The Dolomites, Italy

5 NightsStrong Intermediate to AdvancedFrom €3,960 EUR?Tour costs €3,960 EUR which is approximately $6,335 AUD

Exploring the UNESCO world-heritage listed Dolomites mountain range astride a golden Haflinger? We say YES!

If there’s one part of Italy that can truly claim to have lost none of its wildness, it’s the Dolomites. This UNESCO world heritage listed mountain range cuts an imposing silhouette against Italy’s northern border, the silver-grey peaks jutting like teeth into the diamond-clear alpine sky. Only the most intrepid adventurers dare to traverse this rugged region, but don’t tell your guide Alberto’s Haflingers that – they’ve got it down to a fine art. These horses are renowned for their people-pleasing temperament, agility, stamina, and of course their gorgeous honey-blonde colouring. They will carry you up and down the jagged slopes like mountain goats, and it won’t be long before you’re plotting to smuggle one home.

And speaking of Alberto, this handsome Italian is a Globetrotting old hat, having already become a mainstay on our Patagonia Trail in Argentina. Here he cut his teeth working with the gauchos before returning home to Italy to open up the wilds of the Dolomites to adventurous globetrotters.

To be honest, we could NOT be more excited about this ride, which we have no doubt will become an absolute highlight in our horse riding holiday portfolio: a slice of Europe that very few people get to explore, a herd of horses to die for, a guide we’ve already fallen in love with and a mountain culture that will leave you awestruck. Through a pair of golden ears, you’ll ride, drink and eat your way along mountain tracks, discovering Südtirolean culture and landscapes that the normal tourist simply cannot access.

Get ready to leave the everyday behind and discover a different side of the Alps, globetrotters, because this is one ride that will leave you high long after you descend the mountains!

Fast Facts

  • Horse Breed:Haflinger.
  • Pace:The pace varies on a daily basis from a walk right through to a fast canter whenever the terrain is suitable. There will be opportunities to trot in between.
  • Weight Limit:A maximum of 90kg / 198lbs.
  • Type of tack:Comfortable trekking saddles (similar to English all-purpose tack).
  • Seasons:May to October.
  • Group size:A minimum and maximum of 4 guests.
  • Time in Saddle:On average 6 to 8 hours per day.
  • Riding Ability:This ride is suitable for strong intermediate to advanced riders only. You MUST be physically fit as there will be times when you'll be required to dismount and lead your horses over steep and rocky terrain. You must be able to mount/dismount your horse regularly without using a mounting block. You must also be comfortable riding in an English {equivalent} saddle, have an independent seat and be able to competently ride a forward-going horse over varied terrain at a walk, trot and (fast) canter.
    *Please be aware, if you suffer from vertigo you will find parts of this ride VERY challenging.
     Not sure what your riding experience is? Watch THIS video to find out.
  • Accommodation:You’ll be bedding down in traditional mountain huts, a blend of both luxurious and modest lodgings. Showers and flushing toilets are available each night, and a spa/sauna will be yours to enjoy on nights 2 and 5 of the itinerary.
  • Ride Length:6 days, 5 nights with 5 riding days.
  • Inclusions:

    The price includes all meals during the ride (from dinner on day one through to lunch on the last day), beer/wine/soft drinks at dinner, twin share accommodation, and spa & sauna on days 2 and 5.

  • Exclusions:

    The price does not include international or regional flights, round trip transfers from Venice Marco Polo Airport (although these can be purchased for an additional €150 EURO per person), travel insurance (compulsory), beverages other than wine, beer and soft drinks, or accommodation and meals outside the ride itinerary.

 

DEPARTURE DATES & RATES

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2021 departure dates available upon request, please contact us for further information

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€3,960 EUR ?Tour costs €3,960 EUR which is approximately $6,335 AUD - Twin Share?Happy to share with another solo traveller of the same genderBooking Request

WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?

The price includes all meals during the ride (from dinner on day one through to lunch on the last day), beer/wine/soft drinks at dinner, twin share accommodation, and spa & sauna on days 2 and 5.

WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE?

The price does not include international or regional flights, transfers to/from the ride (these can be purchased for an additional €150 EURO per person), travel insurance (compulsory), beverages other than wine, beer and soft drinks, accommodation and meals outside the ride itinerary, and staff tips.

Accepted payment is by credit or debit card only. There is a 2% surcharge on all card payments. Click HERE to read our recommendations on which cards are best to use to avoid international transaction fees.

WHY IS THE PRICE QUOTED IN EUR?
With our riding destinations, the currency is dictated by our ride partner in that country. Therefore due to fluctuating exchange rates we have to quote in the same currency.

Itinerary

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*Please note, this is a suggested itinerary only and subject to change at the discretion of your guides due to weather and other influencing factors.

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  • Day 1

    Yippee, the day has finally arrived! We’re in Venice and it’s only a matter of hours until we’re whisked away to the Dolomites astride a beautiful blonde Haflinger! If you’ve purchased transfers (approximately €150 EURO per person) you’ll be collected from either Venice Marco Polo Airport (or our pre-arranged collection point), by 2pm to begin the 2.5 hour transfer up into the mountains to meet our guide, Alberto, and his incredible team of horses.

    After settling in at the first of our traditional mountain huts, we’ll enjoy our first taste of Südtirolean cuisine, which is a fascinating blend of Italian, Austrian and even Swiss influences. Over aperitivi and drinks, we’ll get to know one another and receive a briefing about the ride. Then, belt buckles loosened, we’ll hit the hay to dream of golden horses and silver peaks.

  • Day 2

    After a hearty breakfast featuring freshly-baked bread, croissants, eggs, charcuterie and fruit, we’ll pack our bags so our support crew can bring them to tonight’s destination, don our riding gear and head to the stables. Here everyone will be matched with their perfect horse before we head out on our first ride. Be prepared to pick your jaw up off the ground as we set sight on the phenomenal riding country we’ll be privy to for the next six days.

    Described by UNESCO as a region of exceptional natural beauty, as well as international significance for the earth sciences, the Dolomites are among the most varied, dramatic and awe-inspiring mountainscapes in the world. Think jagged peaks, gravity-defying pinnacles and some of the world’s highest vertical rock walls! Our first stop is the extraordinary, well-hidden Lake Antermoia, a turquoise pool set amongst staggering pinnacles. We’ll then ride on to the Val di Dona (‘Val’ signifies a valley) for lunch before climbing to the base of Sassopiatto, its unforgiving peak looming high above.

    Finally, after six to eight hours in the saddle, we’ll descend to our mountain hut, Zallinger. Dinner will be ready shortly after we arrive. Again, it will be typical of the region: think polenta, canederli (dumplings), Austrian-inspired pork dishes, and the local pasta specialty known as Schlutzkrapfen. Try saying that after knocking back a few local beers! Rest up tonight, Globetrotters – tomorrow promises to be another feast for the senses.

  • Day 3

    Waking up to the realisation that this incredible journey is actually our reality, not a dream, we’ll share a communal breakfast together at 7am. Then we’ll stock our saddle bags with our riding essentials and mount up by 8am, in time to absorb the incredible colours of the mountains as they’re bathed in the morning light. Today’s journey takes us into the heart of the Dolomites, from Passo Duron to Alpe de Tires. The narrow tracks will see us traverse gravity-defying peaks and ridges where we might be lucky enough to spot eagles, kestrels and goshawks high above and marmots munching on the meadowgrass at our horses’ feet. Some autumn flowers should still be bobbing their heads, too, including edelweiss if we’re lucky.

    Lunch will be a picnic-type affair: think gourmet charcuterie, local cheeses, pickles, preserves, artisan bread and sandwiches, all savoured from a pristine alpine meadow. At the end of our day’s riding, we’ll reach the Sciliar Plateau, a sweeping pasture with views of the never-ending mountains in every direction. Here we’ll be able to let our horses stretch out into a trot or canter before being met by Luis Zöggeler, a local farmer, and his family. These mountain folk will be our hosts for the night, welcoming us at their farm. They will put on a fantastic spread, culminating in a sweet specialty such as Sachertorte (a moreish chocolate cake) or apple strudel. Then, hearts and bellies fit to burst, we’ll get some well-earned shut-eye.

  • Day 4

    Avanti, Globetrotters, avanti! Onwards to another day spent on top of the world! After another filling breakfast (and most likely some good strong Italian coffee), we’ll head out with Luis to experience a day in the life of a Südtirolean farmer. Riding across the Scilian fields, we’ll get to herd cattle, churn fresh butter, and whatever other alpine adventures Luis dreams up! After lunch back at the farm, there’ll be the option to head out for another ride, explore the plateau on foot, or sit back and unwind to the distant jingle of cow bells. In the evening we’ll enjoy another farm fresh meal at Luis’s farm, watching the rocky peaks change from amber to purple to black in the fading light.

  • Day 5

    This morning we’ll gobble up breakfast, pack our bags, then jump straight into the saddle to catch the morning light as it passes through the “Forcella Denti di Terrarossa”, a breathtaking but challenging section of the mighty Dolomites. We may need to lead our horses over some of the more technical parts of the route here. Continuing our descent, we’ll reach Seiser Alm, Europe’s largest high-altitude meadow. Now that we’ve formed a strong bond with our horses, we’ll be able to let loose on some fast canters that will have us convinced we’re riding golden eagles, not golden horses. Catching our breath, we’ll find ourselves back at Zallinger Hut, where we spent our second night, in time for a late lunch.

    Afterwards, the afternoon is devoted to relaxing – we highly recommend soothing your hard-working muscles in the hot spa. Then you’ll sip on a cold beer or a warming wine with your globetrotting comrades and feast on your final Südtirolean dinner, reminiscing on the laughs, adrenaline rushes and fond memories that will no doubt connect you all for years to come.

  • Day 6

    Your last day in the Dolomites has arrived, and you’re going to squeeze out every drop of Globetrotting goodness. If it’s even possible to be even more blown away by your Haflingers’ courage, agility and endurance… today’s route will do the trick. Heading towards the Sassolungo-Sassopiatto peaks, you’ll traverse lush pine, beech and broadleaf forests, gently sloping hillsides, and rocky canyons, some of which are 1,500 metres deep! You’ll hear innumerable birds calling from the canopy and spot more than a few squirrels scampering from branch to branch. The unforgettable Gruppo del Sella – a collection of peaks jutting out dramatically from the surrounding hills – will reveal themselves as you turn towards the Friedrich August hut. Here you’ll rest the horses and enjoy a hearty lunch before riding on to Val Duron where you’ll say ciao to your incredible herd of horses, your amazing crew and Alberto. No, they won’t fit in your suitcase – trust us, we’ve tried. You’ll toast them with a final Schnaps then wave a fond farewell to the mountains and begin the 2.5 hour transfer back to Venice. You won’t arrive back until the early evening, so if you wish to continue on your way tonight, please don’t book departing flights until after 8pm.

  • Transfer Information

    Transfers between Venice Marco Polo Airport on day one and day seven are NOT included in the ride price, but can be purchased for an additional €150 EURO per guest. Guests should be ready for pick up at the airport no later than 2pm on the first day. The transfer to the start of the ride takes approximately 2.5 hours.

    Departing flights can be booked anytime after 8pm on the final day of the ride.

    Globetrotting is happy to provide a competitive quote on international flights, travel insurance and hotels before and after your ride.

STORIES FROM THE SADDLE

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