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Alps: Dolomites of Val Gardena

€955 per person

Discover the mountain world of the Dolomites along a network of well-developed hiking paths and trails, where cable-cars enable you to access the higher-lying areas. Val Gardena offers countless options for a top hikes, perfectly suited for a week of self-guided walking adventure! It is world famous for its imposing mountain scenery and the woodcarving traditions. Nestled in the beautifully unspoilt Puez-Odle Nature Park,  it is blessed by the presence of a unique mountain landscape: majestic massifs such as the Odle and Cir Summits, the Stevia and Puez mountains, the Sella and the unmistakable Sassolungo reign supreme. The landscape of this outdoor paradise outdoes itself with remarkable natural phenomena which can only be experienced here in such an impressive manner. Starting point of this independent hiking tour is the town Brixen (Bressanone in Italian) in South Tyrol. Surrounded by centuries-old buildings you will walk along numerous historical traces through the former bishop‘s town. The journey then will take you over the local mountain houses of the Brixen people into the Villnöss Valley (home of mountaineering legend Reinhold Messner) with its towering peaks, and further on into the heart of the Dolomites.

  • Destination
  • Duration
    8 Days I Level: 2/3 (of 5)
  • What is included
    Accommodation in guesthouses and 3* hotels (en-suite rooms), including breakfast (halfboard supplement available on request; check the Rates&Remarks tab for details); Luggage transfers when changing accommodations; Cable car tickets for Plose and Seiser Alm (roundtrip); Detailed roadbook and maps in English (incl. access to GPS tracks); Emergency hotline;
  • What is not included
    Drinks and other meals; Tourist residence tax “tassa di soggiorno” to be paid locally in cash; Transfers on the day 1 and day 8 and use of other lifts
  • Best period
    mid-June, July, August, mid-September
1
Day 1. Arrival to Brixen (Bressanone)
Individual arrival at the hotel in Brixen (Bressanone). Stroll through the arcades of the small town of Brixen, where you can admire the cathedral district and the bishop‘s castle. Overnight in Bressanone (Brixen).
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Day 2. Brixen (Bressanone) - Plose - Villnöss (Funes) (9km, 3hrs, +350m/-500m or 18km, 6hrs, +450m/-1350m)
The first walk from this independent hiking tour starts with a cable car ride to the mountain above Brixen - Plose. At the top station (2,050 m) you will be greeted by a breathtaking panorama of the Dolomites from their most beautiful side. For the longer/more demanding hiking option you will continue on the Kuratensteig Trail in direction of the tranquil Villnöss (Funes in Italian), a settlement formed by 6 villages. Here you will find the picturesquely situated Ranui church, surrounded by green meadows. Why this is one of the most photographed sites in South Tyrol you will find out once you get there. Overnight in Villnöss (Funes).
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Day 3. Villnöss (Funes) - Gröden (Val Gardena) (10km, 4hrs, +880m/-200m or 16km, 5,30hrs, +880m/-960m)
Starting from the main village of St. Magdalena, your independent hiking adventure continues higher up to the Broglessattel. Enjoy the unique view of the Villnöss Geisler with its main peak, the Sass Rigais (3,025 m). The mountain group forms a ridge and separates the Villnöss (Funes) Valley from the Gardena Valley. Most of it lies in the Puez-Odle Nature Park. The trail the proceeds down into the 25 km long side valley of the Eisacktal (nowadays the northernmost winegrowing region in Italy) with its communities of Ortisei, S. Cristina and Selva Gardena. Shortcut is possible using the funicular Raschötz (ticket not included). 4x  overnights in Sankt Ulrich (Ortisei).
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Day 4. Gröden (Val Gardena) - Seceda - Gröden (Val Gardena) (11km, 4hrs, +630m/-730m or 15km, 6hrs, +750m/-1200m)
After breakfast take the local bus to S. Cristina. In Ladin-speaking Val Gardena and on the sunny side of the valley lies the Seceda alpine pasture. Embedded in the Puez-Odle Nature Park and part of the Dolomites´ UNESCO World Natural Heritage, it offers an incomparable panorama not only of the numerous Dolomite peaks, but also of renowned mountains like the Ortler or the Großglockner. The sideways view of the graceful Geisler peaks from the Seceda is one of the most popular photo motifs in the Dolomites. Shortcut to the valley is possible using the Seceda cable car (ticket not included).
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Day 5. Gröden (Val Gardena) - Wolkenstein (Selva Gardena) - Gröden (Val Gardena) (15km, 5,30hrs, +570m/-870m)
In the morning take bus to Selva Gardena - the highest village in Val Gardena. Today you will explore the Val Gardena by foot. From Selva Gardena there is an easy way to get to Plan de Gralba and cross over the Tiejasattel to the Piz Sela. Plan de Gralba marks the border between two of the most evocative areas of the Dolomites: one leading to the Gardena pass, and the other one going to the Sella pass. Enjoy the panorama of the mighty walls of the Sassolungo (housing two of the most beautiful via ferratas in Val Gardena) and the towering Sella massif. The hike continues down to St. Cristina - the sun-kissed village at the foot of the Sassolungo, where you will find the largest hand-carved nativity scene in the world. It was created by a group of 18 sculptors. Shortcut is possible from St. Cristina using the local bus (ticket not included).
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Day 6. Gröden (Val Gardena) - Seiser Alm - Gröden (Val Gardena) (11km, 3,30hrs, +510m/-510m or 17km, 5hrs, +620m/-620m)
Today's walk starts with a cable car ride up to the Seiser Alm. With is legendary 56 sq. km. this is one of the largest alpine pastures in the world. Breathtaking views of the nearby Dolomite peaks Sassolungo, Langkofel, Plattkofel and the Schlern promise to keep this particular day in your memory for years. Around 790 different plant species have found home on this high plateau, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The journey back to the Val Gardena is again by cable car.
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Day 7. Gröden (Val Gardena) - Klausen (Chiusa) - Brixen (Bressanone) (12km, 3,30-4hrs, +300m/-400m or 17km, 5-5,30hrs, +300m/-1020m)
In the past the mail was transported from Klausen to Val Gardena via the Poststeig (Ladin: Troi da la Posta). Today this old postal path serves as a panoramic hiking trail through the Val Gardena. First it leads over the sunny slope to the Pontiveser Klause and then through a sparse fir forest on to the picturesquely village of St. Peter. Take one last look back at the pale mountains of the Val Gardena Dolomites. Slightly downhill through gentle meadow landscapes you will reach the small town of Klausen with the impressive Säben Monastery (a Benedictine nunnery, established in 1687). From there take the train back to Bressanone. Shortcut is possible from Lajen to Klausen using the local bus (ticket not included). Overnight in Bressanone (Brixen).
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Day 8. Departure day
Services end after breakfast.

TOUR LOCATION

Price
955 Euro per person in twin/dbl room (15/06-07/07; 14-22/09)
1015 Euro per person in twin/dbl room (13/07-02/08; 26/08-08/09)
Single room & Solo Traveler supplement
Single room supplement: 290 Euro
Solo Traveler supplement: N/A (min. 2 pax)
Accommodation
Accommodation in guesthouses and 3* hotels, including breakfast (days 1 & 7: Bressanone (Brixen), day 2: Villnöss (Funes); days 3, 4, 5 & 6: Sankt Ulrich (Ortisei). Halfboard supplement (7x dinners) is optional and payable extra: 280 EUR/pp.
Tips
Departures on Saturdays and Sundays only between mid-June and mid-September (except for 03-25/08/2024 when bookings are not accepted). This easy to moderate hikes along well-marked hiking trails, through meadows and forests. You will not find any rocky paths on your way. Previous experience in mountain walking is not required. Arrival:By car: on the motorway Brenner/Brennero (A22) to Brixen/Bressanone or drive along the Felbertauernstraße to Lienz in Eastern Tyrol (Austria) and then further into Italy on the SS 49 through the valley Pustertal/Valle Pusteria to Brixen. By train: Take the train from Innsbruck over the Brenner/Brennero or via the Pustertal/Valle Pusteria to Brixen. Timetable available on: www.deutschebahn.de, www.oebb.at, www.trenitalia.com. By plane: The nearest airports are in Innsbruck (83 km), Verona Villafranca (191 km), Treviso (228 km) and Venice Marco Polo (313 km).

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