Southern Alta Via 1
Bookatrekking.com Trips - 6 days
Regular days with
- 10 - 15 km per day
- 500 - 1000m ascent per day
- T3 Trails
Overview> Hike the Southern side of the Alta Via 1, from Cortina to the La Pissa bus stop
> Spend the night in cozy Italian Rifugios
> Bookatrekking.com arranges all the huts along the way
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 located in north-eastern Italy and stretch throughout the provinces of Belluno, South Tyrol, and Trentino.
Why book with us?
RouteWhat's the plan?
Stage 1: Cortina d'Ampezzo - Rifugio Averau
The Dolomites are calling. From Cortina d'Ampezzo you have two options. Either you cover half of the distance with cable cars or public transport, or you take the steep but rewarding hiking towards Passo Falzarego, below Lagazuoi. On the way you will come past a number of rifugios like Duca D'Aosta, Pomedes and Dibona, allowing some opportunities for a cable car. Your goal is Cinque Torre, the centre for rock climbing, and well worth a detour to explore the "five-rock towers". You'll spend the night at Rifugio Averau but you'll want to experience the sunset at the adjacent Rifugio Nuvolau, the newly renovated rifugio built on a spire and offering a 360-degree panorama.
Distance: 15,6 kilometers
Elevation: 1.500 meters
Accommodation: Rifugio Averau
Stage 2: Rifugio Averau - Rifugio Passo Staulanza
The stage begins with the most technically challenging and exposed part of the entire route, a series of Via Ferrata or routes with cables and ladders stretch to descend from Nuvolau into the valley. This part of the trail is exciting but short. Then you descend the rest of the way to a mountain pass near the valley where you begin to climb again, to the pass of Forcella Ambrizzola. As you cross this pass, the impressive Monte Pelmo looms in the background. Here you descend through stretches of forest until Monte Pelmo, also known as the Throne of the Gods, suddenly becomes incredibly close. You walk along Rifugio Città di Fume further to the Staulanza pass where you will find the pleasant Rifugio Passo Staulanza.
Distance: 15,5 kilometers
Elevation: 400 meters
Accommodation: Rifugio Passo Staulanza
Stage 3: Rifugio Passo Staulanza - Rifugio Vazzoler
Today you will make a long steep ascent past Rifugio Coldai where you will enter the surroundings of Monte Civetta. Along the way you will enjoy some of the best views of the magnificent massive Pelmo that towers high above the valley from Refugio Coldai. Continue on to the beautiful Lago Coldai. You can take a break at Rifugio Tissi, a popular rifugio on the Alta Via 1, but the goal for today is Rifugio Vazzoler, on the south side of Punta de Gasperi.
Distance: 18 kilometers
Elevation: 780 meters
Accommodation: Rifugio Vazzoler
Stage 4: Rifugio Vazzoler - 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: 9 kilometers
Elevation: 600 meters
Accommodation: Rifugio Carestiato
Stage 5: 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 6: 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.
Elevation: 120 meters
√ 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.
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.
Accommodation at the huts include where possible 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.
× Airfare and Visa
You have to make your way to Cortina d'Ampezzo. The total amount doesn't include transport to and from Italy.
Once in Italy, you will have to make your way to Cortina d'Ampezzo. 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.
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.
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:
The sun rising from the peaks between the Cadini of Misurina and the Faloria, illuminating the walls of Dolomia of Mount Averau and the Cinque Torri. Every morning, the birds' singing echoes. The aroma of Margot's freshly ground coffee mingles with the smell of freshly baked cake, and while Sandrone lights the fire and stoves, Matteo prepares to descend into the valley and get the fresh ingredients for the day. Welcome to Rifugio Averau.
Rifugio Passo Staulanza
Located at the top of the Staulanza mountain pass, this rifugio is a popular stop for hikers on the Alta Via 1. Built in 1968, it is furnished entirely with wood and recalls the old Dolomite tradition with an earthenware stove, fireplace and the typical "stube" (traditionally a room in a farmhouse made entirely of wood, where the stove stood and cooking was done) and can accommodate a total of 50 guests. The excellent restaurant offers a selection of traditional local dishes and desserts - don't miss the pappardelle with wild boar or the apple and pine nut strudel!
Rifugio Vazzoler is a favorite with mountaineers, and the hut is a proud part of the Club Alpino Italiano. The hut is named after Mario Vazzoler, the founder of the CAI section of Conegliano. In 1968, the same CAI section created a botanical garden next to this hut, which is now managed by the Belluno Regional Forest Service. The garden covers an area of about 5,000 square meters where a network of paths runs along with the various flower species that are indicated by signs. And in the hut? Northern Italian delicacies of course. Indulge!
Located on the panoramic Col dei Pass and at the foot of the southern side of the Moiazza mountain range, you'll find Rifugio Ceratiato, owned by the Club Alpino Italiano. The hut has shared dormitories with bunk beds and is tremendously welcoming. On cold evenings you can enjoy the warmth of the lovely blankets provided in each room. In the morning you are 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 ListPacking List
It doesn't matter where you are going trekking or for how long. Carrying the right equipment with you is paramount. For the Alta Via 1, you will need, first and foremost, a good backpack and comfortable trekking shoes. The size of your backpack will depend on how many days you will be spending on the mountain, 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:
- Walking boots (worn in)
- Walking socks
- Base layer tops – ideally thermal
- Mid-layer tops (eg. fleece)
- Trekking Trousers
- Hat for warmth or shade
- Waterproof jacket
- Waterproof trousers
- Warm layer.
- Casual clothes & footwear for evenings.
- Nightwear and underwear
- Water bottle
- Sunglasses & sun cream
- Small first aid kit
- Blister Plasters
- Insect repellent
- Electrical socket adapter
- Camera and charger
- Map and compass
- Book to read
- Energy snacks
- Walking poles
Where is the Alta Via 1?
The Alta Via 1 is located at the heart of the Dolomites. Now, where can we find this stunning mountain range? 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 the dolomite mineral found here in 1791, Deodat de Dolomieu. Most of the peaks of this mountain range go above 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
This version of the Alta Via 1 starts right in the hub of a lot of adventures in the Dolomites. In about six hours' time you will make it to the first rifugio for the night. It is a steep hike, but do know that there are a few different possibilities on the way to jump on a cable car. Also, you can take a bus from Cortina d'Ampezzo up Passo Falzarego, breaking most of the distance. It's up to you, it's your adventure.
From La Pissa to Belluno
La Pissa is the end point of the entire Alta Via 1 route. The easiest way is to travel to Belluno to continue your journey. You take line 001 to Belluno and the bus usually leaves every 2 hour.
From Belluno to Cortina d’Ampezzo
From Belluno to Cortina d'Ampezzo you can also take the bus. This journey is a little more complicated because there are a number of intermediate stops. The trip usually takes 2 to 3 hours. If you want to make it easy on yourself, you can also book Taxi Cortina, for about €140.
The season for the Alta Via 1 trek is from mid-June to mid-September. The relatively short season is due to weather conditions that limit access to the trails. 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.
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 you can find 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.
The Alta Via 1 is quite well signposted along the way. There isn't only one mark, signs vary from painted arrows The Alta Via 1 is well signposted along the way. There is not just one waymark sign; the signs range from painted arrows or circles to more specific signs, such as a "1" inside a triangle. Although the route is fairly clear throughout the hike, it is important to have a map and compass with you. Snow or low clouds can make navigation quite challenging. Under the snow, the markers are hidden and it is important to rely on your map and compass skills.
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.
The Corona pandemic has had its grip on us, and mountain huts in the Alpine region have had to take several preventive measures over the past two years. In the meantime, the first relaxations in the Alps are noticeable, yet it is definitely still a factor to take into account. Some Covid restrictions that are worth mentioning:
- Don't go to the huts if you have symptoms!
- Not all mountain huts are allowed to operate at full capacity yet, so make sure you book your stay in advance.
- To be on the safe side, always take a mouth mask with you.
- In some mountain huts it is still compulsory to bring your own sleeping bag, in others a sheet bag and pillowcase are sufficient. Your personal travel guide will tell you which rules apply to your route.
- Bring your own towel
How to Book
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 30% 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 go ahead and make all necessary arrangements for your trip. Once confirmed, we will send you a confirmation and your personal hiking guide. 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 30% will be refunded.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to help you.
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