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Journeys worth taking

Dolomites

Alta Via 1 in Comfort

The Alps

Hike 9 Days through the Dolomites in Comfort

Lodging

Mountain Huts

Nights

10

Trip Details

Self-Guided

Price

from $2,800 USD per person

Transport

Public and Private

Pygmy miles

3,420

Experience
Experience
Itinerary
Pygmy miles
Practical info

Experience

Journey

The Alta Via 1 traces a line from Lago di Braies, in the north, down to near Belluno, in the south.

The beauty of the Alps is on full display on this 9 stage itinerary. Your hike starts at the stunning alpine lake "Lago di Braies". With it's turquoise waters and the surrounding peaks that rise precipitously from the water, it's a worthy start for what is an epic journey. You'll pass by stunning rock formations, with sweeping panoramas located at locations like Rifugio Nuvalou and Rifugio Tissi. There, the views stretch out all the way to the horizon. You'll need to be brave to get the best view at Tissi, as the drop off to the valley floor is thousands of feet below you. 

The trail also features remnants of a turbulent past, with trenches, barb wire and tunnels forming a reminder of World War 1. If you are a history buff and not afraid of exposure, a visit to the tunnels near Lagazoi is a recommended detour. 

This itinerary features four nights in hotels or guesthouses and six nights in mountain huts, maximizing both the number of nights in a private room, and the opportunity for baggage transfers (approximately every other day, however it depends on availability at the huts).

Witness the rugged beauty of the Dolomites

Activities

Trekking

Trek one of the most famous and beautiful hiking routes in the world.

Wildlife Viewing

Be on the lookout for Ibex, Chamois and Marmots!

Gastronomy

The rich hut culture hosts rich dishes of polenta, pasta and stews.

And also

  • Enjoy the rich hut culture of the region
  • Wonder at the many panoramas that stretch to the horizon
  • Contemplate the lasting effects of war on the area

Place

The Dolomites are a Unesco World Heritage site and includes jagged, rugged peaks that are the envy of hikers around the world. Although few peaks top the 3,000 meter mark, the terrain is awash with every pastel shade a painter could ask for. The views of Croda del Becco, Tofane, Monte Pelmo, Cinque Torri, Marmaole and the Civetta are particularly awe inspiring. 

The distance from Lago di Braies in the north to La Pissa in the south is roughly 120 km in hiking distance. Your max elevation tops out at 2,752 meters with most hikers staying in a combination of mountain huts, hotels and guesthouses. 

Itinerary

Track

Itinerary

Day-1

Lago di Braies to Berggasthaus Pederü - 14 km

A stunning first day awaits you. Lago di Braies sits contemplatively at the bottom of Croda del Beco, a behemoth rock wall that juts to the heavens. Hike 30 minutes south to the end of the lake, where your hike begins in earnest as you leave the sparkling, turquoise waters of Lago di Braies, and head south. You'll gain elevation quickly over rocky terrain. It's a stiff 6 km climb to reach the first possible refuge on the Alta Via 1, Rifugio Biella. Towards the col above Biella, there are a few sections where care is needed. Cables are hammered into the rock face to ensure stability. After a quick rest, you'll begin your descent over similarly rocky terrain, first past Rifugio Sennes, then Fodara Vedla, to reach your end point for the day at the well appointed Berggasthaus Pederü.

Day-2

Berggasthaus Pederü to Rifugio Fannes - 6 km

Your second day is shorter. A stiff, 2 km climb awaits for you out of the gate. The best views of the day can be had as you reach the top of the stiff ascent, looking back down to the valley floor below and the river snaking beneath you. From there, you'll follow a dirt road for a few km before being spilt into a lush prairie with a few farms and huts, where Ladin is still spoken between the locals. Ladin is a romance language that is spoken by roughly 30,000 inhabitants in the area of South Tyrol. Your refugio is tucked away in this jewel of culture, hidden away in the heart of the Dolomites.

Day-3

Rifugio Fannes to Rifugio Lagazuoi - 12 km

Surely one of the most memorable days of the tour lies ahead of you. The view at Forcella del Lago is a favorite of many hiker and the historic WWI elements leading up to Lagazoui remind us of a tumultuous past. You day starts with a short climb, then along a well trodden and easy path that features little elevation gain through the first 5 km. Early in the season, wild flowers can blanket the prairies that flank the path. You'll reach a junction where you can either head high to reach the dizzying heights of Forcella del Lago, or stay low and pass near Rifugio Scotoni. The most direct, although more challenging path is via the Forcella, however the industrious are rewarded. After the 2km climb, you'll reach Forcella del Lago and a plunging view down to Lago di Lagazuoi one thousand feet below (300 meters). Almost at eye level is your target for the day - Forcella Lagazuoi. You'll descend first to the lake, stopping perhaps for a picnic lunch on it's shores, then make your climb up 500 meters to Lagazuoi. Along the way, note the relics of world war 1, cabins, huts and trenches via a military path.

Day-4

Rifugio Lagazuoi to Hotel Passo Giau - 14 km

The main route heads east and passes through more remnants of world war 1 including bunkers, trenches and barbed wire. The first few km in eroute to Focella Col dei Bos are of the highest scenic quality. After the col, a few spots of exposure require care, especially with the looming Tofane rock facing preoccupying much of your attention. After 4 km from Col dei Bos, you will reach Rifugio Dibona, a place to stop for a break and perhaps some refreshment. Descend from Dibona down into the valley and across the highway, to begin a beautiful ascent past Rifugio Cinque Torri, Scoiatolli and finally Averau, which has a reputation for quality meals. From Averau, stay low to avoid the via Ferrata that comes after Rifugio Nuvolau (superb 360 view) and descend to your accommodation for the day at Passo Giau.

Day-5

Hotel Passo Giau to Rifugio Passo Staulanza - 13 km

Today you will embark on an exciting trek from Hotel Passo Giau to Rifugio Passo Staulanza. The day commences with an easy 1km ascent from Passo Giau to Forcella de Col Piombin. Revel in the gentle climb, immersing yourself in the tranquil surroundings. As you progress towards Forcella Giau, anticipate a more challenging ascent, leading to an expansive pasture with awe-inspiring views of the Pelmo. From there, the trail from Forcella Giau to Forcella Ambrizola takes you underneath a majestic rock face, offering a gently ascending path. Soon, you'll reach Forcella Roan, boasting panoramic views of the "Pyramid of Antelao" and a tempting turnoff to Croda de Lago, an alternative accommodation option. You'll then pass by Rifugio Cita di Fiume, with the imposing Pelmo looming above, before reaching Staulanza in just an hour.

Day-6

Rifugio Passo Staulanza to Rifugio Tissi

This will certainly be one of the most visually appealing stages of the tour, although you wouldn't expect it, as you start the day walking one kilometer on the SP 251 paved road. You'll exit this road at the bend, opting for a dirt road into the forest. Carry on for another 1.5 km before reaching Casera Vescova. Here, you face a stiff climb through grassy terrain, with the accompanying bugs of a farmed area, until you reach a level saddle at an elevation of 1876 meters. Finally, the beauty of the day reveals itself as you ascend in a zigzagging pattern to Rifugio Coldai, a good place for lunch if you are in the mood. From there, you encounter some undulating terrain before losing quite a bit of elevation on your way down from Forcella col Negro. At the bottom, steel yourself again for a stiff climb up to Rifugio Tissi. Here, it's all worth it as you get a plunging view down into the valley on one side and a brilliant light show at sunset on the other of the Civetta.

Day-7

Rifugio Tissi to Passo Duran - 17 km

You'll start the day with a solid descent of around 800 meters. You'll leave behind the stunning Civetta and walk through a more pastoral setting before arriving at Refugio Vazzoler, a great location for a bite to eat, about 5.5 km from Tissi. Shortly there after, you'll reach the low point of today's trek 1,411 meters. Here you can find a sign pointing to Listolade, a town at the bottom of the valley. Barring unforeseen circumstances, follow the sign to Carestiato, which will see you gain about 600 meters in around 3 km of hiking. The trail alternates between tree covered forests and open shale landscapes. At Foreclla del Camp, you'll start descending, past Carestiato, to reach your final destination at the foot of the SP 347 and Passo Duran.

Day-8

Passo Duran to Pian de Fontana - 16 km

A delightful day, in a more secluded part of the trail, awaits you in Parco Nazionale delle Dolomiti Bellunesi. You'll start with about 2 km of road walking, but after that, the views are worthy of your attention. There are a few steep parts on the trail, however for the most part, you'll have a gentle ascent all the way to Rifugio Pramperet, where a stop in to dry your boots and whet your beak is in order (cell service is possible by their cable way in case you are in dire need of checking in with a loved one). From there, the hiking gets tougher. It's only 6 km to Pian Fontana, but the views are spectacular. Be careful around 2,350 meters as some scrambling is necessary to ascend a near vertical crest. Beautiful views of Castello di Morschein are possible here. You'll quickly reach Forcella di Zita Sud (2,450 m), however from there, it's all downhill until you reach your accommodation at Pian de Fontana.

Day-9

Pian de Fontana to La Pissa - 12 km

From Pian de Fontana to Rifugio Bianchet, there are still views to be had, so savor your last moments in the Dolomites. After Bianchet, you'll hike down a wide road all the way to a paved highway and the bus stop at La Pisa.

Pygmy miles

Pygmy Miles Total

Challenge
Hiking
Bicycle
Sustainability
Miscellaneous
2700pygmy miles

Base Sustainability

Traveling in the Dolomites requires a certain level of responsibility. By carrying out waste, practicing leave no trace and visiting local, family run establishments, you will enjoy this area of the world responsibly.

720pygmy miles

Hiking Distance

For every mile that you hike, you will receive 10 Pygmy Miles. Specifically you will receive 760 Pygmy Miles for hiking 72 miles in 9 days.

Total Pygmy Miles

3420pygmy miles

Practical info

When

jan
feb
mar
apr
may
jun
jul
aug
sep
oct
nov
dec
not available
average
optimal

The trek is only possible in the summer months, when the passes are clear of snow and ice. In late June, the Dolomiti shows off its color with wild flowers, but careful, there still can be snow and ice on the passes. Heavy travel periods are between the middle of July and the end of August. September can be a great time for the AV1, when the temperature is a bit cooler and there are fewer hikers on the trail.

How

Self guided

Self guided does not mean you are alone. We help you coordinate and plan your trip beforehand. Once you are on the trail, we provide 24-hour customer service in case there are any urgent issues with your bookings.

We can also arrange private guides for this itinerary.

Service Category

Pygmy Itineraries

PYGMY ITINERARY BENEFITS

  • Price Transparency: see where your money is going with line-item pricing
  • Never Lose Your Deposit Guarantee: 100% credit to future trip
  • Customized Handbook with Journey Details: maps, elevation profiles, tips and more
  • Destination Book Digital Travel App: everything in your handbook, in digital form
  • One Year Premium GAIA GPS Membership: your GPS routes, on your phone
  • Complete Itinerary Customization: build the trip you want to take
  • Special Meal Requests: we'll help you stick to your diet of choice
  • Before-You-Go Email Series: helpful emails to get you prepared for your trek
  • Transportation Options Information: timetables, routes and contact info
  • 24/7 Phone Support for Urgent Issues: give us a call if anything goes wrong
  • WhatsApp Support (9 AM to 5 PM, ET): rapid response to your inquiries
  • Email Support (24-hour turnaround): answers for not-so-urgent questions
  • Virtual Pre-Hike Briefing: one-on-one briefing with your travel consultant
  • Baggage Transfers (where applicable): your bags, delivered to your accommodation

Challenge Level

Technical Ability

Level : Medium

Mental Strength

Level : Medium

Physical Conditioning

Level : High

  • Path is well marked. Previous hiking experience strongly recommended as terrain is rocky and uneven.
  • Mental strength is rated at medium because of lack of creature comforts, snoring from fellow guests (bring earplugs!) and the length of the tour,
  • The hiking is challenging. Only those in good physical health should book this trip. 

Price

 Starting at $2,800 per person, based on double occupancy

After initial consultation, we will customize your itinerary to meet your fitness level, budget, accommodation wishes and schedule. Depending on the journey, it might be possible to skip stages, rearrange their order, substitute accommodations, and add or subtract transfers. Find more information on the base itinerary and possible customizations below.

BASE ITINERARY

  • 4 nights at 2 and 3 star hotels
  • 6 nights at mountain huts
  • 10 breakfasts, 8 dinners
  • Turn-by-Turn Guidebook

CUSTOMIZATIONS

  • Increase or decrease number of hiking days, depending on fitness and motivation
  • Some hotels and huts can be upgraded, however due to the remote nature of this trek, it will be necessary to spend at least a few nights in shared dormitories.
  • Add in rest days

OPTIONAL ADD-ONS

  • Travel insurance
  • Extra days before or after your tour in Cortina de Amprezzo or Belluno

NOT INCLUDED

  • Airfare
  • Airport transfers
  • Transfers to Lago di Braies to start the tour and from Belluno to your departure location
  • Lunches
  • Dinners in Cortina and Belluno
  • In-situ transportation fees

Talk to our Adventure Expert

Our Managing Director, Andrew, has been to over 40 countries in his quest for the perfect adventure. He has biked the death road in Bolivia, trekked 500 miles across northern Spain on the Camino de Santiago, cycled from Brussels to Florence and hiked the five sacred mountains of China. Pygmy Elephant is how he spreads his love for adventure and self discovery in the world.