Overview

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Duration:
8 Days

Explore with us three strikingly different regions of Italy, the high alpine lakes of Trentino, the magnificent Dolomite mountain paths and vistas of Alto Adige, and the enchanting trails and canyons of the Veneto region. Each region has its own heritage of food, wine, and history that has shaped the people and the culture through the ages. Like all Go Get Lost adventures, we’ll be walking the trails, visiting the villages, sampling the wine, meeting the locals, enjoying the food, marveling at the incredible views, sampling the wine again, enjoying some more cuisine, and slowly easing into the pace of life in this wonderful corner of Northern Italia!

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Itinerary

Day 1 - Riva del Garda

Our Italian adventure starts today in Riva del Garda, our home for the first part of our trip. Located in the Italian Regione of Trentino, Riva is a picturesque town wedged between the Italian Alps and the far northern shore of Lago di Garda, the largest of the famous Italian Alpine Lakes. In Riva you'll begin to notice the subtle cultural differences that differentiate this region from the rest of Italy. Although primarily Italian, Austrian and German influences appear alongside Italian names, cuisine and history. Riva’s strategic location made it an important trading center as far back as Roman times, with sailors bringing goods from the south to trade for supplies that came over the Alps from central Europe. The diversity of cultures that mingled here makes Riva a fascinating town even today.

The scenic beauty of the area is evident, too. The blue of the waters contrasts sharply with the green and grey of the surrounding peaks, but both natural features combine to shelter the area and provide a fascinating microclimate. The olive trees on the slopes overlooking Riva are said to be the northernmost olives in the world, and produce an incredibly light, delicate oil. Strangely enough, Mediterranean plants abound here and coexist with typical alpine shrubs and trees.

You should plan to arrive in Riva by midday at the latest. Tonight we'll have our orientation meeting, (of course with local wines), and afterwards we'll walk to one of our favorite spots for our welcome dinner.
Italian and Tyrolean traditions color the robust cuisine in this region, smoked hams, apples, chestnuts, grapes, plums, and pasta tossed with some of the most delicate olive oil in the world appear on most menus. In addition you'll find polenta, more mushroom varieties than anywhere else in Italy, and trout from the alpine lakes and streams. There are two things that definitely set this cuisine apart...the breads and the cheeses! Drawing on both Austrian and Italian baking traditions, the finest breads in all Italy are found here...often laced with onion, garlic, or herbs.

There is also an amazing amount of delicious cheeses produced in this region! The problem is naming them, since there are so many local varieties, many are simply called nostrano or "our local homemade cheese". You'll fall in love with the many types known as malga, a category of mountain cheeses that are made with the summer milk from cows that graze in the highest valleys of the region.

An after-dinner passegiata in the town piazza alongside the moored boats at the pier will cap off your first day in the far north of Italia.

Day 2 - Lago Ledro

This morning we stretch our legs on a beautiful lakeside trail that winds alongside the dramatic cliffs of Lago Garda. As the morning sun paints the shoreline we’ll be enjoying the views of sailboats, windsurfers and ferry boats as we climb ever higher on this easy path. In ancient times the local Ladin people used this trail to transport goods between the Roman and Venetian trading posts on Lago Garda and the small mountain communities. Mules, pack horses and villagers trod these paths for centuries, but today they provide an easy way for us to enjoy the mountain scenery as we walk. After drinking in the Lago Garda views we’ll turn inland through a tree-lined rocky gorge alongside a clear mountain stream as it leads us deep into the mountain valleys. Small alpine villages and farms appear in the forest along our route, which seems to have taken us to another quieter world from the wide open spaces along the lake. Before we realize it we’re at our destination, Lago Ledro…a gorgeous sapphire blue alpine lake situated in a small bowl-shaped valley embedded in the forested peaks.

Your guides will prepare a sumptuous lakeside picnic featuring plenty of delicacies from the area, including cheeses from the mountain dairies, local farm salami and breads from the bakeries of Riva.
Of course to reward you for your walk the guide will have a selection of local wines to complete the picnic!

Meanwhile you can stroll along the waters edge, spotting trout and enjoying the view, or even better you can wash off the trail dust in the clear cool waters of the lake! (Don’t forget your towel today!)

Our private bus will take us back to town today with plenty of time for you to explore and Go Get Lost! You can relax and “do your own thing”, this afternoon and do some shopping in Riva.

Day 3 - Malcesine, Monte Baldo

Today we'll go south along Lago di Garda to the lakeside village of Malcesine. Here we'll board a series of lifts that scale the near vertical bluffs rising from the lake. This is the long ridge-like spine of impressive Monte Baldo, paralleling the lakeshore for over twenty miles and towering over the nearby landscape. Upon exiting the last lift we'll find ourselves in a different landscape from the gentle lakeshore we left. cool winds, short alpine flora, and stunning views in all directions!

From here a ridge-top path works its way along the spine of Monte Baldo, sometimes edging towards the inland mountains and their lush valley views, sometimes skirting the cliffs along the lake dotted with sailboats. As we walk along the ridge you’ll be amazed at the panorama, on a clear day you can easily see the southern end of Lago di Garda, over 20 miles away!

If you’re looking for an easier option today you could ride the lifts to the top, then walk as much (or as little) as you want, enjoying the mountaintop views, then ride the lifts back down to Malcesine for an extended day in the town.
After our exciting morning on the mountain we’ll turn everyone loose to explore Malcesine. There’s plenty to see and do in this beautiful little town, but when the sun is still high above the mountaintops we’ll meet at the Malcesine dock to board our boat for a scenic ride back to Riva.

This evening is free for you to wander and find your own cozy ristorante to have dinner. The guides will be dining at one of their favorite local eateries, and you’re always welcome to join them for the evening. People-watching in Piazza Novembre over a cappuccino will be the perfect relaxed ending to an exciting day!

Day 4 - Brenta Group...Nardis Waterfalls or Rifugio Tuckett

 After breakfast today we bid farewell to Riva and join our local alpine guides as we board our private mini-coach and head northwest into the spectacular Dolomite Mountains. The route we use winds its way through scenic valleys, past neat mountain villages and over tumbling streams in this out-of-the-way corner of the Alps. Our destination for our morning walk is the formation of mountain peaks known as the Brenta Group, famed for their towering cliffs and surrounding lakes. Today we have two separate but equally beautiful walks! Your first choice starts with an easy stroll through dense alpine woodlands alongside a rushing mountain stream. As you enjoy the beauty and majesty of the forest, you’ll notice the thunder of cascading water growing louder. Soon we’ll find ourselves admiring the stunning beauty of the Nardis Waterfall. Huge boulders allow you to get very close and provide the perfect platform for fantastic photo-ops! As if that wasn’t enough, we have yet another short walk through even denser forest to yet another picturesque waterfall! After all the excitement your guide will take you to our favorite local ristorante for an excellent meal…complete with plenty of the local vintages, of course.

The other walk option will take us a short distance away to the mountain town of Madonna di Campiglio where we’ll use a funicular cable car to transport us up to our trailhead. The walk will lead us across one of the most spectacular landscapes in Italy, high above the treeline and weaving among towering granite pillars. The Brenta group is one of the most photographed mountain landscapes in the world, and we’ll literally be “in the postcard” as we trek between the breathtaking crags. You’ll have many chances to take your very own “postcard” photos of the scenery! We’ll have a hearty lunch at a stone and log mountain “rifugio” and then continue on our path, with dramatic views in every direction.
Eventually we’ll all board our coach and continue deeper into the mountains to Castelrotto, our home for the next few days. Our route to Castelrotto takes us to the northeast past the far northern outposts of Trento and Bolzano. The views along our route are gorgeous and provide typical landscapes of green mountain valleys lined by soaring vertical rock walls. Vineyards, towns, and orchards are sprinkled between large forested tracts. We’ll soon be into the Italian Regione of Alto Adige, also known as the SudTirol or South Tyrol, which straddles the border with Austria to the North. The Austrian influence is strong here, both in the language and the food. Castelrotto, situated in a lovely secluded mountain valley, is one of the most picturesque alpine towns in all of the Dolomites. With winding cobblestone streets, a sprinkling of shops and cozy family ristorante, flowerboxes on nearly every windowsill, and towering peaks in every direction, this town is a magical bit of northern Italian ambiance.

After checking into our quaint 3 Star mountain hotel, you’ll be free for the evening to wander the town and find a perfect little place for dinner. You’ll find that the cuisine has made a definite shift towards the Austrian influence as we’re now much farther into the Alps. Relax and enjoy, today you earned your dinner!

Day 5 - Alpi di Suisi, Schlern Plateau, Sassolungo

At the town of Alpi di Suisi we’ll use a funicular to ascend to the high plateau of Sciliar, nestled in a bowl of some of the most breathtaking alpine scenery you can imagine. Our walk will circumnavigate the plateau through rolling alpine meadows complete with wildflowers and placid dairy cows, along cliffs that plummet thousands of feet to the valley floor, and always surrounded by the brooding peaks of Sassopiatto and Sassolungo. This walk contains a panoramic overlook that might possibly be the best in all of our trips…certainly in the top 5. Need I say it…take your camera!

Our meal this afternoon will be at a log-cabin mountain rifugio in a protected valley of the plateau. Depending on conditions we’ll either be outside on the deck under the crisp alpine sunshine, or eating around a cozy fireplace with a glass of vino (or Austrian beer) and a hearty mountain lunch in front of us. It doesn’t get much better than this.

For those in our group not inclined to huff and puff their way around the plateau, we can offer some fun (and easier) alternative itineraries for the day. The nearby towns of Ortisei, Santa Cristina and Selva all have some fun shops, and are accessible by local bus. Or you can also use the local bus to explore the city of Bolzano, a beautiful city with one of the best shopping and market districts in Italy and also the famous Otzi Iceman museum. Suffice to say that whatever you choose to do today you’ll sleep well tonight…

Day 6 - Lago Braies

Today we'll journey through more stunning alpine scenery to the postcard-like Lago Braies, considered to be the most beautiful lake in all of South Tyrol. Situated in the Valley di Braies and surrounded by the imposing mountain peaks of Croda del Becco, this panorama will make you think you have stumbled into a fairy tale. We'll have an easy walk around the lake, stopping to take pictures and...of course...eat lunch. A small local dairy farm will be the perfect venue for a mountain meal.

After our walk our private motorcoach takes us to the small mountain refuge of Pederu, where we'll transfer to smaller vehicles for a winding, bumpy trip up into the mountains to an outpost set in a picturesque alpine valley. Here we'll spend the evening with hikers from all over the world, have dinner in the rustic refuge dining hall, and bunk down in dormitory-style accommodations as we prepare for our walk tomorrow morning through one of Europe's most spectacular landscapes.

Day 7 - Fanes National Park and Col Becchei

Today is special...we'll rise early and have a simple hearty breakfast with our hiking companions, then it's off on our grand adventure! Our trek will begin at the rifugio, slowly working our way up a wide trail to a small alpine lake. Here we cut off the main trail, cross a high alpine meadow and meander along a dramatic mountain ridge. The landscape here is classic unspoiled Tyrolean Dolomites...tranquil yet stunning. We'll enjoy eagle-eye views of the surrounding countryside, arriving eventually at a panoramic spot overlooking the Valley de Mareo. After drinking in the scenery and snapping plenty of pics, we'll work our way down to Rifugio Fanes, where we'll relax and enjoy a hearty lunch with a well-deserved glass of wine or frosty mug of beer.

Later this afternoon we'll begin our walk down to civilization and another rifugio where we'll catch the local bus for the short ride to the beautiful village of San Vigilio, our home for our last evening. We'll check into our charming mountain-style hotel, and enjoy the hospitality and cuisine of this wonderful family-run inn. Tonight we'll have an excellent farewell dinner at the hotel. he mouthwatering Tyrolean cuisine and the local Northern Italian wines will top off our incredible journey through the lakes and mountains of Northern Italy.

A perfect end to another perfect day…life is good.

Day 8 - Arrivederci Italia

After breakfast today you’ll have a private coach transfer to the Verona train station, where your Go Get Lost tour will end. Here you can use the excellent Italian train system to travel to any other part of Italy, or you can catch a cab to the Verona airport. Verona is also an excellent place to spend an additional night, then catch an early flight the next morning.

HOTELS

Due to availability at the time of booking, hotels listed may change to similar hotels

Riva del Garda - 3 Star Hotel Vittoria The brother and sister team of Paolo and Francesca Carli are the proprietors of this unpretentious local inn, and their attached Bavarian-style restaurant is known for its excellent food, wine and beer. The town of Riva is a delight to wander, and the Hotel Vittoria has an excellent location in the center of the old historic city, quite near the lakeside. When you walk out of the front door of the hotel, you'll be immersed in the energy and beauty of the town center, with cobblestone streets, shops, restaurants and outdoor cafes.

Castelrotto – 3 Star Hotel Zum Wolf al Lupo The family-run Hotel al Lupo in the heart of the Dolomites was first mentioned in the 13th century. Documents of the 16th century already describe it as one of the oldest and most renowned Inns in the ancient borough of Castelrotto, also because of the extraordinary front ornaments. The present owners renovated it with care and taste to retain its traditional appeal as a jewel of Castelrotto's medieval centre.

San Vigilio di Marebbe – 3 Star Hotel Al Plan Traditions, style & family! At the Al Plan Hotel, the Trebo family will happily welcome you. The hoteliers Maurizio and Theodora and their children Max and Moritz have many surprises for you. Get comfortable in the welcoming lobby, crammed with antiques that owner Maurizio has been collecting all of his life, or on their sunny terrace with its mountain views. Their kitchen is renown, featuring local specialties that will satisfy any appetite after a day trekking in the mountains!

What´s Included

  • 3 nights accommdations, double occupancy, in a 3 Star hotel in Riva
  • 2 nights accommdations, double occupancy, in a 3 Star hotel in Castelrotto
  • 1 night accommdations, bunk-style dormitory beds, in a mountain refuge in Fanes National Park
  • 1 night accommdations, double occupancy, in a 3 Star hotel in San Vigilio di Marebbe
  • Meals as specified: 7 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 3 dinners, 2 wine tastings
  • Picnic lunch at Lago Ledro featuring local specialties
  • Mountain lunch at Rifugio Tuckett
  • Mountain lunch at Arnikahutte Rifugio
  • Mountain lunch at Lago Braies
  • Mountain lunch at Rifugio Fanes
  • Welcome dinner in Riva del Garda
  • Dinner in mountain refuge
  • Farewell dinner in San Vigilio
  • Ledro walk
  • Monte Baldo walk
  • Brenta walk
  • Nardis Waterfall walk (optional)
  • Alpi di Suisi walk in the SudTirol
  • Fanes National Park Walk
  • Lago Braies Walk
  • Wine tastings in Riva and Lago Ledro
  • Opportunities to visit lots of unique villages – Malcesine, Castelrotto, Ledro, San Vigilio, etc.
  • Transportation once the tour has begun. The motor coaches and vans we use are modern, air conditioned and roomy.
  • All ferry, coach, van, bus, cablecar, and chairlift transfers as specified in itinerary.
  • Group departure transfer to Verona train station
  • Sightseeing and entrance fees as specified in itinerary
  • All gratuities, except for your primary local guide
  • Completely escorted by a Go Get Lost Tour Leader with local guides at specified sites throughout the itinerary
  • A lifetime of unforgettable memories!

What´s not Included

  • Airfare package
  • Arrival transfers, tour begins at the hotel in Riva del Garda on the afternoon of Day 1, and the tour ends at the train station in Verona on the morning of day 8.
  • Gratuities for your primary local guide
  • Visa fees, if applicable
  • Meals not specified in itinerary
  • Beverages at meals unless specified in itinerary(water and wine are always included in group meals)
  • Trip Cancellation/Interruption and Medical Insurance (strongly recommended), call for details
  • Single supplement charge
  • Items of a personal nature; phone calls, laundry, etc.

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