Several years ago our Alpine wanderers hiked in what we all came to feel was perfection: the dramatic Ortler Range and the lovely mountain village of Sulden. And, perhaps liked best of all, the perfect alpine hotel – the Cristallo.
Join us as we return to the Ortlers and the Hotel Cristallo in 2019.
Located where the famed Stelvio Pass marks the border of Switzerland’s Graubunden and Italy’s South Tirol, the Stelvio National Park is one of the best-kept alpine secrets. Monte Cevedale, at 3,769 meters (12,365 feet), and the surrounding peaks tower over the remote “hanging” valley of the Suldental. The small quiet village of Sulden, or Solda in Italian, has a few hotels, food stores, sport shops, and a local church.
Our favorite mountain hotel, the Cristallo, is owned by the Reinstadler family, whose roots in the valley go back centuries. The Cristallo offers comfortable rooms, awesome breakfasts, outstanding five-course evening meals, remarkable Alto Adige wines, and attentive service.
Take a look at their website: www.cristallosulden.it.
June 29, 2019
Individuals depart from the United States.
June 30, 2019
Arrive Zürich Airport where the bus will meet us for the dramatic journey across the Alps to Italy’s South Tirol in time for a welcome “aperitivo” at the Hotel Cristallo.
July 1-4, 2019 The itinerary for these days will include the following:
A new warm up hike down to the Stilfser Brücke on the Solda River.
A return visit to the Düsseldorfer Hut for dramatic views across the valley to the high Ortler peaks beyond.
The Madritschjoch Hut from the top of the Sulden Lift with a chance to continue up to the Madritschjoch itself.
Hike up the valley’s lateral moraine to the Hintergrat Hut where you can choose to descend to the lift mid-station or continue across the moraine and glacial till to the top of the lift.
July 5, 2019
Today, enjoy the day off. Cross the Stelvio Pass by bus to the ancient Müstair Abbey in Switzerland, one of the oldest monasteries in the Alps and a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its 9th century Carolingian frescoes. Enjoy a guided tour of the church followed by lunch.
July 6-9, 2019The itinerary for these days will include the following:
Intrepid hikers can choose the challenging Berglhütte-Edelweiss-Alpenrosehütte Circuit, or take a more leisurely pace and enjoy the views from the Berglhütte and then, after lunch, return past the three waterfalls to the trailhead.
Choose between a moderate climb from the village to the Tabretta Hut or continue up to the isolated Payer Hut.
Hike past Alpenrose to the edge of the Rosim Glacier. Take the Kanzel Lift to hike up the Rosenboden and then descend back to the Solden Lift station.
If the snow cover allows, travel to the top of the Stelvio Pass and follow the panoramic Goldsee trail to the Furkelhütte and the lift to down to Trafoi.
July 10, 2019: A Zürich Farewell
Say goodbye to the mountains and travel to Zürich, where we will check in to the Hotel Alexander in Old Town. Here, there will be time to explore the nearby town and church before our farewell dinner.
July 11, 2019
Depart from Zürich airport.
Double Room $5,295
Single Room $5,645
Zürich Extra Nights
Double room per night $330
Single room per night $295
ABOUT THE TRAILS
Hiking in the Ortler Mountains can be challenging for the fit hiker. Each day there will be two hiking options, allowing hikers to choose a more or less challenging itinerary. Participants will be on the trail for about 5-7 hours, or 5-10 miles each day, including breaks and lunch stops, and will encounter elevation gains and/or losses of 500-3,000 feet. The paths and trails along the valleys are mostly wide and well maintained, but on the steeper trails leading to higher elevations, hikers can expect to encounter some moderately steep ascents and descents, and at times, narrow rocky paths. There is little exposure (steep, unprotected drop-offs) on any day’s hike. Sturdy boots and adequate outer gear for protection from the sun, cold, and wind are essential.
LODGING & MEALS
Hotel Cristallo lies just beyond the village. It offers easy access to the trails and lifts. This small mountain hotel caters to European guests and features an outstanding kitchen. Its sommelier Phillipe Reinstalder is certified in Adige and Trentino Italian wines. The sleeping rooms are comfortable with modern bathrooms. Many of them overlook the valley and the peaks beyond.
All breakfasts and dinners are included and each hotel offers a full breakfast buffet. A lighter fare of cereals, fruits, and yogurt are also available. Packed trail lunches are provided for a total of four days, and are included in the tour price.
Hotel Alexander is located in the heart of Zürich’s Old Town just a short distance from the Hauptbahnhof and the Lake of Zürich.