The Dolomites 23 - 30 June 2018

The Dolomites are truly spectacular mountains with jagged crags and soaring spires, the kind we all drew as children. It is hard to accept, when gazing at peaks some 3000m and more above sea level, that they began life, beneath the sea, millions of years ago.

The high mountains on the Italy / Austria border are comprised mainly of the eponymous ‘dolomite’ a calcium-magnesium carbonate that originated beneath the sea from the long dead skeletons of microscopic marine organisms. However, where we stay there are outcrops of ancient granitic rocks, forced through the layers of Dolomite to create acidic outcrops and it is this diversity of rock types that allowing us to experience a profuse flora or rich diversity

We always find a degree of solitude in a region popular with holidaymakers by making extensive use of cable cars to get to the heights (up to over 2900m…) This allows photographers to carry equipment and to spend fruitful time wandering in flower meadows. and ambling on way-marked trails through landscapes of a majesty, hard to describe.

The alpine and subalpine flower meadows are as rich as any in Europe - brilliant spikes of orange lilies flourish with numerous species of wild flowers and a rich variety of butterflies and other insects that thrive on the plants. Our walks are varied, chosen for their flowers and views over mountains, lakes and waterfalls. To minimise travelling up and down mountain passes we stay in two places (Colfosco and Campitello di Fassa in comfortable family run hotels with wonderful access to both dolomite and granite mountains via the network of cable cars that function in the summer months. We changed locations a few years ago back to places we had previously used some time ago because of better access to a variety of habitats…ancient pine and beech woodlands, riversides, alpine meadows and high screes. A favourite hotel of ours in the middle of woodland where Lady’s slipper grew was converted to a ‘wellness’ centre…

Price: €1850

Dates: 23 - 30June 2018

What’s included:
* All tuition
* All local travel including pick up and drop off at airport
* Cost of cable cars where used
* All meals with wine - gourmet picnics at lunchtime (weather permitting)
* All accommodation

What’s not included:
* Flights
* Personal insurance

Food & Drink:
In general, there is a strong Germanic influence on the cuisine, being once a part of the Austro-Hungarian empire. It is good, wholesome mountain fare with polenta …and the cakes are wonderful. The restaurants in our hotels provide a very good choice and excellent salad bars each evening. There are also some interesting wines, particularly whites that originate in the Trento and Veneto regions on the souther borders of these mountains.

The Dolomites - Itinerary

Day 1
After flying to Venice we meet you at the airport and transfer you to our comfortable family-run hotel in Colfosco

Day 2
We explore paths down near the river, through lush hay meadows and along the road that leads to the Gardena pass where we find numerous orchids in clouding the Globe orchid (Traunsteinera globosa)

Day 3
Journey with numerous stops to the Sella pass and a unique landscape or huge rocks with innumerable alpine species such as three different species of the delightful ‘snowbells’ Soldanella alpina, S pusilla and S. minima

Day 4
Transfer in leisurely fashion to Campitello and another family-run hotel. En route we visit the Gardena pass and its rich flower meadows where orange and martagon lilies abound. We arrive in time to visit the village of Pian just above Campitello…a reminder of times gone by with a wooden architecture that has all but disappeared in the Dolomites.

Day 5
A day of local exploration along mountain and riverside tracks to find some glorious flowers…including Lady’s slipper (Cypripedium calceolum) and a cable car journey high above the village to Col di Rodella

Day 6
Travel towards the vast bulk of The Marmolada and an area of flower and butterfly rich alpine meadow…full of orchids and with granite outcrops above where we might, with luck, find the ‘king of the alps’ (Eritrichium nanum ) depending on how late or early the flowering season is.


Exploration of the Fassa valley…and a wide array of flower-rich habits from river valley through woods to high screes

Day 8
Return home via flights from Venice.

NB Weather can be unpredictable in any high mountain region and the Dolomites are no exception. We often chop and change days to make sure that you see as much as possible. In some years seasons are early and some meadows will be cut accordingly…we have a very good knowledge of the region and will endeavour to find others higher is all part of the challenge.

Download our latest pdf here:
Tours 2018

Enquiries & us