Trek Hut to Hut in the Dolomites

Hike the Alta Via trails through the deep valleys and dramatic spires of Italy’s Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park

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Trip Ref #10370

Trek Hut to Hut in the Dolomites

Hike the Alta Via trails through the deep valleys and dramatic spires of Italy’s Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park

DURATION

5 nights

LOCATION

Italy

ANNUAL LEAVE

4 days off work

SEASON

Jun-Sep

GROUP SIZE

Up to 12 people

MEETING POINT

Venice Marco Polo Airport, Venice

ACCOMMODATION

Classic

Guesthouse · Mountain hut

OVERALL RATING

4.7

Based on 23 reviews
DIFFICULTY

Moderate

A steady hike with some big ascents and descents, so you'll need good fitness and a head for heights

Follow a wild route through the towering pinnacles and lunar landscapes of this UNESCO World Heritage Site

Hike the Moschesin Pass beneath the peaks of Mt Pramper (2409m), Mt Schiara (2,565m) and Mt Pelmo (3,168m)

Bed down in high Alpine refuges deep in the Dolomites and fuel up on delicious Italian food

Day 1

Welcome to the Dolomites

Driving

1.5hrs

Your host will meet you on arrival at Venice Airport and transfer you the hour and a half to Forno di Zoldo, a town surrounded by the lofty peaks of the Dolomites. Meet up with your group for dinner, chat through the trek with your host and later, do any repacking required so you can head straight off in the morning. You needn't pack too much in your hiking backpack as you'll have a chance to access your main luggage again during the transfer on Day 4.

Day 2

The trek begins

Hiking

5hrs · 11km · 1300m up · 760m down

Kickstart your adventure with a hike through the Moschesin Pass, surrounded by views of the valley and the mountains that wrap around it. You'll head towards your refuge, with glimpses of the Belluno Dolomites, Moschesin Castle, Cima Pramper and the majestic Pelmo to the north. Enjoy the sunset in front of the Pale di San Martino before dinner and bunking down in the refuge. Depending on whether you stay at Pramparet, Malga Pramper, or Pian di Fontana Refuge tonight, you may walk an hour less, or an hour more today.

Day 3

Deeper into the Dolomites

Hiking

7hrs · 10.5km · 900m up · 1400m down

The trek today will take you along Van de Zita with its high-altitude valleys, rock spires, and groups of chamois for company. You’ll pass under the north wall of the magnificent Monte Schiara (2,565m), the highest peak in the Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park. On a clear day, you might even see the curve of the coast of the Adriatic Sea. Arrive at the Refuge Bianchet in the late afternoon where a beer and well-earned meal awaits.

Day 4

The Tibetan Bridge

Hiking

6.5hrs · 15km · 1570m up · 1790m down

Driving

1.5hrs

Descend along the Val Vescovà to La Stanga in the morning and then transfer to the charming Rifugio Caltena in Val Noana, a little-explored corner of the southern part of the Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park. Your host will bring your excess luggage along in the transfer vehicle so that you can swap out your dirty clothes for clean ones if you wish. Have a quick bite for lunch (at your own expense) before making your way past steep rock faces of the northern slopes of the Vette Feltrine to reach the Boz Refuge at 1,718m where you'll hunker down for the night.

One of today's highlights will be crossing the 30m high Tibetan-style suspension bridge, spanning 70m over the steep-sided Val de Riva. Suspended above the Rio Giasinozza, you'll get a bird's eye view of Lake Noana and a sense of the expansive centuries-old woodland.

Day 5

The southern end of Dolomiti Bellunesi

Hiking

8hrs · 13km · 990m up · 750m down

Strap on your boots for your last full-day hike. Spectacular grassy ridges and ledges give way to the wide glacial valleys of the Vette Feltrine, home to some of the rarest botanical species. Skirt around the southern face of Sasso Scàrnia before climbing uphill to the saddle of Mount Ramézza (2250m). Continue to reach the Pietena Pass overlooking the Belluno Dolomites Reserve. There's an exciting two-hour section today, where you'll walk through four narrow, exposed ledge sections each measuring roughly 50m long (in wet weather an alternative trail will be followed for safety). Pass through the Piaza del Diaol, a protected nature reserve, keeping an eye out for chamois and mouflon. Leaving the reserve, you'll join a military dirt track which leads to Refuge Dal Piaz.

Day 6

The final stretch before heading home

Hiking

3hrs · 8km · 100m up · 400m down

Driving

2hrs

Rise early for your final hike along a panoramic balcony to Croce d'Aune. Your Dolomites adventure comes to an end mid-morning, and your host will drive you back to Venice Airport in time for your onward flight home.

Included

Guides

Expert, English speaking, mountain guides

Accommodation

4 nights in mountain refuges and 1 night in a guesthouse

Meals

5 breakfasts and 5 dinners

Transfers

Airport transfers and everything in between

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Tips for your guides

Some meals as described

Personal expenses

Visas where required

Day 1

Guesthouse · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2 – Day 4

Mountain hut · Mixed dorm

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 5

Mountain hut · Mixed dorm

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 6

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

On the first night of the trip, your evening meal will be a three-course set menu in the hotel or a meal at a restaurant selected by your guide. Some of the region's highlights include cheese, milk and butter, once the main source of protein for the inhabitants of the Dolomite valleys. You may also enjoy potato gnocchi with smoked cottage cheese or pumpkin, Canederli (balls of bread with speck), and barley soup. For main courses, you’ll often find "pastin" (a regional Belluno dish usually comprising minced pork or beef) and polenta with mushrooms featuring on the menu.

In the mountain huts, you'll keep fuelled up with pasta, lentils, chickpeas, soups and meat-based dishes. Lunches are not included, you can buy your own each morning before the day's trekking for around €20 each. You should budget around €40 per day in total to cover your lunches, snacks, drinks and showers.

Vegetarians, vegans and other dietary requirements and allergies can be catered for - please just request on your passenger info form.

What is the accommodation like?

La Tana de l'Ors Inn

Your first night will be spent at a 3-star hotel or guesthouse in the Forno di Zoldo region in the heart of the Dolomites. The hotel used may vary by departure date but will typically be either Hotel Zoldana, located 300m from the town centre, or Villa Chele, located in Pralongo, 2km from the centre of Forno di Zoldo.

Mountain Refuges

You'll spend 4 nights at different refuges within the Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park, namely Pramperet Refuge (or either nearby Malga Pramper Refuge, or Pian di Fontana Refuge), Refuge Bianchet, Boz Refuge, Refuge Dal Piaz, and stay in mixed dorm-style bunk rooms.

The refuges are basic mountain lodgings - simple and rustic but offering welcome shelter to trekkers. They provide bedding and pillows, but you'll need to bring a sleeping bag liner, pillowcase and a towel from home. You'll be served an evening meal and a simple breakfast, and you'll also be able to buy your lunch each day before setting off. There are shared toilet facilities and showers available to use for a small charge (typically EUR5 for a 3-minute shower). Please be aware that sometimes there is only one shower per refuge, and it's not uncommon for there to be water shortages so please don't count on being able to have a shower every day.

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

Venice Marco Polo Airport

16:00 on Day 1

Ends

Venice Marco Polo Airport

13:00 on Day 6

Transfers

Your host will meet you at Venice Marco Polo Airport on Day 1 and transfer you to Val di Zoldo (approximately 1.5 hrs) - your starting point for the trek in the Dolomiti Bellunesi. On the final day (Day 6), your host will transfer you from Croce d'Aune in the Belluno Region back to Venice Marco Polo Airport, arriving at around 13:00 (depending on traffic), therefore please don't book a flight departing before 16:00 in case of traffic/delays.

Travel options

Venice Marco Polo Airport is accessible via various direct flights from the UK and mainland Europe. Flights from the US generally connect through Madrid, London or Frankfurt.

For those who wish to avoid flying, Venezia Mestre is well connected with high-speed trains from London via Paris. The journey will take an average of 21 hours and usually involve 2 changes.

Enjoy 12.5% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 12.5% discount to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's provided?

Sleeping bags, blankets, and pillows are provided at the refuges

What do I need to bring?

BAGS
Rucksack for your kit (around 40-litres max.)
Waterproof liner/drybags for rucksack

CLOTHES
Lightweight waterproof and windproof jacket
Breathable wicking layers
Fleece jacket or similar
Buff or neck scarf
Lightweight trousers/shorts/skirts for hiking
T-shirts
Underwear and socks
Sunglasses
Sunhat
Gloves
Something to sleep in
Hiking boots (worn-in)
Lightweight shoes for refuges

SLEEPING
Sleeping bag liner Pillowcase

OTHER
Quick-dry towel Universal travel plug adapter
Power bank or solar charger
Passports (and visas)
Travel insurance documents
Suncream
Personal first-aid kit (inc. blister treatment such as Compeed)
Personal items (biodegradable toiletries, sanitary wear etc)
Toilet kit (toilet paper, biodegradable bags to carry paper out to dispose of)
Alcohol hand-gel
Face mask
Headtorch or torch
2 x 1-litre reusable water bottle

OPTIONAL
Earplugs
Energy bars and snacks
Trekking poles (highly recommended)

No optional extras are available for this trip.

- abigail(September 2022)

Overall I really enjoyed this trip, the scenery and remote nature make the dolomites truly spectacular! Experiencing rifugio culture was really special and a highlight for me, the huts are quite basic but all needs were met. Our guides Lucia and Chiara were excellent.

Due to the amount of ascent and descent, carrying a heavier pack and technical nature of parts of the route, I found this a lot more challenging than other moderate trips I've done with MBA.

On our 4th day there was about a 4km (total) section which required constant, careful, concentration and technical skills. My experience was a section of pathless terrain along a ridge of steep incline followed by long sections of narrow mountain path with an exposed edge with a steep drop, at times along both sides. Some sections of loose scree and easy but very exposed scrambling, sometimes with a fixed cable to hold onto.

I was surprised that the MBA route photographs and description differered so much to what I actually experienced. There is disparity between the official MBA photos of the route for that day with those in reviews. I was surprised by the amount of exposure and technical skills required of some sections. The description I read when booking didn't accurately represent the route or level of risk.

- Isabelle(September 2022)

Well, where do I start!? I booked this as a last minute adventure before the climbing season was over. My biggest question when I got back was 'how was it!?' to which my response was always 'well... I survived'.

I want to firstly point out that our guides were amazing, and our Host Miki was just beautiful. But this hike is far from bloody 'Moderate'. Ive done TDMB previously and even though it was with a different company, MBA rates their course as difficult. Using that as a gauge, I assumed this would be slightly easier. There were extreme open peaks, scrambling, hiking across all different kinds of terrain - literally all of it - snow, dirt, mud, large rock, loose pebble, wet rock, rainforest, sand, and even paddocks. The course isn't as established as some other mountains, so occasionally there were no paths, and you're literally creating your own on the side of the mountain... which was fckn terrifying. The time it suggests on the website, generally is meant to be the average speed, however when it says 5 hours, that means 'Only if you're quick, take minimal breaks, and don't actually stop to enjoy the sites'. Which to me, is just ridiculous. I spent more time trying to keep up with the group, and missing chances to take photos, which really should be the whole point of the trip.

Make sure you pack snacks, lord knows mountain huts only have bread, cheese and cured meats, so get used to that for breakfast and lunch.

I've gotta hand it to my crew - without them, I probably would've had more hunger and exhaustion tantrums, then just the one I had on the second last day. Loved our bunch.

Make sure you pack light, but lol, don't forget anything on the list.... Most packs in the group were between 8-10kg without water... so be prepared.. or idk, become a wizard?

Was it a beautiful hike? Eff yes it was. Would I recommend it? Not unless you're a mountain goat legend with good hiking experience, cause that was not heckin moderate.

- Hayley(September 2022)

Absolutely loved this trip, the dolomites are even more stunning than the photos portray. The group got along really well and the guides Chiara and Lucia were excellent and very patient. Accommodation was basic bunk bed style but comfortable enough and we were well fed. Eat plenty of fruit and veg before you go as there was a lot of bread and pasta. This trip I would definitely say was harder than moderate due to the long hours walking, sometimes 8 hours and the technical difficulty on day 4. I’d highly recommend spending time on exposed ridges and some scrambling to prepare yourself for this trip

- Darius(September 2022)

A fantastic trip along a fascinating and picturesque route. The huts were adorable and the guides great. Food and quality of accommodation as expected considering the remote locations. Fully recommended. If you're booked be prepared for the physicality of the long and in parts technical climbs and descents.

- Megan(September 2022)

This was a once in a lifetime trip - our host Miki was wonderful, making sure we were all prepared for the adventure and meeting us at the airport. The group was phenomenal - all of us getting on throughout the trek. Our guides Lucia and Chiara kept us all safe throughout the trek and showed us the beautiful parts of the mountains. I loved the adventure, but any hikers looking to book this should note that this is not a moderate hike or suitable for beginners. Avoid packing heavy bags and have a good head for heights!

- Michael(September 2022)

What a trip! The dolomites offer a tough trek yet highly rewarding views, while the bunk-bedded mountain huts are basic but add to this great experience. A small portion of the routes are at high altitude, where you scramble or use cables to cross exposed drops therefore this should probably have a difficulty rating of challenging if you are used to walking in England with just your day sack etc.

- Yasmeen(August 2022)

Fantastic guides and extraordinary views!

- Fiona(August 2022)

Fantastic trip! The hiking was very manageable overall but you have to be prepared for a few more challenging parts. Excellent guides, Giovanni in particular was very knowledgeable and looked after everyone really well. Amazing scenery!

- Kara(August 2022)

I would 100% use this company again.

- Ineke(August 2022)

I absolutely loved this trip! Giovanni is an amazing guide. He really looked out for us and helped us where needed. The nature and the scenery in the Dolomites is absolutely breathtaking. And we barely met other people on our routes, which I think is pure luxury. Unlike other reviews I do think moderate is the correct setting for the trip but everything is relative of course. I would highly recommend if you want a short break to clear your head and feel close to nature.

We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 127kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2022 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

This trek requires a good level of fitness and is ideal for steady-footed, keen hikers with a head for heights (there are some narrow exposed sections on Day 5). You'll be carrying your main pack during the walks so we recommend putting in some training with a weighted backpack beforehand (please see the FAQ regarding luggage too). Similarly, if you are not used to multi-day treks then putting in some long weekend hiking trips and physical preparation in advance wouldn't go amiss. You must be capable of hiking for approximately five to seven hours a day up paths of moderate difficulty with steep, loose sections. You'll walk between six and fifteen kilometres a day and although these distances are not too great, the amount of ascent and descent is often in the region of 1000m per day. The loose footing and long climbs will make the going quite difficult in parts. The views along the way make the journey more than worthwhile.

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Tips are not included in the trip cost. These are entirely at your discretion and are non-compulsory on this trip. Of course, if you feel that your guides provided an exceptional experience then you are welcome to tip as much as you feel is appropriate. You should factor in tipping 10% on top of the bill in any bars and restaurants during the trip.

The water in the Dolomites is safe to drink and you are able to fill up freely at each of the refuges and hotels that you stay at. Make sure to bring a couple of 1-litre reusable drinking bottles or a bladder.

The Dolomite Mountains offer some of the best weather in all of the Alps. The summer months (mid-July to September) have warm temperatures and plenty of sun. It is also not unheard of for snow to fall on higher ground during the summer, and patches of snow may still be present into July. While the average maximum temperature may reach some 30°C (86 °F) on the valley floor, it might get a little fresh in the wind or in the shade. July and August are the hottest months and carry the greatest risk of thunderstorms, which can be torrential and usually occur in the afternoon. Being well-prepared and equipped for all these eventualities is essential.

Your host can store any excess luggage that you don't need on the trek for you free of charge. You don't need to trek with a big backpack as you'll have access to your excess luggage during the transfer to the southern Dolomiti Bellunesi on Day 4 (your host will bring it in the vehicle for you at your request). We therefore recommend that you hike carrying only enough clothes for the first three days, and during the transfer on Day 4 you can then quickly swap out your dirty clothes for clean ones ready for the remaining days. We recommend hiking with a pack of no more than 40 litres.

For current advice about travelling in Italy, have a read of the UK Foreign Office pages here.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

You're in good company. Our adventures are typically made up of a mix of solo travellers and small groups of two or three friends who simply love adventure, pushing themselves and meeting awesome like-minded people. See here for more info about our lovely bunch of Much Better Adventurers.

Want to book a private trip? Just tap ‘Private Group’ in the dates and prices tab.

Your trip is led by carefully curated local hosts and expert guides. See here for more info about the guides we work with.

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