Walking in the Dolomites and a Taste of Venice - 8th to 15th September 2018

Dolomites lakes

Towering summits of Alpine limestone (some over 3,000m in altitude) make up the dramatic peaks and magnificent landscape of the Dolomites. Our destination is the picturesque mountain village of San Cassiano, located at an altitude of *1,537 metres.

The village forms part of the municipality of Badia, a place of natural beauty situated at the foot of the imposing rock faces of Lavarella, Conturines and Lagazuoi. This is a favourite destination of hikers and alpinists, particularly those seeking the challenge of scaling the rugged rock faces. We are there for the hiking and wonderful mountain scenery, which should not disappoint.

  • Delightful boutique hotel in the Dolomites
  • Tranquil guided walks
  • Emphasis on quality dining and wines
  • Experience the towering summits of Alpine limestone
  • Learn about the history, culture and via ferrata
  • Excellent hotel and location in Venice
  • Explore Venice at your own pace
  • Enjoy the company of like-minded people


Hotel in Venice

After five nights in the Dolomites, we spend two nights in Venice at the 4-star Hotel Palazzo Giovanelli. This is an elegant and charming hotel overlooking the Grand Canal, which is away from the noise and crowded streets, but close to San Marco Square and the Rialto area.

Venice is often described as the most beautiful city in the world. Some cities you visit for the galleries, some for the restaurants and some for the nightlife, but you visit Venice to stroll through the alleys, bridges and squares that make up some of the most elegant use of public space found anywhere. For a walk rich in architectural and historical significance, we follow the route from the Rialto Bridge to St Mark’s Square. Given that the best things in Venice are free, there should be little need to spend much on anything else.




On arrival in Venice we are met by our agents and transferred by private vehicle to San Cassiano (via Casino) to the hotel. This 200km scenic drive through the mountains and villages of Casino should take just over two hours (although we can stop on the way for refreshments).


Check in to the hotel for four nights. Welcome reception with complimentary aperitivo, followed by dinner in the hotel’s Restaurant Salares.


Overnight at Hotel Ciasa Salares, San Cassiano.




Breakfast in the hotel.

Starting from the hotel, and accompanied by Clemens Wieser (the owner of the hotel), we walk through the woods to Piz Sorega meadows - renowned for their profusion of flowers. From there, the path makes progress uphill – with frequent stops to admire the surrounding spectacular mountain views.


From Armentarola, we make our way to Malga Saraghes on the south-west on trail to the peak of Ciampai, turning left towards Bioch. After 300 metres we arrive at Baita Rumestluns, an attractive mountain hut (owned by the hotel) where you’ll find refreshing drinks and snacks prepared by the hotel staff, followed by a barbeque lunch.

On our 5km walk we should cover a gain in elevation of around roughly 500 metres, over a period of three hours. After lunch, there’s a return by the Piz Sorega cable car, followed by the hotel’s shuttle bus back to the hotel. There is also the option to retrace your steps and walk back to the hotel. We have graded this walk Easy.


Relax at the hotel and indulge in their Spa, including indoor swimming pool, turkish bath, solarium, sauna and gymnasium. Optional spa treatments.

Dinner tonight is at an ancient farmhouse called Lüch Alfarei.


Overnight at Hotel Ciasa Salares, San Cassiano.





Breakfast in the hotel. Please collect your picnic lunch from the restaurant after breakfast.

We are driven by the hotel shuttle bus to the start point of today’s walk at Hamlet Rudeferia.


 The hike takes us through flower-filled meadows, pastureland and woods, passing along the foot of the Sas dla Crusc/Sasso di Santa Croce - an ideal vantage point for the Marmolada, Sella massif, Puez and Sass de Putia.

The unspoiled scenery, unique flora of the Dolomites, and glimpses of game such as chamois and roe deer make this hike an unforgettable experience.


From the village square in San Cassiano we head east along the trail walking gently uphill to the Maso Larjëi.

Walking through a larch wood, we arrive at the hamlet of Rüdeferia. From there we continue northwards to the edge of the forest, crossing mountain trail no.12, and walking towards the Forcela Lavarela Passage. Continue walking in the same direction up quite a steep incline.


Passing through the Alpine forest, we reach the pilgrimage site of La Crusc/Santa Croce (2,047 m), at the foot of the sheer rock face of the Sasso di Santa Croce. Here, we can expect far-reaching views over the forests and valleys of the Dolomites.

From Santa Croce, we follow trail no. 13, passing beneath the Santa Croce Church, towards La Villa. After 1.5 km we take trail no.7B, initially through trees and then across meadows, until, after about 40 minutes, we reach the hamlet of Oies. From there, we are met by the hotel’s shuttle bus and transferred back to the hotel.


This 10km walk should take around 5 hours and includes an ascent gain of 544 metres and descent of 734 metres. Altitude difference 544 metres. Grade Moderate.

Optional wine tasting in the hotel’s cellar.


Fondue supper in the hotel.


Overnight at Hotel Ciasa Salares, San Cassiano.






Breakfast in the hotel. Please collect your picnic lunch from the restaurant after breakfast.

The hotel shuttle bus will take the group to the starting point for the walk at the Valparola Pass about 7 km from San Cassiano.


This varied mountain hike across broad alpine pasture and flower-filled meadows offers breathtaking views of the Dolomite peaks of Conturines, Lavarella, Fanes and, to the north, the glaciers of the main ridge of the Alps.

We follow the marked trail no. 24, a route across the shallow grassy hollows surrounding Lech de Valparola Lake. The trail forks south-west and we make the climb up towards the southern face of the Piz Ciampëi, before reaching the saddle (the basin between two peaks).


Moving ahead, we pass wartime structures as we make our way across the initially treeless limestone flank of the Setsas, crossing steep, rocky ledges - following the gully to a stream. We continue through pine forest to a green plateau above the tree line, before heading across a steep slope. Downhill to the left, then westwards on a slight climb across a grassy ridge, we take the trail across the Störes meadows to reach the Ütia Pralongiá. From the Rifugio Pralongiá, we head north on trail no. 23. At the fork, we continue on trail no. 22 through flower-filled meadows to the edge of the trees and the Ütia Saraghes. Continue down through woods and meadows to the hotel in San Cassiano.

This 12km walk should take around five hours and includes an ascent of 266 metres and descent of 920 metres. Altitude difference of 313 metres. Grade Moderate.


Dinner in the hotel’s Restaurant Salares.


Overnight at Hotel Ciasa Salares, San Cassiano.




Breakfast in the hotel.

The Fanes-Sennes-Prags Natural Park has been included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, designated for preservation of its distinctive natural landscape. The unique atmosphere of Fanes, the flora and fauna of the Dolomites and the stunning scenery all make this hike an unforgettable experience.

The hotel shuttle bus takes the group to the start point for today’s walk at Capanna Alpina, with a return back to the hotel after.


From San Cassiano/Saré, we walk to the area of Capanna Alpina (1,729 m). From there the trail no. 11 moves eastwards, first on flat, rising to a steep climb up to the Col de Loćia (2,069 m). Continue up the valley through pine forests to a wide open plain - the Gran Plan. From here, after an easy climb, we reach the Tadega Pass where the trail forks off for Lavarella and Conturines. Continue walking in the same direction, reaching the Alpine pasture of Fanes with the Malga Gran Fanes (2,110 m) in view. Gentle climb up to the Lech de Limo lake (2,159 m), which is also the highest point of the hike.


 A steep section tracks down to the Rifugio Fanes and Rifugio Lavarela. Between the two huts is the idyllic Lech Vërt lake, which mirrors the "Parliament of Marmots"* opposite.

Optional lunch at Rifugio Fanes.


This 14km walk should take around six hours, with an ascent of 563 metres and descent of 739 metres. Altitude difference of 622 metres. Altitude 2171 metres/1543 metres. Grade Moderate.


Dinner in the hotel’s Restaurant Salares or optional upgrade to the Michelin rated Restaurant La Siriola.


Overnight at Hotel Ciasa Salares, San Cassiano.


*The "Parliament of Marmots" refers to formations of dolomite rocks that create a magnificent natural arena. According to the legends of Alpe di Fanes, members of the ancient Fanes people inhabit caves within the rock.




After breakfast in the hotel we transfer by private vehicle to Piazzale Roma in Venice and from there transfer by water taxi to our hotel.

Check in at the Hotel Palazzo Giovanelli, Venice, followed by optional dinner in a local restaurant.


Venice accomodation



Breakfast in the hotel followed by free time to explore Venice.


Optional dinner in a local restaurant.


Overnight  at Hotel Palazzo Giovanelli.





Breakfast in the hotel


Transfer to the Marco Polo International Airport by water taxi.

B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner

Dolomites accomodation

We spend five nights at the family-run boutique Ciasa Salares Hotel, located at the entrance of Fanes Natural Park with dramatic panoramic views towards the craggy mountain ranges that surround the valley. The genuine hospitality and attentive service provided by the owners and staff help to create a warm and very friendly atmosphere that is noticeable from the moment you arrive. The en suite bedrooms are spacious with full facilities and balcony. The Spa has a heated indoor swimming pool, Turkish bath, sauna, jacuzzi and luxurious spa treatment facilities.

The owners and staff have a passion for excellent food, ranging from their Michelin star Restaurant La Siriola and Restaurant Salares as well as the Restaurant La Terrazza, for more informal al fresco dining. In addition, they have a chocolate room with more than 65 sorts of fine chocolates and a cheese room with more than 70 different sorts of cheeses. To complete the gourmet experience, they have an excellent wine cellar boasting over 1,850 labels and around 23,000 bottles.

Price per person, sharing a standard twin/double room at Ciasa Salares Hotel and Superior room at the Palazzo Giovanelle Hotel, including flights from UK £1,950
Single person supplement, occupying a twin or double room £150
Supplement per person for a Deluxe room at Palazzo Giovanelle £205

What The Price Includes

  • Return flights from UK to Venice
  • Private airport transfers
  • Welcome reception
  • Hotel accommodation for seven nights
  • Meals as shown in the itinerary and two picnic lunches
  • Guided walking programme
  • Private transport in connection with the walks
  • Piz Sorega cable car
  • Full use o spa facilities at Ciasa Salares
  • Water taxis for transfers to and from the hotel in Venice
  • Accompanying tour leader

What Is Not Included

  • Drinks
  • Travel insurance
  • Wine tasting
  • Optional dinner upgrade to the hotel’s Michelin rated Restaurant (50 Euros)
  • Gratuities to guide, which are optional
Please Note: For reasons of safety, weather conditions and unforeseen circumstances, it may be necessary to make changes to the programme without advance notice. Every effort will be made to avoid this if at all possible.

Please Note: For reasons of safety, weather conditions and unforeseen circumstances, it may be necessary to make changes to the programme without advance notice. Every effort will be made to avoid this if at all possible.





The price of the holiday includes direct flight departures from London Gatwick and Manchester to Venice Marco Polo Airport. Other regional departures on request including Edinburgh and Leeds Bradford.


Depart London Gatwick (LWG)              BA2586            11:30

Arrive Venice Marco Polo (VCE)                                    14:40


Depart Manchester (MAN)                     Jet2                  07:00

Arrive Venice Marco Polo (VCE)                                    10:30






Breakfast in the hotel


Transfer to the Marco Polo International Airport by water taxi.



Depart Venice Marco Polo (VCE)           BS2585            17:25

Arrive London Gatwick (LWG)                                        18:35


Depart Venice Marco Polo (VCE)           Jet2                  11:30

Arrive Manchester (MAN)                                              13:35



When it comes to finding the best places for hikes, one the Dolomites biggest draws is its temperate climate for walking - year round weather conditions are a lot dryer and accommodating for walking pursuits.

We travel in September, where you have on average over 12 hours daylight, as well as average temperatures between 25°C and 11°C. That being said, it can often feel a lot colder at higher altitudes and shaded forest tracks.

Find more about Weather in San Cassiano, IY
Click for weather forecast


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