Dolomites walking holiday in Italy, self guided

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Departure information

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Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Dolomites walking holiday in Italy, self guided

UK Office:
We are well aware of the impact tourism has at home and abroad, and we make every effort to balance the environmental impact of travelling with the immense benefits sustainable tourism can bring to destinations and the people who live there. So we start in the office: we turn off all electrical equipment every night; we use energy-efficient bulbs; we measure print and paper consumption, and re-cycle wherever possible; we print our brochures on paper from sustainable sources, and send them out in bio-degradable packaging.

Leaders & local suppliers:
Hans and Filouena Fuchs are the third generation who have run the Park Hotel Bellevue for over a century. Remarkable photos of wartime troops enjoying drinks outside can be found on the walls, while milking stools, family heirlooms and historic pieces of agricultural furniture stand like works of art in the corridors.

Some of your weeks walking from here will be in the Ampezzo Natural Park, a protected heritage site since 1990 which is, unusually, still managed, administered and protected by the traditional Regole – an institution dating back hundreds of years, and comprising of descendants of the original families that settled in the area. With tradition being of such importance, the ancient practise of transhumance – livestock being moved to the lower grasslands after spending the summer in higher mountain pastures – still continues here. Whilst visiting the park you will be required to adhere to the park visitor regulations.

Staff will suggest places to see and visit locally. Many of our overseas staff have worked for us for many years now – in fact, the 20 returning staff this summer have, between them, clocked up an impressive 189 years!

Group size:
Having no minimum number means that groups sizes can be small and therefore the trips have less impact on the environment.

Walking has minimal impact on the environment as you provide most of the energy yourself and, when you’re strolling from village to village, you can enjoy a relationship with locals in a way motorists passing through never can. On foot, you get off the beaten track, and you’ll find that people treat you as a visitor rather than a tourist. Also, by walking independently, and not having to worry about keeping up with a group, you set the pace so you can soak up the sights, sounds and scents of your surrounds and really get under the skin of the place you’re visiting.

We proactively encourage walking clients to think about travelling responsibly too: packing light, saving water, buying locally and re-cycling all maps and route notes at the end of their trip.

Reviews of Dolomites walking holiday in Italy, self guided

You can trust Responsible Travel reviews because, unlike many other schemes, reviews can ONLY be written by people who we have verified have been on the holidays.

I am reborn! Simply the best holiday I have ever been on
Some great stories to tell the grandchildren. Would recommend to a friend
Very enjoyable
It was OK
A bit disappointing really

Reviewed on 01 Jul 2013 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?

The diversity of flowers. We saw several Lady's Slipper orchids within an hour of arriving in the Dolomites.

2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?

We were surprised by the numbers of people following the suggested walks so this is perhaps not a holiday for those wanting to escape from people. It is also not a holiday for those interested in walking as a means to see wildlife rather than just being interested in walking. We were surprised by the lack of available information on wildlife although we did eventually find good information provided by a local nature centre. The number of people on the walks meant that the chances of seeing wildlife were much reduced and as a result we saw very little. However, the flowers were spectacular.

3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

The hotel where we stayed had a policy regarding reducing the need to replace towels but we saw no signs of recycling anything or reducing waste but this may have happened behind the scenes. The holiday will have benefited local people as we travelled on public transport and bought items in local shops as well as staying in a large local hotel employing several staff. Given the large numbers of tourists visiting the area (and it was the low season when we were there)I am not sure how the environmental impact of all the visitors balances out with the money they bring to help conservation.

4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?

We thought we would be visiting an area with lots of wildlife and walks into wilderness or wild areas. This holiday did not provide that but perhaps we expected too much from a walking holiday in a popular area. For people who just want to walk in a beautiful area and do not mind sharing that experience with many others then this is an excellent holiday. It was well organised throughout. The walks were fully documented and clear to follow. The hotel was clean, v comfortable and the staff friendly and helpful. I have given the holiday a low rating as for us it did not meet the 'very enjoyable' level. Having said that I would recommend it to a friend provided they realised that it is just a walking holiday and it is a busy area. Other people on the trip with different expectations really enjoyed the holiday and I am sure would have given it a 3/4 star review.

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