Tracks and Trails / Walking / Scheduled Departures / NEW: Dolomites High Route: Alta Via 2

NEW: Dolomites High Route: Alta Via 2

Hiking in the Dolomites

Spectacular scenery!

This is a stunning hiking trip taking in the highlights of the infamous Alta Via 2, the big sister of the excellent Alta Via 1 in the Italian Dolomites. We have chosen to link the very best sections of this challenging route to make it accessible to seasoned walkers, rather than just climbers! Our point to point journey takes us through a landscape that surely is one of the most beautiful in the world. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, with spectacular rock formations and geology, containing eighteen peaks rising to over 3000 metres. As well as the geology the area is culturally fascinating with its mix of Austrian and Italian traditions, food and folklore.

  • Absolutely amazing mountain scenery
  • Enjoy exploring a World Heritage Site
  • Challenging hiking on great trails
  • High mountain rifugios in amazing locations
  • Professional International Mountain Leader

 

Departurtes

Trip Departure date End date Price Status
AVH1 18 Sat 21 July 18 Sun 29 July 18 £1595 Places available | Make a Booking
AVH2 18 Sat 1 September 18 Sun 9 September 18 £1595 Places available | Make a Booking

Add on days and try Via Ferrata 

A via ferrata (Italian for "iron way") is quite literally a route with fixed “protection” (metal ladders, handles and chains) that aids travellers in moving safely through the mountains whilst always connected to the rock. Hikers can connect otherwise isolated trail systems, rocky cliff lines and summits that otherwise would only be accessible to skilled rock climbers. The technique was initially developed by soldiers in the First World War but has now become a safe popular sport in it's own right. If you would like to try this activity as part of your trip to the Dolomites then please ask us for more details. Please note we only use qualified IFMGA Guides for this activity and it is in addition to the following itinerary.

Day 1 Arrival Brixen/Bressanone

Today you will arrive in Brixen also known as Bressanone, in Italy. Please remember that in the Dolomites the towns and villages have two names, a German one and an Italian one. Brixen is easily accessible by train and bus from airports at Munich, Verona or Innsbruck. It is a beautiful city and well worth arriving early to allow time to explore the cobbled streets. We will meet at our hotel in the early evening to discuss the trip.

Day 2 Bressanone to Rifugio Genova

We begin our Alta Via 2 with a cable car ride from San Andreas village up to the high pastures of Valcroce. We then trek in earnest as we head for Rifugio Plose which is the official starting point of the AVD2. Morning coffee and cake is an important part of the day, and we will aim to stop after an hour or so for a break at the stunningly located Rifugio Plose. Most of today we are in open mountainside with views to the Austrian Tyrol, and to the south east we can see the dramatic rock spires of the Puez-Odle ridge line. Lunch will usually be in the lovely private refuge of Schatzerhutte. It is a gentle introduction today to the Dolomites, with our high point at 2357m when we cross our first proper pass at Forcella di Putia. Distance 13km. 5 hrs. We spend the night at the Rifugio Genova, this is a lively popular hut with good facilities, showers available. Ascent 1024m. Descent 747m. Distance 20 km. 6-7 hrs.

Day 3 Rifugio Genova to Rifugio Puez

We sent off this morning with a short walk back to the Passo Poma through wild flowers meadows. Then it’s a rising traverse across steep stony hillsides, and the reward of views to the impressive rock towers and snow streaked screes of Punte del Puez. We are faced with a conspicuous notch on the skyline which is our route through the Forcella della Roa sitting at 2617m. We then have exciting rocky terrain along ridges for a time, before dropping into the high valley above our destination. Today we are aiming for the Rifugio Puez at 2475m and the heart of the extraordinary Puez group of mountains, a vast limestone wilderness. The Rifugio Puez is in an isolated position far from jeep tracks. It is clean and efficient with delicious strudel. The evening views down the stunning gorge to the valley below are well worth the effort of getting here. We love it! Ascent 600m. Descent 800m. Distance 10km. 5 hrs.

Day 4 Rifugio Puez to Rifugio Pisciadu

We head into the Puez range this morning, sometimes described as a ‘desolate and primitive landscape’ with the mountains scattered with fossil remains, some of these visible in the rock pavements. Our path takes us over the Forcella di Ciampac at 2366m, and then climbs gently southwest over a vast stony plateau down to the vivid green waters of the Lago di Crespeina. At Passo Crespeina at 2528m we are greeted with a view of the Sella massif with its high buttresses and snowfields. We eventually weave below the Pizzes da Cir cliffs and down to the fabulous restaurant known as 'Jimmy's' where we prefer to have lunch - the food is too good to pass! It's then downward to the famous Passo Gardena with its stunning road used in many a 'road movie'. From here we have a climb into the wild Sella group of mountains, a stunning landscape with vertical cliffs and gorges, and rock spires. We have a climb of 2.15 hrs to our overnight at the Rifugio Pisciadu. Our hike ends with a rocky scramble, which is aided by a well-anchored cable and spikes, and does not pose any real difficulty. There is some exposure on this final climb, but it should not be any problem for those used to the high mountains. Ascent 862m. Descent 765m. Distance 12km. 5-6 hrs.

Day 5 Rifugio Pisciadu to Rifugio Viel del Pan

This is a spectacular day as we head around Lago di Pisciadu and begin a long stretch of rugged mountainside over rock, and scree, with some cables to assist the first rocky but easy section. We then have a steeper climb up to the Altopiano del Meisules, which is a barren lunar landscape rich in ammonite fossils. Our next goal is to cross the l’Antersass before a descent over rough stony ground guided by cairns and poles until we arrive at the Rifugio Boe where we can enjoy an Italian coffee! We continue across the rocky mountainside before a gentle climb then to the conspicuous Rifugio Maria and the top station of the cable car down to Passo Pordoi 600 m below. Here we take a cable car to Passo Pordoi which allows more time for a leisurely lunch and saves our knees on what can be a punishing descent. Passo Pordoi has bars, restaurants and various other facilities if you wish to pick up any snacks etc. We wont be resting too long here because we are about to enter the Marmolada group and the volcanic Padon chain. Leaving the Passo we take the celebrated Viel del Pan. In the 17th century the Venetian Republic became jealous of its grain trade from southern Italy and banned the local people from selling maize flour. This route was used to smuggle grain through the Bellunese and Romansch valleys. We contour grassy hillsides below volcanic formations akin to Easter Island statues, to reach the stunningly situation Rifugio Viel del Pan where we will spend the night enjoying views of the Civetta. Ascent 1108m. Descent 1298m. Distance 13km. 7 hrs.

Day 6 Rifugio Viel de Pan to Col San Pellegrino

After taking in the stunning sunrise over the Marmolada we head down to the lovely Lago di Fedaia stopping briefly for an early morning. Today we are very much aware of the mighty Marmolada, a significant landmark in the Dolomites. The huge limestone massif , is 1000m high along some of the 5km of its south face, and is capped by the largest glacier in the Eastern Alps. Its moraines carry the imprints of many fossils! The Marmolada summit was first attempted in 1830 by Italian climbers, it was climbed successfully in 1864 by Paul Grohmann from Austria, who accompanied by Italian guides reached Punta Penia 3340m. During spring of 1916 and again in summer 1917 the Marmolada witnessed fierce hand to hand fighting between Austrian and Italian troops. To escape enemy fire the Austrians excavated a complex of galleries some 12km in total within the glacier itself, dubbed the ‘City of Ice’. This is our longest day in terms of distance and by the time we climb our final pass at Forca Rossa at 2490m we are already anticipating our lovely spa hotel at the pass. Ascent 1200. Descent 1760. Distance 32km. 10 hrs.

Day 7 Col San Pellegrino to Rifugio Mulaz

We now begin the final stage of our journey along the Alta Via 2 from Passo di San Pellegrino to Passo Cereda. We will encounter our highest pass at 2932m, and face the challenge of a particularly rocky section. We start our day today by heading for the Passo di Valles at 2031m, and the Rifugio Passa Valles, a privately run refuge where no doubt a morning coffee will be required. Our first pass will be the Forcella Venegia at 2217, with views to the red-sandstone striated cliffs of Cima Caladora, 2313m. We follow the panoramic crest with an impressive line up ahead of Monte Mulaz, Cima di Val Grande, and the majestic Cimon della Pala, 3038m. We then cross the north east slopes of Monte Mulaz to the small Passo dei Fochette di Focobon all the while amid stunning rock spires and breathtaking scenery! We work our way to our overnight via rock ledges, slabs with some scrambling and cables, but with no major difficulties. We spend the night at the stunningly located Rifugio Mulaz, named after the Venetian entrepreneur who launched the city’s mainland industrial development in the 1920’s. Ascent 1175m. Descent 548m. Distance 11km. 5.5 hrs.

Day 8 Rifugio Mulaz to Passo Rolle

This morning we leave the Mulaz to climb steeply over the nearby pass named after the rifugio. This is a wild barren landscape and a lovely start to our final day of hiking. Once over the pass we see once again enter a greener landscape as we head down and traverse the mountain side making our way steadily to the spectacular rocky table that is the Castellaz. This rocky plateau is a considerable landmark in an already stunning mountain area. On our descent we aim to complete the loop up to the summit cross of Cristo Pensante and enjoy our final views of the Dolomites before heading down to our pick up point near Passo Rolle, at the Rifugio Capanna Cervino. The Rifugio is a great place to enjoy a coffee and cake to celebrate our journey. Here we meet our taxi transfer back to your hotel in Brixen. The drive will be approximately 2 hrs to cover the 103km back to our hotel. This allows easy return travel to your airport on your departure day. Ascent 400m. Descent 851. Distance 8km. 5 hrs.

Day 9 Departure

Today is your departure day from Brixen/Bressanone.

Price

Included:

All accommodation will be on a half board basis during the trip, with dinner, bed and breakfast. Three nights accommodation in comfortable hotels in Brixen and at Passo San Pelligrino based on sharing a twin room. The rest of your stay, five nights, will be in rifugio style accommodation ranging from bedrooms, to small dormitories. Where possible we secure bedrooms to allow friends and couples to stay together, or we secure dormitories that are used just by our own group. None of this is guaranteed, and relies on early booking. The cost of showers in the rifugios is also covered. It includes the services of a fully qualified International Mountain Leader. Transfer at the end of the trip back to your hotel in Brixen/Bressanone. The trip price also includes the chairlift from San Andreas to Valcroce, and the bus fare from Bressanone town centre to San Andreas. It includes the cable car down to Passo Pordoi.

Not included:

Lunches, and any beverages, alcoholic drinks. Transfers to and from your arrival point in Italy, Germany or Austria to your hotel in Brixen/Bressanone.

Accommodation

Accommodation will be in a twin room in a hotel in Brixen/Bressanone. You will also have a twin room in a hotel at Passo San Pellegrino. The Dolomite Rifugios are definitely a 'cut above" normal mountain huts, and offer very comfortable accommodation. As stated above with early booking we can aim to try to obtain dormitories exclusively for the use of our group. We also try and secure small dorms or bedrooms to keep friends and couples together though again none of this can be guaranteed. It you are prepared to hike the Alta Via 2 then we assume you are of an adventurous nature and used to sharing 'space' in high mountain rifugios when necessary. It can be a great way to make new friends!

Weather

In mountainous terrain the weather can vary considerably. Temperatures can reach over 30°c at the height of the summer, but can be as low as 5°c on the passes. It is often sunny with good clear days, but it can rain and snow even in summer so you should be prepared for any eventuality. The average temperatures range from 15-25°c in the valleys and 5-15°c on the passes.

Luggage

Please do not be put off by the fact this trip does not include the daily transfer of luggage, as in reality it is simply a case of spare trousers, top, small wash kit, head torch, sheet sleeping bag and clean socks and underwear! Due to the remote nature of this trip, it involves carrying a few basic extra items of clothing and comforts for your overnight stays. It is a very satisfying experience to complete a trip in the traditional and 'pure' fashion, carrying everything you need. We have done many trips in this fashion and it has never been a problem for our guests to carry these extra items. On the first night in Brixen your guide will go through the required items and advise on how best to pack your rucksack.

Getting there

The Italian Dolomites are easily reached from European & Worldwide destinations by road, rail, coach or plane. If choosing to travel by air the closest airports are Munich in Germany, Innsbruck in Austria or Verona and Venice in Italy. Upon arrival we then suggest taking the bus or train to reach Brixen/Bressanone.

From Innsbruck airport use the airport free shuttle bus from the airport to Innsbruck central railway station, it takes 15 mins and leaves every 10 minutes. Then take the train to Brixen/Bressanone taking about 1 hour 35 minutes. The train from Innsbruck departs hourly, in the direction of Brennero/Brenner, change here for a train in the direction of Merano.

The best website for train/bus links across the Sud Tirol/Dolomites region is the SudTirol Mobil website. Searching: Innsbruck, Hauptbahnhof to Bressanone, Stazione. It also provides googlemaps of the exact station location so you can be sure you are reaching the correct one.

From Munich airport to Brixen/Bressanone there is the Alto Adige Dolomites Airport Shuttle. This is run by Sudtirol Bus. The bus picks up at Terminals 1 and 2 at Munich Airport, but also at Innsbruck Airport.

Other bus options are Deutsche Bahn & OEBB. You can try both Munich Airport to/from Bressanone and Munich Hauptbahnhof to/from Bressanone. Using Hauptbahnhof often results in a far cheaper price and it is really easy to connect to/from the train at Munich Ost (buy a ticket from/to the airport at a machine - line 1 or 8, approximatey 11.80 Euro, and remember to stamp the ticket before getting on the train).
Trenitalia - it is also worth checking the Italian train network for Bressanone to Innsbruck (or vice versa) and then the cost of Innsbruck to/from Munich Flughafen or Munich Hauptbahnhof on Deutsche Bahn & OEBB.

You can also take the train from the UK all the way to Brixen/Bressanone, you can check times here this website is also helpful for finding other train times from Munich airport (3h20), Verona (2h15) or Venice (3h50).

A useful link which gives other options, such as the buses from Verona or Venice is Rome2Rio which gives a map and overall picture taking 3h30-5h50 respectively. Please contact us if you need further advice on your specific travel requirements.

Our Partners

As our niche trips such as the Alta Via 2 are of a specialised nature we work with our partner companies to attract sufficient clients to reach the minimum number of participants to allow these trips to go ahead, meaning you are more likely to have your chosen holiday 'guaranteed'. Tracks and Trails in these instances may, in collaborating with our associates, make use of their guiding services. If you have any queries with regard to this please contact us.

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