Walking the Dolomites of Alta Badia

  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Dates
  • Headwater

This single centre, self-guided walking week gives easy access to some of the most stunning alpine scenery. Picture postcard villages surrounded by alpine meadows and the jagged limestone mountains of the UNESCO Dolomites.

4 nights on Half Board and 3 nights on B+B
Ciasa Salares (4 star)
Ciasa Salares, your home for the week, is located just a short walk (or even shorter shuttle/bus ride) from the centre of San Cassiano. Run by the Wieser family, Stefan, Wilma and their son Jan Clemens, who is passionate about the hotels fantastic wine cellar, the hotel combines alpine chic in the dcor with good old-fashioned hospitality. The hotel's four restaurants include an informal wine bar, a terrace restaurant, a main restaurant and tables in the wine cellar. There are also two other very special rooms the Cheese Room and the Chocolate Room, used for tastings, individual courses during meals and special occasions. Complimentary grappa tasting is available once a week, as well as one glass of wine and cheese tasting in the wine cellar. You will also get 5 half board meals included at the half board restuarant. Customers wishing to eat at one of the other three restaurants at the hotel can use their 'credit' from the half board menu and pay any difference locally. Drinks are always excluded. Other facilities include a library and lounge, a luxurious spa with indoor swimming pool, relaxation area, treatment rooms (3), sauna, steam room and an outdoor hot tub with fabulous alpine views to soak away those aching limbs after a day of walking. Headwater customers get free spa access (spa treatments available for a supplement.) The hotel offers a free shuttle service to San Cassiano (village and the main Piz Surega lift) as well as to the Capanna Alpina restaurant for the Fanes Natural Park walk. One picnic lunch is included at the hotels private mountain hut (day of the week changes depending on the weather). This mountain hut can be reached on foot (1hr 30mins from the hotel) on Day 4 walking or by gondola (about 20mins.) E-mountain bikes are available to hire for additional charge (payable locally.)

British Airways Heathrow to Venice Marco Polo 08:55/12:05 (22nd June - EasyJet Gatwick to Venice Marco Polo 08:35/11:55) then transfer to hotel 2hrs 30 min. Transfer to Airport 2 hrs 50 mins then British Airways Venice Marco Polo to Heathrow 13:10/14:30 (29th June - EasyJet Venice Marco Polo to Gatwick 15:45/17:00).
  • Italy
  • The Dolomites
  • Europe
Tour Types
  • Family
  • Luxury
  • Self Guided
  • Walking
Departure Points
  • London Airport
Day 1: Arrive at Armentarola, San Cassiano
Arrive at your hotel in Armentarola, San Cassiano. As you're at the same hotel all week the below itinerary is only a suggestion and you can, of course do any walk on any day.

Day 2: Pralongia Walk 15km/9.5mi/5hr or 17km/10.5mi/5.5hr
From the hotel, you ascend steadily along peaceful country lanes, through pine forest and up onto high alpine meadows with spectacular views of the surrounding Dolomites mountain ranges. Either enjoy a picnic en route or when you reach the mountain hut at Pralongia, take time over lunch and soaking up the mountain panorama. Return to San Cassiano for the hotel shuttle or walk back to the hotel.

Day 3: Santa Croce and Badia Walk 14km/9mi/5hr or 13km/8mi/4.5hr
Walk directly from the hotel or take the shuttle to San Cassiano. This pilgrimage route first skirts above the village then heads through some delightful pine woods. Along the route you pass depictions of the last hours of Jesus Christ's life on earth before you reach the church at Santa Croce with its amazing backdrop and views across the valley and the village of Badia. Descend to Badia and take the bus back to the hotel.

Day 4: San Cassiano to Corvara Walk 11km/7mi/3.5hr or 16km/10mi/5.5hr
Enjoy truly spectacular scenery on this favourite Alta Badia trail. You can start the day with a gondola lift or you can climb the first 5km through pine forest and alpine meadows. Once up at the top there are fabulous views ahead to the Marmolada mountains, the highest in the Dolomites, and behind as far as the Austrian Alps in the distance. At some points you have the most incredible 360-degree panoramic views. Continue on with a variety of mountain hut options for lunch then descend to Corvara for a well-deserved drink before catching the bus back to the hotel.

Day 5: Two Lakes of Badia Walk 10km/6mi/3.5hr
A short bus trip to Badia before this lovely walk takes you to two small lakes close to Badia with the fabulous backdrop of the Somamunt, Col Plo Alt and Pre Janin mountains. There are some wonderful views over the village and across the valley to the Santa Croce mountain as you head to Lech dla Lunch (pronounced lek-dela-loonk). Bring a picnic and you could even stop here for loonk! A steep climb sets you on your way to Lech da Sompunt and its delightful swans. Descend back to Badia passing through tiny hamlets and take the bus back.

Day 6: Valparola Pass Walk 7km/4mi/2.5hr + extensions
Today you head up to one of the key strategic passes from WW1 the Passo Valparola for fabulous views over the San Cassiano valley. Heading through the delightful Pre de Costa meadows, and past the Malghe Valparola, you head up towards the pass. When you get there, you may want to stop for refreshments at the rifugio at the top. You can make this a history trip and continue on to the nearby WW1 museum or even to Passo Falzarego and a cable car up to the top of Lagazuoi one of the most fiercely fought over mountains in the Dolomites. Another alternative is a tough 12km walk across towards the Setsas mountain with more fabulous views and back to the hotel.

Day 7: Fanes Natural Park Walk 15km/9.5mi/6hr or 10km/6mi/4.5hr
Definitely worth the wait - the Fanes Natural Park is a huge expanse of outstanding natural beauty. You can either walk directly from the hotel or get the shuttle to the Capanna Alpina hut before starting the steep climb up to the panoramic Col de Locia. The verdant plateau beyond (Plan de Ciaulunch) and the climb up to the Forcela dl Lech provide awe-inspiring views of the surrounding mountains and a sparkling, aquamarine mountain lake. You need a head for heights on this one as you descend via two steep gorges, with well trodden paths, to the Scotoni mountain hut and down a spectacular ski slope to the start point.

Day 8: Leave San Cassiano

You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.

Dates Price Single Availability
06-Jun-2020 for 7 Nights Visit Website
06-Jun-2020 for 7 Nights Flight Included Visit Website
13-Jun-2020 for 7 Nights Visit Website
13-Jun-2020 for 7 Nights Flight Included Visit Website
20-Jun-2020 for 7 Nights Visit Website
20-Jun-2020 for 7 Nights Flight Included Visit Website
27-Jun-2020 for 7 Nights Visit Website
27-Jun-2020 for 7 Nights Flight Included Visit Website
11-Jul-2020 for 7 Nights Visit Website
11-Jul-2020 for 7 Nights Flight Included Visit Website
18-Jul-2020 for 7 Nights Visit Website
18-Jul-2020 for 7 Nights Flight Included Visit Website
25-Jul-2020 for 7 Nights Visit Website
25-Jul-2020 for 7 Nights Flight Included Visit Website
01-Aug-2020 for 7 Nights Visit Website
01-Aug-2020 for 7 Nights Flight Included Visit Website
08-Aug-2020 for 7 Nights Visit Website
08-Aug-2020 for 7 Nights Flight Included Visit Website
15-Aug-2020 for 7 Nights Visit Website
15-Aug-2020 for 7 Nights Flight Included Visit Website
22-Aug-2020 for 7 Nights Visit Website
22-Aug-2020 for 7 Nights Flight Included Visit Website
29-Aug-2020 for 7 Nights Visit Website
29-Aug-2020 for 7 Nights Flight Included Visit Website
05-Sep-2020 for 7 Nights Visit Website
05-Sep-2020 for 7 Nights Flight Included Visit Website
12-Sep-2020 for 7 Nights Visit Website
12-Sep-2020 for 7 Nights Flight Included Visit Website

Touring with Headwater

In 1985, Richard and Christine Bass made the life-changing decision to turn a passion into a business and thus Headwater was born at their kitchen table.

The first Headwater tours were launched in summer 1986 and modestly comprised three holidays in the Upper Loire Valley in France: a canoeing holiday and two self-guided walking holidays.

Their vision for Headwater was clear, right from the start. Richard and Christine wanted to offer their customers exactly what they loved in a holiday – family-run, friendly hotels, an authentic experience of a region, including culture, cuisine and fine wines, and above all a fantastic level of personal service, with staff on hand in resort to help and guide as required.

After a successful 10 years specialising in France, Headwater launched a new Great Walks in Europe brochure in 1995, offering a selection of hand-picked guided walking holidays in eight countries. As a result of the phenomenal success of this, a year later the first self-guided walking and cycling holidays in Italy were launched.

In 1999, Richard and Christine decided to retire and enjoy the fruits of their labour, and sold Headwater – but not before ensuring it was in the safest of hands to continue their legacy.

Today, they enjoy taking customers (new and loyal) on journeys on foot or by bike throughout 18 countries worldwide. Whilst they have embraced modern technology and changing times since 1985, Richard and Christine’s ethos remains key to all of their holidays and they consider it their mission to ensure that the same detail, knowledge and passion goes into delivering each and every trip.

With more than 32 years’ experience, their collection now includes 59 self-guided and 12 guided walking holidays and 62 cycling holidays. Their canoeing holiday in the Dordogne remains as popular as ever, as well as their choice of winter snow holidays (cross-country skiing and winter walking) that run between December and April in Austria and Norway.

They are particularly proud of their Headwater-employed representatives (reps) who are on-hand in 15 regions in France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Austria and Bavaria. Burgundy is their longest-standing “repped region” – Richard and Christine researched the holidays and they have been running them since 1992. Their reps provide 24-hour support in resort including: briefing you on arrival, transporting your luggage from hotel to hotel, offering a ‘Wine Service’ where they collect any bottles you’ve purchased en route and transport them to your final hotel for you, and giving you tips and advice and sharing their knowledge of the local area, the routes, the best views and generally helping you to make the most of your trip. Each year, before the season starts, the reps have an in-depth training session at Headwater HQ to make sure they’re ready for the summer ahead.

Their newest addition to the Headwater portfolio is a selection of single-centre activity holidays in Brittany and the Dordogne, France and Catalunya, Spain. These are ideal for multi-generational families and groups – take a look below for some Headwater inspiration.


tour details

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