The Dolomites, Italy
Sept. 22 to Sept. 29, 2023
On Sale Now
Tricia and I have been incurable mountain lovers from an early age. I spent many seasons in Vermont, while Tricia visited the Poconos. We have been fortunate to travel to the US and Canadian Rockies, including a Twisters Travel Retreat to Glacier National Park in Montana. But our scout trip to the Dolomites last June was a real revelation for us. The Dolomites blend incredible natural beauty with a history of amazing and luxurious alpine resorts. This trip will be a study in pleasant contrasts. We will be physically active during the days and pampered quietly into the evenings. Even our transitions to and from of the Dolomites will prove to be full of pleasant surprises as well from the extravagance of Venetian architecture to the old world charm of Malcesine on Lake Garda and finally to the lush rolling hills of vineyards along the Prosecco Road. We have limited the trip to 12 guests and added an additional night so that we can cover the best of what Northeast Italy has to offer. We can't wait to share this adventure with you.
Dolomites: Fall 2023
8 Days / 7 Nights
Arrival Day: Sept. 22, 2023
Suggested Airport: Venice, Italy (VCE)
Suggested Arrival time: 10:00 am
Meet Up Location: Hotel Dona Palace
Departure Day: Sept. 29, 2023
Suggested Airport: Venice, Italy (VCE)
Suggested Departure Time: 1:00 pm
Drop Off Location: Venice Intl. Airport
Venice: Our trip begins in the magnificent city of Venice. Our first night will be at the 4-star boutique hotel, Dona Palace, just a 2 minute walk from St. Mark's Square, which Napoleon called "the drawing room of Europe." Early arrivals can spend the day exploring the sights of Venice prior to our first official gathering at 5 PM. Over cocktails and dinner we meet our new traveling companions and preview the coming attractions. The next morning we are whisked away by water taxis to our (2) vans to begin our journey north: first to Malcesine on Lake Garda for lunch then to the mountain village of Ortisei, our home base for the rest of the week.
Val Gardena: The village of Ortisei is located in the middle of the picturesque Val Gardena in the province of South Tyrol. South Tyrol was part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire prior to World War I, and German continues to be the primary language spoken in this province. When traveling and hiking through South Tyrol, every street, advertisement, sign, etc... is written in both German and Italian. Thus Ortisei is also known by the German name St. Ulrich. Ortisei is surrounded by lush alpine meadows, clear mountain streams and towering peaks making it a hiker's paradise. Our accommodations in Ortisei are on a hill overlooking the town and surrounding mountains. Hotel Niblea is a classic 4-star boutique alpine resort. Now in its third generation of ownership by the Rella family, our hotel feels more like a luxury home than commercial property. It offers 4-star dining and an amazing new wing featuring spacious guest rooms, a fabulous spa and an indoor/outdoor pool. Each of our rooms are located in this new space with stunning views down the valley. Our days in Val Gardena will be filled with three key ingredients: 1) spectacular outdoor hikes/activities during the day; 2) relaxing late afternoons in the hotel's beautiful and modern spa ; and 3) delicious dinners with pleasant conversations at night. Outdoor Activities: While we have organized privately guided hikes for each of our days in Ortisei, there will be alternative activities for people to choose from as well. Our hotel participates in the Val Gardena Active Program. Every day they offer guided outdoor activities including Rock Climbing Tours or Lessons, Mountain Biking or E-Biking Tours, and Hiking Tours. The Val Gardena Active Program also offers other Cultural Experiences, such as: Forest Energy Walks, Outdoor Yoga, Cooking Class for Dumplings and Strudel, and Outdoor Workshops for Geology, Wild Life Spotting, Traditional Wood Carving and more. So if you don't want to do our hike one day, you can choose a different Val Gardena Active option or just take a day off to hang out at the hotel or in town. Niblea Spa: Of course, staying all day in the spa and reading a good book is considered an activity as well. Here Hotel Niblea will not disappoint. Their newly completed wellness facilities are amazing. You can enjoy the view looking over Ortisei and Val Gardena from both the indoor/outdoor infinity pool and the Finnish sauna. Or perhaps speed up your recovery from a challenging hike by sweating gently in their deluxe steam bath. After your swim or sauna, you can settle into the cozy relaxation room or the sunny outdoor terrace wrapped up in your plush terrycloth bathrobe, sauna towel, and bath slippers. Toby is offering to teach by example for those who may be sheepish in partaking in this heedlessly self-indulgent European tradition. Niblea Dining: We will be half board during our stay at Hotel Niblea. This means we will have breakfast and dinner at the hotel. Lucky for us that Niblea offers 4-star cuisine and service for its meals. Mornings start with a colorful, varied breakfast buffet with organic products from the area. Dinners feature a 4-course gourmet menu with a large salad buffet, and the restaurant has an excellent selection of local and national wines. They offer two special dinners weekly, including: a traditional South Tyrolean dinner with local specialties and a candlelight gala dinner. While we can promise our guests that this trip will burn lots of calories, we cannot guarantee that they won't be replaced by these amazing meals and wines.
Prosecco Road As we descend from the Dolomites for our return to Venice, we make an important overnight stop for a true Italian treasure, Prosecco. La Strada del Prosecco, the Prosecco Road, runs for nearly 20 miles from Conegliano to Valdobbiadene in the Veneto region just north of Venice. This breathtaking wine region is full of small terraced vineyards planted on steep slopes almost exclusively dedicated to grapes for Italy’s famed sparkling wine. Our 4-star hotel, Hotel Villa del Poggio, overlooks the vineyards and hilltop towns of the area. Our last day of the trip will be spent relaxing at this beautiful property. After lunch we will have an introductory wine tasting of the finest wines from the Valdobbiadene DOCG zone, considered the best in Italy. In fact, Prosecco is the basis for Italy’s de facto national cocktail, the Aperol Spritz. As evening approaches we will share one last dinner together. We depart early the next morning to Venice Intl. Airport, so everyone can catch their flights home or continue their adventure to new destinations.
Important Reminder: This trip is your vacation, and all our scheduled activities are optional. So if you don't want to hike one day or any day, no problem! We are going to be in beautiful locations that can be enjoyed in many different ways. It is our goal to make this excursion as wonderful as possible for everyone on the trip.
Day 1 (Sept. 22) - Arrival Day: Welcome to Italy We will meet guests as they land at Venice Intl. Airport on Arrival Day. We will have two scheduled Water Taxi Transfers for our group to the hotel. While hotel check in does not officially begin to 2 PM, we have arranged for 2 rooms for early arrivals to shower and change clothes. Baggage storage is also available until check in. Everyone has an unscheduled day to explore the sights and sounds of Venice. At 5:00 PM we will have our first official group gathering and welcome toast at the hotel's bar. Afterward we will dine at a local neighborhood restaurant for our first taste of some delicious Italian cuisine and fresh seafood. Accommodations Hotel Dona Palace (1 night) Included Activities First Group Gathering & Welcome Toast at Hotel Dona Palace Included Meals Dinner in Venice Included Travel Services 2 Airport Transfers by Water Taxi will be scheduled Between 8 AM & 11 AM Two Guest Rooms for Early Arrivals to Shower & Change Clothes Baggage Storage Pre-Check In Optional / Free Time Activities (9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Unscheduled) Explore Historic Venice
Day 2 (Sept. 23) - The Drive North: Venice to Malcesine to Ortisei After breakfast we will cruise the canals of Venice by water taxis from our hotel to our awaiting rental vans. From there we will drive about 2.5 hours to the beautiful town of Malcesine on the shores of Lake Garda. Here we will stop for lunch and take a cable car trip to the top of Mt. Baldo, which overlooks Lake Garda. Next we continue north for 2 hours through mountain passes to reach our final destintation, Ortisei. We should arrive to Hotel Niblea around 4 PM, giving us plenty of time to check in and relax before dinner. Accommodations Hotel Niblea (1st of 5 Nights) Included Activities Cable Car Roundtrip Ticket to Mt. Baldo Summit, Malcesine Included Meals Breakfast at Hotel Dona Palace Lunch in Malcesine Dinner at Hotel Niblea Included Travel Services Water Taxi: Venice Island to Rental Vans All Local Transport by Vans As Required Optional / Free Time Activities N/A
Day 3 (Sept. 24) - Ortisei & Alpe di Suisi: An Easy Hike Day Our day starts slowly as we ease our way into the active part of the trip. After breakfast we will drive to the town of Ortisei so everyone can walk the quaint streets, shop for any necessities (hiking poles?) and have lunch at a local restaurant or wine bar. The group reconvenes at 1 PM to take the Mont Sëuc Gondola from town to Alpe di Siusi/Seiser Alm. Our 3.5 hour guided hike is rated as "easy", so it will be a good warm up for the week. We will hike across Europe’s largest mountain plateau to Saltria and then slowly descend to the Monte Pana plateau. The hike ends in the village of Santa Cristina in Val Gardena, where we will transfer back to our hotel. We should be back to Hotel Niblea by 5:30 PM allowing time before dinner for those who want to visit the spa or pool. Accommodations Hotel Niblea (2nd of 5 Nights) Included Activities Guided Hike: Alpe di Siusi / Saltria / Monte Pana or Your Choice of a Val Gardena Active Progam Tour/Class Included Meals Breakfast at Hotel Niblea Dinner at Hotel Niblea Included Travel Services Local Transport To/From Hike By Van As Needed Lift Tickets As Needed Optional / Free Time Activities ( 5:30 to 7:00 PM Unscheduled) Relax at Niblea's Spa/Pool
Day 4 (Sept 25) - The Seceda Ridgleline to Rifugio Firenze: An Easy/Moderate Hike Day After breakfast we will drive to the Seceda Cableway in Ortisei, which is the start of today's hike. This hike is rated as "Easy / Moderate" and lasts about 5 hours including a long lunch break. From the cableway mountaintop station, it’s a mere 10-minute walk to the summit lookout point. The summit of Seceda (2518 meters) provides unbeatable views of the Odle/Geisler Peaks making it one of the most memorable destinations in the Italian Dolomites. From here, we will continue for 2 hours along the Seceda ridgeline towards the Odle Peaks and eventually to the Rifugio Firenze, a mountain shelter with a restaurant and overnight beds. Here we will stop for lunch and a rest. Rifugio Firenze is an oasis with panoramic views of the Odle/Geisler peaks, Muntejela, Mont de Stevia, and Sassolungo/Langkofel. After lunch we will hike an additional 1.5 hours to complete the circuit trail back at the Seceda Cableway station. We should be back to Hotel Niblea by 4:00 PM allowing time before dinner for those who want to visit the spa or pool. Accommodations Hotel Niblea (3rd of 5 Nights) Included Activities Guided Hike: Seceda Ridgleline to Rifugio Firenze or Your Choice of a Val Gardena Active Progam Tour/Class Included Meals Breakfast at Hotel Niblea Dinner at Hotel Niblea Included Travel Services Local Transport To/From Hike By Van As Needed Lift Tickets As Needed Optional / Free Time Activities ( 4:00 PM to 7:00 PM Unscheduled) Relax at Niblea's Spa/Pool Visit Ortisei
Day 5 (Sept. 26) - The Sassolungo Circuit: A Moderate Hike Day Today we make a morning drive to Sella Pass to begin the Sassolungo Circuit Trail. This hike is rated as "Easy / Moderate" and lasts about 6.5 hours due to its length of 18 km. This hike circuits the entire Sassolungo / Langkofel group. From Sella Pass the hike continues to Rifugio Sasso. This mountain hut is the halfway point of the hike and a great lunch spot with an outstanding view of Alpe di Siusi. After lunch the remaining Sassolungo circuit continues to wrap around the mountain group and represents the most challenging part of the tour. We should arrive back at Hotel Niblea by 5:00 PM allowing time for a spa / pool visit prior to dinner, if desired. Accommodations Hotel Niblea (4th of 5 Nights) Included Activities Guided Hike: Sassolungo / Langkofel Circuit or Your Choice of a Val Gardena Active Progam Tour/Class Included Meals Breakfast at Hotel Niblea Dinner at Hotel Niblea Included Travel Services Local Transport To/From Hike By Van As Needed Lift Tickets As Needed Optional / Free Time Activities (5:00 to 7:00 PM Unscheduled) Relax at Niblea's Spa/Pool
Day 6 (Sept. 27) - Val Gardena Your Way: Enjoy a Free Day... As with all T&T Travel trips, we have at least 1 unscheduled day, so guests can create their own personal experience away from the group, if desired. Today is that day in Ortisei. Let us know if you would like help organizing an activity and either Tricia and I or the hotel can provide you assistance. Some suggestions are offered below. Accommodations Hotel Niblea (5th of 5 Nights) Included Activities Your Choice of a Val Gardena Active Progam Tour/Class or Join a Toby Tour: a Self-Guided Hike on the Adolf Munkel Trail in Val di Funes or Do a Yoga Class or Led Meditation with Tricia Included Meals Breakfast at Hotel Niblea Dinner at Hotel Niblea Included Travel Services Local Transport To/From Activities By Van If Available Optional / Free Time Activities (9 AM to 6 PM Unscheduled) Relax at Hotel Niblea Spend the Day in Ortisei Rent a Car to Expore on Your Own Rent a Mountain Bike or E-Bike for the Day Organize Your Own Personal Adventure
Day 7 (Sept. 28) - The Prosecco Road: Relax and Sip Some Bubbly... We say "arrivederci" to Ortisei today and drive down through the mountain passes to the Prosecco wine region in Veneto. This 3 hour drive gets us to our hotel, Villa del Poggio, in time for lunch. We can spend the early afternoon at the hotel or drive the Prosecco Road to see the small family vineyards up close. We have a late afternoon Prosecco Wine Tasting at the hotel, which will be followed by our final meal together in a neighborhood restaurant. Accommodations Hotel Villa del Poggio (1 night) Included Activities Wine Tasting at Hotel Villa del Poggio Included Meals Breakfast at Hotel Niblea Lunch at Hotel Villa del Poggio Dinner at Neighborhood Restaurant Included Travel Services All Local Transport By Van As Required Optional / Free Time Activities N/A
Day 8 (Sept. 29) - Departure Day: Off to Home or Your Next Destination We say our final goodbyes this morning and check out of the hotel by 11 AM. Two seperate airport drop off transfers will be scheduled between 7 AM and 1 PM. Otherwise the hotel can organize an airport transfers throughout the day for an additional cost. The airport is about a 50 minute drive from our hotel. AccommodationsHotel Villa del Poggio Check Out by 11:00 AM Included Activities N/A Included Meals Breakfast at Hotel Villa del Poggio Included Travel Services 2 Airport Drop Offs Between 7 AM & 1 PM Optional / Free Time Activities N/A
Our trip has (6) Double Rooms in each of our (3) fabulous 4-Star hotels. Due to the limited room supply, we are not offering single occupancy at this time. Please use the gallery below to become familiar with the rooms and amenities at each of the properties.
Click a Photo Below for a Slide Show Describing Each Hotel's Amenities & Rooms
Dolomites Room Package
Double Occupancy / $3,645.00 per person
6 Room Packages Are Available
First Night Stay Friday, Sept. 22
5 Night Stay Saturday, Sept. 23 to Wednesday, Sept. 27
Last Night Stay Thursday, Sept. 28
How To Book Your Room
All Rooms are allocated on a first pay - first serve basis. A $700.00 non-refundable deposit is required for every trip participant. Deposits from both room occupants must be received before a room is allocated. These deposits guarantee your room reservation until the Final Balance Payment Deadline. An email invoice is sent at your request, and it allows you to pay by credit / debit card via our PayPal account.
Payment Options – Final Payment Deadline: July 1st, 2023
All trip packages must be paid in full by July 1st, 2023. Retreat participants have the option of paying the entire balance at the time of deposit to receive a $150.00 discount. Alternatively, participants can sign up for an installment plan at the time of deposit by using a credit / debit card. This plan automatically pays the balance due with monthly automated installments that are completed on or before July 1st, 2023. Beyond this deadline, the reservation may be cancelled, the deposit(s) forfeited, and the room may be allocated to the wait list and/or put back on sale.
In the event you must cancel your trip, your entire payment will be refunded less the $700.00 deposit, if your cancellation is made before July 1st, 2023. Should you need to cancel after this date, for whatever reason, we will not be able to provide a refund or credit. No partial refunds or credits will be given for participants who arrive late or depart early on the trip. For this reason we recommend that all retreat participants purchase travel insurance that allows for trip cancellations.
Travel Insurance: Strongly Recommended
We strongly recommend the purchase of travel insurance in the case of any unexpected events or changes to your plans before or during your trip. Please review all policies carefully to ensure you get the coverage you want, including: trip cancellation or delay, personal property loss, medical treatment and emergency medical evacuation. The policies that offer "Cancel for Any Reason" benefits often require that you purchase this insurance within two weeks of your trip's first expense, i.e. the deposit.
Squaremouth.com - A Great Website To Compare & Shop for Travel Insurance Policies
Need More Information? Please Contact Us
If you have questions regarding the room reservation process or you require additional information about the trip, please don't hesitate to reach out to us for answers. Just send us an email, and we will get back to you within 24 hrs. to provide whatever information you may need.
What’s Included in the Price:
* 8 Days & 7 Nights at Hand-Selected 4-Star Hotels
* All Hotel Taxes & Gratuities
* Meals: 7 Breakfasts, 2 Lunches & 7 Dinners
* All Group Meal Gratuities
* Welcome Gathering & Happy Hour in Venice
* Guided Hike: Alpe di Siusi / Saltria / Monte Pana
* Guided Hike: Secada Ridgeline to Rifugio Firenze
* Guided Hike: Sassolungo / Langkofel Circuit
* Guided Hike: Adolf Munkel Trail in Val di Funes
* Wine Tasting & Gift at Hotel Villa del Poggio
* Entrance Fees, Lift Tickets, Taxes and Gratuities for All Scheduled Group Activities
* Full-time experienced guides who are with you throughout the trip, to handle behind-the-scenes logistics and to help with anything you need. (i.e. Toby & Tricia)
* All Local Transportation Via Two Rental Vans
* Airport Meet Up & Drop Off Services
What’s Not Included in the Price:
* Air Travel to Venice's Marco Polo Airport (VCE)
* Select Meals: 4 Lunches
* Any Optional Tours and Activities Not Included on the Trip Itinerary or the Val Gardena Active Program.
* Misc: Souvenirs
* Alcoholic Beverages
* Travel Insurance (Highly Recommended)