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2024 DATES AVAILABLE NOW
Price
€2150 per person
Duration
8 + 2 days
Destination
Dolomites
Travellers
10 Maximum

GUIDED AV1 HIKE What better way to explore the Fantastic Dolomites?

The Alta Via 1 is a long-distance hike across the Dolomite mountains - a truly unique region of Italy. Well-maintained trails weave between impossibly sheer cliffs, and pale, stand-alone rock formations rise up from grassy plateaux like huge church spires. The Alta Via 1 crosses some of the most stunning areas, such as the Fanes, Sella, Lagazuoi and Cinque Torri mountain ranges. On this guided AV1 hike, you’ll stay in tradition mountain refuges ("rifugios" in Italian), where you'll be treated to the typical cuisine of the Dolomites.
  • Information
  • Itinerary
  • Location
  • Additional Info
  • FAQ
  • Gallery
  • Reviews

What's included

Destination
Dolomites Discover Dolomites
Departure Location
Cortina d'Ampezzo- Hotel Menardi
Return Location
Cortina d'Ampezzo- Hotel Menardi
Tour Start Date & Time
07/09/2024 16:00
Price includes
  • Accommodation (shared bedroom / dormitory)
  • All planned transportation according to the itinerary
  • Full qualified international mountain leader (IML)
  • Half-Board (breakfast, 3 course dinner)
  • Pre- / post-trek accommodation
Price does not include
  • Airport transfers
  • Equipment rental
  • Private expenses (souvenirs, drinks, etc.)
Complementaries
Luggage Storage: 1 bag per person storage in Cortina
Cinque Torri mountain peak at sunset, Dolomites Alps, Italy
Beautiful Sunrise at Misurina Lake in Italian Dolomites Mountain

What is a Guided Alta Via 1?

Joining a Guided Alta Via 1 group allows you to complete this famous route alongside an experienced guide. You’ll hike with other, like-minded hikers, with a maximum of 12 hikers per group. It’s common for people to join a guided Alta Via 1 group on their own. This is a nice way to meet like-minded people and make new friends! We also get couples, small groups of friends and family joining guided groups. Everyone is welcome! We just insist that you have a good level of fitness (more details below!)

Guided AV1 : The Route

The Alta Via 1 (often abbreviated to “AV1”) is a 110 kilometre hike across the Italian Dolomites. It typically takes eight to ten days to hike. There are six long-distance routes that traverse the Dolomites, and the AV1 is the easiest in this series. As more hikers share their stories, the Alta Via 1 is quickly becoming Italy’s most popular hike.

Landmarks

The Alta Via 1 follows a network of well-maintained, undemanding trails from the north of the Dolomites to the south. It winds through a rich array of landscapes; from dense forests and alpine meadows to lunar-like, high-altitude rocky plateaux. Starting at Lago di Braies, the AV1 winds its way through the Sennes and Fanes groups. It then climbs over the Lagazuoi, and past the Nuvolau and Tofane. The AV1 finishes by snaking through the wild, rugged Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park. Hiking the Alta Via 1, you’ll get to see around 80% of the peaks and landmarks that make up the incredible Dolomites. What better way to experience this amazing region?

How difficult is the Alta Via 1?

The trails on the Alta Via 1 are never too technical. Because of this, the AV1 is the perfect hike for anyone wanting to experience long-distance hiking for the first time. That said, there are some steep, exposed sections and the days are challenging (see the itinerary  for the day-by-day statistics). You should only hike the Alta Via 1 if you have a decent level of fitness, and you should have some experience hiking in the mountains. If you’ve already hiked the Tour du Mont Blanc, the Alta Via 1 will feel like a natural step up.

Accommodation

On the first and last day of this tour, you’ll stay in a comfortable 3 star hotel in Cortina. The rooms are twin rooms, so if you plan to travel alone, you’ll share with another hiker from the group of the same gender.
For the rest of your time on the AV1, you’ll stay in remote mountain refuges. Here the accommodation is in small, mixed dormitories, which are comfortable but not luxurious. Staying in a mountain refuge is part of the real hiking experience. The views and scenery are spectacular, and you’ll have the opportunity to meet other hikers. For more information about mountain refuges, read this blog post.

Crossing Snow Field near Tofana de Rozes
Citta di Fiume Traditional Rifugio Dolomites

The Dolomites

The Dolomite mountains are unlike any other, and because of this, they’re instantly recognisable. Pale, stand-alone towers rise up from flat plateaux, creating sheer cliff bands that glow in the afternoon light. The Marmolada is the highest peak, at 3342 metres. Hidden in amongst rocky crevices, you’ll find a huge array of alpine flowers. The most famous of all, of course, is the edelweiss, with its distinct felty petals.

WW1 History

Along the Alta Via 1 route, you’ll pass some remains from World War 1. Rusty barbed wire, deep trenches and ruined barracks are fairly common sights in the Dolomites. They remind us of the tragic past, when the area became a war zone and contested borders ran along the peaks and ridges. These landmarks are both humbling and interesting!

Edelweiss
Sunset at Tre Cime di Lavaredo mountains

What to expect on a guided Alta Via 1 hike?

Join a guided Alta Via 1 hike and you will…

  • Traverse the Dolomites, passing some of its most famous mountains;
  • Hike 110 kilometres through ever changing scenery and terrain, from green pastures to sheer limestone drops;
  • Tackle some challenging sections and reach a height of 2750 metres;
  • Immerse yourself in the region’s alpine culture, history and wildlife;
  • Sleep in some of the most welcoming and remote mountain refuges in the region;
  • Taste some of the best mountain food in the Alps;
  • Gain interesting knowledge from a local guide.
  • YOUR ITINERARY
YOUR ITINERARY

DAY 1

Arrival in Cortina- The Jewel of the Dolomites

Meet your guide and group in Cortina

You’ll make your own way to the beautiful town of Cortina d’Ampezzo, easily accessible from Venice airport by bus. Arrive in plenty of time to explore Cortina, it is a quaint town with stunning surroundings. Here you will check in to the Hotel Menardi, a spa hotel just off the main streets of Cortina. Enjoy the spa and take a sauna or head out to explore the town before dinner.

Your will meet your guide and group before dinner at 6pm in the lobby, you will have a briefing about the trip then we will get to know each other over a great meal at the hotel.

Then it’s time for a good nights rest before the start of your hike tomorrow!

DAY 2

Dive Right In!

Lago di Braies (Pragser Wildsee) > Pederü

The day will start with a short taxi ride from your hotel to the starting point of the hike, the famous Lago di Braies (Pragser Wildsee). After a quick photo or two you’ll escape the crowds and start the first climb of the day, on the opposite side of the lake. The path is steady but never too steep, with great views of the lake below. A short exposed section will lead to a pass at 2400m, just above Rifugio Biella, a nice location for a quick lunch break.

The rest of the stage continues easily along wide and smooth tracks across open terrain. You will pass Rifugio Sennes, a great opportunity to stop for a cup of coffee and a slice of cake. It’s all downhill from here, and after one last steep section you’ll reach Rifugio Pederü. You will spend the night here or take a short shuttle to the quaint resort of st Viglio for the night.

Today you have hiked 14,8km with 1029m of climbing

DAY 3

Sheer Cliffs and Amazing Views

Pederü > Rifugio Scotoni

Start the day by climbing up through the forest and on good paths all the way to Rifugio Fanes, a great spot for a morning coffee. From here you will continue on forest roads and paths all the way to the main Fanes plateau, you will pass Lago di Limo and continue to climb gradually to the Forcella del Lago (2486m), a very narrow mountain pass. The descent from here is not to be underestimated, the path is very good but also very steep and the terrain loose, so concentration is required. Once at the bottom of the descent you’ll have some time to relax by the shores of Lago Lagazuoi. From here take a short hike to the refuge for the night, the cosy Rifugio Scotoni

Today you have hiked 15,1km with 1103m of climbing

DAY 4

On Historical WWII Paths

Rifugio Scotoni > Rifugio Nuvolau

From the hut you will ascend to the stunning Lagazuoi, a view point for the whole Dolomites! From the hut you’ll descend to the very busy Falzarego Pass, a highlight on every cyclist’s bucket list. This used to be the front line between Italy and the Austro-Hungarian Empire during WWI, and signs of the war are still visible all around.

Once at the pass you’ll climb up the other side to a beautiful secluded mountain lake, a perfect lunch spot. From here you’ll continue uphill on a very rocky path to Forcella Averau and the nearby Rifugio Averau. We’re not quite there yet, as our hut is another short climb away, perched at the top of the hill. Once there you’ll be able to relax and enjoy a night in a very traditional refuge, the oldest in the whole of the Dolomites!

Today you have hiked 9.3 km with 707m of climbing

DAY 5

The Heart of the Dolomites

Rifugio Nuvolau > Passo Staulanza

After a mandatory sunrise on the terrace (if the weather allows) and a good breakfast, we’ll start descending back to Rifugio Averau and then all the way to Passo Giau, another busy mountain pass with lots of cars, motorbikes and bicycles. After crossing the road all this will disappear once again and you’ll start walking on a beautiful but slightly more technical section of the route. After tackling a few rocky steps and a steep but short uphill section you’ll get to Forcella Giau, quickly followed by Forcella Ambrizzola and Forcella Col Duro.

You’ll then descend to the other side on a wide gentle track to reach Rifugio Città di Fiume, a lovely spot for a cup of coffee and a break before the last section of the day. To reach our final destination at Passo Staulanza we have one last traverse at the foot of Monte Pelmo, one of the most impressive mountains in the Dolomites and the first to be climbed by Irish mountaineer John Ball. After a few rocky steps and a steep muddy descent in the woods you’ll reach the road and your hut for the night.

Today you have hiked 16,4km with 533m of climbing

DAY 6

The wall of all walls (the Civetta range)

Passo Staulanza > Rifugio Vazzoler

Today is a beautiful but also challenging day, not to be underestimated. From Passo Staulanza you’ll walk along a short road section followed by a wide forest road. The path will quickly get steeper, though, and lead you to the very scenic Rifugio Coldai, just above 2200 metres. After a mandatory coffee and a break you will continue to the beautiful Lago Coldai and along one of the most famous mountains in the Dolomites: Monte Civetta. Its north-west face, that you will follow in its entirety, is one of the most iconic faces in the whole region, an outstanding sheer limestone cliff rich in mountaineering history. For this reason it’s otherwise known as “the wall of all walls”.

Try not to look too much at it, though, as the path requires attention. It’s quite rocky in places, which might slow you down a little, but I promise you won’t be in a rush to get away from this place! Once you reach the end of the north-west face of Civetta you’ll join a wider track that will lead you quickly to Rifugio Vazzoler, your home for the night. Here the best atmosphere on the AV1 is guaranteed!

Today you have hiked 15,1km with 863m of climbing

DAY 7

Discover the Backcountry

Rifugio Vazzoler > Rifugio Tomé

Leaving Rifugio Vazzoler is always hard, but another beautiful day awaits. You’ll start the day by loosing some height, walking on a 4×4 track leading towards the valley. Before too long, though, you’ll take a side path underneath the cliffs of the Moiazza mountain range, the continuation of the Civetta range. This section goes from steep muddy paths to boulder fields and scree slopes, and it definitely requires some care, attention and patience. After one last exposed section between Forcella Col d’Ors and Forcella del Camp (not ideal for those who feel uncomfortable with heights), the path easies off a bit and traverses over to Rifugio Carestiato.

Enjoy a break here before the last easy section to Passo Duran and Rifugio Tomé, our very cosy overnight stop.

Today you have hiked 10km with 675m of climbing

DAY 8

The wild side of the Dolomites

Rifugio Tomé > Rifugio Pian de Fontana

Today we enter the Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park and we’ll notice a change of scenery. Although the big limestone walls are still there, this side of the Dolomites is much wilder and feels more remote than what we’ve just crossed. After a short road section you’ll enter the woods and walk through beech trees, before reaching the tree line and hiking across the open slope to Rifugio Pramperet. This is a beautiful place and a great spot for a break.

From here you’ll start the main climb of the day to Forcella de Zita Sud, where a beautiful wild valley will open in front of you. Keep your eyes open here, it’s wildlife territory! From the pass you’ll start your descent down to the hut, which is reached after a very steep section. Once at Pian de Fontana you’ll be able to enjoy the final night on the trail in a beautiful and unique location.

Today you have hiked 15,8km with 1133m of climbing

DAY 9

Back to civilisation

Rifugio Pian de Fontana > La Pissa (transfer to Cortina)

From Pian de Fontana you’ll have a short descent followed by one last climb to a col, which will warm you up on the last morning. From here you’ll start the long descent down to the valley which will take you past Rifugio Bianchet, one last chance for a mountain coffee. After this the path becomes wider and will lead you down to the main valley road, where a transfer will be waiting for you and will take you back to Cortina d’Ampezzo for one last night and a final meal together.

Today you have hiked 10,9km with 418m of climbing

 

DAY 10

Departure Day

Cortina d’Ampezzo

After a final breakfast at your hotel it’s time to say goodbye, there are many transport options back to Venice or onwards for other adventures! 

More about Dolomites

The Dolomites are a mountain group of the Southern Limestone Alps, but are also included in the Southern Alps. They are divided between the regions of Veneto and Trentino-Alto Adige in Italy and - in roughly equal parts - the provinces of Belluno, Bolzano-Alto Adige and Trento. Since 2009 parts of the Dolomites have been included in the UNESCO World Natural Heritage Dolomites. The highest mountain in the Dolomites is the Marmolata at 3343 meters above sea level. Other famous peaks or massifs are the Civetta, Monte Pelmo, Tofana de Rozes, 5-Torri, Croda da Lago, Schiara and many more.

The Dolomites emerged as a Ladin language area from the migration of the peoples, but with the emergence of Tyrol and the incorporation of Trentino into the Holy Roman Empire from the Middle Ages onwards, they were partly Germanised by Bavarian settlers.

In the 18th century the mountains were still called "pale mountains" or "monti pallidi". The name 'Dolomites' spread after the predominant rock was given the name dolomite, in honour of the French geologist Déodat de Dolomieu (1750-1801), who was the first to analyse its composition.

The Dolomites were the border between Germany, Austria and Italy throughout the High and Late Middle Ages and until the Napoleonic era. Between 1866 and 1918 the Austrian-Italian border also ran through here.

During the mountain war of 1915-1918, when Italy fought on the side of the Entente in World War I, the border was a mountain front. However, the Italians only succeeded in occupying Cortina and parts of the beech stone in the course of their offensive, so that once the front had been stabilised it ran from the Passo San Pellegrino via Marmolata, Col di Lana, Lagazuoi, the Tofanen, Hohe Gaisl, Schluderbach, Monte Piana, Drei Zinnen and Paternkofel to the Kreuzbergsattel. In many places, traces of war can still be seen, especially the Col di Lana summit, which was brought down by blasting.

More about this tour

Luggage Transfer
Many of the refuges are difficult to access by road, so luggage transfer is not available for this tour. It is possible to store an extra bag in Cortina during the hike.

Accommodation
Most of the nights that you spend on this tour will be in mountain refuges. These are comfortable but often remote and fairly basic. You’ll stay in bunk beds with pillows and blankets (a thin, light sleeping bag liner is mandatory for hygienic reasons). Every refuge has electricity and plugs that you can use to charge your to charge your belongings. They also all have hot showers in a shared bathroom. Towels are usually not provided. For more information about mountain refuges, read this blog post.
On your first and last nights, you'll stay in a comfortable 3-star hotel. You'll have either a twin room or  double room. If you're travelling as a couple, you'll have a double room, and if you're travelling alone, you'll share a twin room with another guest from the group. A single supplement might be charged, depending on group size and room availability.

Food
You'll have plenty of opportunities to try a variety of local specialities. All the refuges offer breakfast and a three-course dinner. The breakfast contains coffee and tea, bread, butter and jam. Some of the less-remote refuges also serve orange juice, cereal, yoghurt, fresh fruits, cheese and meat. The three-course dinner is hearty and the portion sizes are quite big. A typical menu would be :

  • vegetable and pulses soup for starter
  • a main course of meat, vegetables and a carbohydrate-rich side dish (e.g. rice, polenta, pasta)
  • a simple dessert, such as vanilla pudding or a fruit salad

Tap water is offered free of charge, and you can buy supplementary drinks (e.g. coke, wine, beer). You can pay for the supplementary drinks when you check out, or in the evening before going to bed.
We will provide you with a lunch pack for each day. A typical lunchpack will consist of a sandwich, some fresh fruit, and some snacks (e.g. nuts, muesli bars).
If you have any food restrictions (vegetarian, vegan, gluten intolerance etc.) please let us know as soon as possible. We can cater for most dietary requirements, but please note that some villages have very small shops, so the choice is often limited. Mountain refuges can also cater for most standard allergies / intolerances, but again the choice may be limited.

Water
Of course, you must start each day with enough water. We strongly recommend carrying at least two and three litres per day. The tap water at refuges is safe to drink, but there are limited resources on the trails to fill up your bottles. Your guide will give you more details each day.

Weather
Summers in the Dolomites (June – September) are usually fair and quite warm. It is often sunny and the temperatures can reach up to 30° Celsius, although it is a dry heat. The weather in the mountains can be unpredictable, and meteorological situations can change very quickly. Therefore, it is necessary to be prepared for such a change.
Another factor to consider is that you will be hiking in different altitude levels. Because of this, you'll experience significant temperature changes; hiking in the the valleys and forests will feel much warmer than the mountain passes.
On a rainy day, temperatures can drop quite low and it is necessary to have a good rain jacket. We also recommend bringing a hat and a pair of gloves.
We will send you a detailed packing list ahead of your trip. If you stick to list, you will be prepared for any weather situation. Please do not hesitate to ask us if you have any questions about this (or any!) topic.

Trail / Conditions
From the moment you start the trekking we highly recommend you have a valid travel, medical & mountain evacuation insurance. Organise your insurance before the tour starts. This is essential because mountain rescue can be very costly. You could face paying several thousands of euros, especially if a helicopter rescue is necessary. The cost of hospitalisation is normally the most expensive part if you do not have the correct cover. It is your responsibility to take out the correct level of insurance, and we accept no responsibility for any costs that occur as a result of inadequate insurance. However, if you have any questions about this topic or if you need help choosing insurance, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Currency
The Alta Via 1 route stays in Italy, where the currency is euros (EUR). Some refuges only accept payment in cash, so it's worth carrying a bit of cash. This will allow you to buy supplementary drinks in the evenings, or to buy drinks, snacks and souvenirs during the day. You can take out cash from the cash machine in Cortina, where you will start and finish your tour.

Trip Data

Day Distance Ascent Descent
Day 1 14.80 km 1029 m 979 m
Day 2 14.90 km 1103 m 658 m
Day 3 10.00 km 864 m 285 m
Day 4 16.40 km 533 m 1331 m
Day 5 15.10 km 863m 912 m
Day 6 10.00 km 675 m 790 m
Day 7 15.80 km 1133 m 1307 m
Day 8 10.90 km 418 m 1393 m

 

Fitness

Do I need hiking / trekking experience?

The Alta Via No. 1 is suitable for fit and experienced hikers who exercise on a regular basis. Previous trekking / multi-day hiking experience is not a must, but an advantage. You should be able to hike 1000m of ascent and 15km distance per day on mountainous terrain. Count in that you will hike with your backpack (incl. full kit for the tour) unless you have booked luggage transfer.

Fitness

How fit do I need to be for this tour?

You should be physically fit and in good shape. Regular exercise is not foreign to you have been hiking before. You should be able to hike at least 15km and climb 1000m per day.

Fitness

How can I get prepared?

To get prepared for a hiking adventure like the Alta Via No. 1 any endurance training is suitable. Exercises like running, walking, cycling etc. are good. It is also important to get used to your hiking boots and to your backpack (with weight!). Try to break them in and to get a comfortable feeling. Even a round in the park every now and then helps to find out if your boots or pack are comfortable.

Gear

What do I need to bring?

You can download our packing list here. Depending on the time of the year of your journey some items might not be necessary (beanie, gloves etc.). If you strictly follow the packing list, you’ll be prepared for every situation and your backpack won’t get too heavy. You should aim for no more than 10kg on your back, otherwise it will get tough! We have also created a blog post, to explain a few tips & tricks.

Gear

Do I need walking poles?

Walking poles are not mandatory but strongly recommended. The right use of hiking poles has many benefits. The uphills are easier and on the downhill you can take weight off your knees. Generally spoken hiking poles help to prevent knee and ankle injuries. We know that traveling (especially by airplane) can be tricky with hiking poles in your luggage, that’s why we rent hiking poles to our clients on demand.

Gear

Do I really need hiking boots?

We recommend to bring a lightweight pair of hiking boots (GoreTex, Leather or similar) which cover your ankles. The Tour du Mont Blanc is an alpine hiking tour and you’ll be hiking on various terrain. With hiking boots you are perfectly prepared to walk sure footed and injury free on any terrain, especially at the beginning / end of the season where you might have to cross some last snow fields from the winter. We recommend to bring a light pair of sneakers as a second pair of shoes in your backpack for the evenings or for an easy stage to give your feet a rest.

Food

Whats the food like?

The food on the Alta Via No. 1 offers a great variety. Meals are hearty and usually consist big portions. You’ll be able to taste the different specialties from South-Tyrol and the northern part of Italy. Of course you won’t miss out on some local specialties like Apple Strudel. Mountain food contains often dairy and wheat products as well as meat.

Food

Can my dietary requirements be catered for?

Yes! If you have any food restriction (vegetarian, vegan, gluten intolerance etc.) or if you follow a special diet please let us know as soon as possible. It is no problem to arrange the meals and lunch packs according to your requirements when we know this in advance, however we do not have any influence on what options will be served by the accommodations as it is usually a set menu.

Food

What beverages are included?

Tap water is always available and free of charge. The tap water is usually drinkable if not elsewhere mentioned or announced by your guide. Alcoholic drinks and soft drinks are not included and on your own charge.

Tech

Can I use my mobile phone?

The mobile phone coverage is average on the Alta Via No. 1. In quite a few locations you’ll be off signal, often during the day when you are remote out in the wilderness. As you will be traveling through Italy, it might be worth to check with your provider what costs for roaming will apply, as it could be quite costly to use mobile data outside your country.

Tech

Is WiFi available?

Free WiFi is available in most of the places. It might not be the fastest or most stable connection but enough to send some photos to your people back home, to send some emails and check the news.

Tech

Can I charge my electronical devices?

In every place there are electricity (in a very few places only USB outlets) outlets available to charge your electric devices. Please bear in mind to bring a suitable adapter for your plugs. You will need a EU plug for Italy or even a specific Italian sized tri-pol plug . The standard bi-pol plugs which are often used for smartphone chargers often work in all of the countries.

Misc

What happens if I can’t complete a stage / the tour?

If you are feeling unwell / unable to complete a stage of your tour, you will have to rely on public or private transportation to get to the next stage. On some stages it is quite easy to “skip the day”, on others it can be quite a mission. Your guide and the Happy Tracks team will assist you in finding a suitable solution. Please bear in mind that any extra cost which will occur are on your own charge.

In the case you cannot finish the trek, your guide and the Happy tracks team will assist you in finding a suitable solution, to get you back to the start respectively end point of the hike. Unfortunately we cannot offer you a pro-rata refund for not used services such as guiding, accommodation etc. of the remaining days.

Misc

I have more questions!

If you have any other questions or require more specific information on a certain topic, please do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail or simply give us a call!

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Alta Via 1 Guided

Price
€2150 per person
Duration
8 + 2 days
Destination
Dolomites
Travellers
10 Maximum

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