Hiking Italy's Dolomites

GENERAL INFO

The Dolomites mountains in the Italian Alps are a playground for outdoor adventurers, and they have been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site for their unique geology. The dolomitic limestone has been eroded by the elements over the millennia into towering pinnacles, vertical walls, and sheer cliffs, making it one of the most breathtaking mountain landscapes in the world.
We love the area so much that we have developed this “Alta Via 1” tour to indulge our passion for the region. Meet your group at the Venice airport for a transfer into the mountains, where we have two nights in San Candido followed by a few days hiking the "Alta Via" or High Route. This is a special experience because you’ll see some of Europe’s most spectacular alpine scenery while staying high up in the mountains for three nights in isolated mountain chalets (“rifugio” in Italian). They are more spartan than a normal hotel but our travelers are always surprised to find them more comfortable than expected. You’ll find regular beds, hot showers, delicious meals, and the beauty of watching the sun set from high up in the mountains. The last two days return you to the comfort of a four-star hotel in Cortina, where you will have time for some well-deserved pampering at the spa. This tour provides you with a real Himalayan-style trekking adventure but with comfortable lodgings and superb Italian food and wine. It’s definitely a winning combination!

DAILY ITINERARY

Our trip begins in Venice, where you meet your guide(s) at the airport. If you have the time, we suggest you spend a few days exploring this amazing city and the surrounding lagoon, both of which are also a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city is built across 118 small islands and seems to float on the waters of the lagoon, composing an extraordinary architectural masterpiece. Meet the trip leader at 1 pm at the Venice Airport and transfer to the charming alpine village of San Candido where we check into our four-star hotel. Meet this evening for a welcome dinner where you will get acquainted with your traveling companions and guides.

Overnight in San Candido
Dinner included
Driving distance:  

Venice to San Candido 185 km / 3 hr

The Tre Cime di Lavaredo have become the visual symbol of the Dolomites, so hiking around them is an absolute must. These three peaks rise like monoliths into the sky and are surrounded by hundreds of jagged peaks that line the horizon like a crumbling forest of rock. After breakfast we have a short transfer to the Rifugio Auronzo, where we begin our hike towards the Rifugio Locatelli which offers spectacular views onto the Tre Cime. Continue hiking towards the Forcella Pian di Cengia, and from there the trail descends in sweeping curves and switchbacks into a basin before climbing steeply to the Rifugio Lavaredo to close the loop.

Overnight in San Candido
Breakfast and dinner included
Hiking distance:
15 km / Hiking Duration: 5 hr
Elevation gain & loss: 900 m & 570 m
Driving distance:  
San Candido to Tre Cime di Lavaredo 30 km / 45 min
Tre Cime di Lavaredo to San Candido 30 km / 45 min

The adventure ramps up today as we begin the “Alta Via” (high road) part of the trip. Stay for the next three nights in mountain chalets, which aren’t as luxurious as hotel rooms but still offer comfortable beds and linens, hot showers, and excellent food and wine. Enjoy the fresh mountain air and stunning views as you let the cares of daily life fade away. The start of the hike couldn’t be more scenic as we begin at the turquoise waters of Lake Braies, surrounded by soaring peaks with the Croda del Becco towering above us. We start to climb on a well-defined path up to the Rifugio Bella, where we stop for a much-deserved lunch. We continue our hike and reach our cozy rifugio by late afternoon. Our hut is nestled in a high alpine meadow where cowbells ring out as the herds wander along the mountain slopes. Celebrate the day’s hike with a hot shower and a cold beer, followed by dinner in the cozy chalet.

Overnight in Rifugio Fodara Vedla
Breakfast and dinner included
Hiking distance:
13 km / Hiking Duration: 5 hr
Elevation gain & loss: 1050 m & 60 m
Driving distance:  
San Candido to Lake Braies 20 km / 30 min

The day starts with a long descent to Rifugio Pederu, located at the end of the glacial Tamersc Valley, where we can stop for a welcome coffee and fresh pastry. From here we begin our ascent to the Rifugio Lavarella. Follow a path that climbs up again amongst alpine clearings and sparse pine woods to the Forcella de Medesc, and after about two hours we reach our rifugio which sits in the heart of the Natural Park Fanes-Sennes-Braies in a flat basin of the “Klein Fanes” pasture near an enchanting Green Lake. It also happens to be the highest microbrewery in Europe and the beer is brewed with the fresh and crystal-clear mountain water of the Dolomites at 2,050 m (6,700 ft) above sea level. A tasting is definitely on the agenda!

Overnight in Rifugio Lavarella
Breakfast and dinner included
Hiking distance:
6,5 km / Hiking Duration: 3 hr 30 min
Elevation gain & loss: 700 m & 450 m

Today’s hike features dramatic alpine terrain as we head towards Rifugio Lagazuoi. We start with a short climb up a rocky staircase before an easier walk along a wide valley lined by majestic peaks for about two hours. Then we take an amazing trail that climbs steeply out of the valley to Forcella del Lago, where you will be rewarded with jaw-dropping views onto Lago Lagazuoi and Rifugio Lagazuoi atop a hill in the far distance. From this vantage point it looks like a nearly vertical descent, but rest assured, the path is quite manageable now that well-groomed switchbacks were built a few years ago. After lunch we have an epic climb up to Rifugio Lagazuoi at 2,752 m (9,000 ft). It has a spectacular location as it sits perched on a cliff with 360 degrees of breathtaking views.

Overnight in Rifugio Lagazuoi
Breakfast,
picnic lunch, and dinner included
Hiking distance:
13 km / Hiking Duration:6 hr
Elevation gain & loss: 1060 m & 370 m

Even if you’re not a morning person you’ll be excited to get out of bed today to see the sunrise from your rifugio. On a clear morning the entire region slowly opens up to you in all its majesty. After a hearty breakfast, head out for your hike past remnants of the World War I battles that were fought here. You’ll pass the dugouts and bunkers of the Austrian front lines and the eerie remains of Italian trenches and fortifications. Our hike initially stays high above the valley following the rocky sides of the Tofanes massif and the Cinque Torri (Five Towers) on the far side of the valley, then descends towards Falzarego pass and climbs up again to the Rifugio Scoiattoli, where we stop for lunch. After that we have the option to hike through the Cinque Torre Open Air Museum or relax in a sun chair at the rifugio before boarding a chair lift to save our knees a long downhill. Our final destination is Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy’s world-famous alpine resort town which sits in the heart of the Veneto Dolomites in a wide valley surrounded by high peaks.

Overnight in Cortina
Breakfast and dinner included
Hiking distance:
9 km / Hiking Duration: 4 hr
Elevation gain & loss: 330 m & 360 m

Our last hike features fabulous panoramic views, a jewel-like alpine lake, and the Dolomites signature spire rock formations. The hike begins with a gradual two-hour climb to reach the Rifugio Croda da Lago for a coffee and strudel break. We pass by the enchanting Lake Federa, whose blue-green waters reflect the surrounding peaks. Continuing our climb, we reach the Ambrizzola crest, revealing unparalleled views of Monte Pelmo and "La Marmolada." The path then crosses a gently rolling alpine plateau up to 2,236 m (7,336 ft) at Passo Giau, the second highest road pass in the Dolomites. Enjoy a refreshing drink at the rifugio before transferring back to Cortina. There is some free time to enjoy Cortina before gathering for dinner, where we toast to a successful grand traverse with newfound friends.

Overnight in Cortina
Breakfast and dinner included

Hiking distance: 14 km / Hiking Duration: 6 hr
Elevation gain & loss: 980 m & 260 m

After breakfast we offer one group transfer to the Venice airport. We plan to arrive by 11 am in time for flights departing after 1pm.

Breakfast included
Driving distance:
Cortina to Venice airport 158 km / 2 hr

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WHAT'S INCLUDED

PRICE INCLUDES

  • All accommodations as listed (or similar) based on double occupancy in San Candido and Cortina. In the rifugios, rooms are assigned as people sign up. If you book early and you are a couple there is a good chance we will be able to reserve a double room for you, but in other cases you may have to share a triple or quadruple room with other people. Toilets and showers are in the hallway (it's a great way to meet people!)
  • Hotel taxes and service charges
  • All transportation during the trip
  • Luggage transportation during the Alta Via portion: Your bags will be transferred to the first and second rifugio but you will need to carry necessities for the third rifugio night as your main luggage is transferred to Cortina
  • The lift tickets
  • All activities mentioned in the program
  • Services of a guide throughout the tour

NOT INCLUDED

  • Domestic and/or international air fare
  • Medical expenses
  • Travel or emergency evacuation insurance
  • Gratuities for leader/guide or driver
  • Alcoholic beverages and meals other than outlined in itinerary
  • Visas if needed
  • Other items of a personal nature
  • Anything not mentioned in above program

INCLUDED MEALS

  • Breakfast, lunches and dinners as indicated in the itinerary

ITINERARY CHANGES

We are constantly updating our unique itineraries based on new information and experiences available. The walks, accommodations, and visits listed may be adjusted. The itineraries presented are subject to modification and change by Tripin Adventures. We reserve the right, without penalty, to make changes in the published itinerary whenever, in our judgment, conditions warrant, or if we deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of participants, anything not mentioned in above program.

TRIP NOTES

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Your trip notes provide a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included
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LICENSED BY

GREEK NATIONAL TOURISM ORGANISATION
AUTHORIZED LICENSE NUMBER:
0206 E 60000520201

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ENTERPRISES IN OUTDOOR ACTIVITIES

OUR GUIDES ARE CERTIFIED BY

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MOUNTAIN GUIDE

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MOUNTAIN GUIDE

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