Walking in the Dolomites, Italy

Walking the Dolomites of Alta Badia, Self-Guided

  • Premium
8 days
from
£1,795
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Walking & Trekking
Suitable for:
Age 12+
Activity level:
Moderate
Activity Rating - Moderate
Trip code: 
W07DS
Ways to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays, Premium Adventures
Activity:
Walking & Trekking
Group size:
2–6
Min age:
12

Centre-based walking in the stunning natural landscapes of the UNESCO World Heritage Dolomites.

In the heart of the Italian Dolomites, the Alta Badia region boasts some of the most spectacular alpine scenery as well as a reputation for excellent cuisine. The village of San Cassiano is no stranger to either and sits just 15km, as the crow flies, due West of Cortina d'Ampezzo (or 30km by road and the Falzarego Pass). Around 500m in altitude above the village lies a large area of beautiful alpine meadow, dotted with traditional wooden mountain huts and the most amazing panoramic views. At some points you have a 360-degree vista that spans from the Austrian Alps to the North to the Marmolada range to the South (the highest peaks in the Dolomites), with the Fanes Natural Park to the East and the Sella mountain range and Gardena Pass to the West - all stunning views in their own rights but when combined it's almost mind-blowing!

Highlights

  • Stunning natural landscapes of the UNESCO World Heritage Dolomites: jagged limestone peaks, high alpine meadows and pine forests
  • Over 400kms+ of marked walking trails; a great array of flora & fauna; unrivalled alpine views
  • Explore charming alpine villages connected by bus and mountain lift system
  • Historical WW1 museum and fighting tunnels in the nearby Lagazuoi mountain
  • Fabulous 4 star family-run hotel with four restaurants, spa, indoor pool, outdoor hot tub, sauna and steam room

Key information

  • 7 nights 4 star hotel with spa, all rooms en suite
  • 6 days centre-based walking 
  • Travel on local buses and trains
  • Altitude max. 2663m, average 2000m
  • Self-guided holiday. Min age 12 yrs
  • Countries visited: Italy

What's included

  • All breakfasts and 4 dinners
  • All accommodation (see accommodation section)
  • Route notes and maps
  • Arrival & departure transfers (when booking a flight inclusive package)

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
01606 720003
Call for tailor made trips:
020 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.

6

Days of Walking & Trekking
Pace:

Approximately 4-6 hours walking per day

Terrain:

Low altitude; good paths with some steep ascents

Day by day breakdown
Day 217.0km/10.5miles
Day 314.0km/9.0miles
Day 416.0km/10.0miles
Day 516.0km/6.0miles
Day 67.0km/2.0miles
Day 715.0km/9.5miles

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

Armentarola
to
Armentarola
  • Day 1

    Start Armentarola, San Cassiano

    Arrive at your hotel in Armentarola, San Cassiano. Staying at 4 star Ciasa Salares for 7 nights, with 4 nights on Half Board. The below itinerary is only a suggestion and you can do any walk on any day.

    Meals included: Dinner
  • Day 2

    Pralongia Walk

    From the hotel, you ascend steadily along peaceful country lanes, through pine forest and up onto high alpine meadows with spectacular views of the surrounding Dolomites mountain ranges. Either enjoy a picnic en route or when you reach the mountain hut at Pralongia, take time over lunch and soaking up the mountain panorama. Return to San Cassiano for the hotel shuttle or walk back to the hotel. Staying at Ciasa Salares.

    Optional shorter walk: 5hrs, distance 15km/9.5mi

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 3

    Santa Croce and Badia Walk

    Walk directly from the hotel or take the shuttle to San Cassiano. This pilgrimage route first skirts above the village then heads through some delightful pine woods. Along the route you pass depictions of the last hours of Jesus Christ's life on earth before you reach the church at Santa Croce with its amazing backdrop and views across the valley and the village of Badia. Descend to Badia and take the bus back to the hotel. Staying at Ciasa Salares.

    Optional shorter walk: 4.5hrs, distance 13km/8mi

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    San Cassiano to Corvara Walk

    Enjoy truly spectacular scenery on this favourite Alta Badia trail. You can start the day with a gondola lift or you can climb the first 5km through pine forest and alpine meadows. Once up at the top there are fabulous views ahead to the Marmolada mountains, the highest in the Dolomites, and behind as far as the Austrian Alps in the distance. At some points you have the most incredible 360-degree panoramic views. Continue on with a variety of mountain hut options for lunch then descend to Corvara for a well-deserved drink before catching the bus back to the hotel. Staying at Ciasa Salares.

    Optional shorter walk: 3.5hrs, distance 11km/7mi

     



    Walking time 4hrs, distance 10km/6.5mi or walking time 5.5hrs, distance 13km/8mi.
    Comfortable Hotel

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Two lakes of Badia Walk

    A short bus trip to Badia before this lovely walk takes you to two small lakes close to Badia with the fabulous backdrop of the Somamunt, Col Plo Alt and Pre Janin mountains. There are some wonderful views over the village and across the valley to the Santa Croce mountain as you head to Lech dla Lunch (pronounced lek-dela-loonk). Bring a picnic and you could even stop here for loonk! A steep climb sets you on your way to Lech da Sompunt and its delightful swans. Descend back to Badia passing through tiny hamlets and take the bus back. Staying at Ciasa Salares.

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Valparola Pass Walk

    Today you head up to one of the key strategic passes from WW1 – the Passo Valparola for fabulous views over the San Cassiano valley. Heading through the delightful Pre de Costa meadows, and past the Malghe Valparola, you head up towards the pass. When you get there, you may want to stop for refreshments at the rifugio at the top. You can make this a history trip and continue on to the nearby WW1 museum or even to Passo Falzarego and a cable car up to the top of Lagazuoi – one of the most fiercely fought over mountains in the Dolomites. Another alternative is a tough 13km walk across towards the Setsas mountain with more fabulous views and back to the hotel. Staying at Ciasa Salares.

    Optional longer walks available.

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 7

    Fanes Natural Park Walk

    Defintely worth the wait - the Fanes Natural Park is a huge expanse of outstanding natural beauty. You can either walk directly from the hotel or get the shuttle to the Capanna Alpina hut before starting the steep climb up to the panoramic Col de Locia. The verdant plateau beyond (Plan de Ciaulunch) and the climb up to the Forcela dl Lech provide awe-inspiring views of the surrounding mountains and a sparkling, aquamarine mountain lake. You need a head for heights on this one as you descend via two steep gorges, with well trodden paths, to the Scotoni mountain hut and down a spectacular ski slope to the start point. Staying at Ciasa Salares.

    Optional shorter walk: 4.5 hrs, distance 10km/6mi

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 8

    End San Cassiano

    Meals included: Breakfast
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

All breakfasts and four dinners are included.

Weather

The Dolomite Mountains offer some of the best weather in all of the Alps – perfect for year-round active adventures. As a mountain range, the Dolomites receive less precipitation on an annual basis than do the majority of the Alps. During the summer temperatures vary between 20°C - 22°C, while temperature starts dropping a bit in September. Equally, at all times you need to be ready for the occasional stormy day.

Is this trip for you?

This is a centre-based independent walking holiday. Walks can easily be extended/shortened by using the complimentary 7- day Mobil Card which gives unlimited access to local buses and selected cable cars and chairlifts. The walking is along varied and well signed footpaths, both at high altitude and in the lower valleys. There are moderate ascents on most days, and longish descents on days when a cable car is used to gain altitude. Walkers should have a good fitness level and be confident on uneven terrain. This trip is unsuitable for severe vertigo sufferers, but will appeal to people wanting challenging high level mountain walking by day, and luxury 4-star hotel accommodation at night.

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There may be others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. You are provided with route notes for each day, which begin with an overview of the walk and advice on lunch, followed by detailed instructions. The route notes contain a 24 hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the hotelier is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

You may find our Fitness Training Guide a useful reference: http://www.exodus.co.uk/assets/pdf/Exodus_WT_Fitness_Training_Guide.pdf

Call for general departures:
01606 720003
Call for tailor made trips:
020 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

Accommodation Walking the Dolomites of Alta Badia

Ciasa Salares, Armentarola, San Cassiano

Ciasa Salares, your home for the week, is located just a short walk (or even shorter shuttle/bus ride) from the centre of San Cassiano. Run by the Wieser family, Stefan, Wilma and their son Jan Clemens, who is passionate about the hotel’s fantastic wine cellar, the hotel combines alpine chic in the décor with good old-fashioned hospitality.

The hotel's four restaurants include an informal wine bar, a terrace restaurant, a main restaurant and tables in the wine cellar. There are also two other very special rooms – the Cheese Room and the Chocolate Room, used for tastings, individual courses during meals and special occasions. Complimentary grappa tasting is available once a week, as well as one glass of wine and cheese tasting in the wine cellar. You will also get 5 half board meals included at the half board restuarant. Customers wishing to eat at one of the other three restaurants at the hotel can use their 'credit' from the half board menu and pay any difference locally. Drinks are always excluded.

Other facilities include a library and lounge, a luxurious spa with indoor swimming pool, relaxation area, treatment rooms (3), sauna, steam room and an outdoor hot tub with fabulous alpine views to soak away those aching limbs after a day of walking. Headwater customers get free spa access (spa treatments available for a supplement.)

The hotel offers a free shuttle service to San Cassiano (village and the main Piz Surega lift) as well as to the Capanna Alpina restaurant for the Fanes Natural Park walk. One picnic lunch is included at the hotel’s private mountain hut (day of the week changes depending on the weather). This mountain hut can be reached on foot (1hr 30mins from the hotel) on Day 4 walking or by gondola (about 20mins.)

E-mountain bikes are available to hire for additional charge (payable locally.)

Call for general departures:
01606 720003
Call for tailor made trips:
020 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

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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]

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