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Hiking the Alta Via Route in the Dolomites

Dolomites | Italy
Trip Highlights

Top three reasons to hike the Alta Via Route

  • Trip Highlight

    Mountains, caves, cliffs, valleys, meadows, greenery—the Dolomites has it all

  • Trip Highlight

    The perfect mix of stunning Italian scenery and rich culture of the Dolomites

  • Trip Highlight

    Cross iron bridges, via ferratas, and long footpaths that traverse the mountains

The Dolomites offer some the most breathtaking, challenging, multi-day trails available in this mountainous wonderland. The Alta Via is one of the most famous and classic treks of the famous range. This six-day, five-night, hut-to-hut hike is filled with spectacular views, challenging terrain, narrow valleys and warm, friendly rifugios full of locals. It is the perfect route for anyone who wants to fully experience the beauty of Italian scenery! Alta is short and sweet, but gives you a taste of what the Dolomites have to offer. Your hiking adventure won’t just show you natural wonders, but will also give you a peek into the culture and customs of this region in Italy. Find out more about epic hiking in the Dolomites from Augustina Lagos Marmol, a local guide and founder of Dolomite Mountains.

Season

June to October

Nearest city

Bolzano and Venice, IT, are both just over 2 hours away from Cortina d’Ampezzo

Duration

6 days

Skill level

Intermediate

Itineraries

Book this adventure

Group Hiking of the Alta Via N.1 in the Dolomites

6 days

Join your guide on a hike through Alta Via N.1 – the classic high route of the Dolomites! Enjoy six days of group hiking through some of the most breathtaking scenery in the incredible Italian Alps with other fellow hikers. This hiker’s paradise offers thousands of trails winding their way between the fantastic pinnacles of the jagged Dolomite Mountains, and the Alta Via represent the best of the best. Highlighted by breathtaking views, rustic and lively mountain refuges, Alta Via gives a sense of excitement of what lies around the next bend. The impressive scenery and the variety of terrain on this route is matched only by the warmth and hospitality offered by the mountain rifugios!

Trip Highlights

Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in the Dolomites at the Cortina d’Ampezzo alpine resort

Arrive at Cortina d’Ampezzo, an alpine resort town full of ski, hiking and rock climbing enthusiasts, but also home to shopping and gourmet food. This chic Venetian town hosted the 1956 Winter Olympics, so there are plenty of famous sites to explore such as the Ice Stadium, the Eugenio Monti bobsleigh run, and the Cortina Snow Park for jumps and tricks. Depending on how much time you have on your hands, you might be able to venture for a short hike through the Cortina d’Ampezzo pedestrian walkway, the Corso Italia. In the afternoon, meet your guide who will give you a brief overview of the trip, what you need, and what you should expect.

Day 2: Travel Via Alta 1 to high altitude plateaus

The second day starts off with a short transfer to Lago di Braies, a beautiful alpine lake set amidst forest and soaring Dolomite peaks. Today you’ll hike for about five hours with steady elevation gain. The hike consists of walking on small broken rock fragments surrounded by mountain pines. Enjoy beautiful views of Val Foresta and near the end, enter the Natural Park of Dolomiti d’Ampezzo which will lead you to your rifugio for the night. There is an optional additional hike to the top of the Col di Lasta.

Hiking: 13,3km / 8,3 miles
Elevation: 1,179m / 3,871′ ascent, 718m / 2,358′ descent
Additional hike: 2km / 1,2 miles, 210m / 689′ ascent, 33m / 108′ descent

Day 3: Explore Altopiano di Fanes

After a hearty breakfast, depart your rifugio, and continue your adventure down a steep downhill for about an hour until you reach Rifugio Pederù. From there, head uphill until you reach a lake and continue through a field of little lakes still surrounded by vast mountaintops. As you pass near the Rue d’Al Plan River, take a breath and soak in the views before continuing to your rifugio waiting for you with a warm dinner. While you are settled and resting for the night, you will be enamored by the views of the Tofane Mountains.

Hiking: 7,4km / 4,6 miles
Elevation: 700m / 2,298′ ascent, 599m / 1,966′ descent

Day 4: Gain panoramas of the Western Dolomites

Continue your hike through the Altopiano di Fanes, flowery meadows and a narrow gap in the rugged terrain towards Lagazuoi Massif. Most of your views today will be of the Western Dolomites, and of the breathtaking “Queen of the Dolomites” — the highest summit in the Dolomite range. Climb to the Forcella del Lago and descend on the other side along a steep couloir. Once you reach Lago di Lagazuoi, take a moment to appreciate the view over the lake towards the walls of Cima del Lago and Cima Scotoni. Continue on your journey uphill towards ruins from the First World War until you reach one of the highest rifugios and your home for the night with incredible 360-degree vistas.

Hiking: 12.4km / 7.7 miles
Elevation: 1,397m / 4,583′ ascent, 705m / 2,313′ descent

Day 5: Traverse spectacular sites in the Cinque Torri area

On the final day of hiking, discover reminders of WWI that left their mark on these mountains. The Dolomites are set on the border between Austria and Italy. Some of the most impactful battles were fought here, leaving behind structures built by the Italian army. Hiking along the traverse, descend to a line of old trenches, continue up through a forest, and descend once again to the south to Passo Giau. Spend one last night in the charming mountain town of Cortina!

Hiking: 17.7km / 10.9 miles
Elevation: 1,103m / 3,621′ ascent, 1,541m / 5,058′ descent

Day 6: Departure

After a relaxing last breakfast, prepare for departure as you reminisce about your last five days spent hiking through one of the most special places in the world and meeting incredible people!

Things to know

Things to know

Covid measures in the Dolomites

57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.

We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re travelling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in the Dolomites, Italy, please refer to Italian Ministry of Health website.

Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

What’s included?

What you get on this adventure:

  • Local English speaking hiking guide (guided trips)
  • Two-nights accommodation in 3-star B&B in Cortina d’Ampezzo
  • Three-nights accommodation in charming rifugios (shared dormitories)
  • All breakfasts
  • Dinners at the rifugios
  • Transfers on days 2 and 5 (these services may be shared with other Dolomite Mountains guests)
  • Local tourist tax
  • Italian VAT tax
  • All logistics and map of the area

What’s not included:

  • Transportation to and from the trailhead
  • Transfers to and from the airports (available on request)
  • Luggage transfers (available on request)
  • Lunches

How fit do I need to be?

Dolomites’ Alta Via N.1 is perfect for intermediate hikers with previous experience with multi-day hikes. Intermediate hikes are active, with full days of activities. These trips are perfect for people who want to be active, yet still have some time to explore the cultural aspects and opportunities for relaxation available in the Dolomites in the afternoon. Intermediate hikes will see a little more change in elevation and hikes will start to increase in length, hiking anywhere between four to eight miles. Keep in mind, the weather in summer can be very hot and you’ll also be packing a daypack filled with water and other things you’ll need throughout the day.

What do I need to bring?

Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:

  • Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 40L bag)
  • Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
  • Trekking poles —optional
  • Long hiking pants
  • Light shorts for warmer summer days or just for lounging in the rifugio
  • Thermal layers: long sleeved top and long pants for the cold nights (even in summer)
  • Lightweight down jacket
  • A rain/wind jacket
  • Hiking socks and refugio socks
  • Lightweight t-shirts
  • Warm hat and gloves for the winter months
  • Sturdy hiking boots, and make sure they’re broken in before your trip
  • Flip flops (hiking boots are not allowed in most rifugios)
  • Sleepwear
  • Sunhat
  • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera — optional (but recommended)

Group sizes and age requirements

Group sizes:

  • The tour listed above is not private and all pricing is per person.
  • The standard group size on these hiking tours is four to six guests and one guide, but larger groups can be accommodated.
  • It takes a minimum of four participants for the tour to be arranged.
  • A 30% deposit to secure your place is due upon booking. The balance of payment is due one month prior to the departure date.

If you’re traveling with a larger party, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

Age requirements:

  • Everybody over the age of 18 is welcome to book this hiking adventure.
  • Minors may be permitted to join private tours on a case-by-case basis.

If you plan to hike with anyone under the age of 18, please contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

Getting there and meeting location

To get to Dolomites, most people fly into Venice International Airport Marco Polo (VCE). Another option is a small regional Bolzano Airport in the province of South Tyrol in northern Italy. From both airports, you can rent a car or take a shuttle service to Cortina d’Ampezzo which is just over two hours away. Private transfer by the guides is available on request.

You will meet your guide who will give you a brief overview of the trip in the afternoon on the very first day in the Cortina d’Ampezzo resort. From there, you’ll head straight to your tour. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the hiking ability of the group.

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