THE DOLOMITES, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2009, are one of the world’s best-loved walking areas, thanks to the dramatic scenery and wide range of routes on offer, from easy, family-friendly hikes to the challenging via ferrata (literally, iron roads, which were created during the First World War to assist troop movement).
There is no better time to walk in the Dolomites than in the autumn, when the summer crowds have headed home, temperatures are mild and the trees are turning a golden hue.
Adler Dolomiti (http://www.adler-dolomiti.com/en/) in Ortisei, the capital of Val Gardena, provides the perfect base from which to explore the area, not least because two guided walks are offered daily by the hotel on a complimentary basis. The hiking routes change daily, so one day you could be enjoying a family-friendly, four-and-a-half hour walk across Europe’s highest pastures, and the next you could be enjoying wonderful panoramic views on a demanding and varied ascent in the direction of Rasciesa.
Whichever route you take, it will form a part of the 13,000 kilometres of natural, well-marked trails in the region that lead through apple orchards, along irrigation channels, Alpine mountain paths and sweet chestnut groves, and across high meadows, while affording stunning views of the Dolomites’ pinky-grey craggy limestone peaks and virgin forests that pepper the landscape. Wildlife is abundant too. It is possible to see marmots, eagles, white partridges and chamoix among others.
Returning to the Adler Dolomiti after a hard day’s exertion, guests can enjoy complimentary use of the hotel’s 9000 square metres of private parkland and the largest wellness facility in the Dolomites, with three distinct zones: Dolasilla for beauty and vitality, Aguana where the pools, including thermals, are located, and AdlerFit with a full programme of activities – yoga’s always popular for stretching out muscles after a long hike uphill!
Night scene of the Adler Dolomiti
\The Adler Dolomiti’s Autumn Sunshine Walking Special is valid from 20 September to 3 December 2015 and includes two daily guided hikes – a main hike and an easy-going leisure hike – with guides Thaddäus and Pauli, walkers’ gift, map, backpacks, telescopic poles and maps provided free of charge, a hearty snack on your return, photo service by download, GPS debriefing of the tour, and a wine tasting.
Prices start from Euros 418 (approx £300) for a three-day weekend break, from Euros 483 (approx £345) for a four-day stay (Sunday to Thursday), from Euros 604 (approx £430) for a five-day stay (Sunday to Friday), and from Euros 898 (approx £640) per person sharing a double room.
For more information and to book, go to http://www.adler-dolomiti.com/en/