Dolomites in early April - Please help!

Old Jan 29th, 2017, 09:17 PM
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Dolomites in early April - Please help!

Hi all, my partner and I will be heading to the Dolomites in early April and plan to spend 4-5 days there. We understand that April is not the best time to be visiting this area but unfortunately the dates are fixed, and we would like to know how best we can enjoy our time there.

Some things to take into consideration:
- We are not that much into skiing but would love to do some hikes (if possible) and take in beautiful natural scenery.
- We will not be renting a car so the places should be accessible by public transport.
- We've combed through other forum posts and have gathered that staying in Ortisei seems like a good idea. Will there be sufficient things to do in early April though?
- We would like to visit the Tre Cime di Lavaredo as well. However, will time permit that and where best to stay (e.g. Cortina? Misurina?)? In early April, will we be able to hike the beautiful Tre Cime area?
- Not looking to staying in Bolzano as I've been there before and it's not exactly in the Dolomites.
- We will be coming by train from Milan and our next destination after the Dolomites is Munich.

All suggestions will be very much appreciated thanks in advance!
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Old Jan 29th, 2017, 09:36 PM
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I visited in early June 2013, after doing some research about when to go.

There is likely to be a lot of snow left so hiking may be limited.

On my trip, there was still snow if you got up in elevation out of Ortisei. There were a few cable cars open and when I went up, snow on the ground.

I learned after making plans that a lot of the summer activities don't really start until the end of June, not the beginning. For instance, a lot of accommodations close down between the end of the ski season and summer. And a lot of the cable cars which take you out of the valley and into the high plateaus where there is scenic hiking don't open until late June.

On that trip, I also went to Aosta, near Monte Bianco and that too had a lot of closures. But late snow also closed down the cable car to the summit there because of avalanche threat.

You might try searching sites like Booking.com to see if the places up there are taking reservations for your dates. Try also researching the bus service up there for April.

If you don't find answers or get answers here, you might try the TA forum for Val di Gardena or Ortisei.
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Old Jan 29th, 2017, 11:06 PM
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Not having a car will certainly limit what you can see/do in 4-5 days. I think the logistics involved in a visit/hike at Tre Cime di Lavaredo would take essentially all of your 4-5 days. Rifugio Auronzo is 9 hours by train and bus from Malpensa. (And the rifugio may not even be open at that time.) Onward to Munich is another 6-7 hours.

Why Tre Cime and not something equally beautiful and more accessible for carless travelers?
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Old Jan 30th, 2017, 01:49 AM
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I don't think hiking will be possible, except at low elevations, and even then, paths may be very wet from the snow melt.

If you go to a ski resort, there are other activities besides skiing, but maybe they wouldn't interest you.
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Old Jan 30th, 2017, 05:31 AM
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It's easy: in early April the snow line will be between 1600 and 2000 metres.

The 3Cime del Lavaredo are almost 3000 metres above sea level, the base area around them at 2500 metres.

Ortisei (Val Gardena) is at about 1300 metres, the mountains around Val Gardena go up to 2500 metres and more.

The ski season ends usually around Eastern.

The train (last leg by bus) ride from Milan Centrale to Ortisei lasts about 5 hrs. Up to Cortina d'Ampezzo, it's about 6 hrs. Count 1 1/2 hrs more from Malpensa airport.
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Old Jan 30th, 2017, 09:26 AM
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Just to be completely clear... You cannot reach Ortisei or Cortina by train. From Malpensa, it would be a combination of train and bus/buses to either destination, and neckervd's times don't account for the inevitable gaps between train arrivals and bus departures. Depending on when you land at Malpensa, you might even need to spend a night somewhere if you can't make the bus connections to your final destination in the same day.

http://dolomitibus.it/it/linee-extraurbane-invernali

http://www.valgardena.it/en/val-gard.../bus-schedule/

http://www.trenitalia.com/tcom-en
[Use Italian spellings, i.e., Malpensa Aeroporto, Milano Centrale, etc.]

Traveling onward to Munich will require searching to find the best route from wherever you end up staying in the Dolomites. For example, Ortisei to Munich would be easier/faster than Rifugio Auronzo to Munich.
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Old Jan 30th, 2017, 10:20 AM
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"neckervd's times don't account for the inevitable gaps between train arrivals and bus departures"

??????????????
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Old Jan 30th, 2017, 03:20 PM
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You can't get from Malpensa to Ortisei by train. You train to Milano Centrale, then train to Bolzano and then bus to Ortisei. I don't know how long you'd have to wait in Bolzano for the next bus, but there would be a gap in time.

Ditto Malpensa to Cortina, esp. if the OP lands at Malpensa mid-afternoon and can't get to one of the towns on the bus route (Belluno, Treviso, Venice Mestre, others?) in time for the last bus to Cortina... or the train arrives a couple of hours before the next bus.

sarahcky, here's another bus timetable (Venice Mestre to Cortina), but it's from last summer. You'd have to check if and how frequently this bus operates in early April. And then it would be a different bus from Cortina to near Tre Cime di Lavaredo.

http://www.cortinaexpress.it/wp-cont...ia-Venezia.pdf
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Old Jan 31st, 2017, 09:14 AM
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May be one could just have a look at the published timetables valid in April 2017:

last connections:

Malpensa airport dp 14.43 - Milano Centrale 15.35/16.15 - Verona 17.28/17.50 - Waidbruck 19.47/19.57 - Ortisei ar 20.27
resp
Malpensa airport dp 13.43 - Milano Centrale 14.35/15.15 - Venezia Mestre 17.28/17.49 - Calalzo 20.27/20.35 - Cortina d'Ampezzo ar 21.27
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Old Jan 31st, 2017, 06:52 PM
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IOW, at least 6 hours to Ortisei and at least 8 hours to Cortina plus whatever to reach the Tre Cime area. Hopefully, the OP lands before noon if going that direction.
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Old Feb 7th, 2017, 03:14 PM
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Hi all, wasn't aware of the replies on my post - thanks very much for taking the time!

My partner and I have decided to stay in Val Gardena (Ortisei) as a base. We'll land in Milan early in the morning so will probably get to Ortisei before night fall using the train and buses (thanks neckervd and Jean the links and details!). Will leave Tre Cime for another time when we intend to hire a car, and in the summer/autumn.

1) For Val Gardena, any ideas how we might fill up our itinerary for 4D3N? We are thinking of taking the funicular up to Alpe di Siusi for half or one day to look see. Based on the snow line info, it sounds like down in the valley it'll hopefully be green, and snowy up in the mountains.

2) In addition, if anyone knows the best way to travel from Ortisei to Fussen (in Germany) using public transport, do share. The current plan is Train to Garmisch (in Austria) before switching to a Bus, which would probably take around 5hrs.

Thanks in advance for any advice! I'll check back more frequently
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Old Feb 7th, 2017, 03:52 PM
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Garmisch is in Germany.
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Old Feb 7th, 2017, 04:05 PM
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@macanimals - sorry about that, you are right, Garmisch is indeed in Germany. Thanks!
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Old Feb 7th, 2017, 04:36 PM
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When you stayed in Bolzano, did you see the Ice Man exhibits at the South Tyrol Archeology Museum? We thought they were fascinating. You can bus from Ortisei to Bolzano.

But if it's 3 nights in Ortisei, you really only have 2 (uninterrupted) days, not 4. You'll barely get a peek at the most dramatic of the Dolomite scenery. When you go back with a car at a better time of year, you should plan a few days to drive the several passes and explore the area between Ortisei and Cortina. There are endless hiking opportunities.

Did you want to visit Garmisch, or were you only planning to connect there? If the latter, buses may be faster than a series of trains.

https://www.flixbus.com/

https://www.rome2rio.com/s/Ortisei-Italy/F%C3%BCssen
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Old Feb 8th, 2017, 05:44 PM
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Thanks for the quick response, Jean. Flixbus is a helpful site, unfortunately they seem to only have a very early buses (at 5am!) to Fussen.

Still looking for things to do in Ortisei for two full days in Early April (I've seen the ice man exhibits, but thanks again Jean for the suggestion). Just want to make the most of my time in Val Gardena then, even as many things may be closed. Please keep the suggestions coming in!
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Old Feb 8th, 2017, 07:50 PM
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What day would you be going to Fussen? The Flixbus doesn't serve that route every day, but there is a bus on 4/6, 4/10, 4/12 and 4/14 from Klausen (Chiusa) to Fussen departing at 9:05a. On Saturday 4/8 and Sunday 4/16 departure is at 8:05a. The Chiusa stop is about 30 minutes from Ortisei.
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