HighlightsTre Cime di Lavaredo circuit | Fanes-Sennes and Dolomiti di Sesto National Parks | Lago di Braies | Strudelkopf | Durrenstein | Kreutzberg Pass | Col Quaterna | Monte Piano circuit | Lake Misurina | Open air WW1 Museum | 4* hotel with pool
Description of Dolomites walking holiday in ItalyThe Dolomites are a series of dramatic, jagged limestone peaks that rise up in Italy along the Austrian and Swiss border. The little village of Villabassa, sandwiched between these peaks, is the perfect base for this Dolomites walking holiday, as it is close to a network of superb walking routes along wildflower meadows, past crystal clear lakes and up to the “Tre Cime” (Three Chimneys) - the most iconic natural monument in these UNESCO-rated mountains.
During WW1, this rugged region was the front line between Austria-Hungary and Italy, and many battles were fought here. This Dolomites walking holiday takes you through “open air museums”, following the route of SS hostages, and scaling bridges and ladders up Monte Piano to discover the remains of shell craters and trenches, now set against a tranquil backdrop of blue gentians, edelweiss and saffron.
You’ll walk through the Fanes-Sennes and Dolomiti di Sesto National Parks, offering wonderful views of the Tre Cime; visit the Napoleoonic trenches of the Kreutzberg Pass; and stop in mountain huts along the way to sample pancakes with plum sauce or apfelstrudel. On your free day you might choose to visit Oetzi the 5,000-year-old ‘iceman’ in Bolzano museum. We also offer higher grade departures which take on more challenging treks, including traversing the flank of Crode Rossa which glows red in the sunlight.
Our top tip: Weather is very changeable so come prepared. Trip type: Small group. Max.16 people. Min. age 16. Activity level: Choose between moderate (6 hrs walking per day) or challenging (7 hrs walking per day) Accomm: 4 * hotel. Pool and top restaurant. Included: Flights, accommodation, most meals, transport, activities, tour leader. Solos: Solo travellers welcome. Surcharge for own room.
|Day 1:||Fly to Venice; transfer to Villabassa.
|Day 2:||The ideal start to visiting this vast area is a walk straight from the hotel
through the very pretty, flower-filled Braies Valley. We walk through small
villages and farmland until we reach the magnificent Lago di Braies, one of
the 297 glacial lakes in the area. It is certainly one of the most beautiful
thanks to being surrounded by jagged peaks that are reflected in the
extraordinary mirror-like surface of the lake. We follow the route of 'SS
hostages', the leaders of 19 countries who were freed after the First World
War by the inhabitants of Villabassa.
Approx. distance 14km, 650m ascent, 255m descent.|
|Day 3:||Today we explore high pastures and ridges along the Austrian border. We walk
the meadows under the ridge of Knieberg, enjoying great views over Rotwand
and Monte Popera. In the afternoon we stop at the Alpe Nemes hut where there
may be time for a drink and a yummy apfelstrudel.
Approx distance 14-16km. 700m ascent, 700m descent.|
|Day 4:||Our walk today, starts at 2000m amongst beautiful wildflowers and ascends to
the summit of Strudlekopf (2307m). We stop at the Durrenstein hut in the
early afternoon for a rewarding homemade Kaiserschmarren (local pancakes). On
a clear day, from the summit, we can enjoy views of the Tre Cime, Monte
Piana and Monte Cristallo.
Approx. distance 15km. 600m ascent, 1000m descent.|
|Day 5:||A free day to relax in the hotel's wellness centre or take a self-guided
cycle ride around this wonderful area. Alternatively, you can make your way
to Bolzano to visit a museum dedicated to Oetzi, the 5000 year-old 'iceman'
whose remarkably well-preserved body was found in 1991 high on a glacier on
the Austro-Italian frontier. Or you could journey to the attractive
provincial capital of Lienz in Austria.|
|Day 6:||We enjoy a memorable circuit around the famous 'Three Chimneys', or Tre Cime
di Lavaredo (or Drei Zinnen in German). Set amid one of the classic mountain
groups of this area, our circuit around these impressive peaks is certainly a
highlight of the week.
Approx distance 12km, 550m ascent, 1100 descent.|
|Day 7:||To complete the week, we take the amazing attacking route of the Austrians up
to the summit of Monte Piano (2305m). Using an impressive network of safe
paths, bridges and ladders, we find ourselves upon the flat-topped mountain
surrounded by some of the most impressive scenery in the Dolomites. It is the
site of an open-air museum dedicated to the First World War where trenches,
dugouts and shell craters can be seen amongst the many alpine flowers. On our
return, we have time to spot the brilliant blue gentians, alpine white
edelweiss and bright saffron that create a beautiful scene around Lake
Misurina, thanks to the beautiful pink of the limestone rock.
Approx distance 13km, 1000m ascent, 600m descent.|
|Day 8:||To Venice; fly to London.
All tour descriptions and conditions are given in accordance with the information of Responsible Travel