cortina dolomites italy hiking tour

Santa Lucia, the Dolomites, Italy

The craggy peaks and spires of the Dolomites rise above classic mountain villages. Our hiking journey offers a daily choice of fantastic hikes in these spectacular mountains.

Photo by Dan Heller

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Hiking in the Cortina Dolomites

Experience Europe’s Most Dramatic Mountains

Hiking in the Cortina Dolomites route-map

Trip Details at-a-Glance

Cost From: $4295  
Length: 8 days
Arrive: Venice, Italy
Depart: Venice, Italy
Lodging: 6 nights 3- and 4-star hotels and inns, 1 night comfortable alpine lodge with semi-private rooms, shared baths, and hot showers
Meals: All meals included except 1 dinner
Activity: Hiking / Trekking, Cultural Adventures
Trip Level: 6 hiking days, choice of moderate to steep trails, 3-7 hours a day, altitudes from 5,000-9,100 feet, van support (for luggage or tired feet), team of up to 3 Trip Leaders


  • Hike through a surreal landscape of splintered spires, huge rock walls, and picturesque villages
  • Moderate or challenging hiking options most days among the most spectacular mountains in all Europe
  • Enjoy delightful Italian alpine culture and cuisine (be sure to try canederli, a bread dumpling unique to the area)

Beautiful, challenging, fun, and full of culture and nature. I highly recommend it!Kathy L.—Des Moines, IA

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Choosing the Right Trip

We work hard to help you choose the right trip for you, paying attention to your individual interests, abilities, and needs. If you have questions about the level of comfort or any of the activities described in this itinerary, please contact us.


We are proud to have an exceptionally high rate of repeat travelers. For more information, we would be happy to put you in touch with a client who has traveled with us.

Departure Notes

Once you have signed up on the trip, we send a complete packing list, relevant health information, and required travel documents.

Nothing quite prepares you for the awesome spectacle of the Dolomites. In this magnificent landscape, enormous spires, towers, and pinnacles soar dreamlike above an enchanting realm of deep green valleys with storybook villages and steepled churches. Our unique journey explores the Cortina Dolomites, famed for unearthly monoliths including the Tre Cime di Lavaredo and the broad expanse of 10,965-foot Marmolada, the highest peak in the Dolomites. With up to three Trip Leaders and moderate or challenging options most days, we experience some of Europe’s most incredible mountain scenery and delight in northern Italy’s alpine culture and delectable cuisine. A special overnight in a spectacular hike-in lodge is the perfect perch for watching the sunset paint the massive rock pinnacles an extraordinary palette of ever-changing luminous hues.

Itinerary at a Glance

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

Days 1-3
Venice / Passo Giau / Civetta Massif

From Venice, we head to our hotel in the heart of the Dolomites, with its wonderful views of the Tofane, Croda Rossa, Cristallo, and Croda da Lago massifs. Our warm-up hike offers a great introduction to this spectacular world. On the next two days, we ascend to Forc d’ Giau, hike through beautiful meadows to Ambrizolla Pass, then descend past waterfalls with stunning views of the Tofane Massif. Our moderate option is a lovely ramble through meadows and woodlands beneath the soaring Tofane peaks. Other hikes bring us into the magnificent Civetta Massif, with its famous six-mile-wide north face known as “the wall of walls.”

Day 4
Rifugio Lagazuoi

We revel in panoramas stretching from Tofane to Marmolada, the “Queen of the Dolomites,” en route to Rifugio Lagazuoi, an awesomely situated mountain lodge with hearty food and amazing views.

Days 5-8
Cortina d’Ampezzo / Tofane / Tre Cime di Lavaredo

Our hikes from stylish Cortina include a challenging option featuring the “secret” valley behind the Tofane Massif that few hikers explore. Our moderate option leads along a trail below the great spires of the Tofane di Roses and continues along the Alta Via 1, a long-distance footpath traversing the Dolomites from north to south. Other hikes include an excursion into the world of the famous Tre Cime di Lavaredo, three yellow-pink spires that offer quintessential Dolomites hiking. No matter which hikes we choose, the views are simply out of this world. Depart on Day 8 via Venice.

For a more complete description, Download Full Detailed Itinerary

What the Trip is Like

This trip is Level 4 or 5, depending on the hiking options you choose. We have two hiking options to choose from on most days, ranging from moderate to challenging by Alps standards. Each day will include anywhere from three to seven hours of hiking, with options that give us time for visiting small villages and other interesting places en route. Most hiking is between 5,000 and 9,000 feet, with the routes featuring a good bit of up-and-down (although some level walks are available). While the Dolomites are not exceptionally high, they are steep and rugged, and this trip, while not difficult, is aimed for those who have at least some experience of mountain hiking. All participants must be in good physical condition. No climbing or mountaineering experience is necessary. Of course, you are always free to skip a day’s hike and travel to the next destination in the support vehicle. The support vehicle transports the group’s luggage, so you only need to carry a daypack for items you need for the day (sweater, camera, water bottle).

We strongly urge you to “train up” for your trip. Your enjoyment of the trip will be very dependent on your level of fitness. The best training for a hike is to hike, especially over hills or rough terrain. Next best are running, swimming, bicycling or other sports exercise. Stair-climbing machines are excellent preparation for hiking uphill. Try to incorporate exercise into your daily schedule at least a couple of months before departure. Your feet should also be well prepared—make sure your hiking boots are sturdy and thoroughly broken-in. Altitude is not a problem on these trips. The itineraries are designed to take you gently to higher altitude, giving you plenty of time to acclimatize. However, some people still find they get a few problems when they first reach high altitude. Slight headache and sleeplessness are the most common problems.

On most days, breakfast will be around 7:30 am. You should bring your packed bag to the hotel lobby when you come down for breakfast on days when we will be changing hotels. We usually leave the hotel at around 8 or 8:30 am. The Trip Leader will describe each day’s hiking options including trail conditions, level of challenge, elevation gain or loss, mileage, and duration, so you can choose the one that fits your wishes best for that day. Lunch will usually be either in a small village, mountain lodge, or a picnic amidst the beauty of the surrounding mountains.

Most evening meals will be taken at our hotels and will be hearty, nourishing mountain fare, often with the cuisine the region is noted for. Please note that in Europe, the dinner hour is considerably later than what it is in the US. We do our best to secure early reservations for our groups, but most often the evening meal will be at 7:30 pm.

Our accommodations are in comfortable, small hotels with private bathrooms. Our hotels have been chosen as much as possible for their ambience and history and they are delightful for the local color and dining that they offer. These rustic and well located hotels are clean and comfortable, but rooms are not always of uniform size or amenities. Our Trip Leaders try to assign rooms in a fair way so that all participants experience an equal advantage throughout the trip as a whole. Single rooms are offered when possible, but those who pay the Single Supplement may have to share a room for some nights during the trip.

For one night we stay in a fantastic alpine lodge with 2- or 4-person rooms with shared bath and showers. Bunks, mattresses, and blankets are provided; if you want to have a top sheet or sleeping bag liner, please bring your own. The bedding at the lodge is very clean, usually consisting of a down comforter, a bottom sheet, and a pillow. Soap, shampoo, washcloths, and towels are not provided, so please bring your own small supply. There is limited vehicle access to this alpine lodge, so you will not have to carry your overnight luggage.

Explanation of Trip Levels


Departures & Leaders

Jun 27-Jul 4, 2014

Jul 20-27, 2014
Aug 10-17, 2014
Sep 7-14, 2014

Trip Cost

Prices are for 2014
$4295 (11-15 members)
$4695 (6-10 members)
Single supplement: $325
Forced single supplement: $200
more on pricing

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Expert leadership of at least two Wilderness Travel Trip Leaders (and sometimes three, depending on group size)
  • Accommodations as noted
  • All meals included except 1 dinner
  • Land transportation, airport transfers as noted in the Full Trip Brochure
  • Cable cars and uphill / downhill conveyance

Trip Cost Does Not Include:

International airfare, any meals not specified after each itinerary day in the Full Trip Brochure, airport departure taxes, optional cultural events, optional tipping or gratuities to leaders or staff, additional hotel nights that may be necessary due to airline schedule changes or other factors, pre-trip expenses of travel insurance, or passports and visas; and other expenses of a personal nature (alcoholic beverages, laundry, etc.).

Trip Payment Schedule

At time of reservation: $500
120 days prior to departure: 20%
60 days prior to departure: Balance

Cancellation and Transfer Fee Schedule

Minimum fee: None per person
46-90 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost
45 days or less: 100% of trip cost

Albergo Passo Giau

Albergo Passo Giau

Days 1 to 3 (3 nights), Passo Giau, Italy

This 9-room family-run auberge is very special, wonderfully quiet, and set on one of the main mountain passes above Cortina. Diego and Claudia and ...
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Rifugio Lagazuoi

Rifugio Lagazuoi

Day 4 (1 night), Dolomites, Italy

360-degree panoramas of the spires of the Dolomites, including glorious Tofano, Cristallo, and Marmolada, are at our fingertips at Rifugio Lagazuoi, ...
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Hotel in Cortina d'Ampezzo

Days 5 to 7 (3 nights), Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy

In Cortina d'Ampezzo, we stay at one of the following properties:

Note: Listed above are our signature accommodations for this trip. Although it is highly unlikely, we may make substitutions when necessary.

Our Trip Leaders

Here are the Trip Leaders scheduled for this journey (please note that leader assignments are subject to change).

Andrea Angelini

Departure Dates: June 27-July 4, 2014

Andrea Angelini, born in Rome, studied to be a mechanical engineer. After working as a flight technician  for Alitalia, he realized he wanted a life of travel and moved to Mexico, where he worked in tourism, traveling around Central America and honing his Spanish skills. Returning to Italy, ...
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Stefano Baldi

Departure Dates: June 27-July 4, 2014

Stefano Baldi, of Tuscany, has led hiking trips in Europe for us for nearly 15 years. He has spent most of his life living in the beautiful rural countryside of Tuscany, except for a few years in Florence as a student. His love for nature led him to found an agricultural co-op with friends in the ...
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JoAnn Lantz

Departure Dates: June 27-July 4, 2014, July 20-27, 2014

JoAnn Lantz was born in New York City, raised in Long Island, and graduated from New York University. She taught at the School for the Deaf in Manhattan before moving to Italy in 1988, after many years of traveling to Italy on vacation. She lives with her daughter in the countryside outside of ...
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Sebastiano Leone

Departure Dates: September 7-14, 2014

Sebastiano Leone is a native of the charming town of Palazzolo Acreide, Sicily, and a graduate of the University of Catania, with a degree in geology and a specialty in environmental restoration. He has done volunteer work on environmental projects in Italy’s national parks and is also an ...
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Sergio Mastroberardino

Departure Dates: September 7-14, 2014

Sergio Mastroberardino was born in the town of Avellino in southern Italy. He is a Certified Alpine Ski Instructor and during the winter season works full time with various ski schools and as a professional ski guide. Sergio has lived and taught skiing in Aspen, Colorado, Val D'Isere, France, and ...
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Sean Morrissey

Departure Dates: August 10-17, 2014

Sean Morrissey was born and raised in London but also spent time in Ireland with relatives while growing up (he holds both Irish and British passports). He moved to Australia at age 20, worked there for two years, then heeded the call of the mountains and became a professional guide, working in ...
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Leila Thompson

Departure Dates: July 20-27, 2014, August 10-17, 2014

Leila Thompson has made the mountains her focus since she was 18, when she moved to Yosemite to climb, hike, and learn to guide backcountry adventures. Later in Oregon, she added the crafts of backcountry skiing and whitewater guiding to her skills. She began exclusively leading trips for us in ...
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Stewart Wheelhouse

Departure Dates: July 20-27, 2014

Stewart Wheelhouse, a Welshman by birth, has spent the past 23 years leading adventures and expeditions throughout the world. He has traveled the length of Africa, written guidebooks on cycling through Europe, and led expeditions in Asia and Australia. A wonderful storyteller and traveling ...
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Client Comments

Beautiful, challenging, fun, and full of culture and nature. I highly recommend it! Kathy L., Des Moines, IA This was a wonderful hiking trip. Great day hikes, comfortable accommodations, and excellent food and wine. We couldn’t have asked for more! Linda and Ira G., West Hartford, CT Cannot imagine that there is a better trip to the Dolomites out there anywhere! Mike J., Crested Butte, CO The scenery, activities, and the WT Trip Leader team made for an outstanding trip. Neil K., Columbia, MD Without a doubt, one of the best organized trips we have been on. All three leaders were truly outstanding, the arrangements were far beyond expectation. David D. and Judy M., Vienna, VA Wilderness Travel has this trip down pat! Chuck T., Alexandria, VA Well designed, a good balance of hiking and social experiences, with flexibility for individual preferences. Allan C., Chapel Hill, NC This was a wonderful experience. I enjoyed the fact that we had three tour guides that were well versed in their subject area. Christine P., Moraga, CA This was my first WT trip and I would absolutely go on another one! I definitely enjoyed everything about the week. Elaine D., Toronto, Ontario This was the most incredible hiking trip I have experienced. Credit to the three trip leaders...they were fabulous! Jane C., Pacific Grove, CA
It was the best vacation I've ever had! Lili T., Charlotte, NC Loved it—who could not love days spent hiking through beautiful areas and great food and wine at night? Julia R., Topanga, CA This was my first adventure travel trip, and I had an amazingly wonderful time! I am sure I will do more trips with WT! Very challenging hiking, great food, great guides, and great people to hike with! It was a trip of a lifetime! Karen F., Auburn, WA The trip guides, Stefano and JoAnn, planned an amazing trip that gave us a great sampling of the variety of these amazing mountains. Their knowledge of the geography and history of the area really enhanced our experience too. Anyone who is an avid hiker should put the Dolomites on their bucket list! Lisa S., Sacramento, CA This is a fun, diverse, and well organized trip. We had a little bit of everything—great mountain scenery, beautiful refugios, a charming town, challenging and exciting hikes, and great food! Janet R., Encinitas, CA It was a wonderful trip! Wilderness Travel is seasoned and smart. We were lucky, but the planning was great. Thank you forever. Anne K., Sun Valley, ID This was a wonderful trip. Very well organized, all went smoothly. The scenery was breathtaking, accommodations were great, and the food was...well, I will be on a diet for the next 6 months! Ana C., Snohomish, WA