Active Adventures |  Dolomiti -  Ultimate Dolomites Adventure

Venice to VeniceAfter 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.

  • Highlights

    Bike from Cortina to Dobbiaco

    Circumnavigate Tre Cime di Lavaredo

    Experience Ladin culture

    Explore World War I tunnels of Monte Lagazuoi

    Hike Natural Park of Fannes Sennes Braies

    Hike Setsass Dolomiti Range

    Stay in Family-run rifugios

    UNESCO World Heritage area

    Via ferrata 

  • What's Included

    All accommodations
    Local lodges chosen for their comfort, charm and sublime views.

    All activities
    The Italian Dolomites are what Torres del Paine is to Patagonia. A hiking mecca! You'll do plenty of hiking, a touch of biking and even via ferrata!

    All guiding services
    Two experienced guides per trip. In Europe you'll have a Kiwi guide and a local European guide, meaning you'll get the best of both worlds in terms of local knowledge and legendary hospitality.

    All meals
    Breakfast, lunch and dinner. You'll be treated to a culinary experience, to rival any in the world.

    All transport
    Airport transfers on the first & last days.
    When you're not travelling under your own steam, there will be comfortable air-conditioned vans to stretch your legs.

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  • Itinerary

    DAY 1 - ARRIVE VENICE, HIKE NEAR CORTINA D'AMPEZZO

    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. Once we arrive in town we’ll walk to a local restaurant for lunch, where you’ll have the opportunity to try the local beetroot ravioli! After lunch we‘ll take an introductory hike to the Cascade di Fanes and this afternoon you’ll have a chance to briefly explore the cobbled streets of the iconic mountain town of Cortina before dinner. Hotel Franceschi, Cortina (Lunch, Dinner)Hiking Distance: 5 kilometres (3.1 miles), 2-2.5 hoursElevation Gain: 150 metres (492 feet)Elevation Loss: 150 metres (492 feet)

     

    DAY 2 - HIKING CIRCUMNAVIGATION OF TRE CIME DE LAVAREDO

    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 refugio, 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: 13 kilometres (8 miles), 5-7 hoursElevation Gain: 610 metres (2000 feet)Elevation Loss: 610 metres (2000 feet)

     

    DAY 3 - BIKE FROM CORTINA TO DOBBIACO OR FREE DAY IN CORTINA

    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 to Dobbiaco (optional): 54 kilometres (34 miles), 5-7 hoursElevation Gain: 240 metres (780 feet)Elevation Loss: 240 metres (780 feet)Or one-way: 27 kilometres (17 miles), 3-4 hours

     

    DAY 4 - HIKE CORTINA TO RIFUGIO FODARA VEDLA

    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 Boite River higher up the Valon Scuro with the massive Piccola Croda Rossa looming large above us. We’ll have lunch at Rifugio Senes and afterward it’s an easy 1 hour hike down to our accommodation for the night at Fodara Vedla, a rifugio 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 by 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!Refugio Fodara Vedla (All meals)Hiking Distance: 13.7 kilometres (8.5 miles), 4-6 hoursElevation Gain: 920 metres (3020 feet)Elevation Loss: 640 metres (2100 feet)Optional Extra Hike: 5.3 kilometres (3.2 miles), 1-3 hoursElevation Gain: 490 metres (1608 feet)Elevation Loss: 130 metres (426 feet)

     

    DAY 5 - HIKE TO REFUGIO FANES

    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 Refugio Pederu, we’ll head deeper into the natural park and ascend the Vallone di Rudo and into a wide open basin, home to Refugio Lavarella, a comfortable family run mountain hotel. This place is in an incredible setting, surrounded by massive peaks and small alpine lakes. After lunch it’s an easy stroll to Refugio Fanes, through the moonlike landscapes of the Pian Dies Sarens trail to Passo di San Antonio, where we’ll spend the night. If you’d like, you can join us for an extra hike this afternoon taking advantage of the many trails within the Vallone di Rudo or simply relax at the Refugio. Later we’ll have the chance to sit back on the deck of our refugio and enjoy an espresso or glass of wine while soaking up the incredible vistas.Refugio Fanes (All meals)Hiking Distance: 7 kilometres (4.3 miles), 3-5 hoursElevation Gain: 700 metres (2300 feet)Elevation Loss: 620 metres (2040 feet)Optional Extra Hike: 9 kilometres (5.5 miles), 3-4 hoursElevation Gain: 426 metres (1398 feet)Elevation Loss: 426 metres (1398 feet)

     

    DAY 6 - HIKE TO ALTA BADIA

    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), 5-6 hoursElevation Gain: 780 metres (2556 feet)Elevation Loss: 1111 metres (3645 feet)

     

    DAY 7 - HIKE THE SETSASS DOLOMITI RANGE

    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), 5-6 hoursElevation Gain: 730 metres (2395 feet)Elevation Loss: 785 metres (2575 feet)

     

    DAY 8 - VIA FERRATA CINQUE TORRI AND HIKE WWI TUNNELS OF LAGAZUOI

    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 Refugio 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 Refugio Averau for views down into the Cortina Valley and the southern Dolomite ranges – simply stunning! After lunch, from 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: 4 kilometres (2.5 miles), 1-2 hoursElevation Gain: 650 metres (2130 feet)Elevation Loss: 650 (2130 feet)Optional Via Ferrata Experience: 2-4 hours

     

    DAY 9 - RETURN TO VENICE, DEPART

    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.(Breakfast)

 

HLO Ref# 15211