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(Alta Via 1) The Tofana and Cristallo massifs (Alta Via 1) Cows below the Sennes hut (Alta Via 1) Forcella del Lago (Alta Via 1) A snow patch below the trail (Alta Via 1) Limestone country

Dolomites Alta Via 1
Self-guided trekking holiday

+ Colourful scenery and cosy mountain huts
+ Trekking on mountain paths, with no via ferrata
+ Expert advice on all the route variants

Latest news October 2017
Booking is open for 2018! Please ask us any questions; thank you.

The Alta Via Uno is one of several North-to-South trekking routes in the Italian Dolomites, that famous region of the Alps characterised by bold, glowing limestone formations. The AV1 is a trek, without via ferrata, in 10 stages from Dobbiaco to Belluno.

Life on the AV1 falls into a relaxing pattern. The huts are welcoming and the food excellent. The terrain mixes easy stretches over which you can stride out among high peaks, with tighter paths on steep, loose and rocky ground.

The Dolomites are rounded lumps of mountains, rather than pointed, such that traverse paths often have steep drops to one side. Our routecards follow the main Alta Via Uno route; we also describe all of the common variants, so that on most days you have some choices of path. Importantly, the difficulty of your AV1 trek depends heavily on the variants you choose. We explain the relative difficulties in your routecards. By choosing the easiest options throughout, the trek has only short sections of these loose, exposed paths; on the other hand, taking the harder variants makes for a trek with much harder terrain than the Tour du Mont Blanc.

We miss out the difficult via ferrata on the Schiara, the mountain at the end of the trek above Belluno. We take the variant to La Stanga, for the local bus to Belluno, thus keeping the whole trek to normal mountain paths and tracks instead of any via ferrata. We also miss out the Monte Pelmo circuit, due to its exceptional difficulty and exposure, more than the Walker's Haute Route. (This is a widely underestimated variant).

Where we stay
Your accommodation is based on the splendid huts and auberges in the mountains, plus our super hotels at start, end and over your rest day. Enjoy the friendly welcomes and superb food of the Italian Alps.

Map showing the route of Alpine Exploratory's Alta Via 1 self-guided walking holiday


We can adjust your AV1 in various ways, as follows:

Faster treks
The AV1 can be broken up in several different ways, thanks to a fine spacing of huts along the route. Unlike the Tour du Mont Blanc, for example, there is not an obvious daily pattern of ascent to a col followed by descent to the next village. Please ask us to suggest an itinerary of between 6 and 9 stages, depending on how far you like to trek each day. Equally, slower treks are very worthwhile, to linger amid this immense scenery.

Meet tougher terrain
The AV1 sits close to the Tour du Mont Blanc in its difficulty, as per our normal AV1 route, but some choices of route variants will give tougher terrain than the TMB. Experienced walkers might enjoy some of the variants to the route. Most of the variants are possible within the normal pattern, unaffected by the accommodation that we book for you.

Start from Cortina
The AV1 starts near Dobbiaco in the North, but a first night can be spent in Cortina instead. This gives an easier journey and a vibrant mountain base.

The AV1 is a trek among huts, passing few villages between the start and end. However, we can adjust the mix of hotels and huts from our normal schedule. While dormitories are difficult to avoid entirely, we can reduce their number. Please ask about these and other adjustments to your accommodation.

Happy Clients

"Magnificent especially from the Rifugios Nuvolau and Lagazuoi... Very welcoming and comfortable with good food. Fantastic thunderstorm thrown in with the marvellous views. A brilliant experience."

The Astle Family
(Alta Via 1)

Key information Summer 2018


10 stages and 1 rest day (12 nights)
£1,170 pp (£120 single supplement)
Alta Via 1 (self-guided)

We take 10 stages and 1 rest day (12 nights) as the norm and can also book other lengths of trip:

8 stages for a quick dash (9 nights)
£990 pp (£60 single supplement)
Alta Via 1 (self-guided)

12 stages and 1 rest day (14 nights)
£1,290 pp (£120 single supplement)
Alta Via 1 (self-guided)

10 days' trekking, 1 rest day
Italian Alps
 Grade (Explained)
Starting in Dobbiaco
Ending in Belluno
Typical walk 12km, 650m ascent
Highest altitude 2,752m

Research 2017
July 2017 (Joy)

Rifugio Pian de Fontana on the AV1
Rifugio Fontana (Photo gallery)

12 nights, staying in:
4-star hotels (3)
3-star hotels (1)
Auberges (1)
Mountain huts (7)

Accommodation and itinerary
Breakfasts and 8 evening meals
Expert and unlimited advice
Routecards, maps, local info
Emergency card, language card

Season for self-guided treks
15 July to 16 September 2018
15 July to 15 September 2019 (TBC 1 Oct 2018)
Trek on your ideal dates

Environmental sign in the Bellunese Dolomites
National park sign (Photo gallery)

The AV1 in the Alps

Map of the Alta Via 1 within the Alps

How hard is the route?


This trip fits our Red3 grade, plus please note:
+ Steep drops to one or both sides
+ Narrow and loose paths

Find out more

Holiday Notes - our full trip dossier (PDF)
A guide to the trek - our background page
About our walking holidays - general FAQs
Contact us - please ask us any questions

Ready to book?

Book - to get things started!

alpine exploratory

Alpine Exploratory provides a uniquely detailed and up-to-date coverage of trekking routes in the Alps and the UK. This knowledge lets us book superb holidays for our enthusiastic trekkers.

We are a small team based in Edinburgh in the UK. 2018 will be our 14th Summer in the Alps, the 12th on our UK routes, and our first in Norway.

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83 Princes Street
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+44 (0)131 247 6702

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