€2150 per person
8 + 2 days
10 Maximum

GUIDED AV1 HIKE Explore the Fantastic Dolomites

Hardly anywhere in the world you can marvel at mountains of such fascinating shape and colour. Impossibly sheer cliffs along side accessible hiking trails make this area a mountain hiker’s paradise. 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 be staying in charming and traditional mountain 'rifugios' where you will get indulged with the typical Dolomites Cuisine – a great mix of delicious Italian meals and rich mountain dishes.
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What's included

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
  • A rich and healthy lunch pack on each stage
  • 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.)
Luggage Storage: 1 bag per person storage in Cortina

Finest Scenery & World Class Trekking

The Alta Via 1 is the most famous and popular long distance route in the Dolomites. It was the first to be established in the area and today it attracts thousands of hikers every year from all over the world. The main reasons for this is the beautiful scenery, ever changing throughout the hike and unique in the Alps. But also the history of the area, deeply linked to WWI, and its culture, very diverse for such a small place. On this guided AV1 hike you will experience this unique mountain region first hand.

You will hike through some of the most important mountain ranges in the history of alpinism and you will discover how these mountains were formed at the bottom of the ocean, millions of years ago. You will get to know the local culture and traditions and taste some of the best local mountain food. Last but not least, you’ll be welcomed in the cosiest mountain huts and experience some of the finest alpine hospitality!

The beauty of a multi day hike is that you get to explore an area in depth and at walking pace, and this is what this trip is all about.


Hiking the AV1

The Alta Via 1 in the Italian Dolomites is an eight days trek that runs through some of the most spectacular and renowned mountain areas in the whole of the Dolomites. Starting at Lago di Braies (Pragser Wildsee) in the north, it then winds its way south through the Sennes and Fanes groups, Lagazuoi, Nuvolau and Cinque Torri, Pelmo, Civetta and the wilder Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park.

The AV1 is a 110km long itinerary that follows a network of pretty good and well maintained mountain paths. The route is never too technical, but it includes some steep and exposed sections and requires good fitness and experience in the mountain environment (it might be unsuitable for people with severe fear of heights or unstable footing). Definitely a step up compared to some of the other long distance treks in the Alps, such as the Tour du Mont Blanc.

Each night will be spent in a different mountain hut, either far out in the mountains or by a road. Some of these places are definitely more similar to a hotel then a hut, whereas others are basic but always comfortable. Hospitality is always 100%, and you’ll have a chance to share a meal with other fellow hikers.


On the first and last day of this tour we will be staying in a comfortable 3 star hotel central to Cortina. The rooms are twin rooms, if you are are a solo traveller you will be sharing with another hiker of the same gender.

On the rest of the hike we will be staying in remote mountain refuges, here the accommodation is in small mixed dormitories. The accommodation is comfortable and welcoming but not luxurious. It is part of the real hiking experience to stay in these places, the views and scenery that surround them will be spectacular!


What to expect on a guided AV1 hike

The Alta Via 1 is amongst the best and most famous multi-day treks in Europe. Your guided AV1 hike includes the following highlights:

  • Hike in the heart of the Dolomites, a unique mountain area in the world;
  • Walk 110km through ever changing scenery and terrain, from green pastures to sheer limestone drops;
  • Tackle some challenging sections and reach a height of 2750m;
  • Immerse yourself in the region’s alpine culture and cultural diversity;
  • Sleep in some of the most welcoming and remote mountain huts in the region;
  • Taste some of the best mountain food in the Alps.
  • Knowledgeable local guide

This tour is suitable for people with previous trekking experience who want to trek through some of the most beautiful and renowned places in the Italian Dolomites. It is not suitable for beginner hikers, people who struggle on uneven and unstable terrain or people with severe fear of heights. You will be walking for long days with a heavy bag, carrying all your gear, so a good level of fitness is required.



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!


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, your home for the night.

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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
The Alta Via No. 1 from Toblach (Pragser Wildsee) to Belluno is an epic hiking adventure crossing the heart of the Dolomites. Many of the refuges are difficult to access by road, for this reason bag transfer is not available for this tour. It is possible to store an extra bag in Cortina during the hike.

A general note about the accommodation

On a long distance trek such as the AV1, you will experience the mountain lifestyle and sleep in authentic places. Mostly you will be staying in mountain huts in shared accommodation. The accommodation along the way offers a charming and rustic, in a mountainous atmosphere. Most of the accommodation on this trip is high in the mountains, it is there for hikers, climbers and those wishing to explore this amazing landscape. It is not luxury accommodation but the locations cannot be beaten!

In the mountain huts you’ll stay in bunk beds with pillows and blankets (a thin and light sleeping bag liner is mandatory for hygienic reasons), In every place there is electricity to charge your batteries. The accommodation offers many services such as a hot shower and running water (shared bathroom on the floor). Also, towels are usually not provided so please bring your own towel (if possible fast drying).

Before and after the trek you'll stay in a comfortable 3-star hotel in a twin / double room incl. breakfast. A single supplement might be charged, depending on group size and room availability.


During the trekking, you will have the chance to taste the great variety of local specialities. The accommodations offer always half-board with your stay which includes a breakfast and a three-course dinner. The breakfast contains always coffee / tea, bread, butter and jam. Depending on the location of the accommodation there is also orange-juice, cereals, yoghurt, fruits, cheese and meat available for breakfast.  The three-course dinner in the evening is hearty and the plates are quite big. A typical menu could be a soup for the starter, a main course with meat, vegetables and a side dish (rice, polenta, pasta) and a dessert which can be for example vanilla pudding, crème brulée or fruit salad. For the dinner only tap water is included, soft drinks such as wine or beer are on your own charge.

During the hike lunches will be provided by the accommodation. Our lunch packs consist usually one big unit such as a sandwich, a wrap, a piece of fresh fruits, muesli bars, chocolate, nuts, dried fruits, juice, crackers, cakes etc. If you have any food restriction (vegetarian, vegan, gluten intolerance etc.) please let us know as soon as possible. We can cater for most dietary requirements although in the mountains the choice is often limited.


To do a long distance trekking is a great challenge and a good physical workout. During the summer it can be quite warm in the Dolomites so it is important to carry enough water. We strongly recommend to take between two and three liters of water on such a trek. We recommend taking at least two one-litre bottles (plastic or aluminium) or a camel bag (water bladder). The tap water is usually drinkable, but there are limited resources on the trails to fill up your bottle. Your guide will give you an advice for each day.


During the summer in the Dolomites (June – September) we experience usually fair and quite warm weather. 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 sometimes quite unpredictable and meteorological situations can change very quickly. Therefore, it is necessary to be always prepared for such a change. Another fact is that you will be hiking in different altitude levels, so there will be a significant change between the valley ground and the high mountain passes. On a rainy day temperatures can drop quite low and it is necessary to have a good rain jacket and depending on the season even a hat and a pair of gloves. If you stick to our equipment list, you will be ready for any weather situation. Please do not hesitate to ask us if you have any questions about this topic.

Trail / Conditions

From the moment you start the trekking we highly recommend you to have a valid travel, medical & mountain evacuation insurance, which is a very important factor in case of an accident. You will need full travel & holiday insurance suitable for a trekking holiday. This will need to be organized by you before the trek starts. It is essential that you have the correct insurance in case of a medical emergency on the mountain, as rescue can be costly. Rescue in Italy is usually not charged, depending on the circumstances, however you could always be asked to pay and this could cost several thousand Euros, especially if a helicopter rescue is necessary. The cost of hospitalization and subsequent care is normally the most expensive part of any accident if you do not have the correct cover and are hospitalized without insurance. The cost could easily reach an immense level. 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. If you have any questions about this topic please do not hesitate to contact us.


Along the Alta Via No. 1 you will travel always through Italy (respectively South-Tyrol). It is always worth to have some Euros (EUR) in cash with you, if you would like to buy some drinks and souvenirs along the way. In the bigger villages at the start and the end of the tour (Cortina) there are also ATM cash machines. Most of the places also accept the most common credit cards (VISA, Mastercard, American Express), but please bear in mind that there might be a small commission fee or a minimum amount.

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



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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 No. 1 - Dolomites

€2150 per person
8 + 2 days
10 Maximum

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