(Alta Via 1 North) Tofana group from Cinque Torri
ALTA VIA 1 SOUTH (SELF-GUIDED)   6 stages . 7 nights . Italian Dolomites   Booking

Alta Via 1 South
Self-guided trekking holiday

+ Walk half of the classic AV1 trek in Italy
+ Good mountain paths with no via ferrata
+ Expert advice on all the route options

Latest news March 2019
Please ask us about a trip during our 2019 season. Thank you.

The Alta Via Uno is one of the North-to-South treks across the Italian Dolomites, taking roughly 10 days in its full length. Our AV1 South week spends 6 days on the Southern half of the trail, from Cortina 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, starting from the hillsides above Cortina. 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 the start and finish. Enjoy the friendly welcomes of the Italian Alps, then explore Belluno for a buzzing contrast.


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


Alpine Exploratory
AVSsg Alta Via 1 South (Self-guided)
21 July to 15 September 2019
Prices in GBP
per person
Hutty Classic Comfy
Popular schedules
6 stages
(7 nights)

Singles 60
Singles 60
Our main AVS
Please ask us
8 stages
(9 nights)

Singles 60
Singles 60
Please ask us
Baggage transfer Please ask us

Baggage transfer

Let us move your bags between stops. Please ask us for a price. Because the AV1 stays high up, in huts, our baggage service is only partial. On the hut nights your bag goes ahead to the next hotel.

North or South?

Our North and South weeks on the AV1 are designed to be excellent treks in their own right, and to let the whole AV1 be completed over two separate trips to Italy. But how do the two halves differ?

Very generally, the Northern half is less challenging; it's the Southern half that holds the bigger sweeps of hillside and the more remote locations. The difference is marginal, however, and there is no reason to overlook any part of the AV1 on grounds of remoteness. Because we have configured our two halves to be split in Cortina, the Northern half also gives us more flexibility to add rest days or to space things out within one week. Our Southern week has a greater feeling of steady movement through the landscape.

Both halves are superb treks, both give the true flavour of the AV1.. and both can be done the following year!


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

Faster treks
The AV1 has finely spaced huts along the route, which lets us break up the stages in many different ways. To trek simply to the next hut is a quite viable way of completing the AV1; over the South section this would mean about 8 stages. Please ask us to suggest an itinerary, depending on how far you like to trek each day.

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.

Add days in Cortina
By spending extra nights in Cortina, you can enjoy the local walking to ease your legs into the trip. There are also some sections of AV1 above Cortina that make good daywalks before you hit the trail for real.

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.

Key information Summer 2019

Trip name: Alta Via 1 South
Guided or self-guided? Self-guided
Trip code: AVSsg
Route: AVU Alta Via 1
(See our background page on the AV1)
(Prefer North, the full AV1 or Guided?)
Group size: Any, from solo trekkers to groups
Length: 6 days' trekking
Start: Cortina in Italy
End: Belluno in Italy
Typical walk: 13.5km, 640m ascent
Highest altitude: 2,575m
Grade: Red3 (Walking grades)

Prices Summer 2019

6 stages, per person:

AVSsg Hutty
GBP 730 (singles 60)
Alta Via 1 South (self-guided)

AVSsg Classic
GBP 760 (singles 60)
Alta Via 1 South (self-guided)

Research Summer 2019

Rob Gale at Alpine ExploratoryAlpine Exploratory's 2019 research on the Alta Via 1 will be led by:
Rob Gale in July

Recces 2019

Forcella la Varetta, a clearing on the AV1
An AV1 clearing (Photo gallery)

Alpine Exploratory's service

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

Accommodation and itinerary
Breakfasts and 5 evening meals
Expert and unlimited advice
Routecards AVU5-10 of the Exploratory system
Maps and local information

Season for self-guided treks
21 July to 15 September 2019
19 July to 18 September 2020
Trek on your ideal dates

The window of a mountain hut on the Alta Via Uno trail
A rifugio window (Photo gallery)

The AV1 in the Alps

Map of the AV1 within the Alps

Our city information included in your info pack:
Venice, Innsbruck, Munich

City breaks after trekking

Find out more

Holiday Notes Read our trip dossier,
    a 2-page PDF which is easy to print

Walking guides Our AVU background page

Contact us or use this form:

Rough month?         
Any questions about the AVU?

Ready to book?

Our booking form to get things started:


Alpine Exploratory
Alpine Exploratory is a system of knowledge on the best mountain trekking in our areas, giving clients superb holidays based on this exploration.
About us