Guidebook

Discover the Dolomites with the Alta Via Dolomiti

Hike through the Dolomites’ enchanting, remote landscapes on these 10 classic long-distance hikes.

Fionnuala Kavanagh

Description

The asymmetric limestone spires of the Dolomites tower over deep, green valleys speckled with tiny, traditional towns. In the most isolated areas of Italy’s northeastern corner, old customs seem to be carved as deep into communities as the fossilized marine life encased in the surrounding flinty rock. Local menus showcase hearty mountain dishes such as game meats, polenta, the “bread of the Dolomites," and the dumpling based Tris di Canederli. However, the natural landscapes completely outshine anything produced by humans’ handiwork in this part of the world.

The Dolomiti Bellunesi National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the entire area pops with an unreal palette of colours. Vibrant turquoise lakes, rose-tinted rock, and electric violet Primula Minima flowers are a few standouts. Reliably-blue sunny skies also amplify all of the different elements of the area's natural beauty.

Considering everything listed above, it's no wonder that the Dolomites is a name on every mountain lover's lips. Hikers are especially spoilt in this part of the Southern Limestone Alps, as there are hundreds of different routes accessible for most of the year.

The biggest and most famous hiking network is the Alta Via Dolomiti (with the close proximity to Austria, you will also often hear it referred to as the “Dolomiten Höhenweg” in German). It consists of 10 long-distance hikes lacing the Dolomites. Each trail traverses a section from the northern corners close to the Austrian border all the way across the rugged topography to the southern tips of the Dolomites mountain range.

The trails are all of medium to high altitude, lasting somewhere between 6 and 22 days, with remote settlements and “Refugi” (mountain huts) marking the end of each day. This guidebook sketches out all 10 routes of the Alta via Dolomiti, so you can get an idea of which route is right for you. For the classic tour, try Alta Via Dolomiti 1. If you would prefer a quieter, more strenuous trail draped in myth and legend, go for Alta Via Dolomiti 2.

Sources
https://www.suedtirol.info/en/this-is-south-tyrol/landscape/alpine-south-tyrol/dolomites/formation-history-of-the-dolomites
https://www.dolomitemountains.com/en/resources/dolomites-news/5-foods-you-must-try-in-the-dolomites
https://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/travel/italy-dolomites-hiking-trekking-camping.html
https://www.south-tirol.com/culture/myths-and-legends/red-mountain
https://www.amazon.com/Trekking-Dolomites-Routes-Outline-Cicerone/dp/1852848200/ref=pd_lpo_sbs_14_t_0?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=VRDYTND0F9AW5DEHGT6F

Alta Via Dolomiti 1
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Alta Via Dolomiti 1

Trentino-Alto Adige
1 day +
111.9 km
6,660 m
7,755 m
The classic route of the 10 Alta Via Dolomiti high altitude trails.
Moderate
Private
Alta Via Dolomiti 2
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Alta Via Dolomiti 2

Bressanone
1 day +
169.1 km
8,152 m
9,966 m
The strenuous “Way of the Legends” high altitude hiking trail across the Dolomites.
Difficult
Private
Alta Via Dolomiti 3
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Alta Via Dolomiti 3

Trentino-Alto Adige
1 day +
114.8 km
8,113 m
8,787 m
A challenging 100km high altitude hike across the eastern Dolomites.
Difficult
Private
Alta Via Dolomiti 4
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Alta Via Dolomiti 4

Trentino-Alto Adige
1 day +
72.1 km
4,715 m
5,013 m
One of the shorter yet more challenging of the 10 Alta Via Dolomiti hiking trails.
Difficult
Private
Alta Via Dolomiti 5
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Alta Via Dolomiti 5

Drei Zinnen Dolomiten
1 day +
81.3 km
6,310 m
6,704 m
Hike the Dolomites from Sesto Pusteria to Pieve di Cadore along a tough high altitude trail.
Severe
Private
Alta Via Dolomiti 6
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Alta Via Dolomiti 6

Sappada
1 day +
144.9 km
6,326 m
7,395 m
Hike far away from the crowds and deep into the wilderness along “The Alpine Trail of Silence."
Severe
Private
Alta Via Dolomiti 7
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Alta Via Dolomiti 7

1 day +
134.1 km
6,629 m
7,102 m
An extraordinary and extra-challenging hike through the Dolomites and Southern Carnic Alps.
Severe
Private
Alta Via Dolomiti 8
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Alta Via Dolomiti 8

Trentino-Alto Adige
1 day +
122.1 km
6,864 m
7,715 m
Cross the Dolomites by foot from Brixen to Salurn along the “High Trail of Heroes."
Difficult
Private
Alta Via Dolomiti 9
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Alta Via Dolomiti 9

Trentino-Alto Adige
1 day +
122.1 km
4,984 m
4,951 m
Traverse the Dolomites from west to east along this popular high altitude trail.
Severe
Private
Alta Via Dolomiti 10
The best Routes on FATMAP, hand-picked by FATMAP’s Editorial team.

Alta Via Dolomiti 10

Trentino-Alto Adige
1 day +
196.6 km
9,911 m
10,105 m
Hike from Bolzano to Lake Guarda along the longest of the Alta Via Dolomiti routes.
Severe
Private