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Cortina D'ampezzo or Ortesi as summer base in dolomites?

Cortina D'ampezzo or Ortesi as summer base in dolomites?

Old Feb 12th, 2011, 10:09 PM
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Cortina D'ampezzo or Ortesi as summer base in dolomites?

my husband and i are planning to spend about 4 days in the dolomites in late june. we want to go hiking--preferably where we can walk up and take a ski lift down. We loved Wengen in the Swiss Alps.
we would like to stay in a charming lodge in a nice village well located, beautiful scenery, nearby hiking. Not lots of windy roads. we will have a car. .
Would you suggest staying in Cortina or Ortesi? which is a better base?
I see that many hotels in cortina don't open until July. Are many walks open in late June?
alainr is offline  
Old Feb 12th, 2011, 10:58 PM
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We spent 5 days in Ortesei last year and found it very good as a base - good access to lifts and big enough to offer some choice for cafés, restaurants etc. While we visited Cortina I really can't comment as to its suitability for hiking as we drove there and back. There are several villages along the val Gardena as well as Ortsesei and they are linked by a regular bus service which is free if you have lift pass. We found it very useful to take a lift from, for example, Ortesei, spend several hours walking, then descend to another village along the valley to take the bus back. You can read about what we did during our stay here:
There are also many threads about the Dolomites on Fodors, including an excellent trip report by Ms_Go
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Old Feb 13th, 2011, 05:54 AM
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No question--the Val Gardena is your best base.
Yes, do find the trip report by Ms_Go for terrific info on hiking options.
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Old Mar 17th, 2011, 06:11 PM
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My husband & I spent 2 weeks in Val Gardena last year and agree with Bobthenavigator that you should definitely read Ms_Go and her trip journal. It helped us tremendously! We are a couple in our early 60's and love to hike. We stayed in Selva which is beautiful town, quiet with lifts right across the street from our hotel. Ortesi is bigger and has too much going on for us. We are going back this year and will stay in Selva again but venturing out for a 2 day stay in Cortina. We have gotten some info from Bobthenavigator re: our car rental since we have always used public transportation so this will be a new adventure for us. We have also stayed in Wengen and loved it there. We couldn't imagine that there was a destination that could replace Switzerland in our hearts until we went to the Dolomites! It is just magnificent!!!
Enjoy your journey
RAK is offline  
Old Mar 18th, 2011, 01:49 AM
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Hi Alain - Another vote for Val Gardena My favourite base for the Dolomites - with access to some of the best lifts for spectacular views and hiking. Most of the main lifts are open by late June.

Loads of info here:



I like Ortisei, but some prefer Selva at the top of the valley as a base. You can't go wrong with either ...


P.S. It's difficult to avoid windy roads in the Dolomites - Val Gardena is the starting point for 2 spectacular mountain passes. Not to be missed ...
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Old Mar 18th, 2011, 08:55 AM
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I agree with the Val Gardena as a base. I stayed in Ortisei, but actually preferred nearby Castelrotto, but either is lovely.

Wherever you decide to stay, don't miss the spectacular drive to Cortina D'Ampezzo from the Val Gardena.
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Old Mar 19th, 2011, 10:36 AM
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Another vote for Ortisei, or any of the three villages/towns of the Val Gardena.

Here's the list of lifts/cable cars and opening dates (these are for 2010):


I do know the Mont Seuc (Seiser Alm) cable car from Ortisei starts running from late May.


Windy roads are hard to avoid, but if you're coming into the Val Gardena from the A22 highway you really won't encounter them. At the end of the valley (Val Gardena) starts the Gardena Pass, which is a spectacular drive. Lots of swithbacks and inclines/declines, but the scenery is amazing. The Sella Pass branches off the Gardena Pass and is another spectacular drive. To enjoy the Dolomites from the Val Gardena you don't need to drive either pass. But they and the views are something else!

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