A Day By Day Guide To Hiking Alta Via 2 In The Italian Dolomites: Part 1

An intensive 13 days filled with some of the best vistas found in the Italian Dolomites. That’s the quickest way I can describe my experience on Alta Via 2.  Do you plan on hiking it yourself? I wrote this comprehensive guide to help you tackle one of the most intense multiday traverses of the Dolomites. It will be your best online resource, I promise!

A Comprehensive Guide To Alta Via 2

In the first part of my guide you will find:

  • An overview of Alta Via 2 (distance, elevation gain, and time required to complete it), 
  • Information on arrival and departure details at the start and end of Alta Via 2,
  • The optimal time of the year and the cost of hiking Alta Via 2,
  • An interactive map including each stage, 
  • Summaries of days 1-6 including my GPS data on distance, elevation gain and the time it takes to complete each stage (not including the breaks)

Alta Via 2: total distance, elevation gain, and time required to complete it

A hiker on the approach to Passo Comedon on one of the final stages the 12th day of Alta Via 2 in the Italian Dolomites

There are quite a few online and printed sources citing that Alta Via 2 is anywhere between 160-200 kilometers long. 

I have hiked the whole distance with my Garmin Fenix 6s watch measuring the distances and elevation gain each day. After adding it all up here are the stats:

  • The total length of Alta Via 2 is 187 kilometers or 116 miles*, excluding the extensions,
  • The total elevation gain on the route is 10547 meters (34600 feet),
  • The total elevation loss is 11450 meters (37565 feet).*  

I know it sounds like a lot but if split across two weeks Alta Via 2 is manageable even for those who don’t have a lot of backpacking experience. 

Alta Via 2 can be completed anywhere between 10 to 16 days. It took me 13 days to hike the whole distance with 2 shorter days weaved in between the longer ones, to allow rest, especially since I have hiked both Alta Via 1 and Alta Via 4 within just 4 weeks prior to starting AV2.  

* according to the Garmin website there is a 5% margin error on the devices when calculating the distances and elevation gain. 

Where does the Alta Via 2 start? Arrival details

Alta Via 2 starts at the top of the Plose gondola station near the city of Bressanone (in German Brixen), in the South Tirol region of northern Italy. 

Bressanone has a train station which means ease of transport between the major airports or cities in Italy. The town is also one of the stops on the European budget bus network called Flixbus. 

To get to the bottom of the Plose gondola station (Plose Cabinovia) you need to take bus no. 321 leaving from the main bus station in Bressanone. The journey takes only 23 minutes. 

I recommend staying in Bressanone the night before. It’s a quaint little town with ca. 20000 inhabitants where everything is within walking distance. 

Some hotels offer public transport card, which also includes the gondola ride, within the price of their stay, and below I enlist a few hotel options where you can take advantage of this deal. 

Where to stay in Bressanone

Where does Alta Via 2 end? Departure details

Day 11 on Alta Via 2: the stage between Rifugio Treviso and Passo Cereda

The end of Alta Via 2 is on the Passo Croce D’Aune, where you will find a bus stop of the same name. From here you can catch bus no. 16 to Feltre. 

Feltre is a town in the Belluno province in Veneto. It is similar in size to Bressanone and it also has a train station from where you can travel onward to either Treviso or Marco Polo airports near Venice or catch a train connection to any big city in Italy. 

If you have time make sure to stay in Feltre for at least one day to explore its beautiful old town. Below are some of my recommendations for where to stay in Feltre. All of them are very close to the main bus and train station so you don’t have to walk any further! 

Where to stay in Feltre


A Casa Di Checco (a private apartment)


Villa Tina


Hotel Doriguzzi  (airport shuttle available)

The optimal time of year for hiking Alta Via 2

If you want to take advantage of the mountain huts along Alta Via 2 then you should plan your excursion anywhere between the 3rd week of June and the 3rd week of September. 

Those dates mark the official hiking season in the Italian Dolomites. It’s quite short, I know, but that’s when the mountain passes are (mostly) clear of snow and the huts are fully operational. 

The summer weather in the Dolomites is quite tempestuous, with frequent afternoon thunderstorms, particularly in June and July. August tends to be quite busy, because of the Italian tradition, when everyone takes holidays. 

Personally, I find September ideal to hike. The days are cooler and the weather more stable with often sunny and dry days. The huts also tend to be a lot quieter in September. 

The cost of hiking Alta Via 2

Alta Via 2 Extension Monte Rosetta 2

The average cost of staying in mountain huts including the half board option is 65 Euros/night and if you are an Alpine Club member the price drops down to ca. 55 Euros. This however does not include lunches, drinks, or any other snacks you would like to purchase. 

You should calculate spending a minimum of 65 Euros/person/day on average. This however is only possible if you don’t spend a dime more than what’s included in the half-board option when staying at the huts.

I think 80-90 Euros/person/day is more of a realistic budget if you would like to enjoy a drink after a full day of hiking, or if you are like me and like to spoil yourself with coffee and cake after each completed stage.  

The above prices don’t include the initial cost of traveling to and from the location, hotel stays at both ends of AV2 as well as the gear you will need to invest into to complete the traverse. 

Make sure to jump to my article about the ins and outs of staying in mountain huts in the Italian Dolomites, where I go more into detail about the cost of a stay in a rifugio. 

What to pack for Alta Via 2

The amazing thing about the huts in Italy is that they allow you to carry as little as possible when on multiday backpacking trips, without sacrificing your well-being. 

You should go as light as possible. If your backpack is larger than 38 liters, you are doing it wrong. You can always wash your socks and undies as you go. There is no need to carry food, just some snacks. You also won’t need any backpacking equipment such as a tent or sleeping bag. 

The only thing that’s required at the huts is the sleeping bag liner so you don’t come in direct contact with the sheets and blankets provided at the huts. 

I have a complete packing list for multi-day hut-to-hut trips in the Dolomites including links to my favorite gear and a downloadable checklist. 

IMPORTANT! Since I receive this question almost on a daily basis I decided to add the answer here. Yes, you do need via ferrata equipment to safely traverse Alta Via 2. The type of equipment I used is included in my packing list.

Alta Via 2 – an interactive map

I created the map below to give you an overview of Alta Via 2. 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!

Throughout the article, I will be sharing with you different path numbers which you need to take on each day. The best thing you can do to visualize the whole route is to purchase the Tabacco maps required for the traverse.

For crossing Alta Via 2 you need to purchase five different TABACCO MAPS numbered: 

You can get them online or in any sport, souvenir, or cigarette shop in the local towns. Even some rifugios sell them.

Alta Via 2: day-by-day breakdown

Day 1: Bressanone to Rifugio Genova

  • Distance: 21.4 km / 13.3 mi
  • Walking time: 6h
  • Elevation gain: 1100 m / 3609 ft
  • Elevation loss: 800 m / 2625 ft
  • Path numbers: 3,6,4
Sunset views over Puez Odle Nature Park and the Seceda Ridgeline from Plose hut.

After catching the Plose gondola your hike starts uphill on path no. 3 all the way to Plose hut (rifugio Bressanone).The hut can be reached within 1,5 hours of walking.  

You can skip the gondola ride and start your hike directly from the bottom of the chairlift, however, you won’t be missing out on the views department, as most of the hike runs within the tree line. I have met people who went for this option and regretted it. My advice is to save your energy for later! You have an awesome extension coming your way! 

If you started your hike late in the afternoon of the first day then you can stay in Plose hut for the first night. It has killer sunset views of the Odle group right from its terrace. 

However, if you started early then keep on hiking to Rifugio Genova. After Plose hut, the route drops all the way down into the valley, then crosses a road and enters the Puez Odle Nature Park. After a tiring ascent to Forcella di Putia, you will be faced with the choice of tackling the first of many extensions on Alta Via 2: the summit of Sass di Putia. 

From Forcella di Putia it’s an easy 30-minute undulating stroll to Rifugio Genova. 

Night 1: Rifugio Genova

Alta Via 2 Day 1 8

I have very fond memories of my stay at Rifugio Genova (German: Schluetterhuette). The hut is very well managed and despite the fact that it’s one of the busiest huts in the area, the staff was incredibly friendly, the food delicious and the rooms very clean and spacious! 

Extension: Via Ferrata Sass De Putia

This 2-hour extension starting at Forcella di Putia takes you to the summit of the lone-standing mountain – Sass di Putia (Peitlerkofel). 360 degrees panoramic views await at the top including the snowcapped mountains of the Austrian Alps! 

You have a choice between two summits: Picollo di Putia and the true summit of Sass di Putia at 2875 m in elevation (9430 feet). To reach the latter you will have to tackle a 100-meter section of a beginner level via ferrata, stretching just below the summit. It will be a great warm to what’s coming on subsequent days along the AV2! 

I planned a couple of nights in Rifugio Genova, just to be able to do this extension at my own pace. I left just after sunrise and spent the morning high above the clouds. My friend and I had the whole summit to ourselves. 

Day 2: Rifugio Genova to Rifugio Puez

  • Distance: 12.7 km / 7.9 mi
  • Walking time: 4h
  • Elevation gain: 760 m / 2493 ft
  • Elevation loss: 600 m / 1968 ft
  • Path numbers: 3, 3A (or 3B)
Alta Via 2 Day 2 4

Day two is a real contender in the views department! The day starts gently on path no. 3 as you cross flower-covered slopes hiking towards a col from where beautiful views of the Odle group stretch ahead. 

Shortly after the path veers to the left with a towering Piz Duleda straight ahead. Today you will be crossing two saddles. First one – Forcella della Roa is reached via seemingly countless zigzags on a scree slope. 

From the saddle, the path continues underneath the Piz Duleda slopes until you reach a short via ferrata section. It’s smart to gear up as loose rocks come flying down, set off by the hikers who are ahead. 

After the cable section, you will reach another saddle – Forcella di Sielles. It’s a great spot for a longer break. You can leave your backpack here and head over to the summit of Piz Duleda, a short extension to AV2.

The extension only takes 45 minutes round trip so if you skipped Sass di Putia the day before, you now have no excuse to miss this one. There is a logbook hidden in a metal box at the summit! Make sure to put your name down! 

From Forcella di Siellas you have a choice between path no. 3A or 3B. They run parallel before eventually merging into one ca. 20 minutes before reaching rifugio Puez. 

Night 2: Rifugio Puez

Alta Via 2 Day 3 1

Rifugio Puez didn’t really make a lasting impression on me. Maybe because we were crammed into a tiny room in the attic with 10 other people. To enter the room we had to crawl through a small door.

The overall stay was ok, the food was ok and the staff was courteous. I think they had big shoes to fill after our stay at Rifugio Genova.

Day 3: Rifugio Puez to Rifugio Piscadiu

  • Distance: 14.9 km / 9.2 mi
  • Walking time: 4h 30min
  • Elevation gain: 790 m / 2592 ft
  • Elevation loss: 690 m / 2264 ft
  • Path numbers: 2,666
Alta Via 2 Day 3 7

A few minutes after leaving Rifugio Puez you will get to a spectacular viewpoint of the U-shaped Vallunga. The direct translation is “The Long Valley”. This view will set the bar high for what’s to come. 

Today you will be crossing Passo Gardena – one of the most photogenic mountain passes of the Dolomites. For the first half of the day, you will be following path no.2 crossing three saddles: Forcella dei Campei,  Forcella Crespeina, and Forcella Cier Danter les Pizes. 

Upon reaching the last saddle you will be graced with a view of the sheer walls and towers of the Sella Group – the destination for today. 

After the descent from Forcella Cier make sure to stop for lunch at Rifugio Jimmy, ca 15 minutes before reaching Passo Gardena. They have very comfy bean bags outside and I may or may not have spent a couple of hours snoozing away in the sun, trying to regain some energy for the next stage of the hike.

Once you cross Passo Gardena you will continue your journey on path no. 666. The majority of this section climbs through a very steep scree slope in Val Setus. 666 is a very adequate number for this part of AV2, the devil himself must have created it. 

The last 30 minutes consist of cable aided section. I would highly recommend using yours via ferrata gear in this section. Beware of hikers coming down. This is the exit route for the very popular via ferrata Brigata Tridentina which also goes to Rifugio Piscadiu. 

Night 3: Rifugio Piscadiu

Alta Via 2 Rifugio Piscadiu 1

Rifugio Piscadiu is set on a high plateau right next to a small lake, which supplies the hut with water. When possible ask for a room instead of a bed in the attic.

My friend and I were very unlucky to have been put in the attic with 20 Italian men on a weekend getaway. I got very little sleep that night from the amount of snoring and drinking happening in the room. 

Day 4: Rifugio Piscadiu to Rifugio Boè

  • Distance: 5.2 km / 3.2 mi
  • Walking time: 2h
  • Elevation gain: 480 m / 1575 ft
  • Elevation loss: 210 m / 689 ft
  • Path numbers: 666, 649, 647
Alta Via 2 Day 4 1

With only 5.2 kilometers (3.2 miles) to hike, day 4 might seem not challenging enough to many backpackers. If you are keen to complete AV2 in less time, you can connect day 3 with 4, skipping a night at rifugio Piscadiu, or day 4 with 5, omitting to stay at rifugio Boe. 

The reason I have decided to stay in rifugio Boè on day 4 is the two excellent AV2 side trips that I wanted to tackle: Cima Piscadiu and Piz Boe Summit. 

The hike between rifugio Piscadiu and rifugio Boè continues along path no. 666 through the barren moon-like landscapes of the Sella group. It then turns into path 649 followed by number 647. The two huts are only two hours apart. 

Night 4: Rifugio Boè

Alta Via 2 Day 4 5

At the time of my hike (July 2019) rifugio Boè was undergoing renovations and a new and modern building was under construction right next to the old one. The new part of the hut opened in the summer of 2021 and now it became one of the most modern huts in the Dolomites.

Extension 1: Cima Piscadiu

Around 30 minutes into the hike between rifugio Piscadiu to rifugio Boè you will come across a sign pointing to the summit of Cima Piscadiu. It’s a pretty straightforward scramble to the top and it takes around 90 minutes from the fork to the summit and back. 

Alta Via 2 Extension Cima Pisciadiu 5

My friend and I decided to do this extension at sunrise when staying at rifugio Piscadiu. After completing it we hiked back to the hut, ate breakfast, and continued on with our journey to rifugio Boè, repeating the first 30 minutes of the route from that morning. 

Extension 2: Piz Boè Summit

Rifugio Boè takes its name from Piz Boè – the highest summit in the Sella group. The hut stands only 270 meters (885 feet) in elevation below the summit. 

You can tackle Piz Boè as an extension on day 4, or as a detour on day 5. 

To do it as an extension you can unload your backpack at Rifugio Boè and with a much lighter load head onto path no. 638 following signs for rifugio Capanna Fassa. It will take around 90 minutes roundtrip. 

If you prefer to do it as part of a detour on day 5 then you can ascent the mountain using path no. 638 then descent on the path. 636 eventually rejoining the official Alta Via 2 route. The detour will only add an extra hour to your day, not including the time you will spend at the summit enjoying the views! 

Another alternative is simply booking a night at the Capanna Fassa hut built right on the summit of Piz Boè. I had a chance to stay at this hut in September, a couple of months after completing Alta Via 2, and have captured some of my most memorable photographs from this summit. 

Day 5: Rifugio Boè to Rifugio Castiglioni on Passo Fedaia

  • Distance: 11.8 km / 7.33 mi
  • Walking time: 4h 30min
  • Elevation gain: 380 m / 1247 ft
  • Elevation loss: 1170 m / 3839 ft
  • Path numbers: 627, 601
Alta Via 2 Day 5 4

Today will be a tough day for your knees. It involves a lot of going down and not a lot of up. It’s also an exciting day as you will be nearing the Dolomite’s highest peak – Marmolada. 

After leaving rifugio Boè path no. 627 undulates for around 45 minutes until you reach Rifugio Forcella del Pordoi. From the saddle, the route drops down sharply on a scree slope all the way to Passo Pordoi. 

If scree slopes and you aren’t friends, you can hike from Forcella del Pordoi up for ca. 20 minutes on path 627A to reach the Sass Pordoi cable car upper station. By taking the cable car down to Passo Pordoi you will save yourself a painful hour on a scree slope. 

Once you reach Passo Pordoi, Alta Via 2 continues on path no. 601 through scenic green alpine meadows dotted with wildflowers, a complete contrast to the barren landscapes of the Sella massif. 

Night 5: Rifugio Castiglioni

The day ends at the scenic man-made Lake Fedaia at the foot of Marmolada. There is a variety of accommodations on Passo Fedaia. I stayed at the budget-friendly rifugio Castiglioni and although the beds have seen better days, the location and the friendly staff made up for it. 

There is a pizza place right near the refuge, where you can eat something other than pasta and polenta served at the huts. If you still have some energy to explore you can walk across the dam and find a restaurant that serves ice cream desserts! 

Day 6: Rifugio Castiglioni to Passo San Pellegrino

  • Distance: 24.5 km / 15.2 mi
  • Walking time: 6h
  • Elevation gain: 1080 m / 3542 ft
  • Elevation loss: 1200 m / 3937 ft
  • Path numbers: 610, 689, 694, 670, 607 
Alta Via 2 Day 6 3

Day 6 is a demanding day distance wise so I recommend leaving as early as possible. My friend and I asked for breakfast to go, settled our bill the night before, and set out shortly before 6 am.  

The first stage of the day takes hikers along the paved road all the way down to Malga Ciapella. During the summer season a bus operates between Passo Fedaia and Malga Ciapella, so if you are not up for hiking along the road, take the bus. 

This tiny seasonal village is known as the gateway to Marmolada’s second-highest peak – Punta Rocca, which can be reached via the two-tier gondola leaving from the center of the village. 

Apart from a few hotels and a campground, there is not much else around here, but we did stop for a nice cup of cappuccino before venturing onto the next stage of the day. I have noticed that Alta Via 2 became a lot quieter after Malga Ciapella and for the rest of the day, we only met a handful of people on our hike. 

For the next three hours, you will be climbing up path no. 689 to Forcella (saddle) Rossa, first through the conifer forest then across high alpine pastures. It’s a tiring approach particularly on a sunny day, once you are out of the forest with no shade in sight. 

The third and last stage of the day takes hikers down from Forcella Rossa to Passo San Pellegrino across beautiful alpine meadows, where you can meet some very friendly horses. 

Night 6: Passo San Pellegrino

Passo San Pellegrino was a halfway mark for us and I’ve decided to treat myself to a nice stay in a hotel with a small spa. Exactly what my tired body needed after hiking for so long. I stayed in the lovely hotel Costabella and couldn’t recommend it enough.

I particularly enjoyed the variety of food they served at dinner and breakfast. It was a lovely break from the sometimes blunt hut food. 

Extension: Punta Rocca – Marmolada

The views from the summit of Punta Rocca on Marmolada - Dolomite's highest peak.

Don’t miss the chance to stand on one of the summits of the highest mountain in the Dolomites – Marmolada. 

From Malga Ciapella you can catch the two-tier cable car to the summit of Punta Rocca. The roundtrip cost of the gondola is 33 Euros and during the summer season, it operates between 9 AM and 4 PM. 

Punta Serauta photographed from Punta Rocca.

Another good reason to leave as early as possible from Passo Fedaia! Make sure to catch the first gondola of the day and reserve at least a couple of hours to admire the views at the top and visit the War Museum located at Punta Serauta, the mid-station of the cable car. 

This is the highest museum in Europe and a testimony to the atrocities of the battles held in these mountains during the first World War. 

The cable car station at Punta Rocca on Marmolada.

A Day By Day Hiking Guide To Alta Via 2 In The Italian Dolomites: Part 2

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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,

    Thanks for such an amazing write up about the AV2 and AV1! 🙂

    I will be in the Dolomites this September and only have time to complete one of the AV’s. If you could only choose one to do, which would you choose? I usually prefer the trail with the most epic views, a little less busy, and also a bit of a challenge, so I am leaning towards the AV2, but wasn’t sure if maybe the AV1 was the most popular for a reason.


    • Hi Caitlyn. Thanks for the feedback! You can’t go wrong with either and both have sections that are busier and quiet. Alta Via 2 is definitely more challenging because of the distance and also because of the via ferrata sections which require you to carry extra gear. If you don’t mind that, then go for Alta Via 2. Another thing is that getting reservations on Alta Via 1 at this stage might be difficult, as many huts are already booked out for the season. I hope that helps.

      • Hi Marta,
        Thanks for the great advice!
        I’m definitely keen for Via Ferrata sections on either / both of them, but maybe sounds like AV2 would be a better choice for me if I enjoy more of a challenge. I was also considering AV4 / the Tre Cime multi-day route you wrote about. They seem to go through similar areas. Would you say I’m better off doing the AV4 and would still get a lot of the highlights of the Tre Cime route you put together? I saw your note saying the AV4 was your favourite so I’ve started trying to throw it into the mix.

        • Hi Caitlyn. AV4 was my favorite because of the via ferratas along the way but they are a lot harder than the ones on AV2. If you’ve never done a via ferrata than AV2 will be a better option for you.

          • Thanks Marta,

            I really appreciate your advice — it’s so helpful!

            I’ve got my own via ferrata gear have some experience, and am looking for something a bit more challenging and less busy. I’ve got about 4 weeks so I think I might do AV2 and AV4 based on what you’ve said (pending hut availability)…sounds like AV2 first would be a good warm up for AV4.

            Thank you so much!


  2. Hi Marta,
    Thanks so much for this website.
    I’m planning to follow your suggested route in July for around 6 days and I’m keen to head up Marmolada while I’m there. I’m just struggling to figure how best to get out and get to some kind of accessible transport at around that point give or take another day’s walking. Am I being dim?

    • Hi Kate. The two tier gondola that takes you to one of the summits of Marmolada (Punta Rocca) is in Malga Ciapella. When hiking from Passo Fedaia to Passo San Pellegrino you cross the gondola station. You just take the gondola up and down then continue with your trek.No public transport required.
      There is also a route up Marmolada which takes hikers to Punta Peńa (the highest summit of Marmolada) but I haven’t done that one as I don’t have enough mountaineering experience and I didn’t want to carry ice axe with me for 14 days just to use it once. I hope that helps.

      • Thanks Marta. I don’t think I made myself clear! I’m wondering how to finish the route after that day up Marmolada. Do you happen to know the best village / pass for a route back towards Bressanone? I know you carried on to the second part so you might not know? But thought I’d ask just in case. Thank you so much.

        • Hi Kate. Now i get it. There is a bus stop right near the gondola station near Malga Ciapela. I zoomed in on google and it tells me it’s the Dolomiti Bus (a local company) that operates on this bus stop, however they have the worst website for checking schedule. It’s awful. They say to use google maps or Mooveit app to check for schedule. On the latter you can only check the schedule 4 days in advance. On google maps it doesn’t show anything. Sorry I can’t help further.

          • Thanks Marta. I think I’ve figured it out. If I need to, I’ll walk from Passo Sa Pellegrino to Moena and there should be options from there. Love a mountain logistical challenge. Thank you so much for inspiring me and for your help!

          • No Worries. Yes it will be possible to travel from Passo San Pellegrino to Moena. Have a fantastic time on the trail and fingers crossed for good weather!

          • Don’t worry! Thank you for thinking about it. I think I can hike to Moena from Passo San Pellegrino if I need to. Thanks for your inspiration!

  3. Hi Marta,

    I hope you are well:) love your page!

    Four of us are looking to doing this trip in August but sadly we would only have 5 full days of hiking. We are keen on starting in Bresanone and then walking as far as we can in those 5 days before then getting a train back to Verona.
    Would it be possible to do Via2 in a condensed version as it’s not clear which towns have access down the mountain back to train/bus stations etc?

    Any guidance would be great

    • Hi Emma. Thanks for stopping by. In the articles I do give out tips which days can be connected to speed things up. At the end of part 2 there is also a whole list of late entry and early exit possibilities which tells you at which locations you can enter and exit the trail. It’s Possible almost every single day. Do check it out first and then let me know if you have any other questions.

  4. Marta, thank you so much for such a wonderful guide! I was able to reserve all the huts mentioned in your guide except for Puez, because it’s undergoing website changes, and Refugio Genova. Refugio Genova is fully booked. From your experience, what are the chances of me trying to still do the road and show up on the date and see maybe someone canceled?
    I also see there is a Medalges-Alm Refugio, if I book it instead of Genova, it would still work right?
    Thank you for your help!

    • Hi Irena. Thanks for stopping by. To be honest I wouldn’t risk it and I would just look for alternatives nearby even if it meant walking down to the valley and staying the night in a hotel before rejoining the trek the next day. Dolomites have become very busy these last few years. To give you an example last year I saw people being turned away from a hut where I was staying. It was the very end of the season (the last day of September) and the hut was completely booked out.

  5. Dear Marta, thanks for what you’ re doing, I find it extraordinary!
    The only thing I miss, as a mother of four, are recommended trails for kids:)) would you recommend some shorter version of hut to hut trip? (We have already done modified version of Rosentgarten). We prefer without ferrata, not all of kids are ready to make it.
    Thanks a lot! F.

    • Hi Fany. Thanks for visiting. Alta Via 2 does have some short via ferrata sections along the way. Alta Via 1 doesn’t have any, so many look into that one. There are so many different huts in the Dolomites that it’s impossible to enlist them all 🙂

  6. Hi Marta,

    If there was any section on the AV2 to bus (when possible) which would you say is best to skip? Possibly the section from Castiglioni to San Pellegrino? I would use the extra day for some Via Ferratas possibly in the San Martino region or the Porton / Nico Gusella ones you mentioned in part 2 of your blog.

    • Hi Christian. If you want to do VF extensions in the Pale di San Martino region then maybe just consider shortening the whole Alta Via and finishing at Passo Cereda and then catching a bus to Fiera Di Primero. That way you will shorten it by two days and have time to do the extensions. You can try and catch a ride between Passo Fedaia and Malga Ciapella to shorten day 6.

  7. Hi! What was your experience booking/communicating with the huts like? I’ve gotten a few responses that make me feel a little doubtful my “reservation” is real and that when I show up there will actually be a bed.

    • Hi Zoe. It was exactly as you describe and it hasn’t changed since. Their response are always pretty vague and straightforward. Some huts ask for deposits (usually a bank transfer) Most of the time they only note your first name. In all my hut stays (and there were hundreds) my reservation wasn’t there just once, because one of the staff members forgot to change it after I wrote an email. They did accommodate me though after I showed them the email. Otherwise I had never had any problems. Italians are pretty direct 🙂

  8. Marta,
    Your website is truly the best. We lived in Italy for 6 years and recently returned for another 5 years. We have used your site so much. This summer, I will have a 20 day window to do a hike. My 6 year old daughter will be joining me (we carried her on AV1 when she was 1 years old). I would really like to do AV2 but my concern is the VFs. She has done 4 very beginner ones this past summer. How difficult would you say the AV2 VFs are? Is there a way to bypass them, even if it adds a few more miles? Do you have any other recommendations for a 20ish day hike?
    Thanks so much!

    • Hi Chelsea. Thanks for coming back to my site. I am glad you find it useful. Now for your question, all via ferratas on AV2 are beginner level. I do occassionaly see kids on via ferrata route, but most of the time they are roped to their parent (apart from having their own harness and lanyard system). Bypassing via ferratas is always possible but will add a lot of kms. The good thing is all via ferratas sections on AV2 are very short. The longest one is just before reaching rifugio Piscadiu and that’s around 200 meters of cable time. You could easily stretch AV2 to 21 days which would amount to ca. 10 km per day.

  9. Hi! Thanks so much for these detailed posts. My partner and I are planning trip beginning of September, both fit, rock climber/scramblers, though neither of us have done much via ferrata. Wondering if you had any advise for a 5-6 day route? We plan to go light and quick, partially trail run and crave remoteness (less crowds) and challenge with majestic vistas. We then plan to spend 5 days recovering somewhere with some trail running. We have been looking at either partial AV2 or 4, but wondering if there is something else you would recommend? Thanks so much!

  10. Hi Marta,

    Your guide is fantastic and has helped immensely with organising my trip. I would like to ask whether you think my itinerary is acceptable? and also whether you could do parts of this without a harness? Myself and my partner are keen rock climbers and had thought of the idea of a basic rope loop and carabiner around the waist with a helmet to save on space/weight. Another question is that I can not contact rifugio Puez or find any running website/contact details, do you know if this rifugio is still running?

    My itinerary is as follows:

    Brixen to lift then hike to Genova/Schluterhutte
    Genova – Puez
    Puez – Boé
    Boé – Rifugio Castiglioni Marmolada
    Rifugio Castiglioni Marmolada – Rifugio Fuciade / Flora Alpina / Passo Fedaia (TBC)
    Rifugio Fuciade / Flora Alpina / San Pellegrino hotel? (TBC) – Mulaz
    Mulaz – Rosetta / San Martino di Castrozza

    Thank you very much for your time,


    *sorry for repost I didn’t mean to reply to another comment

    • Hi Owen. Thanks for stopping by. First and foremost I can never tell you here on a public forum that you can skip some gear. Your own safety is in your own hands and only you know your capabilities and the kind of risk you are willing to take. A harness and a lanyard really don’t take that much space, especially since you don’t have to carry any camping gear with you.
      As far as I know rifugio Puez is running (not in winter). Sometimes it does take weeks for them to answer though. Also make sure to check your SPAM folder. I checked that they do have a website, but it looks like it is under construction. Last but not least Yes your itinerary is doable. The first day will be long, but manageable. I hope that helps!

      • Thanks for your reply, Marta, I appreciate your points. I’ll be sure to take safety gear and keep checking on Puez’s website.

        One question is do you think there’s time in my itinerary for using the extensions and do you think it’s better to cut back to allow more of them? I saw you can get gondolas up to Boe and the short bus from San Pellegrino pass to the start of the hike down to shorten some of the days which may allow for some more of the exciting extensions, would you recommend any of these /any bits you would have liked to skip?

        We’re also planning to finish in Rosetta and get the gondola down to San Martino di Castrozza, do you think that’s a sensible option?

        Thanks in advance, Owen

  11. Hi Marta: you;re website is great, just the rght level of detail for planning a trip and with great photos too.
    I plan to do the AV2 in June this year (2024) but I was wondering how far in advance do I need to book a place in the huts?

    • Hi Chris, If you are doing it on your own and you are flexible with the distances each day then I reckon you could wing it to 2-3 months in advance, however the popularity of AV1 and AV2 has skyrocketed in recent years and I am partially to blame for it so I would say the earlier the better. I hope that helps!

    • Hi Chris, what dates are you planning on hiking? I am doing the AV2 21-29 of June, maybe see you there?


  12. Hi Marta, your website is so helpful! Planning AV2 for 6 days, 16-21 June the summer (exiting at R. Rosetta to San Martino di Castrozza). (1) A bit too early in the season, or should all be fine (snow etc.)? (2) Only day we’re unsure about is Passo Gardena–>R Castiglioni: achievable if we take the Sass Pordoi gondola? Thank you.

    • Hi Jude. Thanks for visiting. Passo Gardena all the way to Castiglioni will be a very big day, especially that the next one between Passo Fedaia and Passo San Pellegrino is a big one too. It is achievable if you are strong hikers, but don’t forget that afternoon storms are very common at this time of the year and getting cought in a storm in the mountains is not something i recommend. As for the snow situation. In general it should be fine. You might still encounter snow in gullies and shaded areas or on northern slopes but if the huts are already open then it means the trails are passable. I did AV1 exactly within those dates. You can look at my post about AV1 to see how it looked like snow wise. I hope that helps!

      • Thanks Marta! Another question if you don’t mind. Do you recommend we get rescue insurance for the trip? (And any recommendation on which insurer to use?) Thank you.

        • Hi Jude. As someone who had to be rescued by helicopter once in the mountain. I am all about travel/accident and rescue insurance. If it weren’t for my insurance I would have been paying the bill for the rest of my life.

  13. Hello Marta,
    Your information about the Dolomites is so helpful as my husband and I are working out which route to hike in July. We are in our early 60’s and regularly cycle, walk/run and go to the gym but don’t live in a place where there are mountains for regular hiking. Would you be able to recommend a training guide or website for preparing to hike the Via 2? I know we could hike the Via 1 without a problem but feel a bit more concerned about the more challenging route of the Via 2.
    Any advice you can offer would be appreciated.
    Many thanks,

    • Hi Natalie. Thanks for stopping by. Alta Via 2 is slightly more difficult than AV1, because of the few via ferrata sections along the way (all beginner and all very short). Any kid of sport and movement will get you prepared. My dad who lives at sea level and is a runner walked AV1 with me and did very well. Dolomites aren’t very high mountains so you don’t have to worry about altitude. Just work on your stamina and add some resistance training to your legs and back and you will be fine. I hope that helps.

      • Dear Marta,
        I totally enjoy reading about your hiking adventures. We are planning to do the first part of Alta Via 2 from Brixen to Passo Pordoi starting on July 1st 2024. As I have already spend the night in Refugio Puez we thought of making an extension to rifugio Gardenacia and stay there overnight. Can we do this in one day? Is my calaculation correct that the day hike from rigugio Genova to rifugio Gardenacia is about 6 hours? And then the next day from rufugio Gardenacia to rifugio Piscadiu about 6,5 hours? From there we will follow your route to rifugio Boe and climbing Piz Boe before descending to the passo Pordoi. Your advice and knowlegde of the aerea will be really appreciated.
        Kind regrads,

        • Hi Carolien, Thanks for visiting. Yes you can extend the trip each day and stay in rif. Gherdenacia instead. Your estimation are correct and that would be walking time. You have to account some breaks in between too. I hope that helps! Have fun on Alta Via 2!

          • Thank you very much. We will book this rifugio and make sure we have enough time for a break. We are looking forward to our trip. Your website has helped a lot to plan it.

  14. Hi Marta, your website is amazing! Five of us are planning to do this and found your information from google search. This is so helpful and very much appreciated!
    We are pretty strong members in terms of distance and elevation of the hikes and want to do via ferrata during this hike and noticed you also did it before day 2.
    Our concern is how many of via ferrata are there available in Alta Via 2 hike. We want to do as many as possible. We have experience in rock climbing/scrambling/via ferrata, etc. We were trying to find out specific locations where via ferrata exists in here, but the map we have doesn’t have that information.
    If possible, could you tell us the locations which huts are close by?


    • Hi Kimberly. Thanks for stopping by my site and your lovely feedback. Alta Via 2 is amazing, but it’s sound like you are after something else. If via ferratas are what you are after I really recommend that you look into my Alta Via 4 guide (which btw can easily be extended by adding a few more via ferratas) or my Dolomiti Brenta Traverse. Both are a lot more adventurous and it sounds like they will fit your expectations much better.

      Let me know if that helps and if you have more questions. If you would like to work on a custom itinerary I am happy to help. Here are the details.

  15. Hi!

    Your website is absolutely amazing. Thank you so much for all the amazing detail.

    I wanted to get your take on your plan. We are avid hikers but I am worried we are trying to cover too much distance here. Do you think this plan is reasonable?

    Day 1: Top of Plose to Rif Genova
    Day 2: Rif Genova to Passo Gardena
    Day 3: Passo Gardena to Rif Fassa
    Day 4: Rif Fassa to Rif Dolomia
    Day 5: Rif Dolomia to Hotel Costabella (thanks for recommendation!)

    • Hey Pavel. Thanks for visiting. By rifugio Fassa I presume you mean rifugio Capanna Fassa on the summit of Piz Boe? If that’s the case then your itinerary looks good and totally manageable. The last day is the longest, but if as you say you are avid hikers with I presume good stamina then you will be fine.

  16. Hi! Once again thank you so so much for these amazing itineraries! My gf and are going to hike the AV2 in September. We plan to tackle some of the easier ferrata sections. We don’t have any gear and I was wondering if you recommend buying or renting? We’re flying into Innsbruck and so I thought finding a shop to rent would be easy but I haven’t found much online. I’m wondering what you recommend? Thanks again!


    • Hi Will. Thanks for visiting. Definitely buying. The complete set with lanyard, helmet, harness and gloves will set you back by around USD 300. Renting is usually 30 Euro/day. 14 days of rent would be way more than just getting your own set. I have included links to the gear I use in my via ferrata posts, for example in this article. Let me know if you have more questions!

  17. Hi Marta, similar to what other’s have said, you detailed post on AV2 has been extremely helpful so far in getting us acquainted to the routes. My BF and I are planning to do sections of the AV2 in early September to make the most of the our trip to the Dolomites and will be staying in Val Gardena before getting started. Was hoping to understand the hiking times that you listed in your post a little more. For e.g., does it really only take 4hrs to hike from Rifugio Genova to Puez? Are you a fast hiker or is the terrain not that challenging? Thanks so much!!

    • Hi Nisha. Thanks for visiting. The hiking times are highly dependent on the person. 4 hours would be just an average walking time, but the times given here never include any breaks. Some people take one break others take two, some take none at all and just blitz through the trails. Personally, I can do 12 km in ca. 3 hours, I am neither slow nor super fast. But my times always depend on so many things like how much weight I carry in my backpack, how well I slept the day before and whether I had enough food. I hope that helps!

      • Thanks so much for your response! That definitely helps and fair to assume that it will depend on the Hiker’s ability, among additional things. I know a few folks have already asked you this question so apologies for any repetition – Are your favorite sections in the second half of AV2? You mentioned that the San Martino traverse is fantastic – however are there any sections of the first half that we should try to weave in? We only have 3 nights / 4 days of hiking so trying to decide. Thanks so much again!

        • Hi Nisha. No Worries. I really liked the Sass Di Putia extension. though a via ferrata leads to the true summit, you can go to the lower summit without any via ferrata equipment. I also loved the view of Vallunga near Rifugio Puez. All in All every day brings a beauty with it, so don’t stress about missing out on anything. You can’t see it all in a lifetime! You will get beautiful views every single day.

          • Hi Marta, thanks so much for your recommendation. Based on your article and information, we were thinking about the following itinerary. Would that be too much to cover in 4 days? We really want to cover Vallunga and views of Sella but prefer the quiteness of the second half. Appreciate any suggestions you may have –

            Day 1 Rifugio Genova (start from Zanser alm parking lot) to Rif. Piscadiu > Day 2 Rifugio Castiglioni > Day 3 Passo San Pellegrino > Day 4 Rif. Rosetta or Pradidali (exit)

          • Hi Nisha. Thanks for stopping by. The distances are doable for someone who is very fit. I know I wouldn’t enjoy hiking such long distances in a day. I don’t know you, have no idea about your fitness level and so on so as much as I would like to help you I simply cannot give you an answer. You also never mentioned the months you are hiking in. Don’t forget about the afternoon storms that are very common in the summer in the Dolomites.

  18. Hi Marta, first of all, congratulations for the interesting guide for AV2. I have seen that most of the people do the hiking from north to south, but, it is possible to do it in the other direction? Or there are sections where it will be more difficult?

    Many thanks!

    • Hi Miguel. Thanks for stopping by. Hiking from North to South makes more sense because of the hear. Dolomites can get hot in the summer and hiking up the Southern slopes means you would be hiking up in the sun which will make it a lot harder. Northern Slopes stay in the shade in the morning. I hope that answers it for you.

  19. This is a very nice guidance indeed. We are going for the Dolomite hiking Alta Via 2 next month. We booked most of our hotels (when we can through Booking.com

  20. Hi!

    Thank for the amazingly detailed blog. You have made my planning so much easier!

    I do want to ask you a question.

    Do you have any good alternative options if Puez is booked (hiking from Genova)? I was thinking that hiking into Passo Gardena seems doable in one day but not sure where to stay exactly. I also was thinking about hiking from Genova to Pisciadu but wanted to get your opinion that.


    • Hi Veronica. Thanks for visiting. You can hike from Genova to Passo Gardena in one day. Hotel Cir is directly on Passo Gardena. The next day you can skip Pisciadu and hike directly to rifugio Boe. I hope that helps!

  21. Hi Marta,
    I’m planning to do the AV2 with a friend this september. The itinerary I have been thinking of is:
    Day 1: Brixen – Genova (6h)
    Day 2: Genova – Puez (4h)
    Day 3: Puez – Boé (6,5h)
    Day 4: Boé – Castiglioni (4,5h)
    Day 5: Castiglioni – Contrin or Fucide?
    Day 6: … ? – Mulaz
    Day 7: Mulaz – Rosetta & finish in San Martino di Castrozza on the same day
    As I can find, the first few days are clear and the most convenient like this, but after Castiglioni I like to skip the night in San Pelligrino. What would you recommend? Or do you have other suggestions to go a bit of the beaten track in the first section of the AV2?
    Thank you so much!

    • Hey Hanneke. Thanks for visiting. Day 5 it makes more sense to go to Rif. Fuciade than Contrin. From Fuciade you can easily hike in a day to Mulaz. The trek between Malga Ciapella and Passo San Pellegrino is lovely an quite, It’s just the part between Fedaia and Malga Ciapella that follows a road. However, I left really early that day (5AM) and maybe saw 2 cars until I made it to Malga Ciapella. I do not know the route from Contrin. Over to Passo San Pellegrino so I am afraid I can’t give you tips on that one.

      • The information on this page is so helpful, thank you. We are planning an eight day hike through the Alta via two on a similar route and this page has been very helpful in planning our trek. As far as Rifugio Puez goes I have also run into trouble finding information. I did find a phone number and called and was told to send an email inquiry to info@rifugiopuez.it which I did the response from the email stated :
        “Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
        We are no longer the tenants of the Puez Hut. For further information, please contact the CAI, Bolzano section.“ We are now trying to find an alternative to refuse you a pleasure. Any suggestions would be welcome. Thank you!

        • Hi Brande. Thanks for sharing. It sounds like the tenant of rifugio Puez will be changed. It might take some time for them to announce who the next people who will run it are. The tenants for the Alpine Club Huts can change every few years.

  22. Hi,
    Thanks Marta for the write up and I found it very helpful.
    I’m planning doing the AV2 early Sept, however I’m coming from the US and only have 6 full days for the hike. I’m considering myself pretty fit and can hike up to 20 to 30km per day with backpack. Is there a route you could suggest that I could see the best of the AV2 with in a week?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Kevin. Thanks for visiting. Have you seen the late entry/early escape routes at the end of part 2? this should help you figure out how to shorten the itinerary to 6 days. Let me know if you have specific questions!

      • Thanks so much, Marta,
        I came up with the following itinerary, sound doable incorporating some bus and cable cars?
        Rifugio Plose Rifigio Puez 25
        Rifigio Puez Rifugio Boe 15
        Rifugio Boe Rifugio Castiglioni 12
        Rifugio Castiglioni Passo San Pellegrino (using bus) 25
        Passo San Pellegrino Rifugio Volpi Al Mulaz 15.8
        Rifugio Volpi Al Mulaz Rifugio Rosetta/St. Martinao De Casditro (take the cable down) 8.8

        • Hi Kevin. Thanks for visiting. The first day would be a really long one (34 km not 25 as you are stating, that is including taking the Plose gondola). I don’t understand how you calculated your distances as some of them don’t align with my own GPS data. For the first two days you calculated the distances wrong.

          • I’m starting from Plose (spend the night there before), and to Rifugio Genova is 13.5km adding Genova to Puez is 12km, total 25.5km. Yes, its long day but doable?

          • Hi Kevin. The distance between Plose and Genova is 16,4 km and Genova and Puez 12.7 km. That’s 29.1 km. (Look at the list of all mountain huts and distances between them at the end of part two). You will be also looking at around 1400 meters elevation gain from Plose hut to Puez hut and the same in elevation loss. Yes it is doable but it will be a heck of a day . I am not sure what month you are doing this hike but don’t forget about the afternoon storms.

          • Thanks, Marta, that makes a lot of sense. I revised my itinerary spread out the miles, still a couple of longer days but more manageable I think.
            Day1 Rifugio Plose ==> Rifugio Geona |16.4km
            Day2 Rifugio Geona ==> Rifugio Puez ==> Passo Gardena |12km + 6km
            Day3 Passo Gardena ==> Rifugio Pisciadu/Boe ==> Rifugio Castiglioni |4km + 16km
            Day4 Rifugio Castiglioni ==> Take the bus ==> Passo San Pellegrino |22km – bus distance
            Day5 Passo San Pellegrino ==> Rifugio Mulaz |13km
            Day6 Rifugio Mulaz ==> Rifugio Rosetta ==> St Martino De Casditro (Cable) |7.5km + Cable car

          • Hi Kevin, day 1 and 2 look ok. Day 3 however would be a huge challenge and you didn’t count the distances correctly. consider taking the gondola down from Sass Pordoi down to Passo Pordoi to shorten the distance and elevation loss a bit. It’s still going to be a tough day. Otherwise looks good (apart from Mulaz to Rosetta, the distance also isn’t correct, but it’s not a big deal, this is a totally managable distance for one day).

          • Thanks, Marta, that is a great help.
            I do intend to take the cable car down for the 3rd day (from Passo Gardena to Rifugio Castiglioni) , regarding the milage, they are all from the Cicerone book “ALTA VIA 2 – TREKKING IN THE DOLOMITES” Why would it have such a discrepancy, is it possible that was just the standard route and no detours? and as the official route from Rif Genova to Rif Rosetta, is Via Ferrata equipment needed? I’m told there an always alternatives if we opt out of the Via Ferrata sections.

            You are doing great work, I’d love to make contributions, what are methods I could that?

          • Hi Kevin. I have the cicerone guides and the discrepancies were there for the AV1 and AV4 too. In all cases the distance were around 10-15% shorter than what my watch measured. Since those guides were released a while ago I am not sure whether they used modern devices to measure distances. I presume there are lots of zigzags unaccounted for. If you outline the trails on google maps, the distances also tend to be shorter. I shared what i measured with my Garmin Fenix 6S Pro, made for hiking. I DID NOT include extensions in the total daily distances. Yes you need via ferrata equipment for AV2. Yes there are alternative routes, but it’s not as simple as just skipping the ferrata and walking some kind of parallel path. They will often involve many extra kilometres and complete rerouting. If you plan to do that, better get some paper maps and study them all, then outline the route without the ferratas. As for your last question. You can donate by using the widget in the sidebar and also buy gear or book hotels through my affiliate links in the post.

  23. Hi Marta, thank you so much for this guide, it’s been really helpful! I just wanted to check, for the day from Castiglioni to San Pellegrino, is that distance including a detour up to Marmolada as well? Just wanted to see if I should aim for a zero day in Castiglioni to to see Marmolada or if I can go up and down on the way to San Pellegrino. Thanks!

    • Hi Mike! No worries. You will walk from Passo Fedaia to Passo San Pellegrino via Malga Ciapella. There you have the gondola to Marmolada, so yes it is en route. If you plan on going up to Marmolada then make sure to leave Passo Fedaia early and then take the first gondola up. You will probably spend ca. 2 hours up there. You can also add an extra night in one of the hotels near Malga Ciapella. 🙂 I hope that helps!

  24. Hi Marta
    Enjoying your blog immensely. We are in the midst of planning a trip to Rosengarten for September and although note your recommendation to work north from Paolina, I wanted your opinion about coming up from the Vigo catinaccio lift side and then walking a circuit that includes Rifugios Tierser Alp, Santnerpasse, Vajolet. I note the last two huttes are reasonably close but both looked good. Most likely 3 to 4 nights but likely to finish in the north at Tierser Alp. Happy to spend 5 to 7 hours walking each day. We would spend a night in the valley at both ends. Any thoughts on direction and routes that link in each of the above Refugios? Regards David

    • Hi David. Thanks for stopping by. Truth be told your possibilities in the Dolomites are endless and if you have map and decent map reading skills you can design your own itineraries just the way I designed these. You would have to be a little bit more detailed though when asking your question, because I don’t really understand your plan. You want to come from Vigo di Fassa which is fair enough, but Rifugio Tierser Alp is at the very end, and Vajolet which you mentioned last is the closest. But the most important question first, do you have an access to a Rosengarten map? Due to high demand and time squeeze, I also started offering trip consulting to my readers at a small charge. If you are interested you can contact me directly by e-mail via my contact page and I will tell you the details.

  25. Hi Marta, this is by far the most detailed post I have read about Alta Via 2. Thank you so much for putting so much effort sharing your experience! My family is planning to trek the middle part of Alta Via 2 this Summer. I am trying to book a room in advance in Passo San Pellegrino. However, it looks like at this time they don’t book anyone who stays there for just a night. They ask me to contact them again when it is closer to the dates. Any suggestions on that? Thanks!

    • Hi Yue. Thanks for stopping by. I probably wouldn’t wait until the last minute to book something. The two night minimum stay wasn’t the case when I hiked AV2. The good news is there are a few hotels on Passo San Pellegrino so you can book an alternative. I would appreciate it if you book through my affiliate link. Let me know if that helps!

  26. I want to hike AV1 and then directly from La Pissa (end of AV1) to Bressanone (start of AV2). Do you know the best way to from La Pissa to Bressanone? Thanks in advance.

    • Hey Bobby. Thanks for visiting. From La Pissa you can catch a public bus to Belluno then try and find a bus to Trento and from Trento travel up by train to Bressanone. Public transport info is hard to figure out, especially on a local level. Try Sued Tirol Mobil and my recommendation would also be to look for connections separately. So La Pisso – Belluno,
      Belluno – Trento, Trento – Bressanone. I would also recommend staying the night around Trento because the travel might take up the whole day. I hope that helps!

  27. Question for you and thank you for such a great guide. Can you recommend any alternatives to Rifugio Puez? I am doing a 4 day/3 night hike with my two teens. First two huts are Rifugio Plose, then Rifugio Genova and last night Puez. I am concerned with the very bad reviews and not able to reach them by phone. Could we hike further to a town or another hut? Any suggestions? Had considered cutting out the third night, but hate to miss anything epic. : ) Gary

    • Hi Gary. Thanks for visiting. Firstly what bad reviews? On google, they have 4 out of 5 stars. That’s pretty good to me:) Secondly, I am very surprised you managed to reach the other two huts by calling now. Usually, during the winter season when the huts are closed, the lines remain silent and the only way to book is via email. You sometimes have to be very patient with replies. It took me months to secure all the bookings and sometimes I waited weeks to receive a reply. It’s Italy after all 😉

      Last but not least if you want you could hike from rifugio Genoova to rifugio Firenze and then down the next day down to Ortisei. Genova and Firenze are closer to one another than Genova to Puez (around 2-2.5 hours of walking time) Once at rifugio Firenze you could drop your bags and hike up to the Seceda ridgeline viewpoint. That would be an extra 2 hours total going up and down. Or go up the Sass Rigais Summit which is a begginer via ferrata. It’s the highest summit of the Seceda ridgeline.

  28. Hi Marta,
    Thank you for all this incredible information! We are planning on part of the AV2 this summer (mid-July) and are researching different rifugios and distances now. Do you have a sense of the distance from Rifugio Genova to Passo Gardena and if that is feasible in 1 day? From Passo Gardena, we’re planning to stay at Rifugio Boe, then on to Rifugio Viel del Pan before heading to Malga Ciapela (taking the bus along the road) and then ending at Passo San Pellegrino. I’m waiting for the AV2 trail book to arrive but mail has been delayed so I thought I’d see if you had any suggestions 🙂 Thank you!!

    • Hi Liz. Thanks for visiting. Yes it would be totally doable to hike from rifugio Genova all the way to Passo Gardena in one day. Passo Gardena is around half way between rifugio Puez and rifugio Piscadiu so that would mean it would be extra 8 kilometres (5 miles) from rifugio Puez. That would mean around 20 km (12.5 miles) between rifugio Genova and Passo Gardena. Walking estimate would be 6 hours. Make sure to leave very early from rifugio Genova to make it to Passo Gardena before the afternoon storms roll in. Maybe getting breakfast to go (huts normally do offer that option) and skipping breakfast at the hut then getting a proper early lunch at rifugio Puez before continuing to Passo Gardena. Viel dal Pan all the way to Passo San Pellegrino in a day is a very big undertaking even if you do bus. On the other hand Boe to Viel Dal Pan will be easy. I would recommend staying at Passo Fedaia instead of Viel Dal Pan, even though Viel Dal Pan is in a great location.

      • Thanks so much, Marta! Your expert wisdom on this area is so helpful. Yes, we have heard that Viel Dal Pan is lovely, which is why we thought to stay there. Would you recommend ending in Passo Fedaia and spending an extra day checking out Marmolada or is the hike over to Passo San Pellegrino too good to miss? Thanks again for your inputs 🙂

        • No worries. If you are strong hikers you can hike from Viel Dal Pan to San Pellegrino and it’s a lovely quiet day. I’d stay stick to your plan!

          • What’s the approximate hiking distance, Viel Dal Pan to San Pellegrino, if we take the bus between Passo Fedaia and Malga Ciapela to cut down on km for the day? I guess the trick will be to start early enough that we can catch the bus and then have time for the hike over to San Pellegrino before afternoon storms. Thanks Marta!

          • Hi Liz. From Viel dal Pan to Passo Fedaia it is around 4 kilometers. From Passo Fedaia to Sann Pellegrino it is 24. But since you will be cutting some of those kilometers with a bus ride then, after giving it a second thought, it will be doable. Thanks for your support on Ko-Fi!

  29. Hello Marta,
    Well I’m back from my AV2 hike and it was more incredible than I imagined. I’ve travelled around the world quite a bit and the scenery on the AV2 is spectacular, and it seemed to get better each day. The Dolomites offered up a wide variety of weather. The morning leaving Passo San Pellegrino, we woke to 3″ of snow and up high snow depths were as high as 20 to 25″, which made going from Passo Valle to R. Mulaz interesting. I took 11 days to do the hike and you may remember I considered hiking from R. Cereda to Croce d’Aune because R. Boz was closed, thinking that a 20-mile day was tough but doable. I definitely learned my AV2 lesson. The miles on many sections of the AV2 are extremely tough and challenging. I ended up splitting the distance and staying at the winter hut at Boz.
    I want to thank you again for all your assistance and advice. It was a great trip and you contributed to that.

    • Hi Brand! So glad to hear you completed the AV2 safely. I have received lessons of humility from the mountains many times before, so don’t worry about not being able to complete Passo Cereda to Croce D’Aune in one day. If you did I would have been very impressed (and shocked 😉 I am glad you used the winter room to recover before the last stretch. The first snow arrived early this year but it’s all gone now, at least in Tirol, where I am now. I actually am thinking about heading to the Dolomites next week for a few days for the autumn colours. I hope you come back to the Dolomites for another trip! AV4 is a good one and I can’t recommend enough the Dolomiti Brenta Traverse. Thanks again for the feedback. Happy hiking.

  30. Hi,

    I’m debating doing the AV1 or the AV2 next year.
    Besides the view and difficulties (via Ferrata), which route would have better huts, particularly the food?


    • Hi Kevin, thanks for stopping by. It’s a tough one to ask because it is down to an individual hut. I had the best meals and the worse meals on AV1. The best was in Lagazuoi and Averau huts which are the most luxurious ones, the worse was rifugio Pramperet (but quite frankly they didn’t receive their food delivery on the day and had to cook whatever leftovers they had that day, so I think we were just unlucky). On AV2 I don’t remember being impressed with the food in any of the huts. The thing is, the food choices are always the same in most of the huts, so don’t expect michellin dining experience if you know what I mean 🙂

  31. Hi Marta!
    Thanks so much! Sorry for the late reply. I was off on a caribou hunt. Now time to get prepared and excited for the AV2.
    Best wishes,

  32. Hello Marta,
    A quick question please. Do you know what the water availability situation is between Rifugio Cereda and Croce D’Aune? If I can replenish my water during the day that would help lighten my load. I’ve tried to find out if R. Boz has water that is accessible, despite being closed, but have not been able to get this information.
    Thank you!

    • Hi Brand. There were streams between Passo Cereda and rifugio Boz, but after rifugio Boz there wasn’t much, as far as I recall. Also bear in mind that in September the streams can be very low on water. If you are doing the whole distance in a day make sure to bring enough. Another thing, even though the huts will be closed, you might still find the staff there as after the end of the season they usually spend a few days getting the hut ready for the shutdown. I actually once stayed in a refuge that was already officially closed, but they let us stay there, because they were still working on shutting the refuge down.

  33. Hello Marta,
    I’ve mostly finalized my AV2 itinerary, but have a couple more questions before I depart in about 4 weeks and would greatly appreciate your input.

    First, for my Day 3 from Rifugio Puez to Rifugio Pisciadu, I’m hoping to do the Via Ferrata Brigata Tridentata. I have reviewed your write up on the VFBT. I am trying to determine the best way to approach the VFBT from my route on the AV2. I’m wondering if there is a section (or sections) of the VFBT that are more interesting/pedestrian than others and am proposing a couple of route options.

    Option A (in no particular order of preference) would be to depart from the AV2 at Passo Gardena (Grödner Joch) via Path 650 to the carpark. I could then ascend the VF toward the Exner Tower to Rifugio Pisciadu. If I choose this option then I’d either have to stop at the refuge, and omit sections of the VF, or continue with the VF down toward Val Setus recognizing that I would have to retrace some of my route.

    Option B would be to take Path 666 toward Rifugio Pisciadu, then at the point where the VFBT intersects with the AV2 below the Val Setus descend to the carpark. At the carpark continue as described in Option A. With this option I’d be omitting or retracing the section between the refuge and the point where I departed the AV2.
    If you have other ideas, I’m of course interested in those! My thought is I would tackle the ascent of Cima Pisciadu the next day enroute to Rifugio Castiglioni.

    My second question regards what is termed the “old” or “alternative” AV2 route. This route departs from Rifugio Castiglioni and ascends towards Forchella Marmolada follows part of the Via Ferrata Punta Penia. This alternative route goes to Passo San Pellegrino too, but appears to travel through more scenic terrain compared to the route that goes through Passo Fedaia. I’ve mapped both routes (mileage & elevation gain/loss) to P. San Pellegrino and will talk with the folks at the R. Castiglioni when I arrive, but would appreciate your thoughts on the alternative route.

    You’ve been extremely generous with your time. Is there anyway I can compensate you for your assistance or donate to a favorite charity?
    Many thanks!

    • Hi Brand!

      I am not sure if you are using the map to plan your route, but there is no need to descend to the car park when you reach the fork on path 666 with Val Setus. At the fork/intersection you either have the option of going up to Val Setus, down to carpark ot straight to the start of VFBT. This is the way I took when I did the VFBT myself. I started at Passo Gardena. Here is the exerpt from my VFBT post: “If like me, you choose to start at Passo Gardena you will first need to follow the path no. 666 until you reach a fork at the bottom of Val Setus then continue onto path no. 29”

      Skip Val Setus all together, the best part of VFBT is the ascent to torre Exner and the little bridge then end at rifugio Piscadiu.

      Hiking from Rifugio Piscadiu to rifugio Castiglioni in one day is one heck of a day so extensions are very ambitious, but you might be super fit so I leave you to judge your abilities. However, what I recommend as extension on that day is not Cima Piscadiu but summit of Piz Boe.

      as for via ferrata Punta Penia, another reader just reported to me that due to the recent and tragic glacier collapse on Marmolada this route is currently closed. VF Punta Penia also requires crampons and ice axe and I am not sure if you would be up for carrying those through the whole AV2. I haven’t done that VF myself, but It is on my list.

      Now to your last question. Yes there is a way to support my work. Thank you for asking. If you go to the about me page at the very top there is a “support my work” button where you can make a contribution of your choice. I really appreciate it.

      Do let me know if you have any more questions! Happy hiking! Let me know how it goes!

      • Hi Marta,

        As always, thanks so much!

        Your input on the VF Brigada Tridentina is very helpful. I don’t have the paper maps, instead using CalTopo mapping program, and the lesser trails (e.g., 29) are not marked, but I did find it. And, I’ll prioritize the summit of Piz Boe over Cima Pisciadu.

        Regarding the Punta Penia route, no I won’t have crampons or ice ax and that’s good to know about the closure. I did contact the folks at Rifugio Castiglioni about the alternative AV2 route and they too confirmed its closure, but said the situation is changing and that it may reopen by September.

        As for the hike from R. Pisciadu to R. Castiglioni being a “heck of a day,” that is true. However, I just learned that my schedule won’t coincide with the weekend openings of R. Boe or R. Dal Piaz, so I’m going to have to hike from R. Cereda to Croce d’Aune in one 19+mi, ~8,000 elev. gain day!

        Best wishes and I’ll let you know how it goes,

        • Hey Brand. As long as you think you can do it then it’s ok, but yes it will be a heck of a day! FYI there is an escape route from R. Boz down into the valley should the weather turn bad. There is also an unmanned shelter called Bivacco Feltre should you want to break up the last day. It would require carrying food and a sleeping bag though. Something to consider. There is also an escape route from rifugio Boz to make the day shorter, but that would mean skipping the last day.

  34. Hi Marta,

    What a very extended guide. Extremely helpful, many thanks!

    I have a question regarding the Via Ferratas on this route. Can you tell me something about the difficulty level of the different via ferratas? How many are there on the route, where are they, is there an overview of that? I have also read that there are sometimes options to walk around a via ferrata section. To what extend is that true and doable?

    KR. Erik

    • Hi Erik. Thanks for stopping by. All via ferrata sections on AV2 are beginner level, but you still should bring via ferrata gear with you. If you wanted to skip them you would really have to do quite a few extra kilometres and most are actually not possible to skip, unless you were completely rerouting. As for the question: where are they” I do say in each day description whether there is a via ferrata or not, so I recommend diving deeper into reading the article 😉 Most sections are short, but they can be very intense. The most difficult one is on the approach to rifugio Piscadiu and the last day has some very precarious sections too.

      If you are not keen on via ferratas I highly recommend AV1 which doesn’t contain any (unless you were interested in doing them as extensions). Let me know if I can help any further!

      • Thanks a lot! The fact that all the sections are beginner level is comforting. When you Google Via Ferrata the amount of nerves you need is quite different per route. The are quite terrifying via ferrata routes I’ve seen… 🙂

        Another question. Do you know if there is a GPX file of the route, which you can include in Komoot or maps.me?

        • Hi Erik. Even though they are beginner level I still recommend bringing VF gear. As for the GPX files, I am afraid I can’t help you here. Good luck on AV2! let me know how it went!

  35. Hi Marta,

    Excellent website, so glad I found it!

    I’m planning a trip to the Dolomites in 2023 and need help choosing between AV1/AV2 or both. Using visual beauty/interest as the main consideration, are the two routes different enough where it becomes worth doing both of them, or if not and you only had time for one which would you choose.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Rakim. Thanks for visiting. The routes are completely different yet they do run across the same mountain range. If you want two completely different routes try AV1 or AV2 plus the Dolomiti Brenta Traverse. Do bear in mind that AV2 and Brenta Traverse have via ferratas incorporated in them so you will need proper VF equipment and have the ability to use it. I hope that helps. You can find the Dolomiti Brenta traverse under the hut to hut category in my Italian Dolomites guide.

    • Hi Marta,

      A big, big thank you for your detailled and helpful guide! Its amazing. We are planning on walking half of the AV2 and your recommendations, also for extensions, are very useful.
      I’m having some trouble finding info online about bus routes and times. Up till rif. Castiglioni we’re planning on pretty much following your guide and rifugio choices. For our last two days we want to walk from rif. Castiglioni to rif. Contrin, and the last day from Contrin to San Pellegrino. That last day should be around 4,5h walking, according to another website. Do you know how easy it is to get back to Brixen from San Pellegrino by public transport and how long this approximitely takes?

      Thanks a lot in advance!

      • Hi Mirjam. Thanks for visiting. I just checked the connection on google maps by simply typing Passo San Pellegrino and Brixen and choosing public transport. The shows 2h 40 mins an estimated travel time. first a bus to Moena then another bus to Vigo Di Fassa and the third bus to Bolzano. from Bolzano, it’s a 30-minute train ride to Bressanone. I hope that helps!

  36. Marta, hi! First of all, thank you so much for bringing all this info together, that is so helpful, incredible!

    I have a question regarding the water supply in alta via 2 (sorry if I missed it in the articles). As I understand, most of the trail goes above the treeline and there is not much supply of drinkable water (rivers/streams). I was considering taking a filter device (Sawyer), but now – unsure.

    Also, if the weight and space allow, would you recommend taking 2 ceparate pair of shoes (hiking and approach), or that is unnecessary?

    Thank you in advance

    • Hi Vitalii. Thanks for visiting. Do check out my post about everything to know about staying in mountain huts in the Dolomites for the first time. It will answer your question about the water. You are certainly right, there aren’t many possibilities to fill up the water on the trails, but huts are a great point to do that. As for the boots, it’s up to you. I prefer to go as light as possible so only had my hiking boots with me. There were times when my feet were very hot in those, but I think I still prefer a lighter backpack than carrying two pairs of shoes 🙂

  37. Hello Marta,
    First, I just want to complement you on your wonderful site and thank you for providing this service.
    I will be in Europe late summer and have about 12 days for a solo hike 12-24 September. After dismissing routes such as Tour du Monte Blanc and the Haute Route because crowds and other factors, I focused on the Dolomites and the AV2. However, I then found your site and the AV4 and potentially the Dolomiti Brenta Traverse, two of your favorite hikes. What was it about these two that you liked over others? I’m considering various route options, which are in part based on comments from your site and would appreciate your input.
    Option 1 – Entire AV2;
    Option 2 – Southern half of AV2 and AV4 (I realize #2 and #3 would require getting transport between the routes);
    Option 3 – AV4 and Dolomiti Brenta Traverse.
    I should note that I try to avoid crowded trails whenever possible. Also, incorporating some Via Ferratas into the hike sounds fun; however, for a given route, I wouldn’t want to spend more than say 10-15% of my time on the Ferrata. I’m really just looking forward to great scenery, some ridge walks, bagging a few peaks, and experiencing the huts.
    Thanks again!

    • Hi Brand! Thanks for stopping by and your compliment! I really appreciate it. I loved AV4 and Dolomiti Brenta because of the challenge it brought (lots of via ferratas) as well as lesser crowds, especially in the Brenta Group. With that said Alta Via 2 is absolutely fantastic and I reckon it would be the best choice and also the most straightforward choice for you. In September AV2 will be very quiet already, just make sure to double-check that the huts towards the end will still be open (I reckon they should be). You have lots of VF extension options on AV2 if you would like to add some cable time. You can also do some variations of it, for example when crossing Passo Gardena you can reach rifugio Piscadiu via via ferrata Brigata Tridentina which runs parallel to the original route. On AV2 you will also get the most chance to stand on a few summits, Dolomiti Brenta Traverse doesn’t offer that. I hope that will help you make a decision! I can assure you though, that whatever you will choose you will have tons of fun! Let me know if you have more questions!

      • Hi Marta,
        Thanks so much for your input. It is very helpful! I don’t have any additional questions at this time, but may reach out again.

          • Hello Again Marta,
            I’m about 8 weeks away from departure for my AV2 trip and have another question. In your website about the AV2 you recommend purchasing the five Tabacco maps. I’m wondering if this is really necessary, since I’ll likely not use them again after this trip. I have been able to download GPS tracks for the entire route, spurs, and Via Ferratas. Here in Alaska, and elsewhere, when I hike and backpack I rely almost entirely on the use of my phone and downloaded GPS tracks. I’m unclear why things would be different on the AV2.
            Your input is much appreciated,

          • Hi Brand! I am stoked to hear you are doing the AV2. As for your question, the maps are a recommendation not a must-have. If you think you will be fine with the GPX data and this is your preferred way then that’s totally ok. There is no one perfect way to do a hike. Some people prefer apples, others oranges 🙂 Fingers crossed for beautiful weather on your traverse! Have an amazing time and let me know if you have any more questions!

          • Hi Marta,
            Wow! I’m so impressed with your thoughtful responses and your quick response time.
            I am looking forward to the trip. Thanks for all the help in the planning stages!

  38. Hi Marta, thanks for the excellent explanation in this post. I’m 72 and I’m planning to climb the first half of AV2 alone. Last September I’ve climbed the Berliner High Trail, and before have done 8-dayStubai trekking, 9-day Tour du Mont Blanc and many others by myself. Do you think it’s too crazy to challenge AV2 by myself at this stage?

    • Hi Jacy! Thanks for stopping by and love what you do. If you have TMB behind you and have done trekking in Austria then you are certainly fit and can tackle AV2. The only difference you might find is some sections that have cables in them and at the very least you should carry a helmet for them with you, but I would also highly recommend packing a harness and a lanyard so you can stay attached to those cables for your own safety. The first time I walked a part of AV2 I met a group of Irish friends who were all in their late 60’s and early 70’s and were hiking the whole AV2 together. The first half of AV2 is busier too so you will certainly meet people along the way. If you feel fit I’d say go for it!

      • Hi Marta, many thanks for your encouragement. I actually have already booked flights and accommodation in Verona ,and, as an extra prize, booked the opera in the Arena. Tomorrow I’ll book one night in Brixen and the huts. Hope they still have some place for me. All the very best and wonderful hikes on your way!

  39. Just curious….we are hoping to hike the AV2 this summer, do you think pre-booking all of the rifugios is necessary?

    • Hi Judy. I’d say it’s definitely a good idea to prebook the huts all the way to rifugio Rosetta. After that, the traffic slows down a lot and reservations are hardly needed. Also, weekends tend to be busier in the huts. In September you can wing it without reservations and just book on the go. I hope that helps!

  40. Hi! Thanks so much for your post. A friend and I want to do the Alta 2 at the beginning of August but don’t have time to do the whole thing. Is there a more scenic/alpine half? We are looking to do around 100km of the trail. Thanks!

    • Hi Emma. Thanks for stopping by. It’s a hard question. It’s all scenic. I’d say if you are after more solitude and a bigger challenge then do the second half of AV2. If you feel a bit comfier when there are more people on the trail then go for the first half. If I was to choose my favourite parts of AV2 it would be 1. The extension to Sass Di Putia. 2. Crossing Sella Group, 3. Crossing the Pale Di San Martino Range. Maybe Try Passo Gardena to either San Martino Di Castrozza or Passo Gardena to Passo Cereda and bus to Fiera di Primero? I hope that helps!

  41. Hi I am planning a trip to the dolomites this summer and looking for some advice on the via ferrata sections.

    My group are fairly experienced hikers, but we have never hiked via ferrata before. Are the via ferrata on alta via 2 essential parts of the trek? Or, are these all optional/add ons? Is it immature of us to think we can navigate them ourselves if we bring the right gear? Or would this be erring on the dangerous side?

    Thanks so much in advance for your help!


    • Hi Mer. Thanks for stopping by and for your question. Yes the via ferratas are a part of AV2 but they are also beginner via ferratas and there aren’t many of them, nor are they very long. A friend of mine who did AV2 with me has never done any via ferratas before and she tackled them with zero issues. As long as you have the safety equipment with you and know how to use it you will be absolutely fine. I have seen many people tackling those sections without any gear whatsoever, but It’s not something I would encourage. Too much loose rock flying around. I have a beginner’s guide to via ferrata climbing in the Italian Dolomites which I would recommend that you check out. Let me know if I can help any further!

  42. Hi Marta,

    Oh wow! Your website is awesome!

    Myself and my partner are planning a 3 month trekking adventure in Europe. We are keen to do AV2 but are wondering what grade difficulty the via ferrata ranges from?


  43. Hi Marta – we are planning to do the Alta Via 2 trek and have found your website extremely helpful! Just recently though, something seems to have happened with the site – the photos are not showing up and the interactive map does not appear to be the right one. Are you doing some work on the site? We were hoping to use the interactive map in our planning.
    Thanks for taking a look! And also for putting this together!

    • Hi Yasmin! Thanks for stopping by. Yes I have migrated my website to wordpress and still working to get everything up to speed including the photos and the maps as they haven’t been working properly. Please give me a few days and I will set this up. In the meantime if you have any questions do let me know! I will be happy to help!

      • Thanks for the quick reply, Marta! That’s great to know – take your time. Thanks so much!
        Actually we do have one question for you – we’d like to hike Marmolada and visit the museum on a ‘rest day’. Where is the best place to stay? Do you recommend staying in one place for 2 nights? Any advice would be great!

        • Thanks Yasmin. After hiking to Passo Fedaia you can catch the bus on the same day down to Malga Ciapella and stay the night there, then early the next day do the trip up Marmolada and continue hiking to Passo San Pellegrino. To be fair the stage between Passo Fedaia and Malga Ciapella is the worst of the whole trek, because one has to hike along the road, so you won’t be missing out if you skip it and take the bus. You will also cut a signifcant amount of distance between Passo Fedaia and Passo San Pellegrino. If you stay one night in a hotel in Malgda Ciapella and one night in a hotel on Passo San Pellegrino then you might feel well rested. If you do however need a proper day’s rest then I would recommend staying 2 nights on Passo San Pellegrino (better views) or on day 8 after reaching rifugio Rosetta, skip the night staying in the refuge and just take the Rosetta gondola down to San Martino Di Castrozza, where you have access to many hotels and restaurants. Then the next day you can take the gondola back up and continue as normal to either rifugio Pradidali or straight to rifugio Treviso. Let me know if that helps and if you have more questions!

      • Hi Marta,
        Do you know of any group that has done this route this year? I heard from my friend who has a house in Agordo, that there was significant rockfall on part of this route. Just concerned about the stability of Rock walls above the paths.

        • Hi Aquil. No unfortunately I don’t. A lot of the passages on AV2 do involve scrambling and via ferrata sections hence in my packing guide I recommend bringing at the very least helmet with you. I was schocked how many people didn’t have helmets with them, not to mention a harness and a lanyard. I always say that once has to be really humble in the mountains.

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