Trails and Towns of the Dolomites

Self Guided

Guided

from €1.190 from €2.040

Towering peaks and rock walls combine with towns and villages steeped in history to make the perfect itinerary in the Dolomites! Alternate hiking with exploring the cultural history and diversity of this unique region – a UNESCO World Heritage Site!

  • Length 7 or 9 Days / 6 or 8 Nights
  • Trip Type Hiking
  • Activity Level Moderate
  • Start / Finish Bressanone / San Vigilio di Marebbe or Cortina d'Ampezzo
  • Dates This trip is available as a custom, private departure on dates of your choosing from mid June to mid September

Highlights

  • Explore hidden valleys and the majestic Dolomite Mountains – a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Hike amidst glorious landscapes of pillars, pinnacles, and colossal rock walls of the Dolomites
  • Discover medieval towns and villages, nestled in the valleys created by tall mountain peaks
  • Experience the unique culture of the Dolomites – where Italian, German, and Ladin histories combine!

 

OVERVIEW

Incredible mountain landscapes, countless miles of trails that wind through the valleys and across passes, with cozy villages and beautiful towns interspersed in the most strategic positions for agriculture and trade, leading to a surprising wealth of culture to explore! The Dolomite Mountains, widely considered some of the most beautiful mountains in the world, are not usually the first location that comes to mind for a cultural vacation. Hiking, biking, and skiing, perhaps. But Culture? Castles? Cathedrals? Really? YES!

The Dolomites have a far-reaching cultural history that extends thousands of centuries, with prehistoric settlements that pre-date the rise of Roman Empire. The Catholic Church played an immeasurable role, with the construction of medieval villages and cathedrals. And World War One and the subsequent territory annexation took its toll, reshaping the landscape and borders. This has wrought both a blending of cultures on the one hand, and equally a preservation of the uniqueness of each culture found here – Italian, Austrian, and Ladin.

The South Tyrol (or Südtirol in German, and commonly referred to as Alto Adige in Italian) where this itinerary will take you, is set right against the Austrian border. In fact, until the Italian Annexation in 1926, it was part of Austria. Here you’ll find the dominant language to be German, followed by Italian and Ladin (and English, of course!). And you’ll find the same mix of cultures and cultural influences in everything from the architecture to the food. But once you hit the trail, there is no doubt where you are – the Majestic Dolomites. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, comprising over 90,000 acres of mountainous terrain, the Dolomite Mountains are full of surreal towers and crags, wild alpine meadows, deciduous and evergreen woods, high altitude lunar-like landscapes, alternating with refined South Tyrolean towns that you’ll encounter during your daily excursions. We think this incredible offers the best of both worlds – not only will you get to explore the towering cliffs of the Dolomites, carved over millennia by the elements, but also the towering spires of cathedrals and castles, carved by the hands of man. It’s almost like two trips in one!

Day by Day

Towering peaks and rock walls combine with towns and villages steeped in history to make the perfect itinerary in the Dolomites! Alternate hiking with exploring the cultural history and diversity of this unique region – a UNESCO World Heritage Site!


Day 1 ~ Arrive in Bressanone / Brixen
Arrive in Bressanone / Brixen (560m / 1,837') on your own (private transfer available on request), and check in to your hotel. Bressanone (Italian) / Brixen (German), is located in the province of South Tyrol (Südtirol in German, and commonly referred to as Alto Adige in Italian), 45 kilometers (27-miles) south of the Austrian border. This 1,100-year-old town is the third largest and oldest city in the province, with its almost unchanged medieval center, splendid cathedral and cloisters, and baroque castle.

The town was developed in a broad north/south valley at the confluence of the Rienza/Rienz and Isarco/Eisack Rivers, a geographically favorable position. Flanked by mountains on either side, the rather austere climate of the north yields to the aura of the south here, and lush vineyards and sturdy old sweet chestnut trees adorn the mountainsides. The location of the valley also made it optimal for the development of a variety of cultures. From prehistoric settlements to settlements by Rhaetian, Bavarian, and Lombard tribes; from the rise and fall of the Roman Empire to becoming an ecclesiastical center and the seat of the Prince Bishop, Bressanone has a rich history.

In the afternoon, meet with your guide (or a Dolomite Mountains representative for self guided trips) who will provide a trip briefing and orientation.
D... Hotel in Bressanone


Day 2 ~ Explore Bressanone and Novacella Abbey
Bressanone is the artistic and cultural capital of the valley. For centuries, the city was a stopover for emperors on their travel, and as the seat of the Prince Bishop, it ultimately grew into a center of intellectual and cultural activity. It is impossible to mistake the importance of this city and the countless signs of Bressanone’s 1,100 year-old history and power – the historic medieval center, the old arcaded walkways, the porticos and lanes decorated with merlons, the sumptuous architecture of the cathedral, cloister, and Prince Bishop’s Palace (Hofburg). Nevertheless Bressanone still has the welcoming atmosphere of a small town, and invites you to discover and enjoy modern events, cabarets, and concerts in addition to the museum treasures and crafts. On request, we can organise a two (2) hour guided city tour.

The Novacella abbey is located in the northern-most winegrowing region in Italy, on the southern side of the Alps. The mineral-rich soils, elevation, and cool climate are all factors that explain the intense aromas, flavors and fruity, mouth-watering acidity found in the monastery’s famous white wines produced here in the Valle Isarco (Isarco Valley in English, Eisacktal in German).
B,D… Hotel in Bressanone


Day 3 ~ Val di Funes – Adolf Munkel Weg
In the morning, take a private transfer to your hotel in Santa Maddalena / St. Magdalena (1,230m / 4,035') in Val di Funes. You’ll drop off your luggage at the hotel, and continue on to Zannes/Zans, a mountain pasture where today’s hike on the Adolf Munkel Trail begins.

The famous Adolf Munkel Trail – or Adolf Munkle Weg – lies below the majestic Puez-Geisler/Odle mountain group, in the Puez-Odle Natural Park, part of the Dolomite Mountains UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is one of the most spectacular trails in the Dolomites, in part due to the colorful array of plants along the trail. You will hike beneath the imposing northern walls of the Puez-Geisler/Odle Group (3,025m / 9,925'), bearing witness to the rock formations and layers of the Dolomites, which originated over millions of years. You’ll walk along the Ciacenon/Tschantschenon stream, across Alpine meadows, and through shady black forest. These mountains are a symbol of the Val di Funes, and also home to world-renowned mountain climber Reinhold Messner. (~5 hours hiking, 12km / 7.4 miles, 300m / 984' ascent and descent.)

Depending on when you complete your hike, take time to explore the town of Santa Maddalena upon your return. Located at 1,339 meters (4,393') at the far part of the Val di Funes (Funes Valley), Santa Maddalena has about 370 inhabitants. Here, at the foot of the Ruefen Mountain, sits the church of Santa Maddalena; according to a legend, this is the place where the miraculous image of Santa Maddalena washed up by the Fopal River. This church, with the Odle Mountains featured in the background, is one of the most popular photo motifs of the Dolomites.
B,D… Hotel in Val di Funes 


Day 4 ~ Günter Messner Trail – Passo delle Erbe
In the morning take a private transfer to Russis Brücke (1,735m / 5,692') and start your hike on the Günter Messner Trail. This trail was named for Günter Messner, brother of world-renowned mountaineer Reinhold Messner. The brothers were born and grew up in the Val di Funes / Valley of Vilnöß, and completed their first climbs on the surrounding mountains, quickly establishing themselves among the elite of the climbers of their day. Their routes through the Dolomites’ west faces of Sass de Putia / Peitlerkofel (2,875m / 9432'), Furchetta (3,025m / 9,925'), and Heiligkreuzkofel (2,907m / 9,538') are still counted among the most difficult routes of the area. Günther died in 1970 during the brothers' descent from Nanga Parbat, the western anchor of the Himalayas and the ninth highest mountain in the world. (~5 hours hiking 8km / 4.9 miles, 800m / 2,625' ascent, 600m / 1,968' descent.)

You’ll complete your hike at a rifugio (2,006m / 6,581'), located on Passo delle Erbe, where your luggage will await you. Passo delle Erbe is located in a broad saddle amidst beautiful flowered pastures at the foot of the Sass de Putia / Peitlerkofel mountain (2,875m / 9,432').
B,D…
Mountain Inn at Passo delle Erbe (3-Star)


Day 5 ~ Putia Massif Loop
Today’s itinerary takes you on an exciting loop around the majestic Sass de Putia / Peitlerkofel (2,875m / 9432'). Located within Puez-Odle Natural Park, Sass de Putia is the northernmost summit of the Dolomites. The pale Dolomite formations of this massif rise from dramatic multi-colored rock strata below, and the magnificent views you’ll encounter throughout this make this circumnavigation one of South Tyrol’s highlights.
Begin your hike right from your rifugio on Passo delle Erbe (1,978m / 6,489'), returning here at the end of the day. You’ll walk through a variety of beautiful meadows and pastures, over Peitlerscharte (2,357m / 7,733') wind gap and Passo Goma/Gömajoch Pass (2,111m / 6,926'), across rocky landscapes, and continue through forest and pines to the Prati di Campaccio meadows. You can choose whether to hike clockwise or counterclockwise around the mountain – the views in either direction are spectacular! (~5 hours hiking 16.5km / 10.3 miles, 650m / 2,132' ascent and descent.)The isolated summit of the Sass de Putia is known for the 360-degree views that it offers, an unobstructed panorama unlike any other of the peaks of the Dolomites. For adventurous souls seeking more of a challenge, it is possible to climb to the summit using the aid of a simple via ferrata. (Climbing equipment and guide are available for an additional fee.)
In the afternoon, take a private transfer to San Vigilio di Marebbe.
B,D... Hotel in San Vigilio di Marebbe


Day 6 ~ San Vigilio di Marebbe
The Dolomites, which are often described as the most beautiful creation of nature, surround San Vigilio di Marebbe like a crown. It is situated in the green and gentle Marebbe hollow (1,201m / 3,940'), a side valley of the Val Badia, where lush coniferous forests, high peaks, and soft, hilly alpine pastures sculpt the landscape. This idyllic mountain village, Al Plan de Mareo as it is called by locals, has just 1,500 inhabitants. Simple, wooden houses are grouped around the baroque church and the inviting church square, far from noisy thoroughfares, on the border of Fanes-Senes-Braies Natural Park. In summer, San Vigilio di Marebbe offers a rich entertainment program which ranges from concerts to Tyrolean folk-festivals, farmers’ markets, craft exhibitions, international sports competitions, village festivals, and even beauty contests!
There are countless hiking options surrounding this town and in Fanes-Senes-Braies Natural Park. A few of our favorites include the 2-hour Lè dla Crëda, 4-hour Passo Furcia, and 6-hour Lago di Braies, a beautiful hike up a valley, through high mountain pastures, and down to the emerald green Lake Braies, oft referred as the Pearl of the Dolomite Lakes.
B,D… Hotel in San Vigilio di Marebbe


Day 7 ~ Depart
After breakfast, departure on your own (private transfer available on request). Or, extend your adventure and spend an additional two days exploring Fanes-Sennes-Braies Natural Park and Cortina d’Ampezzo!
B…



EXTEND YOUR ADVENTURE

Day 7 ~ Fanes-Sennes-Braies Natural Park
In the morning, take a private transfer to Rifugio Pederü (1,540m / 4,313'). From Pederü hike up to the Sennes Plateau and on to a family run rifugio (1,965m /6,447'), your home for tonight. From here you will have a superb view east on the Croda Rossa Massif (2,818m / 9,245'), so-called for its blood-red rock colored by to the presence of iron oxide. (~4 hours hiking 7km / 4 miles, 620m / 2,034' ascent, 690m / 2,264' descent.)
B,D… Rifugio


Day 8 ~ Cortina d’Ampezzo
From your rifugio, hike to Rifugio Sennes (2,126m / 6,975') and follow the path towards Rifugio Malga Ra Stua. Continue hiking to Fiames, known as the beach of Cortina d'Ampezzo, and on to Cortina. (~4 hours hiking 10.7km / 6.6 miles, 365m / 1,197' ascent, 737m / 3,074' descent.)
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.
This afternoon, explore the town, including the pedestrian walkway, the Corso d’Italia, lined with restaurants and cafes, antique shops, art galleries, and boutiques, and its famous bell tower in the town center. 
B… Hotel in Cortina d'Ampezzo


Day 9 ~ Depart
After breakfast, departure on your own (private transfer available on request).
B…


EXTEND YOUR ADVENTURE!
You've come all this way, why not stay a little longer? Dolomite Mountains offers fantastic extensions that you can enjoy before or after your trip in the Dolomites. Explore VeniceVeronaLake GardaFlorence, or Milan, or any of the many other magical places found throughout Italy. There's no more perfect way to recover from jet lag upon arrival, or delay your return to reality at the end of your trip!



Trip itinerary may vary based on weather conditions, fitness levels and abilities of participants, and/or the recommendations of the Dolomite Mountains staff.

Cost

7 Days Guided Trip:
From € 2.990 per person (minimum 2 participants)
From € 2.040 per person (minimum 4 participants)

7 Days Self Guided Trip:

From € 1.390 per person (minimum 2 participants)
From € 1.190 per person (minimum 4 participants)


9 Days Guided Trip:

From € 3.620 per person (minimum 2 participants)
From € 2.460 per person (minimum 4 participants)

9 Days Self Guided Trip:
From € 1.820 per person (minimum 2 participants)
From € 1.490 per person (minimum 4 participants)

Private room supplement in rifugios: €15 per person, per rifugio (based on availability)
High season supplement from July 20th to August 31st: surcharge of 5%


Cost Includes:

  • Trip briefing
  • Logistics and map of the area
  • 2 night accommodation in 4-star hotel in Bressanone
  • 1 night accommodation in 3-star Val di Funes
  • 1 night accommodation in mountain inn (private room)
  • 2 night accommodation in 3-star in San Vigilio
  • Meals as per itinerary
  • Private transfers as per itinerary
  • Luggage transfers
  • Local English speaking hiking guide (guided trips)
  • Local tourist tax
  • Italian VAT tax

 

Cortina Extension:

  • 1 night accommodation in charming rifugio (shared dormitoy)
  • 1 night accommodation in 3-star B&B in Cortina d'Ampezzo
  • Meals as noted in itinerary
  • Private transfer as per itinerary

 

Airport transfers available on request

Accommodation

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!

Prefer luxury accommodations?
You can also book a custom departure of this trip using our Luxury Hotels. For details, please contact us.

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 even 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!

More info

Still want more? Why not extend your adventure!
Dolomite Mountains offers fantastic extensions that you can enjoy before or after your trip in the Dolomites. Explore VeniceVeronaLake GardaFlorence, or Milan, or any of the many other magical places found throughout Italy. There's no more perfect way to recover from jet lag upon arrival, or delay your return to reality at the end of your trip!

Group Trip Dates

Trip name   Trip dates   Min persons   Trip status   Price    
25-30 Jul
2017
4
Available
€ 890
27 Jul - 3 Aug
2017
4
Limited space
€ 1260
8-14 Aug
2017
4
Limited space
€ 1520
15-21 Aug
2017
4
Sold out
€ 2660
16-20 Aug
2017
4
Limited space
€ 890
16-21 Aug
2017
4
Sold out
€ 890
18-24 Aug
2017
4
Limited space
€ 1260
23-30 Aug
2017
4
Available
€ 1730
26 Sep - 1 Oct
2017
4
Limited space
€ 1520
26 Sep - 1 Oct
2017
4
Limited space
€ 2660
2-8 Oct
2017
4
Available
€ 2660
3-7 Oct
2017
4
Available
€ 890
3-10 Oct
2017
4
Available
€ 1730
3-10 Oct
2017
4
Available
€ 1730
10-15 Oct
2017
4
Available
€ 890
12-18 Oct
2017
4
Available
€ 1260
14-19 Feb
2018
4
Limited space
€ 2200
21-27 Feb
2018
4
Available
€ 1900
28 Feb - 2 Mar
2018
4
Available
€ 2200
25 Mar - 2 Apr
2018
4
Available
€ 1540
25 Mar - 2 Apr
2018
4
Available
€ 2200
4-9 Apr
2018
4
Available
€ 1270
4-9 Apr
2018
4
Available
€ 1220
11-17 Apr
2018
4
Available
€ 1900
18-23 Apr
2018
4
Available
€ 1690