Explore the high trails and mountain towns of the Italian Dolomites, with our great range of walking tours.
Explore the high trails and mountain towns of the Italian Dolomites, with our great range of walking tours.

Welcome to the Italian Dolomites

Europe's most majestic mountains

With their explosive shapes and unique colours, the Dolomites are arguably the most stunning mountains in the world; they are certainly the crown jewels of the Alps. At every turn you are stopped in your tracks by their sheer magnificence. The Dolomites are a paradise for walking holidays, whether you are a high level trekker, moderate hiker or idyllic stroller, not to mention flower lover, artist, photographer, Via Ferrata climber or an all-round alpine enthusiast. Or, if you simply seek out an idyllic alpine retreat.

Our centre-based walking holiday in the dolomites is located located in one of the prettiest valleys, where unspoilt Tyrolean villages bewitch you with their wood-rich chalets and picturesque churches in a landscape of wildflower-strewn pastures, while the colossal natural monuments, which are the Dolomites, tower above you like castles of rock, which soar to the sky as if frozen in mid-explosion.

We also offer a large range of hut-to-hut walking holidays in the Dolomites. These holidays allow you to explore some of the lesser travelled alpine routes of the Dolomites, and offer the chance to stay in a range of stunning rifugios, often high up in the mountains. These are self guided holidays, but we suply you with Walk Packs which provide extensive notes, maps, and often GPS guidance too, to ensure you have the opportunity to see the beauty on offer throughout the Dolomites.

The central Dolomites lie largely in Italy’s northernmost province, the South Tyrol, which borders Austria and Switzerland to the north. To the south are the alluring historical cities of Venice and Verona. Geologists believe they were heaved up by great movements in the earth’s crust 50 million years ago when Europe and Africa collided. Since then the actions of ice and water have carved them into the overwhelming sculptural forms we see today. More recently history has shaped the area. After WWI, the area passed from Austria to Italy. In spite of drastic efforts, Mussolini failed to italianise the region and the area now thrives on the harmonious co-existence of the Austrian and Italian cultures in a region where Latin meets Germanic.

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Walking in the Italian Dolomites on a Collett's holiday

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For walkers, we offer a memorable holiday experience in an area with UNESCO World Heritage status. Our base in Corvara (for our centre-based holiday in the Dolomites) provides superb access to beautiful waymarked trails of all grades. We are flanked by two natural parks: the Fanes to the east, stretching dramatically towards Cortina, and by the Puez-Odle to the west, extending equally dramatically to the Val Gardena. To the south towards Arabba, we have a vast natural plinth, Monte Sella (3152m) and our highest peak, the Marmolada (3343m), Queen of the Dolomites.

These majestic massifs host our brilliantly-researched and extensive portfolio of walks. Within our tried and tested gems, there are a handful of must-do classic hikes, but otherwise with Collett’s you will get off the beaten track into special and breathtaking landscapes.

The walks on our hut-to-hut holidays are often more challenging, and perfect for both intermediate and advanced walkers. On these holidays you’ll often traverse steeper trials as you get higher into the mountains themselves, staying high in mountain rifugios. the views will be amongts the best available anywhere in the world, and are often extremely peaceful as are lesser travelled routes.

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Cuisine - Eating and drinking around The Dolomites

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Alongside the natural splendour of the Dolomites is a gastronomic presence that will surely excite the casual and not-so-casual gourmet, especially on our centre-based holiday. As well as a host of Michelin star-rated restaurants, the general quality of the cuisine in the Dolomites is outstanding.

You can expect fresh, locally-sourced ingredients whether you go for pasta, seafood, game or even pizza. Pair with a glass of world-class wine from the South Tyrol or Veneto, just to keep it really local. Round off a genuine Dolomites moment with a plate of local cheeses and the perfect digestif, a ‘prima uva’ grappa.

All of our hut-to-hut walking holidays in the Dolomites include half-board accomodation in montain rifugios. Whilst the options here are often not as vast, the quality is very high ensuring that all walkers will eat very well every morning and evening.

Culture - The timbre of the Tyrol

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The South Tyrol became a melting pot of Latin and Germanic cultures when it was transferred to Italy from Austria after WWI. It’s an intriguing mix of flare and efficiency, gathering in the best components of two great countries. 

Villages and towns are beautifully presented, litter-free and immaculately clean. Affluence has reigned since the area’s status of provincial autonomy came into effect in 1991 with 90% of taxes being paid back into the region. It is now the wealthiest province in Italy with tourism replacing agriculture and hydro-electric power as the principal economic activity. 

These might be the world’s most majestic mountains and valleys, but the success of tourism is also due to a modern mountain-dwelling community, which is enlightened, environmentally conscious, hospitable and industrious. 

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Easy & Moderate Walking in the Dolomites

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Here in the magical Dolomites, the intermediate walker and gentle stroller will thrive on the many waymarked paths, which wend their way at low and medium altitude between picturesque hamlets and villages. You can enjoy the spectacular scenery in many different ways, perhaps meandering casually for two or three hours on riverside tracks and through wildflower-strewn meadows, or by venturing a little higher on to the woodland trails, upland pastures and occasionally the lower rocky reaches of the massifs themselves. Many of these routes were originally hunting or smuggling trails.

Welcoming mountain huts, known as rifugios, are dotted around this extensive network of numbered paths, each one with its own sun terrace, on which walkers can soak up their magical surroundings, whilst enjoying well-earned refreshment. These are where you will stay on one of our hut-to-hut holidays.

Some people come here with specific intentions: fossil collectors love the region’s rich geology; artists and photographers try to capture their own visions of these unique mountains; bird and wildlife observers can admire a diverse range of fauna and, whilst spotting a pair of golden eagles is fortunate, sightings of buzzards, chamois, deer and the comical marmots punctuate many lower level walks.

High Level Walking

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It is hard to think of anywhere in Europe that offers the high level walker such good access to an extensive network of sensational walks on waymarked trails and protected paths. It is all on our doorstep. At every turn, you are exposed to the most mesmerising landscapes, whilst enjoying a choice of routes that suit individual fitness levels.

From Corvara, you can venture on foot into both the Puez Odle and Fanes national parks on walks of a lifetime. Just to the south of Corvara the valley reaches its terminus and here we are towered over by the colossal flanks of Monte Sella, a natural plinth, monumental in size and splendour, where you might easily spend a week without repeating the same walk.

Further afield, yet still within easy access, there is Cristallo (3221m), Tofana (3244m), Lagazuoi & Cinque Torre (2800m) with its World War Tunnels and Open-air WWI Museum and, of course, the Marmolada (3343m), Queen of the Dolomites, with its brilliant white glacier dominating many a panorama. The rifugios are a positive part of high level walking in the Dolomites, and used on the majority of our hut-to-hut walking holidays. The welcome is warm and the food, service and refreshment are excellent and affordable – and most importantly of all – they offer unforgettable panoramas from their sun terraces.

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Wildflowers

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Like all our destinations, the Italian Dolomites is world-renowned for alpine flora, providing  good access to celebrated sites, such as the Pordoi Pass, the Bindelweg and the Vallunga. We offer flower walks for 2 weeks in June when you are guaranteed an explosion of colour in the meadows and upland pastures that surround us.

It is one of life’s great pleasures to walk in breathtaking landscapes that are so rich in fascinating flower habitats, where classic and rare species flourish. Over the years we have documented the locations of the sought-after species and this invaluable knowledge grows each year, providing so much pleasure for our flower enthusiasts.

When to visit the Dolomites

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Our summer season of walking in the Dolomites runs from mid June to mid September. People who visit us in June and July will witness the explosion of colour that characterises the the phenomenal flower season. They will marvel at snow-capped peaks and see waterfalls at their most gushing. Alpine flora thrives in its own way throughout the season, but after mid July, you just have to get a bit higher to appreciate it. In June you can’t miss it. Exquisite flowers grow everywhere, from roadside verges to high rocky crags.

Typically, the area livens up and dies down as the season unfolds. June is early in terms of tourism and sometimes we can venture out on a walk and not see anyone all day. It’s almost like having exclusivity to your own mountain paradise. After 20 June, we move into a mid-season atmosphere as local services intensify a little and more local shops open.

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Corvara

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For a walking holiday in the Dolomites, Corvara takes some beating because strategically it is the best located village in the South Tyrol’s prettiest valley. Over the years it has been a genuine pleasure to watch the reaction of our guests as they arrive and are immediately awe-struck by their surroundings. Unsurprisingly, the area acquired UNESCO World Heritage status in 2009. The valley wends its way below majestic peaks to Monte Sella (3152m), a glorious and colossal plinth, which typifies the drama of Corvara’s location with magnificent rock formations looming over wildflower-strewn pastures, woodland and sleepy hamlets, where the window boxes of old farmhouses overflow with colour.

Corvara is the principal village of the Alta Badia and has two gondolas, one to the Pralongià Plateau at 1980m for easier and moderate walks, the other to the eastern turrets of the Sella at 2152m for amazing high level walks and also two Via Ferrata. It is a vibrant mountain resort with some delightful cafes and bars, stylish shops and a good range of locally-supplied alpine activities including sport climbing, a climbing wall, high ropes, skating, a swimming lake, golf, tennis, archery etc. It is also close to some absorbing places of interest. In short, whatever you choose to do, you’ll soon be glad you came.

Explore our holidays in the Dolomites

Italy

Italian Dolomites

Our classic Collett’s Mountain Holidays experience, showcasing the best of the Alta Badia and its surrounding valleys. Arrive and depart any day.
Centre-Based
Self-Guided
Italy
All Abilities
Italy

Grand Tour of the Alta Badia

Stay in spectacularly located huts and get high on the peaks and trails of the Puez Odle and Fanes Natural Parks.
Hut-to-Hut
Self-Guided
Italy
Moderate
Italy

The Sella Grand Tour

Explore the 4 dramatic valleys that terminate at the Sella massif, a Dolomites giant. This route features village hotels and a night in a Rifugio
Hut-to-Hut
Self-Guided
Italy
Moderate
Italy

Dolomites Grand Tour Taster

Stay in spectacularly located huts and get high on the peaks and trails of the Puez Odle and Fanes Natural Parks.
Hut-to-Hut
Centre-Based
Self-Guided
Italy
Moderate
Italy

Cortina to Tre Cime

Walk from Cortina d’Ampezzo to Tre Cime di Lavaredo. Experience the best hut-to-hut hiking circuit the Northern Dolomites has to offer.
Hut-to-Hut
Self-Guided
Italy
Moderate
Challenging
Italy

Alta Via 1 - Southern Route

A majestic week on the off-the-beaten tracks of this celebrated long distance walking trail
Hut-to-Hut
Self-Guided
Italy
Moderate
Italy

Pale di San Martino

Explore the largest mountain group of the Dolomites and see the unbelievable, out-of-this world landscape of the Pale plateau.
Hut-to-Hut
Self-Guided
Italy
Moderate
Italy

The Brenta Dolomites

Hike the less frequented trails of the Alta Via 1 in the Italian Dolomites to see wildlife, rather than people.
Hut-to-Hut
Self-Guided
Italy
Moderate
Italy

Alta Via 2

Enjoy an awe-inspiring week on this famed self-guided long-distance trail.
Hut-to-Hut
Italy
Challenging

The Fassa Dolomites

Hike the most exciting parts of the Alta Via 2 and discover six wondrous massifs
Challenging

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