Self-Guided Hiking Tours

Italy | Ambiance Italian Dolomites

The perfect blend of hikes and Tyrolean culture.

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  • Ambiance Italian Dolomites
  • Dolomites Hike
  • Dolomites Hiking
  • Ambiance Italian Dolomites
  • Ambiance Italian Dolomites
  • "The routes were perfect for us - just long enough and just difficult enough. The maps were great and the written instructions were perfect when read together with the maps. The rifugio was the best. The hotel La Perla was amazing. Everything worked smoothly, from the luggage transport to the hotel reservations to the daily maps. The La Perla definitely belongs in the "Leading Hotels of the World." It was so nice to be pampered at the end of the trip. Their spa was also terrific."- Amy Kurland

Trip Highlights:

  • Hike the Alp di Siusi, the largest "Alp" in the Alps.
  • Take in the views of the Austrian Alps to the north.
  • Enjoy a less-strenuous version of our standard Dolomites Trek.

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, Puez, and Tofane ranges, but also the most atmospheric and authentic villages along the way. Hiking days are moderately strenuous: 5 – 9 miles with up to 2600 feet of elevation gain. To hike between villages, you will 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. More challenging or less challenging options will be outlined on some days, but all hikers should be prepared for the most challenging days listed on the itinerary.

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, and the objective of your second day’s hike, which begins from Alpe di Siusi, or Seiser Alm, the largest alp (meadow) in the Alps. From here, the views seem endless: from the Ortler, Stubaier and Zillertaler Alps of Austria to the north, to the nearer peaks of the Sassopiatto and Sassolungo. 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 to the Passo di Gardena by gondola, 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. Hike beneath the pointy limestone peaks above Passo di Gardena and enjoy beautiful views of the Sella massif as you make your way to Corvara, a picturesque town on the valley floor. Surrounded by mountain passes on every side, it is not just a mecca for hikers, but for any form of outdoor enthusiast. Corvara’s network of hiking trails provide endless possibilities to roam the meadows and soak up the Alto Adige’s spectacular flair.

Along the way, we have chosen the most charming four-star 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, where we highly recommend a visit to the Ice Man museum if you have time. A taxi organized by Ryder-Walker will pick you up here and take you to Völs (about 25 minutes) for your first night on the trek.

Today, enjoy a moderate warm up hike from Völs through lush forest and wonderful green meadows. Take in the spectacular views of the Sciliar above and the towns below before looping back to Völs.

Distance: 6 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 1750 ft.

A taxi takes you to the gondola station at the bottom of Alpe di Siusi, the largest meadow, or alp, in the Alps. Hop on the gondola to access the alps and your trail head. Views extend to the Austrian Alps to the north and to the region’s dominant peaks, the Sassopiatto, Sassolungo, and today’s objective, the Sciliar. Overnight in a charming mountain hut that has lovely owners and a great kitchen. No luggage access!

Distance: 5 miles. Elevation gain/loss (with gondola and lift): 1100 ft.

Today you experience expansive views over the Alpe di Siusi as you head toward the Sassopiatto and Sassolungo. Your route travels directly beneath the Sassolungo before you traverse beneath the Sassopiatto to the Sella Pass. Bus or taxi down to Sëlva di Gardena/Wolkenstein.

Distance: 8 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 940/1700 ft.

Begin your day with a short lift ride to the top of Passo Gardena. Then hike underneath towering limestone walls toward the village of Corvara in Alta Badia. Throughout the day, you may see climbers high up on the walls of the Sella massif, across the valley floor. In the afternoon, descend into Corvara, where the Ladin culture dominates. Overnight in a superior 4-star inn.

Distance: 5 miles. Elevation gain/loss: 650/2900 ft.

Corvara is a mecca for hikers, and today you have a chance to explore the alp above the village, Alp Pralongia. It grants 180-degree views of the Puez group, the Sella group, and the glacier covered Marmolada. Return to Corvara by descending a mix of trail and dirt roads, or if you are tired you may choose to ride the chair lift right back to your hotel.

Distance: 5 – 9 miles. Elevation gain/loss: up to 1650 ft.

Ambiance Italian Dolomites | 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.