Italy | Italian Dolomites Mini Trek

See one of earth's most dramatic ranges and explore the charming towns beneath.

Trip Highlights:

  • The point-to-point hiking route through the region traverses from west to east and links spectacular mountains to authentic villages.
  • Climb high into the peaks for views over the Dolomites to the Austrian Alps and the Marmolada, one of Italy’s most difficult summits.
  • Each Inn was hand picked to reflect the unique character and atmosphere of each village.

Towers of vertical limestone tinged pink in the evening light loom above the rolling, green meadows and intriguing castles, ruins, and onion-domed church steeples of the villages in the enchanting Alto Adige (Südtirol) region of Northern Italy. The Dolomites are one of the earth’s most dramatic ranges, and a paradise for hikers who come to enjoy the startling, vertical topography as well as the charming blend of cultures in the towns beneath.

Our point-to-point hiking route through the region traverses from west to east and links not only the most spectacular mountain scenery in the Sciliar, Sassolungo and Puez ranges, but also the most atmospheric and authentic villages along the way. Hiking days are moderately strenuous – eight or nine miles with up to 3100 feet of elevation gain. To hike between villages, you rely primarily on high mountain footpaths, many above tree line, and take advantage of a number of lifts so that you can use your energy to climb high into the peaks for views over the Dolomites to the Austrian Alps and the Marmolada, one of Italy’s most difficult summits.

One of the great charms of Alto Adige is the region’s mix of culture. You begin in the antique, German speaking Tyrolean village of Völs am Schlern/Fiè allo Sciliar, with its cobblestone streets and looming church tower. Above the village hovers the Sciliar, an impressive rampart of limestone. A day hiking beneath the Sassolungo connects you into Val Gardena, a long narrow valley beneath the Pordoi, Gardena and Sella Passes, and home to a number of quaint Tyrolean villages. Here, you overnight in the principal village of Sëlva di Gardena/Wolkenstein.

After ascending the beautiful Val Lunga, you cross into Alta Badia, a valley with an intriguing remnant from the Roman Empire. The Ladin, or Romansch, culture offers a unique language, blending Latin and Celtic tongues. Corvara, where you spend your final night, is a picturesque town offering sheer endless views of the stunning Sella range. Surrounded by mountain passes, it is not only a mecca for hikers, but any form of outdoor enthusiast.

Along the way, we have chosen the most charming inns, with one night in a simple mountain refuge. From antique Tyrolean inns with hand painted furniture, to superior four star inns known for their hospitality, ambiance and cuisine, we have hand selected each inn to reflect the unique character and atmosphere of each village.

The cuisine is a delicious blend of Austrian/Tyrolean and Italian influences, and the many wines of the Alto Adige are a fabulous accompaniment to every meal.

Trip Itinerary

Choose from our standard itinerary or customize the trek by adding or subtracting days. We are happy to offer harder or gentler hikes where possible.

Travel independently to Bolzano. We will arrange a taxi to pick you up and transfer you to Völs. Overnight in a charming hotel nestled in the heart of this Southern Tyrolean village.

Begin with a short taxi ride as today’s hike starts at Alpe di Siusi, the largest meadow, or alp, in the Alps! Views extend to the Austrian Alps to the north and to the region’s dominant peaks, Sassopiatto and Sassolungo, and today’s objective, the Sciliar. After a quick boost by chairlift, you ascend toward the summit of the Sciliar and lunch at the Rifugio Bolzano at 2745 m (9059 ft). Following lunch, you traverse to the Rifugio Alpe de Tires.

Beginning with a traverse beneath the Denti di Terrarossi, while enjoying expansive views over the Alpe di Siusi as you head toward the Sassopiatto and Sassolungo. Your route travels directly between the two peaks to a high saddle with a dramatically situated cable car. Alternatively, you may hike beneath the Sassopiatto.

Ascending the lovely Val Lunga, a pristine glacial valley surrounded by towering limestone walls, you climb through larch and stone pine toward the Rifugio Puez. Following lunch at the hut, you traverse to the Fuorcla Ciampai before descending to the village of Corvara in the Alta Badia, a valley where the Ladin culture dominates.

Italian Dolomites Mini Trek | Italy

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Travel and the Coronavirus for Ryder-Walker Guests

Ryder-Walker is monitoring the coronavirus outbreak and acknowledges that there is growing uncertainty about the safety of traveling right now. Currently, our guided and self-guided treks are on schedule to run. Should travel restrictions be implemented by local or global authorities we will post updates on this link.

For more information please visit the websites of the World Health Organization and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.