Dolomites Cortina

Walks, Wildflowers and Pinnacles in the Dolomites


The Dolomites in the north-east of Italy have a justifiable reputation for their scenic beauty and are recognised as a European hot spot for wildflowers and butterflies. This mountain range has been listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site since 2009 and displays unique features like a textbook of geology. We walk daily, covering a range of terrains and habitats.

The area’s more recent history is equally varied and interesting. During the week, we visit local museums relating to the archaeological finds of 7,500 years old Mondeval Hunter Man in Selva di Cadore; the First World War Austrian trenches and fortifications at Intra I Sass and the historic conquest of the Dolomites by Reinhold Messner and other climbers.

We spend the first two nights in a traditional mountain hotel, situated on a bucolic high altitude meadow. For the rest of the week, we base ourselves in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy’s most fashionable winter sports resort, which preserves its charm despite its popularity. The natural setting of the mountains, towering over the town and changing colours as the sun sets, never fails to impress and we have free time to wander the streets and piazzas full of cafes and stylish shops. Our dining experiences include simple trattorias and Michelin starred restaurants with which Cortina abounds.

HIGHLIGHTS of the Dolomites tour include:

  • Daily walks, covering a range of terrains and habitats, guided by an experienced guide, with a special interest in the history of the area and a passion for Alpine flowers
  • Early summer wildflowers – see the Gallery for flower photos taken on the research trip for this tour
  • Outstanding regional food and wine with dining experiences ranging from mountain refuges and simple trattorias to Michelin starred restaurants
  • Visiting local museums relating to the archaeological finds of 7,500 years old Mondeval Hunter Man in Selva di Cadore; the First World War Austrian trenches and fortifications at Intra I Sass; Titian’s birth place and the historic conquest of the Dolomites by Reinhold Messner and other climbers

DAY 1  
D included
Meeting at Venice airport in the afternoon, we travel (4 hrs) to our mountain hotel in the German speaking South Tyrol (Sudtirol in German, Alto Adige in Italian). The hotel lies at 2,000 m/6,500 ft above sea level and is known for its excellent regional cuisine. En route we pause in Dobiacco to see the hut in which Gustav Mahler composed on his summer retreats.

DAY 2 
B, L, D included
 
Our walk today is a circuit around the breath-taking, flower filled high Pratopiazza plateau. We climb on comfortable mountain paths to 360-degree panoramic views from the summit of Monte Specie (8 km/5 miles, 4.5 hours) and stop for a mountain refuge lunch on the way back. In the afternoon, we have an opportunity to sample a selection of local high pasture cheeses.

DAY 3
B, L, D included
We leave our high altitude hotel and head for one of the most beautiful walks in the Dolomites, a circuit of the iconic Tre Cime di Lavaredo above Misurina at over 2,000 metres throughout, with varied Dolomite views and an astonishing array of high mountain flowers (8 km/5 miles, 4.5 hours). Our mountain refuge lunch may feature goulash or canederli (dumplings) before we continue to our 4 star family-run hotel in the pedestrian main street of Cortina d’Ampezzo (5 nights).

DAY 4
B, L, D included
The front line of World War One ran through the heart of the Dolomites and today we follow a fascinating and unique history themed walk at Sass di Stria. Narrow mountain paths take us to trenches and fortifications in locations with panoramic views and down through an Austrian-built tunnel (6 km/4 miles, 4 hrs). We conclude with a visit to the Intra I Sass World War One museum in a late nineteenth century Austrian fort.

DAY 5 
B, L, D included
Today we head into the neighbouring Cadore valley to visit Titian’s birth home, restored to its original form in the 1930s, in Pieve di Cadore. We continue to Monte Rite and, using jeeps, we reach the top at 2,181 m/7,155 ft. The ‘Messner Museum in the Clouds’ is dedicated to the history of mountaineering in the Dolomites. Our botanical walk (3.5 km/2 miles, 2 hrs) offers a selection of meadow and woodland alpine flower species in addition to 360-degree views of the surrounding peaks.

DAY 6
B, L, D included
A 30 min drive takes us to Passo Giau at over 2,100 m/6,890 ft where we start a spectacular walk through meadows on the slopes of the volcanic Monte Pore (7 km/5 miles, 3 hrs). After a refuge lunch, we visit the excellent museum in Selva di Cadore with palaeontological and archaeological exhibits containing the skeleton of 7,500 years old Mondeval Man, a Mesolithic era hunter found in the area.

DAY 7
B, L, D included
A spectacular cable car journey takes us to 2,700 m/8,800 ft and a panoramic high walk (7 km/5 miles, 4 hrs) on the dramatic rocky Tofana massif in search of the elusive devil’s claw (Physoplexis comosa) and other Alpine flowers. We descend to the valley for a refuge lunch and visit the 11C Andraz castle, built to control the trading route in the valley. We return to the hotel and celebrate our journey with a dinner of regional and seasonal specialities at a Michelin starred restaurant (perhaps blueberry tagliatelle with venison ragu or ravioli with wild herbs and butter followed by lamb chops with chard).  

DAY 8
B included
Following a leisurely breakfast, we transfer to Venice airport (2.5 hrs) for flights home.

£ 2,390 per person sharing
£ 400 deposit per person
£ 280
single room supplement

If you are willing to share but no other suitable guest books on the trip, we regret that the supplement will be payable. We shall endeavour to obtain double rooms for single occupancy whenever possible.

 
Price includes
  • All accommodation for Days 1 to 8, on a twin shared basis
  • All meals (with wine at dinners and restaurant lunches), as listed in the daily notation
  • All land transportation in a private vehicle as described, except during free periods
  • All entrance and sightseeing fees, except during free periods
  • cable car trip, as described

  • Gratuities for hotel and restaurant staff and drivers (appreciation for the Kudu tour leader is discretionary)
 
Price does not include
  • International transportation to and from Venice
  • Trip cancellation, medical or other insurance
  • Immunisations, prescriptions or other medical requirements
  • Passport, visa and health documentation
  • Personal expenses (laundry, alcohol other than wine with group lunches and dinners, free time activities, etc.)
  • Transport and transfer of excess baggage 
  • Italian departure tax, if any


VALUE FOR MONEY - SO MUCH IS INCLUDED
On Kudu trips you will only need money for postcards, presents to take home, the odd G & T or an irresistible ice cream. Festival and opera tickets, museum and gallery entrances, National Park fees, all meals (with a very few exceptions specified in individual itineraries), wine with lunch and dinner, access to specialist books carried by the guides, gratuities for porters and hotel and restaurant staff, boat rides, train trips, internal flights, wine tastings, 4WDs with drivers, the services of skilled local guides and trackers etc are ALL INCLUDED in the cost of your holiday. 

We are confident that, like previous very satisfied guests, you will discover that our tours give you excellent value for money.

  • 2 nights in a traditional mountain hotel situated on a bucolic high altitude meadow, in the German speaking South Tyrol
  • 5 nights in a 4 star family-run hotel in the pedestrian main street of Cortina d’Ampezzo

Visa and Health Requirements
Visitors from the EU, US, Australia, New Zealand & Canada require a valid passport, but not a visa, for entry to Italy. If you are a national of any other country, please check visa regulations with your nearest Embassy of Italy.

At present there are no specific and compulsory health requirements for entry to Italy. Residents of countries in the EU can only claim free (emergency) medical treatment in Italy by presenting their European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). You may also wish to check the advice given to travellers by the Department of Health and the FCO

Insurance
It is essential, and a condition of booking, that you protect yourself with a suitable travel insurance policy as soon as you book a trip.  Follow this link for a quote for a policy available to UK residents.

If you are already insured or a non-UK resident, please inform us of your policy at the time of booking.

Size of party
This trip will run with a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 14 guests.


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