Palaronda Trek: 4 Days of Pale di San Martino Magic

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Palaronda Trek: 4 Days of Pale di San Martino Magic
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So you want more Dolomites? The Palaronda Trek is as Dolomites as can be! The Pale di San Martino or the Pale Group is the largest massif of the Dolomites and this rugged group of mountains hosts the spicy and legendary 4-day Palaronda Trek. The mountains here will make those on the Alta Via 1 look tiny. As a matter of fact, you're in the heart of our bestseller Alta Via 2, another Dolomites hiking classic. Alta Vias left and right but with Palaronda Trek you are doing something that literally stands out. Ready to rock 'n roll? Forza!

By saying that the Palaronda Trek is in the heart of Alta Via 2, we mean that you are coming across some trails that are also part of this legendary route. The Alta Via 2 is for the mountain goats out there and allows for several via ferrata adventures. The Palaronda Trek is basically a highlights version of it, offers a less demanding challenge, and is suitable for you, me, and most hikers. In this blog post, we give you the full breakdown and help you on your way!

What and Where Is The Palaronda Trek?

Pale di San Martino, the Pala Group, is majestic, elegant, literally hardcore, an Italian favourite, and, is home to one of the most fun and kind of sexy treks in the Italian Dolomites. Sexy, you say? Well, if you have a look at the photos and see the landscape you are hiking through, you can definitely get a few sexy profile photos or Instagram stories on this trek. This is the Palaronda Trek: short, accessible, not too technical, and a great way to spice up your time in Italy. The Pale di San Martino is the largest massif of the Dolomites and it is located between eastern Trentino and Ventore. Its highest point is 3,192 metres: Cima de Vezzana.

On the Palaronda Trek, you are not climbing Vezzana but you will have the possibility to climb Fradusta at 2,939 metres. This sounds high and it is high, but the good thing about the Palaronda Trek is that you will be staying in mountain huts of which one is already at an altitude of over 2,500 metres. The start point of the Palaronda Trek is at San Martino di Castrozza. This village is situated at the Passo Rolle, cycling enthusiasts would know this mountain pass from the notorious Giro d'Italia. San Martino di Castrozza is about 2 hours from Bolzano and Trento, and about 2.5 hours from Venice.

What and Where Is The Palaronda Trek?

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Is The Palaronda Trek For Me?

We already mentioned that the Palaronda Trek is short, accessible, and doable for most hikers. The classic version, also known as the Palaronda Soft Trek, is 4 days long, counts about 35 kilometres and entails almost 3,000 of elevation. Sounds like the life of an ibex but you too can do this. Your daily hiking time isn't much longer than 5 hours max so in the huts you will have plenty of time to rest your legs, fuel up, and recharge yourself. Hiking times are generally a bit shorter than on other famous Dolomite hikes like the Alta Via 1, the Alta Via 2, and the Alta Via del Granito.

Okay, it's still a multi-day hike and it will definitely help if you have experience with hiking in the mountains. The ascending and descending will be hard on your legs and the weight of your backpack doesn't make it easier. The paths regularly consist of loose rock, you have to climb and scramble over large boulders, up and down steep slopes and early in the season there is even a chance you will have to walk through the snow. Further down this blog post, you can get an idea of what the itinerary looks like and you can find a handy packing list. With some physical preparation and the right tools, the Palaronda Trek is also for you. Is it also for your kids? Maybe from the age of 12, but only when they have experience with multi-day hiking in the mountains and are comfortable carrying their own backpack. For hut-to-hut hiking trips for children, read this blog post.

Is The Palaronda Trek For Me?

Did you know that we can book all huts and refuges for the Palaronda Trek for you? Check out all our options here.

What Is The Best Season for The Palaronda Trek?

The season for the Palaronda Trek runs from the end of June until mid-September, completely in line with other treks in the Dolomites and the Alps. The rifugios as introduced in the next paragraph won't be open before and after that time, and thus you won't be able to spend the night outside the season. A typical summer day in the Dolomites is characterized by bright sunshine and clear skies. However, there may be occasional rain showers or afternoon storms. There is no snow on the trails, which is the main limiting factor for off-season accessibility.

In the summer, there may be some light snowfall, but the snow does not accumulate and is usually gone by the next morning. Be sure to bring waterproof and warm clothing, not just shorts. More about that in the packing list a few paragraphs below. July and August are the busiest months for trekking in the Dolomites. Hut-to-hut tours are also a favourite pastime for Italians, so if you want to go trekking in or around the school holidays, it's best to not wait too long with making arrangements.

Palaronda Trek Map and Navigation

There are plenty of maps and guidebooks that can help you do the Palaronda Trek or any other trek in the Italian Dolomites. Below you can find a map with an overview of the route.

Not sure yet or want to discuss your plans for the Palaronda Trek with one of our trekking experts? Get in touch today and turn your dreams into memories!

Classic 4-Day Palaronda Soft Trek Itinerary: From Day to Day

The Palaronda Trek can be hiked in 4 days. This is a perfect package for anyone who doesn't have much time but wants to enjoy a real Italian adventure. In this package, you will hike approximately 10 kilometers per day, and you will start and end in San Martino di Castrozza.


San Martino di Castrozza - Rifugio Rosetta "Giovanni Pedrotti"

Duration: 02:45 h
Distance: 6.19 km
Ascent: 1100 m
The best place to park is at the Colverde-Rosetta cable car valley station. From there, you first take the forest road towards Val di Roda until you reach a crossroads, from where trail no. 725 Sentiero del Cacciatore leads hikers up to Colverde. Continue along trail no. 701 towards Rifugio Rosetta on the high plateau of the Pala Group. A short time later you reach Rifugio Rosetta. Those who are early and still feeling energetic can also climb Rosetta peak. This takes about 20 minutes - the views will obviously be worth it.

Rifugio Pedrotti alla Rosetta

Rifugio Pedrotti alla Rosetta

Rifugio Rosetta "Giovanni Pedrotti" - Rifugio Pradidali

Duration: 03:20 h
Distance: 10.1 km
Ascent: 310 m
Descent: 620 m
At Rifugio Rosetta the actual Palaronda Trek begins. From the hut, trail no. 709 leads to the foot of the Fradusta glacier. On the left flank of the glacier, the trail climbs for 1.5 hours and ends on the Cima Fradusta at 2.939 meters with its great views. You are now in the heart of Pale di San Martino, the Pala Group. Return along the same path to the Pradidali Basso pass. From there, descend into the upper Val Pradidali and continue hiking to Rifugio Pradidali. Beer time.

Rifugio Pradidali

Rifugio Pradidali

Rifugio Pradidali - Rifugio Treviso Canali

Duration: 03:30 h
Distance: 9.29 km
Ascent: 460 m
Descent: 1050 m
On the third day, trail no. 709 leads from Rifugio Pradidali into Val Pradidali. There, the route is accompanied by cliffs that rise vertically into the sky as far as Val Canali. Turn left and follow the trail past the ruins of the Alpe Malga Pradidali to Malga Canali. A stop here is rewarding. Those who want to and have energy left turn right about 500 meters before Malga Canali and will reach the lake of Villa Welsperg after about three kilometers. This shimmering emerald-green lake will be worth your extra time. Back again and finally on trail no. 707 to the stage destination, a Dolomite classic, Rifugio Treviso.

Rifugio Treviso

Rifugio Treviso

Rifugio Treviso - Rifugio Rosetta - San Martino di Castrozza

Duration: 04:05 h
Distance: 10 km
Ascent: 1080 m
Descent: 160 m
Follow trail No. 707 again, this time into the wide Vallone del Coro valley. After three hours of climbing you will reach the Canalipas at the eastern edge of the plateau. After another three hours on path No. 707, the circuit ends again at Rifugio Rosetta. For most hikers, the final descent to San Martino di Castrozza is done by cable car. The choice is yours!
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Not the Palaronda Soft Trek: Via Ferratas

On the above version of the Palaronda Trek you won't have to do any via ferratas. However, it is possible. That wouldn't be a Palaronda Soft Trek, by far the most popular option, however. A via ferrata, in English iron path, or in German Klettersteig, is a protected climbing path with cables, ladders and iron supports attached to rock walls. There are several famous Via Ferratas in the world, the highest of which, on Kota Kinabalu

Unlike on the Alta Via 2, we don't advise you to bring via ferrata gear to the Palaronda Trek. That is, if you stick to the itinerary as described and offered above. This doesn't mean you don't have the option to go try it. Should you be interested, then note that that especially Rifugio Pradidali is a great base for via ferrata routes.

Not the Palaronda Soft Trek: Via Ferratas

Packing List for the Palaronda Trek

It doesn't matter where you are going trekking or for how long: Carrying the right equipment with you is paramount. For a hiking trip in the mountains, you will need, first and foremost, a good backpack. Its size will depend on how many days you will be spending in the mountains, the season, and the clothes you will be taking with you. We have prepared a packing list with some essential clothing that you should include and some extras that you may find useful:
  • Essentials

  • Extras

Getting To and From San Martino di Castrozza

The Palaronda Trek starts at Rifugio Rosetta, which is reached by trail or cable car from San Martino di Castrozza, a well-known mountain resort along the well-known Via Passo Rolle in the Dolomites. Every year the hairpin bends of this mountain pass feature in the bicycle race Giro d'Italia. In order to start the Palaronda Trek, you have to get to San Martino di Castrozza first.

By bus:

If you are not travelling by car, it's best to spend the night in the small town of Arten, or neighbouring Feltre. This is about 1.30 hours by bus from Trento and 2 hours by train and bus from Venice. From Arten, you can take a straight bus to San Martino di Castrozza and with that the trailhead or cable car for the Palaronda Trek.

By car:

There is a free parking space right at San Martino di Castrozza. Here hikers leave their cars overnight. Alternatively, if you have a place to stay in the village, you can leave your car there as well. San Martino di Castrozza is a 2 hours drive from both Trento and Bolzano and about 2.5 hours from Venice.

Getting To and From San Martino di Castrozza

At, we not only book your huts, we also send you on your way with a comprehensive hiking guide with the most important information for your Palaronda Trek, including interactive Komoot maps. Browse all our options here and turn your dreams into reality.

What to Do in Case of an Emergency?

A situation is defined as an emergency whenever human life (yours or someone else's) is endangered and there is nothing you can do to resolve the matter. You should call for help if there has been an accident, if there is somebody trapped, if you got lost or in trouble and are unable to continue because of the time of day or weather conditions, or if you are trapped because of technical climbing challenges that exceed your capabilities.

The most important thing to do in an emergency is to stay calm and survey the situation. Do not panic or take useless risks if the people in trouble are difficult to reach. In an emergency, first and foremost, call for assistance. When calling for help, make sure to provide your location and the number of victims and type of injuries. Then, protect the victim from cold and other environmental threats and administer first aid, if you can.

Mountain Rescue Emergency Number: 118

What to Do in Case of an Emergency?

Safe hiking tips for the Palaronda Trek

When you go on walking holidays it is wise to be aware of a few points. Even if this is not your first time, you should never underestimate the mountains. Good tour planning and compliance with the regulations on the mountains will significantly increase safety. To ensure that your hiking holiday is a safe and enjoyable experience, here below you can find a list of 8 recommendations for safe hiking in the mountains:
  • Know your limits

    Hiking the Palaronda Trek is the perfect outlet to escape from daily life. It is an endurance sport along with a beautiful nature experience with a positive effect on body and mind —as long as one is in good shape and has a realistic picture of one's possibilities and limits—. Never overestimate yourself or underestimate the route. Don't overdo it! Always choose the slower variant and take more time for your plans. Hiking under time pressure is not fun and at too fast a pace it can be dangerous. Be wise!

  • Plan carefully

    Good planning is half the work! Hiking maps, literature, the Internet and expert advice are invaluable when planning the route in the Palaronda Trek and enable you to determine the length, altitude difference, difficulty and conditions of the hike. When planning group treks, the itinerary should always be planned for the weakest member of the group! The weather in the mountains can change incredibly quickly and rain, wind and cold all increase the risk factor. For this reason, always check the weather forecast beforehand and contact our trekking experts to find your way around before you start.

  • Be fully equipped

    Equipment is everything. In the most extreme case, it makes the difference between life and death, and in any case, it definitely makes the difference between having fun and having a bad time. Food and water, sunscreen and waterproof and warm clothes must always be in your backpack, as well as a first aid kit and a mobile phone with a full battery (in case there is an emergency). However, packing light makes walking easier, so don't take too much extra luggage with you. Your equipment should always be suitable for the terrain you'll be hiking on in the Palaronda Trek.

  • Wear suitable footwear

    Good walking shoes protect your feet and provide a better fit. Shoes with a good fit, with non-slip soles, water-resistant and lightweight are a must for additional walking pleasure during the Palaronda Trek. Trail running shoes are great for a weekend in the mountains, but on longer hikes or more technical trails, you'll want at least A/B hiking boots. That means it is recommended wearing high mountain shoes that are water-repellent with extra ankle support to prevent sprains.

  • Stay on marked trails

    Palaronda Trek has endless marked hiking trails, which are controlled and maintained and should not be deviated from. It may be tempting, but it's not a good idea to take shortcuts or alternative routes through unmarked terrain. It increases the risk of disorientation and you're more likely to get lost and have accidents or fall in the mountains. Even steep slopes of packed old snow are often underestimated and dangerous. Are you in doubt? Better don't do it. For easy navigation we work with our trusted partner Komoot, whose interactive maps, also available offline, provide you with the necessary digital means to get from A to B. As a backup, make sure to bring a hiking guide or a paper map with you. FYI, 75% of stumbles occur due to carelessness on marked paths or roads, not in open terrain!

  • Take regular breaks

    Remember you're on a hiking holiday. Timely and regular breaks not only provide welcome relaxation but also make it possible to enjoy the Palaronda Trek. The body needs a regular food and drink intake to maintain performance and concentration. Our advice is that if you have little time, it's better to follow the short itinerary than to speed up the long one.

  • Stay reachable

    If you are hiking solo or in small groups it is advisable to inform people back home about your plans, what route you are taking and when you plan to return. Even small incidents can lead to unpleasant emergencies so make sure you are available at all times. Bring a charged phone containing at least the phone numbers of immediate family members, your accommodations en route and the emergency phone numbers operating in the Palaronda Trek.

  • Respect nature

    Leave no rubbish behind, prevent noise, stay on the marked trails, do not disturb wildlife or grazing animals, and respect protected areas.

How Much Does Hiking The Palaronda Trek Cost?

A hut-to-hut trek really doesn't have to break the bank. Huts are usually basic but offer everything you need to recharge your mental and physical batteries for the next hiking day(s). For 4 days on the Palaronda Trek, you can count about 90 to 100 EUR per hiking day. This includes itinerary details, navigation assistance, your accommodation in a rifugio, and half pension in the shape of breakfast and dinner. For hut-to-hut tours in general, we then advise bringing 40 to 60 EUR pocket money per day. This is for lunch and your beverages. Most of our pocket money usually goes towards that ice-cold beer with our name on it, in the next hut. :)

Where Can I Book the Palaronda Trek?

At you can book the self-guided Palaronda Trek and many other treks. We take care of all the details for you, including arranging accommodations and providing you with relevant information well in advance of your trek. Find our offers here. Our easy-to-use platform allows you to browse and compare different trekking options and find the perfect fit for your interests, abilities, and budget.

If you have any questions about a specific trek or need help choosing the right one for you, our team of trekking experts is here to assist you. Simply reach out to us and we will be happy to provide you with personalized recommendations and advice to help you plan the trekking adventure of a lifetime.

Is the Palaronda Trek not your cup of tea and are you looking for other epic adventures? Check out one of our following blog posts:


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