Best of the Dolomites

Innsbruck, Austria

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Be dazzled by the monumental beauty of Italy's Dolomites, with majestic pinnacles, pillars, spires, and rock faces that change color at different points throughout the day. Travel from north to south — in Austria and Italy — covering all the must-see sites of this magnificent range, including the most famous peaks: Schlern, Sella, Drei Zinnen (Tre Cime de Lavaredo), and Marmolada. Daily challenging hikes (with some less challenging options) take in forests, surreal rock formations, glacial lakes, and high alpine meadows. Enjoy picnic lunches at charming rifugi with stunning backdrops, and unwind back at comfortable hotels.

Details

Duration: 9 Days
Starts in: Innsbruck, Austria
Ends in: Innsbruck, Austria
Group Size: 6-16

Operated by:

MT Sobek

MT Sobek, the originators, innovators and leaders in adventure travel for more than five decades, crafts journeys to the world's most memorable places.

Itinerary

Arrive in Innsbruck, Austria

Arrive in Innsbruck, Austria's capital of the Alps, with towering mountains looming above. There is one scheduled group transfer to the hotel at 12:30PM. Explore the medieval part of town on your own or take a nap after your flight. This evening, gather at 7pm for a brief orientation with your guide, followed by a welcome dinner at the hotel.

Warm-Up Hike through Pragser Wildsee (Lago di Braies)

This morning head south and cross the border into Italy, taking a winding road to the trailhead, which leads to the world-famous Pragser Wildsee (4,901'), also known in Italian as Lago di Braies. Acclimatize to higher altitudes slowly on this half-day hike. Upon reaching Pragser Wildsee, break for a picnic lunch near the lake, and then begin climbing through the forest to Pragser Kaser. Tonight stay in Toblach, a small town nestled in the mountains.

Hike Below the Face of Drei Zinnen (Tre Cime di Lavaredo)

Today features a challenging hike just below the face of Drei Zinnen, the Three Peaks of the Dolomites, known as Tre Cime di Lavaredo in Italian. Start in Landro (4,593'), following the Riezental along creeks, gorges and rock walls, until a steeper section, which opens to magnificent views of the peaks. Continue for another two hours and meet the bus at the Rifugio Auronzo; refuel here before the drive to Cortina. Enjoy free time to stroll the town, known for its master woodworking and world-class skiing, and unwind over a five-course dinner.

Explore the Trails of Cortina d’Ampezzo

Spend the day exploring the trails surrounding Cortina d'Ampezzo, famous home of the 1956 Winter Olympics. Take a short transfer to the trailhead at 5,577 feet. After climbing gently uphill for about 90 minutes, reach a mountain hut in a scenic location where you can break for some soup and superb vistas. Continue climbing uphill to Passo Giau, a mountain pass at 7,545 feet; stop for a drink in the sun to take in the beauty. The vehicle awaits at the pass, for the transfer back to Cortina.

Enjoy a Cinque Torri Circuit

This morning, transfer to the bottom of another famous rock formation in the area — the Cinque Torri. At the Rifugio Bai de Dones take the chairlift to the Rifugio Scoiattoli (7,398'). Start a remarkable circuit of the Cinque Torri and enjoy a trail up to the peak of Nuvolau (8,445'). After lunch at the Rifugio Averau, continue towards the Passo Falzarego, where you can learn more about WWI at the open-air museum. In the afternoon, transfer further west through the town of Arabba to the Passo Pordoi, with magnificent views.

Summit Piz Boè

Get an early start today and take the gondola up from the Passo Pordoi (7,355') to the Sass Pordoi (9,186'). From here, climb (weather permitting) to the summit of Piz Boe (10,334') on a rocky trail with some scrambling. With majestic views all around, have lunch at the mountain hut before continuing the downhill hike back to the Passo Pordoi. Hop into the vehicle here and continue to the hotel in Welschnhofen. Enjoy the luxurious spa or take a stroll through town, situated at the base of the Rosengarten Mountains.

Traverse the Mighty Rosengarten Rotwand

Start with a short walk to the gondola, which whisks you up to the Kolner Hutte at 7,316 feet. Begin the hiking circuit around the Rotwand with a rather challenging start - scramble up the short but steep ascent to Passo Coronelle (8,628'), and then the Cigolade Pass (8,372') before continuing to the Rotwand Hutte for lunch. Head back to the Kolner hut traversing along the base of the mighty and challenging alpine wall of Rotwand. Finish the last hike and return to the hotel.

Visit "Otzi the Iceman" in Bozen

Leave the higher alpine areas and drive to Bozen, the capital of South Tyrol, passing impressive canyons and alpine villages along the way. Spend the day strolling Bozen's historic center, shopping for souvenirs and visiting Mr. Otzi, the famous Iceman on display at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology. Otzi lived around 5300 years ago and is Europe's oldest-known human mummy. Taste fine wines at a local winery, before regrouping for a special farewell dinner back in Innsbruck.

Depart from Innsbruck

Bid your fellow trekkers a warm Aufweidersehen before transferring to the airport in Innsbruck for your flight home. Departures and landings in this idyllic region are some of the most spectacular in the world.

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