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from £1209
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. 

Guided Walking Holidays - St Zyprian in the Dolomites

Some skiers spend years trying to get off piste and into the silence of the winter mountain 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 walking 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 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 hot tub, sauna, steam room and solarium.

As with all winter activities snow cannot be guaranteed. However the walks are equally spectacular on snow shoes or walking boots.

Holiday Highlights

  • Walk with a local guide to experience the best walks and knowledge of the area.
  • Admire the stunning landscape as you walk through a natural labyrinth of erratically deposited boulders.
  • Enjoy afternoon cakes, heated pool and sauna at the hotel. 
The holiday inclusions and exclusions at a glance
What's included in this holiday Items that are covered in the cost of holiday price.

      Return flights from Heathrow to Venice (British Airways)
      Airport transfers
      Half board en suite accommodation
      Afternoon cakes included
      Hire of snowshoes and poles
      All local transport costs.  
Whats not included in this holiday Items that are not covered in the cost of holiday price.

  • Entrance fees to some museums and historic buildings (unless otherwise specified)
  • Personal expenses (such as your bar bill)
  • Discretionary tips
  • Optional excursions
  • Insurance
Please select Departure Date to view:

Please see Holiday Information Sheet for this holidays individual departures itinerary (located under View Departures & Book tab)

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.

This departure: Grade 5/Snowshoeing

  1. Day 1

    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.

  2. Day 2

    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 and the 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! 10 km (6 miles); 670m↑↓; 5 hours.

  3. Day 3

    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. 11 km (7 miles); 580m↑↓; 6 hours.

  4. Day 4

    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 and stopping on the way down for lunch at an alpine hut. After lunch we descend to a valley floor to catch the shuttle bus back to Compatsch and take the cable car back down the mountain. 10 km (6 miles); 425m↑ 560m↓; 4hrs 30mins.

  5. Day 5

    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 Otzi Museum and/or for retail therapy.

  6. Day 6

    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.  11 km (7 miles); 450m↑↓; 4hrs.

  7. Day 7

    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. 11 km (7 miles); 350m↑ 950m↓; 4hrs 30mins.

  8. Day 8

    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.

Travel Details

  • Return flights from Heathrow to Venice (British Airways)
  • Arrival transfer by road c.3hrs
  • Upgrades are available on most flights. For scheduled flights this may be Premium Economy, Business or First Class. Most low-cost carriers also have extra legroom seats.
  • If direct regional flights are not available, we can often offer add-on flights to a London airport at a competitive rate. Please ask us for details and a competitive quote.

Trip Map

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Our Accommodation on this holiday

Below is the accommodation featured on this holiday. If you are on a multi-centre holiday, these are highlights of the places where we stay. Please refer to your Holiday Information sheet (which can be found under View Departures & Book), for your departure date and for all your accommodation details.

Hotel Dosses, St Zyprian

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.