Dolomites and Lugano

Apr 24th, 2007, 09:24 AM
  #1  
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Dolomites and Lugano

After listing our itinerary for our 5-week Italy/Switzerland trip and giving our interests I have some questions.

Itinerary:
Fly out of LAX 1 May
Venice: 8 days, arrive 2 May pick up car at end of Venice stay
Dolomites: 6 days Cortinia & Corvara
Como: drop off car
Lake Lugano: 3 days pick up car
Swiss Chalet in Hasliberg near Interlaken: 15 days
Fly out of Zurich June 5

Comments: Since we have visited Lake Como before, we want to see Lake Lugano this time. We are not sure whether the 6 days in the Dolomites is too much and it would be better to stay someplace in transit to Switzerland.

Background: My wife and I like picturesque towns, scenery and good food. My interest is photography. Neither of us is interested in shopping.

Questions:
1. On the Dolomites: we might want to do some easy hiking in this area if trails/lifts are open this early.
a. Would Cortina and Corvara be the best combination of places to stay? How about Ortisie?
b. Can you recommend any reasonable hotels to stay in?
c. This time of year will we have to make reservations more than a day or 2 ahead of time?
d. How much time should we devote to the Dolomites given the time of year?
e. Can you suggest any specific drop dead beautiful shots/locations for photos?
2. On touring the Lake Lugano area:
a. In what city/town should we stay and in what hotels?
a. Do you recommend we pick up the car, drive to and stay in one of the small towns on the lake or stay in Lugano and visit the towns by boat?
3. Lugano to Interlaken:
a. I have read how Soglio is one of the most stunning small towns in Switzerland. How much of a diversion (time-wise) on the way to our accomodations near Interlaken would it be and is it worth doing?

Robert
MariaLAX is offline  
Apr 24th, 2007, 10:25 AM
  #2  
 
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>We are not sure whether the 6 days in the Dolomites is too much and it would be better to stay someplace in transit to Switzerland.<

I'd suggest the beautiful Engadin* (via Merano) as your route from the Dolomites to Como. In doing so, you might reduce your Dolomite stay by a day or two; you'd also pass through the Val Bregaglia, above which lies Soglio.

* Check out Guarda as a 'stunning small town'.

>Do you recommend we pick up the car, drive to and stay in one of the small towns on the lake or stay in Lugano and visit the towns by boat?<

I'd only pick up the car upon leaving Lugano (and I'd stay in Lugano itself).
You can visit Gandria and Morcote by boat and go to the top of Monte San Salvador by funicular.




TuckH is offline  
Apr 24th, 2007, 10:47 AM
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Soglio is stunning. But it's tiny with no particular "sights". You are mainly going for the views. If you stick to the town and have a drink somewhere, an hour can do it. If you want to hike, you could spend several days.

We stayed at the Hotel Federale in Lugano and loved it. It is near the train station, serves a great breakfast in a lovely room, overlooks the old town and cathedral and the lake (in the distance). We splurged on a high room with a lovely view. If you can do this, I'd recommend it.

I also recommend the funicular up San Salvatore and then the hike down to Morcote (2 1/2 hours, if I rember correctly). We had a nice lunch on the lake. You can then boat (or bus) back to Lugano.
Cimbrone is offline  
Apr 24th, 2007, 10:56 AM
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I second Hotel Federale in Lugano. I loved the location, the breakfast and the room (with a view on the town and the lake). We are staying there again in 33 days and a few hours.....
enroute is offline  
Apr 24th, 2007, 05:44 PM
  #5  
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TTT
MariaLAX is offline  
Apr 24th, 2007, 05:47 PM
  #6  
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Yes, Soglio is stunning... perhaps worth more than just one hour, though! Great photo opportunities.

You might also visit Sils-Marie (upper Engadine) and stay at the Hotel Meisser in Guarda (lower Engadine).
 
Apr 24th, 2007, 05:58 PM
  #7  
 
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Hi Robert,
In response to #1:
Dolomites are AMAZING! Cortina...didn't care for it, although we didn't really spend time there. Although we didn't stay in Corvara, we did stay in La Villa (just 10 min. away) and loved it! We stayed at an absolutely wonderful place called Ciasa Montanara.
www.montanara.it
Ortisei andall of Val Gardena is beautiful also. We stayed in St. Christina at Garni Ariston which we can highly recommend.
www.garniariston.com
pja1 is online now  
Apr 24th, 2007, 06:13 PM
  #8  
 
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Hi Robert,
In response to #1:
Dolomites are AMAZING! Cortina...didn't care for it, although we didn't really spend time there. Although we didn't stay in Corvara, we did stay in La Villa (just 10 min. away) and loved it! We stayed at an absolutely wonderful place called Ciasa Montanara.
www.montanara.it
Ortisei and all of Val Gardena are beautiful also. We stayed in St. Christina (Val Gardena) at the Garni Ariston, which we can highly recommend also.
www.garniariston.com
I think 6 days is good, as there are many places to visit, including the lovely towns of Brixen/Bressanone, Bruneck/Brunico and Klausen/Chiusa, just to name a few.
Specific "drop dead" beautiful locations...they're everywhere!
The Seiseralm/Alpe di Siusi is a high alpine mountain meadow with a quintessential Dolomite backdrop.
If you'd like to see some of our recent photos from the area:
www.worldisround.com/home/pja1/index.html

If you want to cut a day or 2 from the Dolomites and head towards Switzerland, I'd suggest staying in Val Venosta (west of Meran/Merano). We stayed in Malles at the Hotel Panorama.
www.hotel-panorama-mals.it
Visiting nearby Churburg Castle was terrific!
www.churburg.com
as was the small walled town of Glurns/Glorenzo.


Hope this helps.

Paul
pja1 is online now  
Apr 25th, 2007, 01:02 AM
  #9  
 
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Hi Maria - Ortisei is a lovely place to stay - I'd certainly stay there in preference to Cortina.

Two 3* hotels I like are:

www.hotelvillapark.com
www.snaltnerhof.it

As regards hiking, unfortunately most of the lifts don't open until June - but you can still access some lovely areas by car.

As Paul says, gorgeous views are everywhere you look

Don't miss the Sella Ronda area (Colfosco, Gardena Pass, Sella Pass ...), Alpe di Siusi (- Saltria area) - and Lake Braies (- the most beautiful lake in Italy), Lake Carezza ... The list is endless.

www.valgardena.it
www.val-gardena.com
www.altabadia.org

Some views:

http://www.dolomitigallery.com/estate/index.htm
http://www.dolomitigallery.com/paesi/index.htm
http://www.ortisei.com/english/gallerie1.html

Hope this helps ...

Steve


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