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Adler Dolomiti asks, "Are you in shape?"

Walking in the Dolomites
Walking in the DolomitesCourtesy Sue Heady

Adler Dolomiti (www.adler-dolomiti.com/en/) has introduced a new walking experience for summer 2014: a challenging 52km, 24-hour hike in July that incorporates almost 3,500 metres of elevation as it wends its way through the majestic mountains of Val Gardena. Not for the feint-hearted, this expedition is only recommended for those in good physical shape, so – if you’re not – get training! Or let your partner go, while you stay poolside at the Adler and simply admire the mountain views.

The aim of the 24-hour hike, led by experienced local mountain guides Thaddäus and Pauli, is to showcase the stunning vistas, as well as the flora and fauna, of the Dolomites, which are a UNESCO World Heritage site recognised for their outstanding natural beauty and culture. The route, therefore, is designed so that the group arrives at the best points at the right time to witness, for example, the sunset and the sunrise.

At 4pm on 11 July, the group (with a maximum of 20 participants) will set off from the Adler Dolomiti on the first stage of the hike, climbing to the Sofie hut at 2,410 metres to stop and admire the glow of the setting sun as it turns the rock face of the Alpe di Seceda from a rich golden orange to dark violet before the night sets in. Moving on, with head lamps strapped on, the group will walk through the Puez Geisler nature reserve, assisted by a full moon, taking in the Mastlé meadows and Forcella de Sieles, before arriving at the Puez plateau with its well-known lunar landscape looking all the more mysterious under the moonlight. There, at the Puez mountain hut, the group will stop for a midnight snack, before heading on to Sas Ciampac at 2,675 metres to watch the sun come up.

Passing the glistening mountain lake of Crespeina, the group will cross a karst plateau littered with boulders, before traversing two ridges – that of Crespeina and Chian – and descending to 2,236 metres to enjoy a well-deserved and hearty breakfast at the Jimmy mountain hut. Back in daylight, the hikers will cross the Gardena Pass and walk through woodland to the Sella ridge, before the last steep section takes them up to the highest point on the route, the Toni Demetz hut, at 2,710 metres, where a power lunch awaits. In the afternoon, it’s all downhill back to the hotel, which should be reached around 4pm on 12 July.

The 24-hour expedition, of which approximately 18 hours will be spent walking, forms part of a three-day or week-long package, with time at the hotel before to prepare and acclimatise, followed by a night at the hotel afterwards to recuperate! The cost of the three-day package costs from Euros 715 (approx £585) per person sharing a double room on a half-board basis, including breakfast, afternoon tea and gourmet a la carte dinner, the guided hiking tour and all refreshments en route, a certificate for all those who finish along with a CD of images from the expedition, a leg massage the day after the hike to help refresh tired legs and complimentary use of all the hotel’s facilities.

Facilities at the Adler Dolomiti include 9000 square metres of private parkland and the largest wellness facility in the Dolomites, with three distinct zones: Dolasilla for beauty & vitality, Aguana where the pools, including thermals, are located, and AdlerFit for sport & fitness offering a full programme of leisure activities (such as yoga, meditation and two guided walks daily).

For more information and to book, please visit www.adler-dolomiti.com/en/, call +39 0471 775 001 or email info@adler-dolomiti.com.