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ALTA VIA I

Hiking the high route through the Dolomites

As you move up the valley from the Lago di Braies the sight of the emerging rock towers of the Dolomites takes your breath away. These mountains are your home for the best part of the next two weeks. You overnight at around 2500m for most of the time, spending ten consecutive nights in mountain huts and cross not a single valley, village or settlement. This truly is wilderness-walking, but your route specifically avoids technical via ferrata sections.

Of all the long distance treks across the Dolomites, the Alta Via I is considered to be the finest. The walking varies from level strolling through lush meadows to steep zig-zag scree, from ambling ascents in forests to dramatic traverses. The simple life will soon become your way of life. You can snack on the wild strawberries, raspberries and wineberries picked from the wayside. You are treated to an alpine paradise – with alpine plants you may never have seen before – including the delightful wild cyclamen and miniature broom. Early in the season alpine rhododendrons add more colour to the landscape.

You cover about 100 miles in 10 days, with a rest day at the Rifugio Averau. This is the starting point to visit the restored galleries, trenches and emplacements of the World War I Open Air Museum. It also boasts fine cuisine and a veranda with views across to the Marmolada. 

Please note that this is not a supported trek and you will need to carry all your kit with you between the overnight stops.



WALKING GRADES


Hard mountain walking in the Alps every day with long ascents and descents, and scrambling. A good head for heights is essential. Distances will probably not exceed 12 miles, but ascents and descents will normally be between 1000 and 1500m. Expect long… and exhilarating days!




YOUR STORY STARTS HERE ...

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When we visit

Summer

Length of stay

Price from

£ 1270

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  • Dates, Prices & Holiday Information Sheet (PDF)
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    Date
    Nights
    Grades
    Depart From
    More Info
    Status
    Price From
    Alta Via I (Grade 8)
    Date
    30 Jun 2017
    Nights
    11
    Grades
    GRADE 8
    Depart From
    London (Gatwick)
    More Info
    Status
    Sold Out
    Price From
    Alta Via I (Grade 8)
    Date
    14 Jul 2017
    Nights
    11
    Grades
    GRADE 8
    Depart From
    London (Gatwick)
    More Info
    Status
    Sold Out
    Price From
    Alta Via I (Grade 8)
    Date
    31 Aug 2017
    Nights
    11
    Grades
    GRADE 8
    Depart From
    London (Gatwick)
    More Info
    Status
    Available
    Price From
    £1,320
  • Itinerary
    30 Jun 2017 - 11 Jul 2017

    Day 1 - Dobbiaco
    Depart London Heathrow on a British Airways flight to Venice. On arrival in Venice we transfer 3 hours to Dobbiaco. Our hostel is on the outskirts of the village.

    Day 2 - Rifugio Sennes
    A thrilling opening day. We take a public bus to Lago di Braies. We climb steadily up to the Forcella Sora Forno 2388m with its vast panorama taking in the Marmolada, the Pelmo and the Cristallo. We continue SW, descending steadily to the Rifugio Sennes.
    870m ascent / 270m descent; 11.5km (7 miles); 4 hours


    Day 3 - Rifugio Lavarella
    After leaving the Sennes Hut we cross undulating terrain on easy paths. We take a sharp descent to Rifugio Pederu and then climb again to a beautiful pasture basin and beyond to Rifugio Lavarella.
    750m ascent / 800m descent; 11km (7 miles); 4 hours


    Day 4 - Rifugio Lagazuoi
    Today we enter the dramatic Cortina Dolomites. From a stroll along former military roads, we take the climb to the dramatic Forcella del Lago where we see our remaining path stretch out before us up to our final destination on the summit of the Lagazuoi mountain. A tiring climb is well-rewarded. Rifugio Lagazuoi is one of the most elevated mountain inns in the Dolomites and is famous for its breath-taking views of the Dolomite peaks. 1150m ascent / 450m descent; 14.25km (9 miles); 5.5 hours

    Day 5 - Rifugio Averau
    There are various routes down to the Passo Falzarego. Whichever way you go, this stage is of great interest. Our route takes us past the Lagazuoi wartime tunnels and trenches cutting dramatically down to the pass. Afterwards it is a spectacular climb and traverse to the welcoming Rifugio Averau where we spend two nights. This refuge is well known for its excellent food, and its splendid sweeping vistas which somehow manage to improve even more towards sunset. 400m ascent / 700m descent; 7.5km (4.5 miles); 3 ½ hours via the most direct route

    Day 6 - Rifugio Averau
    A free day here allows us to ascend to the summit of the Nuvolau (2575m), and explore the Cinque Torri with the extended open-air museum dedicated to WW1 in the Italian Alps. Alternatively, you may wish to relax on the west facing terrace and enjoy the views of the Marmolada and its glaciers.

    Day 7 - Rifugion Città di Fiume
    A series of Dolomitic landscapes are encountered today in a succession of peaks and ranges. We avoid the short section of via ferrata just below the Nuvolau by traversing around the Nuvolau to the Passo Giau. After this, panoramas are non-stop as peak after peak comes into view with a close up of Pelmo for most of the day. A high level traverse takes you to the refuge, which is run by a mountain guide and his family.
    400m ascent / 1050m descent; 13.2km (8.2 miles); 5½ hours


    Day 8 - Rifugio Tissi
    A day of two halves: a stiff climb to the Rifugio Coldai – then mountain lakes and switchbacks to the Tissi refuge perched high on the mountainside. Yesterday Pelmo was our companion. Today, it is the Civetta. From the Tissi hut you can enjoy a breath-taking views of the Lake of Alleghe and over much of the main mountains in the Dolomites: Marmolada, Sella, Col di Lana, Lagazuoi, Tofane, Fànes, Dolomiti Ampezzane and Pelmo. If you are lucky, you will see the best sunset in the Dolomites with its associated Alpenglow on the mountains opposite.
    1000m ascent / 714m descent; 13.8km (8.5 miles); 6 hours


    Day 9 - Rifugio San Sebastiano
    A fine walk in woods and meadows with views dominated by the Moiazza Sud and the Cima dei Gravinai. The walk opens up to another high level traverse on scree before finishing in woods past the lofty Rifugio Carestiato and down to the shelter of the Paso Duran.
    900m ascent / 1600m descent; 16.8km (10.5 miles); 6 hours


    Day 10 - Rifugio Pramparet
    A good day’s walking in a quieter and more isolated area of the National Park. Wild flowers and birds of prey abound. The walk takes us through woodland, scree and mountain. The path undulates, mainly on a traverse, and heads steadily upwards to one of the most isolated rifugi in the area.
    800m ascent / 500m descent; 11.4km (7 miles); 5 hours


    Day 11 - Rifugio Bianchet
    One of the best stages of the Alta Via I!. The going is slow, and so there is plenty of time to look around and sense the huge scale of the landscape around us. The crowning glory of the day is the Forc de Zita Sud which, at 2451m, gives almost 360º view of the Dolomites. On a clear day four distinct mountain ranges can be seen in the distance.
    800m ascent / 1500m descent; 12.4km (7.7miles); 7.5 hours


    Day 12 -  
    A wonderful conclusion to the Alta Via I. We descend into a deep ravine and then into woods on a long and well-made track. We are now walking at below 1000m and are at the lowest height that we have been since the start of the walk, eleven days ago.
    200m ascent / 1000m descent; 8.5km (5 miles); 2 ½ hours
    On reaching the end of the trail a coach meets us to take us to Venice Airport.



  • Accommodation
    Rifugio Sennes

    After our first night in a youth hostel in Dobbacio, we move to the first of the mountain huts, where we stay in rooms if possible, but otherwise in dormitories. Food in the huts tends to be excellent and has the best of local cuisine.

    The first is Refugio Sennes, which really brings you into the mountain environment. The refuge sits at 2126 m in the Fanes-Senes-Braies National Park and offers a wide panorama over some of the most beautiful peaks of the Dolomites: Croda Rossa (3146 m) (Hohe Gaisel), Cristallo (3221 m), Sorapis (3205 m) und Tofana (3243 m). 

    The kitchen serves great Tyrolean specialities, as well as Italian and international cuisine.

    Rifugio Averau

    The Rifugio Averau is another delightfully situated place to stay, with footpaths nearby that wind through the surrounding natural amphitheatre of towering rocky peaks. The refuge is renowned for its cuisine, offering local and Italian dishes as well as a cosy retreat from the rugged scenery outdoors. Tastefully decorated and with fabulous views, the Averau is a great place to rest after a day on your feet.

    Rifugio San Sebastiano

    The San Sebastiano has pleasing mountain décor, with the typical wooden Alpine feel. Again the food is excellent, with hearty dishes created using local produce. The refuge sits by Alpine meadows, woods and peaks of the mountains beyond in a tranquil spot.

  • What's Included
    • Return flights and airport transfers.
    • Full board accommodation from dinner on day 1 to breakfast on day 12.
    • All local transport costs.

  • Holiday Highlights
    • Wild challenging walking.
    • Great food in traditional mountain huts.
    • The views from the Rifugio Lagazuoi at 2800m.

  • View More Details

    Alpine Club Membership


    We have worked with Europe's alpine huts and supported their work since our earliest days and, as a condition of booking, require that all group members must belong to a recognised Alpine association. Traditionally we have recommended the Austrian Alpine Club which has reciprocal agreements with the Club Alpin Français, the Club Alpin Suisse, the Deutscher Alpenverein and the Club Alpino Italiano, but membership of any of these associations (or an association with full reciprocal rights) is acceptable. Please remember to bring your membership card on holiday or you will be liable to pay locally the difference between the members’ and non-members’ hut tariff. More details are available on our Holiday Information Sheet.


  • Travel Information & Regional Departures
    • Arrival transfer by road (c3hrs).
    • Flights Gatwick-Venice (c2hrs 10mins), British Airways.
    • Provisional times Outward departure/ return arrival 0650/1900.
    • UK add-on flights from £95 return, British Airways.
    • Upgrades available, contact to us for a competitive quote.

  • Holiday Photo Gallery
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  • Private Group Enquiry

    Planning a holiday for a group? For a quote or to simply enquire about the possibility of booking this holiday for your Walking Group please fill out the enquiry form below and our dedicated Private Group Department will get in touch with you shortly to discuss your options.

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YOUR STORY STARTS HERE ...

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When we visit

Summer

Price from

£ 1270

Read all reviews




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