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Thread: Dolomites -September

  1. #1
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    Mrs C has given in to me and agreed to go there in early September, staying a week and then on for 4/5 days around Lake Garda etc

    I want to do some guided walks for the company, and a Via Ferrata or 2, so the questions are 1), where would be the best area and 2) who can be recommended to go with. Either as a package (and yes I dread that term) or getting there under our own steam.

    We are looking at catered for, and I've made some enquiries with Colletts, who seem really helpful.
    Any suggestions would be appreciated

  2. #2
    Ultra King Matt C's Avatar
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    I think you might find a disconnect between guided walks and via ferrata (guided too?), and travelling with a mainstream package.

    By all accounts Colletts are good. I've not travelled with them but I know a couple of people who have and they were very happy with the service. For the chance to join in on guided trips they could well be your best bet.

    On the other hand a mainstream package can be an easy and cost effective way to get there, especially for a dual centre trip combining the Dolomites and the Italian Lakes. I've used various "Lakes and Mountains" packages to get a Dolomites week in the past, and they all do Lake Garda etc.But don't expect much guidance - you'll probably be given a map and a list of simple local walks in your welcome pack, but any excursions on offer are more likely to be coach trips with limited opportunity to walk, and it'll be pot luck whether your rep has any local knowledge worth tuppence or not. So fine if you're confident to act independently and research your own days out, but not if you're really wanting guidance.

    A quick look showed Thompson going to Selva/Val Gardena, which is a great location for walks and via ferrata, and the "Gardena Card" travel pass is great value for tourists - it gives access to all the local buses, cable cars and chairlifts and makes it very feasible to spend a week getting around without the need for a hire car.

    Inghams seemed to offer Selva too, plus Corvara which is also good. You might also find Val di Fassa (Canizei/Campitello). And there's Arabba although I've never stayed there. I couldn't see anyone going to Cortina which is a shame.

    That said, for a first trip I'd probably recommend Selva - there's plenty to go at including Sassolungo, the Sella group and the edge of the Puez-Odle national park. Plus some good easy to middle grade via ferrata accessible. If it has any deficiency I suppose it's not quite as good for the WWI trenches and fortifications as the area a bit further south or east.

  3. #3
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    Cheers Matt, I really appreciate all of that.

    Your view if the package it pretty much what I would have expected, I'll have a look at Thompsons

  4. #4
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    I can second Selva/Val Gardena as we went there three years ago. Buy a map. I can't remember what the best series is, but can let you know when I find my map! The paths are all very well waymarked and you should have no route finding problems. The circuit of the Sella Towers is well worth doing.

    You can hire via ferrate kit in Selva and most other major centres. A good start is the Little Cir, above Selva. Some photos here. If you have done an rock climbing/scrambling you should have no problems on the VF. Two of our children, who were 11 and 13 at the time all really enjoyed themselves.

  5. #5
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    Exodus are good at doing package deals

    http://www.exodus.co.uk/italy-holidays/dolomites

  6. #6
    Super Moderator Metric Kate's Avatar
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    Having had VF / walking holidays in both Val Gardena and Cortina, I can recommend both, though Cortina is probably better as a resort centre. You can get a variety of cable cars to different mountain groups almost from the town centre, so it's a pity Matt couldn't find any packages going there - and rather odd!

  7. #7
    Ultra King Matt C's Avatar
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    I didn't search exhaustively... but I know last time I was looking for myself Cortina was not widely available as a package - I suspect it's a longer transfer and harder to link in with the Italian Lakes, which I think is where the package operators do most of their business. We've tended to do Cortina independently.

    I've stayed in Cortina more often than Selva. I suppose I do actually prefer Cortina, and you can certainly do a week using buses and cable cars, but several times we've had a hire car to go a bit further afield and then it really opens up possibilities. I do remember the Gardena Card making live incredibly easy in Selva, and it probably has slightly easier grade VF close at hand.

  8. #8
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    We went under our own steam. Flew to Treviso with RyanAir. Their flight arrives quite late. Don't make the mistake we did and think you will easily be able to get a taxi to your hotel a few miles away, they had all packed up several hours before the flight arrived.

    We spent a day visiting Venice and hired a car to drive over to Selva. Once you get to Selva a car isn't essential, but it's probably the easiest and cheapest way to get there. Personally I would never visit Venice again. Temp was 40+C, very crowded, dirty and stupidly expensive. The sooner it sinks into the lagoon the better.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by geekinthesticks View Post

    Personally I would never visit Venice again. Temp was 40+C, very crowded, dirty and stupidly expensive. The sooner it sinks into the lagoon the better.
    Very similar experience to mine when I went there, Verona was cooking too, but not quite so busy.

    All fantastic stuff, as I would expect from Om'ers. I appreciate the searching done Matt Mrs C has said as I want to go there I can book and sort it all - YAY !!! So I had better get it done.

  10. #10
    ‹bermensch El Manana's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chewie View Post

    Mrs C has given in to me and agreed to go there in early September, staying a week and then on for 4/5 days around Lake Garda etc

    I want to do some guided walks for the company, and a Via Ferrata or 2, so the questions are 1), where would be the best area and 2) who can be recommended to go with.
    ... ... ...have you considered without Mrs Chewie?...

  11. #11
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    El, are you trying to get me into trouble ? I can do that well enough myself

    Of course I have considered it, but it ain't going to happen

    Mrs C prefers the gentle sort of walk, if I am getting to go where I want to go, I want to make the most of it - at least for a few days anyway.

    I like my own company for a bit, then I just like to annoy the hell out of other people the rest of the time



    Woo Hoo all booked

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