After 9 days of experiencing the Dolomites on this trip, you’ll find yourself lost for words. Amidst massive rock monoliths, rolling green meadows, stunning forest and villages straight out of a fairytale, you’ll hike, bike and explore this spectacular region with the very BEST and renowned expert local guides. And yet, the Dolomites with Active Adventures is so much more than outstanding landscapes and adventure – you’ll experience the incredible hospitality of the local Ladin people of the Sud Tyrol region, stay in very comfortable mountain hotels and have the chance to taste the amazing variety of local food and wine.
• UNESCO World Heritage area
• Cable car above Cortina
• Circumnavigate Tre Cime di Lavaredo
• Bike from Cortina to Dobbiaco
• Hike Natural Park of Fannes Sennes Braies
• Hike Setsass Dolomiti Range
• Via ferrata Cinque Torri
• Explore World War I tunnels of Monte Lagazuoi
• Experience Ladin culture
• Stay with local Dolomite mountain families
Check out this 'Dolomiti' highlights video, created by our guest and well known travel blogger Gareth Leonard:
What's included in our Europe trips?
- All guiding services
- Two experienced guides per trip. In Europe you'll have a Kiwi trip leader and a team of local European guides.
- All accommodations
- Local lodges chosen for their comfort, charm and sublime views.
- All meals
- Breakfast, lunch and dinner. You'll be treated to a culinary experience, to rival any in the world.
- All activities
- Hiking, biking, kayaking, via ferrata, historical sites and more.
- All transport
- Airport transfers
- When you're not travelling under your own steam, they'll be comfortable air-conditioned vans to stretch your legs.
Interactive Trip Map
Our trip begins in Venice, one of the most iconic cities in the world. If you’ve flown in this morning, we’ll meet you at Venice Marco Polo Airport and make our way towards Cortina d’Ampezzo in the heart of the Dolomites. As we head north, the foothills rapidly steepen and become more colourful around every corner. Amidst rolling green meadows and high rock monoliths, Cortina village is one of the most picture perfect mountain towns in the world. There’s almost not a blade of grass, roof tile, or street cobble stone out of place. After we arrive in town, we’ll board the “Freccia del Cielo” cable car high above the Cortina valley to the Col Druse Rifugio for lunch. You’d be hard pressed to find a lunch spot with better views! After dining and soaking in the views, we’ll walk the trail back down to Cortina, where there’s time to stroll the cobbled streets of this iconic mountain town.
Hotel Franceschi, Cortina (Lunch, Dinner)
HIKING DISTANCE: 5 kilometres (3 miles)
DESCENT: 560 metres (1937 feet)
Today we’ll circumnavigate the most iconic landmark in the Dolomites – the soaring peaks of Tre Cime de Lavaredo. First climbed in the 1930’s, these three massive rock monoliths, that seemingly rise out of nowhere in isolation of other peaks, loom large high over the valleys below. It’s difficult to look away! If there’s one thing to peel your attention away from the scenery, it’s a family made lunch in an Italian rifugio, followed by the best espresso you’ll ever receive. Later, as we hike further around the peaks, their shape and form evolve with every step – the views keep getting better! Keep an eye out for bunkers and old barracks on the trail today, as this area is dotted with reminders of the First World War. After our hike, we’ll drive a short distance back to Cortina d’ Ampezzo.
Hotel Franceschi, Cortina (All meals)
HIKING DISTANCE: 12.9 kilometres (8 miles)
ASCENT: 610 metres (2000 feet)
DESCENT: 610 metres (2000 feet)
This morning we’ll ride along the converted Val di Landro railway line – once the only communication link between the towns of Calalzo, Cortina and Dobbiaco on the Austrian border. Non operational since the 1960s, this route cuts through some of the most iconic and dramatic scenery in the Dolomites. We’ll ride over iron bridges that skirt deep canyons, through tunnels and across gentle passes that afford dramatically beautiful views of some of the Dolomites’ steepest peaks, including Tre Cime de Lavaredo. If you prefer, there’s plenty of free time in Cortina to relax and tonight you’ll have the evening free to choose from one of the many restaurants for dinner.
Hotel Franceschi, Cortina (Breakfast, lunch)
BIKING DISTANCE: 27 kilometres (17 miles) each way
ASCENT: 240 metres (780 feet)
DESCENT: 240 metres (780 feet)
Today we’ll begin our hike into the heart of the Fanes-Senes-Braies Natural Park. After a short drive deeper into the mountains, we’ll set off on the trail, following the turquoise coloured Boite River higher up the Valon Scuro with the massive Piccola Croda Rossa looming large above us. We’ll have lunch at a quiet Rifugio Biella, overlooking a beautiful green alpine meadow, before hiking up through larch forest and down into Rifugio Fodara Vedla, surrounded by massive peaks to the south, east and north, and the vast Vallone di Rudo to the west. For those who are keen on more hiking today, we’ll hike above Fodara Vedla to Col de Lasta where we’ll be greeted with 360 degree views of the highest peaks in the Dolomites. Every way you look you’ll be blown away by orange and red spires, including the imposing Croda Rossa (10,320 feet), saturated in the late afternoon light. It’s a sight to behold!
Rifugio Fodara Vedla (All meals)
HIKING DISTANCE: 13.7 kilometres (8.5 miles)
ASCENT: 164 metres (540 feet)
DESCENT: 640 metres (2100 feet)
The morning light here in Fodara Vedla lends itself kindly to the peaks immediately surrounding this small hamlet – it’s worth getting up early for! After breakfast, we’ll hike down through the larch fir forest and into the Pederu valley. As we descend the valley, the towering peaks of the Lavinores Range reveal themselves in dramatic red and yellow – typical colouring of the Dolomite rock. After a mid morning break at Rifugio Pederu, we’ll head deeper into the natural park and ascend the Vallone di Rudo and into a wide open basin, home to Rifugio Lavarella, a comfortable family run mountain hotel. This place is in an absolutely incredible setting, surrounded by massive peaks and small alpine lakes. After lunch here, we’ll hike through the moonlike landscapes of the Pian Dies Sarens trail to Passo di San Antonio, for incredible views of the entire Alta Badia valley. Upon our return, we’ll have the chance to sit back on the deck of our rifugio, and enjoy an espresso or glass of wine while soaking up the incredible vistas.
Rifugio Lavarella or Fanes (All meals)
HIKING DISTANCE: 14.5 kilometres (9 miles)
ASCENT: 701 metres (2300 feet)
DESCENT: 305 metres (1000 feet)
Today we’ll hike out of the Fannes-Sennes-Braies Natural Park, on to the Gran Fanes plateau and drop down and over the Col de Locia. The landscape here changes around every corner – from sweeping meadows and steep rocky ridges to deep valleys of larch forest. The final stages of today’s hike bring us down to Alta Badia – often described as the “heart and soul” of the Dolomites. With tiny villages dotted along the valley, this region is a step back in time, and picture postcard beautiful. Our home for the next couple of evenings is the village of San Cassiano at the head of the valley.
Hotel Stores, San Cassiano (All meals)
HIKING DISTANCE: 11.4 kilometres (7 miles)
ASCENT: 779 metres (2556 feet)
DESCENT: 1111 metres (3645 feet)
This morning we’ll drive a short distance to the Valparola Pass, where we’ll set off on a hike on the Setsass Dolomiti Range. This magnificent high ridgeline trail affords superb 360 degree views the whole way. No matter which way you turn, you’ll have the highest peaks in the Dolomites up close and personal and on show – Conturines, Sas de Pütia and Marmolada (to name just a few), the “Queen of the Dolomites”. After lunch at the Pralongia High Plateau, we’ll head down a trail through an area of lush green pastures and wild flowers dotted with traditional chalets, to our hotel in San Cassiano.
Hotel Stores, San Cassiano (All meals)
HIKING DISTANCE: 15 kilometres (9.3 miles)
ASCENT: 730 metres (2395 feet)
DESCENT: 785 metres (2575 feet)
This morning we’ll descend by cable car to Passo Falzarego and head across the pass to Cinque Torri – a group of 7 dramatic rock spires rising sharply from the meadows below. After a short hike to Rifugio Averau, if you’re keen, we’ll don helmets, harnesses and carabiners, take in a thorough safety briefing from our expert guides and embark on a fixed cable (via ferrata) hike of Mount Averau. We’ll hike to the summit for what are arguably, the best 360 degree views of the entire Dolomite Mountain Range. If you prefer, we’ll hike the ridgeline above Rifugio Averau for views down into the Cortina Valley and the southern Dolomite ranges – simply stunning! After lunch we’ll drive a short distance to the Passo de Falzarego at the head of the Alta Badia Valley. Here, we’ll hike up to the Galleria del Lagazuoi, a fascinating open air and underground WWI museum carved into the mountains. This is where the Italian and Austro–Hungarian armies dug shelters out of the mountains, transforming them into an impenetrable 20th Century fortress of tunnels, trenches and machine gun posts. A number of different subterranean routes take us on a behind the scenes tour of some of the dramatic high altitude battles that were fought in World War 1.
Hotel Stores, San Cassiano (All meals)
HIKING DISTANCE: 13.5 kilometres (8.5 miles)
ASCENT: 650 metres (2135 feet)
DESCENT: 650 metres (2135 feet)
Today is the last day of your Active Adventures trip in the Dolomites. You’ll go home knowing you’ve hiked, biked, explored by via ferrata and immersed yourself in one of the most spectacularly beautiful regions on the planet. We’ll head back to Venice this morning in time for flights leaving in the afternoon. If you have more time here, we’re happy to help arrange extra accommodation.
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No Forced Single Supplement:
Most other travel companies charge all solo travellers a single supplement fee. We don't! When it comes to accommodation, our trip fares are based on a twin-share rate, which means we'll match you up with another person of the same gender to share a room with. If there's no one suitable to share with, there's no forced single supplement!
If you arrive on the first day of your trip we will pick you up from the Venice Marco Polo (VCE) airport at 11am.
On the last day of your trip we’ll drop you off at Venice Marco Polo airport in time for afternoon flights. You can book a flight home departing anytime after 2pm on this day.
We’ve designed this trip to be fun, challenging and varied. Our trips aren’t scenic bus journeys where you observe from a window, or stand on a touristy viewing platform to take pretty pictures. We’ll get you into the back country to experience the Dolomites scenery up close, so you’ll need a reasonable level of fitness to enjoy yourself. Age and experience are not important, so you don’t need to be young or extremely fit, though you should be in the habit of doing some regular exercise. So get out there with a daypack on a short day hike from time to time and you’ll be ready to join us.
Italy is a small country, but not quite small enough to get around under your own steam the whole time. We arrange comfortable, private transport with plenty of room to stretch your legs. Our guides make every journey informative and fun and may even play some local Italian music along the way. The great thing is, you won’t be spending long periods of time in a vehicle anywhere on this trip - getting around the Dolomites will be largely up to you, with your hiking boots on!
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