Day 01: Venice Arrival
| Welcome to Italy! On your arrival at Venice Airport, our local English speaking representative will be waiting to welcome you. Private Transfer to your hotel in the heart of the Alpine resort of Cortina d’Ampezzo. Rest of the day is at leisure. For overseas Flight arrivals, we suggest an early dinner with a good night sleep. Overnight in Cortina d’Ampezzo.
Day 02: Tre Cime di Lavaredo Private Guided Tour | After breakfast, meet with your Driver and professional hiking guide at the Hotel lobby. Private transfer to Rifugio Auronzo (2,320m / 7,611′). Today is a superb itinerary to the soaring Tre Cime di Lavaredo – probably the most famous landmark in all the Dolomites and known across the world. Hiking a loop around these mountains is one of the most wonderful ways to appreciate the Tre Cime in summer, during which their shapes mutate from sharp points to soft corners, the three sections of the mountain apparently merging into one. Enjoy lunch in one of the Rifugi in the area, tasting local specialties such as canederli (a Tyrolean dumpling) and goulash (a beef soup or stew). The area is a sort of “open air museum,” as there are lots of reminders of the First World War – tunnels, bunkers, and old barracks. Tre Cime is also part of the world history of mountaineering – the first routes were climbed in the 1930s. Return by transfer to Cortina. Late afternoon you will return to your Hotel. Overnight in Cortina d’Ampezzo.
Day 03: Dolomiti d’Ampezzo Park Private Guided Tour | After breakfast, meet with your Driver and professional hiking guide at the Hotel lobby. This walk to the Alpe di Sennes uplands entails a wonderful range of scenery and habitats, two natural parks – Dolomiti d’Ampezzo and the spectacular Croda Rossa mountain group. In the morning take a private transfer to the Rifugio Malga Ra Stua (1,688m / 5,538′), a cozy hut-cum-dairy farm set in a valley lying between the Croda Rossa (northeast) and Lavinores (west) Dolomite groups. From here, you hike uphill on a wide gravel trail to Rifugio Sennes (2,126m / 6,975′), and on to Rifugio Fodara Vedla (1,980m / 6,496′) where you stop for lunch and enjoy a lovely view east to the Croda Rossa. After lunch, you’ll hike on a stony track, a former wartime mule route, traversing a series of grassy basins dotted with bushes and dwarf mountain pine, the ideal home of marmots and chamois. The final part of today’s hike winds steadily down through Arolla pine and larch, back to the Rifugio Malga Ra Stua. Private transfer back to your hotel. Overnight in Cortina d’Ampezzo.
Day 04: Cortina at Leisure. Today spend the day at leisure. Overnight in Cortina d’Ampezzo.
Day 05: Cortina → Cinque Torri/Falzarego Private Guided Tour → Val Gardenia | After breakfast, meet with your Driver at the Hotel lobby. In the morning, take a private transfer to Passo Giau (2,236m / 7,336′) where you will meet your Private Guide. From here hike to the Cinque Torri area, and on to Passo Falzarego (2,105m / 6,906′). Enjoy lunch in one of the Rifugi in the area. After the hike you will have a private transfer to your Hotel in Val Gardenia. Val Gardenia is a sunny hollow on the south side of the Val Badia (Abbey Valley) in the South Tyrol/Alto Adige region of the Dolomites. Incredible hiking, skiing, and vistas abound – particularly of the Sella Massif. Home to three cultures: Italian, Austrian, and the Native Ladin, most signage in Val Gardenia is written in three languages – Italian, German, and Ladin! Overnight in Val Gardenia.
Day 06: Santa Croce Sanctuary and Val Badia Private Guided Tour | After breakfast, meet with your Driver and professional hiking guide at the Hotel lobby. Today you’ll hike to the Santa Croce Sanctuary at the base of the Sasso della Croce (Sass dla Crusc for the Ladin-speaking population). From your hotel, walk uphill passing through several closely-knit hamlets formed of clusters of ancient shingle-roofed timber farmhouses and barns known as Viles. Continue walking through the pine forest with great views of the Santa Croce, Conturines, and Sella mountain groups as well as the towns of La Villa, San Cassiano, Corvara, Pedraces, and San Leonardo – all part of the Val Badia. Along the way there are a couple of steep ascents. It takes about two hours to get to the church and sanctuary of Ospizio Santa Croce (2,045m / 6,709′). The sober white church was consecrated in 1484 and holds an image of Christ bearing the cross, hence the name of the mountain – Sasso della Croce, “Stone of the Cross.” Enjoy lunch at the adjacent Rifugio Santa Croce: the place is very inviting, and the food is delicious. You’ll be able to taste the turtres (Ladino vegetable pancake like pastries, filled with potatoes and spinach or other fillings), often accompanied with barley soup, grilled vegetables, and homemade cakes. In the afternoon hike back to your hotel on the same path. Overnight in Val Gardenia.
Day 07: Fanes-Sennes-Braies Natural Park Private Guided Tour | After breakfast, meet with your Driver and professional hiking guide at the Hotel lobby. Private transfer to Capanna Alpina, a restaurant built just at the edge of the Fanes-Sennes-Braies Natural Park, from where you will start your hike with a steep 1-hour ascent. After arriving at Col de Locia (2,069m / 6,788′), the path climbs more slowly as you enter a fairytale-like valley set during the mountains, with lush green pastures that will take your breath away. Climb to the Forcella del Lago, a narrow and dramatic gap in the mountain, with a trail descending through steep talus on the south side. At the base of the slope is Lago di Lagazuoi, a lake whose green waters are framed by pines with a backdrop of the sheer walls of the Cima del Lago and the Cima Scotoni. Reach Rifugio Scotoni (1,985m / 6,512′) and finally descend again to Capanna Alpina from where you will have a transfer back to your hotel. (5 hours hiking 16 km). Option to hike through WWI tunnels near the top of Monte Lagazuoi, where the Italian and Austro–Hungarian armies dug shelters out of the mountains. Numerous routes take you on a behind-the-scenes tour of dramatic, high-altitude battles where the mountain was transformed into an impenetrable 20th century fortress of tunnels, trenches, and machine gun posts. Transfer back to your Hotel. Hotel in Val Gardenia.
Day 08: Val Gardenia → Valdobbiadene Prosecco → Venice | After breakfast, meet with your Driver at the Hotel lobby. This morning on route to Venice, visit the famous Valdobbiadene Prosecco sparkling wine region for a Prosecco tasting and a light lunch before continuing to your hotel near the Venice airport. Evening near Marco Polo Airport.
Day 09: Venice Departure | After breakfast at the Hotel enjoy a Private Transfer to Venice Airport.