This walking holiday takes you through three nature reserves in the regions of South Tyrol and Belluno, which are some of the most beautiful areas of the Dolomites with the former Olympic city of Cortina d'Ampezzo in the center. The Dolomites have not without reason become a UNESCO World Heritage site. The mountains that surround you, reach heights above 3,000 meters (9,842ft).
Along the way you will see mountain lakes, high peaks, green fields with grazing cows and goats and mountain huts in traditional style.
The trip is an individual self-guided walking tour, where it is possible to choose between a shorter and a longer day walk. Depending on your fitness level maybe some days you will choose the long harder route and other days the shorter and easier variant. Your luggage is transported from hotel to hotel, so you only have to carry your daypack.
Individual arrival at the hotel in Hochpustertal. Free, unguarded public car park near the hotel.
Your hiking holiday starts by the idyllic lake Pragser Wildsee, which fascinates the sightseer with the crystal clear turquoise waters of the lake. Here you get a first impression of the Pragser Tal; with its dark-needled coniferous forests and the whitewashed walls of the mountain rocks, it counts to the pearls of the Dolomites. The way leads you to the alpine pasture Rossalm and down to Brückele. By public transport you reach the high plateau of Plätzwiese, over which the mountains Dürrenstein and Hohe Gaisl sit majestically. Beside calm and nature you encounter here also a panoramic view: In the vastness you can see the mountains Cristallo, Tofana and the world-famous Drei Zinnen (Three Peaks). Leisurely walkers have the possibility to choose a variant for the first stage, at which they are taken to the guesthouse Tuscherhof and start their walk from there. Following the river Stolla they pass the guesthouse Brückele, the homonymous hut Stolla and rock paintings (cases of erosion, which are produced by the constant influence of water and the different composition of the rock) to get to the Plätzwiese.
Short trip: ca. 11km / ca. 4-5 hours (ca. +800 m. / -0 m.)
Long trip: ca. 16km / ca. 6-7 hours (ca. +1.100 m. / -600 m.)
Starting point of today’s stage is the alpine pasture Plätzwiese, which together with the mountains Hohe Gaisl and Kreuzkofelgruppe counts as the most treasured and revered hiking areas in the country; the charismatic magnetism of the unusual flora and natural lakes, have an enthralling charm on the discerning visitor. The bizarre and fascinating fables according to legends of the ancient tribes of Fanes Empire are relevant here. In the Nature Park Fanes-Sennes-Prags, the largest nature park in the Dolomites, you can make your choice between two options. Starting at the Plätzwiese depending on the variant you reach either the Strudelkopf (short variant) or the Dürrenstein (longer variant). Both options offer you a spectacular view on the Hohe Gaisl, the Drei Zinnen (Three Peaks), the Tofana and the Monte Cristallo peak.
Short trip: about 3-4 hours +/- 350
Long trip: about 4 hours +/- 850m
You hike through the high plateau of the Plätzwiese and descend through the Knappenfußtal to Cimabanche – the frontier between South Tyrol and Belluno. Here are two possibilities to continue: either the direct way using the public transport to Cortina d’Ampezzo or the longer variant to the hut Ra Stua and under the Col Rosa to Cortina d’Ampezzo. Your today’s destination, the former Olympic city, impresses with its unique location in the middle of famous Dolomite peaks.
Short trip: about 1½-2 hours -0m / +460m
Long trip: about 6-7 hours +600m / -1.300m
The panorama of the starting point of this stage is quite simple and stunning. The giant rocks of the Ampezzo Dolomites reach into heaven; the Monte Cristallo and the Cristallogruppe, the Tofana and the Fanesgruppe are the leading actors of this spectacle. There are two options for the day: the longer one leads you towards Forcella Faloria and the shorter one is following the Dolomieu Panoramic Trail. Both of them are heading towards Passo Tre Croci. The descent to Cortina is equal for both routes. Let yourself be enchanted by the natural beauty of the fascinating environment of the impressive Dolomite peaks.
Short trip: Dolomieu-Trail : ca. 12km / ca. 3-4 hours (ca. +100m / - 990 meter)
Round trip Cortina: ca. 4-5 hours (ca. +650m /- 650m)
Long trip: ca. 15km / ca. 5 hours (ca. +300m / - 1.150m)
A bus takes you right at the beginning to the Auronzo Hut, situated directly below the world-famous rock massif of the „Three Peaks“. The imposing peaks, which were fiercely fought over as part of the front between Italy and Austria-Hungary during the mountain war in the First World War, are probably the best-known rock formation in the Dolomites. From here you hike leisurely down the Rienz Valley to the Dreizinnenblick and return by bus to the starting hotel of your hiking tour in Dobbiaco/Villabassa. For the more leisurely, there is the option of walking around the famous Three Peaks and returning by bus from Rifugio Auronzo to Dobbiaco/Villabassa (ticket not included in the price).
Short trip: ca. 3-4 hours +350m / -350m
Long trip: ca. 4-5 hours +120m / -1.000m
The last stage of your hiking holiday takes you to one of the most beautiful side valleys of the Pustertal, to Sesto. Before that, you arrive to Versciaco, where the cable car takes you to the mountain Helm. From here you can enjoy a beautiful view to the Sextner Dolomiten. The huts Hahnspiel, Sillian, and Alpe Nemes are further stops before you hike to the Kreuzbergpass. You will get back to Villabassa/Dobbiaco by bus/train and enjoy you last night of your tour in the Dolomites.
15km / ca. 5-6 hours (ca. +575m / -975m)
Your walking holiday is coming to an end and it is time to find your way home.
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