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Help Splitting Time in Dolomites/South Tyrol

Help Splitting Time in Dolomites/South Tyrol

Old Apr 9th, 2024, 11:26 AM
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Help Splitting Time in Dolomites/South Tyrol

Hello we are a family of 5, DH, 3 grown sons and myself. We are planning a trip at the end of July/beginning of August 2024 ( I know--timing is imperfect but it's when we can go.) We arrive in Venice and have three days planned there. After Venice, we pick up a rental car and head to the Dolomites. As I have not had luck finding lodging that meets our budget and our bedding requirements (my sons are in their 20's and can't share a sofa bed) in Cortina d'Ampezza, we are playing with the idea of stopping in Pragser Wildsee/Lago di Braises and then heading on to Ortisei. I may have found a place to stay there. My sons are interested in hiking and being active. We could stay the entire time in the Dolomites in one area (or two, we have friend who stayed in Alpe di Suis and raved about it) but I have heard the Merano area can be beautiful and it is filled with castles and vineyards. A winery tour would be high on my sons' lists and this seems like a better area to do it than Ortisei. If we stay in Merano, we would need to drive back toward Venice on our last day (I have looked at flights out of Burrano instead and it doesn't work,)

Our current plan:
3 nights Venice
Stop at Pragsar Wildtree on route
2 or 3 nights Ortisei (Secada hike, Alpe di Suis hike (s), Great Dolomite Road etc.
2 nights Merano or Cortina
Last night back closer to airport but would love a suggestion on where to stay to access the airport but not in a generic hotel.

Can anyone offer suggestions on this itinerary?
Thank you.
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Old Apr 9th, 2024, 07:45 PM
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It's all spectacular, so you can't really go wrong whether you stay in Cortina or Merano or Ortisei or somewhere else in Alpe di Suisi... or just about anywhere. How you choose and prioritize your sightseeing is strictly personal preference. For me, that would not include vineyards or wine tasting, but I live in California. I'd rather drive over as many passes as possible, ride a a cable car, take a hike, and explore World War I sights than castles. But this is your trip, so do more internet searching (Google images, YouTube videos, travel websites) to determine your priorities. As you google, note correct spellings: Pragsar Wildsee (aka Lago di Braies), Seceda, Alpe di Suisi (aka Seiser Alm). When searching lodging in Cortina, be sure to use the complete name of the town: Cortina d'Ampezzo. Otherwise, your results might include Cortina on Lake Garda.

Not to make your planning more difficult, but you might want to visit the Otzi (aka The Iceman) Exhibit in the South Tyrol Archeology Museum located in Bolzano. You could drive through Bolzano on your way to Venice from either/both Ortisei and Merano. This exhibit is one of the most interesting things we've seen on many trips to Italy.

Lodging in the Dolomites in high-season summer tends to book up early. If you have specific requirements and/or a tight budget, your options are reduced, esp. if you're looking for short stay openings. If you find an acceptable spot in Ortisei, consider staying there all 4/5 nights. The town is well-located for a relatively short visit to this area.

I wouldn't think much about the hotel near VCE airport unless your departing flight is late in the day. Hopefully, you'll squeeze every hour out of your drive back to Venice, see as much as possible, and only use the room to sleep in.
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Old Apr 10th, 2024, 03:30 AM
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August is top high season in Italy.
If you want to stay in the Cortina/3 Cime area, you may also check Calalzo, Auronzo, Lozzo, Toblach,Innichen, etc.
There are tons of viineyards just north of Venice/Treviso (Conegliano-Valdobbiadene area).
For vineyards in Tyrol, check Kalterersee, Tramin, Meran.........
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Old Apr 10th, 2024, 04:05 AM
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If you can't find suitable accommodations in Ortesei, look at Santa Cristina or Selva/Wolkenstein, also in the Val Gardena. We spent a week in Selva on our first trip to the Dolomites (same timing as your trip), and never ran out of things to do.
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Old Apr 10th, 2024, 11:27 AM
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Thank you. Autocorrect is a double edged sword! I have searched many of these places using both their Italian name and their German name. I think the block is probably the number of nights we are staying in high season. I am trying to figure out what is the right number of nights and how much time to spend in each. Do we have time to visit Prago di Braises on our way into the Dolomites? Will traffic be too much trying to go from this area to stay 4 nights in Ortisei?
We are really looking forward to this trip.
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