“An eight day walking holiday in the Dolomites, in a small group with expert guide, based in one hotel in Moena.”
Moena | Val di Fassa | Passo Costalunga | Vigo di Fassa | Canazei | Marcialonga route in Val di Fassa | Vajolet Hut | Vajolet Towers | Catinaccio ridge | Passo Costalunga chairlift | Views of Marmolada
Description of Western Dolomites walking tour in Italy
There are so many stunningly beautiful walking trails here, being based in one hotel and taking on a new one every day is a no brainer on a Western Dolomites walking holiday. This small group holiday, where you are accompanied by an expert mountain guide, focuses on the famous Fassa Valley which stretches between Marmolada, the range’s highest summit at 3343m and the Catinaccio ridge(2981m) of the Rosengarten massif, aptly named ‘rose’ because its pink dolomite is a glowing red when the sun hits it.
Based in Moena which, as gateway to the Dolomites, is an idyllically located small town surrounded by foothills, flower filled valleys and ever enticing peaks. We categorise this as a ‘moderate’ walking holiday, although we have a good range of walks on offer depending on the group’s experience and interests. Some may choose lower level paths such as the Marcialonga route in Val di Fassa or opt for the cable car from Vigo di Fassa, just north of Moena, taking you up to to the east side of Catinaccio ridge, from which the descent back down through the Val di Fassa is something else. More experienced walkers can venture further into the Catinaccio range, and follow high level trails. Our guides are such experts, and the Dolomites are so dramatically beautiful, there is never a shortage of walking trail options on this holiday.
Hello. If you'd like to chat about this holiday or need help finding one we're very happy to help. Rosy & team.
Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, travelling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week holiday, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.
The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travellers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.
We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.
What are the main benefits?
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.
Make the most of your holiday time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!
Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travellers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your holiday.
Solo travellers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those travelling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.
Less confident travellers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travellers their own room.
“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.
“The accommodation will be basic” Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.
“I won’t like the other travellers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.
“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson
Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando
Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travellers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.
Responsible tourism: Western Dolomites walking tour in Italy
Activity: As a walking holiday, this trip has very limited detrimental impact upon the environment, residents and communities in the regions we visit. Adverse effects like pollution and threatening wildlife do not come into play and although erosion on popular paths can be an issue, guides can advise pre-planned routes to avoid this. Trekking also allows for flexibility and allows for easy access to the local population, shops and restaurants, which facilitates cultural exploration. By operating consciously with a ‘leave no trace’ policy, we are able to raise local awareness for a kind of tourism which refuses to sacrifice the environment and real connections with people for financial gain.
UK Office: It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK Offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.
Accommodation and Meals: Accommodation for the week is Hotel Laurino, a family-run hotel in the heart of Moena. The hotel is environmentally conscious, and as with the rest of Trentino, complies with recycling regulations. Energy saving policies are also in place. For example, the hotel makes clients aware that daily washing of towels and bed linen is optional. The kitchen provides generous breakfasts and delicious, traditional evening meals with locally sourced ingredients. Prevalent specialties in the Dolomites include dumplings with speck, fried or grilled polenta with hearty stews, freshly caught trout and locally produced cheese and wine.
Local Craft and Culture: Although this trip takes us to some very altitudinous and remote locations, there are plenty of opportunities to engage with local culture. Clients are encouraged to stop at mountain huts or refuges, some of which are really off the beaten track and dependent on the more curious adventurer to remain in business. These locally run huts are a good place to stop and engage with the people who live and work in the area. They often serve local beers and delicious home cooked meals. If clients express an interest in locally produced food, they may be able to visit a nearby cheese factory or farm. The group is also encouraged to use their free day to go to Bolzano to see Oetzi the Iceman from 3,300 BCE in the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology.
Group Size: This small group tour has a maximum of 16 participants, meaning that we have a low impact on the environments and communities we visit and are able to ensure that we do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. The small number also allows us to stay in unique, family-run hotels that cannot benefit from coach tours and other mass tourism due to their limited sizes.
Reviews of Western Dolomites walking tour in Italy
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
It was OK
A bit disappointing really
Reviewed on 29 Sep 2011 by Margaret Pomfret
1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your holiday?
Despite having a mobility problem, I managed 3 out of 4 walks. They were amazing and Rudy was invaluable to give me the confidence to carry on even on some quite hard terrain. The hotel turned out to be experts in gluten free cooking and so the other perfect half was the ability to eat enough food to fuel the walking. Also the food was delicious. And the staff were lovely.
2. What tips would you give other travellers booking this holiday?
If you have coeliac disease go on this holiday, you won’t have to worry about cross contamination issues at all. You will be astoundingly well fed. The staff are really great. Take a solid pack with you for the days as you need to carry a lot of water - on the day to Tiscali I drank 3 and a half litres before we reached the dried up river bed. Expect to be hot and sweaty and be adventurous.
3. Did you feel that your holiday benefited local people, and minimized impacts on the environment?
The hotel is run by a local family and Dorgali is small, so I think this kind of holiday brings some much needed custom, particularly to the bars serving Prosecco!
4. Finally, how would you rate your holiday overall?