Experience a week of self guided hiking in two of the most beautiful valleys in the Dolomites! Hike in both Cortina d’Ampezzo and Alta Badia, traversing between the two. Plus, enjoy two nights at charming rifugios while hiking through one of the most beautiful mountain landscapes in the world!
Length: 7d / 6n
Start/Finish: Cortina d'Ampezzo / Alta Badia
This trip is available as a custom, private departure on dates of your choosing.
Activity Level: Moderate
For everybody in good and active physical health.
Note: Hikes can be adapted based on your requests.
Self Guided Trip: from €980 (per person, minimum 2 members)
Guided Trip: on request
- Trip briefing upon arrival
- Logistics and map of the area
- Accommodations and meals as per itinerary
- Luggage transfers
- Local transportation
- Italian mobile phone for emergency calls during the trip
- Local medical and evacuation insurance
- Italian VAT tax
Airport transfers available on request
- Walk along pastoral alpine pastures, across mountain passes, and along scenic trails
- Enjoy the atmosphere of high altitude mountain rifugios, the real mountaineer flair
- Experience the rich Ladin culture with many traditions that make this region so unique
- Self guided trips are a great way to experience the culture and beauty of the Dolomites at your own pace, but with the peace of mind that comes from having everything perfectly arranged for you!
Soaring high in the sky, Italy's majestic Dolomites play host to our exciting traverse through the Dolomite Mountains. Wild alpine meadows alternate with deciduous and evergreen woods, high altitude lunar-like terrain soaring peaks provide dramatic walls and towering heights.
On this great itinerary, you’ll explore two very different areas in the Dolomites: the Veneto and the South Tyrol – both surrounded by dramatic mountains! Begin in the refined town of Cortina d’Ampezzo – a chic Venetian town, full of high-end boutiques along a pedestrian walk-street through the center of town. At the end of your trek, you’ll arrive in the quaint villages of Alta Badia, a string of six villages in the Val Badia, or Badia Valley. The culture here is a combination of Austrian – from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Italian – by acquisition, and Ladin – the native culture that dates back to Roman times. Little did you know this trip would also offer you so much cultural diversity!
Hiking in and traversing between these two regions, you’ll have ample opportunity to enjoy the diverse geology and geography of the Dolomites as well. From lunar landscapes of dolomite rock, to lush meadows carpeted with wildflowers, to forests of mugo pine and larch trees, there is a different vista around every corner. And along the way you’ll be treated to stays in charming rifugi (mountain inns), with comfortable accommodations and hearty Dolomite cuisine!
Day 1 ~ Arrive in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Dolomites
Arrive in Cortina d’Ampezzo (1,224m / 4,016') on your own and check into your hotel (private transfer available on request). 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. This chic Venetian town also caters to the high society crowd, offering many year-round social activities, shopping, and fine dining.
In the afternoon, meet with a Dolomite Mountains representative who will provide a trip briefing and orientation, as well as maps, Italian mobile phone, and everything necessary for your self-guided adventure. Depending on when you arrive, you may have time for a hike or to explore Cortina d’Ampezzo’s pedestrian walkway, the Corso Italia, lined with restaurants and cafes, antique shops, art galleries, and boutiques.
… Hotel in Cortina d'Ampezzo (3-Star)
Day 2 ~ Hike Below Punta Sorapis or Bike to San Candido
Spend your day either hiking or biking in the Ampezzo area – the choice is yours! Afternoon free to explore or shop in the chic town of Cortina d’Ampezzo.
Option: Hike Below Punta Sorapiss
Hike on a varied loop route that leads to Rifugio Vandelli, a lovely hut set below towering Punta Sorapiss (3,205m / 10,515'), that promises extensive views over neighbouring Dolomite peaks. Unlike the rugged rocky heart of the Sorapiss (3,205m / 10,515') that looms far above Cortina d'Ampezzo, the northernmost edge of this Dolomite group is accessible to the average walker. Along the way you have a good chance of spotting wild chamois, a mountain goat-antelope native to Europe. After enjoying lunch at the rifugio, explore the nearby Lago di Sorapiss (Sorapiss Lake) before returning to Cortina. (5 hours hiking 12km / 7.5 miles, 123m / 404' ascent and descent.)
Option: Bike to San Candido
Bike on wide gravel bike path to the towns of Dobbiaco / Toblach and San Candido / Innichen in Val Pusteria, on the border with Austria. The 36 kilometers (22 miles) can be cycled without any major effort, and is ideal for families with children. Option to have lunch at any of the South Tyrolean towns along the way, and return either by bike or by bus. (2-3 hours biking 36km / 22 miles one way; 343m / 1,125' ascent, 306m / 1,004' descent.)
B… Hotel in Cortina d'Ampezzo (3-Star)
Day 3 ~ Tofana di Rozes
In the morning, take a 20-minute transfer to the trail head and hike under the majestic Tofana di Rozes Massif, and on to the top of Mount Lagazuoi (2,778m / 9,114') where you can explore World War I tunnels built into the hillside. Marvel at 360-degree views, breathtaking sunsets, and the quietness of the mountains from one of the highest rifugios in the Dolomites. (4-5 hours hiking 6 km / 4 miles, 647m / 2,123' ascent.)
Day 4 ~ Sella Massif
A super traverse along the Setsass Massif to the green pastures of the Alta Badia region. You’ll hike beneath Setsass and the Piccolo Setsass, and across the meadows of the Pralongia Plateau with limestone peaks including the Fanes and Lavarella surrounding you. Descend to Passo Campolongo, and then climb to a rifugio in the heart of the Sella Massif for the night. Option to ride a cable car and a chair lift to the Rifugio from the town of Corvara. (6-7 hours hiking ~19km / 12 miles, 640m / 2,100' ascent, 892m / 2,927' descent.)
Day 5 ~ Alta Badia
Hike to the top of Piz Boé, the highest peak in the impressive Sella Massif (3,152m / 10,341'), and undoubtedly the most dramatic lookout peak accessible to hikers in the Dolomites. The overwhelming sense here is that of a stone desert, where dramatically toppled rocks are strewn beneath towering cliffs and overhangs. This is a steep and challenging hike, but at the top you will be rewarded at Rifugio Capanna Fassa, where you can enjoy a drink and lunch while you admire the mountains at 360 degrees. Hike down to town and check in your hotel in one of the charming villages of Alta Badia. (4-5 hours hiking ~7km / 4 miles, 652m / 2,139' ascent, 913m / 2,995' descent.)
B,D… Hotel in Alta Badia (3-Star)
Day 6 ~ Passo Cir, Forcella Ciampai, & Rifugio Puez
Today you'll take a final, rewarding hike in Puez Odle Natural Park. Here you'll have another opportunity to spot the native chamois along the way. After a short transfer to Passo Gardena (2,136m / 7,008'), you’ll follow a rocky trail for 1½ hours with the sheer pinnacles of Pizzes da Cir towering above you. Hike up to the Passo Cir (2,469m / 8,100’) and follow a wider trail on undulating terrain that leads to the Forcella Ciampai Pass (2,365m / 7,760'), and up to Rifugio Puez (2,475m / 8,120') where you can stop for lunch.
After lunch, a final three-hour hike downhill on an easy and panoramic trail brings us to the town of Colfosco and then to Corvara. (5-6 hours hiking ~12km / 7.5 miles, ~424m / 1,390' ascent, 914m / 3,000' descent.)
B,D… Hotel in Alta Badia (3-Star)
Day 7 ~ Departure
Breakfast and departure on your own (private transfer available on request).
Trip itinerary may vary based on weather conditions and/or fitness levels and abilities of participants.
Want to learn more about our Hotels and B&Bs?
The Dolomites has a multi-faceted culture and history that is reflected in each village we visit, and we make sure to provide you with the most authentic experience of the region possible through the hotels and B&Bs we offer. Hotels and chalets are available in the larger villages, while agriturismos (working farms with accommodations similar to B&Bs) are more common in rural areas. And we always make sure you have access to inspired regional cuisine, and the best panoramas you can get in the Dolomites!
Want to learn more about our Mountain Inns & Rifugi?
Rifugi – or mountain huts in English – are the classic accommodation for hikers, climbers, mountaineers, and ski mountaineers in the Alps. Set in spectacular locations high in the Dolomites, rifugi are accessible only on foot (with a few exceptions that are reachable by car). These marvelous establishments are open primarily in the summer, with a select few in winter, and offer meals and sleeping facilities.
The Dolomite rifugi are considered the best in the Alps. While some are dormitory style with bunk beds, many meet the standard of a simple guest house with private rooms and en-suite bathrooms, and each has its own unique character and charm. Bedding and linens are provided, hot showers are available, and meals are served in common dining areas – like a small mountain inn set high in the mountains with the most incredible vistas in the Dolomites. Whether you’re hiking in summer or skiing in winter, an overnight rifugio stay is not to miss on a Dolomite holiday.
To learn more about rifugi in the Dolomites, check out our Rifugios in the Dolomites article, and learn about one of the best ways to experience these incredible mountains!
VIA FERRATA OPTION
Add a day (or more!) of climbing via ferrata with one of our UIAGM/IFMGA professional mountain guides! The vie ferrate, or iron paths of the Dolomites, allow non-climbers to discover the mountains in safety and adding a new dimension to hiking the pristine alpine wilderness of the Dolomites. Contact us for details!