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Alta Via 1, Full Walk

Bookatrekking.com Trips - 8 days

  • Alta Via 1, Full Walk
  • 8 days / 7 nights
  • Max. group: 10 Persons
  • Difficulty: Medium
Overview
Route
What's Included
Accommodation
Packing List
FAQ
Safety
COVID-19
How to Book

Overview

> Walk the Atla Via 1 from Dobbiaco to La Pissa bus stop
> Spend the night in cozy Italian Rifugios
> Don't worry about the arrangements, we got that covered!

The Alta Via 1, also known as the Dolomite High Route 1, is one of Italy's most famous trekking trails and is the easiest and most popular of the high routes that go through the Dolomites. The Dolomites are a series of individual, self-contained, pale-colored, limestone rock formations located in north-eastern Italy and stretch throughout the provinces of Belluno, South Tyrol, and Trentino. 

During this 8-day adventure, you will walk from Lago di Braies, the trailhead, to La Pissa bus stop, the ending point of the Alta Via 1. On the way, you will spend the day discovering the breathtaking Dolomites. During the night, you will sleep in cozy mountain huts or Rifugios, where you will enjoy delicious Italian dishes and you will get to chat with other adventurers. We will take care of booking the mountain huts where you will be spending the night. Also, we will arrange breakfast and dinner at the huts so that you don't have to carry food around in your backpack. You don't have to worry about the logistics around booking the huts, we will sort that out for you so that you only have to care about enjoying the adventure!

Why book with us?

You can do the Alta Via 1 fully independent and self-guided. However, stringing an itinerary including all the accommodation together can be a complicated undertaking. Bookatrekking.com has warm contacts with all the huts on the Alta Via 1 and we can take the load of having to book every hut yourself off your shoulders. Let us help you to make your Alta Via 1 memories stressfree and enjoy free hiking advice from our trekking experts while you're at it. 

Important: Availability in the huts is limited in season. Get in touch with our Trekking Experts and inquire about the possibilities. 

Route

What's the plan?

Stage 1: Lago di Braies - Rifugio Fanes

Stage one starts at the beautiful Alpine Lake Lago di Braies surrounded by towering peaks and pine forests. It begins with a steady climb to the first pass Forcella Sora Forno. In this section of the trail, you will encounter several steep walls of rock that are surmounted by short, but thrilling zigzag routes aided by cables. At the pass, you enter the Dolomites National Park. The Panorama from the broad, meadowy pass is vast and breathtaking including the northernmost Dolomite Peaks as well as the Marmolada and the Tofane Peaks. From here the Alta Via 1 crosses rolling and undulating meadows with far off views of dolomite spires spread out around you. You will then begin a steep descent into the rocky valley with fascinating orange rock walls, the last portion of the stage involves a final extended uphill stretch that finishes and a beautiful Alpine basin.

Distance: 20 kilometers
Elevation: 1500 meters
Accommodation: Rifugio Fanes

Stage 2: Rifugio Fanes - Rifugio Lagazuoi

On this stage, the real highlights of the trip begin as you enter into the Cortina D'ampezzo Valley, cross one of the most thrilling passes of the entire trip, and reach the trips high point on the summit of Mount Lagazuoi. The stage begins through idyllic meadows, streams and rolling stony pastures and becomes rockier and more captivating. As the day goes on, the route heads towards the pass Forcella Del Lago. From the top of the pass, you are faced with a plunging descent. However, the walk is made slowly and secure by reinforced switchbacks. Ultimately you will be rewarded with stunning views over the picturesque alpine Lago di Lagazuoi. The stage closes with the stiff uphill climb to the summit of Mount Lagazuoi At the top, you reach the busy RefugioLagazuoi featuring one of the best Panorama of the entire Dolomites. 

Distance: 12 kilometers
Elevation: 1150 meters
Accommodation: Rifugio Lagazuoi

Stage 3: Rifugio Lagazuoi - Rifugio Nuvolau

This stage takes you to heart of the Cortina Valley at Refugio Nuvolau, perhaps the most beautiful and spectacular spot on the entire trip. Today, the Alta Via 1 drops down into the valley briefly before making the climb to Nuvolau. On the way, you will pass the fascinating and famous Cinque Torri area, a center for rock climbing, and well worth a detour to explore the five-rock towers.  You will then begin the steady climb to Nuvolau. Nuvolau is the highlight of the entire route, located on a prominent summit of the Cortina Dolomites with a breathtaking 360-degree Panorama. 

Distance: 14 kilometers
Elevation: 900 meters
Accommodation: Rifugio Nuvolau 

Stage 4: Rifugio Nuvolau - Rifugio Citta di Fiume

The stage begins with the most technically challenging and exposed part of the entire route, a series of Via Ferrata or cable and Ladder aided stretches to descend from Nuvolau to the valley. This section of the trek is thrilling and vertigo-inducing but short. You will then descend the rest of the way to a road pass at a valley where you begin ascending, once again to the grassy pass of Forcella Ambrizzola. You then head into a beautiful pasture amphitheater backed by the impressive Monte Pelmo, looming up behind it. Here you descend through patches of forest until, all of a sudden, the Monte Pelmo, also known as Throne of the Gods, rears up incredibly close. The rifugio Citta di Fiume is situated right at the base of it.

Distance: 12 kilometers
Elevation: 400 meters
Accommodation: Rifugio Citta di Fiume

Stage 5: Rifugio Citta di Fiume - Rifugio Tissi

Today you will make a long and steep climb past the Refugio Coldai where you enter the Realms of Mount Civetta. On the way you will enjoy some of the best viewpoints of the beautiful massive Pelmo towering high above the Valley from Refugio Coldai. Continue to the beautiful Lago Coldai. From here finish the climb up to the Refugio Tissi where you get a beautiful sunset surrounded by the amazing Dolomites.  

Distance: 14 kilometers
Elevation: 900 meters
Accommodation: Rifugio Tissi

Stage 6: Rifugio Tissi - Rifugio Carestiato

From Tissi you will descend gently through meadows across from the phenomenal Cibetta as you round the southernmost corner of the Cibetta. From here you will begin a steady climb approaching the thrilling pass of Forcella Col del'Orso. After this follows a brief short climb to Forcella del'Camp. You descend and Traverse through large hoods and scree before reaching Rifugio Carestiato.

Distance: 14 kilometers
Elevation: 600 meters
Accommodation: Rifugio Carestiato

Stage 7: Rifugio Carestiato - Rifugio Pian di Fontana

Your day begins by descending to a road pass from where you enter the  Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park. The Alta Via 1 continues and after a short climb reaches a spectacular lookout just before the Forcella del Moschesin where you take in the Cime di Zita formation before you. From here you begin the ascent to one of the most difficult passes on the whole trip the Forcella di Zita Sud. This is one of the best sections on the whole Alta Via 1. After a final steep ascent, you reach a narrow exposed Rocky Ridge. Here you have several steep exposed sections, which are short but not for the faint-hearted. The pass is the gateway to one of the most beautiful valleys on the Alta Via 1. The Descent is gentle at first but it then steepens down a grassy Hillside before reaching the Rifugio Pian di Fontana. 

Distance: 19 kilometers
Elevation: 1090 meters
Accommodation: Rifugio Pian di Fontana 

Stage 8:  Rifugio Pian di Fontana - La Pissa

From Rifugio Pian di Fontana, you quickly drop down before a short but steady wooded ascent to a grassy balcony path, with plunging views down before you. After passing Rifugio Bianchet you enter a dramatic and beautiful Ravine as you make the final descent to the La Pissa Bus Stop, where the Alta Via 1 ends. 

Distance: 13 kilometers
Elevation: 120 meters

What's Included

Included:

 Booking the huts
We will take care of arranging accommodation for you. We will also provide you with a detailed itinerary for every stage and instructions on how to get to the trailhead. 

√ Accommodation
We will arrange your accommodation on the Alta Via 1 in mountain huts, also know and Rifugios. There are several options to choose from along the trail. We have selected the mountains huts on our trek based on the length of each stage and recommendations from trekkers who have done the Alta Via 1 before us.

Half-board
Accommodation at the huts includes dinner and breakfast. We will arrange this for you as well. This allows you to travel lighter and have one less thing to worry about. Bear in mind that lunch is not included, but it can be purchased at the Rifugios.

Excluded:

× Airfare and Visa
You have to make your way to Cortina d'Ampezzo. The total amount is exclusive of flights to Italy. 

× Transfers
Once in Italy, you will have to make your way to the trailhead at Lago di Braies. We will provide the instructions and assist you with how to get there. The bus tickets are not included.

× Accommodation before and after the trek
Before and after the trek you have to take care of your own accommodation.

× Travel Insurance
Your international travel insurance is your own responsibility. Discuss your itinerary with the insurance company before your trek.

× Lunch
Half-board is included in the price of this trek. Lunch, however, is not. You can get something to eat at the mountain huts along the way.

× Personal expenses
Personal expenses such as souvenirs, drinks and other similar expenses are for your own account.

Accommodation

Accommodation

During your Alta Via 1 trek, you will spend your nights in cozy Italian Rifugios. There are several options to choose from along the trail. We have selected the mountains huts on our trek based on the length of each stage and recommendations from trekkers who have done the Alta Via 1 before us. The earlier you book, the higher the chances to get a bed at the recommended huts. If a hut is full, we will do our best to find an alternative one for you. Here are the huts that we usually work with:

Rifugio Fanes
 

The Fanes hut is situated on the alpine pastures of Kleinfanes above San Vigilio in Enneberg. The hut was built in 1928 and can look back on a long tradition. The atmosphere has not changed over the years. Everywhere you will find photographs, memories, stories, and unique objects that remind you of the Ladin origin of the place. The splendid view of the Fanes Dolomites, the rich culinary offer, and the warm hospitality make a day in the Fanes hut an unforgettable experience.



Rifugio Lagazuoi

Ugo and Alda decided to leave the quiet village life to build a refuge on the top of Lagazuoi, 2752m, between the spring of 1964 and September 1965. Ever since, their family has run this mountain hut in the heart of the Dolomites. Many things have changed in 50 years but the spirit of Ugo and Alda  and their love and respect for nature remain. The refuge offers private rooms and spacious dormitories with bunk beds. All rooms have views of the Dolomites. This family-run traditional Rifugio is the perfect stop during your Alta Via 1 trek!



Rifugio Nuvolau 

Standing on the peak of a mountain , Nuvolau hut is famous for the incomparable panorama it offers: a spread 360 degrees views from the Marmolada ski resort to the famous Tofana mountains through Austrian glaciers.  No warm water, showers, or other hotel facilities are available (remember that you are on a cliff at 2600 m.) and a little of adventure spirit is required. Nuvolau hut is one of the oldest ones in all Dolomites as it was founded in 1883 and keeps its original aspect in all of its parts. Enjoy a beautiful roseate sunrise from this breathtaking hut!



Rifugio Citta di Fiume

This Rifugio is located in an enchanting location. Behind it, you will find the gentle slopes of Col de la Puina, the majestic northern face of Pelmo, Pelmetto, the Civetta, and, far away, the Marmolada glacier. Enjoy a cozy stay at this simple hut, get to know other hikers and enjoy a warm meal at the end of the day!



Rifugio Tissi

This refuge is dedicated to the memory of the mountaineer and patriot Attilio Tissi, who died in 1959 following an accident on the Tre Cime di Lavaredo. The hut is situated on the summit of Col Reàn, at an altitude of 2,250 m, in a panoramic position on the north-west face of the Civetta. From the Rifugio you can enjoy breathtaking views of the Alleghe Lake and most of the main mountain groups of the Dolomites: Marmolada, Sella, Col di Lana, Fànes, Lagazuoi, Tofane, Dolomiti Ampezzane, and Pelmo.  The refuge is open during Summer and Autumn and offers showers and hot water.



Rifugio Carestiato

Situated on the panoramic Col dei Pass and at the foot of the southern sector walls of the Moiazza group, this Rifugio is owned by the Agordina section of the Italian Alpine Club. The mountain hut has shared dormitories with bunk beds and will welcome you in the friendly atmosphere of this mountain hut. On cold evenings you can enjoy the warmth of the fantastic duvets available in each room. In the morning you will be welcomed with a hearty homemade breakfast!



Rifugio Pian di Fontana 

Rifugio Pian de Fontana is located at 1632 m, in the Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park, in the third of the nine mountain systems that make up the Dolomites. The hut is located at the head of Val dei Ross, on a pasture at the base of the Van de Zità glacial basin. The hut offers shared dormitory accommodation, cold showers (hot showers sometimes available), free wifi, and delicious warm dishes to enjoy at the end of your hike.

Packing List

Packing List

Packing the right clothes and equipment is essential for any trekking adventure. For the Alta Via 1 trek, you must make sure that you carry clothes for warm temperatures during the day, but also for quite chilly nights and mornings. Make sure that you don't overpack. 2 or 3 t-shirts are ok, you can wash them at the Refugio at night and they will ready to use again the next morning. Here are our packing recommendations for your Alta Via 1 trek:

Clothing

- Convertible lightweight, quick-drying trousers. 
- Lightweight, quick-drying t-shirts
- Good walking socks 
- Lightweight fleece layer
- Waterproof jacket
- Thermal jacket 
- Cotton leggings and t-shirt to wear in the huts in the evenings. 
- Gloves 
- Sun hat
- Good quality walking boots
- Flip flops for the huts

Equipment

- Walking poles
- Sleeping bag and liner
- Travel towel
- Water bottle
- Dry bag
- First aid kit  
- Sunscreen
- Toiletries
- Phone charger   
- Guide book and maps

FAQ

Where is the Alta Via 1?

As mentioned above, the Alta Via 1 is located at the heart of the Dolomites. However, where is this stunning series of mountains? Well, the Dolomites can be found in north-eastern Italy and stretch throughout the provinces of Belluno, South Tyrol, and Trentino. The name of this group of mountains comes from the French geologist who discovered them in 1791, Deodat de Dolomieu. Most of the peaks of this mountain range go above the 3000 meters and the highest peak is Marmolada Peak, which stands at 3343 meters. Perfect for your walking holidays in Italy

How to get to the Trailhead

The trailhead of the Alta Via 1 is Lago di Braies in northern Italy. The nearest airport is Venice and the easiest way to get from the airport to the starting point of the Alta Via 1 is using public transportation. Once you exit the baggage claim area in Venice take a left and find the ATVO bus ticket line. There you can purchase a one-way ticket on the Cortina Express. The line runs four times per day and the ticket costs 25€ per person. The ride to Cortina d'Ampezzo takes about 2 hours.

You can either spend the night at Cortina d'Ampezzo or take the next bus to Dobbiaco and spend the night there, closer to the trailhead. Either way, at some point, you will have to get to Dobbiaco. To get there, take the SAD bus, line 445 (make sure that it has "Dobbiaco" displayed on it). You can get the ticket on the bus for 5€ per person and the ride takes approximately 50 minutes. Once there, you will take line 442 to Lago di Braies/Pragser Wildsee. This ticket also costs 5€ and the ride takes 27 minutes.    

The Alta Via 1 ends at the La Pissa bus stop. Here you can catch a 20-minute bus ride to Belluno. You can buy your ticket on the bus. Once in Belluno, you can get back to Venice by train or bus.

Best Season

The season for the Alta Via 1 trek is from mid-July to mid-September. The short season has to do with the weather conditions that limit the access to the trails. A typical summer day in the Dolomites involves hot sun and clear skies. However, there may be some occasional rain or afternoon storms. However, there is no snow on the trails, which is the most important factor. There may be some light snowfalls during the summer, but the snow doesn't accumulate and is usually gone by the next morning. Make sure you pack waterproof and warm clothing together with your summer trekking shorts.

Difficulty  

Although the Alta Via 1 is indeed the easiest option when it comes to hiking in the Dolomites, this does not mean that the trail is a walk in the park. Most of the trek is quite straightforward and there are no Via Ferratas, glacier crossings, or climbing sections. However, there are some stretches of steep, rocky ground. There are also some narrow and exposed paths, not recommended for trekkers with fear of heights, like the narrow ridge between Passo Duran and Pian de Fontana. The good news is that there are metal cables as handrails in the tougher sections.

Training for the Alta Via 1

The Alta Via 1 is considered a moderate trek. You must bear in mind that you will be trekking many days with a backpack on your shoulders, so it is better if you get ready for it. Try walking a few hours a day the weeks before your trekking and try wearing the same shoes you will be wearing during the trek, that way you prevent getting blisters or hurting your feet. Another good idea is to walk with a backpack on your shoulders so that your back gets used to the weight.

We have prepared a blog post with everything you need to know to complete this trek. If you want to read more about the Alta Via 1, click here.

Safety

Safety

The Alta Via 1 is a safe trek. The trail is quite well signposted along the way. There isn't only one mark, signs vary from painted arrows or circles to more dedicated signs, such as a "1" inside a triangle. Although the route is quite clear throughout the trek, it is important to carry a competent navigator with a map and compass. Snow or low clouds can make navigation quite challenging. Under the snow, ground features are hidden and reliance on a map and compass skills are key.


Get a map before starting the trek. You can purchase the map online in advance or you can get it on paper once you get there. There are plenty of shops where you can get a good and detailed map of the Alta Via 1 in Cortina d'Ampezzo and in Dobbiaco. You can also download the Tabacco Maps app on your phone and download the Alta Via 1 map on your phone for a small sum.

COVID-19

Alta Via 1 in 2020 and Covid - 19

For the summer of 2020, the Alta Via 1 is a perfect option to avoid having to stay in overcrowded hotels in coastal countries and to socially distance oneself from others. But obviously you still will have to spend the night at huts where you will certainly not be alone. In order to keep the COVID-19 pandemic under control, the following must be taken into account.:

- Do not visit the Huts if you have symptoms!
- Huts aren't allowed to work at full capacity, so make sure to book your stay in advance
- Bring your own facemask!
- You must bring your own sleeping bag, liner, and pillow cover
- Bring your own travel towel

How to Book

On Bookatrekking.com you can find and compare the adventures of your dreams. Is this trekking your match? In that case, you can proceed with your booking. At Bookatrekking.com you make a deposit of 15% of the total amount. In the case of this trek, we will check the availability at the respective accommodations for you. There are two possible outcomes:  

 There is availability 

We ask once again for a deposit of 15% to secure all accommodation for you. The remaining 70% must be paid at least two (2) weeks before the start of the trekking. 

X There is no availability 

If there is no availability, we will look for other starting dates or another trekking in agreement with you. Are there no other options for you? Then your deposit of 15% will be refunded.

Cancellation Policy

If all the accommodations of this trekking are booked and confirmed, you will lose your deposit of 30% at all times. If you cancel within 14 days of your start date, you will lose your full booking amount. 

Is it not quite clear yet or do you have questions? Please contact us via support@bookatrekking.com. We are happy to help you.

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