Group at start of Dolomites Alta Via 1
Group at summit cross
Sharing a beer at the end of a good hike.
hiking down on the Dolomites Alta Via 1
Dolomites Hikers
Dolomites Hut Hike
Coffee and apple tart
Rifugio Tisi, Alta Via 1

The Dolomites' Alta Via 1 Hut-to-Hut

Hike Italy's premier long-distance route through the Dolomites

Trip Details

Location Northern Italy
Length 9 days
Grades Strenuous, Strenuous Plus
Accommodations Hotels, Mountain Huts
Group size 5 - 10
Sep 12, 2024 - Sep 20, 2024
Land Cost
Single Supp Cost

Hiking Trip Summary

From soaring rock towers to grassy alpine meadows, the Italian Dolomites offer some of the most dramatic, exciting, and challenging hiking in the Alps. Strikingly different from the French or Swiss Alps, the limestone Dolomites rise dramatically from narrow valleys to form impressive spires, canyons, sheer rock walls rising 3,000', and huge limestone plateaus. 

The Dolomites were once submerged under a coral sea, which led to the gradual formation of layers of sediments: limy mud, sand, silt, and clay. These elements combined with massive forces of the earth's shifting crust resulted in the formation of the Dolomites. Since that time many, many millions of years ago, the Dolomites have been worn to their present state by glaciation, erosion, frost, wind, and rain. More recently in social history, this region saw heavy fighting during World War I, and remnants of this are still very apparent. Three languages are spoken in this area: German, Italian, and Ladin, an old dialect that came to the area from northern regions.

Beginning in the Italian Sud Tirol, our Hut-to-Hut Hiking in the Dolomites trip will take us south along the famed high route, the Alta Via 1, through the Pragser, Tofana, and Civetta mountain groups. The impressiveness of the scenery and the variety of terrain along this route are matched only by the warmth and hospitality of the rifugio and hotels. The unusual contrasts in landscapes and a curious mix of Italian and Austrian influences can only mean fantastic hiking and plenty of pasta! 

This linear trip is a great hike highlighted by breathtaking views, rustic and lively mountain refuges, a sense of excitement of what lies around the next bend or the next pass, and the satisfaction of traveling by foot through this beautiful and remote area. 



Show itinerary

Additional Information


If you wish to have your own room in the hotels there is a single supplement charge. Please let us know if you would like a single at the time of registration. Single rooms are limited.

If you are traveling alone and would like to share a room, we will match you with a roommate. If there is no one with whom you can share, there is a forced single charge of $200. Please note overnights, with the exception of Cortina, San Cassiano, and Forno di Zoldo, will be shared bunkrooms. 


  • All accommodations
  • All breakfasts 
  • All dinners
  • Sandwiches for picnic lunches purchased at the rifugio 
  • Group transfer from Forno di Zoldo to the Venice Airport on the last day.  
  • One luggage transfer from Cortina to Staulanza and from Staulanza to Forno di Zoldo
  • All ski lift and transfers as per itinerary
  • Guides 
  • Lots of great hiking


Airfare, travel to Cortina, the starting point or transport from the ending point which is the Venice Airport, lunches at resturants, fee to spas or saunas, optional/individual transfers or excursions, items not on set dinner menu, bottled water, beverages, tips to guides or leaders, insurance, items of personal nature (phone calls, laundry, passport fees, etc.). Allow roughly $175 - $375 in additional costs.


Our extra luggage will meet us once partway through the trip. Luggage will be transferred from Cortina to Staulanza, where you will be able to swap out items. Once we depart Staulanza, our extra luggage will then be transferred to our hotel in Forno di Zoldo. This exchange or resupply allows us to keep our packs a bit lighter. Other than this one transfer, hikers will need to carry their personal items with them. (See our sample packing list.) With advances in synthetic clothing and other travel gear, it’s possible to keep your pack weight to about 15 lbs., including lunch and water.


Hotels: In Cortina, we stay at a friendly hotel, all rooms with private baths. It is located within easy walking distance to the center of town. In Forno di Zoldo we stay at family-run hotel located in the center of this pretty village. All rooms with private bathrooms. 

Rifugios (mountain huts): A rifugio is a mountain “lodge” that offers simple overnight accommodations for hikers. The rifugios can vary greatly depending on where they are located; however, they all are situated in amazing places. We will stay in bunkrooms for 4 – 8 persons or in private twin/double rooms.  Staulanza is a small, simple inn with rooms for 3 or 4 hikers.

  • Rifugios Fodara, Scotoni, Cinque Torri, and Staulanza are more like simple mountain inns and have spacious and nice bunks rooms (top and bottom beds) that sleep from 4 – 6 persons. They have very nice shared bathrooms, with hot showers. Blankets, pillows, and a bath towel are provided at each of these rifugios.  
  • Rifugios Tissi and Carestiato are rustic rifugios, basic and simple. They have a larger bunkroom of up to 8 persons and shared facilities including showers. There are blankets and pillows on each bunk. Towels are not provided. A sleep sheet is required though you can purchase one at Tissi for about 6 euro and use it at Carestiato as well. 

All the rifugios have warm and cozy dining areas where dinners and breakfasts are served. (The food is quite good!) All rifugios have outdoor areas, where you can admire the view and relax over a cappuccino or a cold beer after your hike. Each rifugio has its own charm, unique character, and spectacular view! 

The atmosphere is friendly and jovial as hikers from many countries gather to spend the night. We believe that staying in the huts offers a wonderful opportunity to meet hikers from other parts of the world, experience something new and wonderful, and take part in the simple tradition of the European style of hiking hut-to-hut.

Meals:  The hotels offer a large breakfast buffet and most rifugios provide is a breakfast buffet as well, but it is smaller generally including hot drinks, juice, bread, jams, cheese, ham, yogurt, and cereal; sometimes fruit and hard-boiled eggs. 

Lunches will be mostly picnic-style on the trail. You will be able to buy simple sandwiches at the rifugios each day:  cheese, ham or salami and other snacks. One or two days we will be able to have lunch at a mountain restaurant. While you can get some snacks at the rifugios and other food at local stores before you begin your hike, some carry their favorite snacks from home. Fresh fruit is generally not available at the rifugios. 

Dinners at the rifugios are usually served at 7:00. There is one sitting and the menu is set, though you will have some choices. The meals are ample and very good with the first course often pasta or soup, followed by the main course normally a meat dish: beef or pork. Vegetarian meals will be made up of two first courses: vegetable soup followed by pasta. Please note: Some rifugios have very limited (or none at all) fresh fruit and vegetable options, they simply cannot resupply and store fresh items easily.  


Cortina is easy to access from several airports, but we recommend flying to Venice (Marco Polo) as a first choice. Once in Venice, you can take a bus to Cortina. The buses depart roughly every two hours from the Venice Airport and travel to Cortina; travel time is about 2 1/2 - 3 hours. The buses arrive at the main bus station Cortina, from where it's a short walk to the hotel. We'll provide very detailed travel information about getting to Cortina.


Our Hut-to-hut Hiking in the Dolomites trip is perfect for those strong hikers looking for a challenging and varied hiking experience along one of Italy's classic long-distance routes.  It's a great trip for those who are intrigued by the idea of hiking from one mountain hut to the next and the cultural experience of staying at Italian rifugios. This hiking area is strikingly different from the French or Swiss Alps. The red, yellow, and orange rock faces of the Dolomites towering limestone peaks are nothing short of dazzling. For every avid mountain hiker,  the Alta Via 1 is a route not to miss! 


We will meet on Day 1 at 6:30 pm at the hotel in Cortina. Please contact us for detailed travel information regarding travel to Cortina.


The trip will end with a group transfer to Venice Airport. Departure time from the hotel in Forno di Zoldo is 6:30 am. Travel time is about 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Please allow for travel time when making plans.


If you would like to register or would like to receive more information, including a detailed itinerary (including elevation gains, loss, and distance), please contact us. We're also happy to supply a list of past participants willing to share their honest insights into this guided Hut-to-Hut Hiking in the Dolomites experience.

Reserving This Trip

A deposit of $500 along with your completed registration forms will reserve a space on your requested trip. We accept MasterCard, Visa, and American Express card as well as personal checks. To make a deposit, you may either follow one of the “Reserve a Trip” links below, give us a call at 1-888-845-5781, or include your payment information in the area provided when completing your registration forms.

The balance is due 90 days prior to departure for most of our trips. When applying less than 75 days prior to departure, full payment is due. For final payments, we accept MasterCard, Visa, and American Express, as well as personal checks.

As confirmation of receipt of your deposit, we will send you a comprehensive packet of information pertaining to your trip, an invoice for final payment and additional information including release agreement form, medical information form, travel information, and packing list. Upon receipt of final payment and no later than 30 days prior to your trip start, you will receive trip rendezvous information and a list of accommodations. Returning trip participants will receive a 5% discount on most trips.

Receipt of all forms will finalize your registration.

Reserve Your Spot
The Dolomites' Alta Via 1 Hut-to-Hut map click map to zoom

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Distant Journeys rocks! You have all the details covered. Very creative and well planned itinerary. Very professional.

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