Italy: The Dolomites


Hike in the spectacular mountain landscapes of the Dolomites

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Tinted in weathered shades of rose, yellow and grey, the fairy-tale spires and dramatic rock walls of the Dolomites rise in elegantly chiseled shapes of fantastic form, looking every inch like a landscape devised by the gods.  And if this isn’t exactly heaven, well, it’s about as close as you can get. 
The Dolomites were named after Deodat de Dolomieu, a French geologist who was the one to discover in 1789, an unusual carbonate rock that had foreign properties.  
“Dolomite” became the name of both the mineral as well as the mountain range in which he found it.   
The Dolomites form part of the Oriental Italian Alps and are situated between the
Austrian border to the north and the Venetian plain to the south.

An infinite net of mountain trails and welcoming lodges allow the hiker to do excursions of one or more days of all kinds of difficulty. They go all over the valleys, lush hills and even the most hidden areas of the Dolomites. On the trail, you’ll only need to carry a light daypack with the daily essentials (camera, water bottle, and jacket). Lunches are taken at inns along the trail. 

Hikes can vary from 4 to 7 hours long, difficulty depends on the routes chosen with easier and more challenging walks available daily.. We’ll see the best the Dolomites have to offer, including the striking pillars of Tre Cime di Lavaredo, arguably the most well known landmark in the Dolomites.

The mountain lodges and hotels offer a high standard of accommodation as well as a delicious typical Italian and Tyrolean local cuisine and they are very well know for their wine cellars that offer great wines from all over the world. 

 

 Venice  - Cortina D’ampezzo

 

Pick up at Venice airport and drive to Cortina D’Ampezzo (approximately 2-3 hours). We will be staying at a charming and family run hotel in Cortina D’Ampezzo. Briefing with the guide. Dinner.

D… 4*Cortina

 

 

JCinque Torri – Nuvolao and Averau mountain groups

Easy-moderate shorter/shorter option: 
15’ transfer to the Rifugio Ra Nona (6700’) on the way to the Passo Falzarego. From the Rifugio we walk along a path that crosses sparse wood with mixed conifers and pines to traverse the mountain up to the Rifugio Socoiattoli (7300’).
The name of this rifugio comes from the famous Cortina-based rock climbing team, the Squirrels.
From the rifugio we hike on a wide path along the ski slopes towards the to the Rifugio Nuvolao (8450’) for a fantastic 180º panorama of the dolomite mountains. Walk down to the Rifugio Averau for lunch.
The privately run rifugio has a great terrace looking south into the Marmolada, Pale di San Martino, Civetta, Monti del Sole and other mountains.
After lunch we head down to the Rifugio Cinque Torri and transfer back to the hotel from there or keep on hiking for an extra hour through the woods. Transfer back to Cortina hotel.

Moderate-challenging, longer option:
20’ transfer to Passo Falzarego (6,900’). 
The ample road pass Passo Falzarego that links the Cortina valley with the Val Badia is an excellent mountain view point: the piccolo lagazuoi, the awesome Tofane, the Sorapis, the Antelao and the Marmolada Glacier. From the Pass hike south east that climbs gently across grassy hillsides towards the Averau massif.  You’ll be walking on the winter ski slopes.  The terrain becomes rockier  and there are some steep stretches.  At one point we’ll join another trail and shortly after  we’ll encounter the Forcella Averau (7,990’).  Another 20 minutes on an almost level trail to the Forcella Nuvolau and Rifugio Averau (7920’).

 

Another ½ hour uphill and we are at the Rifugio Nuvolao (8450’) for the fantastic 180º panorama of the dolomite mountains. Hike down to the Rifugio Averau for lunch. The privately run rifugio has a great terrace looking south into the Marmolada, Pale di San Martino, Civetta, Monti del Sole and other mountains
After lunch we head down along the wide path towards the Cinque Torri rock formations and Rifugio Sociattoli. The name of this rifugio comes from the famous Cortina-based rock climbing team, the Squirrels.
From here we traverse a rocky mountainside and hike on a path that crosses sparse wood with mixed conifers and pines to the Rifugio Ra Nona where the van will be waiting.

Transfer back to Cortina.

Tonight we will have a wine & cheese tasting at the Enoteca Cortina that is the oldest in town. Jerry the owner will explain us which kind of wines and cheeses we are tasting. Dinner on your own at one of the delightful restaurants in Cortina.

B,L.… 4*  Cortina

                                  

 Tre Cime di Lavaredo

Easy-moderate shorter option: 
Cortina – Rifugi Auronzo – Rifugio Lavaredo – Rifugio Pian di Cengia – Rifugio Locatelli – Rif.
Auronzo - Cortina

Today we drive up to Rifugio Auronzo (7,650’). From here we hike for 2.5 hours around the Tre Cime di Lavaredo and Monte Paterno, one of the most scenic mountain landscapes in the Dolomites.  We stop at the charming Refugio Pian di Cengia for lunch with great views of the Dolomiti di Sesto range.  After lunch we hike another 1.5 hour to the Rifugio Locatelli (8,050’) where the view of the North faces of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo is stunning. The area is a sort of “open air museum” as there are lots of reminiscences of the First World War – tunnels, bunkers, barracks. In another half our we arrive to the Rifugio Auronzo and return to hotel in Cortina.

 

Moderate-challenging longer option:
 from the Rif. Locatelli we hike for 2hrs under the north faces of the Tre Cime to the Rif. Auronzo. The north faces are part of the world history of mountaineering as the first routes were climbed in the 1930’s. It is longer but totally worth it!

Dinner: Restaurant El Zoco run by the owner Nicolo who is very charming. Variety of Ampezzano cuisine.

B,L,D…4* Cortina

 


 

 Tofane di Rozes and Lagazuoi mountain groups

Easy-moderate shorter option: 
Cason di Rozes –Forcella Col dei Bos - Forcella Travenanzes – Rifugio Scotoni – Capanna Alpina (5  hrs hike)

Today we will be covering terrain that was one of the most important fronts during the First World War, and we’ll see tunnels, bunkers, galleries, and trenches while we hike. From Cortina, transfer 20 minutes to the start of the trail at the Cason di Rozes (6,232'). From here we will hike 1½ to 2 hours on a wide trail, built during WWI, which zigzags gently up to the Forcella Col de Bos (7,642') at the foot of the Castelletto and Tofana di Rozes mountains. Another ½ hour will takes us to the Forcella Travenanzes (8225’) and from here we’ll hike  down to the Rifugio Scotoni – great spot for late lunch- passing by the Lago di Lagazuoi (1.5hrs).  After lunch we’ll hike to the Capanna Alpina where we’ll transfer to the Hotel Posta in the the town of Corvara, in Alta Badia(15 minutes).


Moderate-challenging longer option::
Rifugio Dibona –Forcella Col dei Bos - Forcella Travenanzes – Rifugio Scotoni – Capanna Alpina (6  hrs hike)

20 minute transfer to the Rifugio Dibona at the foot of the Tofane di Rozes mountain group.  From here we hike uphill for ½ hour on a wide road and once under the mountain goes left beneath the rock wall.  The trail goes gradually up and down for 1.5hrs up to the Forcella Col dei Bos (7,648’) and then another ½ hour towards the Forcella Travenanzes (8225’). From here we’ll hike  down to the Rifugio Scotoni – great spot for late lunch- passing by the Lago di Lagazuoi (1.5hrs).  After lunch we’ll hike to the Capanna Alpina where we’ll transfer to the Hotel Posta in the the town of Corvara, in Alta Badia(15 minutes).

B,L,D… Corvara, Alta Badia

 

 

 Santa Croce mountain range

Today we’ll walk to the Santa Croce Sanctuary at the base of the Sasso della Croce (Sass dla Crusc for the Ladin-speaking population). It’s a five-minute transfer to the town of upper La Villa (5,250’) from where we start the hike. We first walk uphill on a wide trail, passing through a number of closely knit hamlets formed of clusters of ancient shingle-roofed timber farmhouses and barns known as viles. After a 45-minute walk we get on a gravel trail that directs us to the Santa Croce Sanctuary. We walk gradually uphill through the pine forest with great views of the Santa Croce, Conturines, and Sella mountain groups as well as the towns of La Villa, San Cassiano, Corvara, Pedraces, and San Leonardo—all part of the Val Badia. Along the way there are a couple of steep ascents. It takes about two hours to get to the church and sanctuary of Ospizio S. Croce (6,710’). The sober white church was consecrated in 1484 and holds an image of Christ bearing the cross, hence the name of the mountain—Sasso della Croce, “stone of the cross.”     

 

The earlier chapel on the site was built in the 11th century when a wealthy count of the Val Pusteria withdrew in meditation here in repentance for his harsh treatment of his subjects. He then donated all his earthly possessions to the nearby abbey, the badia, which gave its name to Val Badia. The “pilgrim’s” hospice (ospizio) building from 1718 was originally the sacristan’s lodgings. We continue for another 45 minutes to our lunch spot at the “Ranch Andre,” a typical Ladino shepherd’s house that has been converted into a small rifugio for lunch. The place is very inviting and the food delicious. We’ll be able to taste the turtres (Ladino vegetable pastries), grilled veggies, and homemade cakes. Across the valley is the spread out Puez-Odle group and the Sass de Putia. After lunch we descend on a different trail to the town of San Leonardo and have a 10-minute transfer back to Corvara.

Tonight we’ll attend an apperitive and slide show on the Dolomites.  
5-6 hours hiking, +1,450'/-1,450'.

B,L… Corvara, Alta Badia

 

 

Mount Sett Sass

Easy-moderate shorter option:
Corvara – Armentarola – Pralongia – Utia di Biok – Corvara (4hrs)

10’ transfer to Armentarola from where we start hiking to Pralongià and from there to the Rifugio Utia di Biok where we meet the rest of the group. Great views of Marmolada and Sella Massifs. From Pralongia walk towards the Rifugio Utia di Biok and from there 40’ downhill to Corvara.


Moderate-challenging longer option:
Corvara - Passo Valparola – Monte Sett Sass- Pralongia- Rifugio Utia di Biok – Corvara (5-6hrs)

½ hour transfer to the Passo Valparola.  From here we hike around the Monte Sett Sass to Pralongia in the Alta Badia (3.5hrs).  The trail is very well marked and you can see the Marmolada, Lagazuoi, Col Gallina and Tofane groups.  There is the option of hiking up to the top of the Sett Sass (8,435’) from where the views are spectacular – extra 1.5hrs-.   From Pralongia walk towards the Rifugio Utia di Biok and from there 40’ downhill to Corvara.


Tonight we will have “Degustation” dinner at the Stua da Michil.

B,L,D…Corvara, Alta Badia

 

 

Fanes-Sennes-Braies Natural Park

Easy-moderate shorter option:
Corvara – Capana Alpina –Rif. Fanes -  Val di Fanes – Capana Alpina – Corvara (5 hrs)

Short transfer to the Capana Alpina from where you start hiking up on a steep trail to the top of Col Locia (6,790’).  It takes 1hour hike uphill. From there is a great hike through the Val di Fanes, passing by the Malga di Fanes and the Limo lake up to the Rifugio Fanes.  Meet with the rest of the group.
After lunch we return back through the same trail with fantastic views of the Marmolada Glacier.


Moderate-challenging longer option::

Corvara – San Cassiano- Forcella Medesc –Rif. Fanes -  Val di Fanes – Capana Alpina – Corvara (7-8 hrs)

Short transfer to San Cassiano –5,042’ from where we start hiking uphill towards the Forcella Medesc.  The trails keeps on going gradually uphill  through the woods and then goes through a clearing to a valley.  Here you hike on a gravel and narrow trail that climbs up to the Forcella at 8,478’ (1.45hrs).  Another 2 hours on a very well marked trail on and uneven plateau will take us to the Rif. Fanes where we’ll stop for lunch. 
Dinner will be at the Stube Rosa of the Hotel Posta Zirm.
B,L,D… Corvara, Alta Badia

 

 DEPARTURE

 

Early breakfast (snack and breakfast at airport), departure to Venice. 2-3hrs.  Arrival at airport approximately 9am based on group flight time.

For those taking part in the Hut Extension we will depart mid-day after briefing.

 

 

 

Details:


Price:  ~$4200 per person based on double occupancy. Single supplement: $300pp

If you prefer single accommodations or have not found a roommate, the Single Supplement Fee is applicable. Note—Our two hotels mostly offer rooms with twin beds that can be joined to make a double bed. Single passengers will receive a double occupancy room for greater comfort.

 

What’s Included

¨ expert leadership (2 Italian hiking guides for entire trip)

¨ accommodations in hotels as per itinerary

¨ meals as noted (B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner)

¨ dinner and hotel tipping

¨ wine & cheese tasting

¨ appetitive and slide show

¨ group airport transfers

¨ ground transportation as per itinerary

¨ helicopter rescue insurance

¨ map of the area

 


 

Note: All walking/hiking options and daily itinerary will be adjusted based on the weather, individual and group needs and interest and special events taking place in the region.

 

 

 

Copyright 2011, The Dragon's Path.  2105 Mapleton Ave. Boulder, CO 80304 303.415.9974