Hiking from Alta Badia to Cortina d'Ampezzo

from €790

Experience a week of self guided hiking in two of the most beautiful valleys in the Dolomites! Hike in both Alta Badia and Cortina d’Ampezzo, traversing between the two. Plus, enjoy two nights at charming rifugios while hiking through one of the most beautiful mountain landscapes in the world!

  • Length 7 Days / 6 Nights
  • Trip Type Hiking
  • Activity Level Moderate
  • Start / Finish Alta Badia / Cortina d'Ampezzo
  • Dates This trip is available as a custom, private departure on dates of your choosing from June to October

Highlights

  • Hike amidst glorious landscapes of pillars, pinnacles, and colossal rock walls of the Dolomites
  • Walk on scenic trails through alpine pastures and across mountain passes with breathtaking vistas surrounding you
  • Enjoy the atmosphere of the mountain rifugios, the best in the Alps!
  • Experience the Dolomites’ rich Ladin culture, with many traditions that make this region so unique
  • Take in the beauty of Tre Cime di Lavaredo, recognized world-wide for it’s imposing beauty
  • Self guided trips are a great way to experience the culture and beauty of the Dolomites at your own pace, but with the peace of mind that comes from having everything perfectly arranged for you! 


OVERVIEW

Hiking through the Dolomites is a magical experience. Trails climb and wend their way around towering rock, offering unimaginable vistas that surprise with every step. Charming accommodations in town offer warmth and hospitality that make you feel as if you are family. Rifugios, or mountain inns, seem to be placed at the perfect interval, appearing right when you are ready for an espresso or plate of speck – a marvelous smoked meat made only in the Dolomites – or a bed with a cozy comforter and pillow.  

You’ll explore two very different regions of the Dolomites on this itinerary: Alta Badia and Cortina d’Ampezzo. Alta Badia was part of Austria prior to the First World War. Here you’ll find a mix of three cultures – German/Austrian, Italian, and Ladin. Ladin is an ancient native culture, with customs and traditions that have been beautifully preserved in this region.  You’ll notice signs are written in three languages – first in Ladino (a language comes from the Romansh language), then in German, and lastly in Italian. The mixed culture is very well marked not only in the language, but also in the architecture and cuisine. You’re sure to enjoy hearty meals that are representative of the incredible diversity of this region! Cortina, on the other hand, is very Italian. Part of the Veneto region of Italy, of which Venice is also part, the Venetian influence is felt in both the fashionable culture and cuisine.

Regarded as being among the most attractive mountain landscapes in the world, the Dolomite Mountains are a recently recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site, inaugurated in 2009. Comprising over 90,000 acres of mountainous terrain, these mountains are a unique corner of the Alps, featuring distinctive geology and a fascinating blend of cultures. The unusual contrasts in landscapes, changing colors and textures of the mountains and curious mix of Italian and Austrian influences means fantastic hiking, stunning scenery and incredible cuisine!

 

Prefer a shorter trip?

Check out our 5-day  Hiking from Alta Badia to Cortina d'Ampezzo and experience the Dolomites in less than a week!

Day by Day

Experience a week of self guided hiking in two of the most beautiful valleys in the Dolomites! Hike in both Alta Badia and Cortina d’Ampezzo, traversing between the two. Plus, enjoy two nights at charming rifugios while hiking through one of the most beautiful mountain landscapes in the world!


Day 1 ~ Arrive in Alta Badia, Dolomites
Arrive in Alta Badia on your own (private transfer available on request) and check into your Hotel. Located in a large valley surrounded all around by the gorgeous peaks of the Dolomites, Alta Badia is truly the “heart of the Dolomites.” Geographically in the South Tyrol (Südtirol), this area was part of Austria prior to the First World War. Here you’ll find unique mountain scenery with villages rich in natural beauty and ancient traditions, witness the simple everyday life of the local people (the “Ladini”), as well as the customs and traditions of the ancient Ladin culture.  

In the afternoon, meet with your guide (or a Dolomite Mountains representative for self guided trips) who will provide a trip briefing and orientation.
D... Hotel in Alta Badia (3-Star)


Day 2 ~ Hike to Santa Croce
Today you’ll hike to the Santa Croce Sanctuary at the base of the Sasso della Croce (Sass dla Crusc for the Ladin-speaking population). Begin walking uphill on a paved road, passing through a number of closely-knit hamlets formed of clusters of ancient shingle-roofed timber farmhouses and barns, known as viles, or small communities, characteristic of Val Badia.

After a 45-minute walk on a road, pass through the last vile, continue hiking on a gravel trail that leads to the Santa Croce Sanctuary. Walk gradually uphill through the pine forest with great views of Santa Croce, the Conturines, and Sella mountain groups, as well as the towns of La Villa, San Cassiano, Corvara, Pedraces, and San Leonardo – all part of the Val Badia. Along the way there are a couple of steep ascents.

It takes about two hours from San Cassiano to reach the church and sanctuary of Ospizio S. Croce (2,045m / 6,710').  There is a charming rifugio here, where you can enjoy a traditional Dolomites lunch. Don’t miss the famous Kaiserschmarren, a crepe-like pancake with powdered sugar and jam! Descend to San Cassiano, on the same path. After lunch, return to your hotel in Alta Badia via the path you arrived (~4-5 hours hiking 11km / 7 miles, 590m / 1,935' ascent and descent.), or optional alternate route (~4 hours hiking 10.6 km / 6.5 miles, 480m / 1,575' ascent, 920m / 3,018' descent.).
B,D... Hotel in Alta Badia (3-Star)


Day 3 ~ Hike in Fanes-Sennes-Braies Natural Park
After breakfast, take a public bus or hike towards Armentarola / Sarè. Reach Capanna Alpina (1,726m / 5,663'), a restaurant built just at the edge of the Fanes-Sennes-Braies Natural Park, located in an incredible setting. From here, begin your hike with a steep, 1-hour ascent. After arriving at Col de Locia (2,069m / 6,788'), you will enter in a fairytale valley, set between mountains, carpeted with green pastures. You’ll hike numerous ups and downs for about 3 hours, until you reach a cozy mountain hut, Malga Fanes Grande (2,104m / 6,903'). This cheery converted farm offers light meals (option to have lunch here). Pass by Lago di Limo, a beautiful mountain lake at 2,159 meters (7,083'). In summer, the waters here are surrounded by gentians, buttercups, and globe flowers. Descend to reach your rifugio for tonight. (~4 hours hiking 8km / 4.9 miles, 564m / 1,850' ascent, 229m / 751' descent.)
B,D... Rifugio 


Day 4 ~ Hike Across the Sennes Plateau
Depart your rifugio this morning and hike down to Rifugio Pederü (1,540m / 4,313') on the Alta Via n.1 – part of the famous high altitude trails located in the Dolomites. From Pederü, hike up to Rifugio Fodara Vedla (1,965m /6,447'), located in Fanes-Sennes-Braies Natural Park which you hiked in yesterday. From here you will have a superb view east on the Croda Rossa Massif (2,818m / 9,245'), so-called for its blood-red rock due to the presence of iron oxide. You will be spoiled with delicious Ladin dishes, served in the comfortable wooden stuben (traditionally the room in a farmhouse where the stove was located and cooking took place). The menu offers various crispy salads from the rifugio’s own garden, handmade pasta dishes, as well as Tyrolean specialties such as dumplings and diverse meat dishes.
(~4 hours hiking ~7km / 4 miles, 620m / 2,034' ascent, 690m / 2,264' descent.)

Optional Hike:
From the rifugio, hike up to nearby Rifugio Sennes (2,126m / 6,975'), and on to Rifugio Biella (2,327m / 7,634'). (~2 hours hiking one-way 5.3km / 3.2 miles, 490m / 1,608' ascent, 130m / 426' descent).

From here there is an additional optional 2-3 hour round trip to the peak of Croda del Becco (2,810m / 9,219'). At this breathtaking summit, 360° views take in a surprising number of Dolomites around you and the snow-capped Austrian ranges spreading across the northern horizon. (Additional 2-3 hours hiking, 2,810m / 9,219', 483m / 1,855' ascent and descent).
B,D… Rifugio


Day 5 ~ Hike to Cortina d’Ampezzo
From your rifugio, hike to nearby Rifugio Sennes and follow the trail towards Rifugio Malga Ra Stua (1,688 m / 5,538'), a cozy hut-cum-dairy farm set in a valley lying between the Croda Rossa (northeast) and Lavinores (west) Dolomite groups. The name “stua” comes from “dam” (the nearby stream used to be harnessed for energy to operate machinery for the medieval quarry of red stone next to the hut). Private transfer from Rifugio Malga Ra Stua to the town of Cortina d’Ampezzo.
(~5-6 hours hiking 23km / 14.5 miles, 447m / 1,467' ascent, 1,363m / 4,474' descent. Option for a longer hike, passing by Rifugio Biella noted as yesterday’s optional hike.)

Cortina d’Ampezzo is a charming alpine resort town surrounded by stunning peaks. Host to the 1956 Winter Olympics, Cortina enjoys a reputation for great skiing in winter, and in the summer attracts hikers and climbers who challenge the rocky faces of the nearby mountains. This chic Venetian town also caters to the high society crowd, offering many year-round social activities, shopping, and fine dining.
B… B&B in Cortina d'Ampezzo
(3-Star)


Day 6 ~ Hiking Loop around Tre Cime di Lavaredo
Today is a superb itinerary around the soaring Tre Cime di Lavaredo – probably the most famous landmark in all the Dolomites, and known across the world. One of the most wonderful ways to appreciate the Tre Cime di Lavaredo in summer is by hiking this loop around these mountains, during which their usual shapes mutate from sharp points to soft corners, the three sections of the mountain apparently merging into one. The area is a sort of “open air museum,” as there are lots of reminders of the First World War – tunnels, bunkers, and old barracks. Tre Cime is also part of the world history of mountaineering: the first routes were climbed in the 1930s.

After breakfast, take a private transfer to Rifugio Auronzo (2,320m / 7,611'). Hike to Rifugio Lavaredo (2,344m / 7,690'), which sits at the base of the eastern side of Tre Cime di Lavaredo. Along the way you’ll admire the spectacular Cadini mountain group to the south, with its rock spires and strangely formed needles. From a wide gravel wartime mule track that leads to the Lago di Cengia, a series of steep zigzags leads to a stony amphitheater, at the edge of which stand extensive World War I fortifications. Continue to Rifugio Locatelli (2,405m / 7,800'), and hike under the north faces of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo back to the Rifugio Auronzo, completing a loop around Tre Cime. You can have lunch in one of the rifugios along the way, tasting local specialties such as canederli (a Tyrolean dumpling) and goulash (a beef soup or stew). Return by private transfer to Cortina. (~6 hours hiking 12.9km / 8 miles, 610m / 2,000' ascent and descent. Option to hike a shorter, simpler loop around Tre Cime di Lavaredo: ~4 hours hiking 8.6km / 5.4 miles, 568m / 1,863' ascent and descent.)
B… B&B in Cortina d’Ampezzo (3-Star)


Day 7 ~ Depart
Breakfast and departure on your own (private transfer available on request).
B…


Trip itinerary may vary based on weather conditions, fitness levels and abilities of participants, and/or the recommendations of the Dolomites Mountains staff.

Cost

Guided Trip:
From € 2.130  per person (minimum 2 participants)
From € 1.430 per person (minimum 4 participants)

Self Guided Trip:

From € 920 per person (minimum 2 participants)
From € 790 per person (minimum 4 participants)

Private room supplement in rifugios: €15 per rifugio, per person (based on availability)
High season supplement from July 20th to August 31st: 5% surcharge


 Cost Includes

  • Trip briefing
  • Logistics and map of the area
  • 2 nights accommodation in 3-star hotel in Alta Badia
  • 2 nights accommodation in charming rifugios (shared dormitories)
  • 2 nights accommodation in 3-star B&B in Cortina d’Ampezzo
  • Meals as noted in itinerary (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner)
  • Local English speaking hiking guide (guided trips)
  • Italian mobile phone for local emergency calls during the trip (self-guided trips)
  • Luggage transfer from Alta Badia to Cortina d’Ampezzo
  • Private transfers as per itinerary
  • Local tourist tax
  • Italian VAT tax

Airport transfers available on request
Luggage transfer available on request

Accommodation

Want to learn more about our Hotels and B&Bs?
The Dolomites has a multi-faceted culture and history that is reflected in each village we visit, and we make sure to provide you with the most authentic experience of the region possible through the hotels and B&Bs we offer. Hotels and chalets are available in the larger villages, while agriturismos (working farms with accommodations similar to B&Bs) are more common in rural areas. And we always make sure you have access to inspired regional cuisine, and the best panoramas you can get in the Dolomites!

Prefer luxury accommodations?
You can also book a custom departure of this trip using our Luxury Hotels. For details, please contact us.

Want to learn more about our Mountain Inns & Rifugi?            
Rifugi – or mountain huts in English – are the classic accommodation for hikers, climbers, mountaineers, and ski mountaineers in the Alps. Set in spectacular locations high in the Dolomites, rifugi are accessible only on foot (with a few exceptions that are reachable by car). These marvelous establishments are open primarily in the summer, with a select few in winter, and offer meals and sleeping facilities.

The Dolomite rifugi are considered the best in the Alps. While some are dormitory style with bunk beds, many meet the standard of a simple guest house with private rooms and en-suite bathrooms, and each has its own unique character and charm. Bedding and linens are provided, hot showers are available, and meals are served in common dining areas – like a small mountain inn set high in the mountains with the most incredible vistas in the Dolomites. Whether you’re hiking in summer or skiing in winter, an overnight rifugio stay is not to miss on a Dolomite holiday.

To learn even more about rifugi in the Dolomites, check out our Rifugios in the Dolomites article, and learn about one of the best ways to experience these incredible mountains!

More info

Check out the high definition videos in our SUMMER VIDEO GALLERY!

READ Travel & Leisure: “Hot Spots of Italy’s Dolomite Mountains 

 

VIA FERRATA OPTION
Add a day (or more!) of climbing via ferrata with one of our UIAGM/IFMGA professional mountain guides! The vie ferrate, or iron paths of the Dolomites, allow non-climbers to discover the mountains in safety and adding a new dimension to hiking the pristine alpine wilderness of the Dolomites. Contact us for details!

Still want more? Why not extend your adventure!
Dolomite Mountains offers fantastic extensions that you can enjoy before or after your trip in the Dolomites. Explore VeniceVeronaLake GardaFlorence, or Milan, or any of the many other magical places found throughout Italy. There's no more perfect way to recover from jet lag upon arrival, or delay your return to reality at the end of your trip!

VIA FERRATA OPTION
Not ready to leave the Dolomites? Add a day (or more!) of climbing via ferrata with one of our UIAGM/IFMGA professional mountain guides! The vie ferrate, or iron paths of the Dolomites, allow non-climbers to discover the mountains in safety and adding a new dimension to hiking the pristine alpine wilderness of the Dolomites. Contact us for details!

Group Trip Dates

Trip name   Trip dates   Min persons   Trip status   Price    
15-21 Feb
2017
4
Available
€ 1900
22-27 Feb
2017
4
Available
€ 1540
22-27 Feb
2017
4
Available
€ 2200
23-28 Feb
2017
4
Available
€ 1220
29 Feb - 3 Mar
2017
4
Limited space
€ 2200
5-10 Mar
2017
4
Limited space
€ 1190
12-17 Mar
2017
4
Available
€ 2200
12-17 Mar
2017
4
Available
€ 1540
12-17 Apr
2017
4
Available
€ 2200
12-17 Apr
2017
4
Available
€ 1190
19-25 Apr
2017
4
Available
€ 1900
26-31 Apr
2017
4
Available
€ 1220
26 Apr - 1 May
2017
4
Limited space
€ 1900
25-30 Jul
2017
4
Available
€ 890
27 Jul - 3 Aug
2017
4
Available
€ 1260
8-14 Aug
2017
4
Available
€ 1520
15-21 Aug
2017
4
Limited space
€ 2660
16-21 Aug
2017
4
Limited space
€ 890
16-20 Aug
2017
4
Available
€ 890
18-24 Aug
2017
4
Available
€ 1260
23-30 Aug
2017
4
Available
€ 1730
26 Sep - 1 Oct
2017
4
Available
€ 1520
26 Sep - 1 Oct
2017
4
Limited space
€ 2660
3-10 Oct
2017
4
Available
€ 1730
3-7 Oct
2017
4
Available
€ 890
3-10 Oct
2017
4
Available
€ 1730
10-15 Oct
2017
4
Available
€ 890
12-18 Oct
2017
4
Available
€ 1260