Ortisei, Castelrotto, rifugios

Aug 31st, 2007, 12:53 PM
  #1  
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Ortisei, Castelrotto, rifugios

We have Wed. afternoon-Sat. morning available between Venice and the time we need to head to Montepulciano. My husband and I are hikers and cyclists, our young adult children less interested but experienced since we lived in Colorado for 4 years.
I'm intrigued by Ortisei, which seems like a beautiful town with lots of sports possibilities, including guided ones (anyone done the canyoning?). I like the idea of Hotel Uhrerhof, which I think has mountain biking and hiking right there (do I have that correct?). How long does it take to get from town up to there? Another thought is Castelrotto, closer to Bolzano (we have to see the Iceman), but also good hiking. I'm open to other suggestions, though I'll add we could care less for gourmet food and spas.

I read in an old post here about the Bolzano Rifugio. I like that idea a lot too, but it opens mid-June and we're talking about June 11 or 12. We also don't speak German and Italian, and that makes it harder to plan and make reservations. Got any tips for us on favorite hikes to a rifugio? Thanks!!
rickandpat is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 01:03 PM
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I suggest that you check out the Alpe di Siusi (Seiser Alm) - a large beautiful Alpine meadow above Ortisei and Castelrotto.
TuckH is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 01:53 PM
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Hi rickandpat, funny you should ask! We just spent 2 nights at the Hotel Uhrerhof a couple of weeks ago. It is one of the nicest hotels we have stayed at in the 2 years we've been living in Germany. I heartily recommend it to you. (By the way, we like gourmet food but are in agreement with you about spas.) The service was fabulous (English spoken) and the dinners were excellent - not too fancy, just high quality traditional home cooking. We drove over to Castelrotto since we had heard it was also a nice town, but frankly preferred Ortisei. The Uhrerhof is about a 10-minute drive up a winding road above the town. We chose half-board so we wouldn't have to go up and down for dinner, but the drive did not feel inconvenient for us when doing day trips. We didn't do any hiking directly from the hotel, but I imagine that there are options to do so.

We enjoyed driving around the Sella Gruppe further up the valley - we took the cable car up to Sass Pordoi and did some hiking up there amongst the very dramatic, barren, rocky topography. The views were absolutely amazing!

This was our first taste of the Dolomites and we will definitely return - and stay at the Uhrerhof without a doubt!

hausfrau is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 02:34 PM
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Rifugio Bolzano is beautifully situated, and the hike up there was one of my favorites ever (in part due to Haflinger horses wandering the meadows up there). I think that mid-June opening date depends on weather and snow conditions, so they might be open June 11 or 12, but of course you can't plan on that.

For mountain-biking, you might consider Val Badia, over the pass from the Val Gardena. Try www.holimites.com for information on guided rides:

http://www.holimites.com/home.php?setlan=en

Igor Tavella, one of the "Holimites boys" speaks good English and is a very enthusiastic mountain biker and guide.
enzian is offline  
Aug 31st, 2007, 07:03 PM
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What a wonderful trip!! My husband and I spent a week in Castelrotto/Kastelruth in July 2007. It was a fantastic week. We speak only English and Spanish, but we managed to get by. (Most people seemed to be more comfortable with German, although they seemed to speak Itlian too) We hiked everyday, to neighboring towns and all around Alpe di Siusi. There are hikes ranging in all levels of difficulty and they are all clearly marked. We stayed at the Schgaguler Hotel and absolutely loved it!! The rooms were very nice and clean and the amenities were great! I would go back there in a heartbeat! http://www.schgaguler.com/
k2west2 is offline  
Sep 1st, 2007, 03:26 AM
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Hi Rick & Pat - Ortisei's an excellent choice - my favourite village in the Dolomites

Some hotels offer their own mountain bikes for use. Otherwise you can rent them in the Val Gardena resorts.

There are several organisations which offer guided hikes - or if you are more adventurous there are the famous 'Vie Ferrate' throughout the Dolomites.

Val Gardena has numerous sporting possibilities from climbing & hiking, paragliding and rafting, extreme sports, horse riding and ice-skating, tennis, squash, swimming ... to name a few.

For general info on Val Gardena see:

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

For organised sports excursions in the Val Gardena you may find the following links useful:

http://www.gardena-adventures.com/

http://www.guidegardena.com/

http://www.catores.it/program/index_en.html

Let me know if I can be of more helps ...

Steve
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