Self-guided Dolomites Dayhikes (Village-based hiking tour)
Visit: Bolzano, St. Ulrich/Ortisei
Length: 7 days, 6 nights
Hike Rating: Moderate - Strenuous, 5-7 hours/day, 1000'-3500' elevation gain/loss
The Dolomites are Italy's alpine playground, an inspiring landscape of enormous limestone towers, colorful wildflowers, and lush green meadows. Italian, Austrian, and ancient Ladin cultures intermingle peacefully in the small, scattered villages in this mountainous region, and hiking trails range from easy, meandering routes to challenging via ferrata climbs. This self-guided, village-based tour centers on the Val Gardena, one of the loveliest and most traditional valleys in the Dolomites.
Your gateway to this Dolomites tour is Bolzano, a beautiful small city filled with plazas and museums, home of the famous Ötzi iceman, and a pleasant Tyrolean ambiance. From Bolzano, you'll take a private shuttle to the village of St. Ulrich, also known by its Ladin name of Ortisei, for 6 nights. Ortisei is a charming village in the heart of the very traditional Val Gardena, with a pedestrian-only village core and miles of hiking trails radiating in every direction. On this tour you'll receive a Gardena pass good for free travel on the local busses and cablecars, and you'll find Ortisei to be a pleasant and central base for exploring the entire Val Gardena region. Optional nights in remote mountain huts can also be arranged on request. The standard tour includes a nice 3-star hotel Ortisei, while the deluxe tour upgrades you to a a friendly 4-star hotel, luxurious yet casual, with a pool and spa, and great food. You won't want to leave!
Your typical day starts with a delicious buffet breakfast at your hotel - a feast of freshly baked bread and croissants, local meats and cheeses, cereal, fruit, eggs, coffee and freshly squeezed juice - which gives you the energy needed for the day ahead. Before setting out on your hike, visit a bakery and market for lunch supplies, or bring some money for a stop in one of the alpine restaurants along your route. Soon, you'll be out on the trail for 6-8 hours, with many hiking options to choose from.
You should finish your hike around 4 pm, giving you time to wash up, relax, perhaps settle into the pool, or just gaze upon the outside panorama from your room balcony. After that, you'll enjoy dinner at your hotel restaurant. These are multi-course feasts, often featuring delicious local Austrian and Italian specialties. Our hotels all serve fabulous food, and dinners will be hearty, filling, well-earned and very delicious. Typically we leave one dinner free so you will have time to explore on your own in town.
The Dolomites is truly a special region. With gorgeous hotels and an attractive village to go with and numerous exciting hikes, this Dolomites tour will make an indelible impression.
Day 1 Arrive in Italy and transfer by train to Bolzano, your gateway to the Italian Dolomites. Bolzano is a pleasant city with large squares, outdoor markets, and an captivating natural history museum (home of the Ötzi iceman) and is worth a stop if you have extra time. We'll arrange a private taxi to pick you up in Bolzano, and take you on the 50 minute trip to Ortisei. (Ortisei)
Prefer a guided tour? Check out our guided Dolomites Dayhikes tour, our guided Dolomites Val Gardena Traverse tour, or ask about a private guided tour for your family or group.
Prefer an inn-to-inn self-guided tour? See our Dolomites Val Gardena Traverse, a 6-night inn-to-inn tour of this same region.
Self-guided Dolomites Dayhikes, details:
Our self-guided prices are per person, based on two people sharing a standard double room, and include:
All self-guided tours include hiking maps, detailed route descriptions (including longer, shorter, and rainy day options), train schedules, sightseeing suggestions, and lots of useful information to help ensure a successful trip. You'll also have a local contact to call if you have any questions or problems during your trip. The taxi transfers are optional, and can be left off if you prefer to take the local busses for a more affordable tour.
Not included are lunches, drinks with dinners, travel not covered by your Val Gardena cards, or extras charged to your room (such as laundry, internet, etc).
Availability is limited in August, but is usually possible to arrange. Our 4-star hotel on the deluxe Dolomites tour are wonderful, but Ortisei also has a pair of absolutely superb 5-star hotels that can be a very worthwhile splurge for a luxurious vacation. Please ask if you're interested.
If you'd like to lengthen or shorten this tour, upgrade hotels, or create a customized tour of the Dolomites from scratch, let us know. We have extensive experience in many parts of the Dolomites, and will be happy to work with you to build the hiking vacation that best suits your needs.
For info on our hiking tours of Italy and the Dolomites,
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