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South Tyrol, the Dolomites and Lago di Garda

Walking in South Tyrol, the Dolomites and Lago di Garda

Overview

Our South Tyrol, the Dolomites, and Lago di Garda walking holiday will take you from South Tyrol through the stunning Western Dolomites, the only dolomitic group west of the river Adige, taking in mountain lakes, lush pastures, green forests and impressive scenery. You will start at Merano in South Tyrol; accompanied by the backdrop of the sky-scraping limestone peaks of the Dolomites, you will discover the wild beauty of the mountains before you reach your final destination, the scenic Lago di Garda – the largest of the Italian lakes.

  • The Brenta Dolomites – UNESCO world natural heritage site
  • Cosy mountain rifugi, surrounded by jagged limestone peaks
  • Remote trails around chiselled rock faces, forested valleys and lush alpine pastures
  • Lago di Garda, Italy’s largest lake, with its waterfront parks and cafés

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Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Merano

Individual arrival at the hotel in Meran. Merano (or Meran in German) is a city and commune in South Tyrol, northern Italy. Best known for its spa resorts, it is surrounded by mountains standing up to 3335 metres above sea level, at the entrance to the Passeier Valley and the Vinschgau. Because of its mild climate, in the past, the city has been a popular place of residence for several scientists, literary people and artists, including Franz Kafka, Ezra Pound, Paul Lazarsfeld, and also Empress Elisabeth (Sisi).

Day 2: Merano to Nalles | 20 km

Today you will walk through apple orchards before arriving at an impressive waterfall. Soon your trail leads you through the chestnut-covered hills of Tisens and up to the historic little church of St. Christoph. After walking through beautiful woodland with fantastic views deep into the Etsch valley, you reach Nalles (Nals), an idyllic little village surrounded by apple orchards and vineyards. Nalles is known as the village of roses and is home to the renowned Nals-Margreid winery.

Day 3: Nals to Kaltern Lake | 18 km

Today you will walk past a series of impressive castles. In the afternoon, you will reach the Ice Holes near Pianizza di Sopra – a natural phenomenon with ice stalactites present even in high summer. Past the tower of St. George and more vineyards, you will soon reach Lake Kaltern and Caldaro. The area has a unique Mediterranean splendour, the lake being the warmest in the Alps with four public beaches that offer direct access to its waters.

Day 4: Kaltern Lake to Coredo | 17 km

In the morning, you will make a short train transfer travel to the Mendel Pass. Enjoy the impressive views before you continue your walk over the plateau towards Nonstal, the language and provincial border of Tyrol. Through amazing canyons and idyllic villages to the pilgrimage site of Saint Romedio, you will soon reach Coredo in the heart of the Val di Non Valley.

  • Walking for the day: 17 km, 5 hours, ↑ 200m ↓700m
  • Overnight in Miraval Hotel or similar

Day 5: Coredo to Molveno | 15 km

After a short transfer, you will take in the impressive landscapes of the Nonstal before you begin your walk along the Way of St. James, up to the high plain of Paganella. The path leads through expansive woodland up to Cavedago with its famous triple-arched bridge. Then walk across the wetland of a karst lake towards Andalo and then to the village of Molveno, situated at the foot of the Brenta-Dolomites on the shore of a turquoise glacial lake. Visit the local water mill (still working) and the 13th-century San Vigilio church.

  • Walking for the day: 15 km, 5 hours, ↑ 700m ↓400m
  • Overnight in Londra Hotel or similar (optional upgrade: Belvedere)

Day 6: Brenta – Dolomites Circular Walk | 15 km

You ascend to the Pradel by cable car and then walk along with one of the most beautiful hiking paths in the region. Stop at a rifugio (mountain hut) and enjoy a typical Italian snack as well as the impressive view of the surrounding mountain tops of the Brenta group, before you slowly descend to the crystal clear Lago Nembia.

  • Walking for the day: 15 km, 5 hours, ↑ 390m ↓900m
  • Overnight in Londra Hotel or similar (optional upgrade: Belvedere)

Day 7: Molveno to Lago di Garda | 10 km

Today you will walk through the untouched meadows of the valley of Lomason. Then you climb up to Rifugio Monte San Pietro, where you can take in the stunning view of Lake Garda. Walk down through winding alleys, past stonewalls to the castle of Tenno. During the last few kilometres, you will walk through olive groves and Mediterranean cypress vegetation until you reach the goal of your hiking week, Riva del Garda, on the shore of Lake Garda.

  • Walking for the day: 10 km, 3-4 hours, ↑ 400m ↓800m
  • Overnight in Hotel Sole or similar (optional upgrade: Hotel Bellariva)

Day 8: Departure

Individual departure or possibility to extend your stay.

What to Expect

Accommodation

Accommodation on this walking holiday is in nice 3-star hotels (some of them have swimming pools and spa facilities) in private en-suite rooms. You can optionally upgrade them to 4 stars for some added luxury. We have carefully hand-picked all places and regularly monitor their quality. We have tried to choose accommodations that offer friendly service, clean and comfortable rooms and local flavour.

Click to view default hotels

Flora Hotel, Traubenheim Hotel, Masatsch Hotel, Miraval Hotel, Londra Hotel, Comano Cattoni Hotel, Hotel Sole

Note that hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal or higher value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.

Click to view upgraded hotels

Pienzenau am Schloßpark, Nalserhof, Hotel Thalhof, Miraval Hotel, Belvedere, Grand Hotel, Bellariva Hotel

Note that hotels are subject to availability. In case a particular hotel is fully booked for your desired dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal or higher value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.

Meals

Breakfast is always included. No picnic lunches are included in the tour price, but these can be prepared for you by the accommodation owners, or products for picnics can be purchased in the villages where you’ll be staying. On some occasions, you have the option of having your lunch in a rifugio along the way.

Difficulty & terrain

We recommend a good fitness level for walking days of 5 up to 6 hours and for longer ascents. Easier alternatives of the daily sections are sometimes possible by bus (read more about difficulty grades). You will mainly walk on well-maintained walking paths. Part of the walks is along the ancient irrigation channels, so-called Waalwege. In some sections, you will be walking on forest trails and steep paths. We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never shorten the way through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.

When to go

This trip is available from May to early October. The flexibility of self guided holidays means that there are no fixed dates, and you can start your trip on any date during the season.

Getting there

FCO up-to-date travel advice

Click to view travel options

By plane

The closest airports are Innsbruck Airport, Sant’ Angelo – Antonio Canova Airport in Treviso and Marco Polo Airport in Venice.

By train or bus
  • There are limited number of free hotel parking spaces and paid car parks near the hotels, approx. EUR 30 per week. Underground car park (limited number of spaces) approx. EUR 12 per day, payable on-site, no reservation required.
  • Merano is easily reachable by train. Timetables available on: www.deutschebahn.de, www.oebb.at, and www.trenitalia.com

Inclusions

Included

  • Welcome briefing
  • Accommodation in comfortable 3-star hotels and country inns, private en-suite rooms
  • Breakfast buffet or full breakfast
  • Luggage transfer from hotel to hotel on all walking days
  • Transfers according to the programme
  • Mendelpass mountain railway
  • Ticket for cable car Pradel-Molveno (only operational during the summer season, otherwise short additional walk)
  • Ticket for the cable cars Faloria and Helm
  • Detailed documents (maps, route description, places to visit, important telephone numbers)
  • GPS tracks
  • 24/7 phone assistance by our local office/representative

Excluded

  • Airfare and connecting land transfers
  • Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
  • Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
  • Bus fare Lago Nembia to Comano, approx. EUR 5 per person
  • Personal expenses
  • Local tourist taxes and entry fees (payable on-site)
  • Any items not explicitly listed as included

Options, extras & supplements

  • A supplement applies to members of a group who require a single room
  • This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
  • Half-board (6 dinners – dinner is not provided in Riva)
  • Extra nights
  • ‘In Style’ upgrade – selected 4-star hotels

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