In northeastern Italy lies the relatively unknown Alto Adige province, where the Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio is surrounded by the majestic mountains and glaciers of the Ortler Range, and great peaks soar to almost 13,000 feet. Venture out on a new active journey to walk and hike in this dramatic panorama and enjoy traditional mountain hiking camaraderie! Each day you’ll choose from challenging treks up to high alpine huts or more leisurely walks along lakeside trails and among alpine flowers.
Your home for the next nine nights is in the small mountain village of Sulden at a small family-run hotel only steps from the Ortler Peak. Savor your trail lunch in the mountain air and, after full days on the trail, return to your hotel to relax over a gourmet five-course dinner with wines from the Alto Adige region. Your final night is in Munich near the Augustiner Garden. Though most of the hikes are moderate to moderately strenuous, an interesting choice of less demanding hikes and walks are offered on most days. Whatever your style and ability, this adventure is not to be missed!
Experience the thrill of alpine hiking in the company of Smithsonian’s veteran hiking guides, Joe Carper and Dave Parry, who have led Smithsonian alpine adventures for many years. In the summer of 2012, Joe and Dave hiked all of the trails in anticipation of the 2013 Ortler Hike.
This adventure tour is specially designed for a small group of 15 to 20 Smithsonian travelers and offers outstanding hikes and walks in Italy’s Parco Nazionale dello Stelvio, once part of Austria’s South Tirol. Today it is part of Italy’s Alto Adige Province, situated west of Merano and south of the famous Stelvio Pass and the Swiss border.
Hike among the great peaks, Monte Zebrù, Monte Cevedale, and the Ortler Peak, which soar to almost 13,000 feet, offering magnificent views of the surrounding region. Other excellent nearby trails offer a variety of hikes for everyone from a challenging trek up to the Tabaretta Hut or an enjoyable walk along the Solda River in search of alpine flowers. Every day offers an exciting choice.
Spend a full day in Merano, Emperor Franz Josef’s favorite mountain resort. Explore the famous arcaded shopping street, take the lift up to Dorf Tirol or appreciate Merano’s golden age. And most certainly enjoy an espresso or gelato on the riverside promenade.
Enjoy exceptional 4-star accommodations at the Hotel Cristallo, located in the remote mountain village of Sulden. Guests will appreciate the traditional mountain setting and comfortable accommodations along with outstanding dining, featuring five-course meals each evening accompanied by the region’s celebrated Alto Adige wines. (Breakfast and dinner are included each day at the hotel.)
Celebrate the end of the trail at the farewell dinner at Munich’s renowned Augustinergarten, where the locals meet on summer evenings to enjoy a stein of beer and local food in the tree shaded garden.