Italy | Via Ladinia: Heart of the Italian Dolomites


  • Village in the Heart of the Italian Dolomites.
  • "We were extremely impressed with the Ryder-Walker adventure which exceeded our high expectations. Everything went well and we were singing your praises throughout the trip. Your planning of our itinerary was excellent, and we greatly appreciated all you did for us. Ryder Walker's excellent research in introducing us to the Dolomites and planning absolutely stunning hikes off the beaten path. Each hike every day was unique and different, which we enjoyed. "- Michelle M.
  • "I have recommended Ryder-Walker to everyone I tell about our trip."- Stephanie T.
  • "Really superb. We are devoted."- Liz B.

Trip Highlights:

  • Enjoy fantastic architecture and cuisine set against the backdrop of some of the most dramatic mountains on earth.
  • Sneak your way through heavenly lush meadows and authentic Italian hamlets.
  • Bed down in magical villages like San Candido, St. Vigilio and Alleghe.

The Pusteria Valley on the Italian/Austrian border is where the high Alps morph into the Dolomites. The northern flank of the valley is pastoral, with undefined walls of limestone and gentler summits. The southern flank is where the Dolomites find their personality as jagged summits skyrocket above. Ryder Walker’s Via Ladinia begins in the calming town of San Candido.

The magnificence of this hiking itinerary lies in its ability to navigate these seemingly impenetrable peaks. The route sneaks its way through heavenly lush meadows and links fascinating and remote hamlets, hotels and one superbly appointed rifugio. Options abound for more adventuresome outings in the higher hills and more rugged ridges of this forgotten section of the Dolomites, often piercing the astonishing relics of World War I’s Fronte Italiano.

The route follows the migration of the Ladin culture over the centuries. Ladin culture emerged in the more northern area of Tyrol, now southern Germany, and the Südtirol (Austria). As a nomadic farming community, the Ladins radiated in many directions, but the southern route you will explore was most favorable for them due to the “hospitality” of the topography and terrain.

The culture is colorful and effervescent, with fantastic architecture and cuisine, and it’s all set against the backdrop of many of the most dramatic mountains on earth. Evenings are most enticing, as the Ladinia meld the orderliness of the Tyrol with the dolce vita Italy is so revered for.
This diverse point-to-point hiking adventure offers easy to challenging hikes depending on what level of difficulty you desire.

Our hike travels from north to south, to the most comfortable and atmospheric inns available in each location. From the classic South-Tyrolian Hotel in San Candido, embraced by the woods of San Candido and shadowed by the imposing and jagged Baranci peaks; to an enchanting hotel in Alleghe, home to a stunning, emerald green lake where tree covered slopes drop precipitously to the water’s edge; each inn reflects the charm and character of its location.

You will also spend one night in the quiet hamlet of St. Vigilio before heading to the spectacular rifugio for a night in a mountain hut. You will be pleasantly surprised with this cozy rifugio that offers private rooms as well as delicious home cooked meals. The deck of the rifugio offers a marvelous opportunity to enjoy the sunset alpenglow as it dances across the magnificent peaks.
Dinner is usually a four course meal, and breakfast is a simple buffet taken at your leisure. Typically, lunch is a picnic enjoyed at a high pass or in a pasture with spectacular views. Other days, mountain restaurants or huts along the way make for perfect lunch stops.

Trip Itinerary

Transfer by train to San Candido in the Val Pusteria (from the main Munich/Milan line through Fortezza).

After a quick van transfer to the Lago di Braies (to many the most beautiful lake in the Dolomites), hike over the Kreuzjoch, with lunch in the agriturismo Ucia de Fejedora, which is outstanding. Hike to St. Vigilio, or Al Plan in the Ladino language. Check into your wonderful hotel in this quaint hamlet.

We offer two options today; an easy itinerary from Peredu to a remote refugio that follows a Hapsburg empire military road, or for those interested, a more challenging hike over the Ju de Saint Antoine. Overnight in a rifugio (private rooms, great kitchen, even has wifi).

Again we offer gentler and more challenging options to access your isolated hotel in the Valparola above the romantic hamlet of San Cassiano. Your inviting hotel offers a fantastic kitchen with breathtaking views and all the amenities of a superior hotel.

Today you will hike from Abtei back to Armentarola. You will ride the ski lift from a village called Pedraces and enjoy a fun filled hiking day through the famous pastures of the upper Badia Valley.

Hike over the Col di Lana to Livinolungo. This exceptional day takes in the summit of a mountain fought over for years during World War I. Today this hike is an outstanding outdoor museum. An easier version will be offered that follows ancient farming trails all the way to Livinolungo. Your hotel for tonight is a family run business that is held in high regard in this quaint village.

Hiking through traditional farming villages with suburb views, again we offer two levels of challenge to reach your van at the end of the hikes. You will transfer to Alleghe and the shores of its charming lake. Finish in a superior lakeside hotel in this time- forgotten valley.

Please note that it would be difficult to make same day flight connections from Munich, Venice, or Milan.

Via Ladinia: Heart of the Italian Dolomites | Italy

Similar Trips

Contact Us

Contact Form

Kendra Norris

Alps Specialist

Hello! Can I help you with your booking?

Call me at this number