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Dolomites Alta Via 1 Classic

10 Days & 9 Nights 5 Read 3 reviews
  • Admiring the ‘alpenglow’ as the mountains turn vivid pink in the late afternoon sun
  • Great hearty Italian food, the company of fellow walkers and authentic mountain huts
  • Following well-waymarked paths across mountain passes, pastures and forests
  • Exploring the hiking capital of Cortina and charming Belluno
  • Superb mountain views over 8 days of rewarding walking on a classic long distance trail
Our Classic Alta Via 1 tour covers the majority of this flag-ship trek over 8 walking days. Hike from beautiful Lake Braies through the east Italian Alps to finish just before Passo Duran, where the trail turns wilder and more remote. This version of the Alta Via 1 is perfect for fit hikers looking to spend just over a week walking one of Europe’s best long-distance trails. Your adventure starts in Cortina, a bustling town popular with hikers, and ends in the small town of Belluno, a delightful place to warm-down with its cafés, restaurants and shops. You’ll follow well-marked high trails in a showcase of the incredible and varied scenery that the Dolomiti has to offer. Explore the Fannes-Sennes national park, whose major massifs are amongst the first you’ll encounter on your walk. Picture-postcard alpine pastures contrast with jagged glowing peaks—the Croda da Lago and the Civetta. Other memorable highlights include the Gran Lagazuoi and the neighbouring Tofana range, where you’ll find an Open-Air Museum dedicated to the Great War. This area formed the WWI frontline between Austrian and Italian forces, and you’ll see poignant remnants of its less-peaceful past —shattered boulders, gun ramparts and miles and miles of tunnels. You’ll be staying in charming 3* hotels for the first and last nights of your trek, and whilst on the Alta Via 1 itself you’ll walk from hut-to-hut, equipped with route notes, 1:25 000 walking maps and a comprehensive guide book. The ‘rifugios’ are a highlight of your walk, offering welcoming and authentic mountain hut accommodation, built by pioneering mountaineers in the early 20th Century. Enjoy delicious home-cooked fare as you watch the afternoon sun set the mountains alight. The camaraderie and welcome you’ll encounter along the trail is certainly something to treasure. Rifugio accommodation is in dormitories, with the option to upgrade to private rooms for many of the nights.
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What To Expect

Trek the ‘classic’ section of the Alta Via 1 over 8 days, covering the majority of the trail and taking in the highlights. Finish before the path takes a wilder and more remote turn as it heads south over Passo Duran. You should be sure-footed, have a head for heights and not suffer from vertigo to fully enjoy this trip. Authentic mountain huts provide a warm welcome on the trail, with lovely 3* hotels in Cortina and Belluno.

Trip Style:

Self Guided | Go at your own pace on an independent active holiday.

Activity:

Hut to Hut Walking | A point to point walking trip, staying in a new location each night, usually with remote mountain huts or refuges included

Inspiration:

Classic

Grade & Terrain

This walk is graded moderate to strenuous and includes daily walks of between 9 and 16.5km with ascents of up to 900m, descents of up to 1300m. You’ll be following switchback footpaths, country lanes, both narrow and wide tracks and rough mountain paths. You should be prepared for rocky and loose ground and unavoidable narrow paths across scree slopes. We have deliberately avoided routes involving via ferrata. Some of the ascents and descents are considerably steep and some can be exposed so require a good head for heights and sure-footedness in places. There are two particularly long days on this trip; Day 8 & Day 9 where you can expect to be walking between 8-10 hours each day. We can split these days up if you prefer, please see the detailed itinerary for more info. You should have a good level of walking fitness to get the most from this trip, and be an experienced mountain walker.

Navigation

As this is a self guided walk you will be responsible for navigation, decision making and safety during your trip. This walk is strenuous, crosses high mountain passes and the weather can change quickly. You should be able to navigate easily with a map and compass in poor visibility and be experienced in the mountains.We supply you with route notes for the recommended routes, as well as a comprehensive guidebook and Tabacco printed maps (1:25 000) and access to our smartphone navigation app along with GPX tracks, so you will have no problem following the route each day. You are of course free to walk wherever you choose, with the possibility of following the guidebook and/or reviewing the map to make your own route.

Accommodation Information

We specifically select your rifugi to give you a taste of warm Italian hospitality and so that you are able to join in the camaraderie with your fellow walkers. For the first and last nights of your tour, you will stay in a friendly 3* hotel on a breakfast basis. In Refugio Fanes only breakfast is included, but you can buy dinner locally at the refugio. For your remaining 6 nights you will stay on a half board basis in mountain huts - ‘rifugi’. They offer comfortable accommodation and good local food and drink. Some of the rifugi are more basic than others; they are a mixture of CAI (Italian Alpine Club) and privately-run properties.

Hut accommodation is booked in mixed-sex dormitories made up of alpine-style communal sleeping areas or in bunk beds. We can often book private rooms in the huts (some with shared and some with en suite) and where this type of room is available this is noted against each accommodation; this 'room upgrade' is at an optional supplement. Private rooms are popular and therefore always subject to availability. Please note that private rooms in the mountain huts are extremely limited. If you wish to ask for a private room you need to BOOK EARLY. While we are always happy to ask, it may not be possible to reserve private rooms in the mountain huts.

Single Rooms & Solo Walkers

This trip is not available to solo walkers due to the remote terrain and single rooms are not available except on the first and last nights (in hotel accommodation). A supplement is payable.

Meals

Breakfast is included each morning. Dinner is not included in Cortina or Belluno as there are plenty of restaurants to choose from. Whilst staying in the rifugi dinner is included (excluding drinks). Dinner is not included at Rifugio Fanes where dinner can be bought locally from an a la carte menu. Meals in the mountain huts are always simple, hearty fare.

Included
  • Accommodation for 2 nights in comfortable 3* hotels with 7 nights in mountain huts
  • 9 Breakfasts
  • 6 Dinners (in the mountain huts/Rifugios but not in Fanes)
  • Route descriptions, guide book, Tabacco maps and a pre departure information pack
  • Access to the Macs Smartphone App
  • 24-hour assistance by phone
Excluded
  • Flights to / from Venice
  • Travel Insurance
  • Lunches, drinks & snacks
  • Dinners in Fanes, Cortina and Belluno accomodations
  • Public transportation, including buses, trains and cable cars
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc.
  • Baggage Transfers
Extras
  • Single room supplement; available for accommodation in Cortina and Belluno only
  • Private room supplement for the rifugios (subject to availability)
  • Additional nights during the trip

When To Go

***July is an incredibly busy month on the Alta Via and therefore we have had to block out certain dates as a handful of the essential huts (Refugio Lavarella, Refugio Fanes and Refugio Lagazuoi) are already fully booked. If the dates available do not suit you but you would like to travel to the Dolomites in July we would recommend considering one of our other Dolomites trips such as the Alta Via 1 South or one of our trips in the Tyrol instead.

***There is no availability in Rifugio Lagazuoi in July and therefore we will need to book you into Rifugio Col Gallina or Rifugio Scotoni, both will require extra walking to be reached

This tour is available to start any day of the week from July to September. Upgrades to private rooms will be shown as an option during the booking process. Option & extension prices will be displayed as part of the booking process. Please note that private rooms in the mountain huts are extremely limited. If you wish to ask for a private room you need to BOOK EARLY. While we are always happy to ask, it may not be possible to reserve private rooms in the mountain huts. The best time to walk is July to mid-September, with August the most popular month (with the locals too!) and so busier in the huts. It is not unheard of for snow to fall on higher ground during the summer, and patches of snow may still be present into July. For this reason, we offer the walk starting from the beginning of July. July and August are the hottest months and carry the greatest risk of thunderstorms, which can be torrential and usually occur in the afternoon—being well-prepared and equipped for all these eventualities is essential.

Getting to the Start

By Air: Venice Marco Polo Airport is the most convenient airport, with various interational airlines operating here. The smaller Venice Treviso Airport is serviced by low-cost carrier Ryanair (London Stansted, Bristol, East Midlands, Leeds Bradford).

From Venice Marco Polo airport (or Venice Mestre bus station): it is possible to take the Cortina Express to Cortina (approx. 2h20); departures are twice-daily, usually in the afternoon, so please ensure you check their website for timetables.

From Venice Treviso Airport: From the airport take a bus (approx.12 mins) to Treviso, then from Treviso Sud there is an ATVO bus once a day to Cortina (approx. 2 hrs). Or you can take a bus from Treviso town to Venice Mestre or Marco Polo Airport for onward connections with the Cortina Express (see above). Check the timetable on the ATVO website.

Getting from the End

From Belluno you can take a train (changing at Conegliano) to Venice Santa Lucia station (approx. 2h30); see www.trenitalia.com for timetables. From here, take a bus from Venice Mestre to Venice Marco Polo Airport (35 mins). See timetable.

To return to Cortina from Belluno: Dolomiti Bus Lines 9 and 30 run between Belluno and Cortina, if you need to return there to collect any additional luggage (we can request if luggage be left at your first hotel in Cortina—subject to prior agreement). Journey time takes just over 1 hr. For timetables, see www.dolomitibus.it/dolomitibus/jsp/orari

Baggage Transfer

Bag transfer is available as an optional extra. Due to the remoteness of some of the huts, it is not possible to transfer bags to each overnight location. If you opt for bag transfer, bags cannot be delivered to Rifugio Averau/Nuvolau, Rifugio Coldai, Rifugio Vazzoler and Rifugio Fontana. On these days, simply carry a few overnight things in your day pack to see you through. If you choose not to opt for baggage transfer, you will need to carry your kit with you each day. Since you are staying in dormitory-style accommodation then you will need to bring a sleeping bag liner (or you can sometimes buy or hire one locally). Bed linen is provided when booking private rooms.

Travel Insurance

It is a condition of booking with us that you have suitable travel insurance that covers you for cancellation, curtailment, illness or injury.

 
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Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Cortina Day 2 Bus to Lago di Braies. Walk to Rifugio Sennes 6 miles / 10 km Day 3 Walk to Rifugio Fanes 6 miles / 10 km Day 4 Walk to Rifugio Lagazuoi 7.5 miles / 12 km Day 5 Walk to Rifugio Nuvolau 8 miles / 13 km Day 6 Walk to Rifugio Croda da Lago 5 miles / 8 km Day 7 Walk to Rifugio Coldai 9 miles / 15 km Day 8 Walk to Rifugio Vazzoler 5 miles / 8.5 km Day 9 Walk to Agordo. Bus to Belluno 9 miles / 14 km Day 10 Onward Travel

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