Today, make your way to Calalzo train station (easily accesible from Venice or Treviso airports, or mainline connections from the rest of Italy via Mestre or Padova). Please plan your journey to arrive at any time between 3pm and 6pm on Day One. Please see the arrival instructions for more information on how to get there. This evening at around 6pm, there will be a Welcome Meeting. This will be followed by the first of many delicious local dinners.
We take the public bus to Cortina (approx. 1 hour), where we will start our first hike. Before we set off for our hike, we have time to stock up on any gear we might have missed and make sure we are prepared for the hike. We start our walk to the West of Cortina, walking up through coniferous forests and into mountains with magnificent views across the valley to the town and Monte Cristallo behind. If we are lucky we will catch a glimpse of the Alpine Marmot, as they are numerous in this area. Listen out for their distinctive whistling. Total distance: Approx 15km (10 miles) Height Gain: Approx 800-1000m (2600-3300ft) Hiking Time: Approx 5-6 hours
A longer hike today, though with the same amount of ascent, as we cross high ground from the Cortina valleys to the Col de Lana area. As well as the magnificent views in all directions, today we will see more evidence of the trenches dug into the mountains in World War 1, when the front line crossed these mountains. There are many stirring stories of bravery and tragedy from that era a century ago. Total distance: Approx 15-22 km (9-13 miles) Height Gain: Approx 800-1000m (2600-3300ft) Hiking Time: Approx 7-8 hours
Crossing green Alpine meadows and descending through larch forests, we are in Ladin country today. The ancient Ladin language and culture can be seen as we walk – as well, of course, as the magnificent views! From our high points today you can see westwards to the magnificent Sella massif, while ahead is Monte Civetta. Total distance: Approx 15-22 km (9-13 miles) Height Gain: Approx 800-1000m (2600-3300ft) Hiking Time: Approx 7-8 hours
Today we ascend to the legendary Via Del Pan and walk westwards. We traverse steep south-facing slopes in the direction of Canazei. There are stunning views south to the Marmolada, the highest peak in the Dolomites, and its hanging glacier. Here too was a theatre of war a century ago, and incredibly battles were fought from the icy summits themselves! Total distance: Approx 15-22 km (9-13 miles) Height Gain: Approx 800-1200m (2600-3900ft) Hiking Time: Approx 7-8 hours
From our accommodation just outside Canazei, several options are available. There is a wellness centre and a skating rink in Canazei, and (seasonally variable) adventure activities such as mountain bike hire, climbing and via ferrata excursions may be available. Or just relax and soak in the views as you sample the hearty mountain fare – local delicacies include canaderli (tasty dumplings), venison, locally gathered mushrooms, and of course the potent fruit grappa.
We start our day by rounding the impressive Sasso Lungo rock massif, which dominates the skyline to our right. The Val di Fassa drops away to the south, with stunning views across to the Fassa Dolomites. Then we descend through green meadows to the head of Val Gardena, enjoying our first views of the north-western Dolomites mountains. Total distance: Approx 15-22 km (9-13 miles) Height Gain: Approx 800-1000m (2600-3300ft) Hiking Time: Approx 7-8 hours
We are in Ladin territory again as we ascend the slopes at the head of Val Gardena, a name familiar to anyone who is a keen ski-er. This is the home of the legendary Sella Ronda ski circuit, which, of course, doubles as fantastic summer walking trails. Total distance: Approx 15-22 km (9-13 miles) Height Gain: Approx 800-1000m (2600-3300ft) Hiking Time: Approx 7-8 hours
A shorter walk today brings us down to the valley, where after a well-earned coffee break we can catch the local bus to Bolzano, arriving early-mid afternoon. Bolzano is a beautiful typical Tyrolean small city, with traditional buildings and a multi-lingual heritage which shows itself in the cuisine. Why not round off your Dolomites adventure with a stein of beer or an apple strudel?
Depart at any time.