Photo: Pio Geminiani - Trentino Sviluppo SpA
Photo: Pio Geminiani - Trentino Sviluppo SpA
Italy, France, Austria and Switzerland are part of the Schengen Area that includes many European countries with a unified regulation on entry and movement. Citizens of certain countries must hold a short stay Schengen visa.
Your trip package includes a booking confirmation for all days of your trip. If you need a Schengen visa, you can enclose your booking confirmation with your visa application.
Regardless of whether you need a visa, there are requirements your passport must meet. Your passport must have been issued within the last 10 years and it must be valid for at least 3 months beyond the date on which you intend to leave the Schengen territory. Other conditions may apply depending on your citizenship and other factors. For complete information on passport and entry requirements you can contact an Italian, French, Swiss or Austrian consulate in your country or visit https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/what-we-do/policies/borders-and-visas/visa-policy_en.
It is necessary to have an appropriate travel/health insurance that covers the hiking activity in the mountains. Including the climbing activity in your insurance is not necessary unless you are planning to climb during your trip. Your insurance provider may ask you to specify the maximum altitude of your itinerary. You can find this information in your trip documents. In addition, there are formal requirements your insurance must meet which are defined in the Schengen visa policy and are available at https://ec.europa.eu/home-affairs/what-we-do/policies/borders-and-visas/visa-policy/required_documents_en.
You will receive detailed information on how to reach your base camp location by public transport when you book a trip. In many regions, the summer timetables are released in the middle of June. We update our transportation guidelines as soon as the timetables become available and email them to our guests. Earlier, when the summer timetables are not available, we can advise on the transportation and provide you with the guidelines from the previous year, as the logistics does not change significantly from year to year. When you need to book the flights, we recommend contacting us first: we can advise on the suitable arrival times to make sure you will reach your base hotel on the same day.
April and even May is too early for hiking in the Alps. Mountain passes and many trails above the forest line are not accessible due to snow, and mountain huts are closed. The hiking season starts in the middle of June. In the Dolomites, the earliest accessible itineraries are Val Gardena and Alpe di Siusi and Alta Via No.1 Northern Trek. To learn more about the hiking season in theDolomites, please read When is it Best to Hike in the Dolomites?.
Reliable water springs are extremely rare in most regions. Sanitizing the natural water from streams and using it for drinking while hiking is highly uncommon in the Alps. We do not recommend it. Moreover, there are large areas poor with water, such as the Dolomites and the mountains of Northern Garda.
Mountain huts sell water in plastic bottles. A typical cost is 1 euro for a 0,5-liter bottle. Normally, tap water at huts is not certified but is good for drinking, thus you will see many other hikers refilling their bottles. We strongly recommend asking the personnel first whether the tap water in the hut is drinkable.
The amount of water one needs for a day of walking depends on individual needs and on the weather conditions. We recommend carrying at least the volume corresponding to your minimal daily consumption so that you do not need to rely on any sources of water along the route. This is especially important at the beginning and at the end of the season when many huts are closed.
In the alpine regions where we organize our hiking trips, there is stable mobile network coverage in the valleys and discontinuous coverage at higher altitudes. As a rule, the coverage is weaker in the most remote regions, such as the Friuli Dolomites and Ortler.
We suggest that at least one member of your group or family has an international plan activated for his or her mobile phone. If you travel solo, we strongly recommend it. Please make sure you provided us with the correct mobile phone number of all members of your group. Possible situations when we may be trying to reach you during your trip are unfavorable weather conditions and unanticipated changes in bus or train timetables that may affect your travel.
There is at least an emergency communication line at all mountain huts. Internet connection with WiFi is available just at some huts and is provided “as is”, i.e. it is not guaranteed.
As our guided trips are normally private, we will propose a meeting location and time based on the logistics for the trip and on your preferences. As a rule, on a multi-day trip, you will meet your guide at your base camp hotel in the evening upon arrival. On a one-day hike, your guide will normally pick you up at your hotel in the morning.
Mountain huts offer similar services to those of a simple hotel. Huts in the Alps are manned. Typically, there are shared dormitories as well private rooms for 2, 3 or 4 guests, but not all huts have private rooms. Bedrooms are equipped with normal or bunk beds, mattresses, pillows and blankets. A hygienic sleeping bag liner is required in shared bedrooms, while you can count on bed linen in private rooms at most huts – we provide you with such details in advance. Many huts are equipped with a heating system, but it is used moderately, because it is often autonomous. There is hot and cold water in the huts. With a rare exception, almost all huts feature hot showers. In general, mountain huts serve a simple breakfast and a hearty dinner - included in the cost of our trips. For details on the mountain huts, please visit Mountain Huts in the Alps.
You can leave your non-hiking luggage in the base camp hotel while you are hiking. It will be stored safely. We make appropriate agreements for this with all our base camp hotels. If your hiking itinerary finishes in a different location (for example Alta Via No.1), we transport your non-hiking luggage to your base camp hotel in the destination. There is no supplement for this service - it is included in the cost of your trip. You will be provided with bag tags in your trip package on such itineraries.
Normally, on a self-guided hike, you will not meet MONT Trekking representatives. We make the arrangements for your trip in advance so that you find everything in order and planned when you arrive in your base camp location. You will collect your trip package at the hotel’s reception upon check-in. Typically, a trip package includes the maps, itinerary and hiking schedule, bag tags if your luggage has to be transported by us, useful local information (restaurants, shops, pharmacies, attractions, etc.), complimentary waterproof cases (for maps, documents, etc.), local timetables, and other items depending on the trip. If any questions arise during your trip, we have a 24h support line +39 0463 636118. In parallel, we are regularly in contact with the management of our base camp hotels to be sure our guests arrived as planned, received the trip package and are comfortable.
Overall, very few huts accept cards. A greater percentage of huts along more popular itineraries accept cards, such as Alta Via No.1 Northern Trek and Fassa Dolomites. Possibility of a card payment relies on the internet connectivity at huts which may be temporarily unavailable thus making cash payment the only possible method.
You need euros in cash (Swiss francs in Switzerland) to pay for optional services and tourist tax at most huts. 25-35 euros per person per day is sufficient for most hikers. Typical costs at huts: lunch (consider 7-9 euros for a pasta), drinks at dinner (2 euros for a cup of tea or coffee, 3-4 euros for a beer or a glass of wine, 15-20 euros for a bottle of wine), shower (3-5 euros on an average, included in the cost of the trip at some huts), tourist tax (0,20 - 0,70 euros). In addition, you may be buying take away snacks and water at huts along your route.