Snowshoeing in the Dolomites

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Trip code: 
CIS
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Premium Adventures
Activity:
Winter Holidays
Group size:
3–14
Min age:
16

Discover Italy's most impressive mountain range

On the northern edge of Italy's most impressive mountain range, in the Alta Pusteria Valley and just north of Cortina d'Ampezzo, lies the charming village of Villabassa. This area of the Dolomites is perfect for snowshoeing with routes leading into Fanes-Sennes Natural Park, along the shoreline of Lago di Braies and beneath the jagged peaks of Tre Cime di Lavaredo. Trek along forest trails and old military tracks to the magnificent viewpoints of Durrakopf (2275m) and Strudelkopf (2307m), learning more about the impact of World War 1 in this area along the way. Our base for the week will be the superb Hotel Adler, situated in the centre of the town and one of the best hotels we feature in our entire programme. This 4-star accommodation provides the perfect place to unwind after a day’s snowshoeing, with Michelin recommended cuisine and a relaxing wellness centre.

Highlights

  • Walk surrounded by spectacular scenery
  • Explore areas only accessible by snowshoes
  • Relax in a 4-star hotel with wellness centre

Key information

  • 7 nights 4-star hotel in en suite rooms
  • 5 days guided snowshoeing
  • Group normally 4 to 14, plus leader
  • Snowshoes and poles provided
  • Countries visited: Italy

What's included

  • All breakfasts, 5 picnic lunches and 6 dinners
  • 7 nights at Hotel Adler
  • 5 guided snowshoe walks, with snowshoes and ski poles provided
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Return flights from Gatwick to Innsbruck with Thomson Airways, airport transfers (for group flights only)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request) 
  • Visas or vaccinations
  • Optional activities
  • Local taxes (approx. EUR 10, see Trip Notes)
Call for general departures:
056 631 86 64
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Villabassa.

    Start at our hotel in Villabassa (approx. 1hrs45 from Innsbruck airport)

  • Days 2-4

    Three guided snowshoe walks.

    We walk wonderful routes in the Fanes-Sennes Natural Park, along the shoreline of Lago di Braies and beneath the Tre Cime di Lavaredo, arguably the most iconic image of the entire Dolomites.

  • Day 5

    Free day

    Free day to relax at the hotel and enjoy the spa facilities or try downhill or cross-country skiing.

  • Days 6-7

    Our final two snowshoe walks.

    Forest trails and old military tracks take us to magnificent viewpoints of Durrakopf (2275m) and Strudelkopf (2307m). Lunch stops at picturesque refuges give us the chance to absorb fascinating history from the First World War.

  • Day 8

    End Villabassa.

    End at our hotel in Villabassa.

Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Essential Info

Visas

Vaccinations

Italy

There are no specific health risks.

Eating and Drinking

7 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 6 dinners are included.

Dinners are usually taken in the restaurant at Hotel Adler, where we enjoy a lovely set menu. Please note the meal on the evening of day one may be a cold buffet instead of a hot meal, this will depend on the arrival time of the flight.

Dinner is not included on the free day, which may be an excellent opportunity to try the A la carte menu on offer at Hotel Adler. Vegetarians are catered for, yet as this area is renowned for its meats, please be aware that there may not be as much variety.

5 pack lunches are provided by the hotel. Each morning there is a small buffet with items to make your own lunch (e.g. bread rolls, ham, salad...) In an effort to minimise the use of plastic and single-use items, the hotel provides Tupperware-type boxes and reusable cutlery. 

Weather

Throughout the Dolomites the winter months can bring extended periods of fine, settled weather. From Christmas through to the end of February average daytime temperatures range between +4º and -10º C in the shade. These temperatures can feel surprisingly comfortable, largely because the air is very dry, and you will often be on the move. In periods of unsettled weather the daytime temperature will rise to zero or higher, but it will feel much colder as the air carries much more moisture at these times. It can occasionally get windy, and the resulting wind-chill factor can be significant.

Is this trip for you?

Snowshoeing is offered at Grade 3 - Moderate. Expect to spend 5-6hrs in the mountains each day. No experience of snowshoeing is necessary, but good health and fitness are important, as walking in snow can be more tiring than summer walking. Some walking at higher altitude and occasional longer/harder days may be involved. 

Certain walks are dependent on weather conditions and alternative routes may have to be chosen as necessary. The overriding priority on the trip is group safety and conditions are assessed daily by the leader. A route is chosen based on current conditions and the forecast for that day. Our leaders are required not to proceed with any proposed route (including those mentioned in brochure or Trip Notes) if they believe the risk to be unacceptable.

Snowshoes are adaptable to fit most trekking boot sizes, however if you wear larger than UK size 12 boots (US13 or EU47) please let us know at the time of booking. We will then be able to confirm if we can provide suitable snowshoes for you.

Following a review of all our trips we have categorised this trip as generally not suitable for persons of reduced mobility. However if you are a regular traveller on such trips, please contact customer services to discuss the trip and your personal condition.

Call for general departures:
056 631 86 64
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotel Adler - 4 Star

Located on the village square, this quality hotel is one of the most comfortable we feature. The cosy bar is popular with locals, while the quiet lounge is warmed by a log fire. The hotel's other facilities include a lovely indoor pool and a wellness centre with sauna, steam room, solarium and small fitness centre. The well-known restaurant, run by head chef Helene Markart, appears in the Michelin Guide among others; the menu features a mixture of local and international cuisine. All bedrooms have en suite facilities (some with showers, some with baths), tea/coffee making facilities (for a fee), a minibar and TV. It is possible to upgrade your room if you wish for even more comfort. Contact us for prices and availability. Single accommodation (available on request)

Call for general departures:
056 631 86 64
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Experts

Contact a member of staff who has done this trip

Call for general departures:
056 631 86 64
Call for tailormade trips:
+44 (0)20 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Expert Blog Entries

  • Reviewed April 2019
    bruce robinson

    A Wonderful Week

    Great weather. Fresh snow plus lots of sunshine. Magnificent scenery, the Dolomites are really special both in winter and summer. Comfortable hotel with good facilities and friendly, helpful staff. Tasty interesting dinners with a very good wine list to choose from. A friendly, interesting group of fellow "snowshoeers" What really made the trip special was our guide Sara. She is everything you would wish for in a guide and I can only endorse all the other glowing mentions she receives in reviews.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Each day was as memorable as the previous one. By the very nature of the week, the days are similar in that one is walking in the moutains through the snow but yet each is different with constantly changing vistas and challenges under foot.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    As mentioned above, Sara was deserving of all the superlatives that she receives in these reviews. Kind, caring, considerate, knowledgeable, reliable, interesting, funny, the list goes on! Thanks Sara.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Just do it. You do need a reasonable degree of fitness but previous use of snowshoes is not a prerequisite.
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Karen Barnett

    snowshoeing in the dolomites

    A fabulous adventure. Challenging but beautiful and rewarding with undoubtedly the BEST guide in charge! We had fun, explored, felt nurtured and cared for. The hotel was gorgeous and the spa facilities were the perfect antidote to all of the hard work! As was the wonderful cuisine. A warm and friendly staff made us all feel very welcome. Take crampons....icy walking can be very tiresome if too little snow for the snowshoes.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The ridge walk....beautiful virgin snow and astonishing views....

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Fabulous....went way beyond to ensure everyone felt comfortable and had everything to ensure they enjoyed their trip.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take crampons!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Just...Do It!!
  • Reviewed April 2019
    Linda Scott

    An impressive holiday on all counts

    What an experience. A week of varied routes; a forest trail amongst snow laden trees - like a Narnia snowscene, mountain ascents with beautiful scenery along the way, impressive mountain ranges, breathtaking lakes, stunning mountain huts . . . A fabulous family run hotel with warm and friendly staff, elegant rooms, comfortable beds and a deep bath with copious amounts of hot water. Immense breakfast choice, fabulous food and wine, cosy bar and snug and a relaxing wellness centre.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Being sat on the top of snow covered Monte Piana on a beautiful blue sky day, surrounded by impressive mountains and feeling on top of the world.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    I can’t speak highly enough of our group leader Sara Bull. She was fun, friendly, knowledgeable, helpful and supportive to all clients. Nothing was too much trouble. Sara was very organised, hard working and safety conscious. Her love of nature and the environment was clearly evident and her enthusiasm was infectious. Sara helped make our experience of the Dolomites very special.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    I think everything is covered in the trip notes really. I would just emphasise the need for sunscreen and recommend a water hydration system in your rucksack rather than phaffing about with bottles.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you fancy experimenting with cross country skiing on your free day you are in the best place to experience it.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Amanda Stevenson

    First time snowshoeing

    I'd never actually heard of snowshoeing before so thought I'd give myself a change from my usual hiking/trekking holidays and was so glad I did. The scenery, food, location and walks were fantastic. I thought snowshoes would take a bit of getting used to but you soon master the technique and are able to walk through the most amazing trails. It was a fantastic week, helped by the weather, and a change to the usual walking holiday.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Each day's planned walk took you through the most spectacular landscapes. We were blessed with good walking weather which enhanced the experience. Scaling the top of the mountains gained you a great sense of achievement, especially the ones which were quite steep and took some effort. You were rewarded with the most fabulous views at the top and Sara, our tour guide, always ensured there was enough time for photo opportunities and to catch your breath!

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sara Bull was so full of energy, enthusiasm and her love of the mountains was obvious. She was a wealth of knowledge and her guidance on using our shoes was clear and helpful. Sara made the whole experience so enjoyable and was always on hand for guidance and advice. It seem't that nothing was too much trouble and she's so much fun to be around. She kept the group together and made sure that every day ran smoothly. She's a great tour leader and so committed to her job. I was amazed that she ran a foot clinic each morning prior to the walk to address any issues the group were experiencing as a result of the walks.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Make sure you are aware of potential foot problems that may occur through wearing snowshoes. I didn't experience any discomfort but a few of the group suffered blisters and rubbing sores. Sara's advice was to soak your feet in surgical spirit prior to joining the trip to harden the feet up. Some feet were really sore and this could really have spoilt the holiday experience.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The hotel Adler is a great base. The hotel is friendly and very well equipped. The menu and food choices were delicious. The food is of a very high quality. The breakfast and lunch selection are extensive which all adds to the quality of the holiday. I certainly didn't come back having lost weight! With the spectacular walks, the location of the hotel and the hotel facilities and, of course, the excellent tour guide, this is certainly a memorable holiday experience.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Alison Roberts

    Fantastic holiday. We really enjoyed snowshoeing which allows you to walk on fresh deep snow and to highish altitudes . The Dolomites are very beatific and our guide Sara has a lot of geographical and historical knowledge. the Hitel Adler is excellent.

    Highly recommend this trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The whole week was most enjoyable, active during the day and very good company with the rest of the group in the evening.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sara , our group leader was friendly, well organised and an excellent guide .

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Take a rucksack that has straps to attach snow shoes ( already suggested but I didn't) to and possibly some mini crampons that can fit over walking boots . There were times when we walked and carried our snow shoes . The tracks were a bit icy in places.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Dave Wynne

    Snow Shoeing in the Dolomites

    Another great Exodus holiday. Nice hotel Great routes and scenery with a variety of Winter conditions ranging from blue skies and glorious sunshine to romantic fluttery snow falls in magical forests to wild full-on winter conditions of wind and heavy snow.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Lutterkopf for the wind and snow on a broad ridge. Monte Piana for the glorious sunshine and views coupled with the fascinating history of the site from world war 1. Bruckele to Rossalm for the magic of climbing through the silence of a remote valley after heavy snow with trees coated in snow and hearing the distant roar of avalanches in the mountains.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Outstanding! A great guide in the form of Sara Bull, knowledgeable, good fun, encouraging and safety focussed but allowing the team to move freely and not corralling the group into a bunched single file route marching group.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Yes. You are in for a treat!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A fantastic holiday. Thanks to Exodus for great work in setting this up and solving any problems we had. Thanks to Sara Bull, our guide, for making the holiday into something very special. This holiday will live a long time in our memories.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Heinz Kobler

    Hungry for more

    This has been another memorable Exodus holiday. An excellent package, in line with the trip description, but made outstanding thanks to Sara our group leader and an exceptionally nice group of people. The trip offered exactly the right combination of manageable adventure and physical challenge with time to relax in the hotel's wellness centre, eat excellent food and engage in conversation with likeminded people. The hotel staff were also very friendly and attentive. The equipment provided (snowshoes and poles) were of an excellent standard. In addition safety equipment (avalanche transponders, probes etc.) provided reassurance that attention was paid to potential risks in the mountains. At the same time it was clear that Sara made appropriate risk assessments before embarking on a specific route. Having received a free public transport pass prompted us on the free day to travel by train to Bolzano to visit the Oetzi museum (highly recommended) and use the pass on a couple of other occasions. This is an excellent promotion by the local tourist board.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    No single moment, rather a series of moments. Each day offered a new delight, a new challenge, through the change in weather, the landscape and the connections with the group and Sara our exceptional group leader.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sara offered an outstanding combination of skill, expertise and attention to us, both at the group and individual level. All of it presented with humour and humility. Sara's enthusiasm for the outdoors and the local area and history was highly infectious. I shall treasure the conversations we had as a group and individually. It was also evident that Sara adapted the daily excursions to the weather conditions and the group as a whole which made each day such a success.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Read the trip description - it provides a good guide to what to expect.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    I think the only issue for some people from the UK is the typical continental spa etiquette, i.e. no clothes in the sauna and steam room. Loin cloths were provided, but they do not necessarily deal with some people's sensitivities. There can therefore be a bit of a conflict between respecting the local "customs" (and clear instructions) and feeling entitled to carry on as at home.
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Gill Young

    Crampons were also used due to the snown conditions.

    Magnificent in every way - some of the finest scenery in Europe. Variety of walks with an afternoon stop at an Alpine hut for refreshments. Comfortable accommodation with health spar and plenty of food. One small niggle, you had to buy a bottle of expensive wine rather than a glass of Hauswein.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Monte Piana - we were lucky to go to both summits with superb views of 3 Cime. Also Strudelkopf, Lutterkopf and Durakopf walks.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Sara Bull was fantastic. She was so encouraging and helped people discretely without them feeling embarrassed. She ensured everyone reached the summits. After the second last days walk in order to see what the conditions were like, she went on the walk she was thinking of doing on the last day, returning at 10pm.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Plenty to do on the free day using free train/bus passes. You can even go to Bozen to see Otzi
  • Reviewed March 2019
    Maeve Watson

    Fabulous introduction to snowshoeing, in Dolomites. 1st of many more !

    Excellent trip, we thoroughly enjoyed our 1st snow shoeing holiday from start to finish. the area is beautiful, the scenery stunning. we had mostly lovely sunshine, great snow and superb views.The hotel was very nice, friendly and comfortable with nice facilities, lovely to come back to after a longs day's snow shoeing. Sara, our guide was superb, she is experienced, very competent, professional, great sense of humour and takes very good care of all members of group, quickly picking up any difficulties.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Climbing to the top of Mudlerhof, Lutterkopf, Durakopf in our last day, in beautiful conditions, a perfect final/ last day's snow shoeing. The panoramic views were spectacular.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Excellent. Experienced, very competent, professional, great fun, observant and attentive and quickly picked up if group members needed help/ encouragement.we were very confident that she could get us out of any unexpected challenges, thankfully these did not occur! Nothing seemed too much for Sarah, including Valentines Day treat for each of us, beautifully wrapped., ,post day out "stretch time', always prepared to " go the extra mile " for customers.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Get fit, you do need a good level of fitness for this trip. Bring lots of layers.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    A fabulous week.!
  • Reviewed March 2019
    stephen roberts

    Just as good the 2nd Time

    This is the 2nd time I've done this trip, last time was only 12 months ago. I pleased to say I had a fantastic time this time around as well. There were issues with the flight out due to bad weather, so nothing Exodus could have down about that. But they did re arrange the pick up from the airport, and kept us informed informed of what was going on, so top marks for their effort there. The hotel is very good, the dinner is filling, if sometimes a little unusual. I think a would have preferred a simpler menu. The rooms seem to vary greatly. Last year I had one of the superb rooms that you'll see on the hotels website, this year I had a room towards the rear of the hotel that was more traditional Tirol style, that was clean but a little tired, specially when compared to the other rooms. However it was more than adequate, after all you don't come here to sit in your room, you come for the great walking, and you get that in abundance. The walks are well paced , and gradually increase in difficulty as the week progresses. The views were fantastic, there was plenty of time to admire the view, take photos, and stop in the mountains huts for a hot chocolate or something stronger. There wasn't enough deep snow to make it worth taking the snow shoes, so we were supplies with crampons, which worked well. On the Friday there was plenty of deep snow, which great fun. Even if I did face plant a few times. There was plenty of advice and ideas on what to to do the "rest day" and the free travel pass was very helpful here and on the day of the departure when you have the morning to entertain yourself.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    For me it was the views from Durakopf on the Friday. Last year couldn't see anything, this year, this time we could see for miles, it made the long slog up worthwhile. Then coming part way down on a wooden sleigh. Great fun.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Cant praise Sara's skills enough. Adept at keeping the group together, and encouraging us all to get to the top. Supplied us with loads of local history, and made every effort to speak to everybody to ensure we all got the most we could out of this holiday. She is a very experienced leader , and it showed. Nothing is to much trouble for her. I sustained an injury on the Tuesday, (tripped over my own feet) and needed assistance to get off the hill. Thanks to to her care, and advise I was able to make it back out on the hill after the rest day. She went well above and beyond to ensure I had a speedy recovery.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    If you haven't done any winter walking before, you might find it a bit harder than your normal walking, so be prepared for that. Don't forget sunscreen. Make sure your boots are well worn in!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The only reason I'm not going back next year, is that there are so many other things I want to do. But I will be going back

Dates & Prices

An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

Call us on 056 631 86 64