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Self-Guided Walking in the Dolomites

Italy
Available Departures: Jul, Aug, Sep

8 days from

US$1,880

without flights
Walk & Trek
Self-Guided
MODERATE MODERATE

Discover the imposing Dolomites from Cortina on this one week self-guided hiking holiday.

Trip Code: SGID
Holiday Grades

Our Holiday Grades Explained

To show the relative difficulty of our holidays, each trip is graded on a scale of 1 to 12, with 12 being the most challenging. Although we have tried to make our grading system as clear as possible, it cannot take into account your personal interests, abilities or experience. If you have any questions about the nature of a particular trip or its suitability for you, please read the 'Is this holiday for you?' section or contact us.

 1 - 3 LEISURELY
1 - 3 LEISURELY

Suitable for most people in good health, holidays at this grade include only limited amounts of activity.

View leisurely holidays
4 - 6 MODERATE
4 - 6 MODERATE

Suitable for reasonably fit individuals, such as weekend walkers and cyclists. There can be the occasional more difficult day.

View moderate holidays
7 - 9 CHALLENGING
7 - 9 CHALLENGING

Physically challenging holidays, where you need to be prepared before you go.

View challenging holidays
10 - 12 TOUGH
10 - 12 TOUGH

Our toughest holidays, involving many long days, often in isolated areas. A high level of fitness and previous wilderness and mountain experience is essential.

View Tough holidays

Self-Guided Walking in the Dolomites

Highlights

• Stay the week in a welcoming 3* hotel base, ideally located in Cortina

• Marvel at the incredible spires of Tre Cime and summit the mighty Nuvolau Peak

• Enjoy the warm hospitality (and delicious strudel) of the mountain huts

• Soak in the breath-taking scenery and watch in awe as climbers scale the rock faces


At a Glance
  • Self-Guided
  • 6 days walking and sightseeing
  • Daily departures available
  • Suitable for 2+ travellers
  • GPS Travel App
  • Join In Cortina d’Ampezzo

Accommodation & Meals
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • 7 nights Hotel
Overview

Nestled in the Ampezzo valley in the heart of the soaring Dolomites, the desirable commune of Cortina, known as the Queen of the Dolomites, invites you to discover her many charms for yourself on this one week self-guided walking holiday. This magnificent region proudly boasts a wealth of adventure opportunities including numerous hiking and skiing trails alongside adrenaline-pumping via ferrata and rock climbing routes. The draw of Cortina is not exclusively outdoor sports however; the many spas and wellness experiences set in the fresh mountain air and dramatic backdrop also help make it a premier destination for discerning travellers.

On this one week Italian escape, you will find yourself inspired by breath taking rugged peaks as you walk among the towers of Tre Cime, Cinque Torri and Tofana, enshrined in mountaineering legend. You will be enchanted by tranquil mountain lakes with mirror-like surfaces, and at dawn and dusk, be treated to a stunning panorama of the pale peaks set aflame with a spectacle of alpenglow colour. Bellissima.

Is this holiday for you?

If you love Italian architecture, salivate at the thought of hearty Italian cuisine and long to be surrounded by the high peaks then you will love this one week self-guided walking holiday in the Dolomites. Based for the week in a well rated 3* hotel in the heart of the luxurious town of Cortina, you can enjoy the best of the Dolomites and soak up the buzz of this popular holiday destination. Util …

If you love Italian architecture, salivate at the thought of hearty Italian cuisine and long to be surrounded by the high peaks then you will love this one week self-guided walking holiday in the Dolomites. Based for the week in a well rated 3* hotel in the heart of the luxurious town of Cortina, you can enjoy the best of the Dolomites and soak up the buzz of this popular holiday destination. Utilising the fantastic bus network and cable cars to the high passes we have specially designed this trip to provide the remarkable feeling of being amongst the high peaks without as much effort as you might expect. You will walk up to 15km with an ascent of up to 700m per day on lovely alpine paths. Plus, the advantage of a centre based trip means that if you feel like a day of relaxing instead of a day hiking, you can easily do so. After all, this is your holiday to spend as you wish.

Why KE?

Cinque Torri, Tre Cime and Tofana di Rozes were all made famous by climbers and mountaineers of the Dolomites. Now it’s your turn to walk among the giants from your base in the luxurious town of Cortina, your home for the week.

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Itinerary

Arrive in Cortina d’Ampezzo, known as queen of the Dolomites, following a breath-taking journey, providing you with a taste of what the week has in store for you. Take time to settle into your hotel for the week, or, depending on your arrival time, take a stroll through the bustling town and soak up its unique energy as a Mecca for mountaineers, mountain bikers and white water kayakers alike. Grab a coffee in one of the many trendy cafes within the picturesque piazzas and stroll through picture postcard streets leading to the church spire below the jagged mountain tops. In the evening, you can look forward to sampling the local cuisine whilst watching the colours of the Dolomite rock formations change as the sun sets.

Accommodation

Hotel

Waking up to the awe inspiring Dolomites, today you get to put on your hiking boots and explore them more closely. Walking through the town as it springs to life you can seize the opportunity to enjoy a coffee before following the trail out of town to ascend through the alpine forest, accompanied by the unmistakable aroma of the mountain dew burning off the pine trees beneath the morning sunlight. Following the Druse pass you will soon encounter Tofane’s towering rock walls as you pass beneath them, leading you to the majestic Lake Ghedina with its crystal clear waters and welcoming mountain restaurant. Legend has it that this haunting lake was part of a nocturnal ritual for warrior prince Ey de Net who came here to consult the lake’s nymphs for their omens on the kingdom's future. Take time to relax and enjoy the lake's beauty before returning to Cortina to sample more of the culinary delights this evening.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Ascent

500 M

Descent

500 M

Time

3 hours

Distance

5 KM

Today begins by taking the bus to Falzarego Pass, one of the most popular trailheads in the Dolomites, and for good reason too, it sits at the base of the famed rock towers of Piccolo Lagazuoi. Fuelled by breakfast your route will take you up the Lagazuoi Pass (2573m) to the summit where your efforts will be rewarded with magnificent views of the valley below. You will also be greeted by the ruins of several old military installations, a reminder of the Dolomites role in the First World War, where heavy fighting took place. Hard to believe when you are stood high breathing in the peace and tranquillity of the mountains today. When you have finished taking in the view you will begin your descent through the lovely wide rocky valley, beneath the steep cliffs where you will spot climbers on the via ferrata. Arriving at Lake Lagazuoi (2180m) at the foot of Mt Cima del Lago, this is a lovely spot to relax for a moment before continuing on to the Scotini Hut, where you can enjoy a welcomed refreshment and perhaps one of the tasty mountain treats on offer. The final leg of the trail descends to the Valparola where you can catch the bus back to your hotel to decide which of the great restaurants to choose for dinner this evening.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Ascent

700 M

Descent

1100 M

Time

4-5 hours

Distance

15 KM

Today you will explore one of the most distinctive mountains in the Dolomites- Coda da Lago. Taking the bus from Cortina to the Giau Pass you will begin your hike up through the forest, as it comes to life in the morning sunlight, towards the Formin Valley. Little by little the glimpses of the rocky landscape increase and the forest thins out to reveal the Croda da Lago in its full glory. Making your way through the boulder field and along the base of this formidable rock wall you will cross the Formin Pass (2462m) to reveal the southern Dolomites in all their majesty. Take a moment to breathe in the view and Civetta’s legendary north face before descending towards Ambrizolla pass (2277m) and a little further to the Rifugio Palmieri, the perfect place to stop for a refreshment before the final push to complete the Croda da Lago circuit to the beautiful lake and Giau pass beyond. Feeling accomplished, take the bus back to Cortina where you can enjoy dinner and raise a glass to another great day on the trails.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Ascent

500 M

Descent

1000 M

Time

5 hours

Distance

12 KM

Enjoy a relaxed breakfast at your hotel before taking a private transfer to the Auronzo Hut (2,320m), a stopping place on the Alta Via 4 and a great place to enjoy a morning coffee before setting out on your hike. From the hut you can admire the pinnacles of Cadini di Misurina Chain. Your route will take you along gentle terrain at the foot of Tre Cime’s south face to the breath-taking Laveredo Lake and the majestic pinnacles reflected on its surface. Take a moment to take in its beauty and relax by the water before taking the path to circumnavigate Mt Paterno via Pian del Cengia and Cengia Pass accompanied by fantastic views along your way. Your trail winds you back towards the Locatelli Hut where you can reward your day’s efforts with a cool refreshments whilst views of Tre Cime’s north face leave you in awe. The final section of your route will take you beanth several legendary north faces dotted with climbers scaling the towering rock walls as you make your way over the Medo Pass returning you to Auronzo Hut and your private transfer back to Cortina.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Ascent

600 M

Descent

600 M

Time

4-5 hours

Distance

10 KM

Your hike today will take you to explore the outstanding Tofana di Rozes, Cortina’s iconic mountain. Your day starts by taking a private transfer to the Dibona Hut beneath the towering Tofana. Setting off on foot your hike begins to ascend steadily towards Tofana’s towering south face before contouring the base of the steep cliffs, offering one breath-taking view after another. As you make your way over Boss Pass, Val Travenanzes takes you around the western side of Tofana before descending down the zigzags to Majarie gully between the mighty Tofana peaks. From here your trail ascends once more to the Giusani Hut (2,580m) where you can reward your efforts with a slice of well-earned strudel. The hut is the base camp for those ascending the main peak and you may spot climbers on the via ferrata above. When you have finished taking in the view and watching the climbers high above you, continue on your hike descending towards the Dibona Hut where your driver will be waiting to return you to your home for the week.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Ascent

600 M

Descent

600 M

Time

4-5 hours

Distance

11 KM

Your final hike of the week begins in the same way as your first, with a bus journey to Falzarego Pass. However, today you head away from Lagazuoi and Tafane to explore the opposite side of the valley. This is a walk of contrasts as you begin your hike through alpine meadows, alive with flowers in the spring, first to a small ski resort and then on up to the higher lunar-like landscapes that have accompanied you through the week. You will soon arrive at the imposing base of Averau where many climbers will head off towards the via ferrata. Your route continues around the base of this rocky spire to the Nuvolau Pass from where you have the option to ascend to the summit of Nuvolau Peak. An optional addition we recommend for surefooted hikers, it is certainly worth your efforts to arrive to simply amazing far reaching views, and the opportunity to experience the hospitality and atmosphere of a typical high peak hut in the Dolomites. Returning to the Nuvolau Pass you continue towards the legendary Cinque Torri, possibly the most famous climbing rock face in all of the Dolomites; a must climb for all aspiring Dolomite climbers and where many got their start. The area boasts a rich history, particularly during WW1 with an open air museum dedicated to the battles which took place in the area. We recommend brushing up on your history before visiting to see the region from another point of view. Your week of walking ends at the Dames Lake where you take the transfer back to Cortina where you can raise a glass to a great week in the mountains.

Accommodation

Hotel

Meals

B

Ascent

550 M

Descent

800 M

Time

4-5 hours

Distance

14 KM

Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and perhaps enjoy a final stroll along the luxurious high street of Cortina before making your onward journey. If you would prefer to explore the region a little longer then why not add an additional night or two to your trip. Please speak to our sales team for further details.

Meals

B
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The Route
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Airport Airport
Direction Direction
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Essential Information

We've compiled some of our Frequently Asked Questions to help you learn more about this amazing trip.

  • All accommodation as described

  • Meals as described in the Meal Plan

  • Private transfer day 4: Cortina - Auronzo hut return trip

  • Private transfer day 5: Cortina - Dibona hut return trip

  • Self-guided information pack containing your map and route notes

  • Travel insurance

  • Travel to / from Cortina

  • Visas (if applicable)

  • Some meals as described in the Meal Plan

  • Public transport / chairlifts

  • Personal equipment

  • Any additional activities/excursions indicated as optional

Each self-guided holiday comes with comprehensive route notes and a map or pocket guidebook of the area you are exploring. The route notes contain information about the places you will visit, about the local transport you might need, along with the detailed route notes for your daily walks or cycle rides. We even include some tips for the best places to stop for lunch.

You can expect to receive your Self-Guided Pack containing your route notes, a map or guidebook and all your relevant documents no later than 3 weeks before your holiday start date. We will send your documents using signed for courier so that you can track your package and know that they are safely on their way to you. For bookings of more than 4 people we will send an additional Self-Guided Pack. If you do not need this additional pack please inform our sales team. Your pack will be sent to the lead booker so please remind them to pack it before you set off.

Should your self-guided trip be part of a longer adventure requiring you to leave home more than three weeks before your holiday start date, please do inform our sales team so that we can make alternative delivery arrangements.

Our Self-Guided Holidays are perfect for your next family holiday and are suitable for children of all ages.

Our partner hotels and accommodations are able to provide cots for young children, and some offer family rooms. We can also arrange hire of children’s bikes and tag along bikes for our self-guided cycling trips and with trips such as Lake Constance and the Danube offering routes on designated cycle paths you can rest assured in keeping your family safe.

As a parent we trust that you know your own child’s capabilities, please read the itinerary details to ensure the distances covered each day are suitable for your family. If this is a first time walking holiday for your family, a centre based trip is a fantastic option as it allows you to easily opt out of a days walking if a day of building sand castles, swimming in the pool or visiting museums is calling.

Please discuss this further with our sales team who will be happy to assist in picking the best trip for your family.

The trip starts and ends at Cortina d'Ampezzo. All of our self-guided holidays are sold on a Land Only basis allowing you the flexibility to choose the travel method which best suits you. The nearest airport is Venice Marco Polo and great low cost flight options from UK regional airports.

It is possible to take an express bus service from Marco Polo Airport to Cortina with the journey taking approximately 2 hours. It is advisable to book your tickets for the bus service in advance, particularly in the peak summer months. Please visit www.cortinaexpress.it or telephone 39.0436.867350 to arrange this.

Please note that it is quite normal for the exact times not to be confirmed until only a couple of months before.

This trip is on a bed and breakfast basis to allow you the most flexibility during your holiday.

Water is drinkable from the taps on this holiday. Please fill your personal bottles for your day in the morning. We do not encourage the purchasing of single use plastic bottles.

One of the great things about this trip is being able to see the cultural influences on the local cuisine from the German inspired delicacies of South Tyrol such as Apfelstrudel and Grostl (a beef stew) to typically Italian pasta dishes. With so many culinary delights to enjoy along your route, we have designed this programme on a bed and breakfast basis, allowing you to sample as many as possible. Breakfasts are typically continental with fruit, cereals and fresh pastries on offer, served with a cup of coffee. Along your walks you will find inviting mountain huts and cafes, and in the evening there are many fine restaurants to choose from. We recommend always asking for the house wine, they are usually from the local vineyards you have been walking through each day, not to mention that they are fantastic.

Whilst we can cater for vegetarians, albeit sometimes with a more limited choice, we cannot always provide special diets.  Due to the nature of some of the trips that we operate and the countries in which we operate them, it can be very hard (and sometimes impossible) to cater for a wide range of dietary choices and you may have to supplement your diet with food/snacks from home.  If you have specific dietary requirements please do speak to our sales team and they will be able to advise you whether or not we will be able to offer your specific choice.  Please note that we are unable to provide separate menus and cannot accept liability for any problems arising from special dietary requirements or intolerances.

You will be based for the week in a comfortable 3* historic hotel in Cortina. Decorated with a typically Alpine style, rooms here boast views of the surrounding mountains and you will be sure to feel immersed into the heart of the Dolomites. The hotel offers a great breakfast buffet to fuel your adventures, and a restaurant serving up delicious traditional cuisine.

Rooms are on a double or twin basis, some with Austrian style twin beds as is traditional in this area (two beds within one bed frame and separate bedding).

It is possible to arrange additional nights accommodation if you would like to enjoy this magnificent region a little longer. Please speak to one of our sales team for further details.

During high season you may be booked into an alternative accommodation of a similar standard in the area.

For this holiday you should take one piece of luggage and a daypack. Luggage with wheels is useful for this holiday. For international flights please check your baggage allowance with your airline.

Europe

Your passport must meet 2 requirements. It must be:

  • less than 10 years old on the day you enter (check the ‘date of issue’)

  • valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave (check the ‘expiry date’)

For the latest details on visiting countries within the EU or the European Economic Area (EEA), please check the UK Government website

The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required, and you should have at least 2 blank pages for each country that you visit.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Please ensure that you check for the latest advice before travel. For the most up to date information on entry requirements, please visit the UK Government website.

Vaccinations

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations.

GHIC / Medical cover

UK residents should carry a free Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC). This entitles you to state provided medical treatment when you're visiting an EU country or Switzerland. This is not a substitute for medical travel insurance which is vital when travelling overseas.

Severe Allergies

Please inform our KE Sales and support team of any severe allergies you may have before travel. We will always do our best to help but we are unable to guarantee an allergy free environment on our KE trips. We advise that you always carry your own treatment for the allergy with you such as 'adrenaline auto-injectors' if required.  We also recommend that you discuss this with your accommodation on arrival so that they can better assist you.

The currency for part or all of this holiday is the Euro.

The advantage of a self-guided walking holiday is that you decide the pace however getting some additional exercise before coming on an active holiday makes a lot of sense. The fitter you are, after all, the more enjoyable your walks will be. You should be comfortable with walking 4 to 5 hours for consecutive days. We suggest that you try to fit in a number of daily walks in hilly countryside before your trip and it’s always a good idea to spend some time walking in the footwear you are going to use on this holiday.

North Italy is still in the middle European climate zone making for warm summers and cold winters. Spring brings beautiful wild flowers across the meadows, warm days and often cool evenings. Temperatures in the autumn are similar. Rainfall in the region occurs in all seasons and so we recommend you pack your waterproofs just in case.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office's ‘Travel Aware campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas. The 'Travel Aware' website provides a single, authoritative source of advice for all kinds of travellers and we recommend that prior to travel, all KE clients visit the official UK Government website at travelaware.campaign.gov.uk and read the FCDO Travel Advice for their chosen destination. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCDO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCDO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

KE do not encourage the use of single use plastic items. We are ensuring that our agents all over the world are working together to reduce the problem and educate those around them. We are leading by example in our KE office by reducing our plastic use.

Via Ferratas of the Dolomites Vol 1 Smith and Fletcher. Cicerone Press

It is an essential condition of joining a holiday with KE Adventure Travel that you have a valid travel insurance policy to cover the cost of medical treatment and to protect the value of your holiday in the event of cancellation.  When taking out insurance please ensure the policy you choose covers you for the activities and altitude included in your itinerary.

For appropriate insurance cover we recommend Campbell Irvine Direct.  Please go to our Travel Insurance page for further information and to get a quote.

Please note that a paper copy of your travel insurance is required if you are travelling to Huaraz and the Huayhuash region.

  • Hiking boots with good grip soles

  • Functional base layer

  • T-shirts

  • Hat

  • Windproof jacket

  • Fleece / extra layer

  • Long/short hiking trousers

  • Hiking socks

  • Waterproof Jacket

  • Waterproof Trousers

  • Rucksack (approx. 20 l)

  • Small first aid kit for your rucksack

  • Sunscreen

  • Water bottle or hydration pack

  • Camera (batteries/memory card)

  • Mobile Phone (ensure your data package covers your destination)

  • Power bank

  • Waterproof phone cover

  • Sun glasses

  • Personal wash kit

  • Reusable cloth bag for shopping to avoid the use of plastic bags

  • Tupperware for picnics

  • Walking poles

  • Headtorch & spare batteries

  • Your self-guided route notes

Cotswold Outdoor Red PantonMany of the Equipment items listed above are available from Cotswold Outdoor - our 'Official Recommended Outdoor Retailer'. When you book a holiday with KE you will receive 12.5% discount voucher from Cotswold Outdoor and other retailers.
>> Find out more

DATES & PRICES

2024

Dates

Adults from

Deposit

More Information

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Land Only Information

Please note our 'from price' listed is based on 4 persons on a twin or double basis, however this trip is suitable for groups of 2 or more travellers, contact our sales team for a quote.

All of our self-guided holidays are sold on a Land Only basis allowing you the flexibility to choose the travel method which best suits you. You may even wish to make this holiday part of a bigger adventure or pair it with one of our other holidays. We can arrange additional nights accommodation before or after your self-guided trip, ask our sales team to find out more about this.

Our sales team will be happy to provide you a quote for scheduled flights or alternatively you may wish to book your own flights with a low cost carrier from your nearest regional airport.

Please DO NOT book your flights before you have received your booking confirmation and your deposit has been taken.

ZEN_HOLIDAY_DATES_PRICES_LAND_ONLY_USD_NOTICE


Changes to flights

Please be aware that the flight industry is experiencing a high level of service fluctuation and changes to your flights may occur. This may also require amends to the transfers and joining arrangements. Thank you all for continuing your patience and understanding.


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