Summer trip to Dolomites

Mar 26th, 2007, 03:06 PM
  #1  
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Summer trip to Dolomites

My partner and I are taking a trip to the Dolomites the first week of July this summer. We are very active during the day and like to hike, bike and play tennis, but we also like to relax at night with a nice meal and a nice hotel. We are thinking of spending half the week in Ortisei and the other half in Cortina (we are flying into/out of Venice and I thought we'd make a loop). Any thoughts on whether this is a good plan? Would it be better to stick with one town or the other for the whole week? If so, which one? Thanks so much for any advice. These forums have already been a great help!

--Will
wswallace1 is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 03:25 PM
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I'm by no means an expert on the Dolomites but we spent a few days there last year and there are a few things I can tell you:

1. We stayed in a hotel overlooking Ortisei and it was the most incredible place we have ever stayed. It is a rather precarious drive up to the little town where the hotel is but the view is INCREDIBLE and the family that owns the hotel is just great. See their web site here: http://www.uhrerhof.com/index-en.htm

2. If you don't already then use Google Earth to understand the terrain of the area. It actually shows the terrain in 3D and was very helpful for us in planning our scenic drives.

3. If you get car sick then reconsider any roads other than the major highways. I looked forward to driving through the Dolomites for a year and when we finally were doing it my wife was so sick (and mad) that it nearly ruined the entire day.

I've never been to Cortina so can't help you there...just wanted to pass along a few thoughts from my own trip. It is an amazing area and I hope to get back there some day.
Wekiva is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 03:59 PM
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Sounds like a wonderful trip. If you are there on July 1, you can watch the Maratona dles Dolomites, when 8700 cyclists hit the roads. If you google it you can probably find the route.

I haven't been to Cortina, but I understand there are nice hikes from there. It is also quite expensive compared to other areas of the Dolomites. You might consider Val Bsdia (Corvara, Colfosco, or La Villa) as an alternate. Val Badia seems especially well-suited to cycling, both road and mountain biking.

One of my favorite hikes in the area is from Alpe di Siusi up to Refugio Bolzano. I'd spend the night up there if I could.

http://www.enrosadira.it/rifugi/bolzano.htm

It's nice to divide your time between two areas, because the different valleys and the views are so different. Nice hotels with nice meals abound in the whole area. Some have a week minimum, or a 3-night minimum, in high season. And some require half-board, but the food is almost always great and a bargain, so it's not a hardship.
enzian is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 06:32 PM
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Hi,
I'd go with splitting your stays between two places. Ortisei and Val Gardena are wonderful. If your coming from Cortina (we drove through, but didn't care for it...to big) you'll pass over the Falzarego Pass (spectacular scenery) with a cable car on the pass, into Val Badia (we loved staying here). From there over the Gardena Pass (wonderful also) to Val Gardena. On a nice day, take the cable car (Mont Seuc) from Ortisei to the Seiser Alm. Restaurant (indoor/outdoor) at the top and many hiking/walking trails among spectacular Dolomite scenery!
In case your interested, we stayed in, and highly recommend, Ciaso Montanara in La Villa (Val Badia).
www.montanara.it
In Val Badia we stayed at, and recommend, Garni Ariston, St. Christina, Val Gardena.
www.garniariston.com
Just a note, the 3 villages of Val Gardena are only a few minutes apart, as are the villages of Val Badia.

Paul
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Mar 26th, 2007, 06:44 PM
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linawood is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 07:10 PM
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The bike shop in La villa, which rents bikes, also sells great maps of bike routes, for both road and mounatin bikes. A great ride is to take the Piz la Ila lift up, then ride out along the Pralongia plateau as far as you like, with many possible trails to descend and return to La Villa.
enzian is offline  
Mar 26th, 2007, 08:07 PM
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Sorry,
I typed that wrong...Garni Ariston is in St. Christina, not Val Badia.
If you are interested in seeing some of our photo's of the area, go to...
http://www.worldisround.com/home/pja1/index.html

Paul
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Mar 26th, 2007, 08:27 PM
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job816 is offline  
Mar 27th, 2007, 05:06 AM
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Hi Will - Sounds like good planning to me

Lots of nice hiking options from Ortisei and Cortina:

http://www.planetmountain.com/english/Trekking/ferrate/

http://www.dolomiti.org/dengl/Cortin...ubarea=ampezzo

http://www.dolomiti.org/dengl/Cortin...ate/index.html

http://freespace.virgin.net/paul.ben...lo/routes.html

http://www.valgardena.it/?newlang=eng&pagid=50

Lots of mountain-biking possibilities too. Or if you're into road biking you can always do the famous Sella Ronda tour - if you're super-fit!

Ortisei makes a lovely base (- I've lost count how many times I've stayed there).

Really you can't go wrong

Steve


Steve_James is offline  
Mar 27th, 2007, 07:44 AM
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Thanks to all of you so much for all of the great -- and quick -- advice. I really appreciate it! I feel much better now about staying in two different spots and I'm now going to check out all of your links to figure out exactly where those spots will be. July can't come soon enough!

Best,
Will
wswallace1 is offline  
Mar 27th, 2007, 10:31 AM
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I also recommend a stay at Uhrerhof.....and/or another wonderful discovery....Hotel Turm in Fie/Vols.
Uhrerhof is a bargain, rates include breakfast & a 3/4 course pre-fix dinner. And the views are marvelous.
Hotel Turm is located in a valley, so the views aren't quite as dramatic...BUT the meals are amazing & the spa is terrific.
The Dolomiti are incredible!!
A note on Cortina....it's more touristy...more action. I prefer Ortisei area...but both are beautiful & the drive is incredible.
Bailey is offline  
Mar 28th, 2007, 02:59 AM
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Hi Paul - Lovely photos - they brought back some great holiday memories

Complimenti on your 'Photo of the Week.' Great one!

Steve

P.S. You'll have to go back and do the Lagazuoi ride again - on a clear day it's unbelievable ...

Steve_James is offline  
Mar 28th, 2007, 04:14 AM
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Thank you for the kind words Steve. We can't wait to go back.

Paul
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Mar 28th, 2007, 07:44 AM
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I know how you feel, Paul. I'm counting the weeks

Steve_James is offline  
Mar 28th, 2007, 03:45 PM
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I'm just curious -- how long does it take to drive from Ortisei to Cortina? Could we still check out the Eastern Dolomites and Cortina if we base only in Ortisei, or would the driving be excessive? I ask because I generally find that the less hotel-switching on vacation the better, and also I've gotten more negative reactions to Cortina as a town than I expected. I have reservations at Hotel de la Poste in Cortina but can always cancel them. Thanks guys as always!

Will
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Mar 28th, 2007, 07:40 PM
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Hi,
If you're looking to stay one place and visit Cortina and Val Gardena...I'd highly recommend Val Badia. Pretty much in between them both, and absolutely gorgeous! Driving times, I'd say about 40 minutes Val Badia to Val Gardena, you have to go over Gardena Pass. Val Badia to Cortina, I'd say about an hour and you'll go over Valparola and Falzarego Passes. Mileage wise, they are relatively close, it's driving the passes that accounts for the driving times. We can highly recommend Ciasa Montanara in La Villa, Val Badia as a place to stay. We found everything outstanding here on our Oct. 2006 trip.

www.montanara.it
www.altabadia.org

Paul
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Mar 28th, 2007, 11:55 PM
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Hey Paul I love your photos. We went skiing in that same area in January. We skiied at base of Sassolungo. Also caught cable car to Lagazuoi and stayed overnight and skiied down the next morning. It was magic!
aussiefive is offline  
Mar 29th, 2007, 01:58 AM
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Hi Will - Ortisei-Cortina takes me about 1.5 hrs (- Gardena Pass-Corvara-La Villa- Valparola/Falzarego Pass)

- so you can easily see the Cortina area from Ortisei. (You could return by another equally scenic route ...)

I much prefer basing in Ortisei rather than Cortina.

Steve
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Mar 29th, 2007, 02:17 AM
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How about a Spring trip? I am heading that way April 14th. What is a good route to take to avoid passes being closed due to snow?
wateverRob is offline  
Mar 29th, 2007, 02:36 AM
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Hi Rob - You certainly don't need to worry about the passes being closed in April - the snow will all be gone by then except on the mountain tops.

Those passes are never closed for long even in mid-winter - the local economy depends on them being kept open ...

What route to take? Where are you staying?

Steve
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