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Hiking the Alta Via Route in the Dolomites

Augustina Lagos Marmol, Dolomite Mountains
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6 day
Augustina Lagos Marmol, Dolomite Mountains
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  • Winding through 60 stunning kilometers (37 miles) of high mountain passes, valley paths, and everything in between, this 7-day itinerary takes you to the most picturesque section of the 120km-long (75 mile) Alta Via I. Starting in the picturesque Cortina d’Ampezzo and ending at the Passo Duran, this long-distance trek is the ultimate adventure for beginner and intermediate hikers that want to experience the Dolomites without a commitment to the thru-hike.

    • As you arrive in Cortina d’Ampezzo on your own and check into your hotel (private transfer available on request). Cortina d’Ampezzo (1,224m / 4,016′) is a charming alpine resort town surrounded by stunning peaks. It enjoys a reputation for great skiing and in the summer attracts hikers and climbers with its rocky faces of the nearby mountains. In the afternoon, you will meet with your guide who will provide a trip briefing and orientation. Depending on when you arrive, you may have time to explore Cortina d’Ampezzo’s pedestrian walkway, the Corso Italia.

      Your luggage will stay in Cortina until the last day of your trip.

      Accommodation: Hotel in Cortina d’Ampezzo 

    • In the morning, take a private transfer to Malga Ra Stua (1,688m / 5,538’), a cozy farm set in a valley lying between the Croda Rossa and Lavinores Dolomite groups, at the entrance of the Fanes-Sennes-Braies Nature Reserve. Clusters of old log-built farmsteads adorn the mountainsides called Viles—a typical feature of the Ladin-speaking valleys. Today you will hike in the Sennes section of the Nature Reserve, along the Alta Via 1.

      Hiking: ~5 hours ,12km / 7,4 miles

      Elevation: 920m / 3,018’ ascent, 630m /2,067’ descent)
      Accommodation: Mountain hut

    • Depart your rifugio this morning, and hike downhill towards Rifugio Pederù (1,548m / 5,079′). The trail travels on a steep dirt road for an hour and a half (the last part of the road approaching the rifugio is a 20% slope). From Rifugio Pederù, hike uphill in the direction of Lago di Limo. When you reach Lake Lé Piciodel you’ll walk through a charming landscape studded with little lakes and rounded mountain-tops along the Ru d’Al Plan River. Continue toward your rifugio for tonight, located beneath the Limo Pass, and enjoy a splendid view of the Tofane Mountains.

      Walking: ~4 hours, 8.1 km / 5.1 miles
      Elevation: 530 m / 1,740’ ascent, 460 m / 1,510’ descent
      Accommodation: Mountain hut 

    • Today you’ll hike through the Altopiano di Fanes to the Lagazuoi Massif. Enjoy beautiful panoramas of the Western Dolomites and the Marmolada Massif. Alta Via N.1 continues through the beautiful high meadow and karst formations, climbing to the Forcella del Lago, a narrow and dramatic gap in the mountain with a trail descent through steep talus on the south side. Reach Lago di Lagazuoi whose green waters are framed by pines and walls of the Cima del Lago and the Cima Scotoni. Continue along the long, steady climb to your rifugio.  Along the way, you’ll come across ruins from the First World War. 

      Walking: ~6-7 hours, 12.7 km / 7.9 miles
      Elevation: 1,050 m / 3,445′ ascent, 390m / 1,280′ descent
      Accommodation: Mountain hut

    • Starting at Rifugio Lagazuoi, descend to the main road. Hike below the memorable Tofana di Rozes, ascending Forcella Lagazuoi (2,573m / 8,442’), Forcella Travenanzes (2,507m / 8,225’), and Forcella Col dei Bos (2,331m / 7,648’). Then, trek along trenches, ascend some beautiful forests and reach the Cinque Torri area. Stop at Rifugio Scoiattoli for lunch, with incredible vistas around. If you wish, you can pay a visit to an open-air WWI museum before proceeding through the rock towers to Passo Giau. Wave to the climbers on the walls along the way! In Passo Giau, you’ll be picked up and transferred to Cortina for your final night.

      Walking: ~5 – 6 hours, 11.6 km / 7.0 miles
      Elevation: 582m / 1,908’ ascent, 1,040m / 3,412’ descent
      Accommodation: Hotel in Cortina d’Ampezzo

    • After a good night sleep, join your group for breakfast and get ready to depart on your own (private transfer on request).

      • Logistics and map of the area
      • 2 nights in a 3-star hotel in Cortina d’Ampezzo
      • 3 nights in mountain huts (shared dormitories)
      • All breakfasts
      • Dinners in rifugios
      • Local English speaking hiking guide (guided trips)
      • Transfers on days 2 and 5
      • Local tourist tax
      • Italian VAT tax

      Airport transfers available on request
      Luggage transfers available on request

    • What you get on this Alta Via hiking adventure:

      • Local English-speaking hiking guide
      • 7 to 8 days of hiking, depending on your chosen itinerary
      • Accommodation in hotels and mountain huts with shared dormitories 
      • All breakfasts and dinners as indicated in the itinerary
      • Group shuttle from Venice Marco Polo Airport to Cortina d’Ampezzo and back
      • Transfers in the area as indicated in the itinerary
      • Local tourist tax
      • Italian VAT tax
      • A €15 donation to Wow Nature’s reforestation projects makes your trip carbon-neutral
      • All logistics and map of the area

      What’s not included:

      • Lunches, personal drinks, coffee and snacks
      • Luggage transfers (not included in the open group trips) — clients must hike with a pack weighing roughly 15lbs. The huts have all the food and bedding (some huts may not have sleeping sheets/sleeping bag liner so it’s best to bring this)
      • Everything not indicated in the itinerary
      • Any additional expenses
      • Travel insurance
      • Guide gratuities — optional
    • The Alta Via I hiking adventure can be completed by any normal fit hiker with previous experience with multi-day hikes, who are prepared to walk for between 4 and 8 hours per day. The most important thing to take into account is the significant number of days that you will spend trekking. It will greatly help your enjoyment of the trek to arrive fit at the start, used to walks of similar distance and height gain to those that you are about to face.  There are no via ferrata sections on this tour.

      The Alta Via II hiking tour is only advisable for experienced trekkers with surefootedness, experience in the mountains, and a head for heights. It is undeniably more strenuous than the Alta Via I, remaining at higher elevations throughout (as high as 2,900m / 9,514′), and with great reward. The Alta Via II includes sharp ridges and steep slopes, which require some previous experience in the mountains.

      Keep in mind that you’ll be carrying a backpack, probably around 15 lbs. You will have to pack your own clothing, toiletries, and other personal items. No need to worry about cooked food and bedding—the huts (except a linen or sleeping bag liner which is recommended).

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

      • Backpack with a load-bearing waist harness (30-50L bag)
      • Smaller duffel-bag
      • Waterproof backpack cover
      • Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
      • Trekking poles — optional
      • Light pillow case and silk or nylon sheets*
      • Small towel for the shower
      • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
      • Head torch (for visits to the Lagazuoi area)
      • Sunglasses
      • Camera — optional (but recommended)

      *Sleeping sheets are often provided by the huts, but it’s always best to bring your own just in case. 

      Your guides will provide via ferrata equipment, including a helmet, harness, and lanyard with a shock absorber.

      Here’s a list of clothes you need to bring:

      The summer months have warm temperatures and plenty of sun. While temperatures may reach 25°C (80°F) on the valley floors during the day, evenings can be as cool as 10°C (50°F). As you gain elevation, it will get colder. For every 1,000m you climb, the temperature will drop for 6.5°C (3.6°F for every 1,000 feet). What may be a 27°C (80°F) day in Alta Badia could be 15°C (60°F) on one of the summits during the day, and 0°C (30s°F) in the evening. 

      • Long hiking pants
      • Thermal layers (long-sleeved top and long pants for the cold nights)
      • Light shorts for warmer days or for lounging in the rifugio
      • Lightweight down jacket
      • Lightweight Gore-Tex, or equivalent, rain/wind parka and pant
      • Lightweight T-shirts
      • Lightweight hiking socks, liner socks, and athletic socks
      • Sleepwear
      • Baseball cap or sun hat with wide brim
      • 3/4-finger leather glove for dexterity for via ferratas
      • Sturdy hiking boots, and make sure they’re broken in before your trip
      • Hiking boot or shoe that accepts crampons for AVII trips
      • Lightweight shoes, slippers or flip flops (hiking boots are not allowed in most rifugios)

      Synthetic fabrics are the most effective barrier against the cold. They provide the best insulation, they are light in weight, wick away perspiration, and dry quickly if wet.

    • During your Alta Via adventure, you will stay in a combination of hotels and mountain huts.

      The huts in the Dolomites are of a higher standard than most mountain huts, so if you are used to Alpine refuges you will be pleasantly surprised. You will mainly stay in the most comfortable specifically selected huts on the route.  

      If you wish to stay in single rooms with private/shared bathrooms, you will need to pay an additional single room charge. If you happen to be booking the trip alone and no other participants are willing to share a double or twin room, you will be required to pay the single room charge.

    • Huts available en route serve delicious hearty meals at reasonable prices.

      A vegetarian option is always available but options for Celiacs and vegans are very limited. We suggest that you carry your own snacks and supplements, and let us know if you have any particular requests or allergies. 

    • Group sizes:

      • The tours listed above are not private. All pricing is per person.
      • The standard group size on these Dolomites hiking tours is 5-6 guests and 1 guide, and the maximum group size is 10. Solo traveler are welcome!
      • It takes a minimum of 4-6 participants for the tour to be arranged.
      • Private room supplement in mountain huts can be booked based on availability

      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.

    • To get to the Dolomites, most people fly into Venice International Airport Marco Polo (VCE). Another options include Klagenfurt (2.5 hours), Trieste (2.5 hours), Verona (3 hours), and Innsbruck (3 hours) and a small regional Bolzano Airport in the province of South Tyrol in northern Italy.

      If you’re flying into Venice Marco Polo Airport, a group shuttle from there to Cortina d’Ampezzo is included in the price of the tour (and back as well). The group shuttle departs at 2 pm on arrival day and at 9 am on departure day.

      Venice is 2.5 hours away from Corvara and 2 hours from Cortina d’Ampezzo. Bolzano is about an hour away from Corvara and 2 hours from Cortina d’Ampezzo.

      You can rent a car or take a shuttle service from both airports. Private transfer by the guides is available on request.

    • 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, their guides, and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in the Dolomites, Italy, please refer to the 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!

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