The coast, villages and countryside of the Eastern Algarve and then explore the treasures of this most westerly corner of Europe.
Some skiers spend years trying to get off piste but never quite manage it. Sometimes, the answer is so simple: just ditch the skis, strap on a pair of snowshoes, and walk.
Special Selection Hotels
What does this mean?
Tour codes: 30000
Full day walks with moderate amounts of ascent and descent.
The paths are mostly good, but there may be some steep and rough ground.
Walks will last up to 6 hours and could involve as much as 750m of ascent and descent. Some walks will be less demanding.
Some skiers spend years trying to get off piste and into the silence of the winter mountains but never quite manage it. Sometimes, the answer is so simple it’s hard to believe just ditch the skis, strap on a pair of snowshoes, and walk. Leave the resort behind and don’t look back. Instant silence. Just you and your snowshoe companions, the birds, and the peaceful white mountain. A very occasional skier crosses your path, but they are gone in an instant. Blissful.
In the still of the morning, the winter chill nips at nose and ears. The sun rises from behind the castellated limestone peaks that dominate the skyline. Walking from St Zyprian we are surrounded by some of the finest scenery in the Alps. The jagged outlines of the Catinaccio, the Rosengarten, and the Sciliar group peaks are distinctive and captivating. We set out across crisp snow, unmarked apart from the occasional fox and bird track. This is a pure wilderness experience. Snowshoes liberate us from prepared tracks and crowds, and we can be the first to cross the virgin terrain.
Back at the hotel, we can relax in the heated indoor and linked outdoor pool and the spa before the first-class dinner that the four-star Hotel Dosses offers. They keep a pretty good wine cellar, as you might expect and the Wellness Centre offers a range of facilities including a sauna, steam room and solarium.
As with all winter activities snow cannot be guaranteed. However, the walks are equally spectacular on snowshoes, on spikes or in walking boots.
Click the button below for a detailed Holiday Information Sheet containing all the particulars about this trip.
NOTE: Itineraries and Holiday Information Sheets can vary by a specific date chosen
Itinerary & Travel
Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the outlined itinerary and advertised programme, local conditions can change due to weather or other unforeseen circumstances. This may mean that routes and timings need to be amended or the order of days may change, sometimes at short notice.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we may unfortunately need to withdraw a tour that is currently confirmed to operate and we therefore reserve the right to cancel your booking. We would always do our utmost to give you plenty of notice should we have to do this. Selected elements of this tour, including local attractions and restaurants, may change at late notice. Please ensure you have valid insurance cover before you travel.
We transfer from Venice (Marco Polo) Airport north into the mountains to reach St Zyprian. The transfer should take around 3hrs 30 mins driving but obviously in winter conditions it can take longer.
Val Ciamin. We can start the week with a gentle warm up walking from the hotel. The walk provides a non-challenging environment to get acquainted with equipment. The vista that appears just yards from the hotel is just stunning. The pillars of Dolomitic limestone are quite unlike anything in the Western Alps and it will be difficult to bring our attention back to putting our snow shoes! It a charming and quiet walk, going up the north side of the Ciamin valley and down the south side. It is dominated by the sunlit walls of the Rosengarten/ Catinaccio ranges. Our picnic lunch is at the Rechter Leger, a simple agricultural building and we will be back in time for the cakes and salads provided included by the hotel from about 3.30pm onwards, every day!
Rifugio Roda di Vael. The walk today starts with a bus ride to Costalunga. We head towards the Rifugio on a long uphill walk with a short steep section for the final climb to the Rifugio di Vael. From the Rifugio we retrace our steps to the Monument to Theodor Christomannos, a pioneer in mountain tourism. He built the Carezza Hotel where both Agatha Christie and Winston Churchill stayed. Although a native Greek he spent many years in the Dolomites. From here descent to Paolina and the bus stop for a direct bus to the Hotel.
Seiser Alm. This walk visits a high rolling plateau with wide open views of the magnificent surrounding peaks – different terrain from the other walks. We have an early start and take the bus from the Hotel Dosses down the valley to Seis. We take the spectacular cable car up to Compatsch – the ride lasts for 14 minutes! The walk follows a high circular route; stopping on the way down for lunch at an alpine hut. After lunch we descend to the valley floor to catch the shuttle bus back to Compatsch and take the cable car back down the mountain.
Today we plan a rest day. Obviously, there is plenty of walking available, but you may prefer to take the bus down to Bolzano to see the very impressive Ötzi Museum and/or for retail therapy.
Ciampiede al Rifugio Vaiolet. This walk takes us into the next valley with great views of the ‘other side’ of the Catinaccio, Val di Fassa, the Marmolada, the Cortina Dolomites, the Sella Stuck and numerous ‘Torres’ and ‘Cimes’! This is arguably the most magnificent scenery of the whole holiday. We take a bus, cable car and chairlift to the start of the walk. The walk goes up the Vaiolet valley and takes in five refuges (of which only one is likely to be open) with towers to the left and peaks to the right - a real visual feast. We return down the same valley, conditions permitting by a slightly different route.
Alla Hanickerschwaige. This popular trail takes in forest and high alps. Everything in the South Tyrol is marked in both German and Italian, and a ‘Schwaige’, essentially a shepherd’s hut or dairy building on a summer pasture, is the same as a ‘Malga’. We can start from Passo Nigra and contour round the mountain, in and out of forests and high pastures with superb views of several ranges including the Brenta group, the Latemar group, the Orlter group, the Schwarzhorn and the Weisshorm, the list just goes on! There are a few narrow and slightly exposed sections of this walk, but they are short.
Sadly we must end our week and leave the superb hospitality of the Hotel Dosses. The transfer back down to Venice is equally scenic as the way up and should take a similar time.
Departure dates for your selected tour
30th Jan 2021 - 6th Feb 2021 (7 Nights)
6th Mar 2021 - 13th Mar 2021 (7 Nights)
Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday across all departure dates. Please refer to the Itinerary for more detail about each night's accommodation for each departure date.
We stay in the very comfortable four-star family run four-star Hotel Dosses in the mountain hamlet of St Zyprian.
The hotel has been run by the Schroffenegger family for three generations and offers a superb combination of smart and relaxed. Accommodation is very spacious and very comfortable - traditional, but new.
Cakes and salads are provided by the hotel from 15.30 onwards and dinner is never less than a four course affair, often more, including a buffet starter. They also keep a good wine cellar, as you might expect.
There is well appointed wellness centre in the basement which should be tried. It offers a wide range of facilities including a hot tub, sauna, steam room and solarium. Bring a swimming costume for the hot tub. For the locals nudity is the practise in sauna and steam room, you may prefer a swimming costume! Full instructions will be provided! Free Wi-Fi is available.
This is a Grade 5/Snowshoeing holiday. We will walk through some of the finest scenery in Europe. It should be looking at its very best capped with winter snow. For details of the walks please see the walks descriptions under the day by day itinerary.
You should expect to walk on generally good paths but occasionally these become rough and stony or slippery for short sections; we‘ll adjust our pace accordingly and the programme will always be adjusted to cope with any inclement weather conditions.
The leader will offer guidance in technique and will arrange a full programme. Walks will be arranged by our leader in consultation with our local guide who will accompany all walks. Each evening the leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. If you do not wish to join the party, please let the leader know.
Inevitably weather and snow conditions can affect the selection of walks and the order we undertake those walks.
Costs for transport in conjunction with the programme are included in the holiday charge. A bus pass for the week provides an unlimited number of bus rides as far as Bolzano in the valley. Cable cars and any other excursions may also be taken.
Please note that, as for everywhere, snow cannot be guaranteed. In the event of limited snow cover, all walks can still be undertaken using snowshoes or spikes as appropriate.
Local Transport Costs
All local transport costs in conjunction with the advertised activity programme are included in the holiday cost. There may be occasions where additional visits or excursions are added to enrich your experience, these will be paid for locally by you if you choose to participate. Local transport can be a mix of private hire coaches, taxis, local buses and ferries depending on the itinerary.
A range of local excursions and activities may be available to book at your destination through a local operator. We have no involvement in such activities or excursions which are not run, supervised or controlled in any way by us. Your contract will be with the local activity supplier and we accept no responsibility for their actions or omissions.
When budgeting for your holiday, you will need to consider drinks, any meals not included in the holiday price, non-included entrance fees, optional excursions you may choose to participate in locally and any souvenirs or additional services such as laundry. A general guideline for lunches and drinks is £10-£20 per person per day.
Currency in Italy
The currency in Italy is the Euro.
Although entirely at your own discretion, tipping is an important aspect of tourism and hospitality life and expectations are fairly high. In order to simplify tipping, we strongly recommend that you allow your leader to take care of making sure tips are given to hotel and restaurant staff and to local guides and drivers. This will be done using some funds provided by us together with, if you wish, a contribution from you, which he/she will collect during the holiday.
Your tour leader makes the world of difference to your holiday and ours are as passionate about discovering the world on foot as you are. They're resourceful, organised and widely travelled. They will handle all the local administration and other needs that might arise to ensure that you don't have to worry about planning your days and you can enjoy your holiday. Although leading group holidays, they won't forget that every group is made up of individuals. Each tour leader has their own individual style, talents and professional backgrounds and all are trained, qualified, experienced and dedicated to making your holiday as enjoyable, interesting and inspiring as possible.
Leader's Evening Briefing
Each evening, your tour leader will discuss with you the programme for the following day. This will be your opportunity to discuss the details and ensure the planned activities suit your walking ability. If you have concerns on clothing or equipment, this can be discussed then also. If you do not wish to join the organised group programme, please let the leader know.
We fly from London Heathrow (LHR) to Venice (VCE) and return with British Airways.
Travel between the Venice (Marco Polo) airport and St Zyprian is by road and takes approximately 3½ hours.
Booking Your Own Travel Arrangements?
If you wish to organise your own flights from a non-UK or provincial airport or travel by rail or car to your holiday destination, 'land only' reductions are often available. Please contact us for details.
Before finalising any independent travel arrangements, please check with us first - especially if doing so 12 weeks or more before your intended date of travel. If you do intend to join your holiday locally please do tell us at least 14 weeks in advance.
If you are joining and leaving your holiday overseas we assume, unless you advise us otherwise, that you will join and leave the holiday at your hotel.
Although airport transfers are not included for those making their own independent travel arrangements, if you wish to join the group at the overseas airport, depending on your flight arrival time, you may be able to be included on the group's transfer. Please contact us at least 5 weeks before departure for more details.
Please note that your flight must arrive within 30 minutes of the group flight to be able to join the group transfer. We also need your flight number, arrival time and departure point so that the group leader is able to meet up with you.
Luggage Allowance & Travel Documents
For all those booking a flight or rail inclusive holiday, details of your travel arrangements and baggage allowance will be confirmed in your travel documents, sent to you approximately 10 days prior to departure.
Personal Details Check
To ensure that we can accurately administer your holiday arrangements, please confirm that the personal details we hold for you are up to date and that you have provided the information we need to secure your holiday travel and accommodation arrangements. Please check your passport details, date of birth and any other important details necessary for us to properly manage your holiday booking. You can view and update information already provided, and add details not yet asked for, by using the Manage My Booking facility on our website www.ramblersholidays.co.uk, or by calling our Sales and Reservations team on +44 (0)1707 331133. When you receive your booking confirmation please check the details as soon as possible.
General Passport Advice
It is a good idea to carry photocopies of the personal details pages of your passport. Should you lose your passport, this may assist with the issue of replacement documents and your return to your home country.
Passport and visa requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements.
Brexit Passport Advice
You should have at least 6 months validity left on your passport from your date of arrival.
If you renewed a 10 year passport before it expired, extra months may have been added to your passport’s expiry date. These extra months will not count, so you should ensure that your passport is not older than 9 years and 6 months from the date of issue at the time of travel.
You may wish to renew your passport sooner rather than later, in order to make sure you have it in time for your holiday or travel plans.
Please ensure to regularly check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website for updates on passport requirements leading up to and after Brexit or contact us for more assistance.
UK Government Brexit Information for Passports can be found at www.gov.uk/guidance/passport-rules-for-travel-to-europe-after-Brexit.
The UK Government has published a website tool to check the validity of your passport under these rules which can be found at www.passport.service.gov.uk/check-a-passport.
In the event the UK leaves the EU without a deal, UK citizens will be able to visit the EU for up to 90 days within a 180-day period without a visa. The UK Government also has information for travellers available at gov.uk/EUexit
Non British Passport holders should consult the host country’s embassy for applicable passport and visa entry requirements.
Breakfasts and dinners are included in the holiday charge and will be taken at the hotel. Lunches are not included.
Cakes and salads are provided by the hotel from 15.30 onwards although you will be expected to buy a drink – tea, coffee or alcoholic. Dinner is never less than a four-course affair, often more, including a buffet starter. The hotel will also provide excellent gluten free, vegetarian and vegan meals on request. They keep a pretty good wine cellar, as you might expect.
Lightweight waterproof walking boots with a good moulded sole (such as Vibram or similar) and a deep tread and which provide ankle support are strongly recommended and may be essential for some walks.
General Kit List
Outdoor activities are always safer and more enjoyable if you are prepared.
If you have not travelled with us before the following list might be of use:
This list is not exhaustive and every walker is different and may have their own preference.
Holiday Specific Kit
Trekking poles are provided by the hotel along with snow shoes and are included in the cost of the holiday.
Ice Grippers (Half Crampons) clip over footwear to provide better grip in slippery conditions. Previous clients on the holiday have found these useful on occasions when walking around the town and in areas of poor snow cover on our walks. The hotel does have pairs it can lend but it is probable they will not have enough of each size to supply everybody. We do not recommend you buy a pair but if you have some at home it does make sense to bring these with you.
Travel Documents Checklist
Documents and Information to take with you:
Electricity in Italy
Electricity in Italy is supplied at 220 Volts. If you wish to use electrical equipment you will need a European two pin adaptor with round pins. More information can be found at https://www.power-plugs-sockets.com/
Water To Go
An alternative to bottled water from single-use sealed water bottles is filtered water from a refillable bottle containing its own water filter such as a Water-to-go bottle available from www.watertogo.eu. Just fill up from any water source and save the environment from disposable plastic bottles.
We have negotiated an exclusive 15% discount with our partners Water-to-Go for you as a thank you for helping the environment. Please go to their website at www.watertogo.eu and enter the code RWH17 when ordering. In addition, Water-to-Go will match the discount with a donation to our charity, Heart & Sole, which will allow us to continue to make a difference in the countries you visit on our holidays.
Maps, Guidebooks & More
Maps showing the loipen (cross-country ski tracks) are available locally. Many local libraries stock a good selection of travel guides/books which may offer you more information on the area. You may find the following websites useful:
talian State Tourism: www.enit.it
Sud Tirol Tourist Office: www.suedtirol.info/What_to_See_-_Do/holiday.html
Tiers Tourist Office www.tiers.it/en/index.html
The Map Shop
Maps and guidebooks relating to the areas you will be walking in may be bought before your holiday from The Map Shop at www.themapshop.co.uk
Health requirements can change at any time. It is your own responsibility to ensure that you inform yourself from a professionally qualified source on, and comply with, such requirements at least 6 to 8 weeks before departure. Advice on vaccinations is available from your GP.
Health Advice for Italy
No compulsory immunisations are required for visits to Italy.
You should be up to date with the usual immunisations recommended in the UK.
You may wish to consider immunisations against Tetanus and Tick-borne Encephalitis.
Further Travel Advice
For further advice please visit:
You might wish to take a small bottle of antibacterial hand gel with you for times when you're unable to wash your hands.
You must be adequately insured to join our holidays. We do not insist that you insure with us but we require that you are adequately insured for the nature of your holiday. You will be unable to participate in our local walking and other activity programmes without being able to demonstrate that you have valid travel insurance.
Please ensure that as a minimum your travel insurance policy covers you for travel to your holiday destinations (country and geographical region) and for medical expenses, mountain rescue (including helicopter rescue) and emergency repatriation to your home country in the event of illness or injury. Your policy should also provide adequate cover for the activities, included and optional, you are likely to participate in during your holiday.
It is important to ensure while purchasing insurance that you are insured for guided walking up to 2000m and winter walking/snowshoeing.
Whoever you insure with, please ensure that you take full details, and ideally the policy itself, with you on holiday and provide our tour leader with your insurer's name, the policy number and emergency assistance contact numbers.
Please note that it is very difficult to obtain travel insurance once your holiday arrangements have started.
Please take your European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) with you; it will help you in the event of you needing medical assistance during your holiday. Please note that the EHIC has an expiry date, so please check that your card is valid for the duration of your holiday. Please note however the EHIC should not be considered a substitute for medical or travel insurance.
For more information please visit ehic.org.uk.
The UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office provides up to date information on security and local laws for travellers, together with current passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/travelaware. Please take a few minutes to look at the current advice on your planned destination.
Please be aware of what's going on around you, take sensible precautions with your credit cards and passport and avoid displays of wealth such as wearing expensive jewellery or watches. Do not carry more cash on you than you will need for each day, and we recommend that a money belt is used.
Italian Laws & Customs
In some Italian towns and cities you may be fined for dropping litter and in some towns or cities it’s an offence to sit on monument steps or to eat and drink in the immediate vicinity of main churches, historic monuments and public buildings. It’s also an offence to enter or bathe in public fountains.
In May 2019, the Municipality of Capri introduced a law forbidding the use of any disposable plastic objects such as bags, cutlery, plates, cups, food packaging, trays, straws on the island of Capri. Violations can incur a fine of up to 500 euros.
Illegal traders operate on the streets of all major Italian cities, particularly tourist cities like Florence, Venice and Rome. Don’t buy from illegal street traders. You could be stopped by the local police and fined.
It is illegal to remove sand, shells or pebbles from coastal areas in Italy. Doing so may result in heavy fines. It’s also forbidden to collect various species of flowers, plants and herbs from mountain and wooded areas. For more information, check with the regional authorities of the area you’re visiting.
We're committed to ethical tourism in all our destinations. Our holidays are designed for you to discover the essence of the country you are visiting. Travelling in small groups not only gives you an up close and personal experience of your destination, but minimises your impact on the immediate environment. We feel that the most important starting point to protect the environment is to be out in it. For more details visit our website.
The Ramblers Holidays Charitable Trust
Unlike many tour operators we have our own trust through which RWH Travel’s profits are channelled back into a variety of outdoor, walking-related or environmental conservation projects in the UK. The focus of the Trust’s financial support is Britain’s leading walking charity, The Ramblers, and their role in promoting the benefits and importance of walking to the British public. In addition the Trust welcomes applications for small grants from local organisations in the UK who need support for walking-orientated activities. This includes the establishment of footpaths and bridleways, funding for rebuilding bridges and renovating huts, as well as bursary funding for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for children who could not otherwise afford to do it. Please visit the ‘About Us’ section of our website and click on the Charitable Trust link for more details.
Heart and Sole
We appreciate that we are in a fortunate position to be able to use our profits to help make a difference to people's lives. Heart & Sole is a venture managed by our office staff, whose aim is to reach the heart of the communities in the countries we visit. Through Heart & Sole, we hope to make more of a long term, direct impact to these communities, particularly in less developed countries where even a small amount goes a long way. See our website for more information and details of some of the projects we support.
Please do provide us with a mobile phone contact number. We will only use this to contact you with important information relating to your holiday arrangements.
Do keep your mobile phones switched on and readily available when travelling to the airport or if delayed in transit so that we can contact you with any last minute information relating to your travel arrangements.
As a matter of courtesy, please switch off your mobile phone during walks, or endeavour to minimise its use. Please also try to minimise the use of mobile devices during group meals.
Visas and Passports
Avg. Rain: 67mm
Avg. Rain: 62mm
Avg. Rain: 63mm
Avg. Rain: 61mm
Avg. Rain: 56mm
Avg. Rain: 47mm
Avg. Rain: 35mm
Avg. Rain: 48mm
Avg. Rain: 64mm
Avg. Rain: 89mm
Avg. Rain: 96mm
Avg. Rain: 82mm
View Dates & Book
Can't find what you're looking for?
Call for help or regional flights on 01707 331133