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Dolomites Alta Via 1, Self-guided trek 2023

The classic Dolomites High Route, traversing the Dolomites from North to South following the famous Alta Via 1.

Starting in the famous Italian alpine resort Cortina d'Ampezzo, you hike the complete Alta Via 1 from North to South. Your journey takes you through classic Dolomites terrain, characterised by jagged limestone peaks, towering over conifer forests and green valleys. Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site and steeped in WW1 history, the Dolomites has much more to offer than amazing hiking. Your hike is optimised for walkers and avoids Via Ferratas. Bag transfers and rest days can be arranged allowing you to enjoy the hiking to the fullest. It all comes with Italian hospitality and excellent food.

Day-by-day itinerary

Day 1: Meeting in Cortina
You arrive at your hotel in Cortina d'Ampezzo, which is the primary mountain town in the Dolomites. There are plenty of shops in Cortina if you need to do any last-minute shopping. Your evening is free to explore the many bars and restaurants Cortina has to offer.

Day 2 From Cortina to Dobiacco and Rifugio Biella
From Cortina you transfer by bus to the smaller village of Dobiacco where your Alta Via trek begins in earnest. You start with a gentle walk to Lago di Braies, where you walk along the shoreline of the gorgeous mountain lake. You then start your ascent, through classic Dolomites terrain, to the Sora Forno mountain pass and Rifugio Bielle where you spend your first night high up in the mountains. (B+D)

Day 3: From Rifugio Biella to Rifugio Lavarella
Today is a very enjoyable day as you enter the stunning Fanes National Park and pass a number of mountain huts where refreshments are available. It's a gentle start, courtesy of 4x4 vehicle tracks constructed during WW1, before you descend steeply to the valley floor at Pederü. You now commence your climb, which takes you to your mountain hut, located in a picturesque glacial basin by a small lake. (B+D)

Day 4: From Rifugio Lavarella to Rifugio Lagazuoi
A gentle start to the day on old WW1 tracks before you veer away from the valley and climb on increasingly steeper terrain to a tiny pass cut into the rugged ridge-line. A brief, but steep, descent takes you to a small lake and you continue your ascent through lunar-like landscape to Rifugio Lagazuoi, which is the highest point of the AV1 and, probably, the most impressive vantage point in all of the Dolomites. (B+D)

Day 5: From Rifugio Lagazuoi to Rifugio Nuvolau
An interesting day packed with WW1 history awaits. Upon leaving your hut, the Alta Via briefly takes you East, past wartime tunnels and trench lines, before a splendid traverse below the face of the majestic Tofane de Rozes. You then drop to the valley floor before an ascent takes you past the famous Cinque Torri (five towers) and more wartime history. A final climb along an airy ridge with stunning 360 views completes this day and you arrive at Rifugio Nuvolau, which is perched atop the ridge line. (B+D)

Day 6: From Rifugio Nuvolau to Rifugio Staulanza
You descend steeply on interesting terrain to reach the Passo Giau road pass and a morning coffee stop at the hut before you continue across a succession of smaller mountain passes. Although, the distance is relatively long, the terrain is now easy and mostly descending, making for a very enjoyable walk. You end the day at the very comfortable Rifugio Staulanza where you are treated to some of the best food available on the Alta Via trail. (B+D)

Day 7: From Rifugio Staulanza to Rifugio Vazzoler
Leaving the comfortable Staulanza hut behind (with tummies full of delicious breakfast), you start the day with an easy stroll. Then, begins your ascend through wild and stunning Dolomites terrain, passing a small, emerald green lake. The ascent is made easier by a good track and two huts where refreshments are available. Beyond the second hut, it's all downhill to the very charming Vazzoler hut surrounded by conifer trees. (B+D)

Day 8: From Rifugio Vazzoler to Passo Duran
A most enjoyable start to the day, as you walk through conifer woods, crossing a couple of minor mountain passes along the way to the Carestiato hut, which is perfectly located for a lazy lunch stop. It is now downhill to the Passo Duran roadpass and your base for the night. (B+D)

Day 9: From Passo Duran to Rifugio Fontana
A brief downhill section on easy road, before you start ascending through conifer woods. to the Moschesin mountain pass. Here, the views open up to reveal a stunning and varied Dolomites landscape. The Alta Via now turns increasingly wild as you travel through rugged terrain surrounded by limestone walls and ridge-lines until the final mountain pass is crossed and you enjoy a gentle descent to Rifugio Fontana for a well-deserved rest. (B+D)

Day 10: From Rifugio Fontana to La Pissa and Belluno
After a night in the charming Rifugio Fontana, you awake to the final day on the Alta Via trail. A short, but intense, climb to the Forcella la Varetta pass gives access to the lush Val Vescovà, which you follow, mostly downhill, along a gushing stream to the road head at la Pissa from where you catch the local bus to the hotel in Belluno to celebrate your completion of the Alta Via 1! (B)

Day 11 (Saturday): Depart Belluno
After breakfast you check out of your hotel. This is the end of the trip. (B)

Trip details

Suitable for independent walkers with good fitness and an adventurous spirit.

11 days holiday with 9 days walking

Hotels and mountain huts

Group size and guides:
No guide and no maximum numbers

Dates & prices

Any dates between mid-June and mid-September 2024.

Price: £ 1695 p.p.

Price based on min. 2 people joining.

Book now >>

Standard inclusions & exclusions:

- Expert tour planning and organisation by Alpine Treks
- Detailed route cards
- Topographic maps (1:25000), NOT photo copies
- Practical information pack
- 10 nights accommodation (2x hotel, 1x auberge, 7x mountain hut)
- Meals (10x breakfast and 8x dinners)

- Travel to Cortina and from Belluno
- Lunches, snacks, drinks and meals not mentioned above
- Transportation along the route if used
- Luggage transfers

Options and Extras

Private Avlta Via 1 trip:
The AV1 is also available as a private trip with dates to suit you. On private trips, it is also possible to tailor the length of the hike by including rest days or skipping sections.
Contact us for further details.

Guided Alta Via 1 Classic trip:
The AV1 is also available as a self-guided trip.
Click here for further details.

Via Ferrata Extensions
The Dolomites are famous for it's Via Ferrata and Cortina is a great starting point.
Contact us for information.

Good reasons to chose Alpine Treks for your Alta Via 1 walking holiday

Experience! Alpine Treks has run hiking trips in the Dolomites since 2007. Our itineraries are well-proven and our logistics are top-class, whether you choose one of our guided or self-guided itineraries.

Our Alta Via 1 trek start and finish in Cortina! Known as the "The Pearl of the Dolomites", Cortina is a chic, historic mountain town with a plethora of cafe’s, restaurants and shops and is worth a visit in it’s own right. It would be a shame not to spend time in this wonderful place and soak up the atmosphere before and after your trek.

Bag transfers are included! We have included bag transfers to our overnight destinations wherever possible on our guided (optional on self-guided trips), which means that you can hike with a light pack and focus on enjoying the trip.

Our Guides are second to none! It’s a big claim, but one that our many happy customers are happy to confirm. Our guides are certified, full-time professionals with extensive experience on the Alta Via in the Dolomites. They happen to be extremely friendly, patient and helpful too!

Small, personal groups! We never have more than 8 people in our groups. This makes it a more personal experience where we can look after individual’s needs.

Great value! We’re a small company with minimal overheads, so the money you spend on a trip goes towards providing an excellent service.

No hidden cost! We are completely open about what is included in your trip. No surprises with us!

Chose your preferred dates! In addition to our scheduled trips, we can arrange a private departure for you at any time that suits you.

What our customers say:

"Dolomites paradise! This is a fantastic and fun company that I would definitely use again in the future! "
Phillip Wetter

Frequently asked questions about our trekking and walking holidays

Alpine Treks Limited
2 The Abbey Coach House, Staveley, Kendal LA8 9LR, UK
UK company no. 06957454

Copy right Alpine Treks 2014 -

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