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1. Alta Via 1

View of the Dolomites from Alta Via 1
Alta Via 1, also known as the Dolomites High Route #1, is one of the most celebrated treks in Europe.

All the vistas you could ask for 

When it comes to trekking in the Dolomites, the Alta Via 1 is number one (pun intended) for a multi-day hut-to-hut adventure. Starting from Lago di Braies in South Tyrol and ending in Belluno, this 120 km (75 mi) trail is the most approachable of all the high routes in the area.

Moving north to south in bite-sized stages, Alta Via 1 can be completed in 7-14 days, depending on your fitness level and preferred pace. For large portions of the trek, you’ll be staying high above the mountains, passing through vast rock fields and rolling pastures, with enchanting views all around you.

Since camping is not allowed anywhere in the Dolomites, you’ll be staying at rifugios owned by various alpine clubs. They all offer meals, dormitory rooms (some of them have private rooms as well) and they need to be booked individually. Due to high demand, most of them require deposits to secure your reservation.

A bucket list hiking trip

The hike will take you past dolomitic towers and crags, idyllic meadows, deciduous and evergreen forests, as well as barren, lunar-like landscapes strung together by high mountain passes. Some sections can be squeezed into a single day of hiking, while others offer alternative routes and side trips.

When you enter the Dolomites, you’re soon treated to the imposing summit of Mount Lagazuoi. An optional hike here will take you through restored WWI trenches, barracks, and tunnels steeped in history. A little further, the Cinque Torri towers are known for their excellent rock climbing. The middle, more technical section that lies beyond rifugio Nuvolau features ladders and cables—nothing particularly demanding. If you wish, you can extend your trek by bypassing some of them.

The second half of Alta Via 1 holds even more memorable vistas, including those of Monte Pelmo, an isolated block of pale rock, and Cima de Zità Sud. Some steep ascents and ridgeline walks later, the trail comes back down into grassy hillsides and wooded valleys before culminating in a vast ravine and the La Pissa bus stop.

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