Tracks and Trails / Walking / Scheduled Departures / Dolomites High Route: Alta Via 1

Dolomites High Route: Alta Via 1

Dolomites Alta Via 1


This is the 'best of the best' of the fabulous Italian Dolomites! This spectacular mountainous area is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. It has eighteen peaks rising to over 3000 metres, many with spectacular rock spires and towers, such as the world famous Tre Cime. It is the exceptional natural beauty of the rock formations and geology that have made the Dolomites famous throughout the world. Be prepared to be impressed on our Alta Via - High Level trek through this part of Italy!

  • Stunning mountain scenery
  • Fabulous Italian food
  • Truly spectacular hiking trails
  • High mountain hotels in amazing locations
  • Your luggage transferred for you
  • Professional International Mountain Leader


Trip Departure date End date Price Status
AVD5 18 Sat 8 September 18 Sat 15 September 18 £1545 Trip Guaranteed | Make a Booking
AVD1 19 Sat 6 July 19 Sat 13 July 19 £1545 Places available | Make a Booking
AVD2 19 Sat 13 July 19 Sat 20 July 19 £1545 Places available | Make a Booking
AVD3 19 Sat 20 July 19 Sat 27 July 19 £1545 Places available | Make a Booking
AVD4 19 Sat 31 August 19 Sat 7 September 19 £1545 Places available | Make a Booking
AVD5 19 Sat 7 September 19 Sat 14 September 19 £1545 Places available | Make a Booking

We think the Dolomites, or the 'Dollies' as they are affectionately known are spectacular! This is a very special and interesting part of the world on a number of counts. It is unique in terms of its geology, and its culture, presenting an interesting mix of Austrian and Italian traditions, food, and folklore. The area is known as the Sud Tirol in German, and as the Alto Adige in Italian. It can be a little confusing to find that every village has two names, but it all adds to the feeling that you are truly somewhere 'a little different'.

Add on Days and Try 'Via Ferrata'! 

A via ferrata (Italian for "iron way") is quite literally a route with fixed “protection” (metal ladders, handles and chains) that aids travellers in moving safely through the mountains whilst always connected to the rock. Hikers can connect otherwise isolated trail systems, rocky cliff lines and summits that otherwise would only be accessible to skilled rock climbers. The technique was initially developed by soldiers in the First World War but has now become a safe popular sport in it's own right. If you would like to try this activity as part of your trip to the Dolomites then please ask us for more details. Please note we only use qualified IFMGA Guides for this activity and it is in addition to the following itinerary.

We always aim to complete the itinerary as outlined below, however, the following itinerary will be followed only when conditions and weather make it appropriate, both in terms of safety and enjoyment. Your guide will make a decision on your destination based on those conditions.

Day 1 Arrival

Today you arrive in Dobbiaco, Italy, also know as Toblach. The Sud Tirol is predominantly German speaking, with Italian the second language. If arriving by bus/train be sure to check both names, Dobbiaco and Toblach. The village is small and our hotel, which is normally the 3* Hotel Tschurtschenthaler, is not far from the train station. The hotels in Dobbiaco usually provide a free pick up service from the station. Please advise if you require this. Your hotel will be confirmed when you receive your Joining Information one month before the trip start date.

Day 2 Lago di Braies to Rifugio Pederu

We start with a bus ride to the famous beauty spot of Lago di Braies. The lake is spectacular, turquoise waters, surrounded by towering cliffs. We climb steadily under the striated cliffs of Monte Muro to our first pass at Porta Sora il Forn, at 2388m, to be rewarded with immense views, with the glacier of the Marmolada glittering to the south west. Then its 5 minutes downhill to the Rifugio Biella for a bowl of minestrone, or whatever else takes your fancy. After lunch we have a lovely descent through flower meadows and farms, until a final steep road down to our overnight at the Rifugio Pederu. Ascent 1045m. Descent 984m. 17km. 7 hrs. Access to luggage.

Day 3 Rifugio Pederu to Rifugio Lagazuoi

We climb steadily this morning as we take the wild and rocky Vallone di Rudo to Lago Piciodil to reach Rifugio Fanes and a coffee stop! Stunning views en route to our pass at Passo di Limo, at 2172m, and its lake of the same name. High peaks surround this pastoral amphitheatre with its curious limestone slabs dotted with pine trees. We then traverse a rugged mountainside to arrive at the Forcetta del Lago an impressive notch, at 2486m. You will probably think it looks like an impossible descent down the other wise, but the path does exist and you have stunning views all the way down towards Lago di Lgazuoi at 2182m. A 500m climb to finish the day to our Rifugio as we walk along what a front line in WW1, and where you can explore the gun emplacements and tunnels carved out of the ridgeline. A remarkably well preserved reminder of more troubled times. The Rifugio Lagazuoi is in a truly amazing locaiton perched high in the mountains, and there is even a wood fired sauna where you can ease any muscles, while taking in views of the mountains. It’s a day with a big climb, but the descent is minimal and our knees will appreciate that! Ascent 1685m. Descent 450m. 20km. 9hrs. No access to luggage.

Day 4 Rifugio Lagazuoi to Rifugio Averau

Today we go from WW1 galleries hewn into the Lagazuoi and Casteletto mountains, to a close up of the wonderful summits of Le Tofane. We begin by heading over the Forcella Travenanzes, at 2507m before descending past a WW1 memorial. This is a sobering reminder of the bitter fighting which took place during this period of history. Then it's over the Forcella Col dei Bos and fabulous views to Cinque Torri. A morning cofee at the Rifugio Dibona then a steep climb through the larch forests, but there is the reward of lunch under the Cinque Torri at yet another lovely Italian Rifugio. You will notice a theme developing - walk, coffee, walk, cake, walk, lunch! We then have another easy climb to the pass and our gorgeous refuge at Averau. If you would like an optional un-guided afternoon stroll then you could consider walking along the rocky skyline to the Rifugio Nuvolau which is literally perched on the cliff tops. Your guide can explain how to get to the Rifugio which is one of the oldest in the Dolomites and retains many of its original features. On the other hand you may just want to relax on the terrace at the Rifugio Averau and take in the stunning views. Ascent 975m if Rifugio Nuvolau included, 855m if not. Descent 1150m. 15km. 7 hrs. No access to luggage.

Day 5 Rifugio Averau to Rifugio Staulanza

Stunning morning views of the Tofane, Lagazuoi and Cinque Torri. We begin with a descent through flower meadows as we drop down to our next pass, and a contouring path which takes us under the cliffs and round past a chapel to the Forcella Giau at 2360m, and views to Monte Pelmo. At the pass we can enjoy a morning coffee, before setting off across the mountainside as we follow Monte Formin’s impressive south cliffs before climbing to the Forcella Ambrizzola at 2277m. As we make our way to our next pass we have views of Civetta and a gentle descent over pasture through dairy herds to the Rifugio Citta de Fiume where we can enjoy a break. Our final stretch for today is a traversing trail under the impressive peaks and spires of the wild and rugged Monte Pelmo, one of the famous landmark mountains of the Dolomites. Finally, it's down through the larch forests to another lovely rifugio where we spend the night at the Rifugio Stualanza. The rifugio is run by Maro Sala a famous Himalyan climber, and you can enjoy the photos on the walls of his epic ascents and adventures. Ascent 644. Descent 1150m. 17km. 8 hrs. Access to luggage.

Day 6 Rifugio Staulanza to Rifugio Vazzoler

A steady climb this morning up through the woods to a ridge line that eventually takes us down towards a col. We often meet a goat herd with his flock on the way down through the larch! We eventually arrive at Casera di Pioda dairy farm, where cheese is for sale in the summer months. We then leave this rural scene of cow and goat herds and their tinkling bells, to climb up a well graded mule track to the shoulder of Cima Coldai, an outlier of the Civetta, until we arrive at the Rifugio Sonino Al Coldai. We continue west up a small valley to the turquoise waters of Lago Coldai, encircled by little stony beaches. This really is a very beautiful situation, and it is to be enjoyed as we drop around the lake and over the Forcella Col Negro, at 2203m before losing height and entering Val Civetta. With its slabs, peaks and pinnacles the west face of Monte Civetta towers 1200m overhead, and 7km in length, impressive! A hanging icefield the Cristallo is suspended below the highest top. This face is known as the ‘wall of walls’ and is unique in the Alps. We now head over the Forcella di Col Rean, and our overnight stop at Rifugio Vazzoler. Ascent 1170m. Descent 1191m. 20km. 7 hrs. No access to luggage.

Day 7 Rifugio Vazzoler to Dobbiaco

Our final day to Passo Doran. Leaving our Rifugio we have good views of the fantastic shapes of the Torre Trieste, at 2458m, and Cima della Busazza, at 2894m. We then gain the steep little pass of Forcella Col Dell’Orso at 1823m. We have a short aided section along a flowered rock face then it rises across boulders and pasture, before dropping before the Moiazza’s great south face. Heading along the Val Framont, we can take in a short detour to the commanding outcrop that hosts the Rifugio Carestiato for another Italian coffee! The remained of our Alta Via is through pasture and pleasant meadows down to the Passo Duran. Here we can enjoy a celebratory drink before we are collected by taxi and taken back to Dobbiaco to our hotel and spa. Ascent 670m. Descent 800m. 12km. 6 hrs. Access to luggage.

Day 8 Departure

Today is your departure day from Dobbiaco.



The services of a fully qualified International Mountain Leader, all accommodation on a half board basis during the trip. Two nights in a 4* hotel in Villabassa, based on twin rooms. 5 nights in very comfortable mountain Rifugios, all with showers, and some with en suite faciltites. It will include transport to the start of the route at Lago di Braies, and a taxi transfer back to Dobbiaco from Passo Duran. Transfer of luggage between rifugios. This is possible on 2 out of your 5 nights in the mountains.

Not included:

Lunches, and any beverages, alcoholic drinks. Transfers to and from Dobbiaco/Toblach at the beginning and end of your trip.

Minimum numbers

This trip requires a minimum of 4 clients to run. We take a maximum of 10 clients.


Accommodation will be a twin room in an hotel on the first and last nights of your trip. Please contact us if you wish to discuss the availability of a single room which may be possible for a supplement. The Dolomite Rifugios (mountain huts) which we will stay in during our hiking trip are definitely a 'cut above" normal mountain huts, and our guests have said they are more like hotels than huts! In the rifugios we aim to book the best arrangement possible for our group, this may be bedrooms for couples or friends, or it may be large bedrooms for 3-6 people or indeed the normal dormitory type accommodation of up to 10 in a room. We would point out that normally we manage to reserve rooms/dorms just for our group so you are not sharing with strangers, however we cannot rule this out. In summary you may find yourselves in lovely private bedrooms or in larger rooms, and it will largely depend on when you have booked. Early booking usually means better rooming arrangements as we have more choice available.


In mountainous terrain the weather can vary considerably. Temperatures can reach over 30°c in the height of the summer (July/August), but can be as low as 5°c on the passes. It is often sunny with good clear days, but it can rain and snow (even in July or August) so you should be prepared for any eventuality. The average temperatures range from 15-25°c in the valleys and 5-15°c on the passes.

Getting there

If choosing to travel by air you can fly to Innsbruck, Austria or Venice, Italy. Verona airport, Italy is another possibility.

If flying to Innsbruck you then take a train to Dobbiaco, also called Toblach on train schedules. Be aware that in the Dolomites/Sud Tirol all the towns and village have an Italian name and a German name. If choosing Innsbruck you can take a free shuttle bus, takes 15 mins and leaves every 10 mins, from the airport to Innsbruck central railway station. The train departs hourly, for Brennero/Brenner, change here for Fortezza/Franzensfeste, then on to Dobbiaco/Toblach. The journey takes just approx. 3 hrs, and the changes are every 30 mins at Fortezza and Brennero. If your departure flight is too early for the first local train between Dobbiaco, and Fortezza then you can book a taxi at the hotel to take you direct to Fortezza.You can also fly to Venice either Marco Polo or Treviso airports, and then take the Cortina Express bus to Cortina, and then change for the local bus to Dobbiaco. Our guests have said that either route works well, and the journey is enjoyable.

A useful link which gives other options, such as the trains from Venice to Dobbiaco, is Rome2Rio which gives a map and overall picture. Local trains for Dobbiaco can be found at You can also take the train from the UK all the way to Dobbiaco, you can check times here.

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