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Dolomites Alta Via 1 Highlights

5 Days & 4 Nights 5 Read 3 reviews
  • Packing-in three fantastic days of walking on the classic Alta Via 1
  • Enjoy spectacular views over peaks and valleys
  • Relaxing with a caffè latte in the hiking capital of Cortina
  • Watching the evening sun turn the peaks pink from your mountain hut
  • Indulge in tasty Italian mountain cuisine like polenta, cheese and apple strudel
Escape on a short break to the High Dolomites and enjoy three fantastic days of great trail walking at around 1500-2500m, surrounded by the very best alpine scenery that the region has to offer. Combine a stay in chic Cortina with nights in authentic mountain ‘rifugi’. By day, ,fabulous views over lakes, forests and peaks abound—and each evening enjoy the camaraderie of traditional huts. Cortina is well-known as the hiking and biking capital of the Dolomites, and you’ll be spoilt for choice with plenty of restaurants and cafés in which to soak up the atmosphere and people-watch as you relax into ‘la vita bella’ both before and after your walk. The mountains beckon, and the start of the Alta Via 1 is a short bus journey away, at Lake Braies. And what a start it is—an extraordinarily beautiful azure-blue lake which reflects the peaks above—a good sign of experiences to come on the trail ahead! On a clear day you can admire the Tre Cime to the east—the three giant monoliths are a remarkable sight and an icon of the Italian Alps. On this trek you’ll explore the Fannes-Sennes national park, where you’ll follow a network of well way-marked trails beneath the jagged spires of the Croda da Lago. Also admire the Tofana range, scene of fierce fighting in WWI —it is hard to imagine such turmoil in such a magical place. Walk through flower-filled pastures, shady forests, up switchback tracks and across boulder fields on your way between rifugi. Your tour includes a companionable dinner each night in the mountains, and why not try a firey grappa to fuel your journey. Captivating views of the Marmolada group follow; the highest mountain in the Dolomites, before reaching Lagazuoi where you’re whisked by cable car then bus back to Cortina.
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What To Expect

If you’re short on time but want to explore the high trails of the Dolomites on foot, this is a great tour for you. You’ll manage a good three days of walking at 1500-2500m, staying a couple of nights in traditional ‘rifugi’, topped-and-tailed with a stay in a lovely 3* hotel in bustling Cortina. You should be sure-footed and have a head for heights to really get the most from this trip. It is not suitable for people suffering from vertigo.

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. 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 a comfortable 3* hotel (en suite room), and for 2 nights in mountain huts (mixed-sex dormitory accommodation)
  • 4 Breakfasts
  • 1 Dinner (in Rifugio Sennes)
  • Route descriptions, guide book, Tabacco maps and a pre-departure information pack
  • 24-hour assistance by phone
Excluded
  • Baggage transfers (can be included as an optional extra)
  • Gettting to and from Cortina
  • Travel Insurance
  • Lunches, dinners in Cortina and Refugio Fanes, drinks & snacks
  • Public transportation, including buses, trains and cable cars
  • Personal expenses such as drinks, phone calls, extra transfers, tips, etc
  • Any items not specifically mentioned in the program
Extras
  • Additional nights during the trip
  • Private room supplement for the rifugios (subject to availability, rooms with either shared or en suite facilities).
  • Baggage transfers

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 Cortina, use any of the methods mentioned above to return to Venice.

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 Lagazuoi. Travel to Cortina 7.5 miles / 12 km Day 5 Onward Travel

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