ALPS + DOLOMITES PHOTO TOUR 2022
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Tour 2: Aug 29 - Sept 3 2022 *ideal for astrophotography
Tour 3: Sept 12 - Sept 17 2022 *fewer other hikers/tourists will be out
Price: €2790 [a €450 deposit via Transferwise or PayPal is required to confirm your booking; you can pay the rest all at once or in small increments]
Participants: 8 + Carmen + Assistant Ryan de Dominicis
Moderate level of fitness required, beginner level of photography welcome
*Pleas note that most retail other than some grocery stores are closed on Sundays in Austria - just in case you were planning on getting some last minute gear the day before.
WHAT IS INCLUDED
All accommodation (comfortable mountain huts and stunning local hotels)
All comfortable transport
All breakfasts (usually buffet style)
3 out of 5 dinners *all food will be vegan-friendly, fresh, and delicious
- Night Photography (weather dependent)
- Situational Portraiture
- Guidance on image & exposure analysis in-the-field, as-we-shoot
- Post-processing on day 5
- the opportunity to test out brand new Sony gear
Great chat and plenty of unqualified life advice
Whatsapp group to connect, answer questions and especially for travellers keen to link up before or after the photo tour starts
A very exciting goodie bag
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED
Your flights and transport to and from Innsbruck (I recommend you fly into Munich, Bolzano, Salzburg, or, ideally, Innsbruck)
Photography equipment (between you and me, Sony Austria will help us out with some gear for you to try)
Lunches, snacks, drinks, and 2x dinners
Optional tandem paragliding for roughly EUR100 can be arranged
ESSENTIAL PACKING LIST
For the hiking parts of this trip, I do not recommend cotton as it will not keep you warm and can be dangerous if wet - opt for merino wool or thermals instead.
Please note, you do not need to purchase these exact brands - this is simply from personal experience. Also, colourful jackets are fun for photos!
- Hiking boots, trail runners are fine too if your ankles are used to it (Danner or La Sportiva have awesome trail runners)
- Down jacket with hood (Patagonia or Arcteryx has beautiful, lightweight ones)
- Gore-Tex / windbreaker jacket
- Thermal shirts & pants
- Fleece layer
- Hiking pants/leggings (Fjallraven, Lululemon, Kathmandu, etc.)
- Thin thermal gloves
- Woollen hat (Will & Bear make a great one, as do Icebreaker)
- Socks & Underwear (Icebreaker is awesome for merino underwear)
- Walking shorts (fingers crossed for lots of beautiful autumn sunshine)
- Day pack (this is what you will carry for all our hikes, I use my Ortovox Ava Bag 30l bag - it will need to fit a change of clothing, camera gear, snacks and a water bottle, a sleeping bag liner and toiletries)
- Sturdy duffel or a small lightweight suitcase - this will be filled with everything you don't need for our overnight hikes. Please keep the size SMALL as it won't fit in our van otherwise.
- Merino or silk sleeping bag liner - this is essential for our three overnight hikes where bedding will be provided, but a liner is mandatory
- Headlamp, if not solar powered remember to bring batteries
- Polarised sunglasses
- Camera equipment (preferably a DSLR) including a small, lightweight tripod if you would like to tackle astrophotography, a 24-70 F2.8 lens is a perfect go-to if you'd only like to bring one, a wide angle will be the perfect fit for astro
- SPF 30-50 sunscreen + lip balm
- Packing cubes or stuff bags - they will help you keep your gear organised since we move locations almost every day
- Personal hygiene products (I recommend as few liquids as possible as they can freeze overnight and are often not biodegradable. Go for solid soap, shampoo and conditioner - i.e. from Ethique)
- Medical kit: tablets for headache, diarrhoea, flu, cough, nausea as well as antibiotics, antihistamines, anti-inflammatory gel or tiger balm to soothe sore muscles, rehydration salts, and plasters (of course, we won't be far from civilisation at any point, but I want you to be prepared. I also ask you to get a general checkup at your GP well in advance of your trip to make sure you are good to adventure. Please be sensible and go do that. Thank you, love you.)
- Sunhat or cap
- Playing cards
- Hard copies of passports and other essential docs such as your travel insurance number and flights
- Euro cash (used for tips, showers, drinks)
- Spare SD cards, camera batteries & a lens cleaning kit
- Passport must be valid for 6 months after return date
- Universal plug
- Earplugs and a sleeping mask
- Light, fast drying towel (a small one will suffice)
- Energy/protein bars and other snacks you love
- Casual clothing for everyday exploring and dinners (and hey, girlfriends, if you want to wear a gorgeous dress or get changed into one at your favourite photo spot, go for it!)
- Sandals or sneakers (think anything from Bikenstocks to Teva sandals or Veja sneakers)
- Swimwear (just in case you feel inclined for a morning swim in a glacial lake)
- Water bottle; Ideally with an inbuilt purifier as tap water is not safe at Tre Cime - go with Grayl. Tap weather is safe and delicious everywhere else though.
OPTIONAL PACKING LIST
- Supplements (i.e. B12, Vitamin C)
- Outdoor speakers
- Solar charger
- Pocket knife
- Sleeveless down jacket
- Belt for passport and valuables
- Ziploc bags to protect gear
- Weatherproof sd card holder and lens caps (I recommend those by Polar Pro)
- Solid laundry bar (I use one from Ethique)
- Insulated water bottle
Update for 2022 Tours: While we will sleep in mountain huts more than once, you will very likely have to hike up with your overnight and photo gear only once. I love the adventure of it, but also want you to be comfortable. Much love
Day 1 - MOUNTAIN HUT: Meet the group in our dreamy hometown Innsbruck (a short train ride from Munich, Vienna, or Salzburg).
I recommend you to stay at the Faktorei, Stage 12, or Penz Hotel a couple of nights before and walk or take the tram up to Hungerburg and beyond - you can take beautiful hikes to Umbrueggler Alm or Hoettinger Alm or even all the way up to Hafelekar Peak - there's a gondola too. You can find all the details on the hikes, via ferratas, climbing routes, and the gondola here. Nockspitze is another stunning short hike and starts in Axamer Village (you can take a bus here). If you want something more chill, the Swarovski Crystal Worlds in Wattens also make for a beautiful half day exploration.
You must also check out Hofgarten and Hofburg, the Inn Promenade (esp around sunset around the university area or at Marktgraben), and the beautiful walks around Bergisel. For food, check out Markthalle, Bio Denns (organic groceries), Greenroot (zero waste grocery store), Baecker Ruetz (bakery), Machete (burritos), My Indigo (curries to go), Mundvoll (curries, bowls and smoothies to go), The Green Flamingo (vegan comfort food), Olive (veggie amazingness), Ludwigs (burgers), L'Osteria (Italian), The Breakfast Club, haepinest (coffee and breakfast), Himal Nepali Kitchen, and Woosabi (Asian Fusion).
After a leisurely breakfast in town (exact location TBC) at 9.30am, we will go over the plan for the week ahead of us, have a look around town if you haven't already, do some light grocery shopping and drive to our first hike. Tonight, we are staying in our first mountain hut. Don't worry, they have showers and incredible food.
Day 2 - MOUNTAIN HUT: Wake up to photograph sunrise at our front step. The We will be at a small glacial lake; fancy a morning dip? We'll enjoy breakfast at the hut, walk down and drive right on to our second hike. Olpererhuette is also where we will stay overnight. It's magic and should make for some excellent astrophotography too.
PS. Again, don't worry, all the huts we are going to are fully catered and come with hot showers and comfy beds. Rooms are shared though (between 4-8 people), so bring your ear plugs!
Day 3 - MOUNTAIN HUT: Sunrise at this location is a must; as is a hearty mountain breakfast at the hut. Once we're back at the car park, we'll put our feet up during our longest drive of the trip; 3h to the Tre Cime di Lavaredo. No hiking required as the car park is right next to our hut. We will have double rooms tonight.
Day 4 - MOUNTAIN HOTEL: We'll kick off the day with a delicious breakfast at the hut. And then we're off on a small hike to one of my favourite photo spots that will likely blow your mind. Well, it did for me. A scenic drive and a gondola ride later, and we'll have arrived at yet another impossibly beautiful location. Tonight's accomodation is pretty much an upgraded mountain hut. We'll rest in the afternoon and enjoy yet another feast for dinner together.
Day 5 - LUXURY HOTEL: Rise and shine! Today, some of you will go flying! If you've ever fancied the idea of paragliding in the Dolomites, this is your chance. Once we've all landed back in the valley safe and sound, we will slowly make our way to the dreamiest spot of them all, Alpe Di Siusi. Today's drive is the shortest of the week - about 30-40 mins. We'll spend the afternoon going over all things editing, post processing and any social media questions you might have (naturally, you can ask me those all week long). If you'd like to bring your laptop for this, you're most welcome to. The carparks the days prior are safe for you to leave it in while we go hike. However, this is at your own risk. Otherwise, a note pad and Lightroom Mobile app will suffice.
Day 6: It's almost time to say goodbye. We'll rise early, go for a short walk to the picture perfect Alpe di Siusi for sunrise/golden hour and after a final breakfast slowly make our way back to Innsbruck. If you are planning on continuing your travels in South Tyrol, I am happy to drop you off in Brixen, too. You could take a train to Venice. Otherwise, the Innsbruck city central train station and/or Innsbruck International airport will be your final destination where you will arrive around 3 pm. From there, it's up to you. You can hop on a train across Europe (pre book your tickets at oebb.at), fly back home ex Innsbruck airport or go on your next mountain adventure. Seebensee would be my recommendation.
This itinerary is open to changes given weather circumstances.
SOME OF THE MANY BEAUTIFUL PHOTOS YOU WILL COME HOME WITH - be sure to check out my IG highlighted stories and feed posts for more insights into the magic that expects you