Hiking Along Italy’s Most Famous Backpacking Trail – Alta Via 1 in the Italian Dolomites (Part 2)

Below you can find the map of Alta Via 1 with all mountain huts, day routes, and extensions marked on it. 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! 

Day 6: Rifugio Citta Di Fiume to Rifugio Coldai

  • Distance: 15.4 km / 9.6 mi
  • Walking time 4h 30min
  • Elevation gain: 900 m / 2953 ft
  • Elevation loss: 700 m / 2297 ft
Alta Via 1 Day 6 5

Path Numbers Variant 1: 472, 568, 561, 556 

This is the original route taking you down to Passo Staulanza then following a paved road to Malga Vescova before breaking off onto a hiking path.

The downside of this option is that you will spend half of the day walking on the side of the road and sharing your space with car traffic. Take this route if you are looking to have an easier day.  

Path Numbers Variant 2: 472, 474, 564, 556

The option I chose starts the same way as the previous one but after getting to Passo Staulanza it continues on path no.472 through a forest circling the west face of Mount Pelmo.

There is a short extension marked on the map to check out the dinosaur prints (it’s also well-marked along the trail). Eventually, you will turn onto path 474 and start your at times sharp descent to Rifugio Palafavera.

From here the route follows an old dirt road (564) before breaking away onto a steep zigzag path leading to Rifugio Coldai with amazing views of Mount Pelmo right behind you. 

The advantage of this variant is the possibility of restocking your snack supply at the little shop at the Palafavera campground. However, this is a longer route out of the two variants with more elevation gain and loss. 

Night 6: Rifugio Coldai

Rifugio Coldai has one of the best-built locations of all the huts you will come across on Alta Via 1. It’s 15 minutes walk away from the beautiful Lake Coldai.

It has panoramic views of the Dolomiti Bellunesi right from its terrace and you can capture a beautiful sunset light on Mt. Pelmo only 50 meters away from the hut! Do you need any more reasons to stay here? 

Extension: via ferrata Degli Alleghesi

Via Ferrata Degli Alleghesi 1

Stay two nights at Rifugio Coldai and tackle the exhilarating via ferrata Degli Alleghesi to the summit of Monte Civetta. The whole trip takes 8 hours and will satisfy those who search for a little bit more adrenaline.

This is advanced via ferrata which requires a full gear set. If you’ve never done a via ferrata before, I have a beginner’s guide on my site including the equipment list that’s required.

Day 7: Rifugio Coldai to Rifugio Vazzoler

  • Distance: 11km / 6.84 mi
  • Walking time: 3h 30m
  • Elevation gain: 440 m / 1444 ft
  • Elevation loss: 850 m / 2789 ft
  • Path number: 560
Alta Via 1 Day 7 2

A relatively short day distance-wise, but it won’t fall short in the views department! You will spend your day circling the mighty Mount Civetta and its impressive north face. This was another one of my favorite days on Alta Via 1. 

The day starts with a quick jolt to Forcella Coldai then a short descent to the lake of the same name. It was still half frozen when we reached it on day 7 of our hike at the end of June. We also encountered a lot of snow in places (refer to photos below).

Once you reach Rifugio Tissi (a great alternative for a stay if Coldai is booked out), you will have reached the highest point of day 7. It means after that it’s relatively smooth sailing downhill to Rifugio Vazzoler. 

Night 7: Rifugio Vazzoler

Rifugio Vazzoler was the quietest refuge we have stayed at on the whole traverse. It has a nice garden area sheltered by trees with impressive rock towers, belonging to the Civetta massif, peaking above. 

Day 8: Rifugio Vazzoler to Rifugio Carestiato

  • Distance: 11.5 km / 7.14 mi
  • Walking time: 3h 40min
  • Elevation gain: 680 m / 2231 ft
  • Elevation loss: 570 m / 1870 ft
  • Path numbers: 555, 554
Alta Via 1 Day 8 5

Today you leave behind Mount Civetta and cross into the wild landscapes of the Moiazza range. This was an unknown territory for me.

I have never made it this far south when spending the previous season in the Dolomites so my excitement level was high and let me tell you, I was not disappointed!

Similarly to the previous day, Day 8 isn’t too demanding when it comes down to distance or elevation. It means you can take it slow and enjoy the hike underneath the soaring rock towers.

You will start noticing that fewer and fewer tourists make it this far along the route, but to me with each day passing and the lessening of the traffic, the more special it became. 

TIP: Those who would like to cut a day from Alta Via 1 could combine days 7 and 8 into one.

Night 8: Rifugio Carestiato

Alta Via 1 Day 8 7

Rifugio Carestiato, your accommodation on day 8, has great facilities and even offers coin-operated laundry!

A luxury we didn’t expect to have until the end of the trip! Try and ask for a room in a separate section from the main building. It’s a lot quieter and that means more uninterrupted sleep! 

Day 9: Rifugio Carestiatio to Rifugio Pramperet

  • Distance: 15km / 9.3 mi
  • Walking time: 4h
  • Elevation gain: 720 m / 2362 ft
  • Elevation loss: 680 m / 2231 ft
  • Path numbers: 549, 543 
Alta Via 1 Day 9 2

The path from Rifugio Carestiato starts gently down a gravel road toward Passo Duran. You should reach it within 30 minutes. There are two privately owned huts on the pass.

For approximately the next two kilometers you will follow the paved road until you reach a rest area with tables and benches where the first signs for Rifugio Pramperet appear.

Soon you will begin your ascent to the first of the two saddles you will cross today: Forcella Dagarei. After the saddle, the path undulates crossing several scree fields.

The signs for rifugio Pramperet, as well as the blue triangles marking Alta Via 1, are plentiful along the way.

Around halfway into day 9, you will reach Malga Moschesin where you can stop for a snack (Malga is out of operation). From here it’s another 40 minutes to the second saddle: Forcella Moschesin and a further 50 minutes to Rifugio Pramperet. 

Night 9: Rifugio Pramperet

We were a bit unlucky with our stay at the Pramperet Refuge. At the time they were waiting for delivery supply and our dinner consisted of whatever was leftover in the storage which meant A LOT of polenta on our plate.

I went to bed rather hungry that night. I can’t say anything bad about the staff of the refuge though. They were some of the friendliest people we met on the route! 

Day 10: Rifugio Pramperet to Rifugio Pian de Fontana

  • Distance: 7.3 km / 4.5 mi
  • Walking time: 2 h 30 min
  • Elevation gain: 540 m / 1772 ft
  • Elevation loss: 745 m / 2444 ft
  • Path number: 514
Alta Via 1 Day 10 4

Along with day 3 and day 7 of Alta Via 1, day 10 was another one of my favorites. We intentionally skipped breakfast at Rifugio Pramperet and ordered a couple of sandwiches to go. We also settled our bill the night before, woke up at 5 AM, and with our bags already packed we set off shortly after just when it started to get light. 

The reason we did that is that we decided to walk to La Pissa in 10 days. This was quite a demanding day for us with over 26 kilometers (16 miles) and 2000 meters (6500 feet) of elevation loss. 

If you are not in a rush I highly recommend staying in the Pian de Fontana refuge first because this part of Alta Via 1 deserves to be taken slowly.  

Thanks to the amazing light conditions the views between Rifugio Pramperet and Rifugio Pian de Fontana whilst crossing the rugged Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park were jaw-dropping.

There is a very short and narrow scrambling section on the last push to Forcella de Zita Sud. Don’t miss the 10-minute detour to the nearby Summit of Cima di Zita sud for even more extensive views.

To me, the most demanding part of the hike was the descent to the Pian de Fontana refuge. It’s a real knee buster, so steep in places that it justifies the warning sign at the start of the descent asking hikers to take extra care! 

Night 10: Rifugio Pian de Fontana

We made it to the Pian de Fontana refuge around 8 AM just in time for breakfast! It’s a lovely little place consisting of a few old shepherd huts converted into a mountain refuge with very rustic decor.

TIP: Make sure to write down the bus schedule for La Pissa to time your next day accordingly! 

Day 11: Rifugio Pian de Fontana to La Pissa

  • Distance: 19 km / 11.8 mi
  • Walking time: 4h 30min
  • Elevation gain: 300 m / 984 ft
  • Elevation loss: 1400 m / 4593 ft
  • Path numbers: 514, 518, 503 
Alta Via 1 Day 11 1

If you decide to overnight at Rifugio Pian de Fontana your last day won’t be as demanding as it was for us. 

The day starts with a drop through a forest to a stream followed by an hour-long (and ca 300 meters in elevation gain) jaunt to Forcella Varetta. From the saddle, you will traverse along a trail below Cima de La Scala, with Monte Schiara rising to your right. 

Alta Via 1 Day 11 2

Once you reach a junction the path splits with clear signs for Rifugio Bianchet, the direction you will be following for the next hour.

This is the last refuge on Alta Via 1. My dad and I stopped here for a longer break and a celebratory beer knowing that in a couple of hours, we would reach the end of the route! 

From Rifugio Blanchet, you will follow a gravel road leading through the forest, with a few clearings in between, all the way to the bus stop! As we walked further and continued dropping the elevation the temperature kept rising. We finished the hike at around 2 PM on June 27th in 40-degree (Celcius) heat! Talk about commitment! 

A list of all mountain huts along Alta Via 1


If you are planning to hike Alta Via 1 this list of most mountain huts along the route will come in handy. 

If this will be your first time staying in an Italian refuge make sure to check out my other article about everything you need to know before staying in a mountain hut in the Dolomites. It includes information about alpine club memberships, how to make reservations, the meaning of ‘half-board’, and much more. 

The huts in bold underlined letters are the ones I have stayed at myself when hiking Alta via 1. 

Mountain hutE-mailPhone NumberCAI MemberShowersCredit/Debit CardsAccepted
Rifugio Biella rifugiobiella@libero.it +39 0436 866 991 Yes No No
Rifugio Sennesinfo@sennes.com+39 0474 646 355No Yes 
Rifugio Fannes info@rifugiofanes.com  +39 0474 501 097No Yes No 
Rifugio Lavarellarifugio@lavarella.it+39 0474 501 094No Yes 
Rifugio Lagazuoi Reservation system +39 0436 867 303 NoYes  Yes
Rifugio Averau Reservation system +39 0436 4660 NoYes Yes 
Rifugio Nuvolausiorpaes@yahoo.com+39 0436 867 938YesNoNo
Rifugio Citta di Fiumeinfo@rifugiocittadifiume.it+39 320 037 7432 Yes No Yes
Rifugio Coldai infocoldai@gmail.com  +39 0437 789 160 Yes Yes  Yes
Rifugio Tissirifugio.tissi@gmail.com+39 0437 721 644Yes  
Rifugio Vazzoler  vazzoler@email.it+39 0437 660 008 Yes  No 
Rifugio Carestiatio info@rifugiocarestiatio.com +39 0437 629 49  YesYes  
Rifugio Pramperet info@rifugiosommarivaalpramperet.it +39 0437 195 6153   YesYes No 
Rifugio Pian de Fontanapiandefontana@livecom.it+39 335 609 6819Yes No

Possible early escape routes on Alta Via 1

Not everyone is up for trekking the whole distance of Alta Via 1. I get it. 11 days of dragging your backpack over mountain passes day after day is quite a challenge for the body. The good news is you don’t have to do the whole route if you don’t want to or simply don’t have time.

You can join or leave at any of the points enlisted below! All locations are served by the local Dolomiti bus running throughout the summer season and you can ask for the schedule at the last refuge where you will be staying or check on Google Maps.

Hitchhiking also seems to work quite well in the Dolomites and I did catch a ride with strangers on a few occasions. 

For your convenience I have linked to accommodation options in each town should you need a rest before continuing your journey.  

Day 3: Passo Falzarego 

After completing the route on day 3 you can catch the gondola down to Passo Falzarego and get the Dolomiti bus to Cortina D’Ampezzo

Day 4: Passo Giau

Instead of staying overnight at Rifugio Averau you can continue for another 1,5 hours to Passo Giau and catch the local bus to Cortina D’Ampezzo. 

Day 5: Passo Staulanza 

After getting to Rifugio Citta di Fiume on day 5 you can walk a further 1h 15 mins to Passo Staulanza from where you can catch the bus to Selva Di Cadore or Forno di Zoldo. 

Day 7: Alleghe 

Stay the 6th night at Rifugio Coldai (it would be a shame to miss out on those views) then retrace part of the route from the previous day and hike to the top of the Col Dei Baldi gondola. This will take ca 1h30min. The gondola will take you down to the beautiful town of Alleghe. 

Day 7 or 8: Listolade

After an optional night at Rifugio Vazzoler take gravel road no.555 towards Rifugio Capanna Trieste then to Listolade. From Listolade catch a local bus to Agordo. This route takes approximately 2,5 hours. 

Day 8 or 9: Agordo

Stay the night at Rifugio Carestatio (optional) then follow path no. 548 from the hut to Agordo (2,5 hours). 

Day 9 (option 2): Forno Di Zoldo

Once reaching the old military barracks at Forcella Moschesin take path no. 540 to descent through the Balanzola valley to Forno di Zoldo  (2,5 hours) 

Go back to Alta Via 1: Part 1

Shop my hut-to-hut backpacking gear

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Osprey 30+ Liter Backpack

30-40 liter backpack should be more than enough to pack everything you need for a hut-to-hut trip in the Dolomites with plenty of room for water and snacks. If you can’t fit in, it means you are overpacking. I am a huge fan of Osprey backpacks and currently own the Eja 38-litre. Osprey has plenty of options in this storage volume range to choose from.

Shop on Osprey Amazon Store (Worldwide) / Backcountry (US)

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Sleeping Bag Liner

Sleeping bag liners are required for hut stays. Duvets and blankets aren’t washed after each guest who stays at the hut. Liners ensure that you don’t come in direct contact with the sheets and subsequently, it is more hygienic. Some huts rent or sell them, but it’s better to bring your own.

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Patagonia Insulated Jacket

Even in the middle of the summer season evenings can be quite cold. If you don’t plan on venturing out of the hut in the evenings, you can skip this layer. I personally always bring one with me as I like to take sunset photos outside.

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Merino Wool T-Shirts

Having a couple of Merino Wool T-shirts which you can alternate and then wash at the hut each day will be more than enough to keep body odors at bay. I am personally a big fan of the Icebreaker brand, however these days plenty of other brands have Merino products in their inventory.

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Merino Wool Socks

I always carry 2 pairs of socks in my backpack and one on me during multiday backpacking trails. Merino wool fibers and their unique properties are resistant to odors. Merino wool socks also prevent getting blisters as opposed to cotton socks.

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Peak Design Camera Clip

A must-have for any mountain photography enthusiast who is tired of carrying a camera around their neck. The peak design capture clip allows you to attach your camera to a backpack strap. That way you don’t have to take your backpack off and take your camera out every time you want to take a photo. You will always have it handy.

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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-
    Excellent guide, it has helped me so much in my planning. I am struggling a bit putting together my full itinerary. I currently have a gap between Rif. Scotoni and Rif. Citta di fiume. I have checked with Rif. Scoiatolli, Rif. Nuvolau, Rif. Cinque torri, Rif. fedare, Rif. col gallina and Berghotel Passo Giau with no luck. I am constantly checking but getting nervous I will have this gap in my plans- any other recommendations? I was looking at Rif. Croda da lago but not sure how that would work.

    Thank you,

    • Hi Sophia. Thanks for the feedback. I had many readers reporting the same problem. A strong hiked can easily hike from Scotoni to Citta Di Fiume in one day.
      You could also stay one night at Croda Da Lago. The next day from Croda Da Lago to Citta Di Fiume would be very short, but you could add the little summit of Col De La Puina when staying in Rifugio Citta Di Fiume.
      Another option is to hike from Scotoni down to Passo Falzarego down to Cortina, stay the night in town then bus back to Passo Falzarego and keep hiking to Citta di Fiume. I hope that helps!

  2. Thank you for this amazing guide. I am currently planning my Alta Via 1 trip for end of September and some of the huts are booked/closed, and I wanted your opinion on some alternatives I found:

    Rifugio Passo Valparola or Scotoni instead of Rifugio Lagazuoi (booked up)
    Rifugio San Sebastiano instead of Rifugio Carestiato (closed)

    Thank you so much!

    • Hi there! Scotoni as alternative to Lagazuoi is better than Rifugio Passo Valparola.
      Rifugio San Sebasatiano as alternative to Carestiato is ok too. It’s still directly on the Alta Via 1. I hope that helps! Have fun on Alta Via 1

  3. Hi Marta,

    Your guides were a great help. We will be walking Alta Via 1 late this summer. As we are walking in August, finding places to sleep has been a challenge. Your list helped, as did your itinerary. Especially the escape routes. I found the huts responded all quite quickly to my requests.

    The only hic right now is that for our date in the third week of August, everything is full for the second night. Fanes, Lavarella and even Ucia dles Muntganoles….. right now I just check availability every day, hoping for a cancellation. Even stretching the stage doesn’t work as Scotoni is also full. Any ideas are welcome.

    Keep on hiking and sharing both pics and experiences – wonderful!!!

    • Hi Doug. Thanks for your great feedback. Sorry to hear about the huts booked out, but do hunt for those cancellations. Hopefully you will score something sooner or later. I’ve seen people quitting the trail (due to injury etc) from one day to the next and the spots would open up. I keep my fingers crossed that you find something. In the meantime maybe just book Albergo Alpino Pederü as a back up. It will make your second day very short and 3rd day a lot longer, but still managable. I hope that helps.

  4. Hi Marta,

    once again I thank you for your Guides. It is my second time planning my trip acording to your guides. I would like to hike Via Alta 1 with my father. However, we are looking for 4-5 day trip. I noticed few a other Guides on your page, which are specifically writen on 2/3 – 5 day trips.

    My question is. Would you recomend some hiking some part of Via Alta 1, whether its the beginning, middle or ending, or you think its better and more enjoyable to hike some of those 3-5 day trips? In case which of those 3-5 day trips do you consider as best?

    Thanks for your page!

    • Hi Tony. Thanks for visiting. I did AV1 with my dad too. As for your question, you don’t have to walk the whole Alta Via 1. At the end of my guide (part 2) I enlisted late entry/early exit possibilities so you can decide where do you want to start and where do you want to finish. Days 3,7 and 10 were my favorite views-wise, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t enjoy other days. On the contrary. If you need a one-one-one session I am happy to schedule a call with you. You can find details here

  5. Hi Marta, fantastic blog, super useful, and really appreciate you putting all of this information out there. A few questions about alta via one if you have a minute: a) is there much exposure – I am experienced with hiking in the alps but get vertigo/panic attacks on exposed parts of trails – e.g., if I am hiking a very narrow path on a cliff edge with a dangerous drop off. Is there much of that type of exposure on the route? b) do you have a sense of how hot it gets in the dolomites in July with the heat waves Europe has had the last couple summers? c) we have about 20 days total for hut to hut hiking in July, is there a second 6-8 day route that doesn’t have exposure or via ferratas that you would recommend to complement alta via one? Thanks!

    • Hi Jeff. Thanks for visiting my site. As for your questions. 1) There is exposure on the second to last day between Rifugio Pramperet and Pian de Fontana when walking up the pass. You can view it on the picture. Other than that it’s a pretty easy trail and yes sometime you do walk along ledges, but they are wide enough for two people to pass. Most of the time it’s a pleasant trail along valleys and mountain slopes.
      2) I did AV1 at the end of June and on the last day of the hike it was close to 40 degrees. I made sure to always leave very early in the morning straight after breakfast. You also have to account for afternoon storms. All in all the heat is bearable at higher altitudes, but having plenty of water to drink with you is very essential. 3) You can try the Rosengarten traverse without the ferratas (I explain in the post how to omit them), and then extended it toward Seceda and Puez Odle Nature Park adding 3 nights, one in rif. Firenze, one in Genova and last one in rif. Plose then exit to Bressanone. If you need help with planning the route I do offer Trip planning advice.

  6. Hi Marta! I love your blogs! I have been extensively using your AV1 guides while planning my trip. I am looking to start the trip by staying the night at Rifugio Averau. I was wondering if you know how to enter the AV1 for this start. We want to hike to get to Averau! Thanks so much!

    • Hi Talia. Yes you can catch a bus from Cortina to Passo Falzarego then hike from here to Rifugio Averau. Look closely at my article about the stage Between Rifugio Lagazuoi and Averau. I hope that helps!

  7. Great guide thank you!
    If Rif. Lagazuoi is all booked up … is Rif Dibona a good alternative for Night 3? I can’t tell how much further it is on the map. Thanks!

  8. Hi Marta! Thank you for such a useful guide on hiking the Dolomites! We have begun planing our trip for August! We are planing to travel through Italy beforehand and was wondering if you have any recommendation on where to stay before and after hiking? We are also looking for advice on possible ways to store our luggage while hiking. If you have any input or recommendations, please let me know!

    • Hi Olivia,

      Thanks for Stopping by. Apart from the Dolomites and a couple of Italian cities I haven’t seen much from Italy. I am a mountain girl, who really keeps to the mountains so I am afraid I won’t be able to help with the question. As for luggage storage. Cortina has one, and there is also one in Bolzano. If you were to do Rosengarten traverse for example, you can find the info about the storage in the article. Cortina would be a great starting point to do a part of AV1, AV4 and Tre Cime Traverse. You can find them all on my site.

  9. Marta- You are so kind to share this helpful information and respond to our questions. My question for you: Could I begin my Alta Via 1 hike in September by taking the gondola you mention to an area near Rifugio Lagazuoi and then follow your route exiting either before or after staying the last night at Rifugio Carestiano ? If so, how do I find the gondola to the trail near Rifugio Laguzuoi and what is the best way to exit (after Carestiano or before)? Finally, if I did this trek would you recommend staying at Rifugio Vazzoler or doing the trek from Refugio Coldai to Rifugio Carestiano in one day? Many thanks for your help on this.

    • Hi Lee. Thanks for stopping by. Yes you can start at Passo Falzarego and either walk directly to rifugio Averau and stay the first night there. You can take a bus from Cortina to Passo Falzarego. You can also take the cable car from Passo Falzarego to Rifugio LAgazuoi and start the hike there. All trail numbers are given in the post. The cable car and the trails are marked on maps which I am linking to in the first part of the guide. AS for exiting from Carestiato. You can, but not with a gondola. You will have to walk down to the nearest town. Here is the excerpt from the post: “Stay the night at Rifugio Carestatio then follow path no.548 from the hut all the way to Agordo (2,5 hours)”. If you are strong hikers then you can definitely walk from Coldai to Carestiato in one day and skipping the night at Vazzoler.

  10. Wow! Thank you very much for the information, it is really useful!! Do you know any other options if the Pramperet rifugio is closed? Thank you!

    • Hi Linda. Thanks for great feedback. There is no other refuge between Pramperet and Pian de Fontana. So if Pramperet is closed you will have to hike from Carestiato to Pian de Fontana in one day (Which btw is totally doable).

  11. Hi Marta,
    Thanks for the super well described blog post. My friend and myself just finished the AV 1 including the via Ferratas.
    Dolomites is beautiful, and your blogpost was really helpful! Amazing job! Thanks a ton!
    We also noticed multiple people in the huts referring to your blog for planning 😁😁
    Cheers and keep going,

    • Hi Prashanth. Thanks so much for your feedback. You just made my day. I am so glad to hear you loved it and that you also did the extensions! Amazing. Which day was your favorite out of curiosity? I hope you come back one day to do AV2 and AV4. I have guides for both too.

  12. Hi Marta

    Thanks for your detailed notes…super helpful!!

    I am hoping to complete the AV1 in august/September 2024 with my wife and 2 year old son. Do you think this is achievable with a child in a child backpack?
    We are relatively fit and active. Have done TMB (without a child).

    – are the huts suitable for children?
    – is the terrain suitable?
    – would you advise shortening the distances each day?
    – any specific suggestions?

    Many thanks

    • Hi Ryan. Thanks for stopping by. I will be honest with you here. Whether this is achievable or not I don’t know. That is a question you have to answer yourself. 🙂 As for distances, again it highly depends on your fitness level. Some people can do 30km with a 20kg backpack on their back, some can do 5.
      If you jump onto the reservation frenzy quite early you might be able to book private rooms all along the way. Most of the time they are tiny and have a bunk bed, which would mean one person would have to co-sleep with a child. I wouldn’t expect any baby cots. There are no via ferratas along the way, but there are some steep sections and walking on scree so surefootedness would be essential. The hut partition walls are often very thin so you can hear your neighbors often and vice versa.

  13. Hi!

    Thanks for all your guides, you’re awesome!! I really want to do at least half of the AV1 this upcoming mid-september, however I only started planning recently (I know… stupid). Many of the huts on the actual route are fully booked, but there are some nearby I can maybe stay at, however having to do some different routing.
    What do you recommend for going from Lagazuoi to Rifugio Dibona? I saw there are many different routes, and some may contain via ferrata which I won’t have gear for. I would not want to hike a lot on paved roads. Afterwards, what do you recommend for going from Rifugio Dibona to join the AV1 trails and proceed?

    Thanks in advance! Cheers

    • Hi Joseph. Thanks for visiting and sorry to hear about the booked out huts. Alta Via 1 is definitely the most popular option for international travellers. As for your question. I didn’t exactly understand why would you stay in Ivano Dibona. Would that be you alternative for Lagazuoi? Lagazuoi and Dibona are connected by paths no. 401 then 402 then 404.
      From Dibona to region AV1 you will have to walk down path 442 then cross the road and follow paths no 424 then 425 to rifugio Cinque Torri then 439 to Averau. I hope that helps

  14. Hello!

    First of all, thank you for all your free information, love your photos and detailed guides!
    Is there any way you can provide a gpx route for the trek? I am finding there are multiple different variations and gpx routes, and I would like to do some of the stages mostly exactly as you did.

    Thank you!

    • Hi Henry. Thanks for the feedback. I am sorry but I no longer share the GPX data. You can just write down the trail numbers for each day and follow them according with the map. I hope that helps

  15. Fantastic blog. It is a lifesaver! Thank you.

    I am hiking on my own in August and can’t get a bed at Rifugio Lagazuoi for night 3. Where would you suggest I stay instead? Maybe Scotoni Hut?

    I would prefer a shorter walk, rather than a longer one, as I am average fitness, 50 years old, and in no major hurry!

    Thank you

    • Hi Rebecca. Thanks for your visit. Yes, Scotoni is a great alternative albeit slightly off-path. Another option would be to catch the gondola down to Passo Falzarego from rifugio Lagazuoi and then hike another 15 minutes down to rifugio Col Gallina. I hope that helps!

      • Great, thank you!
        Sadly Scotoni is also booked out for most of August (palm to face!). I might have to rethink my whole plan as Day 3 already sounds quite exhausting already!!
        PS: I think your idea of providing a paid for advisory service is excellent. I am sure there would be demand. 🙂

  16. Hello Marta, Thanks for your guide, this is such a great resource!
    We’ll be doing Via Alta in September and I will have some cycling gear that I do not necessarily want to carry with me on the trail. Do you know if it’s possible to ship stuff or take a bus to go back to the start easily?
    Thank you!

    • Hi Camille. Thanks for visiting. I did have some orders shipped to a post office address in Cortina when I was traveling around the Dolomites in my van and didn’t have an address. I do understand the issue. What I would recommend is booking a hotel at the end of AV1 somewhere in Belluno and shipping your things to the hotel so they wait for you at the end. Of course contact the hotel first and arrange that with them. It shouldn’t be a problem though. I hope that helps!

  17. Hi Marta,
    Thank you so much for an incredible website! Just a quick question, we would love to do the AV1 with our dog, does it seem feasible? Thanks so much 🙂

    • Hi Claira. Thanks for visiting. There are very few and far between mountain huts that allow dogs and whilst I have been to huts on AV1 that had their own ‘staff’ dog I did not meet a single person who hiked with their own. The only time I met someone hiking with their dog and staying in the huts was when I did the Rosengarten traverse.
      Generally, though dogs are not allowed to stay in the huts, and since AV1 books out so far in advance I would not count on being able to stay in the huts with your dog.
      Camping outside of the hut is prohibited. I hope that helps!

  18. Hi Marta,

    Thank you so much for your plethora of resources. It has been such fun to read through your adventures and look through your beautiful photos.

    I’m in the process of planning a 4 day, 3 night trek for a group of 7 people during the first week of July. It’s an athletic group, but we’re hoping to avoid the via ferratas (no gear & one member of the group isn’t a fan of scrambling).

    I’m interested in your perspective on what the best options might be? Specifically:
    1. The AV1 sounds amazing, but crowded at times. Would the first week of July be busy?
    2. You mention days 7&10 are perhaps your favorite – how would you recommend incorporating those into a 4 day, 3 night trek?
    3. I also checked out your review of the AV4 and it sounds phenomenal and potentially less crowded. Would it be possible to do a section of the AV4 without hitting the via ferratas? If so, what would you recommend?

    Thank you so much in advance for your feedback!

    • Hi Zoe, Thanks for visiting. If you were to book AV1 I would say get on it now. The Dolomites are generally busy in July and August. If you are trying to avoid the crowds then doing the very last 3 days of AV1 might be an option for you. Generally, the further you go on AV1, AV2 or AV4, the less people you will meet.
      I have a whole section at the end of Alta Via 1 part 2 with late entry/early exit possibilities which will help you with planning how to start the AV1 in different sections. Have you seen it>
      As for your last question. No, you can’t avoid the via ferratas on Alta Via 4. But if you are looking for a shorter hike I would recommend that you check out the Pale Di San Martino traverse although there are some short cable-protected sections on it, so I am not sure if your friend would be up for it. Another option is doing the Rosengarten traverse excluding the Alta Vias. Comb through the comment section on my Rosengarten Traverse article where I recommend to some people how to modify it so you don’t have to do any via ferratas.

  19. Hi Marta! I am loving your trekking guides. After reading your posts I think a multi day Dolomite hut to hut trip is in order! That being said I was looking for your input… After reading your posts I think September is the time I want to go. I will most likely have 8 days to hike. I don’t have any via ferrata experience just a few rock climbing outings in the states (but a lot of off trail hiking/scrambling experience). That being said I have no problem with heights. I will most likely be doing this trip alone so I’m not sure what you recommend on tackling them solo? As far as hiking I have no problem hitting 20-25km a day 1000-1200m roughly in vert. With that info I’m wondering what you’d recommend me to do? I rather not speed through a route and miss some epic sites but I also would like to finish a circuit/route as a personal goal. haha Any tips would be great!

    • Hi Will. Thanks for visiting. I would recommend that you check out the AV2. If you would be willing to hike 25 kilometers a day then you can plan it so that you finish in 8 days (the AV2 is roughly 200 km long).
      I would however recommend that you hike it from Bressanonne to rifugio Treviso then bus to Fiera Di Primero and then further to Feltre and do the extensions along the way that I recommend in my post. AV2 does have some VF sections but if you have done lots of scrambling and have no problem with heights then you will have zero problems tackling it.
      AV4 would also be an awesome option and there are possibilities to change it a bit or add some VF extensions to it. It’s shorter than AV2 (roughly 100 km) but probably the most exciting route I have done (and the Brenta Traverse). Once you are done and if you had some days to spare you could travel to Cortina and do some extra day hikes or epic via ferratas from there. Let me know if you have more questions!

  20. (Not sure if my attempt at a post worked so I’m trying again! Can delete if it did)

    Hi Marta. What a fantastic website! I’ve loved reading your trip reviews and your pictures are incredible. My sister and I will be in the Dolomites the first week of July and have 5 full days (potentially with an extra half day if we need it). We’re planning to take a bus from/return to Venice on either end, so no car. I have a few questions I was hoping you could help out with.
    1/ It seems like you can get avoid via ferratas on AV1. In that case, is it still advised to rent or bring that gear or would we be fine without it?
    2/ We are thinking about a 5 day hut to hut (AV1 days 7-11) vs a shorter hut to hut plus a day hike (one of the 4 day hikes you have reviewed plus the Tre Cime Circuit). Get some additional variety with the split trip but presumably more travel logistics. What would you recommend?
    3/ Any routes to avoid given the time of year we plan on being there? We won’t mind some cold but just don’t want to rush having trouble finding a trail if there’s too much snow.


    • Hi Michael. It did work! The comments just have to be approved first to actually show up 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and your lovely comments.
      As for your questions
      1) yes there is no need to do any via ferratas on AV1 and you don’t have to bring via ferrata gear with you if you don’t plan extensions. You just have to make sure that you don’t follow the via ferrata route between rifugio Averau and Passo Giau via rifugio Nuvolau. Instead, you just follow the route as described by me here.
      2) Honestly both are great ideas and it will be easier to just follow the AV1 for 5 days instead of trying to figure out the transport for each day. Tre Cime whikst fantastic is overcrowded and the only tiem I would actually go there now is outside of the season.
      3). AV 1 is a well walked route so you won’t have trouble finding a route. By the beginning of July there are only patches of snow left and given how little snow we currently have in the Alps it might be a very dry summer :(.
      I hope that helps! Let me know if I can help any further!

      • Thank you!! It looks like we are going to try for this section of AV1. I was thinking we would take the train/bus from Venice to Alleghe and then do your early exit for Day 7 but in reverse — taking the Col Dei Baldi gondola up and passing Rifugio Coldai on our way to Rifugio Vazzoler for night 1 (after which, we would just continue with what you have laid out for Days 8 – 11). Looks like this will take about 1.5 hours extra time (based on your estimate for the early exit). Do you have an estimate of the additional distance and elevation gain/loss from adding Alleghe –> Rifugio Coldai to what you already have for Day 8?

        • Hi Michael. Sounds like a plan!
          You would be looking at ca. extra 4.5 km and 300 meters of elevation gain from Col Dei Baldi gondola to rifugio Coldai.
          If you want to have a shorter day than I would recommend hiking from Col Dei Baldi to rifugio Tissi, which is around halfway between Coldai and Vazzoler. It is built in an amazing location and worth a stay as sunsets from up there are stunning. It has a killer view over the scary-looking North face of Monte Civetta.
          From Tissi you can then walk to Carestiato in a day.

          • One more question for you Marta! We may have an extra day to play with. Any recommendations for:
            1: day hike near Belluno (after AV1),
            2: day hike near Alleghe (before AV1),
            3: possible 1-day extension of the AV1 route I’ve described?

          • Hi Michael. You could hike from Alleghe to rifugio Citta Di Fiume (ca. 2 – 2.5 hours), then if you were still up for it go from Citta di Fiume in the afternoon to Col De La Puina.

            The next day you could hike from Citta Di Fiume to Rifugio Coldai then Rifugio Tissi following my AV1 guide.

            Option 2: If you had the via ferrata gear you could do via ferrata Degli Alleghesi from rifugio Coldai and possibly stay the first night at rifugio Torrani.

            Option 3: Stay a couple of nights in Carestiato and on the extra day do via ferrata Moiazza. Again via ferrata gear needed.

            I hope that helps!

          • Hi Marta. Looks like we have too many back-and-forth replies so I can’t add another to your most recent comment with the 3 options. Citta Di Fiume + Col De La Puina look great so we may do that! Thinking since we won’t need the via ferrata gear for the rest of AV1 we won’t rent it for just an extra day — will have to save the via ferrata adventures until next time 🙂

            Two final (I promise!!) questions for you:
            1. I may have found one more option for our extra day. It seems like instead of exiting at La Pissa, it may be possible to hike from Pian de Fontana to Rifugio Settimo Alpini (where we could sleep for the night). Then, the next day, we could hike from there directly into Belluno. Is that something you have heard of? Any good/bad parts of this idea? (I assume we would still not need via ferrata equipment)
            2. If we are starting at Alleghe and generally heading south on AV1 from there, should we still get all of the tobacco maps you suggest or would we only need 1-2 of the maps?

            Thank you thank you thank you, you’re the best 🙂

          • Hi Michael,
            I just checked the Setimo Alpini refuge and it looks like to get there from Pian de Fontana you have to do the Vie ferrata Marmol, so yes you would have to have VF equipment with you. I do not know that route, so I can’t tell you much about it, I am afraid.
            No, you don’t have to get all the maps, Just the last two 03 and 25. 🙂

  21. Hi Marta,

    Thank you so much for sharing the information. This is a great resource for me to prepare the Dolomites backpacking trip. I am planning to follow your footprint along the Alta Via 1. I am also very much into the photography. Your photos inspired me! If you have dinner in the hut, do you have enough time to get out to take sunset photos? I see most of your photos had very good lighting. How did you manage it?


    • Hi Yang. Thanks for stopping by and your lovely feedback. It depends on when you go. In the summer season, the sunsets are quite late so you can have dinner and then head outside again to take photos. You can also try and capture sunrises before breakfast time, but that means a very early start of the day. I hope that helps!

  22. Hi, this makes for a great read, thankyou. I am in planning stages for July 2023 and had drafted out our walks/huts – there is no mention of a couple of huts I had planned to stay at though? Pederu for our 1st night, Staulanza for our 4th, San Sebastiano (Passo Duran? – the websites are a bit confusing!) for night 6… any reason why and do you have any feedback on them please?thanks

    • Hi Amanda. Thanks for visiting. I stopped at rifugio Pederu for ice cream and it stands in the Tamersc valley. One can drive to it with a car. Both Passo Staulanza and Passo Duran are mountain passes where you can drive a car. I prefer a more intimate experience, staying in the mountains away from the vehicle traffic. I also found rifugio Citta Di Fiume has much better views than Passo Staulanza, same goes for Rifugio Carestiato in comparison to Passo Duran. To be fair though, most of the huts are very similar to one another, so if that’s where you decided to stay it is totally fine. They are definitely along the route. Let me know if you have any more questions!

  23. Hello, Marta. Thank you for sharing your experiences and advice on hiking the Dolomites. This really is a tremendous resource. After pondering the hike for about 5 years, I’ve decided that I really must do the full Alta Via 1 this September. I just hope I haven’t left it too late to secure lodging for each night along the route, though. My dates are flexible so I wondered if there is a good day of the week to start in order to avoid “crowds”. Should, for example, any of the rifugio or locations be avoided around the weekend as they tend to be busier than any other day of the week? Thanks again.

    • Hi Clive! Thanks for stopping by. Your question is actually on point and I reckon it will help quite a few people. Yes you should avoid Lagazuoi on Averau huts on the weekend. They are both accessible with gondolas which makes it easy for weekend travelers to reach them and stay in them. The good news is, both of these huts have online booking systems so you can first see if they are fully booked or not.
      September is significantly quieter than August, so I reckon you should still be fine securing your spots. The huts usually stay open until around September 20th so if you start around September 10th you should be able to book everything. Let me know if that helps and if you have more questions!

  24. Hello, and thank you for this extremely helpful and beautiful website! I have a question about food in the refugios – I’m gluten free and am wondering if I can count on being able to eat what’s served all along the route, or if I should plan on bringing some of my own food. Many thanks in advance for any insight!

    • Hi Abigail. Thanks for stopping by. If you are celiac then you might have a problem because the food isn’t prepared separately. As for being gluten-free by choice, it’s not impossible but it will be a challenge. All rifugios always have polenta on the menu, but you might end up eating polenta every single night. I am not sure about you but I am personally not a big fan of it, even though it’s considered excellent mountain food because of its high protein content. There are also potatoes, eggs and ham on the menu which would be a good alternative. Other than that the menus are quite mundane and pretty much always the same with pasta being the staple food of course! For breakfasts, you can expect musli with some type of grain and bread of course. If you want to be safe bring your own food.

  25. Hallo, Marta. Your blog was very helpful doing first part of Alta via 1 last year and the trek was amazing. We planed to do the second part this summer. But I have my doubts since this route doesn’t seem as exciting. What would You say? Perhaps You could recommend another route for 5-6 days in Dolomites. We don’t have equipment for via ferrata and some from our group have never done it. So preferably, without via ferrata. We will have 12 yo with us. We would be very grateful for your suggestions!

    • Hi Kristine! Thanks for your great feedback. I am glad my blog helped with your planning. I am not sure how far did you make it on the first half, but personally, I found days 7 and 10 to be the most beautiful on the whole trek and I loved how quiet the route was after rifugio Coldai. I was definitely a bigger fan of the second half than the first. I would definitely recommend doing the second half.
      As for the other routes, most of the ones I have done had via ferratas in them. You could plan a Rosengarten traverse together with the Puez Odle Traverse, starting somewhere like Corvara and then finishing in Campitello di Fassa. Plenty of routes to plan, you will just need maps etc. Let me know If I can help further!

  26. Hi Marta, thank you for your comprehensive write-up! I’m currently planning my trip and following your recommendation. I’m contacting the rifugio and do you have any alternative recommendation for Rifugio Citta di Fiume? I reached out to them and they were saying that they were not sure when they would be open.


    • Hi Aris. Thanks for stopping by and your lovely feedback. Yes you could stay at rifugio Passo Staulanza a mere 45-60 mins further from rifugio Citta Di Fiume. If you do then the next day I recommend hiking to rifugio Tissi because you might find rifugio Coldai to be a bit too close. From Tissi you could hike all the way to rifugio Carestiato skipping a night at rifugio Vazzoler, because once again Vazzoler and Tissi are only a couple of hours apart. I hope that helps!

  27. Hi Marta, thank you so much for your amazing site, it’s been very helpful with planning!
    I’m hoping to hike part of the AV1 in late September. I would like to do 5 days/4 nights, and am curious which section of the hike you would recommend? I was thinking of starting at Rifugio Averau (on day/night 0), then completing days 5-8, and hiking out the last day from Rifugio Carestatio to Agordo to catch a bus. What do you think about this idea? I am trying to prioritize the ease of transit at the start/end of the route since we aren’t planning to rent a car, but I would also like to make sure we don’t miss any of the really special sections of the route. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!

    • Hi Lauren. Thanks for stopping by. September is a great time to hike AV1, just bear in mind to plan it no later than mid to the third week of September as many of the huts close by the third week of September. As for your question. You could start at Passo Falzarego, hike the first day to Citta di Fiume and then continue as per the itinerary. It is a beautiful part of AV1. My favourite days were day 3, day 8 and the last day so to be honest whichever one part you choose you won’t be disappointed and I think you already chose very well! Passo Falzarego will be very easy to reach from Cortina and Agordo is pretty well connected too. Let me know if I can help any further!

  28. Having done a bit of Alpine trekking, I’d say that horizontal distances aren’t all that useful as a way of thinking of stage lengths. Total ascent is usually more significant, also any long descents, type of terrain etc. A day with 1200m of ascent is going to be very tiring, no matter what the distance.
    All signposts on the trails are marked in times throughout the Alps and these really are the best way to think. It’s just a matter of working out your personal adjustment, add 20% or subtract 10% or whatever. Cicerone timings are at the discretion of the individual author Gillian Price (who is a very experienced guidebook writer). They will be consistent right through the guidebook, but not necessarily with other Cicerone guides with different authors.
    When I walked the Stubai High Level Route, the Cicerone book’s timings were consistently 10% – 15% longer than times on signposts. We walked close to the signpost timings. I’d say signpost times were about right for a fit, late middle aged walker used to Alpine terrain. I haven’t had a chance yet to work out how my own times will compare with Cicerone’s guide or with Marta’s ones!
    Online mapping from OutdoorActive (£30 for a year Pro+, free trial period) allows speedy and consistent measurement of trail distances, ascents, and their estimate of timings, based on Kompass mapping. This gives final stage Rif. P de F to La Pissa at 12.1km (7.6 miles), 410m ascent, 1550m descent and 5 hr 55 walking time. I’d expect distances measured with GPS on the ground to be consistently longer as they take account of every wiggle and bump.

    • Hi Ronald! Thanks a lot for your input and you are definitely right when it comes down to vertical ascents. To me, that’s the number 1 stat that I take under consideration when hiking. Last summer I did a trek in Norway that was 1300 meters vertical ascent over just 3 kilometres. It took 3,5 hours to get to the top which meant we did less than 1 km in an hour. Gillian Price is a brilliant author and in no way I am trying to undermine her guides, I think they are awesome and I own a few of cicerone guides myself. I just put the distances measured by my GPS device which as you said do measure every zig zag, wiggle and bump. I usually walk faster than the times I give on my website because I do realize I am generally a faster hiker than most, simply due to the fact that hiking is my job. As for your last comment regarding the stage between Rifugio Pian de Fontana and La Pissa I compared it to my GPS data and the distance was 19 km, 298 meters ascent, 1388 meters descent with 4 hours of walking (for me), so not sure about the outdoor active online mapping, as the distance seems to be very much off to the GPS data. There were a lot of zigzags at the end adding to the distance, but we smashed it on that day because it was mostly downhill. Once again thanks for your input!

  29. Hi! I’m curious about your mileage. I obviously need to get a map to track out distances properly, but i was comparing some of your mileage to the estimates given in the “Trekking in the Dolomites” guidebook, and found some sections to be surprisingly longer. I find it frustrating that the guide book seems to rely more heavily on times to places rather than distance in km or mi. Did you track via GPS or estimate using the guidebooks or other maps? For instance, i noted you had from Rif Carestiato to Rif Pramperet as 7.4mi versus the book’s 5.6mi and Rif Pain de Fontana to La Pissa bus stop at 11.8mi, versus the book’s 8mi. It didn’t seem like there were alternate routes there, are there?

    • Hi Erica! Thanks for stopping by and I understand your confusion. To be honest I had the AV1 and AV2 guides with and at the same time measured the distances with my Garmin GPS device and noticed that what the books said was always incorrect to what my watch measured. I cannot speak of Cicerone and tell you what exactly was used to measure the distances. I know they were written already a good few years back and they are updated every two years or so, so I am surprised the distances weren’t updated yet. Nowadays with all the GPS devices available, it is much easier to measure distances. I followed the route using the Tabacco Maps and they were exactly the same routes described in the guidebooks. I hope that answers it for you.

  30. Hi there, this guide and all of your Dolomites posts are incredibly helpful. I am SO appreciative to you for providing so much useful information all in one place – thank you! I am hoping to do about 6-7 nights on the Alta Via 1, and I’m curious what your opinion is about the must-see stages of this hike. I came across an itinerary that just focuses on the south end of Alta Via 1, but I would hate to miss the entire beginning if it is truly worth seeing. I am an avid hiker who doesn’t mind difficult days, so I am wondering about combining a few of the stages. However, I do not want to double up on too many days because I would like for the trek to be stress-free and enjoyable, without worrying about my speed/distance every single day. In your opinion, is there a section or itinerary of Alta Via 1 that would hit all of the highlights in only 7 days? I appreciate your input – thanks so much for being a badass in this space!

    • Hi Kayla! Thanks for stopping by and your lovely comment. It’s a tough call and it really depends on what you are after. For me, the absolute highlight of AV1 was the stretch between rifugio Pramperet to rifugio Pian De Fontana which my dad and I did in complete solitude. The beginning of Alta Via 1 is very pretty but it’s also the most crowded section. I’d recommend starting on day 3 from Passo Falzarego (you can spend the previous night at rifugio Lagazuoi) then continuing from there. I would also recommend tackling the via ferrata Averau extension which is easily doable as the section between rifugio Lagazuoi to Rifugio Averau is relatively short. Let me know if that helps and if you have more questions!

      • Hi Marta! Great blog thank you! I am looking at hiking from Rif Carestiato to Rif Bianchet in a day due to hut availability – do you think this is achievable or would it be such a big day that it would be unenjoyable? Thanks for your help 🙂

        • Hi Lucinda. I am not sure about this plan, to be honest. It will be a heck of a day and surely a full day of hiking. I am also not sure when did you plan your journey but you have to take into consideration the afternoon storms. If I were you I would just keep checking with the huts. You might even get a last-minute reservation.

          I hiked from Pramperet which is next after Carestiato to the end and I was thankful that from Bianchet to the end it was just a downhill walk through, otherwise, I would have really struggled. We had 40 degrees on that day.

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