Experience the quieter section of Alta Via 1
Get up close views of Cinque Torri
Admire the lush green alpine meadows at Passo Giau
Indulge in authentic Italian meals at traditional rifugios
Starting in Cortina d’Ampezzo, you can take a local bus up the Falzarego mountain pass and start hiking there. You will follow a forest path past the fascinating rock towers of Cinque Torri until you reach Rifugio Nuvolau. Boasting a spectacular view from its ridge, it allows you to see the peaks across the valley of Cortina. Hiking from Cortina adds 10 kilometers and 1000 meters of elevation to your day.
5.5 km and 610 m of elevation gain / 185 m of elevation loss
By following the same route along the ridge that you took yesterday, you will descend below it and pass through the picturesque Passo Giau, where alpine meadows provide grazing grounds for cattle.
The path will continue with a series of ascents and descents, surrounded by green meadows and offering an unobstructed view of the mountain summits. Above all of them stands the magnificent Monte Pelmo with its twin peaks. You will spend the night at Rifugio Citta di Fiume, situated in the shadow of this imposing mountain.
Rifugio Citta di Fiume
15 km and 570 m of elevation gain / 1200 m of elevation loss
The day’s trek commences with a descent to Passo Staulanza and gradually intensifies with a strenuous ascent to the Forcella Coldai mountain pass. Following that, you will make your way beneath the majestic Monte Civetta, an iconic symbol of the Dolomites. As you descend slowly and reach an elevation of 1800 meters, you will arrive at Rifugio Vazzoler, surrounded by a serene pine forest.
18 km and 940 m of elevation gain and 1130 m of elevation loss
Today’s stage is slightly shorter than some of the last ones, and it begins with a 300-meter descent before climbing to the Forcella del Camp mountain pass on the southern side of the Civetta massif. Steep rockfaces will keep you company from above as you follow the trail to Rifugio Carestiato, lying above Passo Duran, where you’ll descend tomorrow.
9 km and 620 m of elevation gain / 530 m of elevation loss
The day begins with a descent to Passo Duran. Southbound, you will initially follow the road, but not for long. As you climb over the first ridge, a new valley will open up before you and uncover the traversing path beneath the Tamer Grande mountain peak. As kilometers pass, you will feel like you are entering a new world with grassy ridges all around you. You’ll end your day at Rifugio Sommariva al Pramperet.
Rifugio Sommariva al Pramperet
12.8 km and 700 m of elevation gain / 650 m of elevation loss
Today presents one of the last real challenges of Alta Via 1. Although the path is not technically demanding, crossing Cima de Zita still calls for some added caution, but following that climb, you only have to descend through a funnel-shaped landscape, past Rifugio Pian de Fontana, and continue downwards until you reach Refuge Furio Bianchet, your hut for the last night on Alta Via 1.
Rifugio Furio Bianchet
11 km and 800 m of elevation gain / 1400 m of elevation loss
On your last day, you only need to descend to La Stanga in Val Cordevole, where you can catch a bus to Belluno. The path is not demanding as you will avoid the via ferrata section across the Schiara massif, making this stage a suitable last day to ease you back into life outside the mountains.
6.8 km and 45 m of elevation gain / 855 m of elevation loss
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A Thorough Dive Into Everything About Alta Via 1
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Alta Via 1 is an iconic hiking trail that takes approximately nine days to complete. It offers some of the most stunning views of the Dolomite mountain range, passing through rugged terrain, alpine meadows, and high mountain passes.
However, for those who find the entire hike too daunting or time-consuming, there is a shorter version of the trail available. The six stages south of Cortina d’Ampezzo offer a less intense challenge, covering 86 kilometers and 2600 meters of elevation gain over six days. While this is still a demanding hike, it is more manageable for those who want to experience the beauty of Alta Via 1 without committing to the full nine-day journey.
This part of Alta Via 1 includes some of the Dolomites’ most famous landmarks, such as the iconic Cinque Torri and Monte Civetta. You will also get to experience the green alpine meadows of Passo Giau, which is known for its breathtaking vistas.
One of the main advantages of the southern part of Alta Via 1 is that it tends to be less crowded than the northern portion, giving hikers the chance to appreciate the Dolomites’ beauty without any distractions.
During your hike, all your accommodations at authentic rifugios will be booked, and you will receive support along the way. You will also receive a detailed written guide with a day-by-day itinerary and a precise GPS track of the planned route before setting off.
If you’ve never had the chance to explore the Dolomites before, hiking the southern part of Alta Via 1 is an excellent opportunity to experience its unparalleled beauty and challenge yourself in a spectacular natural setting.
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