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Enjoy scenic treks through alpine meadows and pine forests as you explore the beautiful rock towers and limestone cliffs of the Dolomites, a UNESCO world heritage site. Stay in a comfortable family-run hotel with indoor pool in the small town of Dobbiaco, gateway to the mountains.
Explore Tour Leader
7 nights comfortable hotel
Trip maximum 16 Explore Average 11
Itineraries on some departure dates may differ, please select the itinerary that you wish to explore.
Our trip begins in the Arrivals Hall at Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE) at 15.45pm. Your tour leader will meet you by the waterfalls in the Arrivals Hall near the red fronted Relay shop (currently no water is flowing at the waterfalls due to Covid restrictions). Please note that it can be extremely busy by the main exit from the luggage area, do not leave the building (some airport staff might try to direct you to the Water Tower in the car park). If you would like to join an airport transfer today, the latest your flight can arrive is 15.15 pm.
We will travel together as a group (around 3 hours' drive) t o our hotel in Dobbiaco (1217m/3993ft). Located in the far north of Italy, we are close to the border with Austria. There are great views of the mountains from our hotel and it is well-located for all the shops, restaurants and other facilities in the town. There will be a short briefing on arrival by our trip Leader about the week ahead.
Hotel Sonne Sole (or similar)
Taking the public bus we travel to Ferrara to begin our walk to Lake Braies (1494m/4902ft). We make our way through the fields and forest paths to arrive at the grandeur of the hotel at the head of Lake Braies - a justifiably popular lake spot with high sided cliffs and deep green emerald waters. We have lunch and explore further around the lake before taking the public bus back to our hotel.
Today's 14 kilometre/8.7 mile walk is expected to take around 5 hours with a total ascent and descent of 450m/1476ft.
We take a local bus this morning to the old spa town of Altprags from where we climb up through beautiful flower meadows and on through forests to reach the lovely Putzalm hut for a well-earned coffee break. We then continue climbing to reach the tree line and shortly after, the pass of Suisridl, a little over 2000m/6562ft and a beautiful picnic spot. We descend on paths and tracks through the forests and the cross-country ski area to return to our hotel.
Today's 12.5 kilometre/7.8 mile walk is expected to take around 6 hours with a total ascent and descent of 750m/2461ft.
We take a bus to Sesto and then a cable car to the top station of approximately 2000 metres/6562 feet and then ascend Mt Elmo at 2434m/7986ft. Our walk takes us along a ridge that marks the border between Austria and Italy and has a number of bunkers and look-out posts from WW1. There is also a great and unusual photo opportunity - a foot in both countries! After walking the ridge and possibly bagging another summit we descend into quiet valleys echoing with the shrill whistle of the elusive marmot, the eagle-eyed may well spot one sat sentry on a rock. We return to a different cable car for a descent to the valley floor and a public bus back to Dobbiaco.
Today's 11 kilometre/6.8 mile walk is expected to take around 6 hours with a total ascent of 680m/2231ft and a descent of 700m/2297ft.
Today is an opportunity to either rest your legs and explore the cultural side of the region or keep up the activity levels and try some biking. A popular cycling day is the 50 kilometre/31.1 mile cycle ride to the Austrian town of Lienz. This gentle descent follows a well-made cycle track which is traffic free and pretty much all downhill. Taking between 2.5 and 3.5 hours, most people will arrive in time for lunch. The train will take the strain for the return trip and the local rental company will collect the rental bikes from Lienz. A pair of cycling shorts and cycling gloves are recommended for this trip.
The town of Brunico hosts one of Reinhold Messner's mountain museums and is a short 30-minute train journey away. The pedestrianised main street leads to the castle atop the hill overlooking the town, the old castle's rooms contain interesting exhibitions celebrating the mountain peoples of the world as well as displaying some of the expedition equipment used on his epic oxygen-free ascents of the world's 148,000 metre peaks. A longer journey to Bolzano allows you to visit the museum of the 'Iceman' discovered in the Schnalstal Glacier in the Otztal Alps in 1991. At over 5000 years old, he is Europe's oldest natural human mummy and the discovery of his body, along with the remnants of his weapons and clothing has helped to throw some light on the life and times of the region's Chalcolithic (Copper Age) Europeans.
For those interested in the battlefields of the 'White War,' as the conflict of 1915-17 in these mountains was known, a visit to Monte Piano via a bus journey and 4x4 shuttle can be arranged. This open-air museum commemorates the 14,000 soldiers who lost their lives to enemy action and the environment with well-preserved battlefield trenches, look-out posts and troop shelters. The nearby town of San Candido, barely 5 minutes by train, is another popular destination for a spot of shopping on a slightly larger scale than Dobbiaco. Pedestrianised streets, street cafés and restaurants invite you to linger for a lazy lunch as the world passes by. Perfect for a relaxing day off. Less than an hour by public bus, Cortina is a world-renowned glamourous spot. The streets ooze high class shopping experiences and the cafes invite you to stay and people watch. With the 2026 Winter Olympics being part-hosted here, there's a buzz and flurry of activity that is infectious and exciting. Alternatively you can take further walks or stay at the hotel and make use of the indoor pool and spa.
We take the bus to the Auronzo hut at 2320m/7612ft, just below the famed UNESCO site of the Tre Cime de Lavaredo. From here we take a quieter path to the most impressive north faces of the Tre Cime and pass the Langalm hut before following another less well-known path to reach the Locatelli hut and a picnic spot near the lake. After lunch we take a small path, looping around Torre di Toblin and have some time to explore various Austrian WW1 defences. We return to the Auronzo hut via the south faces of the Tre Cime and a complete loop of the most iconic mountains in the Dolomites. From here we return to Dobbiaco via the shuttle bus service.
Today's 13 kilometre/8.1 mile walk is expected to take around 7 hours with a total ascent and descent of 500m/1641ft.
We take the public bus to Pratopiazza (1991m/65322ft) - approximately 50 minutes - and walk a high-level track to the Durrenstein hut (2040m/6693ft). From here we make a climb to the summit of Strudelkopf - a fabulous summit at 2307m7569ft. The panoramic views are superb and we can see the Tre Cime in the near distance. We descend via a military road and a choice of either a return on the same outward bus or an additional 4 kilometres/2.5 miles descent through the forests and along the riverside to Brukele and a bus back to Dobbiaco.
Today's 11 kilometre/6.8 mile walk is expected to take around 6 hours with a total ascent of 480m/1575ft and a descent of 1000m/3281ft.
Departing Dobiacco this morning we drive to Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE) where we will arrive about at 13.45 pm and this is where the holiday ends. The earliest time you should book a flight to depart today is 15.45 pm.
Total distance : 61.5 kilometres
April/May and October/November are pleasantly warm. June/September are the hottest months. Showers are common in Autumn.
2 Pin Round
Cortina: one of Italy's premier ski resorts: public transport, 1 hour each way, €8 return journey. Lienz: charming medieval town in Austria with churches & museums: public transport, 1 hour each way, €10 return journey. Bolzano: 5000 year old ice man: public transport, 2 hours each way, €9 ice man museum entrance. Monte Piana - WWI remains. Jeep from Misurina €12 both ways Brunico - Messner's museum €9 Cycling Dobbiaco to Lienz - Hybrid bikes and cycle helmets are available to rent from Papin Sport for approximately €30. Return train Lienz to Dobbiaco €12
We recommend taking lightweight and breathable clothing that can be layered according to the temperature and your level of activity. This should include a good quality waterproof jacket and trousers (e.g. Goretex / e-Vent), fleece jacket, comfortable walking trousers, shorts, warm hat and gloves, sunhat and sunglasses. Temperatures can change dramatically at altitude and at night. For around-town wear in Dobbiaco, you may like to bring some slightly smarter clothes.
We recommend you bring walking boots with ankle support- leather or fabric are both fine. Make sure that your boots are worn-in and comfortable before the start of the trip. Also trainers or sandals for relaxing and general wear. We suggest that on international flights you either carry your walking boots in your hand luggage or wear them - should your luggage be lost or delayed, your own boots are the one thing that will be irreplaceable.
One main piece of baggage and a waterproof daysac (25-40 litres recommended).
You will need a reusable water bottle (preferably 2 litres), and high factor sun cream.Trekking poles are recommended. It is a good idea to line your daysac with a good quality plastic bag. This will go a long way in protecting your gear from any rainstorms we encounter. Tap water is safe to drink at the hotel, but water sources along the trail may not always be drinkable. Using tap or purified water rather than bottled water will help avoid creating plastic bottle waste. Energy snacks including chocolate and sweets are recommended whilst on trek as well as a lunch box/tupperware for picnic lunches. Bring your cycle helmet, cycle gloves and padded shorts if you fancy partaking in the optional bike ride on the free day.
Bus, Public Bus, Train
We stay at the comfortable family-run Hotel Sonne Sole in the small town of Dobbiaco, a gateway to the Italian Dolomites. Located close to the centre of the town, the hotel is just a short walk from all amenities. The bedrooms and garden enjoy beautiful views of the mountains and the valley. Facilities include an indoor swimming pool with sauna and a small gym. The hotel restaurant serves Italian cuisine with an Austrian influence, typical of the Dolomites region. Vegetarian diets can be catered for but not vegan. Mild gluten intolerance can also be catered for but unfortunately the kitchen is unable to provide the 100 percent guaranteed gluten-free diet required by coeliacs.
Can you drink the water?
It is generally possible to drink the local tap water, therefore to reduce the need for single-use plastic bottles we recommend you bring a refillable water bottle with you. Your leader will advise you on refill points each day.
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