* start your trip in the beautiful and historic town of Bressanone
* hike through fields of wildflowers and into deep pine forests
* stop for a lunch in charming mountain huts
* admire the dramatic jagged peaks that began as fossilized coral reefs
* enjoy hearty and delicious Tyrolean-Italian fusion cuisine
* explore the picturesque village of Ortisei, home of the Ladin people, with their distinct history and language
* taste the delicious regional wines in Madonna di Campiglio
* walk along an Alpine river and admire its dramatic waterfalls
Tour cost does not include: all lunches; drinks other than water at meals; tips at meals that are not included; and anything not mentioned in the inclusions
The dramatic pinnacles and sheer rock walls of this UNESCO World Heritage site extend across three regions (Veneto, Trentino-Alto Adige, and Friuli). Our tour explores two areas of the Trentino-Alto Adige Dolomites – the Val di Funes and the Val Rendena – and offers an alternative to the more famous destinations, which have become extremely crowded and expensive in recent years. We still get great scenery, however, and our hikes go through a variety of environments, from wooded trails to open meadows, rocky terrain, and valleys with lakes and waterfalls. The hikes are between 8-13 km (5-8 miles) and are on a mix of terrain that’s accessible to most hikers. The two areas we visit are culturally very different, as the Val di Funes is part of German-speaking South Tyrol while the Val Rendena is in the Italian-speaking Trentino region, so you also get to try dishes with both Austrian and Italian influences. Cap it all off with some of Italy’s best wines and you’ve got a winning combination!
Day 1 – Sunday: Independent arrival in Bressanone and group dinner
Make your way to the delightful city of Bressanone (or Brixen in its German form), which is accessible by train from Milan (4 hrs), Venice (3.5 hrs) or Innsbruck (Austria, 1.5 hrs). The city’s history goes back thousands of years as it lies at the confluence of two rivers and is on an important route through the Alps, so take some time this afternoon to wander the colorful streets and admire the Medieval-Baroque architecture. We stay the night at a delightful family-run hotel rght in the heart of the old town. Meet your guide(s) in the hotel lobby at 6 p.m. for a welcome drink followed by dinner at one of our favorite restaurants. Overnight Bressanone. Hotel and dinner included.
Day 2-4: Hike the Val di Funes
Enjoy three exhilarating hikes through the pine forests, green meadows and soaring peaks of the Val di Funes. We stay in a small village where you’ll find warm hospitality, delicious food, and a lovely place to relax at the end of the day. Cable-cars help with some of the ascents and descents, and you’ll enjoy stopping at the traditional mountain huts called rifugios or malgas for a hearty lunch, a coffee break, or a tasty piece of strudel. 3 nights in the Val di Funes.
Days 5-7: Madonna di Campiglio and the Brenta Dolomites
We bid farewell to the Val di Funes and head to our next destination, Madonna di Campiglio, in the Brenta Dolomites. We are now in the province of Trento, one of northern Italy’s most important cities. Hike through aromatic conifer forests which are home to deer, brown bears and golden eagles, and get refreshed by a cool mountain river that’s fed by numerous thundering waterfalls. Other hikes take you to high Alpine lakes that reflect the sky and clouds in their shimmering surfaces. We stay 3 nights in Madonna di Campiglio — “the Pearl of the Dolomites” — where we have delicious dinners and sample some of the wonderful wines produced in this region. Overnight in Madonna di Campiglio.
Day 8 – Sunday: transfer to the Trento train station
This morning we have one group transfer to the Trento train station, which is on the high-speed train line (Trenitalia and Italo) and also has regional connections to other cities in Italy. We will arrive at the train station by 10:30 a.m.