Trekking in the Dolomites
Day 1 Calalzo
Today is an arrival day. Please plan your journey to arrive in time for the welcome meeting at 5:30pm. Please see the joining instructions for more information on how to get there. Tonight you will pack your hiking backpack with everything you will need for the next eight days trekking. Your large luggage will be transfered to our Bolzano Hotel, and securely stored, ready for you to collect on your arrival on Day 9. You will pack everything you need for a week of trekking into a purpose built trekking pack/ruck sack. We recommend maximum of 40 litre capacity for your comfort. Please note, there are no support vehicles- you carry your own kit for the duration of the hike. This afternoon/evening, you will have the opportunity to stock up on any last-minute equipment or lunch supplies you may need for the trek.
Day 2 Cortina (1B,1D)
We take the public bus to Cortina (approx. 1 hour), where we will start our first 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. This is also an excellent area for the fabulous Alpine flowers of the Dolomites, especially beautiful in June Tonight's refuge is simple but delightfully situated next to a small lake with the magnificent cliffs of the Croda da Lago behind. If the weather is warm, why not take a refreshing dip? Or if it is chilly, you could instead warm up with a glass of the refuge's homemade specialty fruit grappa - there are over 30 flavours to choose from! Total distance: Approx 11km (7 miles) Height Gain: 1000m (3300ft) Hiking Time: Approx 5 hours
Day 3 Col de Lana (1B,1D)
A longer hike today, through two Dolomite passes, as we cross high ground from the Cortina valleys to the Cinque Torri area. As well as the magnificent views in all directions, today we will see the trenches dug into the mountains in World War I, and can visit these to learn more about the history of the area. There are many stirring stories of bravery and tragedy from that era. Tonight we stay in a well-designed and comfortable refuge with a truly astonishing 360' panoramic view. No less astonishing is the menu - you have used up plenty of calories, so you'll be glad to know that replacing them will not be a problem at all! Total distance: Approx. 16 km (10 miles) Height Gain: Approx. 800m (2600ft) Height Loss: Approx. 600m (2300ft) Hiking Time: Approx. 6 hours plus optional additional visit to the trenches
Day 4 Col de Lana/Passo di Fedaia (1B,1D)
Crossing high Alpine meadows and rocky peaks, we enter 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, and south to the Marmolada, the highest peak of the Dolomites, with its distinctive glacier. Total distance: Approx. 22km (14miles) Height Gain: Approx. 700m (2400ft) Height Loss: Approx. 900m (2900ft) Hiking Time: Approx. 8 hours
Day 5 Via del Pan/Canazei (1B)
Today we ascend to the legendary Via Del Pan and walk westwards. Our steep ascent brings us to an impressive rocky pass at 2500m where we are greeted with a stunning view of 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. 23 km (14 miles) Height Gain: Approx. 1000m (3300ft) Height Loss: Approx. 1200m (3900ft) Hiking Time: Approx. 8-9 hours
Day 6 Canazei (1B)
From our accommodation just outside Canazei, several options are available. There is a swimming pool and wellness centre (spa, jacuzzi, sauna etc) and a skating rink in Canazei, and good shopping for local gifts and souvenirs. Adventure activities (seasonally variable) such as mountain bike hire, climbing and via ferrata excursions may be available. You can also ascend to 2000m by various cable cars to do more hiking. 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.
Day 7 Sasso Lungo massif/Val Gardena (1B,1D)
We start our day by ascending 1000m to regain the high Alpine meadows. As we round the impressive Sasso Lungo rock massif, the Val di Fassa drops away to the south, with stunning views across to the Fassa Dolomites. Then we contour along a grassy ridge, with views across to Val Gardena, before our final ascent to tonight's refuge, the highest we stop at, perched at 2500m in the Siusi Alps. This is a true mountain setting in rocky and dramatic scenery. The accommodation is simple but the food - as usual - is superb. As we are now in the South Tyrol you will start to notice a more Austrian influence, be it in the lederhosen and traditional outfits of the staff or the goulasch and apple strudel at dinner. As well as the excellent Italian wines you can now enjoy a Tyrolean beer! Total distance: Approx. 22 km (14 miles) Height Gain: Approx. 1400m (4200ft) Height Loss: Approx. 100m (330ft) Hiking Time: Approx. 8 hours
Day 8 Val Gardena (1B,1D)
Our final full day's walking takes us through incredible mountain scenery, up onto the Sciliar massif where we gain our high point of the trip - Monte Pez - for a marvellous panorama of the Dolomites and down to Bolzano in the distance. This dramatic and beautiful plateau, with its sheer cliff sides and its own weather patterns, has given rise to the local legend which names it the home of the Sciliar Witches. Descend eastwards before a final ascent to our final refuge, situated at 1700m with panoramic views and its own organic vegetable garden. Here the food is so fresh it goes from the ground to your plate in a matter of hours - or sometimes even minutes! The accommodation is very simple but unique and very special - and the sunsets are truly stunning! Total distance: Approx. 20km (12 miles) Height Gain: Approx. 600m (2000ft) Height Loss: Approx. 1100m (3500ft) Hiking Time: Approx. 7-8 hours
Day 9 Bolzano (1B)
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?
Day 10 Bolzano (1B)
Departure day - free to leave at any time.