Getting from Frankfurt to the Dolomites

This July my wife and I will be taking a 15 day escorted Alpine tour starting and ending in Frankfurt. At the conclusion of our trip we would like to go to
Bolzano Italy and spend 3-4 days in the Dolomites. I have two questions: 1) what would be the simplest and fairly inexpensive way to get from Frankfurt to Bolzano and 2) after our Dolomite visit is over we want to get to Stockholm Sweden to visit our son and thought flying out of Innsbrook might be the best way to do this but we're not sure. Any advice would be very much appreciated!

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
11276 posts

Go to the German Rail (Bahn) website and purchase a Europa-Spezial ticket from Frankfurt to Bolzano. Tickets go on sale 92 days before travel. If you purchase right after they go on sale you can get Frankfurt to Bolzano for 39€/person. It will be a 7½ hr trip, ICE for Frankfurt to Munich and EC from Munich to Bolzano.

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9131 posts

I'm just wondering... if you're taking an "escorted Alpine tour starting and ending in Frankfurt", why return all the way to Frankfurt and then immediately head far to the south again for an additional Alpine visit? If the tour does not include the Italian Alps (BTW, "the Dolomites" comprise only a relatively small piece of Italy's vast Alpine territory), and you really want to visit this area, could you not break off from the tour when you might be closer to the area you want to visit, rather than traveling all the way to Frankfurt first? Finally... is the diversion to the Dolomites even necessary? If you're on a 15 day Alpine tour, do you really need to add 3-4 more days of the Alps on top of it? As much as I love the Alps, 18-19 days in the mountains seems a bit excessive.

Posted by Paul
NYC area
1434 posts

Hi Greg, While I do love the Dolomite region, I doubt I'd start from Frankfurt to visit them for 3 or 4 days. I agree that if the Dolomites are high on your priority list, see if you can leave the tour before heading back to Frankfurt. If not, and you still want to make the trip from Frankfurt, and you want to really experience the Dolomites, skip 3 or 4 days based in Bolzano (which not in the Dolomites) and stay 3 or 4 days in the nearby Val Gardena. http://www.val-gardena.com What may be helpful for getting better advice is to let us know what and where the "Alpine Tour" does include. Just for future knowledge, it's Innsbruck. Paul

Posted by greg
morton
2 posts

The Alpine tour we are going on is a Globus tour that starts in Frankfurt and goes to Austria, northern Italy (Dolomites only but for half a day), Switzerland, and back to Frankfurt. My wife and I are both in our early 60's and enjoy hiking moderate hikes 3-5 hrs in length (no technical climbing) and have done so in Glacier national and in British Columbia at length. Perhaps there is an area in the Alps in Austria or Switz that would be much closer to Frankfurt that we would enjoy as much as much as the Dolomites. Thanks for any info we may receive.

Posted by Paul
NYC area
1434 posts

Hi again, Figure the Dolomites are about 1:30 or so from Innsbruck and the general area. Not that big a difference between here and the Dolomites. You could also look into the Mittenwald/Garmisch area of Germany, about an hour north of Innsbruck. This may save about 2.5 hours of travel time from Frankfurt. We love Mittenwald and the general area. I'm sorry if earlier it sounded like I was trying to talk you out of something that you want to do. Didn't mean it that way. My only opinion on going to the Dolomites would be that Bolzano is a rather large city that's not "in" the Dolomites. The Val Gardena (meaning the towns/villages of Ortisei, St. Christina and Selva) are "in" the Dolomites, about 40 minutes north of Bolzano. My take on the Dolomites is that nothing else in the Alps has the unique look of them. They are amazing. If interested, while not "alpine", other options close to Frankfurt could be a few days spent along the Rhine, the Mosel and/or Rothenburg ob der Tauber. We loved Rothenburg and 2 of the best castles, in our opinion, are Marksburg Castle along the Rhine and Burg Eltz on the Mosel. Paul

Posted by Tom
Hüttenfeld, Hessen, Germany
9131 posts

If you're looking for Alpine hiking, the closest big resort town to Frankfurt (at least in driving time) is Oberstdorf. There's some fantastic hikes here, some of which are not too difficult if you take the ski lift most of the way up. Garmisch-Partenkirchen is also a hiking mecca, and this might be easier to reach via public transportation from Frankfurt. If you would consider non-Alpine, the Taunus and Odenwald mountain ranges are visible from Frankfurt. Each has 1000s of kms of scenic hiking trails, although you won't see as many great vistas here. The Hartz mountains are about two hours north of Frankfurt and the hike to the top of the highest peak in the region, Brocken, is quite popular. There is even a steam locomotive that goes up and down the mountain. The southern Black Forest also has some impressive mountains, although for the amount of time it would take you to get there, you could also reach the far more impressive Alps. Overall, you have many, many choices that are much more convenient to reach than the Italian Alps. Going all the way to the Dolomite region from Frankfurt would be like someone from Denver going to Montana to see the Rocky Mountains.

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
11276 posts

I'd have to agree with Tom, a great place to hike in a valley surrounded by mountains is near Oberstdorf. The Kleinwalsertal (little valley of the Walsers) is a part of Austria only accessible from Germany, and it has great hiking trails. There is a bus that goes the length of the valley from the Oberstdorf Bahnhof. When I was there, we got a map of all of the trails in the Kleinwalsertal at the Tourist Information office in Mittelberg. As I remember, the map grades the trail from easy to difficult. We found a fairly easy trail from Mittelberg and hiked to Baad, at the top end of the valley, for lunch. Hiking down from the lifts is easy on the lungs but hard on the quads (due to hiking down steep slopes used for skiing in the winter). Another hike is to take the Hörnerbahn (gondola) from the town of Bolsterlang, in Germany, up the rocky face of the mountain above the town. Once at the top, there is a relatively flat trail which goes to and past a mountain hut where you can eat. From Oberstdorf, there are frequent trains to Munich airport (3½ hr) with flights to Sweden. You will also be close to Allgäu airport (Memmingenberg), used by RyanAir. They might have flights to an inaccessible airport somewhere in the vicinity of Stockholm.

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
1972 posts

I see that the hiking thing is now covered. Now, back to flights to Stockholm. Flights are best taken out of Munich most of the year, and there is a flight out of Salzburg and Innsbruck in the Summer. See Wikipedia.com for Stockholm Arlanda Airport for the cities flights serving them. I lived in Innsbruck 42 years ago, and couldn't believe that hikers would march to the mountain top, which was a 5000' vertical climb. What a Sunday afternoon?