- September 26, 2020
Pick up at Venice Airport (VCE); time TBD; travel to Villabassa
Start at the Hotel Adler in Villabassa. The leader will give a short briefing to give an overview of the week ahead and other important information. No meals served.
- September 27, 2020
Lago di Braies
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 areas, thanks to the surrounding 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.
- September 28, 2020
Kreutzberg Pass to Nemes Alm
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 in the afternoon, we visit Alpe Nemes hut, where we could enjoy a drink and a homemade apple strudel.
Approx distance 14-16km. 6-700m ascent, 6-700m descent.
- September 29, 2020
Climb up towards Strudelkopf
We start the walk at 2000m elevation, ascending to the summit of Strudlekopf (2307m). We stop at the Durrenstein hut in the early afternoon to check out 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.
- September 30, 2020
A free day to relax in the hotel’s wellness center or take a self-guided bicycle 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 border. Or you could journey to the attractive provincial capital of Lienz in Austria, or to the cozy town of Brunico, Italy.
- • October 1, 2020
Tre Cime di Lavaredo
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.
- • October 2, 2020
To complete the week, we take the amazing eastern approach route up Monte Piana. After 600m ascent, we find ourselves on 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 we can see trenches, dugouts and shell craters. On our return, we’ll see the beautiful Lake Misurina, surrounded by pink limestone rock.
Approx distance 15km, 700m ascent, 800m descent.
- • October 3, 2020
Depart Villabassa; time TBD
(I’m looking into adding an *optional* night by the airport here, because the drive from Villabassa to VCE is almost three hours on mountain roads. I’m generally very cautious about guarding against mishaps around making it on time for a flight, and without a lot of stress. I think staying tonight near the airport would be prudent and allow for a stress-free airport arrival the next morning. This would also allow us to drop off our bags at the hotel and head into Venice for the rest of that day!)
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.
Hotel Adler – 4 Star (click to be directed to the hotel’s website)
All bedrooms have en-suite facilities (some with showers and some with baths), tea/coffee making facilities (for a fee), minibar and TV.
A very limited number of single rooms are available for a US$500 supplement.
Eating & Drinking
Please note an evening meal is not included or available at the hotel on the first night. Sandwiches or snacks are available at the airport (the leader can suggest options). I have a query out about local restaurants.
For breakfast, the hotel offers a large selection of cereals, fruit, cheese and cold meats, (along with tea and coffee, of course).
5 packed 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, etc.). In an effort to minimize 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 3 or 4 courses), which may include some local specialties such as Speckknodel (dumplings).
Transfers to and from the airport, and during the trip, will be in a private vehicle (normally minibus). On certain days, we may use public transport.
It is a condition of joining any of our trips that you must be fully insured for at least US$200,000 against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services). On arrival, you will be asked to present details of your policy to your trip leader.
European plug ‐ 2 round pins.
The national currency of Italy is the Euro (EUR).
Extra Expenses & Spending Money
You will need sufficient funds to buy the 1 lunch and 2 dinners that are not included. We suggest €5-10 for lunch and €15-25 for dinner (excluding drinks). If you would like to sample the excellent a-la-carte menu available at Hotel Adler, please allow around €40.
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, for the week.
ATMs are available at Venice airport and Villabassa (although this one is not always working). Almost all places take major credit cards, yet cash is generally easier.
There are a number of extra excursions available; exact prices and details will be confirmed locally, but he following can be used as a guide:
- Messner Mountain Museum Ripa Brunico: €9 per person
- Cheese factory in Dobbiaco: €3.50 admission only; €6.50 for a small cheese tasting; €8.50 for 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)
Although optional, a tip for the leader at the end of the trip is greatly appreciated. This is entirely at your own discretion. As a guideline, we recommend a contribution between €15 and €20 per client.
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. On this trip, we spend the week in locally-owned Hotel Adler, which has a strong commitment to use 100% clean energy; hot water is supplied from solar-powered central heating, and electricity is hydro-powered. They also employ local staff and use local produce whenever possible. As a hiking trip, 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.