Classic Dolomites - Premium Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Premium Adventures
Destinations:
Italy
Programmes:
Walking & Trekking
Trip Code:
TWU
Activity Rating - Moderate
Moderate

You are moderately fit and possess a spirit of adventure. Some previous experience is required for most activity based trips.

8 Days Flight Inclusive
8 Days Land only
Min age: 16

Trip Overview

The small village of Villabassa, just north of Cortina d'Ampezzo, is the perfect base for this Dolomites walking holiday nestled close to the Austrian border and sandwiched between the spectacular, jagged limestone peaks. From here we enjoy an excellent choice of routes with the opportunity to relax in comfort at the end of a day's walking. During the week, we venture into the Fanes-Sennes and Dolomiti di Sesto National Parks for great views of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo. Historically the front line between Italy and Austria-Hungary during the First World War, the trails take us through incredible open-air museums.

At a Glance

  • 7 nights 4-star Hotel Adler, all rooms en suite
  • 5 days centre-based walking; one free day.
  • Altitude maximum 2539m (level 3) / 2839m (level 5), average 2300m
  • Not recommended for vertigo sufferers

Trip Highlights

  • 4-star hotel with delicious food, warm family hospitality and wellness centre
  • Tre Cime di Lavaredo, UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Some weeks Challenging (level 5) 
  • Room upgrade special offer available

Is This Trip for You?

Due to the nature of the terrain on this trip, neither walking levels are recommended for vertigo sufferers.

Level 3 - Moderate Walking or Level 5 - Challenging Walking depending on the departures.

We enjoy walks in the same areas on each trip, but the length and difficulty vary according to the walking level. Please make sure you choose the week that best suits your ability.

Most weeks offer moderate walking (level 3), where we usually walk between 5 and 7 hours per day. The area we are visiting is criss-crossed by a network of long established trails and walking paths, most of them well maintained and waymarked. Even so, paths are rocky and on occasion exposed. A reasonable level of fitness is required for these weeks.

On some weeks, we offer challenging walking (level 5). On these departures, we usually walk between 6 and 8 hours per day at a steady pace. We use established trails and mountain paths, which are often steep, rocky and more exposed than the level 3 walks. For these departures, you will need to be surefooted and have a good level of fitness. Some fixed equipment and easy via ferrata may be encountered.

The exact itinerary (and therefore the length of each walk) may vary depending on weather conditions or other factors beyond our control. Whilst aiming to always follow the routes described in these trip notes, it will be the leader's decision to amend the itinerary if and when necessary. Altitude maximum 2839m, average 2300m.

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.

Adult min age:
16
Min group size:
4
Max group size:
16

Itinerary

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Start Villabassa.

    Start at the Hotel Adler in Villabassa.The leader will give a short briefing to give an overview of the week ahead and give you any useful information.

  • Day 2

    Lago di Braies (level 3 weeks)

    The ideal start to visiting this vast area is a walk straight from the hotel through the very pretty, flower-filled Braies Valley. We walk through small villages and farmland until we reach the magnificent Lago di Braies, one of the 297 glacial lakes in the area. It is certainly one of the most beautiful thanks to being surrounded by jagged peaks that are reflected in the extraordinary mirror-like surface of the lake. We follow the route of 'SS hostages', the leaders of 19 countries who were freed after the First World War by the inhabitants of Villabassa.

    Approx. distance 14km, 650m ascent, 255m descent.

    Rossalmhütte (level 5 weeks)

    Some departures of this trip are at Level 5. On these weeks the walks completed are slightly different. 

    We start our walk today from the beautiful Lago di Braies and ascend to Rossalmhütte. 

    Approx. distance 15km, 750m ascent, 1000m descent.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 3

    Kreutzberg Pass to Nemes Alm (level 3)

    Today we explore high pastures and ridges along the Austrian border. We walk steadily exploring the meadows under the ridge of Knieberg. We have great views towards the Rotwand and Monte Popera. Later afternoon we visit Alpe Nemes hut where we could enjoy a drink and a home made apple strudel.

    Approx distance 14-16km. 6-700m ascent, 6-700m descent.

    Kreuzberg Pass to Knieberg (level 5 week)

    Following a different track to the level 3 weeks, we aim to summit Knieberg, descending later in the afternoon to Alpe Nemes hut.

     Approx. distance 21 km, 1000m ascent, 1000m descent.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 4

    Climb up towards Strudelkopf (level 3 weeks)

    We start the walk at 2000m altitude walking amongst beautiful wildflowers and ascends to the summit of Strudlekopf (2307m). We stop at the Durrenstein hut in the early afternoon to check the local Kaiserschmarren speciality. On a clear day, from the summit, we can enjoy views of the Tre Cime, Monte Piana and Monte Cristallo.

    Approx. distance 15km. 500m ascent, 1000m descent.

    Durrenstein Summit (level 5 weeks)

    Starting at Platzwiese, we walk to the summit of Durrenstein (2839m), a majestic peak which boasts views all the way to the Austrian Tyrol.

    Approx. distance 15km, 900m ascent, 900m descent.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 5

    Free day

    A free day to relax in the hotel's wellness centre or take a self-guided cycle ride around this wonderful area. Alternatively, you can make your way to Bolzano to visit a museum dedicated to Oetzi, the 5000 year-old 'iceman' whose remarkably well-preserved body was found in 1991 high on a glacier on the Austro-Italian frontier. Or you could journey to the attractive provincial capital of Lienz in Austria; or closer to the cosy town of Bunick.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Tre Cime di Lavaredo (level 3 weeks)

    We enjoy a memorable walk under the famous 'Three Chimneys', or Tre Cime di Lavaredo (or Drei Zinnen in German). Set amid one of the classic mountain groups of this area, our walk around these impressive peaks is certainly a highlight of the week.

    Approx distance 18km, 550m ascent, 1100 descent.

    Tre Cime di Lavaredo (level 5 weeks)

    Today we complete a beautiful walk near the spectacular Tre Cime di Lavaredo; we then follow the path on the north side of Paternkofel heading to the Comici hut above Fischleintal.

    Approx. distance 19km, 600m ascent, 1400m descent.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 7

    Monte Piano (level 3 weeks)

    To complete the week, we take the amazing estern approach route up Monte Piana. After 600m ascent we find ourselves upon the flat-topped mountain surrounded by some of the most impressive scenery in the Dolomites. It is the site of an open-air museum dedicated to the First World War where trenches, dugouts and shell craters can be seen amongst the many alpine flowers. On our return, we have time to spot the brilliant blue gentians, alpine white edelweiss and bright saffron that create a beautiful scene around Lake Misurina, thanks to the beautiful pink of the limestone rock.

    Approx distance 15km, 700m ascent, 800m descent.

    Monte Piana (level 5 weeks)

    We ascend the southern crag, with the aid of few bridges and a ladder; there is then time to explore the open-air museum, stretched between the northern summit of Monte Piano and the southern summit of Monte Piana.

    Approx. distance 13km, 1000m ascent, 700m descent.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Lunch,
    Dinner
  • Day 8

    End Villabassa.

    End Villabassa.

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

Please note: it is possible that the order of the itinerary listed above will be changed to ensure the best possible conditions for each activity during the trip. All listed activities and services will be included. Your leader will inform you of any changes locally after assessing conditions.

Accommodation

Hotel Adler - 4 Star

The week is based at Hotel Adler, a 4-star hotel in Villabassa. Located on the village square, this quality hotel is considered the 'best in town'. The cosy bar is often busy with locals and there is a relaxing lounge for peaceful reading. Other facilities include a superb indoor pool and 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 and some with baths), tea/coffee making facilities (for a fee), minibar and TV.  

The hotel has a range of rooms within the 4-star classification; standard rooms are provided, but it is possible to upgrade your room for a discounted price if you wish for even more comfort. Contact us for prices and availability. A limited number of double rooms for single use are available for a supplement.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single only guarantees a room for single use. It does not always mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Single supplement from £180.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All breakfasts, 5 lunches and 5 dinners.

Please note an evening meal is not included on the first night, as the group flights may arrive late into Villabassa. Sandwiches or snacks are available at the airport (the leader can suggest options).

For breakfast, the hotel offers a large selection of cereals, fruit, cheese and cold meats, (along with tea and coffee of course).

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. 

There is a set menu for evening meals (usually 4 or 5 courses), which may include some local specialties such as Speckknodel (dumplings type of dish). Most weeks the hotel will have a traditional Tyrolean evening in the restaurant. 

Transportation

Transfers to and from the airport, and during the walking programme, will be in a private vehicle (normally minibus). On certain days, we may use public transport.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

In the Dolomites, (as always in the mountains), the weather is very changeable. On average in summer months you can expect some rain on one day in two, but it is likely to come in heavy and thundery outbursts of relatively short duration rather than prolonged showers. In the valleys, daytime temperatures range on average from 12º to 22ºC, although 25º is not unusual. Up in the mountains, it will be a few degrees colder. There are always patches of snow remaining on the higher peaks late May and early November, and sometimes due to unpredictable winter weather, this can remain for a little longer. There is always a possibility of snowfall at any time of the season, therefore you need to be ready for anything, so pack shorts as well as warmer clothes; full waterproofs as well as sun cream.

Weather Charts

Joining Instructions

Travelling flight inclusive from London: 8 days

The group flight from London is a daytime flight departing on Day 1 of the itinerary.

Flights from London

We normally use the scheduled services of British Airways (depending on availability). As flight timings and schedules change regularly we recommend you call one of our specialist sales staff or your agent to confirm up‐to‐date timings. Please note timings may change at a later date and cannot be confirmed until approximately two weeks before departure.

Travelling land only: 8 days starting and ending in Villabassa

Your trip normally starts at our accommodation in Villabassa in the evening of Day 1 of the itinerary. Details of how to reach the start point are provided in the Final Joining Instructions ‐ sent approximately two weeks before departure.

Accommodation check‐in times are normally from around 6pm.

 

 

As advice about luggage allowances for both hand and hold luggage is subject to change, we suggest you check the airline's website for the latest information prior to your departure. The usual, standard check-in baggage weight allowance is 20kg.

Regional Flights

The Flight Inclusive price is based on a London departure, but we are happy to tailor this to your local or regional airport. Please ask about flights from local or regional airports.

If booking regional flights other than with Exodus, you must allow a minimum connecting time (in addition to the international check-in time) of 1 hour at Gatwick, and 1.5 hours at Heathrow; this is longer than the official minimum, but baggage handling is known to be subject to delays.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Airport transfers from Venice to Villabassa are included for those on the group flights. Please note that transfers are not included for clients arriving on any other flight, even if Exodus has booked it. 

If you require airport transfers, you may (by prior arrangement only) be able to join the group transfer. Transfers are arranged to coincide with the arrival time of the group flight ‐ please check the group flight details 2 weeks before departure. If you do not take this transfer, or miss it, you must make your own way to the joining point at your own expense.

Location start:
Villabassa
Location end:
Villabassa

What to Take

Essential Equipment

Walking boots with good ankle support and grip (walking shoes/trainers are not suitable for the kind of terrain you will be walking on);

Waterproof/windproof jacket and trousers;

Sun hat and high factor sun cream;

Warm 2-season jacket/sweater;

Warm hat and gloves;

Breathable t-shirts and shorts for sunnier, warmer days;

Daysack of 25-litre capacity (preferably with a waist belt);

Dry bag;

Water bottle.

In the Dolomites, the weather can be very changeable and it is not unusual to find snow at low altitude on our walks, particularly on the early season departures. Supportive footwear and warm clothing are therefore essential for this trip.

Optional Equipment

Light shoes for the evenings at the hotel;
Swimming costume;
Trekking poles (we highly recommend poles for the level 5 departures as well as the early and late season departures when snow may be encountered at higher altitudes)

Reading List

Maps

Maps of the area are available locally, however if you wish to purchase one in advance we recommend the following:
Kompass publish a useful map at 1:50,000 called Bruneck-Toblach (Brunico-Dobbiaco). Sheet 57 in Wanderkarte series.
For further information contact Stanfords at Long Acre, London,
WC2E 9LP. Tel: 020 7836 1321. Website: www.stanfords.co.uk.

Practical Information

Passport

Italy

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information offered below is to help you with that process. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Certain European nationalities may be able to travel within Europe on their national identity card. Check carefully with the relevant authorities if you intend to do this.

Visa

Italy

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

There are no specific health risks on this trip.

Vaccination

Italy

There are no specific health risks.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

If you are a UK citizen and travelling in Europe you should obtain the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from your Post Office. This gives you medical care at a reduced cost, and some cases for free, in many European countries, but should not be considered a substitute for adequate insurance.

Local Time

Italy's Timezone:
Europe/Rome CET (GMT +01:00)

Electricity

Italy's Electricity:

European plug ‐ 2 round pins.

Money

Italy's Currency

The national currency of Italy is the Euro (EUR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication of approximately 1.2 to the UK£ and 0.9 to the US$.

Exchange rates are correct at the time of publication.

 

ATM Availability

Cashpoints are available at Venice airport and Villabassa (although this is not always working). Almost all places take major credit cards, yet cash is generally easier.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

You will need sufficient funds to buy the 1 lunch and 2 dinners that are not included. We suggest €8-12 for lunch and €15-25 for dinner is sufficient (excluding drinks). If you would like to sample the excellent A-la-carte menu available at Hotel Adler, please allow around €40.
LOCAL TAXES: many Italian cities have recently introduced a tourist tax for non-residents. The local administration is in charge of the tax, which will be collected by the accommodation provider at check-in or check-out. This fee varies depending on the hotel category, the season and number of days of stay. It is usually between €0.50 and €1.50 per person per night. For this trip, please allow around €10, depending on the season, for the week.

Optional Excursions

There is a number of extra excursions available, exact prices and details will be confirmed locally.

The following can be used as a guide:

Messner Mountain Museum Ripa Brunico: Euro 9,00 per person

Cheese factory in Dobbiaco: Euro 3,50 admission only, Euro 6,50 including a small cheese tasting, Euro 8,50 including a large cheese tasting.

From Villabassa there are regular trains and buses to the different villages of the Pusteria valleys.
Day trip to see Oetzi, the Ice Man, in Bolzano: allow approx. €35 for travel and €10 for entry (train journey involves changes and takes approx.2hrs each way)

Tipping

Although optional, a tip for the leader at the end of the trip is greatly appreciated. The sum you choose to give is entirely personal, but as a reasonable starting point, we suggest a contribution from £10 (US$15) per person for the leader.

Responsible Tourism

Tourism can be a real help to local communities, providing income, positive cultural exchanges and a financial incentive to protect their natural environment. Ours is a 'total approach' to responsible tourism, covering everything from the way we plan and operate our trips to the practices of Exodus as a company. 

On this trip, we spend the week in locally owned Hotel Adler that has a strong commitment to use 100% clean energy where hot water is supplied from central heating supplied by solar energy, whilst electricity is hydro-powered. They also employ local staff and uses local produce wherever possible which ensures that we are directly benefitting the local community.

As a walking holiday, we actively encourage clients to interact with the locals, visit local cafes and bars, support local produce and craft and to experience what life is really like in this region of Italy. Additionally, walking trips like this have very little detrimental impact on the environment and the locals as it is a quiet, low impact activity requiring comparatively little resources to support.

In March 2019, Exodus Travels launched the Exodus Travels Foundation where we support initiatives all around the world. But it cannot exist without travellers who care. Get involved or learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus here

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 16 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE –STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to www.exodus.co.uk for online booking, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.