Via Ferrata walking vacation in the Dolomites, Italy

“An 8 day guided walking vacation along the Via Ferrata, challenging yet exhilarating on so many levels. Mostly high levels, for sure! Staying in one hotel throughout the vacation. ”


5 days hiking on Via Ferrata or Iron Way | Sexten Dolomites | Tre Cime di Lavaredo | Marino Bianchi | Col Rosa | Fanes-Sennes Braies Natural Park | UIAGM mountain leader guides

Travel Team

If you would like some help or advice, or just want to discuss your ideas for your next trip, do give us a call.


Check dates, prices & availability

06 Jul 2019
US $2449
excluding flights
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Click here to enquire about or book the 06 Jul 2019 departure
13 Jul 2019
US $2449
excluding flights
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Click here to enquire about or book the 13 Jul 2019 departure
31 Aug 2019
US $2479
excluding flights
Vacation type

Small group vacation

Small group travel is not large group travel scaled down. It is modelled on independent travel – but with the advantage of a group leader to take care of the itinerary, accommodation and tickets, and dealing with the language. It’s easy to tick off the big sights independently – but finding those one-off experiences, local festivals, traveling markets and secret viewpoints is almost impossible for someone without the insider knowledge gained from years in the field. If you’re heading off on a gap year your, perhaps – but for those with a two-week vacation, a small group tour will save valuable planning time.

The leaders are not guides – they’re not there to shepherd you around. Instead, they’ll let you know which local restaurant serves great value food – without running the risk of travelers’ tummy. They’ll allow you to avoid hour-long queues at train stations and attractions.

We like to think of small group travel as the Goldilocks option. It is independent travel without the fuss, worry and bunk beds – and organised travel without the coaches. And it’s cheaper than a tailor made tour. It’s sits somewhere in the middle – and we think it’s just about right.

What are the main benefits?
Big experiences
Have big, life-enriching experiences that would be impossible to organise without lots of time and insider knowledge.

Make the most of your vacation time by letting someone else do the hard work and boring logistics!

Peace of mind
Small group tours take care of the security aspects – and provide a safety net should anything unexpected happen.
Who is it ideal for?
Travelers who are short of time
If you don’t have three months to spend exploring, small groups trips let you cover more ground in less time. Your days are not spent queuing for tickets or finding hotels – so you can squeeze more into your vacation.

Solo travelers who’d like company
Likeminded travel companions plus peace of mind for those traveling alone. Single supplements are usually available – providing privacy if you want it.

Less confident travelers
Stray from the tourist trail without worrying about getting lost, and meet local people without dealing with the language barrier.
“I won’t get any privacy!”
Couples and friends have private rooms, and you can choose to eat alone or not. Single supplements give solo travelers their own room.

“There won’t be any free time”
Free mornings or afternoons let you explore on your own, or just relax.

“The accommodation will be basic”
Trips are as high or low end as you like. Though off the beaten track destinations won’t have luxury hotels, this is all part of the adventure.

“I won’t like the other travelers!”
Tour operators try to create groups with a similar demographic – age, families, activity levels... Chances are, you’ll even make new friends.

“Will we be following an umbrella?”
Valerie Parkinson
Meet a group Leader
Name: Valerie Parkinson

Story: The first British woman to climb Manaslu, Valerie climbed Everest for her 50th birthday. She’s spent fourteen Christmas Days trekking to Everest Base Camp, and is involved insetting up Responsible Tourism initiatives in the Himalayas.
Roshan Fernando
Meet a local guide
Name: Roshan Fernando

Story: Roshan has led over 130 trips – he adores showing travelers around Sri Lanka. He won the company Leader Award in 2010, but his career highlight was working on their Tsunami Project – which earned him a responsible tourism award.

Responsible tourism

Responsible tourism: Via Ferrata walking vacation in the Dolomites, Italy

UK office
It all starts at home so we have first worked at reducing our carbon footprint in our UK offices. Through energy conservation measures and recycling policies in place, we are proud to be actively reducing the waste produced and our impact on the environment. We support various projects all over the world to try and give something back to the places we visit.

Leaders & local suppliers
Our base for the week is Hotel Tschurtschenthaler, a small family run hotel perfectly located in the center of Dobbiaco. We have worked with this hotel for many years so all our groups receive a warm welcome from the family. Most of the products are sourced locally and the cuisine draws on Italian and Austrian traditions.

We have had an excellent long-term relationship with the local mountain guides who lead the trip and this helps to stabilise their income generation and so helps to create a more sustainable future. Our UIAGM qualified guides ensure the highest level of safety on the mountain and have unquestionable knowledge of the mountain thanks to growing up in this area.

Group size
We operate small group tours that have a low impact on the communities we visit and we always ensure our operations do not disrupt or lead to the displacement of local people. This allows us to stay in unique and characterful accommodation that would not have benefitted from tourism due to their limited size. The ratio is 1 UIAGM leader to every 8 clients so security on the mountain is of utmost importance to us.

Few vacations have as little detrimental impact on the environment and local residents as a walking trip. It is a quiet, low impact activity requiring comparatively little resources to support. Erosion on and adjacent to popular paths is a growing problem and our trip leaders encourage clients not to stray from paths to minimise this.

1 Reviews of Via Ferrata walking vacation in the Dolomites, Italy

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed on 10 Sep 2018 by

1. What was the most memorable or exciting part of your vacation?

The second day of the Via Ferrata: clear blue skies, warm weather, mountains covered in snow, challenging via ferrata.

2. What tips would you give other travelers booking this vacation?

The weather can be very variable: take walking gear to cover both warm and cool days, e.g. a thick and thin pair of trousers & shirt.

3. Did you feel that your vacation benefited local people, reduced environmental impacts or supported conservation?

Partly. The hotel we stayed in was family owned & run but required more travel to get there to/from the airport and to/from the walks. The guides were local
which could be good or bad depending on who you guide is.

4. Finally, how would you rate your vacation overall?

Really enjoyed the via ferrata, DESPITE the poor guiding. The group relied heavily on one another and at one point a guide from a completely different group helped us over a difficult section... our guide had gone on ahead.

Read the operator's response here:

Whilst we are pleased that you enjoyed meeting the challenges of Via Ferrata, we are very sorry that you were disappointed with the guide for this trip. We have discussed your concerns with the guide on the telephone. The health and safety of our clients is of paramount importance to us and we have spoken to our local team to ensure the best and most suitable mountain guides are used on all departures.

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