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Alta Via 2, also known as The High Route of the Legends, is a hut-to-hut journey in the Dolomites that we’ve dreamt of bringing to life for years now—so be one of the first ones to join us! The 9-day trip is overflowing with spectacular views every day, all day, and it’s a great intro to big mountain climbing. We’ll be putting in quite a lot of effort into exploring the awe-inspiring Italian Dolomites, but the rewards are immense: quality rifugi, local traditional food, and wallpaper-worthy views all around. Jaggy peaks, glimmering lakes, immense vertical faces, it’s all there in the incredible Dolomites. But pictures don’t do it justice, you’ll just have to come here and witness it for yourselves.

Emma Jack
Emma Jack
International Mountain Leader, Mountain Bike Leader, and Nordic Ski Instructor
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Adventure highlights

  • Dizzying array of peaks
    The Dolomites feature 18 peaks above 10,000 ft, and we’ll be accompanied by some of them on our route
  • Blend of Austria and Italy
    From sauerkraut, strudel, and speck dumplings to pasta and fried pastries, your tastebuds will be in heaven
  • Sunrises and sunsets at rifugi
    Our rifugi have million-dollar views, and we’ll get to witness the sweeping alpenglow bathing mountains in warm orange hues

Itinerary

For a legendary journey across the high Dolomites, there’s no better choice than Alta Via 2. As we’ll be spending our days high up in the mountains, going hut-to-hut, consider this as a great way to ease into mountain climbing. This 9-day Alta Via 2 trekking tour will have us exploring the Dolomites’ most gorgeous landscapes, and we’ll also get to get a taste of the local food, culture, and people. With all logistics arranged for you and an experienced, qualified mountain leader by your side, we’ll make sure you get the very best of the Dolomites!

  • The starting point of our Alta Via II trek is the medieval town of Brixen, if German-speaking, or Bressanone, if Italian. This beautiful town was an important artistic and political center dating back to the Middle Ages. It’s well worth arriving early to explore the cobbled streets and impressive buildings before we meet as a group in the hotel before dinner. We’ll all meet together in the evening, enjoy our dinner, run through the itinerary, check the week’s weather forecast, check your kit, and answer any questions.

    Meals: Dinner
    Accommodation: Three-star hotel in Brixen/Bressanone
    Luggage access: Yes

    Medieval town of Brixen in Italy
  • We’ll hop into a cable car and get from the village of San Andreas up to the pastures of Valcroce. It’s here that the real trek begins! Our first landmark is Rifugio Plose, which is our official starting point and the first opportunity for a coffee (and a cake) stop. Most of today is a mellow introduction to trekking in the Dolomites—an opportunity to find our footing and get used to the terrain. We’ll spend the day mainly on open trails with unspoiled views of the Austrian Tyrol and the Puez-Odle ridgeline. After lunch at the private Schatzerhütte, we’ll cross our first proper col, the Forcella di Putia (2,357 m / 7,733 ft), before reaching our night’s accommodation at the popular and fun Rifugio Genova.

    Meals: Breakfast and dinner
    Hiking: 20 km / 12.5 miles (6-7 hours)
    Elevation: +1,024 m / -747 m (+3,360 ft / -2,451 ft)
    Accommodation: Rifugio Genova
    Luggage access: No

    View of Rifugio Genova in Italy
  • Today’s route offers a classic Dolomites experience with high, airy traverses and towering cliffs. We begin with a short walk back to the Passo Poma through beautiful meadows of wildflowers. After that, the climbing begins! It’s a steady traverse across a stony hillside with impressive rock spires and the snowy slopes of Punta del Puez as our backdrop. In the distance, we’ll see a clear notch in the ridgeline above us—that’s our high point for the day! We’ll enjoy a scrambly route through the Forcella della Roa (2,617 m / 8,586 ft), and traverse an airy ridge before descending into the high valley that sits above tonight’s refuge. We’re far from any roads or villages, and our accommodation is in a truly remote and unique setting, surrounded by the extraordinary limestone rock features of the Puez range.

    Meals: Breakfast and dinner
    Hiking: 10 km / 6 miles (5 hours)
    Elevation: +600 m / -800 m (+1,969 ft / -2,625 ft)
    Accommodation: Rifugio Puez
    Luggage access: No

    Dolomites, Rifugio Puez
  • Today we head deeper into the mountains, with our first climb taking us up to Forcella di Ciampac (2,366 m / 7,762 ft) and over a vast plateau before descending to Lago di Crespeina. Above the lake is our second ascent, Passo Crespeina (2,528 m / 8,294 ft), where we’ll be greeted with an impressive view of the snowy Sella massif. Descending below the Pizzes da Cir cliffs, we’ll head towards Jimmy’s—one of our favorite restaurants.

    After lunch, we trek down to the famous Passo Gardena with its stunning road. We’re now in the heart of the Sella mountains, surrounded by unforgettable peaks, massive cliffs, unique buttresses, and towering rock spires. Our day ends on a challenging note, with just over two hours of technical uphill hiking and scrambling to our night’s accommodation. The terrain is uneven, with some sections aided by cables and metal handholds. Although it can feel a bit exposed, it should pose no problems for capable mountain walkers.

    Meals: Breakfast and dinner
    Hiking: 12 km / 7.5 miles (5-6 hours)
    Elevation: +862 m / -765 m (+2,828 ft / -2,510 ft)
    Accommodation: Rifugio Pisciadù
    Luggage access: No

    Passo Gardena at sunset
  • Today we take a spectacular route over a long stretch of rugged terrain. We begin by circling Lago di Pisciadu, followed by a technical rocky path with some cable sections. It’s a steep climb up to the Altopiano del Meisules, a barren landscape rich in ammonite fossils. Following a line of simple cairns, we cross this ‘lunar’ terrain to arrive at Rifugio Boe for a lovely Italian coffee. After a short, gentle climb, we reach Rifugio Maria, the top station of the cable car down to Passo Pordoi. Taking the lift saves our knees from a punishing 600-meter descent and buys us time for a longer lunch. Our path then follows a grassy hillside flanked by huge volcanic formations until we reach the beautifully located Rifugio Viel del Pan, with its impressive views of the Civetta.

    Meals: Breakfast and dinner
    Hiking: 13 km / 8 miles (7 hours)
    Elevation: +1,108 m / -1,298 m (+3,635 ft / -4,259 ft)
    Accommodation: Rifugio Viel del Pan
    Luggage access: No

    Pisciadu Lake
  • After an early start from the rifugio, our route is dominated by the Marmolada, the Queen of the Dolomites, which at 3,343 m (10,968 ft) is one of the highest peaks in the range. The southfacing walls of the Marmolada are up to 1,000 m (3,280 ft) high, and it is capped by one of the largest glaciers in the Eastern Alps: the moraines are a treasure trove of fossils. There are no major technical sections, but we’ll definitely be looking forward to our lovely spa-hotel by the time we reach the final climb of the day to the Passo San Pellegrino.

    Meals: Breakfast and dinner
    Hiking: 32 km / 20 miles (10 hours)
    Elevation: +1,200 m / -1,760 m (+3,937 ft / -5,774 ft)
    Accommodation: Spa hotel
    Luggage access: No

    Hiker in the Dolomites in the summer
  • Leaving the San Pellegrino pass, we’re now entering the final section of Alta Via II, with the week’s highest pass and some fun ridgeline scrambling on today’s agenda. Our journey begins with a short, easy section to the Passo di Valles and the Rifugio Passa Valles (for coffee!). From here we’ll tackle the day’s first climb, up to the Forcella Venegia (2,217 m / 7,274 ft) which overlooks the impressive, striped red cliffs of Cima Caladora.

    It’s now that our day becomes much more exciting as we follow a panoramic crest to Monte Mulaz, Cima di Val Grande, and the majestic Cimon della Palla. Surrounded by impressive rock spires, exposed ridges, and breathtaking scenery, we’ll work our way steadily up to tonight’s base, navigating rocky ledges, slabs, and scrambling up some short sections with cables. Our night’s accommodation is the spectacularly located Rifugio Mulaz.

    Meals: Breakfast and dinner
    Hiking: 11 km / 6.8 miles
    Elevation: +1,176 m / -548 m (+3,858 ft / -1,798 ft)
    Accommodation: Rifugio Mulaz
    Luggage access: No

    Cimon della Pala in Dolomites
  • We will leave Rifugio Mulaz to climb higher into the dramatic mountains around us and over the Col de Mulaz. This marks our final point in the high Dolomites, as from here it’s a descent to more mellow terrain and the end of our journey. We’ll pass through beautiful, lush landscapes as we make our way down on the other side of the col.

    Our initial goal is the rocky plateau of Castellaz. From here, we normally try to make a short extra loop and climb up to the summit of Cristo Pensante to look back over the hills we’ve crossed. We’ll have the opportunity to enjoy one last coffee and cake stop at the Rifugio Capanna Cervino before our taxi takes us back to our starting point in Brixen, over 100 km (60 miles) away. This final night is back in our original hotel, where we will all be grateful for the relative luxury, hot showers and celebratory beers!

    Meals: Breakfast and dinner
    Hiking: 8 km / 5 miles (5 hours)
    Elevation: +400 m / -851 m (+1,312 ft / -2,792 ft)
    Accommodation: Three-star hotel in Brixen/Bressanone
    Luggage access: Yes

    Road to Passo Rolle
  • After our final breakfast, it’s time to leave. If you’d like to stay longer in the area and keep on exploring, just ask us for some recommendations!

    Meals: Breakfast

    Bressanone city in the Dolomites range
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Meet your guides

Emma Jack
5.00
Emma Jack
International Mountain Leader, Mountain Bike Leader, and Nordic Ski Instructor
International Mountain Leader, Mountain Bike Leader, and Nordic Ski Instructor
Emma has been leading treks and expeditions ever since 2005. She's led trips all over the world, but Corsica, Nepal, and the Alps remain her top three trekking destinations and Tour du Mont Blanc trek her favorite route. In 2009, she made the first ever ski descent of Manaslu, the 8th highest mountain in the world. Emma is fluent in French, Russian, and Spanish.
Becki Penrose
5.00
Becki Penrose
International Mountain Leader, BASI ski instructor
International Mountain Leader, BASI ski instructor
Becki is an International Mountain Leader with many years of guiding experience, taking groups in the mountains on walking, climbing, and skiing trips. She is also a qualified BASI ski instructor and she’s led expeditions and treks to Costa Rica, Ecuador, Morocco, Bolivia, and China, as well as guided trekking and trail running in the European Alps.
Cloud 9 Adventure
5.00
Cloud 9 Adventure
Offering a diverse range of trips in the Alps, Pyrenees, Dolomites, Jura and beyond, Cloud 9 Adventure is all about conveying their passion for adventure travel among some of the world’s most magnificent mountain landscapes—and as far away from the crowds as possible.  

Accommodation

5.00 (1 reviews)
Nesta Hill (source: Trustpilot)

Thank you so very much for the most wonderful week of walking the Alta Via 2. It was even better than I could have ever imagined. The walking was wonderful, scenery was magnificent, the Refugio’s and food superb. We all got on really well and all were of similar ability so perfect. The Refugio’s were all absolutely stunning, the food was amazing in all of them, the beds comfortable, showers good, hosts all very friendly. The Viel Del Pan refugio was on the most magnificent spot. Actually they all were so could not put any above another in order of preference. They were all unique and interesting in their own ways. The trip notes say this is a tough route but I think if you are fit and used to mountain walking then this is a perfect hike. It was not that technical or difficult and the walking day was usually done by 3 or 4 with a break for lunch …. so just perfect!! No blisters or sore legs suffered by anyone. The scenery was just so dramatic and majestic it has left me wanting more…please. Thank you so much once again for putting on such a fantastic walk for us. We all loved it.

Things to know

  • What you get on this adventure:

      • An experienced, fully qualified International Mountain Leader with extensive knowledge of the area
      • 9-day Alta Via 2 guided hiking tour
      • All breakfasts and evening meals
      • Accommodation (3 nights in hotels, 5 nights in rifugi)
      • All transfers & lifts detailed in the itinerary
      • Shower wherever there’s an additional charge for this in the refuges

    What’s not included:

      • Transportation to Italy
      • Airport transfers to/from Brixen/Bressanone
      • Lunches
      • Personal snacks & drinks
      • Luggage transfers
      • Towel or sleeping bag liner for the rifugi (best to bring your own)
      • Single supplement — possible in Brixen/Bressanone, very limited and often not available in rifugi, please inquire if interested upon checkout)
      • Guide gratuities — optional
      • Medical and personal accident insurance — mandatory
      • Holiday cancellation — recommended
      • Not many companies offer the Alta Via 2 hike, primarily because of the reputation of the via ferrata section. This itinerary was devised in a way to skip via ferrata, so that it all complies with the legal guiding limitations of International Mountain Leaders.
      • Only fully-qualified guides are always the ones leading the trip.
      • The best possible accommodation is chosen—your guides have tried and tested all the rifugi, and they have devised the route in order to stay in some of the best. A spa hotel is also included at the end of the trip, if available.
      • If you’d like to try a via ferrata, you can extend your trip and your guides can help you book a mountain guide for as many days as you like! Just let us know upon booking.
  • This Alta Via 2 hike is meant for regular hikers with excellent fitness. The trekking is relatively strenuous, but you’ll go along quality trails and walk at a steady pace so that you can enjoy the scenery and the surroundings. Please check out the itinerary to learn about day-by-day distances and elevation changes.

    Luggage transfers are not included, so please note what you will have to carry your own kit for the duration of the trek. There’s a detailed kit list below.

    Keep in mind that there are no via ferrata sections on this trek. There are, however, some sections where the path covers steep, rocky ground, and there are occasionally some cables and fixed equipment to help across these sections. While this Alta Via 2 hike is entirely achievable for fit hikers, Alta Via 1 does cover some exposed terrain, so make sure you’re comfortable hiking in the mountains—you can’t suddenly decide to bail, for example, in the middle of a day. So keep in mind that this is not a trek for a first-time hiker.

    There is one ascent up to the Rifugio Pisciadu where you need to concentrate. There are rungs to hold onto where they are needed. It’s not a series of ladders, but rather a steep path, and children do it. Best to have a good head for heights for this trip: you won’t be doing anything ridiculous, but it’s still quite an adventurous trip. Those who suffer vertigo or are inexperienced hikers should not book.

  • Please bring all of the items on the essentials list for this Alta Via 2 hike. At least once per summer, unseasonal conditions make every item of the list essential. If you don’t have the full kit, you can put yourself and others at risk and the guide may ask you to leave the trip.

    No luggage delivery is available on this trip, though you do have the option to leave any surplus luggage in the hotel in Brixen. Carrying your own kit is all part of the adventure and there’s an added sense of satisfaction for having completed the route in “pure style”.

    Make sure to stick to the kit list and pack light!

    Essential items and equipment

      • Rucksack — approximately 30-40L, for you to carry each day
      • Kit bag or suitcase — for your main luggage to be left in Brixen
      • Hiking boots — waterproof hiking boots with ankle support and a good sole (sandals good for the evening, hiking trainers both suitable and appropriate only for some days, so hiking boots are always a must)
      • Waterproof jacket and trousers — both essential items, should be as light as possible (not insulated: your other layers should provide the insulation, please ensure that you do not need to remove your walking boots in order to put on your waterproof trousers)
      • Socks
      • Underwear
      • Trekking trousers — bring something lightweight
      • Shorts
      • T-shirts — wicking t-shirts better than cotton as they are lighter and dry faster
      • Mid layer — fleece jacket is good
      • Warm jacket — lightweight synthetic belay jacket recommended (as light as possible, you don’t normally need to bring a down jacket because it won’t be much use if it gets wet)
      • Warm hat — lightweight wooly hat is fine
      • Gloves — 2-3 pairs recommended (light liner pair, waterproof gloves for bad weather, warmer pair of gloves if it snows)
      • Sun hat
      • Sunglasses
      • Suncream (small bottle to save weight) and lip balm with SPF
      • Water bottles / camelbak — at least 2 liters of water, but on very hot days you could need 3L
      • Walking poles — if there is snow, they are essential
      • Sheet sleeping bag — needed for nights in a rifugio (duvets or blankets are provided), silk is best, it’s lighter than cotton.
      • Travel towel — needed for nights in rifugios
      • Personal toiletries — toothbrush, travel size toothpaste, wet wipes, tiny travel soap
      • Head torch — a lightweight one
      • Plastic bags / dry sacks to keep essentials dry
      • Passport
      • Cash — for packed lunches and any drinks whilst on the trip
      • Credit card — for emergencies
      • Basic first aid kit – your leader will carry a large first aid kit, but you should bring a small first aid kit containing plasters, blister treatment, painkillers & diarrhea treatment (rehydration sachets & imodium)

    Optional items

      • Thermal base layer
      • Long johns / thermal leggings
      • Buff — useful for extra warmth if it’s cold, or sun protection for your neck on a hot day
      • Camera
      • Book
      • Lightweight sandals / flip flops — usually provided at rifugi though
      • Mobile phone – there is phone reception for the majority of the trip, good to have it in case of an emergency
      • Umbrella
      • Earplugs
      • Snacks — not essential as you’ll go past shops most days so you can top up your supply of snacks fairly regularly
      • Antibacterial handwash
      • Insect repellant
      • Swimwear — some of the hotels have a swimming pool, spa or sauna
  • In mountainous terrain, the weather can vary. Temperatures can reach over 30°C (86°F) in the height of summer (July/August), but can be as low as 5°C on the passes. It is often sunny with good weather, but it can rain, and even snow (even in July or August) so you should be prepared for any eventuality. The average temperatures range from 15-25°C in the valleys, to 5-15°C on the passes. Statistically you will have some rain every other day in the Dolomites, but in reality that tends to fall in one go as part of an afternoon storm, so we do try to finish our day before that happens!

    If it rains during your Alta Via 2 hike, you will need both waterproof jackets and trousers, as well as several pairs of gloves. If it snows, you will need decent hiking boots (not trainers!), walking poles, warm clothes, warm hat, and gloves. It’s also essential that you can put your waterproof trousers on without removing the boots.

  • All breakfasts and evening meals are included in the price of the tour. Each night, you will usually eat in the hotel or rifugio where you are staying, and experience fantastic, local Italian food. Breakfast at the hotel is excellent, but in the mountain huts it tends to be slightly more basic and usually consists of tea, coffee, bread, jam, and cereal. Still, being Italy, there’s often a fantastic spread, even in a rifugio!

    Packed lunches are not included, but each day your guides tend to order food from the rifugio where you are staying, as you will not go past many shops en route). Occasionally, it can happen that you have a sit-down lunch in a rifugio. Drinks are not included, but you can normally order beer, wine, and soft drinks at hotels and mountain refuges.

  • Group sizes and pricing

      • For this Alta Via 2 hike, the maximum client-to-guide ratio is 10:1.
      • It takes a minimum of 4 people for this tour to operate. The maximum group size is set at 10 participants.

    Alta Via 2 hikes can be arranged for larger groups. Contact us to make arrangements.

    Min. age requirements

      • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
      • Minors younger than 18 may be permitted to join the hike on a case-by-case basis, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.

    If your group has hikers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

  • To get to your Alta Via 2 hiking tour, you have to reach Brixen/Bressanone (the same town, Brixen is the German name, Bressanone Italian). To get there, most people fly into Bolzano Airport (BZO) (just 40 minutes away by car), Innsbruck Airport (INN) 1.5 hours by car), Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE), Treviso Airport (TSF), Verona Airport (VRN), or Munich Airport (MUC).

    Make your way to Brixen/Bressanone and check into your hotel. You’ll have a welcome dinner in the evening with your guide and your group.

  • We highly recommend that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance.

    With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more. Travel insurance covers canceled flights, natural disasters and other scenarios that may interrupt your travel plans.

    We also expect you to respect local regulations and take measures to protect yourselves, your guides, and the communities you’re traveling to. If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!

  • Deposits
    You can secure one of the set dates with a 30% deposit upon booking. The remaining 70% of the trip price is to be paid 90 days prior to departure, at the latest.

    Cancellations

    Booking fees are non-refundable in all cases. During checkout, however, you can choose one of 57hours’ flexibility options:

    Basic

      • In case of cancellation within 48 hours after booking, the amount paid is fully refundable.
      • For cancellations 60 or more days before the trip, you are eligible for a 70% refund of the trip price.
      • For cancellations 0-59 days before the trip, there is no refund.

    Flexible

      • In case of cancellation within 48 hours after booking, the amount paid is fully refundable.
      • For cancellations 60 or more days before the trip, you are eligible for a full refund of the trip price.
      • For cancellations 30-59 days before the trip, you are eligible for a 50% refund of the trip price.
      • For cancellations 0-29 days before the trip, there is no refund.

    Super Flexible

      • In case of cancellation within 48 hours after booking, the amount paid is fully refundable.
      • For cancellations 30 or more days before the trip, you are eligible for a full refund of the trip price.
      • For cancellations 0-29 days before the trip, you are eligible for a 50% refund of the trip price.
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