Category Archives: Summer

Passo Campolongo: Ridi, ridi!

What’s there to laugh about when you’ve got to sweat it out!

Holimites doesn’t hide its passion for road cycling, an obsession that’s led us to become the official tour operator for the Maratona dles Dolomites-Enel for 10 years now. Holimites also just turned 18 on December 21, 2018. Now that we’re free to do almost whatever we want, we were obliged to celebrate this occasion together with our cycling “colleagues”.

To commemorate this event, we designed a cycling cap memento dedicated to the Maratona dles Dolomites-Enel climbs – exclusive caps with a different exclamation for each pass.

Passo Campolongo:

Cappellino Passo Campolongo cycling cap
Cappellino Passo Campolongo cycling cap

The first cap had to be dedicated to the Campolongo Pass at 1,875m – the first pass in the Maratona that cyclist climb, feeling fresh and energized…and are still laughing. Right! You won’t be laughing for long because things will change quickly at the second passage to Campolongo!

Our caps are also available for purchase from our online shop

What’s the next cap? Follow us – we’ll be waiting for you on the “Pordoi”!

Cappellino Passo Pordoi cycling cap

Cappellino Passo Pordoi cycling cap

Welcome to Holimites’ short trekking and short trail running tours

“I’ve only got a few days of vacation for a trekking!”

“Unfortunately, I can’t stay away that long!”

“Can I just join half of the trekking holiday?”

Trekking Dolomites

Trekking Dolomiti

These are some of the messages that our booking team often gets during the year. Holimites’ early years seem far away – even if it’s only been 18 years – when most of our clients didn’t have any problems going on a 10-12 day holiday to complete the full course of the Dolomite’s Alta Via.

Of course, there are still those who opt for the 10-12 day full classic experience and then, there are others who can only take off a week to trek routes such as the “Best of Alta Via #1 e #2”, due to a limited vacation leave. The latter package has actually become our bestseller, and it’s offered in a trail running version, too.

That being said, a full week holiday is becoming for many an elusive dream. Many regular Holimites clients are beginning to prefer shorter holidays, but taking more frequent vacations during the season.

At Holimites, we’re trying to meet the demands of our clientele, so for 2019 we’ve thought of 3 new offers, tailored to short holidays:

1. If you love to walk and run, we’ve thought of the Sellaronda, covering the four passes, as a trail meant for you. The Sellaronda has become famous thanks to winter tourism: any skier who comes to the Dolomite valleys must ski the Sella Massif circuit at least one in a lifetime! (By the way, do you know how many times we’ve skied the Sellaronda circuit in one day?
In summer, the four Dolomite passes (Campolongo, Pordoi, Sella and Gardena) welcome thousands of cyclists who, like their skiing counterparts, aim to ride this fantastic circuit at least once in their life. (Psst! Cyclists: do you know that during summer we organize a moonlight road bike ride on the Sellaronda?
So, the next evolutionary step came naturally: after the Sellaronda on skis and on bike, a Sellaronda trekking version and a Sellaronda trail running version just had to be developed. Like our Trekking “Best of Alta Via #1 e #2”, you can choose to be guided by a local expert or do it on your own. Holimites, as always, will take care of logistics and baggage transport from hut to hut.

2. The other short vacation offer is a package that is an ode to the Dolomites’ most beautiful seasons.
Spring: when winter’s last snow covers the Dolomite peaks and the meadows below begin to transform into a colorful bliss. And, autumn: when the larches are adorned in beautiful golden hues. This program is aptly named: The colors of the Dolomites!

3. “Do you only have programs for those who want to sweat and run out of steam?”
Yup, this is also another one of those common questions we receive by e-mail. To tell the truth, up until now, Holimites has always focused on offering vacation packages for active people who possess average-to-great athletic fitness levels. But, for those of you who don’t know, two of Holimites’ founding members are professional chefs who cook in their own hotels! Their passion for the culinary arts has inspired our newest program: DOLOM …EAT…ES!
Yes, that’s right: “eat”! A program where you can learn to cook and then eat, eat, eat. STOP!

Hold on…actually, you’ll be hand picking some of the main ingredients for your meals in the surrounding meadows and woods. Nature will provide the herbs and scents, so there will be a bit of walking to find those “fixings” that our chefs will order. We guarantee that you’ll have an “explosion of flavors”!

Trekking gourmet Dolomites

See you soon in the Dolomites this summer!

Crazy until you don’t do it

How many times in your life have you given up that amazing idea of yours?
Your dream was doing that certain thing – in a way it felt bold and powerful, but also crazy and hard to achieve. Doubts started creeping in and that huge ‘flame’ became a tiny ‘spark’.
Then, you built up some courage and decided to talk about it with those close to you –
mom, dad, wife … friends, etc. How many times did those exact same people extinguish the last
little spark in your ‘amazing’ idea?

Sometimes it’s better to keep your mouth shut or – better yet – talk with people who have no idea of what you’re up to!

Just think how much progress would never have been achieved if the inventor would’ve listened to the voices around him or her.

I saw many flames die out and bubbles of ideas burst in thin air – but, that’s not how I react: I do just the opposite. The more people tell me something can’t be done or that my idea is too crazy, the more stubborn I get and the more I’ll stick to my idea until it’s done. Ok, let’s face it … many of those ideas will never have a sequel, but it’s from those failures that you learn to take better aim at your target when you get that next crazy idea.

It took me 3 years in order for the Mür dl Giat climb to be listed in the course of the Maratona dles Dolomites-Enel. Yes! That was MY idea  ;-). The first time I proposed it at a meeting, 14 votes out of 15 were “NO” votes…followed by laughs.
But, hey, to my satisfaction … even the pro peloton of the Giro d’Italia rode it on the finishing stage in Corvara in 2016. 

Then there was this other idea launched by pro photographer Jered Gruber and published on his Instagram feed and in the issue 62 of Peloton magazine:

While riding with @igortavella on the steep little farm roads that wind their way along the flanks of the Dolomites, I wondered if it would be possible to do 5000 meters (or more) of climbing on all the little roads in less than 100k. Igor laughed – of course! In that moment, an idea hit. We should do a ride later this year: invite anyone who wants to join us to get a big flavor of Igor’s backyard, his secrets – paved and dirt – but all doable on a road bike, so long as the rider is ok with gradients that are always north of 10% and isn’t scared of some dirt roads and a bit of amazing singletrack (meaning this won’t be everyone’s cup of hot chocolate). It will be on a Saturday or Sunday or both – everything will of course be based out of the Tavella hotel: the @UstariaPosta in Badia. We are thinking early to middle September. It will be the #YOLOMITES 5000 brought to you by @holimites and Igor. If the rider has had their fill at any point, they can cut it short whenever they want – we will never be more than 20k from the start at the Ustaria Posta. #yolomites5000 #conquereveryroad

Un post condiviso da Jered Gruber (@jeredgruber) in data:


This idea became the #YOLOmites5000

Imagine: all the locals here ride road bikes, but NO-ONE took part except me. Even so, people from Japan, Malaysia and USA flew to the Dolomites just to take part in this ‘crazy’ event.

Lastly – but it will not be my last idea for sure – I had this idea in mind: What would it be like to ride one of the most famous road bike loops in the Dolomites, the Sellaronda, … at Moonlight? I started to think about this even before the #YOLOmites5000. But, true to my nature, I couldn’t keep my mouth shut, so I started to talk about it. Yet, instead of a flame turning into a tiny spark, the idea kept burning, growing bigger inside of me until one evening, at the end of July 2017, I typed in the Strava event planner:

1st Holimites Moonlight ride

At the time I thought that I would be alone on the ride and, honestly, I didn’t pay any more attention to it until enthusiastic questions from possible participants started coming in. Two, five, eight people were signing up to take part in the event considered by many a “crazy” ride. The result was a group ride with 14 great friends:

Looking back, it’s rather funny that I typed in “1st” when I wrote the title. Maybe it’s the optimist in me that expects that there will be more Moonlight Rides. If you don’t want to miss the next Ride – or my next crazy idea – make sure you join the Holimites cycling club on Strava.

The bottom line:
If you have an idea … go for it, don’t be influenced by others!

Igor
Owner and founder of this other crazy idea called Holimites :-D

Deer, beer, Wifi – the story of a dolomites trail run

 

DEER
They are nine.
They came from Alaska.
They are friends, wives, mothers, housewives. And they also are doctors, teachers, shop owners, freelancers and other.

So you can guess that: they have a lot to talk about, and in fact they talk, they talk ALOT: they talk while hiking, while running, while walking and during the pauses. Of course they talk (a very lot) at breakfast, lunch and dinner. And they talk also – not really “of course” – while sleeping. So, in few words, they simply talk ALWAYS and LOUDLY.

Then one day Tata the guide sees a deer while traversing the woods, and says just one word (you know, he’s a mountain guy, they don’t talk too much): “DEER !”

And the magic happens: the whole group immediately stops. Don’t take me wrong: they don’t stop talking, they stop being loud, and proceed gently whispering (and trying to see the deer).

So this is the first keyword of the week, widely used all the times when the attention was needed: DEER !

BEER
Now you can imagine that: after so many hours talking while running, hiking, dining etc. etc. etc. they can be really very thirsty.

So that day we were reaching the Pisciadù Hut (elevation 2.580) after a long and hot hike, and the guide’s assistant (Mia, that’s me) said another single word (I don’t talk so much neither, even if – as widely stated – I’m not a mountain girl): “BEER !”

Suddenly the group started screaming and running hands-raised towards the hut. And this became the second keyword of the week, used to celebrate to most deserved and awaited moments of the day: BEER !

WIFI
And so this is us for the whole week: running and hiking for about 100 km and 6.000 mt up, and constantly talking about husbands, sons, daughters, school, colleagues but also books, the best and worst of the day (I did like that!) and some other questions that I didn’t understand (because listening takes resources too and those were not always available – I mean: they talk also very fast sometimes!).

At the end, we found there was only one situation (apart from deers, that’s obvious) where the group stopped talking, and this was kinda signal they where sending to each other, because there was only one good reason for not being talking: connection available!

And this became the third keyword of the week: WIFI !

***

Originally posted by Mia Battaglia on his Facebook profile after a week running on the Dolomites Alta Via #1 & #2 trails

***

Why now is the best time to travel to the Dolomites for US residents

No, the reason isn’t because of Trump ;-) … but the weak Euro makes it the best time to travel now.

In fact, if we compare the Euro to US Dollar exchange rate on a currency chart covering the last 5 years, the Euro is now at its lowest!

EUR vs. USD 5 years range

EUR vs. USD 5 years range

Not so long ago (just 3 years), the Euro to Dollar ratio was at its peak: you had to dish out roughly 1.35 Dollars for every Euro.

Just think about it. In 2014, our bestselling offer – the “Trekking Best of Alta Via #1 & #2″ guided package – cost 1,090.00 Euro, which was then 1,471.50 US Dollars.

The same package in 2017 costs 1,150.00 Euro – today that’s 1,207.50 Dollars. Math never lies! Right now you can save more than 250.00 bucks for the same offer!

What’s even better … all our proposals on holimites.com are 18% cheaper today than in 2014!
That means more money in your pocket to invest in some extra days visiting the Dolomites or
Italy.

That said:

  • if you love outdoor activities like trekking, trail running, cycling, mountain biking, and so on
  • if the Dolomites are on your travel bucket list
  • if you want an YOLOmites experience ;-)

it’s time to browse through the holimites.com website and pick the travel experience that fits you best – we’ll do the rest!

See you soon in the Dolomites!

Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer