pratopiazza (1991m) – approximately 50 minutes – and walk a high-level track to the Durrenstein hut (2040m). From here we make a climb to the summit of Strudelkopf – a fabulous summit at 2307m. The panoramic views are superb and we can see the Tre Cime in the near distance. We descend the mountain via a westerly route through forests and then take a short bus ride back to the hotel.
Today’s 11 kilometre walk is expected to take around six hours with a total ascent of 480 metres and a descent of 1000 metres.
Day 8 Trip ends at Venice Airport
Departing Dobiacco this morning we drive to Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE) where we will arrive about at 13.45 pm and this is where the holiday ends. The earliest time you should book a flight to depart today is 15.45 pm.