Hiking Along Italy’s Most Famous Backpacking Trail – Alta Via 1 in the Italian Dolomites (Part 1)

When I phoned my dad one day asking him if he would like to hike Alta Via 1 with me in the Italian Dolomites, he didn’t even blink before saying yes. He absolutely loved our adventure and keeps asking me when the next one is going to be!

Many months later (more than I’d like to admit) I finally put together a detailed guide to help you plan the Alta Via 1 for yourself! It became a part of a series of over 60 articles dedicated to hiking and photography in the Italian Dolomites. 

The Comprehensive Guide To Alta Via 1 – Part 1: Overview + Days 1-5

The first part of the guide covers an overview of Alta Via 1, answers questions on the best time of the year to hike it, and what the average daily cost of the excursion is. 

I will also break down the first 5 days of the route including the path numbers, short summaries, photos, and possible route extensions before we head over to the second part. 

In the second part, I will cover days 6-11. At the end of the guide, you will also find the list of most mountain huts along Alta Via 1 with their contact info as well as possible early escape routes for those who don’t plan on hiking the complete route.

Alta Via 1 – The Stats

Alta Via 1 Day 6 7

Alta Via 1 also known as the Dolomite High Route 1 is undoubtedly Italy’s most famous backpacking route. There are a lot of websites and printed guides out there giving contradicting information about the length of the route saying it is anywhere from 120 to 150 kilometers long. 

I measured the mileage with a Garmin GPS each day and the total kilometers amounted to 142 (not including the extensions). According to Garmin’s website, there is a 5% margin error when surveying the distances. 

The total elevation gain is 7200 meters (23600 feet) and the elevation loss is 8100 meters (26570 feet)

Unlike Alta Via 2 or Alta Via 4, both of which I have hiked during the same summer season, Alta Via 1 is a non-technical route. If you are a fit individual then it’s a great journey to undertake especially when you are just starting to dip your feet into the world of backpacking.

There are a few via ferrata which can be undertaken as extensions to the route and I will be pointing to them further along in my guide, however, you will need to pack extra equipment if you decide to tackle them.  

How to pack for Alta Via 1

The general rule for any hut-to-hut treks in the Dolomites is to go as light as possible. Thanks to the well-equipped huts there is no need to carry tents, sleeping bags, cooking equipment, or even food! 

Your backpack shouldn’t be bigger than 38 liters. If you are a skilled packer then a 30 litre backpack should suffice. For your convenience, I have written a comprehensive packing list, including links to my favorite gear and a downloadable checklist!

The optimal time of year for hiking Alta Via 1

Alta Via 1 Day 4 7 1

Hiking seasons in the mountains are usually very short and the Dolomites are no exception. Most huts on the Alta Via 1 stay open from the third week of June until the third week of September. 

You can expect snow to linger on the northern slopes as late as mid-July and if that’s when you’re planning your trip for, make sure to pack gaiters. I hiked Alta Via 1 at the very start of the season and we encountered snow on most days, in some places a couple of meters deep! 

During the months of June, July, and August the weather is very predictable. The days usually start with clear blue skies, by late morning the clouds begin to build up, and in the early afternoon thunderstorms roll in. 

It’s smart to leave the huts right after breakfast and pre-pack before to avoid being caught in thunderstorms. 

The weather tends to be the most stable in September. Although the temperatures at night and mornings are below freezing, the days are still pleasantly warm and the skies often stay blue throughout the whole day. 

Where Does the Alta Via 1 Start?

Lago di Braies – the gem of the Dolomites marks the start of the route. There is a hotel right on its shoreline for those who would like to start early on the first day. 

If you are coming from abroad and using public transport you can travel to Cortina D’Ampezzo first. Cortina is one of the most charming tourist towns in the Dolomites.

There are a few shuttle companies operating between Venice and Milan airports including Flixbus. From Cortina local buses run regularly to Lago di Braies. The journey takes around 1 hour. 

Where does Alta Via 1 end?

Alta Via 1 ends at a bus stop near La Pissa kind of in the middle of nowhere! Don’t worry though you won’t be left stranded. Buses do operate every hour and you can find the schedule in the last 2 huts you will be staying at. 

The bus will take you to the nearest biggest city – Belluno from where you can either travel back by bus to Cortina or to any other place in Italy by train. 

The cost of hiking Alta Via 1

Alta Via 1 Day 9 3

Out of the three Alta Vias I walked, I found Alta Via 1 to be the most expensive. There are a couple of reasons for it.

Firstly Alta Via 1 is the most famous backpacking trip in Italy. You will encounter people from all over the world in the rifugios. It’s a great opportunity to meet new friends as quite often you will be staying with the same people in the same huts throughout the whole traverse. 

Speaking of huts. The second reason why Alta Via 1 is more expensive is that quite often the huts are privately owned and provide higher service than on other routes.

A lot of them have been renovated into more fancy backcountry lodges rather than basic refuges. Some have modern booking systems on their websites and even started providing free Wi-Fi for their guests! 

I have a whole post dedicated to Italian mountain huts and what to expect when staying in them.

In general, you should calculate spending a minimum of 80 Euro/per person/per day on average, but 90-100 Euros is more of a realistic budget if you would like to have drinks, cakes, or whatever else there is on offer. 

Apart from that, you should budget for the accommodation before and after the trek, transportation, and any necessary gear purchases. 

An interactive map of Alta Via 1

I created the map below to give you an overview of Alta Via 1. I marked all mountain huts as well as day routes and extensions. Click on the button in the top left corner of the map to see the different layers and names of the places. 

Whilst pretty accurate this map should not be used when navigating through the mountains! For that, you will require a proper topography map.

For crossing Alta Via 1 you need to purchase the TABACCO MAPS numbers: 031 (Dolomiti Di Braies), 03 (Dolomiti Ampezzane), and 025 (Dolomiti Di Zoldo) either online or in any sport, souvenir, or cigarette shop in the local towns. Even some Rifugios sell them! 

Alta Via 1: day-by-day breakdown

Day 1: Lago di Braies to Rifugio Biella

  • Distance: 9.3 km / 5.8 mi
  • Walking Time 3h min
  • Elevation gain: 937 m / 3074 ft
  • Elevation loss: 120 m / 393 ft
  • Path number: 1
Alta Via 1 Day 1 1

The first day is relatively short with only 9,5 kilometers (5.9 miles) to cover before you make it to the first refuge. The start couldn’t be more scenic – the turquoise Lake Braies surrounded by soaring peaks with Croda del Becco towering above them all. 

You will have two choices either to navigate the lake counterclockwise following the official route or clockwise,

a slightly quieter and more scenic of the two options. Once you make it to the other side of the lake the ascent starts. It’s important to start early as a lot of day 1 is spent on sun-exposed paths. Good sunscreen and a headcover is a must. 

Alta Via 1 Day 1 5

There is a short cable-protected section around halfway to the hut but it’s only useful when the conditions are icy or wet. In around 3 hours following path no. 1 the whole way, you will reach Forcella Sora Forno (in Italian Forcella means a saddle or a pass). From here it’s a short descent to your first hut. 

Night 1: Rifugio Biella

Rifugio Biella is quite basic. If possible ask for a room which isn’t in the attic, where the walls are paper-thin. I hope you packed those earplugs! Spend the afternoon just enjoying the vast views from the terrace or head out and summit the nearby Croda del Becco! 

Extension day 1: Croda Del Becco/Seekofel Summit

Alta Via 1 Extension Croda Del Becco 6

If you would like to hike to the top of Croda del Becco I recommend that you first check in at the hut and leave most of your stuff behind. Take only the necessities and head back out to Forcella Sora Forna. 

A clear sign will point you in the direction of the summit route. From the saddle, it’s around a 2-hour round trip. My dad and I decided to do the summit hike for sunrise on the second day of the traverse and we made it back to the hut just in time for the all-you-can-eat-breakfast! 

From the summit, you can look down to Lago di Braies where you started the hike! 

Day 2: Rifugio Biella to Rifugio Fanes

  • Distance: 15.4 km / 9.6 mi
  • Walking Time: 4h 15 min
  • Elevation gain: 654 m / 2146 ft
  • Elevation loss: 908 m / 2980 ft
  • Path numbers: 6, 6A, 7
Alta Via 1 Day 2 1

The day starts following a wide path that is used by off-road cars to carry supplies to Biella hut. Follow signs for Rifugio Sennes which you will reach within one hour. By the way, this is a great alternative for a night if you prefer a bit more comfort or don’t plan on doing the Croda del Becco extension. 

Continue through the green pastures passing a few more wooden huts before you start the long descent to Rifugio Pederu located at the end of the glacially shaped Tamersc Valley. This is a great spot to stop for lunch and some scooped ice cream! Yes, they sell decent Italian gelato in the mountains! 

Don’t stay too long to avoid the midday sun as you will begin your ascent to Rifugio Fanes on path no. 7.

At first, the route is exposed, then it plateaus for a bit, before gently climbing up again along a path leading through the forest.

After approximately 2 hours of leaving Pederu, you will reach Rifugio Fanes. 

Night 2: Rifugio Fanes

Rifugio Fanes is an amazing hut and feels more like a fancy backcountry lodge. There is no phone reception in the area, but the hut offers free wifi between certain hours of the day. It isn’t very fast but it does the job.

Prepayment for the accommodation is required when booking in advance. Oh, and did I mention hot showers are included in the price? 

TIP: If the hut is full, rifugio Lavarella, a mere 5-minute walk away, is a great alternative and seems to attract a younger crowd. 

Day 3: Rifugio Fanes to Rifugio Lagazuoi

  • Distance: 14.5 km / 9 mi
  • Walking time: 4h 30 min
  • Elevation gain: 1086 m / 3563 ft
  • Elevation loss: 418 m / 1371 ft
  • Path numbers: 11, 20B, 20
Alta Via 1 Day 3 2

Day 3 was one of my favorite of the whole traverse. There are very few signs of civilization as you continue the hike through the Fanes – Sennes – Braies National Park. 

The first couple of hours of the day is spent on path no.11 – an old military road. The views are idyllic. Green pastures, crystal clear lakes and streams, snow-covered peaks, and very few people in sight. 

After that, the path branches off to the left as you begin the ascent to Forcella del Lago and enter the beautiful Cortina Dolomites. On a good weather day, you will be able to spot Rifugio Lagazuoi from the saddle – your destination for the day.

From the saddle, you drop down through a steep gully to a small turquoise lake followed by another ascent through moon-like landscapes all the way to the hut.

We encountered a lot of snow on this part of the hike and sometimes sank in knee-deep making our ascent that much more difficult. The views from the terrace of Rifugio Lagazuoi more than made up for the struggle. 

Night 3: Rifugio Lagazuoi

I have stayed in the Lagazuoi hut twice before and it made it onto my list of the most photogenic mountain huts in the Dolomites! The rooms are cozy, it offers warm showers and a really nice breakfast!

Don’t miss the chance to summit the nearby Picollo Lagazuoi (only 30 minutes return trip from the hut) from where you can photograph the refuge and its awesome location. 

Day 4: Rifugio Lagazuoi to Rifugio Averau

  • Distance: 9.3 km / 5.8 mi
  • Walking time: 3h
  • Elevation gain: 370 m / 1214 ft
  • Elevation loss: 700 m / 2297 ft
Alta Via 1 Day 4 3

Day 4 gives a few path choices leading to the next refuge and I will cover some below. It’s best if you refer to the Tabacco Map 03 to visualize your options. 

Path Numbers Option 1: 401, 402, 441 

The shortest and fastest route takes you down on path 401 to Forcella Travenanzes then follows path 402 on the descent to Passo Falzarego. You then ascend on path 441 all the way to Rifugio Averau.

This is the option I went for and I recommend it to anyone who plans on doing the extensions in the afternoon. If you are feeling lazy today you can also catch the gondola down to Passo Falzarego and then continue hiking on path 441.   

Path Numbers Option 2: 401, 402, 412, 440

The original Alta Via route. This starts the same way as option 1 but passes Forcella Travenanzes and continues on path 402 to Forcella Bois. It then goes down and turns onto path 412 leading to the restaurant ‘Da Strobel. Afterward, it crosses the road and follows path no. 440 passing lake Limides, rifugio Scoiatolli and finally ending at rifugio Averau 

Path Numbers Option 3:  Lagazuoi tunnels, 402, 441

If you would like to learn a little bit about the bloody history of Passo Falzarego this is a great route to take. The entry to the Lagazuoi tunnels is only a couple of hundred meters away from the Lagazuoi hut. The tunnels are dark and narrow so you will need a head torch and ideally a helmet to avoid bumping your head on the low ceilings.

Alta Via 1 Day 3 19

During bad weather, the tunnels are subjected to floods. This is what stopped me and my dad from going this way. I have explored the Lagazuoi tunnels the previous year so at least I didn’t feel like I missed out. 

Night 4: Rifugio Averau

I really recommend staying at Rifugio Averau. Albeit slightly more expensive than other nearby options (rifugios Scoiatolli and Nuvolau) it offers exquisite food and the most comfortable mattresses on the whole traverse. Something one learns to appreciate after hiking all day long.  

Possible extensions Day 4: Via Ferrata Averau or Cinque Torri

Extension 1: Via Ferrata Averau

Starting within a hundred meters from the Averau hut, Via Ferrata Averau takes its name from the summit it leads to. I have done it the previous year for sunset.

If it weren’t for the bad weather on the afternoon of our 4th day on Alta Via 1, I would have loved to take my dad there to show him the amazing views from the top. Visit my post to see for yourself! 

Alta Via 1 extension averau 1
Extension 2: Cinque Torri

If you choose the second variant for the day when hiking from Rifugio Lagazuoi to Rifugio Averau you will walk by Cinque Torri. It translates to five towers and it’s an interesting rock formation not far from the hut.

There is an old military fort turned into an outdoor museum dating back to the First World War right at the foot of the towers. You can spend the afternoon exploring the area. 

Alta Via 1 extension cinque torri 2
Alta Via 1 extension cinque torri 1

Day 5: Rifugio Averau to Rifugio Citta Di Fiume

  • Distance: 14.5 km / 9 mi
  • Time: 4h 15 min
  • Elevation gain: 550 m / 1804 ft
  • Elevation loss: 1030 m / 3380 ft
  • Path numbers: 452, 436, 458, 467 
Alta Via 1 Day 5 3

Today you will cross another one of the very photogenic mountain passes of the Dolomites – Passo Giau. Throughout the whole day, you will be getting nearer to the unmistakable Mount Pelmo – one of the highest Dolomiti peaks.

You can recognize it by its distinct armchair shape.  Rifugio Citta di Fiume is located beautifully right at its foot. 

Unfortunately, the weather was not in our favor on that day. Most of it we spent hiking in a thick cloud and rain until it cleared up in the late afternoon (some pics below were taken the year before).

I didn’t mind though as for the rest of the trip we had perfect blue skies every day! The first 4 photos you see above were taken the previous year when I was exploring the area. 

Night 5: Rifugio Citta Di Fiume

Rifugio Citta di Fiume is quite small and it may not provide the same fancy services as the other huts on the first 4 days of Alta Via 1, but it makes up for it with a great atmosphere and delicious homemade food. 

Go To Alta Via 1: Part 2


Hi! I am the photographer and creator of www.inafarawayland.com. I come from Poland, but I've been living, travelling and working around the globe since I turned 18. A few years ago, during one of my trips to Scotland, I bought my first DSLR and my adventure with photography began. When I am not stuck to my computer editing photos, you can find me hiking somewhere in the mountains.


  1. Hi Marta! Thanks so much for the excellent guide – extremely helpful. We have found a plan for 5 days with a bus ride in the middle to save on time. We start at Lago Di Braies and end at Rifugio Tissi. I was hoping for advice around how we can get from Rif Tissi to Venice Airport, same day? What is the closest town from Tissi that we’ll be able to get public transport from to Venice Airport? How long is the walk?

    • Hi Sam. At the end of Alta Via 1 part 2 I have enlisted the late entry/early exit possibilities. Tissi is around midway between rif. Coldai or rif. Vazzoler, so you could either retrace your steps from the day before or keep hiking to Vazzoler and then exit to Listolade then bus to Agordo. Look for bus and train connections on Google maps, Sued tirol info or Mooveitapp sites. Some connections might not be up there yet. I hope that helps.

  2. Hi Marta,
    Your description and breakdown of the AV1 are gold, thank you!
    I am planning to walk the full route in September, but needing to find some alternative rifugio due to lack of availability as some places. Happy to be walking up to 7-8 days were needed. Couple of questions:
    Q1. I’m looking to go from Rifugio Scotoni to Rifugio 5 Torri (as an alternative to Lagazuoi to Nuvalolu/Averau). Is this do-able if I take the ‘original route’ that goes via Forcella Travenazes, or would I best to to via Passo Falzarego?
    Q2. Walking from Rifugio 5 Torri to Citta di Fiume… also ok to do in 1 day?

    Thanks so much! Nicole 🙂

    • Hi Nicole, thanks for your great feedback. Yes it’s all doable. You can hike from Scotoni to Travenanzas saddle and then exactly the way I describe to Rifugio Averau. From Averau you just drop down to Cinque Torri and then the hut. It will be 30 mins extra from Averau to Cinque Torri Hut. The next day you can retrace back to Averau and keep walking as normal to Citta di Fiume. Scotoni is very close to Lagazuoi and Cinque Torri is very close to Averau so you won’t be adding that many kilometres to your day. I hope that helps

  3. Hi-
    This has been so incredibly helpful for planning my trip! I have run into a little issue where I am staying at Rifugio Scotoni and Rifugio Citta Di Fiume, but in between there Averau, Scoiatolli, Nuvolau and cinque torri are all full for my dates, any other recommendation?


    • Hi Sophia. I just noticed that I didn’t answer your comment yet. I think your best bet might be to just hike from Scotoni to Passo Falzarego then take the bus to Cortina and stay somewhere there then rejoin the trail the next day at Passo Falzarego. You could also try and reroute the day and hike from Scotoni to Rifugio Federa in one day. The next day from Federa to Citta di Fiume would be very short but you could add the Col De La Puina hike to it. I hope that helps!

  4. Hi Marta! I love all of your posts, this is super helpful.

    We are planning to spend our last night at Rifugio Tissi and then exit maybe with a stop at Rifugio Vazzoler on the way down. Do you know the best way to exit from either of these rifugios?

    I have heard the section from Vazzoler to Rifugio Carestiato can be a bit sketchy with a lot of slopey rock skee. We are trying to skip this section!

    Thanks so much in advance!

    • Hi Talia. thanks for visiting. I do have this exit option described in the article towards the end of part 2. You must have missed it when reading the article 🙂

  5. Hello Marta,
    Thank you so much for the information and we plan to follow closely to your itinerary! We were wondering, we are planning our trip for August and unfortunately noted that online the Rifugio Lagazuoi is already full and no availability for any days in August. Is there a relatively close alternative Rifguio we could stay instead? Greatly appreciate any info! Thanks!

    • Hi Alison. Rifugio Scotoni is pretty close. You should also check the accommodation directly on Passo Falzarego (for example Rifugio Col Gallina). I hope that helps!

  6. Hi Marta,

    These articles are exactly what I’ve been looking for to plan one of my first hut-to-hut’s and they’ve been great so far. I’m planning on doing around 5 days of hiking on the AV1, with 2 other guys, in the second week of June (most of the huts seem to open by 8th June).

    Firstly, if I were to start at the beginning, where are the best places to exit (we’d be happy doing quite long distances – around 15km + 800m vert). You’ve already mentioned that starting at Passo Falzarego to Citta Di Fiume to La Pissa is a good option, but would that be too strenuous (we’re 18 years old so not much experience but have a lot of energy).

    Secondly, because we are going so early in the season, what issues might the snow bring? Would we ever have to abandon because of the snow? How cold could it be in the day? Is the Southern part of the AV1 less likely to have as much snow? Are there a few days which we could try and avoid/work around if there is a lot of snow?

    Finally, what do you think is best for people my age (should I consider a different trail to the AV1)? I have already done 5 days of AV2 and 5 days of Julian Alps, but that was with my Dad. Is it worth me trying to persuade my friends to do the whole thing in one go (AV1)?

    Sorry for so many questions,

    • Hi Daniel. Thanks for your great feedback. Now for your first question, I won’t answer that here because it is all explained in the text (look at the end of part 2, late entry/early exit points). You can plan accordingly with that so start or end at any of those points. As for the snow situation I did AV1 just at the start of the season after a very snowy winter and it was fine. There were places where we did wade in snow but generally in the morning the snow is very hard, as it gets warmer the snow gets softer. We only had the snow on the northern slopes. You can look at the pics and see for yourself. Gaiters might come in handy so the snow doesn’t fall into your boots and get them wet. During the day it was already very hot. Again you can judge by the pics what we were wearing. At night the temperatures can hover around 0 degrees at high altitudes (that’s what we experiences in the Lagazuoi hut). I think AV1 is best to start with. Most of the other hikes I recommend include via ferratas in them. I hope that helps!

      • Thanks for the advice, super helpful.
        When do you think I need to start booking by – I know some of the huts don’t even open bookings until March, but I don’t know if the huts will be very full in early-ish June and thus have competition for rooms.

  7. Hello readers, We just wanted to leave a comment after using this blog to plan our own trip to the Dolomites from Thursday June 23rd to Monday June 26th (just before peak visiting season began). We ended up doing just 5 days and 4 nights on the Alta Via 1 and started by taking a bus from Cortina D’Ampezzo to Lago di Braises, ending at Cinque Torri by taking the lift down to an area where we could catch a bus back to Cortina D’Ampezzo. Just a note for folks who have a car, there is a free parking lot in Cortina that many people in camper vans stay at but it was full as there was a big ultra marathon running event going on then (dont know the name but ask around). We ended up finding a paid parking lot near a gas station that we could pay for up to 3 days and then we were able to add on time when we had Wifi in the huts. So it ended up working out. We were also there right before “high season” began so some buses were not running their normal schedules. There were also not too many people most days on the trail. Just sometimes big groups but we could usually avoid them. The weather was great too! Around this time, we didnt need to get a permit to start at Lago di Braises but during the high season, you may need to.

    We stayed at Rifugio Sennes the first night. We highly recommend Sennes over Rifugio Biella, #1 because its high value for its cost and #2 because it is much cozier and built up than Biella, even though it was one of the least built up huts we stayed at. Biella seems to be a bit bare bones/has less amenities and space compared to Sennes. That being said, Sennes still feels small and cozy. The only other visitors were bikers during the day and other hikers. We just had to email a few times and then call Sennes to get on their books and to confirm our lodging reservations.

    The second night we stayed at Rifugio Fanes, which you can book online. We were even able to get our own room that night. They had amazing food and again, the only other folks up there were bikers and hikers. We arrived at midday during each of our hike days so on this day we visited Rifugio Lavarella for lunch and a beer, which was a short walk from Fanes. In between Sennes and Fanes, we stopped at Pederu Berggasthaus for an espresso and pastry – highly recommend giving yourself sometime to chill there and take in the view. At Fanes, we signed up for a yoga session which was really needed!

    The third night we stayed at Rifugio Lagazuoi, which we booked online. The hike from Fanes to Lagazuoi is long so prepare for a big day of hiking. It is a very busy Rifugio as people can take trams up for the day but it makes sense as the view is amazing. After the last tram though, it is very chill and only hikers staying the night are there. They have a sauna too so make reservations ahead and try it out! Their food was also so delicious. FYI, around this time, there wasnt much snow but we did have gaiters just in case.

    The next day we took the path through the Lagazuoi tunnels on our way to Rifugio Avareau. Be aware there are two routes when you enter the tunnels and you can take either as they both go to the same place. It is well worth it! Your knees may hurt a bit as the steps down are big but its a unique experience. From there we stopped in the small town at the bottom of the mountain to enjoy some snacks and then we headed up to Rifugio Averau, checked in, and then hiked up to Rifugio Nuvolau (which I highly recommend as you get an amazing view of the area plus they have great food).

    On our last hiking day, we were originally going to hike down to Passo Giau but because it wasnt the peak season yet (which started right after we were leaving), busses werent running during the weekday or at least when we were departing. So we decided to hike down to Cinque Torri and hike around that area, before taking the lift down to catch a bus to Cortina. To figure out the bus times, we asked around but there also seemed to be schedules in the huts.

    Overall here were some things we noticed or advice we have from our experience:
    We noticed that the food options for half board dinner, at most of the huts we visited, were more diverse than described in the blog. We also found that for the huts we visited, showers were available, and all but Lagazuoi’s were free. We highly recommend starting early in the day so you can arrive around midday and can still enjoy lunch at the rifugio you are staying at or another close by. This gives you lots of time to relax, read a book, chart the next days hike (which you should do every day before the next days hike), do an extension or short walk somewhere, write in a journal, meet other hikers, etc. We were surprised how many of the Rifugios took card and that we didnt end up using much of our cash. Of course, we were only on one part of the Alta Via. Also, we recommend you try the local house Grappa or other digestifs when you can!

    Out of all the huts we went to, we loved Rifugio Sennes the most as it felt like we were in nature, far from people but still had the wonderful comforts of beer, delicious cheese plates, etc. It also had an older feel, Alps charm. The other Rifugios were really nice, just a bit more modern in some of their updates. Originally we had planned for 5 days thinking that would be enough hiking but at the end of the 5 days, we wish we had planned to do more! We were trying to fit in travel to Slovenia and Croatia so we chose 5 days. Once we got to day 4, our bodies were accustomed to that much hiking and just wanted to continue! One day we hope to do the full Alta Via 1 and 2 plus other areas. Its such an amazing place to visit – so epic and unique.

    • Hi Sarah, Thanks for visiting and for your personal input. This is the longest comment I have ever received :D. I do feel I need to address a couple of things. Sennes is better to stay at if one does not plan on doing the Summit of Seekofel extension. Biela is better if extension is in the plan or if one plans on starting the AV1 later in the day. Yes, you are definitely right, it is a nicer refuge than Biela with that said Biela isn’t bad. As for food I’ve got to say you stayed in the 4 most luxurious huts on AV1. Once you cross Passo Giau the huts become significantly less luxurious, showers are not free of charge (Whilst Fanes and Averau were FOC, Lagazuoi operates theirs on a token basis, which you have to purchase at reception). Same goes for cards, not all huts accept them, although year after year more and more huts do (finally) so that’s a step forward for sure. I still very much appreciate your recount. I am sure it will help others choosing what’s best for them. I hope for you to come back and hike more of the Dolomites!

  8. Hello,

    I am wondering if we want only to hike to Rifugio Citta Di Fiume what are our options (if any) for transportation out). Or is there another option for only doing 4-5 nights in the Rigugios? Thank you for such wonderful information.


    • Hi Chaia. Thanks for stopping by. You can start Alta Via 1 later and finish earlier. Please refer to the second part of my AV1 Guide. at the end I have descrive late entry and early exit route possibilities. Let me know if you have any more questions

  9. Hello Marta,

    Thank you for the wealth of information on your website! Our family is hiking the Northern section of the AV1 exiting at Rifugio Staulanza, July of 2024. We would like to make our way to Bolzano next but wondered how to navigate there. I saw in one of your posts that there was a bus stop at Staulanza. Would you recommend taking this connecting through Longarone or Selva di Cadore? Is the bus fairly frequent? Thank you!

    • Hi Kim. Yes if you zoom onto Passo Staulanza there is a bus stop. there. As for your question you have to check the bus connections yourself. I usually use either google maps, mooveitapp or Sued Tirol Mobil website for bus connections. Bear in mind that it will be a while before the schedules on some routes will be release for the nexts season.
      What you could also do is instead of ending at Passo Staulanza, keep hiking towards rifugio Coldai and take the Col Dei Baldi gondola down to Alleghe then travel onwards to Bolzano. The public transport will require a lot of changes and a good few hours. If you were hiking Alta Via 2 which is more to the West, getting to Bolzano would be much easier.

  10. Hello,
    I just completed the TMB from June 19-July 2 with all of the variants. AV1 seems kind of boring (just walking) as compared to AV2. I read your AV1 with the via ferrata extensions but it requires full via ferrata gear. I am leaning more toward hiking the AV2 because I am excited about the via ferratas. I am a rock climber and am very comfortable with heights. My hiking friends do not want to carry the full gear either. Can I do the via ferratas on AV2 without the full gear? I could bring climbing slings and carabiners as backups.
    You have done AV1 and AV2. If I can only do one AV route, which would you recommend doing if I have no problem with heights. Thank you.

    • Hi Grace, thanks for visiting. You do need via ferrata gear on AV2 and I would never publicly tell anyone to go without it. Even though the scrambling sections are beginner routes. Don’t put your trust into other people, rocks come flying down the VF parts all the time, released by the groups above you. Doing it without VF gear is like driving your car without seatbelt on. For the most part, it’s a non issue, but all it takes is one bad move.
      As for AV1 vs AV2 both are amazing in their own ways and nothing boring about AV1. AV2 is definitely more challenging due to lenght and day-by-day distances (at least on some days). I would recommend that you look into AV4 if you need more of a challenge. It’s my favourite Alta Via. Dolomiti Brenta Traverse would be the next thing I would recommend.

  11. Hello,

    Thank you so much for your detailed report! To follow on the previous question regarding car parking, what parking lots would you recommend in Cortina to leave the car for the AV1?

    Thank you so much!

    • Hi Anna. Thanks for visiting. There is a huge parking next to the Cortina bus station, but I am not sure about leaving your car there for a few nights. What I did when I hiked Alta Via 2 and had to leave my car for an extended time I just contacted the hotel and asked them if there was a possibility to leave my van there. They agreed and I just paid a parking fee for each day it was there.

  12. Hello Marta
    What a wealth of information you have provided here thanks so much for spending the time to do this what a generous act from you
    I am Australian and have always dreamed of hiking the Dolomites for my 60th birthday
    I have done multi day hikes inAustralia andNew Zealand
    My daughter and I will be in Italy in June 2024 and want to hike the Alta Via 1
    The route you have followed seems perfect for us
    We would love to do the 10 night itinerary but if we are short on time will start on day 3 of the hike
    Could you tell me when would be the best time for me to book the Refugio’s so we can be assured of getting spots(when do bookings open for the 2024 season and what are the best platforms to book on)
    We were also thinking of maybe doing your itinerary but in reverse is that a good idea?
    We are not planning on hiring a car so will be reliant on public transport
    We are also planning to stay in the same accommodation before and after our walk so we can leave our luggage there during the time we are hiking would you recommend Cortina or Belluno?
    I look forward to hearing from you

    • Hi Margaret, Thanks for visiting. Due to high demand and lots of questions I receive on a daily basis I started offering trip planning services. If you would like to to answer all your questions I am happy to schedule a call with you. Please visit this page for details.

  13. Thank you soooo much for such wonderful site!!! We have followed many of your hikes in Canda, and we are now booked for doing the Alta Via 1 in June. We are doing it at the very start of the season…..starting out on June 16th. There is still a very large amount of snow up there which is making me a little nervous. When you went in June did you have microspikes with you? Any other suggestions?

    Thanks so much!!!!
    Lindsey Oar

    • Hi Lindsey! Thanks for visiting and congrats on securing Alta Via 1. I did AV1 at the very start of the season too so you can work out how much snow there was looking at my pics. That year it was actually more than usual. This year we have less snow than usual. I wouldn’t look at the snow situation at the moment because yes there is still a lot of snow at higher elevation but the next weeks is when most of it melts. No I didn’t carry any microspikes, but gaiters might come in handy. The snow at the end of June is super wet and slushy, not icy and crusty. Let me know if you have more questions. Happy hiking.

  14. Great blog! Nice into and wonderful images. We are planning to go in early September and do 4 days on the southern end…. We could get everything we wanted to fall into place, but at least think we have a workable plan…. Our first night is at Staulanza . We were hoping to get some local transport to access the train at either Cinque Torri or Rifugio scoiattoli…. Wondering if you know any easy way to access…. We could come in at Paso Giau but think that misses some nice stuff…. From there we have Tissi-> carestiato—>pramperet all booked. Figures crossed for good weather…

    • Hi Stephen. Thanks for stopping by. You should take a bus from Cortina to Passo Falzarego and start hiking there (or one stop before Passo Falzarego, take the chairlift to Scoiatolli and hike from Cinque Torri. The rest looks good! I hope that helps.

  15. Hi Marta – great website, so very informative! I wondered what you would recommend. A couple of friends and I are planning on doing the hut-to-hut in the dolomites this july and would like to try via ferrata. We have never done via ferrata before and I am somewhat nervous about doing it having never tried it before. What would be the best routes for a 5 day? Is there one that can include hiking and via ferrata? Thanks so much!

      • Thanks for this! Is the Brenta traverse or tre crime potential options for us too? I notice they’re via ferrata and over 1 or 2 beginner but then move to via ferrata. Your blog is the best guide to the Dolomites so thank you!

        • Hi Ellie. It’s difficult for me to answer this question for you because I have no idea what your experience level etc. is. You said the ferratas make you nervous. Tre Cime Traverse would be better, but honestly, I don’t think you will be able to book the huts for it at this time of the year. A lot of readers were writing to me already two months ago that Locatelli and Pian di Ciengia are fully booked for the summer. Of course, some cancellations do occur but it would often mean you might not get in until the last moment. Brenta is amazing but it is definitely a challenging traverse with 8 via ferratas over 5 days. I was exhausted at the end of it and I do it professionally 😉 What I am saying is don’t bite off more than you can chew. Safety first! 🙂 Rosengarten is absolutely amazing, it is in fact one of my favourite places in the Dolomites.

      • To add onto my comment for some context, our experience level is that we do hiking, normally choosing some obscure routes 🙂

  16. Hi Marta,
    Thank you for the rich information you provide, it’s absolutely amazing. I’m trying to come up with a realistic itinerary of the second part of Av1 for mid July. I would love some help to make sure I’m well prepared. Here’s the details:

    Staying in Cortina d’Ampezzo (accommodation booked)
    Day 1- Cortina (take bus to Ponte di Rocurto or walk), via Lago Federa to Città di Fumme or to Rifugio Palafavera. ( is Lago Federa to Palafavera too far in one day??)

    Day2- Palafavera + hiking to summit of Civetta + sleep in Rifugio Torrani (accommodation booked)
    Is it possible in one day to leave Palafavera and hike Civetta?

    Day3- Rifugio Torrani (Civetta) to Vazzoler or another Rifugio close (waiting to see if there’s availability)
    How long do you think it takes between Torrani and Vazzoler?

    Day 4- Vazzoler or other Rifugio exiting in Listolade ( Accomodation in Agordo)

    Day5- Agordo to Belluno to Venice

    I really want to hike Civetta and am very lucky to have secured a spot at Rifugio Torrani on day 2.
    Would you suggest another itinerary to exit after hiking Civetta?

    Thank you for your time,


    • Hi Jonathan. Thanks for visiting. First of all I just want to make sure that you know that going up to the Civetta Summit is not hiking as you write it, it’s a via ferrata on all three routes and quite a hard one too. I did two of them. Bringing the via ferrata gear is essential. Now to your questions. It’s possible to walk to Lago Federa then Citta di Fiume and Palafavera in one day, but whether it is possible for you I don’t know because I have no idea how fit you are 🙂
      The same goes for your question regarding going from Palafavera all the way to the summit. It will be over 1700 meters of elevation gain so it’s heck of a day. It’s possible for a very fit person for sure. Whether you can do it, is only a question you can answer yourself.
      Now to day 3. You can potentially follow the crossing of the Civetta group from Torani to Rifugio Carestiato along via Ferrata Moiazza. It’s an advanced one again and I have it done it myself, but it is on my list. Your other option is just to descend to Rifugio Coldai then circle around Civetta to Rifugio Vazzoler. That would take around 6 hours.

      Let me know if that helps!

  17. Hi Marta!!

    Thank you so so much for the amazing information! I am planning a trip to Italy this Aug (2023) with friends. We plan to travel from Rome up to Venice and then do the first half of the Alta Via 1. I was hoping you might be able to help/give some recommendations.

    1. We will be exiting the route on the morning of Day 6 (staying in Rifugio Citte Di Fiume on Day 5, then hiking out the next morning). We need to get back to Venice where we will fly home from the following day. What is the best way to do that? Hike to Passo Staulanza as your and take buses/train from there? Rent a car from Venice and leave it at the finish place (I do have an international drivers license)?

    2. Since we are touring Italy before hiking, we hope to leave our extra luggage at a safe storage place in Venice. Do you have a recommendation for that? I suppose if we rent a car, we could leave the luggage in the trunk, but that feels less safe. Thoughts?

    Thank you so much for your time and help. Your articles and pictures are wonderful!!


    • Hi Sarah. Thanks for visiting. Logistically it would be a lot easier for you to take a shuttle from Venice to Cortina D’Ampezzo, then a local bus to Passo Falzarego then join Alta Via 1 and walk the first day to Citta Di Fiume, then continue until the end. To speed things up on Day 2 you walk from Citta Di Fiume to Rifugio Tissi, on day 3 from Tissi to Carestiato, then Pramperet, and on day 5 you walk out to Belluno. From Belluno, you can travel by train back to Venice.
      As for the extra luggage. If you plan on staying in Venice before then make sure you book a hotel that will allow you to store your luggage for a few days. Getting a rental car for a group might actually be more cost-effective and easier since you are in a group.
      Last but not least. Do you already have reservations for AV1? some of my readers told me that some of the huts are already booked out, and those are usually the ones on the first half of AV1. The second half is quieter.
      I hope that helps! Let me know if you have more questions.

      • Hi again.

        Thank you for the quick response! I had not thought about doing the second half rather than the first half. Are the views and hiking just as amazing? Obviously, if the Rifugios are booked, that’s a problem.

        Thank you!


        • Hi Sarah. Definitely worth considering. My favorite days were 3,7 and 10 so 2 of them were in the second half of AV1. You definitely will have enough of amazing views no worries 🙂 let me know if you have more questions!

          • The more I research it, the more I like your suggested plan. I have a few more questions if you have time and don’t mind.

            1. Your suggested route has us hiking for 5 days. Our schedule allows for 6 days of hiking. Would it be worthwhile to start at Rifugio Lagazuoi? For example, instead of spending the night in Cortina D’Ampezzo, we make our way to Passo Falzarego and take the gondola up to Lagazoui to stay there the night before we start hiking.

            2. I am having trouble finding what the path/route would be from Pramperet to Belluno. Does that follow the AV1 trail or diverge from it? Do you know how many miles (or km) that day would be?

            3. In your article about AV1 – Part 2, you mention Route 560 from Coldai to Vazzoler. Can this path still be taken as we hike from Fiumi to Tissi? I want to avoid roads and stay in nature as much as possible.

            I am trying to confirm how many people will be going on this trip, so I have not booked Rifugios yet. I plan to book them by the end of this week though! Fingers crossed!!

            Thank you again for your endless supply of information and all of your help!


          • Hi Sarah. La Pissa, where the AV1 ends is connected by bus with Belluno. Rifugio Tissi is halfway between Coldai and Vazzoler. Scan the article for answers 🙂 Due to the high demand and lots of questions I receive on daily basis, I recently started to offer trip consulting to my readers to guide them on how to make reservations or what would the ideal hiking plan for them be. If interested write to me by e-mail using my contact page and I will send you the details. Fingers crossed you secure the reservations!

  18. Thanks to you for providing all of this very helpful information!
    My wife and I will be on AV1 in late July but, unfortunately, we won’t have an adequate amount of time to hike the entirety of it and still call it a vacation. We’ll have a total of six days in the Dolomites, and we’re trying to balance our (not always shared) interests in trekking, via ferrata, trail running, water color painting, and taking in the geology and history of the place. So we’re thinking we won’t want to take on more than about 50-60% of the entire distance.
    Looking back on your trip, and considering what we’re trying to accomplish, what 40-ish mile length of the AV1 do you consider to be the most rewarding? And would access logistics (cable cars/road crossings/transit) be reasonable for starting and ending the trek at those spots? Thanks in advance for any feedback you can provide.

    • Hi Travis. Thanks for visiting. My favorite days of Alta Via 1 were day 3, 7 and 10 so as you can probably see there is a better or worse half of AV1. I am afraid though I didn’t understand how many days exactly you are looking at. I know you said 40ish mile so around 65 km but you want to do those over 4 days? Do you want to spend all 6 days that you have in the Dolomites on Av1?
      Logistically the easiest for you would be to start at Passo Falzarego then hike to Rifugio Citta Di Fiume on day 1 then Coldai day 2, Vazzoler Day 3 and exit after Rifugio Vazzoler. Passo Falzarego is easily accessible by bus from Cortina d’Ampezzo and Cortina in turn can be easily reached from Venice. There are shuttle buses going daily. Let me know if that helps and if you have any more questions. Also check my late entry/early exit possibilities at the end of part 2.

  19. Hi Marta – thank you for sharing all this information!

    Question: if we were to exit the trail at Passo Giau, do you know what bus company we should take to be to get back to Cortina d’Ampezzo? Trying to determine if we should hike from Rifugio Averau to Passo Giau then catch a bus or try to find a bus around Rifugio Averau and take it from there.


    • Hi Michael. The Dolomitibus operate along this route, but their schedules and their website are so user-unfriendly that it scares me. Try to look it up on the Mooveit app or Sued Tirol Mobil. Bear in mind that schedules might not be available yet as the winter season is still in full swing.Let me know if you have more questions

      • Thanks for reply!

        Sorry one more question. Do you where we can exit the trail after a night at the Rifugio Citta Di Fiume? Plan to head back to Cortina after this.

        • Hi Michael. You can exit at Passo Staulanza which is a point along the route between rifugio Citta di Fiume and rifugio Coldai. There is a bus stop at rifugio Staulanza.

  20. Hi there!

    Thank you so much for your articles, they have all been extremely helpful! I will be hiking with some friends in the dolomites the last week of June into July. We all are experienced hikers and grew up int he mountains. We are looking for a 9 day hut to hut. We were looking at your Alta Via 1 route but were thinking of combining the first and second day to make it into 9 days. While researching we noticed that a lot of other articles were going from Averau to Stalanza to Vazzoler. I guess I was wondering why you chose your route from Averau to Citta di fiume to Coldai to Vazzoler. My other easier question would be would you recommend a different 9 day hike to see the best of the dolomites. We wont be traveling with the extra gear required for the other Alta Vias. Thank you so much for your help!

    • Hi Cristina. Thanks for stopping by. To make the trip shorter I would actually recommend the following huts. Day 1-3 as normal day 4 Lagazuoi to Citta Di Fiume. Day Citta Di Fiume to Tissi, Day 6 Tissi to Carestiato, 7 Carestiato to Pramperet and then walk out on day 8 or stay another night in Pian De Fontana.

      I think Citta Di Fiume is much nicer to stay at than Staulanza. Staulanza is right next to the road and rather in forest. Citta di fiume has awesome views of Monte Pelmo and if you felt like it you could walk up from there to Col De La Puina for sunset. If you don’t plan on taking VF equipment with you then stick with AV1. I do recommend that you get on with booking the huts though because it’s already quite late in the season and the demand has risen significantly in recent years. I hope that helps!

  21. Hi Marta. Great info and pictures you posted here. We are a group of 4 planning to hike the AV1 in early Sept. Do you have any advice or notes on hiking towards the end of the season? Do the rifugios stay open and bus shuttles run right to the 3rd week in Sept? Thanks!

    • Hi Kirk. Thanks for visiting. Yes the rifugios stay open until the third week of September. I recommend checking the last refuge which you will stay at and its opening times, particularly the last day, then take off 10 nights and start your hike then. The buses are usually aligned with the hut openings. You will find the bus schedules in the last two huts you will cross along the way. Let me know if I can help any further.

  22. Hi Marta! Your site is great. I want to backpack for 4-5 days during the 3rd week of September. I am an experienced hiker, but not a climber, so I do not want to encounter any via ferratas. The Alta Via 1 looks great except the hiking time on the trail each day seems quite short in that each day only has about 1/2 day of hiking. Do you have any recommendations for trails that don’t have via ferratas, but that might have 6-7 hours of hiking each day? Thank you!

    • Hi Carrie. Thanks for stopping by. Please bear in mind that the times I am giving on the site are only walking times and do not include any breaks. Look at other stats too like distances and elevation gain. You can easily combine some days to fit your own schedule. Here is an example itinerary for 5 days which would have longer days based on AV1. Passo Falzarego to rifugio Citta di Fiume. Citta di Fiume to rifugio Tissi. Rifugio Tissi to Rifugio Carestiatio. Rifugio Carestiatio to rifugio Pian De Fontana. Pian De Fontana to La Pissa. Let me know if that helps!

  23. Marta Kulesza, Thank you for your amazing website. I am using every piece of information you have provided. After planning this trip since October 2021, I’m leaving July 14 from the US and I am doing the entire AV1. In planning my trail route, I was looking at the Tabacco Map #031. I may have an older map but I do not have the trails from Fannes to Lagazuoi or Averau. None of the trails, 401, 402, 412, 440, etc. are on this map. Can you give me some information on what map I will need to fine these trails? Tabacco Map 25 has the rest of the AV1 all the way to the La Pissa Belluno bus stop. Thanks again for your work.

    • Hi Thomas. Thanks for visiting. I just double-checked on my map for Cortina (no. 03) and the routes are all there, but even if you have an older map don’t stress out) whichever route you choose to take do not worry, they are all marked. Once leaving rifugio Lagazuoi you will have a clear sign for Lagazuoi Tunnels. Once you make it down to Passo Falzarego you will also have signs pointing towards rifugio Averau. Hiking in the Dolomites is easy, particularly on AV1. Passo Falzarego is clearly visible from Rifugio Lagazuoi too so the descent is super easy whichever way you decide to go down. I hope that helps! let me know if you have any more questions!

      • Thank you for getting back to me. In your article, you mention Map 031, not Map 03. There is my confusion. I believe you need to change Rifugio Lagazuoi to Rifugio Averau from Map 031 to Map 03. Thanks.

          • Thank you again for your quick response. Yes, you did mention that I need 3 maps for this hike. Here is what you wrote for Day 4: “Day 4 gives a few path choices leading to the next refuge and I will cover some below. It’s best if you refer to the Tabacco Map 031 to visualise your options.” Map 031 does not have these trail numbers to refer to. If you mean Map 03, you need to edit your article at Day 4.

          • Hi Thomas. Now I got it. Thanks for catching it. I have updated it from 031 to 03. Those two maps do overlap though. Same as 03 overlaps slightly with 025. Anyways thanks for staying vigilant and I hope that whichever route you choose when hiking this stage that you will have lots of fun!

  24. Hi, Marta — I’ve read a bunch of your articles and love your adventurous spirit. I’m going to do the AV1 this September, and will bring my ferrata gear to Italy so I can do some ferratas after the AV1. I’d like to do the AV1 ferratas to Averau and Ra Gusela, but I’d prefer not to have to carry the gear throughout the AV1. I have many years of rock climbing experience and also have done some intermediate ferratas in the USA. What do you think?

    • Hi Rick. Thanks for stopping by and your awesome feedback. If you are looking for a green light from me to do the via ferratas without the equipment then you won’t get it 🙂 After going through a terrible accident myself in the mountains I am a big believer in a better be safe than sorry attitude. Whilst I saw a lot of people on the beginner via ferratas without the equipment I have also noticed that most of the remembrance plaques can be spotted on the beginner routes, so there you have it. The choice is ultimately yours. I wish you lots of fun on AV1! It’s an awesome route and if you need another reason to actually bring the VF equipment then I highly encourage you to try the via Ferrata Degli Alleghesi starting from rifugio Coldai. This would mean staying a couple of nights in rifugio Coldai, but the Ferrata is awesome and the views from the top of Civetta are really worth it!

  25. Hello, I have loved reading many of your articles… It’s definitely inspired many adventure plans for me! I had a question I wondered if you may have advice on… I’ll be hiking Alta Via 1 in late June, and am trying to find a way to send a bag from the start (Lago Braies or Cortina) to Belluno to pick up at the end. I have only found taxi services that are around 300 euros for that (which seems like a lot for one small bag). Do you know of any better ways to send a bag? Thank you so much!

    • Hi Wendy. Thanks for stopping by and for your great feedback! Unfortunately, apart from sending it via post, I don’t know of any place or services that do it. What I would recommend is that you travel to Belluno first then leave it at a hotel in Belluno and travel up to Braies with just the backpack that you will use for your trek. Sorry I couldn’t help any further! Let me know if you have more questions!

  26. Thank you Marta!
    That was a great idea. I didn’t know about Passo Giau.
    Our dates have changed, and we’ll have to go in mid June. I am worried about the snow, so just to we get a taste of the multi day experience I booked the Lavarella and da Lagazou huts. Not sure if I should take the chance with the Sennes (as the Biella is closed), or be happy with the 2 nights?
    Thank you again!

    • Hi Ana. No worries. I have hiked AV1 in 2019 and we started exactly on June 18th. That was the first-day rifugio Biella was open. There was still a bit of snow when hiking up to the pass, but nothing impassable. We were able to hike without any crampons. This year there was less snow in the Alps compared to previous years so you might even be lucky and have none in June. If sennes is open then do consider staying there for your first night. Good luck! Let me know how it goes!

  27. Hi Marta,
    thank you so much for you reply, it was very helpful!
    If we do around 5 days of the via 1 I am looking at:
    Lake Braies / Sennes or Pederu / Fanes / Lagazou / Averau or Nuvolau
    What do you think? Is there any better option?
    And also, if we leave the car at the end of the hike (at Bai de Dones), do you know if there is transport back to Lake Braies?
    Thank you again!

    • hi Ana. AV1 starts at Lago di Braies, which you can reach by car or bus. I would recommend that you stay your first night somewhere in Cortina D’Ampezzo and book a hotel with the option to leave your car for a few days. There are also paid and secure parking lots in Cortina where you could leave your car. Then on your first day, you can take the bus to Lago di Braies. The journey takes around 1 hour. You then hike for the next 4 or 5 days following my Alta Via 1 itinerary. If you hike for 5 days you can exit at Passo Giau and from there catch the local bus to Cortina D’Ampezzo. If you look at the map you will see that it makes sense. I don’t recommend leaving your car at the start of the hike. If I do it myself I always leave the car either at the end or somewhere in the middle and use public transport on the first day of a backpacking trip to simply get it out of the way. From my experience when I finish any multiday trek the last thing I want to do on that day is mess around with public transport to get back to the car. I prefer the car to be waiting for me already 🙂 Let me know if that helps!

  28. Hi Marta,
    thank you so much for you detailed articles! Plus, your pictures are amazing.
    I would like to ask your opinion cause my boyfriend and I would like to do a 4/5 day hike, but this will be his first experience on a multi-day hike.
    From what you’ve wrote I am in between the Tre Cime multiday traverse or part of Via 1.
    Could you please help me?
    1- considering the scenery, which one do you prefere?
    2 – we will be going on the 1st week of July, is Via 1 too crowded?
    3 – also, we have 10 days in total, so we can do day trips as well
    Thank you so much,

    • Hi Ana! Thanks for visiting my site and your awesome feedback. If it is your boyfriend’s first multiday traverse then I think AV1 would be more suiting. As for your question. Considering the scenery you can’t go wrong with either one. 2) 1st week of July is considered high season but, to be honest you will meet fewer people on some sections of AV1 than on the Tre Cime traverse. The area around Tre Cime is very crowded during the high season because lots of people access rifugio Auronzo by car and hike the Tre Cime circuit in a day. Another thing to consider is the via ferratas along the traverse, you will need to carry proper vf gear with you to tackle those sections. As for day trips, there are a lot of possibilities for day hikes and day via ferratas which you can find in the day hikes category and via Ferrata category in my Italian Dolomites guide. Let me know if I can help further!

  29. Hi Marta,

    Thanks for your amazing write ups and photos!

    I’m a female experienced hiker (not much climbing/mountain experience however as live in Australia) and hoping to hike either of the Alta Via 1 or Alta Via 2 solo in August this year. I much prefer less crowds and certainly don’t mind a challenge, however am also concerned about being unsafe in the mountains solo.

    So I guess I have 2 questions:
    1 -Which was more spectacular? Alta Via One or Alta Via Two?
    2 – Would you warn a solo traveller from doing Alta Via Two (i.e. is there lots of scrambling/unsafe sections?)

    Thank you kindly 🙂


    • Hi Dom! THanks for stopping by. To try and answer your questions:
      1. It’s a tough call. There are days that I loved more on AV1 and days I loved more on AV2. If you want my honest answer I thought AV4 was the best, followed closely by the Dolomiti Brenta traverse haha. Whichever you pick AV1 or AV2 you won’t be dissapointed.
      2. You will always meet people along these traverses and can team up with someone. AV2 does require carrying extra equipment for the via ferrata section. A helmet is a must, but also harness and lanyard wouldn’t hurt, especially since there are a few very cool via ferrata extensions you can do, but also because there are some short cable sections with ladders, where you really should wear a helmet.

      Let me know if you have more questions!

  30. Great write up. Looks snowy, which exact weeks did you travel? Currently planning a trip for last week of June and wondering if likely to be similar. Did you require crampons?

    • Hi Ste! Thanks for stopping by. It seems like you missed the answer in the text. I do say that I hiked it at the very start of the season which was June 17th – June 27th. We had snow even on the last day of the hike, but apart from the approach to rifugio Lagazuoi on day 3 when the snow was slushy and we were sinking sometimes knee-deep in it, other times we were crossing the snowfields in the mornings when the snow was hard. We did not require crampons at any point, but gaiters may come in handy. I hope that helps!

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