Discover the beauty of the Dolomites on a hiking tour taking you past towering limestone peaks, tranquil meadows, and silent alpine forests.

Journey into the heart of the Dolomites on a hiking tour that takes you past breathtaking views of limestone spires, rustic villages, and lush valleys. Trek through meadows of wildflowers, past rivers and waterfalls, marveling at the Dolomites’ three most imposing peaks – Tre Cime di Lavaredo, Tofane, and Croda Rossa. As you hike, stop at a rifugio (alpine hut) to rest and admire the view while sampling hearty local fare. See Bressanone’s majestic cathedral and immerse yourself in the cosmopolitan charm of Corina d’Ampezzo, a chic Italian resort town. Delight in your luxurious accommodations, savoring sumptuous dinners featuring the best of Tyrolean cuisine. The spectacular mountain scenery coupled with Italy’s rich alpine culture make this hiking tour of the Dolomites an unforgettable adventure.

Highlights

  • Stop at an Alpine rifugio to recharge your energy with a plate of canederli cheese and a refreshing Forst beer
  • Tour the remains of World War I bunkers and tunnels, learning about the area’s fascinating history with your knowledgeable guides
  • Follow a path of gradual switchbacks carpeted with junipers to Limo Pass, where Lake Limo sits within a natural amphitheater, surrounded by wind-carved karst formations
On all Fully-Guided Adventures you can count on...
Icon of road-signs
Expert local guides to introduce you to the best of your destination.
Icon of map
Off-the-beaten-path places you’d never find on your own.
Icon of cutlery
Delicious, authentic multi-course meals — virtually all are included.
Icon of hikers
A maximum of 18 fun-loving fellow travelers to share the journey.
Icon of house
Gracious accommodations that are a clean, comfortable home away from home.
Icon of check-list
Experts to handle all the details.
Icon of airplane
Flight + Tour Combos include plane tickets, airport shuttles, and pre- and post-tour accommodations.

Itinerary

Thu, Jun 25 to Sat, Jul 4 - 2020

Show Itinerary:

Begin your adventure by departing from a convenient gateway city in the United States or Canada. Spend the first night aloft.

Upon your arrival at Innsbruck Airport, a representative holding a Country Walkers sign meets you as you exit the baggage-claim area. A complimentary small-group transfer is provided to your Innsbruck hotel, approximately 30 minutes away. The remainder of the day is at your leisure (no meals included).

If you are going to be delayed meeting our transfer representative for more than 15 minutes due to delayed or lost luggage, please contact Allianz Global Assistance to advise of your delay, and they will contact our transfer service on your behalf. Our drivers are generally able to wait for up to 45 minutes from the time your flight lands, after which you would be responsible for your own transfer.

Please note: If you arrive early, and your hotel room is not available prior to the designated check-in time., you may store your luggage with the reception desk.

Country Walkers provides City Information containing recommendations about what to see and do in Innsbruck during your stay.

Accommodation: Hotel Restaurant Goldener Adler, Innsbruck, Austria

Mount Plose, 4 miles, easy to moderate

Breakfast is included at your hotel. A representative will meet you at 9:00 a.m. in the lobby of the hotel for the transfer to Bressanone/Brixen, Italy. Your guide(s) will meet you at 1:30 p.m. (after lunch on your own) in the lobby of your hotel in Bressanone/Brixen, Italy. Your guide(s) will be wearing a Country Walkers shirt.

The tour begins in the charming medieval town of Bressanone (as it is known in Italian; in German, it’s Brixen), located just 28 miles south of the Brenner Pass, the border between Italy and Austria. Bressanone is located in the South Tyrol, the part of Italy encompassing the Trentino and Alto Adige regions, a bilingual region that belonged to Austria until 1918. In fact, German is spoken more than Italian by the locals. This “Ancient Bishop’s City” is nestled between two rivers and enveloped by mountains sloping down to vineyards and lush orchards, with a pleasant center of narrow cobblestone streets, pastel-colored houses, and lovely buildings and bridges.

Following a brief orientation at your centrally-located meeting point and first night’s hotel, you set out for an afternoon walk at the neighboring ski area, Mount Plose. A scenic 10-minute gondola ride high above Bressanone and the Isarco Valley brings you to the start of your loop walk at an altitude of 6,700 feet. You follow a well-maintained panoramic trail with spectacular views over the Odle peaks, site of tomorrow’s walk, before a return gondola ride to the base of the mountain.

This evening, at a nearby restaurant, you enjoy an aperitivo of local Alto Adige wines and cured ham (speck) and cheeses, before sitting down to a dinner of outstanding South Tyrolean cuisine. A first course may be handmade spinach-filled ravioli, followed by a main course or secondo piatto of river trout, local game, or lamb, and you toast the start of your adventure with a crisp local white wine. Dessert may be your first taste of the region’s delectable apple strudel.

Accommodation: Hotel Goldener Adler, Bressanone or equivalent

7 miles, moderate with a one-hour challenging uphill section, 1,150-ft. elevation gain and loss

You awaken to a generous breakfast buffet in your hotel’s warm, wood-beamed dining room—eggs to order, cheeses, speck, and an assortment of yogurts, cereals, juices, pastries, fruit, and, of course, cappuccino! Check out of your hotel, and board your private coach for a one-hour drive through the Funes Valley—the Dolomites’ northwest boundary—and on to the Passo delle Erbe, roughly “the Grassy Pass,” where you can see the extraordinary peaks of the Odle that resemble a castle’s battlements.

Today’s route is along the Sass de Pütia loop, which starts out on a wide gravel path bordered with heather and bilberry, and ascends gently past summer hay huts and the local Ladin people’s small summer mountain cabins called baita. This ancient culture of a small minority population living in the Dolomites and speaking the Ladin language developed in the isolated mountain valleys from the time of the Roman Empire.

In the summer, Ladini families climb to their summer cabins to relax, picnic, hay, and carve wood. At many of the cabins, refreshments or snacks are offered to hikers. Continuing through meadows, the trail narrows, skirting a mountain, and at this point, you encounter the day’s greatest challenge—a 650-foot ascent of about an hour. Switchbacks make their way steeply up the hill, through large boulders, a trickling stream, and Rhaetian poppies, with steps and timber traverses at the final push. The view from the top of the saddle, Pütia Fork, at about 7,700 feet, is well worth the effort—rolling pastureland thick with yellow buttercups, gentians, and pink mountain thrift, and views of the upper Badia Valley, the Fanes Range, and the Sella Group.

Rounding Pütia Mountain, the route then joins the famous Alta Via 2 (the second of a network of eight long-distance footpaths through the Dolomites, called Alte Vie, meaning “high paths”). These trails are weeklong routes and are served by numerous rifugi (alpine huts). The next mile or so is on a beautiful level trail between green pastures and grazing cows, with views of the Sella group and the Odle. Soon, your lunch spot comes into view—the welcoming Rifugio Genova at 7,566 feet. Stunning views accompany a lunch of homemade mountain fare, such as polenta with cheese, homemade noodles with mushrooms, and a local Forst beer. After lunch, you descend through sloping pasture to a valley of water mills—an open-air museum of sorts, complete with wooden sculptures—passing abundant wildflowers, raptors soaring overhead.

A short transfer takes you on to your home for the next two nights in the idyllic mountain village of San Vigilio di Marebbe, where you are welcomed by the family that has been running their Art Nouveau hotel for generations. Surrounded by a crown of mountains, the hotel’s garden is the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail and experience the enrosadira, the Ladin word for the pink sunset glow illuminating the peaks as the sun’s last rays strike the white dolomitic limestone. You proceed to the hotel’s dining room for the chef’s fare of locally-raised meat, fresh vegetables, and herbs picked from the garden.

Accommodation: Hotel Monte Sella, San Vigilio di Marebbe

5 or 8 miles, moderate to challenging, 2,045-ft. elevation gain (or 367-ft. gain if choosing 5-mile option) and 1,485-ft. elevation loss

A sumptuous breakfast buffet fuels you for today’s walk in the Fanes-Senes-Braies Park. That being said, instead of a long but gradual ascent at the start, a very convenient option would allow you to take a jeep ride to meet the group at lunchtime, and then enjoy the afternoon’s five-mile walk. For those who choose the morning walk, a short drive brings you to the eastern end of the Val Badia and the glacially carved Pederü Valley. From the Rifugio Pederü at 5,079 feet, a long, wide mountain road over gradual switchbacks climbs for two-and-a-half hours (elevation gain of 1,680 feet), larch trees lining the way.

After passing a rocky gorge, you emerge onto the level Fanes Pasture. You amble past green pastureland, yellow wolfsbane, rushing rivers, and grazing cows en route to the family-run Rifugio Fanes, a backcountry lodge of wood and stone with a huge deck overlooking the natural bowl of the Sasso della Croce and the Cunturines groups of mountains. The unique stratified rock layers and solitary pines in the horizon are known as the “Marmots’ Parliament,” part of the rich Ladini folklore of stories and legends about these mountains. A “radler”—a refreshing mix of beer and lemonade—may hit the spot to accompany lunch, a hearty bowl of pasta, soup, or polenta.

After lunch, a 15-minute ascent (367 feet) of gradual switchbacks through a carpet of junipers brings you to Limo Pass (at 7,126 feet, the highest point of the day’s walk). The trail then levels out at azure Lake Limo, gently undulating into a wide natural amphitheater, as you enjoy the Fanes high plateau with its typical karstic limestone landscape of wind-carved rock formations, caves, fissures, underground streams, and small lakes. A growing population of fox, deer, chamois, mountain goats, and eagles thrive under the park’s protection.

After a final stunning view at the Forcella Col de Locia, a steep and narrow descent of steps brings you to the Capanna Alpina (5,643 feet), where you are rewarded with a refreshing drink or snack. A short drive brings you back to San Vigilio di Marebbe, where there is time to relax, stroll through town, or schedule an Ayurvedic massage, before gathering for dinner in the hotel’s dining room.

Accommodation: Hotel Monte Sella, San Vigilio di Marebbe

4 miles, moderate, 1,315-ft. elevation gain and 3 miles, moderate, 1,640-ft. elevation loss

Departing San Vigilio after breakfast, you head south for the approximately 45-minute drive toward Cortina d’Ampezzo, your home for the next three nights. Today’s walk takes place en route, in the area of the Badia Valley—a picturesque Alpine basin that is home to dairy cows, pine forests, and timber chalets—viewed as the heart of the Ladin culture. Set 6,709 feet above sea level, the 15th-century Santa Croce Sanctuary (or “The Crusc,” as locals used to call it) is integrated into the Fanes-Senes-Braies Natural Park and offers splendid views of some of the Dolomites’ most majestic peaks: Lagazuoi, Lavarella, and Sasso della Croce. Following an initial gentle ascent (with some steep sections) of two-and-a-half hours, you reach the church (a pilgrimage site) and mountain hut (or rifugio), a family-run business for over five generations. A hearty meal is served outside (weather permitting) or in the wood-paneled dining room, perhaps topped off with some kaiserschmarren (sweet pancake served with fruit compote).

After lunch, you descend gradually along an easy trail to the charming mountain village of San Cassiano and your waiting bus for the 45-minute drive to Cortina d’Ampezzo. Known as the “Pearl of the Dolomites,” this is perhaps Italy’s most beautiful—and stylish—ski resort town. Set in a valley ringed by 9,000-foot peaks, it is appreciated for its miles of ski runs, as well as its bustling center full of chic cafés and shops. Your historic hotel is perfectly situated just a short stroll from the heart of the pedestrian zone. After settling into your room, you regroup for dinner at a favorite local restaurant.

Note: for the September 7 tour, your accommodation will be the Cristallo Resort & Spa.

Accommodation: Grand Hotel Savoia, Cortina d’Ampezzo

6 miles, easy to moderate, 525-ft. elevation gain and loss with one steep/challenging 15-minute 280-ft. elevation gain

This morning, a 45-minute drive takes you to the start of the day’s walk, a circuit around the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, in the Sesto Dolomites Natural Park. The distinctive three peaks are one of the Dolomites’ best-known landmarks—prized by rock climbers for their sheer rock faces, appreciated for their amazing pastel and vibrant red hues at sunset, and historically the site of some of the most intense mountain warfare of World War I. In fact, the range constituted the border between Hapsburg, Austria, and Italy up until 1918. Today’s loop walk provides views at all angles, beginning with a drive up the beautiful Tre Cime Panoramic Road to the Rifugio Auronzo at 7,644 feet.

After a fortifying cappuccino, you set off along a wide trail, a former military track, just beneath the peaks. After visiting a chapel commemorating the First World War, you veer north, passing the Rifugio Lavaredo. Soon, breathtaking views of the Tre Cime open up, and you may spot rock climbers at seemingly impossible heights on the rock face. After dipping below the Mount Paterno ridge, which is still riddled with wartime tunnels, you follow a level traverse across a scree slope to the Rifugio Locatelli.

Take a short break, then follow a route that initially descends a series of switchbacks before traversing an undulating basin called the Pian da Rin, a grassy, wildflower-filled meadow where you may hear whistling marmots. This tranquil trail offers spectacular views of the Tre Cime, surrounded by a mountain quiet only interrupted by the dull clanging of cowbells. A steep but short ascent of 280 steps, probably the day’s most challenging section, is soon over and followed by a flat stretch to a mountain dairy hut, where you may be able to taste incredibly fresh homemade yogurt or cheese.

You then round the south side of the Tre Cime at the Col di Mezzo pass, and close the loop back at the starting point, the Rifugio Auronzo. A short drive delivers you to a traditional restaurant for a satisfying lunch—perhaps homemade canederli (bread balls with cheese) or a plate of patate all’ampezzana (pan-cooked potatoes and onions flavored with local speck ham).

This evening, you are free to explore Cortina on your own, perhaps browsing its enticing shops, before venturing out to discover one of the town’s many fine restaurants.

Accommodation: Grand Hotel Savoia, Cortina d’Ampezzo

4-5 miles, moderate, with an easy to moderate elevation gain of 1,082-ft. and loss of 820-ft.

Today’s walk is considered one of the finest routes in the Dolomites for its variety of scenery—high peaks, remote wild areas, and significant evidence of World War I warfare. After breakfast at your hotel, you board the coach for the 30-minute drive to where you catch the Cinque Torri chairlift to the Rifugio Scoiattoli. Built by the mountain guide Lorenzo Lorenzi in 1969, this alpine hut marks the start of today’s walk. From the refuge’s terrace (at 7,300 feet), you’re on top of the world, with 360-degree views overlooking the Dolomites’ impressive peaks, such as the Croda da Lago and the Cinque Torri. These mountains contain thousands of feet of tunneling, a result of the fierce fighting between Austrians and Italians during World War I to control the peaks and surrounding territory. Other wartime remnants are still ubiquitous, such as barbed wire, shell fragments, and building rubble. The tunnels and trenches have been restored and comprise part of the Great War Outdoor Museum of the Cinque Torri—the largest World War I open-air museum. Your walk today is along a well-established circuit beneath the Monte Nuvolau, a natural balcony with views over the Tofane range, Mount Lagazuoi, and the Falzarego Pass. Along the route, you may be lucky enough to spot sure-footed chamois on the rocky slopes.

Making your way along the dramatic scenery of mountainside, rock faces, and waterfalls, you reach the Averau Rifugio, (at 7,926 feet), a coveted milestone along the Alta Via, where you stop for lunch. While dining at the “Restaurant at the Edge of the Universe” (as The Sunday Times refers to this family-run alpine chalet), you enjoy stunning views of the surrounding peaks of Civetta and Marmolada while savoring exquisite traditional dishes such as smoked roast beef with arugula and fresh homemade pasta prepared by Paola and Sandrone. Fueled for the final leg, you continue to the chairlift for the descent back to the valley and the return (30-minute) drive to Cortina.

This afternoon, you have time to relax, pack, and do any last-minute shopping before gathering for your farewell dinner on the outskirts of town. You are welcomed with a glass of sparkling prosecco on the deck of the inviting chalet restaurant set on a small lake at the base of the Croda da Lago peak. In this intimate locale, the first course, or primo piatto, may be the Cortina specialty of handmade, crescent-shaped ravioli stuffed with tender red beets and topped with melted butter, poppy seeds, and a generous dusting of parmesan cheese. Tonight’s main course may be fresh lake trout, grilled to perfection, as you toast your discovery of the beauty of the Dolomites.

Accommodation: Grand Hotel Savoia, Cortina d’Ampezzo

After your breakfast, a complimentary transfer is provided to Venice, where you bid farewell to your tour guides. A Country Walkers representative escorts you to a waiting water taxi for a transfer to the Hotel Saturnia & International Venezia for your post-tour night. (Please note that you are required to transport your luggage a short distance to the boat launch and from the boat launch to the hotel. Lunch and dinner are on your own.)

Country Walkers provides City Information containing recommendations about what to see and do in Venice during your stay.

Accommodation: Hotel Saturnia & International Venezia, Venice, Italy

Ciao!This morning, a short walk leads you to the boat launch for a complimentary water-taxi transfer to Venice’s Marco Polo Airport based on your departure time. Please keep in mind that you are moving your own luggage this morning, so pack light! (The departure transfer time will be communicated to you on tour by your Country Walkers guides.)

Sat, Jun 27 to Fri, Jul 3 - 2020

Show Itinerary:

Mount Plose, 4 miles, easy to moderate

Your guide(s) will meet you at 1:30 p.m. (after lunch on your own) in the lobby of your hotel in Bressanone/Brixen, Italy. Your guide(s) will be wearing a Country Walkers shirt.

The tour begins in the charming medieval town of Bressanone (as it is known in Italian; in German, it’s Brixen), located just 28 miles south of the Brenner Pass, the border between Italy and Austria. Bressanone is located in the South Tyrol, the part of Italy encompassing the Trentino and Alto Adige regions, a bilingual region that belonged to Austria until 1918. In fact, German is spoken more than Italian by the locals. This “Ancient Bishop’s City” is nestled between two rivers and enveloped by mountains sloping down to vineyards and lush orchards, with a pleasant center of narrow cobblestone streets, pastel-colored houses, and lovely buildings and bridges.

Following a brief orientation at your centrally-located meeting point and first night’s hotel, you set out for an afternoon walk at the neighboring ski area, Mount Plose. A scenic 10-minute gondola ride high above Bressanone and the Isarco Valley brings you to the start of your loop walk at an altitude of 6,700 feet. You follow a well-maintained panoramic trail with spectacular views over the Odle peaks, site of tomorrow’s walk, before a return gondola ride to the base of the mountain.

This evening, at a nearby restaurant, you enjoy an aperitivo of local Alto Adige wines and cured ham (speck) and cheeses, before sitting down to a dinner of outstanding South Tyrolean cuisine. A first course may be handmade spinach-filled ravioli, followed by a main course or secondo piatto of river trout, local game, or lamb, and you toast the start of your adventure with a crisp local white wine. Dessert may be your first taste of the region’s delectable apple strudel.

Accommodation: Hotel Goldener Adler, Bressanone

7 miles, moderate with a one-hour challenging uphill section, 1,150-ft. elevation gain and loss

You awaken to a generous breakfast buffet in your hotel’s warm, wood-beamed dining room—eggs to order, cheeses, speck, and an assortment of yogurts, cereals, juices, pastries, fruit, and, of course, cappuccino! Check out of your hotel, and board your private coach for a one-hour drive through the Funes Valley—the Dolomites’ northwest boundary—and on to the Passo delle Erbe, roughly “the Grassy Pass,” where you can see the extraordinary peaks of the Odle that resemble a castle’s battlements.

Today’s route is along the Sass de Pütia loop, which starts out on a wide gravel path bordered with heather and bilberry, and ascends gently past summer hay huts and the local Ladin people’s small summer mountain cabins called baita. This ancient culture of a small minority population living in the Dolomites and speaking the Ladin language developed in the isolated mountain valleys from the time of the Roman Empire.

In the summer, Ladini families climb to their summer cabins to relax, picnic, hay, and carve wood. At many of the cabins, refreshments or snacks are offered to hikers. Continuing through meadows, the trail narrows, skirting a mountain, and at this point, you encounter the day’s greatest challenge—a 650-foot ascent of about an hour. Switchbacks make their way steeply up the hill, through large boulders, a trickling stream, and Rhaetian poppies, with steps and timber traverses at the final push. The view from the top of the saddle, Pütia Fork, at about 7,700 feet, is well worth the effort—rolling pastureland thick with yellow buttercups, gentians, and pink mountain thrift, and views of the upper Badia Valley, the Fanes Range, and the Sella Group.

Rounding Pütia Mountain, the route then joins the famous Alta Via 2 (the second of a network of eight long-distance footpaths through the Dolomites, called Alte Vie, meaning “high paths”). These trails are weeklong routes and are served by numerous rifugi (alpine huts). The next mile or so is on a beautiful level trail between green pastures and grazing cows, with views of the Sella group and the Odle. Soon, your lunch spot comes into view—the welcoming Rifugio Genova at 7,566 feet. Stunning views accompany a lunch of homemade mountain fare, such as polenta with cheese, homemade noodles with mushrooms, and a local Forst beer. After lunch, you descend through sloping pasture to a valley of water mills—an open-air museum of sorts, complete with wooden sculptures—passing abundant wildflowers, raptors soaring overhead.

A short transfer takes you on to your home for the next two nights in the idyllic mountain village of San Vigilio di Marebbe, where you are welcomed by the family that has been running their Art Nouveau hotel for generations. Surrounded by a crown of mountains, the hotel’s garden is the perfect place to enjoy a cocktail and experience the enrosadira, the Ladin word for the pink sunset glow illuminating the peaks as the sun’s last rays strike the white dolomitic limestone. You proceed to the hotel’s dining room for the chef’s fare of locally-raised meat, fresh vegetables, and herbs picked from the garden.

Accommodation: Hotel Monte Sella, San Vigilio di Marebbe

5 or 8 miles, moderate to challenging, 2,045-ft. elevation gain (or 367-ft. gain if choosing 5-mile option) and 1,485-ft. elevation loss

A sumptuous breakfast buffet fuels you for today’s walk in the Fanes-Senes-Braies Park. That being said, instead of a long but gradual ascent at the start, a very convenient option would allow you to take a jeep ride to meet the group at lunchtime, and then enjoy the afternoon’s five-mile walk. For those who choose the morning walk, a short drive brings you to the eastern end of the Val Badia and the glacially carved Pederü Valley. From the Rifugio Pederü at 5,079 feet, a long, wide mountain road over gradual switchbacks climbs for two-and-a-half hours (elevation gain of 1,680 feet), larch trees lining the way.

After passing a rocky gorge, you emerge onto the level Fanes Pasture. You amble past green pastureland, yellow wolfsbane, rushing rivers, and grazing cows en route to the family-run Rifugio Fanes, a backcountry lodge of wood and stone with a huge deck overlooking the natural bowl of the Sasso della Croce and the Cunturines groups of mountains. The unique stratified rock layers and solitary pines in the horizon are known as the “Marmots’ Parliament,” part of the rich Ladini folklore of stories and legends about these mountains. A “radler”—a refreshing mix of beer and lemonade—may hit the spot to accompany lunch, a hearty bowl of pasta, soup, or polenta.

After lunch, a 15-minute ascent (367 feet) of gradual switchbacks through a carpet of junipers brings you to Limo Pass (at 7,126 feet, the highest point of the day’s walk). The trail then levels out at azure Lake Limo, gently undulating into a wide natural amphitheater, as you enjoy the Fanes high plateau with its typical karstic limestone landscape of wind-carved rock formations, caves, fissures, underground streams, and small lakes. A growing population of fox, deer, chamois, mountain goats, and eagles thrive under the park’s protection.

After a final stunning view at the Forcella Col de Locia, a steep and narrow descent of steps brings you to the Capanna Alpina (5,643 feet), where you are rewarded with a refreshing drink or snack. A short drive brings you back to San Vigilio di Marebbe, where there is time to relax, stroll through town, or schedule an Ayurvedic massage, before gathering for dinner in the hotel’s dining room.

Accommodation: Hotel Monte Sella, San Vigilio di Marebbe

4 miles, moderate, 1,315-ft. elevation gain and 3 miles, moderate, 1,640-ft. elevation loss

Departing San Vigilio after breakfast, you head south for the approximately 45-minute drive toward Cortina d’Ampezzo, your home for the next three nights. Today’s walk takes place en route, in the area of the Badia Valley—a picturesque Alpine basin that is home to dairy cows, pine forests, and timber chalets—viewed as the heart of the Ladin culture. Set 6,709 feet above sea level, the 15th-century Santa Croce Sanctuary (or “The Crusc,” as locals used to call it) is integrated into the Fanes-Senes-Braies Natural Park and offers splendid views of some of the Dolomites’ most majestic peaks: Lagazuoi, Lavarella, and Sasso della Croce. Following an initial gentle ascent (with some steep sections) of two-and-a-half hours, you reach the church (a pilgrimage site) and mountain hut (or rifugio), a family-run business for over five generations. A hearty meal is served outside (weather permitting) or in the wood-paneled dining room, perhaps topped off with some kaiserschmarren (sweet pancake served with fruit compote).

After lunch, you descend gradually along an easy trail to the charming mountain village of San Cassiano and your waiting bus for the 45-minute drive to Cortina d’Ampezzo. Known as the “Pearl of the Dolomites,” this is perhaps Italy’s most beautiful—and stylish—ski resort town. Set in a valley ringed by 9,000-foot peaks, it is appreciated for its miles of ski runs, as well as its bustling center full of chic cafés and shops. Your historic hotel is perfectly situated just a short stroll from the heart of the pedestrian zone. After settling into your room, you regroup for dinner at a favorite local restaurant.

Note: for the September 7 tour, your accommodation will be the Cristallo Resort & Spa.

Accommodation: Grand Hotel Savoia, Cortina d’Ampezzo

6 miles, easy to moderate, 525-ft. elevation gain and loss with one steep/challenging 15-minute 280-ft. elevation gain

This morning, a 45-minute drive takes you to the start of the day’s walk, a circuit around the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, in the Sesto Dolomites Natural Park. The distinctive three peaks are one of the Dolomites’ best-known landmarks—prized by rock climbers for their sheer rock faces, appreciated for their amazing pastel and vibrant red hues at sunset, and historically the site of some of the most intense mountain warfare of World War I. In fact, the range constituted the border between Hapsburg, Austria, and Italy up until 1918. Today’s loop walk provides views at all angles, beginning with a drive up the beautiful Tre Cime Panoramic Road to the Rifugio Auronzo at 7,644 feet.

After a fortifying cappuccino, you set off along a wide trail, a former military track, just beneath the peaks. After visiting a chapel commemorating the First World War, you veer north, passing the Rifugio Lavaredo. Soon, breathtaking views of the Tre Cime open up, and you may spot rock climbers at seemingly impossible heights on the rock face. After dipping below the Mount Paterno ridge, which is still riddled with wartime tunnels, you follow a level traverse across a scree slope to the Rifugio Locatelli.

Take a short break, then follow a route that initially descends a series of switchbacks before traversing an undulating basin called the Pian da Rin, a grassy, wildflower-filled meadow where you may hear whistling marmots. This tranquil trail offers spectacular views of the Tre Cime, surrounded by a mountain quiet only interrupted by the dull clanging of cowbells. A steep but short ascent of 280 steps, probably the day’s most challenging section, is soon over and followed by a flat stretch to a mountain dairy hut, where you may be able to taste incredibly fresh homemade yogurt or cheese.

You then round the south side of the Tre Cime at the Col di Mezzo pass, and close the loop back at the starting point, the Rifugio Auronzo. A short drive delivers you to a traditional restaurant for a satisfying lunch—perhaps homemade canederli (bread balls with cheese) or a plate of patate all’ampezzana (pan-cooked potatoes and onions flavored with local speck ham).

This evening, you are free to explore Cortina on your own, perhaps browsing its enticing shops, before venturing out to discover one of the town’s many fine restaurants.

Accommodation: Grand Hotel Savoia, Cortina d’Ampezzo

4-5 miles, moderate, with an easy to moderate elevation gain of 1,082-ft. and loss of 820-ft.

Today’s walk is considered one of the finest routes in the Dolomites for its variety of scenery—high peaks, remote wild areas, and significant evidence of World War I warfare. After breakfast at your hotel, you board the coach for the 30-minute drive to where you catch the Cinque Torri chairlift to the Rifugio Scoiattoli. Built by the mountain guide Lorenzo Lorenzi in 1969, this alpine hut marks the start of today’s walk. From the refuge’s terrace (at 7,300 feet), you’re on top of the world, with 360-degree views overlooking the Dolomites’ impressive peaks, such as the Croda da Lago and the Cinque Torri. These mountains contain thousands of feet of tunneling, a result of the fierce fighting between Austrians and Italians during World War I to control the peaks and surrounding territory. Other wartime remnants are still ubiquitous, such as barbed wire, shell fragments, and building rubble. The tunnels and trenches have been restored and comprise part of the Great War Outdoor Museum of the Cinque Torri—the largest World War I open-air museum. Your walk today is along a well-established circuit beneath the Monte Nuvolau, a natural balcony with views over the Tofane range, Mount Lagazuoi, and the Falzarego Pass. Along the route, you may be lucky enough to spot sure-footed chamois on the rocky slopes.

Making your way along the dramatic scenery of mountainside, rock faces, and waterfalls, you reach the Averau Rifugio, (at 7,926 feet), a coveted milestone along the Alta Via, where you stop for lunch. While dining at the “Restaurant at the Edge of the Universe” (as The Sunday Times refers to this family-run alpine chalet), you enjoy stunning views of the surrounding peaks of Civetta and Marmolada while savoring exquisite traditional dishes such as smoked roast beef with arugula and fresh homemade pasta prepared by Paola and Sandrone. Fueled for the final leg, you continue to the chairlift for the descent back to the valley and the return (30-minute) drive to Cortina.

This afternoon, you have time to relax, pack, and do any last-minute shopping before gathering for your farewell dinner on the outskirts of town. You are welcomed with a glass of sparkling prosecco on the deck of the inviting chalet restaurant set on a small lake at the base of the Croda da Lago peak. In this intimate locale, the first course, or primo piatto, may be the Cortina specialty of handmade, crescent-shaped ravioli stuffed with tender red beets and topped with melted butter, poppy seeds, and a generous dusting of parmesan cheese. Tonight’s main course may be fresh lake trout, grilled to perfection, as you toast your discovery of the beauty of the Dolomites.

Accommodation: Grand Hotel Savoia, Cortina d’Ampezzo

Departing shortly after breakfast, a scenic two-and-a-half-hour drive brings you to Venice, where you can conveniently explore this magical city on your own, or make flight and rail connections for onward travels. Say goodbye to the Country Walkers guides at Venice’s Marco Polo Airport, at 12:00 p.m.

Accommodations

Linger Longer with a Tour Extension

Italy: The Dolomites
Pre-Tour
Flight + Tour Combo Only
2020

2020 Pre-Tour Extension - Innsbruck

  • One night at the Hotel Restaurant Goldener Adler, Innsbruck, Austria
  • Small-group airport and hotel transfers
  • One breakfast

1 Night From $148
per person, double occupancy

Begin your adventure by departing from a convenient gateway city in the United States or Canada. Spend the first night aloft.

Upon your arrival in Innsbruck, a representative holding a Country Walkers sign meets you as you exit the baggage-claim area. A complimentary small-group transfer will be provided to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at your leisure (no meals included).

If you are going to be delayed meeting our transfer representative for more than 15 minutes due to delayed or lost luggage, please contact Allianz Global Assistance to advise of your delay, and they will contact our transfer service on your behalf. Our drivers are generally able to wait for up to 45 minutes from the time your flight lands, after which you would be responsible for your own transfer.

Please note: If you arrive early, and your hotel room is not available prior to the designated check-in time, you may store your luggage with the reception desk.

Country Walkers provides City Information containing recommendations about what to see and do in Innsbruck during your stay.

Today you have a full day to explore the delightful city of Innsbruck, known as the “Capital of the Alps.” Start in the city’s Old Town, strolling cobblestone streets, admiring the architecture of its 500-year-old buildings. Be sure to stop by the Golden Roof, a brilliant canopy made from over 2,500 copper tiles, considered one of Innsbruck’s most famous landmarks.

Next, you can make a visit to the Imperial Palace—once the seat of the powerful Habsburg Empire – an elegant building is now a world-class museum showcasing the lavish lifestyle of the aristocracy during the 15th century. Take a cable car or funicular into the mountains surrounding Innsbruck for stunning views of the city as well as the Alps. This is also where you’ll find the unique Alpine Zoo, an open-air menagerie of indigenous mountain-dwelling animals, some of which are endangered. In lively, pedestrian-only Maria-Theresien Square near Old Town are a variety of shops, restaurants, bars, and cafés. It’s the perfect place to do some shopping, or simply relax and people-watch, soaking in the ambiance of this enchanting Alpine city.

Italy: The Dolomites 2
Post-Tour
Flight + Tour Combo Only
2020

2020 Post-Tour Extension - Venice

  • Two nights at the Hotel Saturnia & International Venezia
  • Complimentary water-taxi transfer to Marco Polo Airport
  • Two breakfasts

2 Nights From $398
per person, double occupancy

Continue your exploration of Venice’s romantic maze of alleys, waterways, squares, and majestic palaces. From your luxurious, centrally located hotel near the Palazzo Ducale and the Teatro La Fenice (Venice’s grand opera house), you’re perfectly poised to experience it all.

Tonight, you may choose to dine at your hotel’s elegant restaurant, La Caravella, featuring traditional Venetian fare.

Spend your time today wandering the maze of streets and bridges that makes this iconic city tick. Pass by the famed winged lion of Piazza San Marco on your way to visit Renaissance palaces and world-class museums. In the afternoon, you may enjoy a gondola ride beneath Rialto Bridge or a wine tasting at one of many authentic osterias.

Ciao! This morning a short walk leads you to the boat launch for a complimentary water-taxi transfer to Venice’s Marco Polo Airport based on your departure time. (The departure transfer time will be communicated to you on tour by the Country Walkers guides.)

What's Included

Flight + Tour Combo
Tour Only
Exceptional boutique accommodations Check Check
All on-tour meals except 2 lunches Check Check
Local guides with you throughout tour Check Check
Local wine and/or beer with dinner Check Check
Entrance fees and special events as noted in the itinerary Check Check
Emergency travel assistance hotline available 24/7 Check Check
Roundtrip airfare Check
One extra night in Innsbruck and one extra night in Venice Check
Airport car service for arrival & departure Check
Pre- and post-tour breakfasts Check
Business-class upgrades available Check
Morocco: Marrakesh, Foothills of the High Atlas & Essaouira

Dates & Prices

Flight + Tour Combo

10 days. Includes round-trip international airfare, airport car service, additional hotel nights with included breakfast, and your tour.

Single Supplement: From $848

Departing From New York, NY (JFK)

Tour Only

7 days. Includes your tour only.

Single Supplement: From $598

Thu, Jun 25 - Sat, Jul 4, 2020

$6,298

Reserve Online

Sat, Jun 27 - Fri, Jul 3, 2020

$4,798

Reserve Online
Currently Full

Thu, Aug 27 - Sat, Sep 5, 2020

$6,298

Join Waitlist
Currently Full

Sat, Aug 29 - Fri, Sep 4, 2020

$4,798

Join Waitlist

Thu, Sep 3 - Sat, Sep 12, 2020

$6,398

Reserve Online

Sat, Sep 5 - Fri, Sep 11, 2020

$4,798

Reserve Online
Call Required

Thu, Sep 10 - Sat, Sep 19, 2020

$6,398

Request a Call
Call Required

Sat, Sep 12 - Fri, Sep 18, 2020

$4,798

Request a Call

Expert Local Guides

Experience your destination like an insider with people who call it home.

0 of 4
Tours Selected