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The Best of the Dolomites

Trip Length 9 days

From $4,595

  • Hike amid spectacular pillars, steeples, and pinnacles on this custom-designed and truly intimate experience in the Dolomites
  • Visit Bozen, the historic capital of South Tirol, and see “Ötzi the Iceman,” the famous glacier mummy
  • Enjoy the company of highly skilled local mountain guides as they show you the best of the Dolomites, from mountain passes and peaceful refuges, to wineries and more!

Italy’s Dolomites mountains can’t help but impress with their stunning pinnacles, pillars, spires, and rock faces that seem to change color at different points throughout the day. Our itinerary, traveling from east to west, covers all the must-see sites of this magnificent range, including the most famous peaks: Schlern, Sella, Drei Zinnen (Tre Cime de Lavaredo), and Marmolada. Every day offers challenging hikes (with some less challenging options) leading you past forests, surreal rock formations, glacial lakes, and high alpine meadows. Enjoy picnic lunches at charming rifugi set amid stunning backdrops, and unwind back at your comfortable hotel. Come experience the monumental beauty of Italy’s Dolomites as only you can with MTS!

Day 1: Arrive in Innsbruck, Austria

Arrive in Innsbruck, Austria’s capital of the Alps. We'll have one scheduled group transfer to our hotel, located in the center of town. The day is free to explore the medieval part of town, watch local Tyroleans while sipping on a cappuccino, or take a nap after your flight. Innsbruck’s robust architecture is a tribute to both its German and Italian influences, and the city is ideal for strolling. One cannot go too far in Innsbruck without noticing the mountains looming above; these mountains have attracted countless tourists and mountaineers, as well as Olympic games over the years. This evening we’ll all gather at 7pm for a brief orientation with your guide, followed by a welcome dinner at your hotel. 

  • Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Central

Day 2: Take a warm-up hike through Pragser Wildsee (Lago di Braies)

This morning we’ll head south and cross the border into Italy, taking a winding road to meet the trailhead, which will bring us to the world-famous Pragser Wildsee (4,901'), also known in Italian as Lago di Braies and one of the most beautiful lakes in the Alps. This half-day hike will acclimate us to higher altitudes slowly and introduce us to the landscape we’ll be seeing for the rest of the trip. Upon reaching Pragser Wildsee, we’ll break for a picnic lunch near the lake, and then begin our climb through the forest to Pragser Kaser to rest and take in the views of the lake below. Tonight, we’ll stay in Toblach, a small town nestled in the mountains at the entrance of the Val di Landro and at the foot of one of the celebrated Tre Cime di Lavaredo—also known as the Drei Zinnen in German.

(Hiking time: 4 to 5 hours; elevation gain and loss: 1,650')

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Romantik Hotel Santer

Day 3: Hike below the face of Drei Zinnen (Tre Cime di Lavaredo)

Today, the trail brings us on a challenging hike just below the face of Drei Zinnen, the Three Peaks of the Dolomites known as Tre Cime di Lavaredo in Italian. Everyone has seen a picture of these three rock towers with their sheer vertical walls, but believe us when we tell you that they are far more impressive in person! We’ll start our hike in Landro (4,593'), following the Riezental along creeks, gorges and rock walls, until we reach a steeper section, which opens to magnificent views of the peaks. We’ll continue on for another two hours and meet our bus at the Rifugio Auronzo, a classic mountain hut where we can rest and refuel before our drive to Cortina for the night. Cortina is known for its master woodworking, its tiled iron stoves, and its copper and glass art as much as its world-class skiing. We’ll have time to stroll the town and possibly visit one of its historic churches before unwinding over a sumptuous five-course dinner.

(Hiking time: 6 hours; elevation gain: 3,132'; elevation loss: 480')

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Franceschi

Day 4: Explore the trails of Cortina d’Ampezzo

We’ll spend the day exploring the surrounding trails of Cortina d’Ampezzo, famous home of the 1956 Winter Olympics. We’ll transfer 10 minutes to our trailhead at 5,577 feet. After climbing gently uphill for about 90 minutes, we’ll reach a mountain hut in a scenic location where we can break for some soup or a light snack. Now above tree line, the views are superb. We’ll continue climbing uphill to Passo Giau, a mountain pass at 7,545 feet, where we’ll stop for a cool beer or a glass of wine in the sun to take in the beauty around us. From the pass, our vehicle will pick us up and bring us back to Cortina.

(Hiking time: 6 hours; elevation gain: 2,624'; elevation loss: 1,758')

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Franceschi

Day 5: Enjoy a Cinque Torri circuit

This morning, a transfer will take us to the bottom of another famous rock formation in the area—the Cinque Torri. At the Rifugio Bai de Dones we will take the chairlift to the Rifugio Scoiattoli (7,398'). From here, we will start a truly remarkable circuit of the Cinque Torri and enjoy a trail up to the peak of Nuvolau (8,445'). After lunch at the Rifugio Averau, we'll continue towards the Passo Falzarego. En route, we'll have the opportunity to see some of the Italian entrenchments that were built here during the Great War. At the Passo Falzarego we have the opportunity to learn more about WWI at the open air museum of Lagazuoi. In the late afternoon, we'll transfer further west through the town of Arabba to the Passo Pordoi, with magnificent views of the Dolomites, where we will spend the night. 

(Hiking time: 6 hours; elevation gain: 1,010'; elevation loss: 3,111')

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Pordoi

Day 6: Summit Piz Boè

Today we'll get an early start and take the first gondola up from the Passo Pordoi (7,355') to the Sass Pordoi (9,186'). From here, we'll climb (weather permitting) to the summit of Piz Boè (10,334') on a rocky trail with some scrambling. With unforgettable views all around us we will have lunch at the high mountain hut before we continue our hike descending back to the Passo Pordoi. Here, our vehicle will pick us up and we'll continue to our beautiful hotel in Welschnhofen. We'll have some time to enjoy the luxurious spa or take a stroll in town situated at the base of the famous Rosengarten Mountains, celebrated for their shade of dolomite that seems to turn pink in the sun.

(Hiking time: 4 hours, elevation gain: 1,148', long descent: 2,979'; those who want even more of a challange can opt to get an earlier start, skip the gondola, and hike from the hotel the entire distance, which will add 2 hours, and a 1,800-foot elevation gain)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Engel Resort & Spa

Day 7: Traverse the mighty Rosengarten Rotwand

We'll start with a short walk to a the gondola, which will whisk us up to the “Kölner Hütte” at 7,316 feet. Here our hiking circuit around the Rotwand begins with a rather challenging start. We'll go slowly, hiking and scrambling up relatively short but steep ascent to Passo Coronelle (8,628'). The views here are breathtaking, and worth the effort. Our trail then leads us through rocky and inspiring mountains before approaching the Cigolade Pass (8,372'), a scenic spot for a rest and snack before we continue on to the Rotwand Hütte. Here we will have lunch and a beer, and then make our way back to the  Kölner hut traversing along the base of the mighty Rotwand. This famous Alpine wall is said to be one of the most challenging in the Alps and home of many world class rock climbers. We'll finish our last hike of the trip with gusto! Later, we’ll return to our hotel in Welschnhofen.

(Hiking time: 6 hours; elevation gain: 2,700' up and down)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Engel Resort & Spa

Day 8: Visit "Ötzi the Iceman" in Innsbruck

We’ll leave the higher alpine areas and drive to Bozen, the capital of South Tyrol, passing impressive canyons and alpine villages along the way. We’ll spend the day strolling Bozen’s historic center, shopping for souvenirs and visiting Mr. Ötzi, the famous Iceman on display at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology. Ötzi lived around 5300 years ago and is Europe’s oldest known natural human mummy – an absolutely incredible archaeological find. Next we’ll taste fine wines at a local winery, before regrouping for a special farewell dinner back in Innsbruck. 

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Central

Day 9: Depart from Innsbruck

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

  • Breakfast

Sep 02 - 10, 2016 Guaranteed Departure

Sep 12 - 20, 2016 Guaranteed Departure

Jun 21 - 29, 2017

Jul 02 - 10, 2017

Sep 03 - 11, 2017

pricing

2016 Prices
$4,595 (6-16 members)
$600 single supplement

2017 Prices
$4,995 (6-16 members)
$600 single supplement

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Hotel Central — Innsbruck

Located within walking distance to the Innsbruck train station, the historic old town and many other attractions, four-star Hotel Central is just that—central. Rooms are modern yet minimalist, with warm wood tones and crisp white linens. Hotel Central provides all the amenities you'd expect— cable TV, free Wi-Fi, minibars, etc.—and some you wouldn't, namely the infrared cabins. Yes, two state-of-the-art Physiothern infrared cabins are available to for guests to use, free of charge! Known benefits of this therapy include detoxification, alleviation of tension and back pain and strengthened immune system. If the cabins aren't for you, try the sauna, steam bath or gym.

Hotel Engel Resort & Spa — Welschnofen

The four-star Hotel Engel Resort & Spa enjoys beautiful views looking up at the Rosengarten mountains, and offers a large spa center with massage service, an indoor heated pool, outdoor tennis courts, and much more. Guestrooms come equipped with satellite TV, bathrobe and hairdryer, and wifi is available in all areas and is free of charge.

Hotel Franceschi — Cortina d’Ampezzo

The Franceschi Park Hotel sits on the grounds of a magnificent private park and is surrounded by pleasant and relaxing gardens. Conveniently located within walking distance of the center of town, the hotel offers spacious and elegant rooms furnished in the typical Ampezzan style. Guests will enjoy delicious homemade meals made by the owners themselves, and an array of amenities such as tennis courts, a sauna, solarium, Turkish bath, and Jacuzzi.

Hotel Pordoi — Passo Pordoi

The Hotel Pordoi is a basic, but well-located hotel situated on the Passo Pordoi where be start our morning ascent of Piz Boè. The Hotel Pordoi features a free wellness center equipped with a Turkish bath, and a sun terrace with sun loungers, as well as free Wi-Fi. Guestrooms come equipped with a satellite flat-screen TV, private bathroom with shower and hairdryer, and in-room internet. Views from the dinner room are breathtaking.

Romantik Hotel Santer — Toblach

The four-star Romantik Hotel Santer is nestled in the beautiful Alta Pusteria Valley, which is particularly magical in the winter when the Dolomites are covered in a thick blanket of snow. For après ski options, the hotel offers a large wellness center with an indoor heated pool, fitness room, saunas, massages and facials. Themed guestrooms have a quirky yet upscale charm to them, and come equipped with satellite TV and free Wi-Fi.

"Terrific guides and extremely well organized. Hotels were excellent. Overall terrific experience. Best leader I have had on any trip I have done!" Steve Weiner

"Spectacular scenery--to which we would have had no access otherwise. Spectacular place, experienced and professional leaders, smoothly run experience." Susan Maclean

"Will highly recommend this trip! The guides were amazing! Well run. Good value. Excellent trip." Theresa Foote

"Beautiful mountains, great hotels, great guides." Raphael Shapiro

  • Hike amid spectacular pillars, steeples, and pinnacles on this custom-designed and truly intimate experience in the Dolomites
  • Visit Bozen, the historic capital of South Tirol, and see “Ötzi the Iceman,” the famous glacier mummy
  • Enjoy the company of highly skilled local mountain guides as they show you the best of the Dolomites, from mountain passes and peaceful refuges, to wineries and more!

Italy’s Dolomites mountains can’t help but impress with their stunning pinnacles, pillars, spires, and rock faces that seem to change color at different points throughout the day. Our itinerary, traveling from east to west, covers all the must-see sites of this magnificent range, including the most famous peaks: Schlern, Sella, Drei Zinnen (Tre Cime de Lavaredo), and Marmolada. Every day offers challenging hikes (with some less challenging options) leading you past forests, surreal rock formations, glacial lakes, and high alpine meadows. Enjoy picnic lunches at charming rifugi set amid stunning backdrops, and unwind back at your comfortable hotel. Come experience the monumental beauty of Italy’s Dolomites as only you can with MTS!

review

"Terrific guides and extremely well organized. Hotels were excellent. Overall terrific experience. Best leader I have had on any trip I have done!" Steve Weiner

"Spectacular scenery--to which we would have had no access otherwise. Spectacular place, experienced and professional leaders, smoothly run experience." Susan Maclean

"Will highly recommend this trip! The guides were amazing! Well run. Good value. Excellent trip." Theresa Foote

"Beautiful mountains, great hotels, great guides." Raphael Shapiro

DAILY itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Innsbruck, Austria

Arrive in Innsbruck, Austria’s capital of the Alps. We'll have one scheduled group transfer to our hotel, located in the center of town. The day is free to explore the medieval part of town, watch local Tyroleans while sipping on a cappuccino, or take a nap after your flight. Innsbruck’s robust architecture is a tribute to both its German and Italian influences, and the city is ideal for strolling. One cannot go too far in Innsbruck without noticing the mountains looming above; these mountains have attracted countless tourists and mountaineers, as well as Olympic games over the years. This evening we’ll all gather at 7pm for a brief orientation with your guide, followed by a welcome dinner at your hotel. 

  • Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Central

Day 2: Take a warm-up hike through Pragser Wildsee (Lago di Braies)

This morning we’ll head south and cross the border into Italy, taking a winding road to meet the trailhead, which will bring us to the world-famous Pragser Wildsee (4,901'), also known in Italian as Lago di Braies and one of the most beautiful lakes in the Alps. This half-day hike will acclimate us to higher altitudes slowly and introduce us to the landscape we’ll be seeing for the rest of the trip. Upon reaching Pragser Wildsee, we’ll break for a picnic lunch near the lake, and then begin our climb through the forest to Pragser Kaser to rest and take in the views of the lake below. Tonight, we’ll stay in Toblach, a small town nestled in the mountains at the entrance of the Val di Landro and at the foot of one of the celebrated Tre Cime di Lavaredo—also known as the Drei Zinnen in German.

(Hiking time: 4 to 5 hours; elevation gain and loss: 1,650')

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Romantik Hotel Santer

Day 3: Hike below the face of Drei Zinnen (Tre Cime di Lavaredo)

Today, the trail brings us on a challenging hike just below the face of Drei Zinnen, the Three Peaks of the Dolomites known as Tre Cime di Lavaredo in Italian. Everyone has seen a picture of these three rock towers with their sheer vertical walls, but believe us when we tell you that they are far more impressive in person! We’ll start our hike in Landro (4,593'), following the Riezental along creeks, gorges and rock walls, until we reach a steeper section, which opens to magnificent views of the peaks. We’ll continue on for another two hours and meet our bus at the Rifugio Auronzo, a classic mountain hut where we can rest and refuel before our drive to Cortina for the night. Cortina is known for its master woodworking, its tiled iron stoves, and its copper and glass art as much as its world-class skiing. We’ll have time to stroll the town and possibly visit one of its historic churches before unwinding over a sumptuous five-course dinner.

(Hiking time: 6 hours; elevation gain: 3,132'; elevation loss: 480')

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Franceschi

Day 4: Explore the trails of Cortina d’Ampezzo

We’ll spend the day exploring the surrounding trails of Cortina d’Ampezzo, famous home of the 1956 Winter Olympics. We’ll transfer 10 minutes to our trailhead at 5,577 feet. After climbing gently uphill for about 90 minutes, we’ll reach a mountain hut in a scenic location where we can break for some soup or a light snack. Now above tree line, the views are superb. We’ll continue climbing uphill to Passo Giau, a mountain pass at 7,545 feet, where we’ll stop for a cool beer or a glass of wine in the sun to take in the beauty around us. From the pass, our vehicle will pick us up and bring us back to Cortina.

(Hiking time: 6 hours; elevation gain: 2,624'; elevation loss: 1,758')

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Franceschi

Day 5: Enjoy a Cinque Torri circuit

This morning, a transfer will take us to the bottom of another famous rock formation in the area—the Cinque Torri. At the Rifugio Bai de Dones we will take the chairlift to the Rifugio Scoiattoli (7,398'). From here, we will start a truly remarkable circuit of the Cinque Torri and enjoy a trail up to the peak of Nuvolau (8,445'). After lunch at the Rifugio Averau, we'll continue towards the Passo Falzarego. En route, we'll have the opportunity to see some of the Italian entrenchments that were built here during the Great War. At the Passo Falzarego we have the opportunity to learn more about WWI at the open air museum of Lagazuoi. In the late afternoon, we'll transfer further west through the town of Arabba to the Passo Pordoi, with magnificent views of the Dolomites, where we will spend the night. 

(Hiking time: 6 hours; elevation gain: 1,010'; elevation loss: 3,111')

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Pordoi

Day 6: Summit Piz Boè

Today we'll get an early start and take the first gondola up from the Passo Pordoi (7,355') to the Sass Pordoi (9,186'). From here, we'll climb (weather permitting) to the summit of Piz Boè (10,334') on a rocky trail with some scrambling. With unforgettable views all around us we will have lunch at the high mountain hut before we continue our hike descending back to the Passo Pordoi. Here, our vehicle will pick us up and we'll continue to our beautiful hotel in Welschnhofen. We'll have some time to enjoy the luxurious spa or take a stroll in town situated at the base of the famous Rosengarten Mountains, celebrated for their shade of dolomite that seems to turn pink in the sun.

(Hiking time: 4 hours, elevation gain: 1,148', long descent: 2,979'; those who want even more of a challange can opt to get an earlier start, skip the gondola, and hike from the hotel the entire distance, which will add 2 hours, and a 1,800-foot elevation gain)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Engel Resort & Spa

Day 7: Traverse the mighty Rosengarten Rotwand

We'll start with a short walk to a the gondola, which will whisk us up to the “Kölner Hütte” at 7,316 feet. Here our hiking circuit around the Rotwand begins with a rather challenging start. We'll go slowly, hiking and scrambling up relatively short but steep ascent to Passo Coronelle (8,628'). The views here are breathtaking, and worth the effort. Our trail then leads us through rocky and inspiring mountains before approaching the Cigolade Pass (8,372'), a scenic spot for a rest and snack before we continue on to the Rotwand Hütte. Here we will have lunch and a beer, and then make our way back to the  Kölner hut traversing along the base of the mighty Rotwand. This famous Alpine wall is said to be one of the most challenging in the Alps and home of many world class rock climbers. We'll finish our last hike of the trip with gusto! Later, we’ll return to our hotel in Welschnhofen.

(Hiking time: 6 hours; elevation gain: 2,700' up and down)

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Engel Resort & Spa

Day 8: Visit "Ötzi the Iceman" in Innsbruck

We’ll leave the higher alpine areas and drive to Bozen, the capital of South Tyrol, passing impressive canyons and alpine villages along the way. We’ll spend the day strolling Bozen’s historic center, shopping for souvenirs and visiting Mr. Ötzi, the famous Iceman on display at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology. Ötzi lived around 5300 years ago and is Europe’s oldest known natural human mummy – an absolutely incredible archaeological find. Next we’ll taste fine wines at a local winery, before regrouping for a special farewell dinner back in Innsbruck. 

  • Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
  • Accommodation:Hotel Central

Day 9: Depart from Innsbruck

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

  • Breakfast
lodgings

Hotel Central — Innsbruck

Located within walking distance to the Innsbruck train station, the historic old town and many other attractions, four-star Hotel Central is just that—central. Rooms are modern yet minimalist, with warm wood tones and crisp white linens. Hotel Central provides all the amenities you'd expect— cable TV, free Wi-Fi, minibars, etc.—and some you wouldn't, namely the infrared cabins. Yes, two state-of-the-art Physiothern infrared cabins are available to for guests to use, free of charge! Known benefits of this therapy include detoxification, alleviation of tension and back pain and strengthened immune system. If the cabins aren't for you, try the sauna, steam bath or gym.

Hotel Engel Resort & Spa — Welschnofen

The four-star Hotel Engel Resort & Spa enjoys beautiful views looking up at the Rosengarten mountains, and offers a large spa center with massage service, an indoor heated pool, outdoor tennis courts, and much more. Guestrooms come equipped with satellite TV, bathrobe and hairdryer, and wifi is available in all areas and is free of charge.

Hotel Franceschi — Cortina d’Ampezzo

The Franceschi Park Hotel sits on the grounds of a magnificent private park and is surrounded by pleasant and relaxing gardens. Conveniently located within walking distance of the center of town, the hotel offers spacious and elegant rooms furnished in the typical Ampezzan style. Guests will enjoy delicious homemade meals made by the owners themselves, and an array of amenities such as tennis courts, a sauna, solarium, Turkish bath, and Jacuzzi.

Hotel Pordoi — Passo Pordoi

The Hotel Pordoi is a basic, but well-located hotel situated on the Passo Pordoi where be start our morning ascent of Piz Boè. The Hotel Pordoi features a free wellness center equipped with a Turkish bath, and a sun terrace with sun loungers, as well as free Wi-Fi. Guestrooms come equipped with a satellite flat-screen TV, private bathroom with shower and hairdryer, and in-room internet. Views from the dinner room are breathtaking.

Romantik Hotel Santer — Toblach

The four-star Romantik Hotel Santer is nestled in the beautiful Alta Pusteria Valley, which is particularly magical in the winter when the Dolomites are covered in a thick blanket of snow. For après ski options, the hotel offers a large wellness center with an indoor heated pool, fitness room, saunas, massages and facials. Themed guestrooms have a quirky yet upscale charm to them, and come equipped with satellite TV and free Wi-Fi.

Dates and Pricing

Sep 02 - 10, 2016 Guaranteed Departure

Sep 12 - 20, 2016 Guaranteed Departure

Jun 21 - 29, 2017

Jul 02 - 10, 2017

Sep 03 - 11, 2017

pricing

2016 Prices
$4,595 (6-16 members)
$600 single supplement

2017 Prices
$4,995 (6-16 members)
$600 single supplement

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