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Hiking in the Dolomites of Cortina d'Ampezzo

Highlights

  • Reach the most famous spots of Alta Via N.1 and N.4 in a single trip

  • See the impressive landmarks of the Dolomites – Tre Cime, Lagazuoi, Cinque Torri

  • Sleep in comfortable huts with a possibility of private rooms and enjoy good meals

  • Explore the wilderness of the Fanes-Sennes-Braies Nature Park

  • Take great pictures at the Dolomites' famous sunsets thanks to the favorable locations of the huts

  • Hike to the top of Croda del Becco for a phenomenal panorama

Description

The Dolomites framing Cortina d'Ampezzo are acclaimed as one of the most visually stunning and frequently visited regions of the Alps. It is home to several remarkable landmarks, each one of them worthy of a separate hike. These are the Cinque Torri (Five Towers) and Tre Cime di Lavaredo (Three Peaks of Lavaredo) groups, the Lagazuoi Peak offering breathtaking panoramic views of the Dolomites, and three nature parks stretching over the Dolomite ranges around Cortina.

This loop itinerary combines the major highlights of the two High Routes of the Dolomites: Alta Via N.1 and Alta Via N.4. The basecamp is right in Cortina. At the beginning of the hike you reach the Five Towers group, and from there you walk clockwise through the mountains that surround Cortina. Once you go up into the Lagazuoi Peak area, the itinerary follows the Alta Via N.1 hiking trail and wanders deeper into South Tyrol and the Fanes-Sennes-Braies Nature Park. The Tre Cime group and the Alta Via N.4 trails are at a two-day distance from Fanes-Sennes-Braies: the connecting trails go around the red-colored Croda Rossa massif. The last overnight stop of this hike is at the foot of the Three Peaks of Lavaredo – the calling card of the Dolomites and a magnet for photography enthusiasts from all over Europe and the world.

This truly exciting and unforgettable trip is available to hikers with a prior mountain hiking experience. Good physical shape is a must as several day crossings of this hike are relatively long. Overall, the itinerary consists of 5 to 7-hour daytime treks, which leaves some time for rest and photo opportunities. You overnight at serviced mountain huts which are of a very good standard on this route.

Trip Overview

StyleHut to Hut Hiking

DifficultyLevel 3

Activity4 - 8 hiking days

Tour Duration6 - 10 days / 5 - 9 nights

Start / FinishCortina d'Ampezzo

Self Guided Hiking

6 Day Self Guided Tour
€ 650
Jun 12 - Oct 17
7 Day Self Guided Tour
€ 740
Jun 12 - Sep 28
8 Day Self Guided Tour
€ 830
Jun 12 - Sep 28
10 Day Self Guided Tour
€ 1140
Jun 12 - Sep 28

Guided Hiking

6 Day Guided Tour
€ 1190
Jun 12 - Oct 17
7 Day Guided Tour
€ 1430
Jun 12 - Sep 28
8 Day Guided Tour
€ 1680
Jun 12 - Sep 28
10 Day Guided Tour
€ 2420
Jun 12 - Sep 28

Note

This is a private tour on the dates of your choice.

Validity of prices: Summer 2020.

Self-guided tour: supplement € 80 - € 210 applies to one-person bookings.

Guided tour: minimum 4 participants.

Photos from this trip

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Primary Itinerary: 8 Day Tour

Day 1: Cortina d'Ampezzo

You arrive in Cortina d'Ampezzo on your own, check in at the hotel and rest. Cortina is one of the most spectacular Alpine resorts perched at 1,200 meters above sea level amid several Dolomite ranges. Here you can spend the rest of the day after your arrival enjoying a stroll through the pedestrian area and admiring the sunset over the Dolomites on a warm summer night.

Day 2: Lake Federa and Cinque Torri

Ascent 980 m. Descent 560 m. Distance 15 km. Walking time 7 hours.

On the first day of the hike you cross the green belt and ascend into the region of Alpine meadows at 1,800 to 2,200 m. Today's hiking route takes you past two notable landmarks – Lake Federa and the Cinque Torri group. The lake reveals a riveting panorama of the Sorapis and Cristallo ranges towering over the valley of Cortina. The Cinque Torri (Five Towers) is one of the most popular hiking destinations in the Dolomites and the calling card of the resort town of Cortina d'Ampezzo. It is a dolomite massif that broke up during the rise of the Alps. The group is framed by highland meadows and towers more than 100 meters above them.

Day 3: Lagazuoi and Fanes

Ascent 750 m. Descent 1390 m. Distance 17 km. Walking time 7 hours.

Today you embark on the longest trek of the entire trip. You begin it by descending to the Falzarego Pass through the Nuvolau range. The Lagazuoi Peak is another famous landmark of the Dolomite Alps. The outer-most point of the ridge facing south, it offers a spectacular panoramic view of the Dolomites, which is believed by many to be the most beautiful vista of the Alps. Trenches and galleries cut through the rock during World War I have lasted to this day on the slopes of the Lagazuoi. After the Lagazuoi your itinerary follows the Alta Via 1 trekking trail deeper into the Fanes-Sennes-Braies Nature Park.

Day 4: Fanes-Sennes-Braies Nature Park

Ascent 880 m. Descent 590 m. Distance 13 km. Walking time 6 hours.

Today's relatively easy hike between the Fanes and Sennes massifs will give you a chance to rest after the lengthy trek the day before. The trail winds through narrow gorges on the northern rim of the Fanes group and highland meadows in the upper Val Salata valley. This is followed by a steep ascent up the south slopes of the Sennes massif. Experienced hikers may choose to ascend the Croda del Becco peak by following a challenging trail over one of the peak's ridges. Croda del Becco opens up a vast panoramic view to the north, with Lake Braies at the foot of the mountain 1,300 meters below.

Day 5: Braies Dolomites

Ascent 430 m. Descent 720 m. Distance 14 km. Walking time 6 hours.

The route is due east and takes you through some of the least-traveled locations in these mountains deeper into the Braies Dolomites. You skirt the main ridge of the Croda Rossa massif on the north, and it hides from your view the south panorama of the Dolomites around Cortina. It makes up for this by offering you a view of the red-colored Croda Rossa itself. You will walk close to the northern border of the Dolomite mountains: the Pustertal Alps towering north of your trails have a completely different shape and origin compared to the Dolomites. In the afternoon, the itinerary brings you to the Alpe di Vallandro range and the hut where you will stay overnight. It is a truly idyllic place with peaceful green meadows at 2,000 m from where you can enjoy a splendid view on the Monte Cristallo massif in the rays of the setting sun.

Day 6: Tre Cime di Lavaredo

Ascent 1220 m. Descent 850 m. Distance 15 km. Walking time 7 hours.

Today is one of the most exciting days of the trip. You head towards the Tre Cime di Lavaredo group (Three Peaks of Lavaredo). The view of the Tre Cime opens up before gradually as you make an ascent from the wooded valley. The Tre Cime is one of the most famous groups of the Dolomite Alps that is always featured in all sorts of Alpine calendars. The Three Peaks are conveniently facing the north-west and bask in the rays of a setting sun, taking on a rich orange-yellow hue. Photography enthusiasts will find plenty of good spots around the mountain group. You will stay for the night at a mountain hut facing the Tre Cime to be able to admire them from different angles and at sundown.

Day 7: Sexten Dolomites

Ascent 550 m. Descent 630 m. Distance 11 km. Walking time 5 hours.

On the last hiking day of your trip you go deep into the Sesto Dolomites, ascend one of its peaks and return to Cortina. Your day begins with a trek across the slope of the amphitheater above a group of lakes on its bottom. Ice and snow remain in these lakes until mid-summer after many avalanches roll down the slopes of the amphitheater in winter. From here you hike up to the Pian di Cengia saddle. There is a cozy small hut with an excellent cuisine up there, nut before you stop for a break we recommend ascending the nearby peak – the eastern Cima Uno. By following a route above two gorges, you descend to the southern slopes via a scenic trail and take a bus to Cortina (self-guided trip) or return with a private transfer (guided trip).

Day 8: Cortina d'Ampezzo

The trip ends here. You explored the magnificent Cinque Torri group – the calling card of Cortina d’Ampezzo, saw the unforgettable panorama of the Dolomites from atop the Lagazuoi Mountain, braved the harsh high-altitude climate of the Sesto Dolomites and admired the Three Peaks of Lavaredo at sunset – what thousands of photographers all over the world can only dream of.

6 Day Tour

Shortest possible hike from Cinque Torri to Tre Cime

The 6 Day Tour is a shorter version of the main 8-day tour. It lets you see almost all highlights of the Cortina Dolomites but does not reach the Federa Lake. Instead, you will start your hike from the Cinque Torri area. There is no overnight stay at Tre Cime like on the main route: you will reach the bus stop at the foot of Tre Cime and go back to Cortina the same day. For this reason, the last leg of this itinerary is a relatively long 18,5 km trek – you must be prepared to walk all day.

7 Day Tour

Shorter route without overnight by the Cinque Torri group

The 7 Day Tour route starts in the Cinque Torri area from where it follows the main itinerary. You will not stay overnight in the Cinque Torri area but will see all highlights of the Cortina Dolomites route starting from Cinque Torri. It includes the Lagazuoi summit and the Tre Cime group. The difficulty level of the 7 Day Tour is similar to that of the main itinerary.

10 Day Tour "Light"

The full Cortina Dolomites itinerary with a light hiking schedule

The 10 Day Tour, both guided and self-guided, is designed for those hikers who prefer to walk the full Cortina Dolomites route at a slower pace. It follows the 8 Day Tour itinerary, but you will have 2 more walking days, what makes this tour variant a much lighter hike. The 10 Day Tour features the most comfortable accommodation available on this route, including 3 nights at hotels and mountain inns, located however at lower altitudes. Besides that, one of the overnight stays in this trip is at the Lagazuoi – a location with a phenomenal panorama of the Dolomites. The 10 Day Tour features a light hiking schedule with the following activity characteristics on an average: daily ascent 560 m, descent 620 m, distance 10 km, walking time 4 – 6 hours. There are 8 walking days.

Dates and Prices 2020

Self Guided

6 Day Self Guided Tour
€ 650
Jun 12 - Oct 17
7 Day Self Guided Tour
€ 740
Jun 12 - Sep 28
8 Day Self Guided Tour
€ 830
Jun 12 - Sep 28
10 Day Self Guided Tour
€ 1140
Jun 12 - Sep 28

Guided

6 Day Guided Tour
€ 1190
Jun 12 - Oct 17
7 Day Guided Tour
€ 1430
Jun 12 - Sep 28
8 Day Guided Tour
€ 1680
Jun 12 - Sep 28
10 Day Guided Tour
€ 2420
Jun 12 - Sep 28

Note

This is a private tour on the dates of your choice.

The prices are per person and include the VAT tax.

Validity of prices: Summer 2020.

The indicated tour duration includes the days of arrival and departure. Accommodation on the day of arrival and night before departure is included in the price.

Self-guided tour: supplement applies to one-person bookings
   6 Day Self Guided Tour   € 80
   7 Day Self Guided Tour   € 80
   8 Day Self Guided Tour   € 80
   10 Day Self Guided Tour   € 210

Single supplement includes single room accommodation in the basecamp hotel on the first and the final nights of the tour.

Guided tour: minimum 4 participants.

What is Included

  • Accommodation in mountain huts: 3 - 7 nights depending on the itinerary, shared room
  • Accommodation in a 3* hotel or B&B in Cortina d’Ampezzo: first and last nights of the trip
  • Breakfast and dinner in the mountain huts
  • Breakfast in the hotel
  • Instructions and assistance with logistics
  • 24-hour on-call support
  • Itinerary and hiking schedule developed by the MONT Trekking guides (self-guided trip)
  • Specialized hiking maps 1:25000: 1 set of maps (self-guided trip)
  • Local English-speaking mountain guide (guided trip)
  • Private transfers: first and last days of the hike (guided trip)
  • Complimentary for the duration of your trip: digital maps for your phone with the satellite navigation and safety service (Android or Apple phone required)

What is Not Included

  • Traveler's insurance
  • Drinks at dinner
  • Lunches
  • Use of hot shower in the mountain huts: 3 - 5 euro
  • Public bus on the first day of the trip: 4 euro (self-guided trip)
  • Public bus and train on the last day of the trip: 4 - 8 euro (self-guided trip)
  • Recommended cablecar on the route: 12 euro
  • Tourist tax in the lodging establishments where applicable

Optional Extras

  • Private 2, 3 and 4-bedded rooms are available in some mountain huts with a 15 euro supplement per person per night, based on availability
  • Some huts offer hotel-like rooms with a supplement between 25 and 50 euro per person per night: bookable on request, based on availability
  • Airport transfer is available on request

Travel to and from Cortina

The base camp location for this trip is Cortina d'Ampezzo. Venice is the most convenient airport for travel to Cortina. There are direct busses to Cortina from the Venice Marco Polo airport, and it takes around 2h 30m to arrive in Cortina. The Treviso airport is the second convenient option: the travel time is approximately the same.

Depending on the schedule of your flight you may need to stay overnight in Venice to catch the bus.

We can help you plan the logistics and provide you with train and bus schedules: please contact us before you buy the plane tickets.

Clothing and Gear

Proper hiking boots are a must for the mountains. We recommend high boots because they support the ankle better than any low boots and provide better stability on a rocky terrain. Even in the middle of the summer in the Dolomites you must bring some warm clothes with you: waterproof and windproof jacket, fleece jacket, long trekking pants and a cap. A raincoat, poncho or other type of rainwear is necessary. Other necessary items are the toiletries, light clean footwear to use in the huts, sunglasses and at least 2 one-liter bottles for water. You'll receive a detailed packing list specifically for your trip at the booking. We ask all participants to read it carefully and be well prepared for the hiking trip.

For detailed information on the gear and clothing please read Hiking Gear.

Accommodation

The first and last nights of your trip are in one of our basecamp hotels. While hiking, you will stay overnight in the mountain huts. You can count on the following services in the mountain huts: a bed in a shared room or in a private room (must be booked in advance), shower with hot water, toilets, meals, and a possibility to buy take away water and snacks such as sandwiches and chocolate. Shared rooms are equipped with bunk beds with mattresses, pillows and blankets. Bed linen is not provided in shared bedrooms: you must have a sleeping bag liner with you. Typically, it is a light cotton bag. Warm sleeping bag is unnecessary, since there are blankets in the bedrooms. In private rooms you are often offered bed linen, thus a sleeping bag liner is not required. If you book private rooms, we inform you on whether you need to bring a sleeping bag liner. Most huts have a heating system, but it is normally not required in the summer months. You will need clean footwear for the huts: light slides are an ideal solution. For detailed information on the huts please read Mountain Huts in the Alps.

Meals

In hut-to-hut hiking tours you are served a breakfast and a dinner in the huts and mountain hotels on the route.

Normally, the breakfast is served from 7am to 9am. It usually includes an unlimited quantity of coffee and tea, bread, butter, jam, honey and chocolate spread. In addition, some huts offer ham, cheese and muesli for breakfast. After breakfast we recommend filling your thermos with hot water or tea: ask the staff, and it will be for free in most huts.

The dinner time in the mountain huts is 7pm or 7:30pm for all guests. A typical dinner in a hut is very rich and includes a starter, the first course (such as pasta, risotto, dumplings), the second course (meat with a side dish) and a dessert. Any drinks at dinner (water, wine, beer, tea, coffee) are not free and should be ordered and paid separately.

Lunch. It is possible to stop for lunch in the mountain huts on the route. The lunch menu in the huts is similar to the dinner one. Typically, there is a choice of pasta for 7 – 10 euros. Second dishes are most often meat-based and cost 9 – 16 euros.

Safety Considerations

Our guided hiking tours are led by professional guides, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience and with passion for mountains. They permanently work in the region of the exact hiking tour, have professional licenses, are experts in emergency situations, regularly upgrade their qualifications and work in accordance with national regulations.

For self-guided hiking, it is necessary to be properly dressed, follow the safety rules and make realistic time calculation for day crossings – preferably according to the hiking schedule that we provide. Our self-guided hiking trips are planned so that they do not require specific skills or gear, unless it is clearly specified in the tour description. You can expect well-maintained trails equipped with direction signs. Exposed sections of the trail are secured on the self-guided routes: it makes them safe provided that you follow the basic safety rules for hiking in the mountains.

Mountains are a natural environment with a high level of risk, so we insistently ask all participants to read the safety rules and emergency procedures: Safety Considerations. If you have questions about the safety rules, please contact us +39 0463 63 60 80.

Insurance and visa

Insurance. It is important to have an appropriate insurance that covers the hiking activity. You don't need to include the climbing activity in your insurance, unless you are planning to climb during the hike.

Visa. We will provide you with a booking confirmation for all days of your trip. If you need the Italian visa, you can enclose this document with your visa application.

Weather in Dolomites

The most stable weather conditions in the Dolomites are statistically from the second week of July till the middle of September. This period in the Dolomites is characterized by warm sunny weather and modest rainfall. Earlier in June, the weather is normally favorable, but it is less reliable, and the mountain passes may be blocked by snow remaining from the winter. In June we may have to change the route depending on the snow situation on the passes. The second half of September in Dolomites is a beautiful period, but the weather is again less predictable: the probability of incessant rain increases, and it may snow at the altitude above 2,000 meters.

It is never hot in the Dolomites at the elevation of 2,000 m (6,560 ft) and above where most of the hiking routes pass. In a sunny day in August the temperature at 2,000 m can reach 20° C (68° F) suring the warmest hours of the day. It is comfortable for hiking. In a cold cloudy day, the temperature can stay at around 10° C (34° F) during the entire the day. It is always chilly at night and early in the morning. Thunderstorms, often with hail, are typical for the warmest months (July and August). In the Dolomites valleys at the altitudes of 1,000 – 1,500 m (3,280 – 4,920 ft) the day temperature can reach 27° C (80° F). It is fresh in the valleys in the morning and evening, and it is not stuffy at night even in the hottest weeks of the summer.