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Dolomites Alta Via 1 South

8 Days & 7 Nights 4.7 Read 7 reviews
  • Walk among the classic peaks of the Civetta, Monte Pelmo & Cinque Torri
  • Enjoy a warm Italian welcome and delicious food at the mountain huts
  • Stay in the chic ski resort of Cortina and historic rifugios
  • Discover quiet paths through the wild Parco Nazionale delle Dolomiti Bellunesi
  • Admire the sunset from the lofty terrace of ridge-top Rifugio Nuvolau
Hike along the Alta Via 1, discover its wilder and quieter side. Arrive in Cortina, and spend the night before heading into the mountains. Embark on the trail through rhododendron forests and flower-filled pastures, with views of the Cinque Torri. Ascend to one of the oldest mountain huts in the Alps; Rifugio Nuvolau, its unique setting affords outstanding views over the peaks. Follow well-way-marked routes as you make your way from hut to hut, hearing the call of marmots in the meadows and, with any luck, spot eagles soaring high above. Hike over mountain passes, including Passo Giau and Passo Staulanza. Rocky giants such as Monte Pelmo and the Civetta massif loom large, before crossing the wildest of its parks - Parco Nazionale delle Dolomiti Bellunesi. On to the final day, descend to La Muda to catch the bus to the pretty village of Belluno.
The southern half of the Alta Via 1 has a wilder and more remote feel compared to the busier northern section. With slightly longer days, walking around 14-18km daily, this the ideal choice for fit and experienced hikers looking for a rewarding week’s walking on varied trails high in the Italian Alps. 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.

Tour Style:

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

Activity:

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

Inspiration:

Classic

As a guide, we would suggest that the minimum age of traveler this tour would be suitable for is: 16 Years

Activity Level & Terrain

This walk is graded strenuous, due to the days where you have to carry your own pack, although grading is often subjective. It includes daily walks of between 9 and 16.5km with ascents of up to 900m, and 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. It may be possible to split some of the longer days of the itinerary, 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.

Accommodations

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 5 nights in mountain huts (mixed-sex dormitory accommodation)
  • 7 Breakfasts
  • 5 Dinners (in the mountain huts/Rifugios)
  • 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)
  • Getting to Cortina and from Belluno
  • Travel Insurance
  • Lunches, dinners in Cortina and Belluno, 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

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 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.

Luggage 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.

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Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Cortina Day 2 Walk to Rifugio Nuvolau 8 miles / 13 km Day 3 Walk to Rifugio Citta di Fiume 7.5 miles / 12 km Day 4 Walk to Rifugio Vazzoler 11 miles / 18 km Day 5 Walk to Rifugio Passo Duran 7 miles / 11 km Day 6 Walk to Rifugio Pian de Fontana 10 miles / 16 km Day 7 Walk to La Muda. Bus to Belluno 7 miles / 12 km Day 8 Onward Travel

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