Dolomites in September?

Old Jan 6th, 2009, 09:00 PM
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Dolomites in September?

My husband just saw a TV program on the Dolomites and wants to go. And then I pulled out my own photos (I have been twice, for hiking) and he REALLY wants to go. But not in the summer busy season; he is thinking September.

Both times I went, it was the last week of August. We had some nice sunny weather, perfect for hiking, and then it turned cold and rainy around Sept. 1. Really cold and rainy---ferocious weather with thundershowers on one of the trips. And then we left, without seeing if it ever cleared up again afterward.

so I'm 2 for 2. Was this just bad luck? Does the region normally enjoy some nice weather well into September? I get all these tempting e-mails from the Alta Badia, talking about "fall value season" and "mushroom time" and lovely photos of a golden landscape. Is it still a good time to visit for hiking? Lifts still running, high huts (Refugio) still open?

Thanks for your hlep!
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Old Jan 7th, 2009, 12:17 AM
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It was just bad luck. Usually the weather in September will be perfect up to mid-October. Facilities will be open. Swimming in Lake Garda is possible until mid-October too. IMO, an excellent time to go there.
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Old Jan 7th, 2009, 02:21 AM
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Early autumn, second half of September and early October, is generally the perfect season for hiking in the mountains with clear sunny periods and the first autumn colours. The weather cannot be guaranteed, though.
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Old Jan 7th, 2009, 06:03 AM
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Hi Enzian - There's no guarantee, that's for sure - it's the luck of the draw, as in any mountain area.

Be aware that some of the lifts (- and refuges) close in September, which may influence your hiking options.

Steve
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Old Jan 7th, 2009, 06:56 AM
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We will be there in late Sep this year on our way from Venice to Bellagio--it is the perfect time IMHO.
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Old Jan 7th, 2009, 08:39 AM
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Thanks for your encouragement. So mid-September should be OK? I know, no guarantees on the weather---we usually are content with 50% sunshine in Switzerland. But there are some high places in the Dolomites where I would not want to be in bad weather.

Steve_James--when you say some of the lifts and refugios close in September---is that in mid-September, or at the end of the month? I think we would be going to Val Badia, Alpe di Siusi, and Val Gardena (I guess I could check a few online myself, but if you know from expereince, that would hlep me get started).
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Old Jan 8th, 2009, 12:59 AM
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Enzian - You can find the lift opening/closing dates at -

VAL BADIA:
http://www.altabadia.org/en-US/lifts-info-91en.html

VAL GARDENA/ ALPE di SIUSI:
http://www.valgardena.it/en/lifts/page65.html

Unfortunately the Val Gardena/Siusi page is still showing Summer '08 dates - hopefully it will be updated soon.

You may find the tourist office websites useful:

www.valgardena.it
www.altabadia.org

Hope this helps ...

Steve
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Old Jan 8th, 2009, 03:23 PM
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Thanks, Steve.

Maybe we'll add Val Gardena this time---so far I've only been to Val Badia (Colfosco) and Alpe di Siusi.

Any recommendations for places to stay in Val Gardena that are a bit back off the main road, maybe with nice views? We like smaller, 3-star places and good food.
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Old Jan 8th, 2009, 05:14 PM
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Hi enzian,

We have also been to the Dolomites three times since '03 and we've loved our trips in October! We've had very "good luck" with weather at that time of year.
Hardly any rain at all and temps. in the 60's and 70's daytime with 40's at night.

The Mont Seuc cable car from Ortisei (Val Gardena) to the Seiser Alm is open until late October (10/24/09).

www.alpedisiusi-seiseralm.com/index.html

We stayed and can recommend the Garni Ariston in St. Christina, Val Gardena. Only breakfast is served but there are so many restaurants in Val Gardena to choose from. The towns of Ortisei, St. Christina and Selva are just a five minute drive from one to the next.

www.garniariston.com

In Alta Badia we LOVED our stay at the Ciasa Montanara in La Villa.

www.montanara.it

The cable car Lagazoui not far from here and is open until early (10/11/09) October also. We did this 2 years ago.

http://www.dolomiti.org/dengl/cortin.../impianti.html

The weather is unpredictable, but so far so good (hoping not to jinx our next trip!) and we wouldn't go any other time of year.

If you're interested, we have photo's at:

www.worldisround.com/home/pja1/travel1.html

Hope this helps.

Paul

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Old Jan 8th, 2009, 08:14 PM
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Great photos, Paul. I looked at the '06 series---it looks like the larches are starting to turn gold. This is early October?

Garni Ariston looks like our kind of place. I'm sure there's no shortage of restaurants around for dinner. We stopped at one place in Selva; I'll have to try to find it (just the thought of the Dolomites makes me dream of Tiroler Schlutzkrapfen and Kaiserschmarren).

Do you know if there is a hiking trail up to the Lagazuoi cablecar station? We like to hike up and ride down (I see from the prices it's cheaper that way, too!)

I guess I better go dig out my hiking maps. . .
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Old Jan 9th, 2009, 01:15 AM
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Enzian - I stay in Ortisei at a B&B (3*)
http://www.hotelvillapark.com/

It's near the village centre just off the main road (- but traffic noise is not a problem).

For setting/views, though, it's hard to beat Selva - so you might prefer to base there.

You can find Selva accm listings at:

SELVA:
http://www.valgardena.it/stchristina...nstein2009.pdf

ORTISEI
http://www.valgardena.it/stchristina...ulrich2009.pdf

SANTA CRISTINA
http://www.valgardena.it/stchristina...istina2009.pdf

Steve

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Old Jan 9th, 2009, 08:20 AM
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Of the three villages in Val Gardena, views are best from Selva? I suppose it depends which way the hotel faces in any case. We do like to have a lovely view from the balcony, even if we are out hiking all day. I love sitting out there in the evening. . .
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Old Jan 9th, 2009, 08:32 AM
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Hi enzian,

The photo's from 2006 we taken the 2nd or 3rd week of October. I don't recall at the moment but I know we came home to the U.S.A. on Halloween.
Views from the Ariston are very nice IMO. I love to sit out on the balcony early morning and before we go to dinner. I don't have photo's on my computer of that trip (I was still using a film camera and never had them scanned to digital) but the view was with the stunning Sassolungo/Langkofel peak ("tower&quot
that seemd like it was right across the street. The Ariston sits above the main road so views are pretty nice.

I don't know about hiking up/down as we are not hikers. You can check for more info on the links I posted earlier though.

Hope this helps.

Paul
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Old Jan 11th, 2009, 01:48 AM
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Yes - Selva has the best setting/views IMO - but I prefer Ortisei as a village, so I usually stay there.

If you choose Santa Cristina, be aware that there is currently construction work on the new bypass there. I'm not sure when it's due for completion.

Steve
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