Alps / Dolomites / Italy
The best Hikes around Cortina – parallel with our “Best Via Ferrata around Cortina” Hut Trek 6 Days Hut / Lodge Trek in the Dolomites
Cortina Dolomites Hut Trek Highlights
- Super-scenic Dolomites hiking trails
- Trail hike, Via Ferrata optional!
- Fully catered huts, most w/ showers
- Lots of WWI History along the hike
- Excellent Italian & Tyrolian meals
- Famous resort town of Cortina
- Sept.: THE Octoberfest in Munich!
This is the flagship hike in the Dolomites centered around the famous resort town of Cortina d’ Ampezzo, this trek will take you eye-to-eye to many of the stunning postcard images that the Dolomites are famous for: Fanis, Tofana, Cristallo, Cadini and of course the Tre Cime di Lavaredo!
Like in most of our Alps programs, we will take advantage of the incredible network of alpine huts and mountain lodges high in the mountains and charming, family-run bed & breakfasts in the villages. The home-cooked Italian and Tyrolian food and wines are only one reason why some of our clients keep coming back to the Dolomites!
This trip is a trail hike and follows a similar itinerary as our “Best Via Ferrata Trek around Cortina”, only that it avoids any exposed Via Ferrata trails.
However, every night both groups will end up in the same huts, lodges or B&B, which gives each participant a daily choice of preferred challenge level and possible inclusion of a Via Ferrata the next day. It is also well suited for couples, who aspire to different levels of hiking experiences, while they can still enjoy a vacation together!
Hut Trekking / Hiking Cortina Dolomites, Daily Itinerary:
Day 1: Arrive in Cortina for lodging in our Hotel.
Day 2: Meeting with the guide at 8.00AM for breakfast, trip briefing, distribution of rental equipment. Start of our three day traverse of the Fanes and Tofana Range – after a 20min drive we start hiking from a trailhead south of Cortina and climb through the nature reserve of the Val Travenanzes and Val Fanes through beautiful forests until we reach the Lavarella high plateau. Lodging in the Lavarella Hut (2-4 bed rooms, showers available).
Day 3: Starting out strolling through beautiful high pastures in the morning, the afternoon takes us through a steep, rocky pass and up to the top of the Lagazoui, where we will lodge in the Rifugio on the summit. Enjoy the stunning 360 degree views of the Dolomites through the big, panoramic windows during sunrise and sunset. (2 to 4 bed rooms available). In the afternoon there will also be plenty of time to explore the many remnants of the old WWI positions around the summit.
Day 4: Descent through a tunnel system dating back to WWI (now set up as an open air museum) to the Falzarego Pass. From there we walk past the 5 Towers (Cinque Torri) to the spectacular Nuvolau Hut (Lunch) with great views of the high peaks of the Dolomites, such as the Pelmo, Civetta and Marmolada. Descent to Passo Giau and either by bus or optional, by foot, all the way through beautiful forests back to Cortina. Lodging in our B&B or Hotel
Day 5: Start of our 3 day hut trip in the Sexten and Cadini Ranges: After a short drive to Misurina, we can choose to either do the long and more challenging Sentiero Bonacossa Trail or a more direct approach trail to the spectacularly located Fonda Savio Hut. Excellent home cooked food and if we’re lucky, hut keeper Lina will get the music instruments out in the evening!
Day 6: High level traverse to the stunning 2000 ft vertical walls of the Tree Cime di Lavaredo. On the high plateau we will traverse along an old war road to the Buelleljoch Hut, the smallest and for some, the nicest hut of the Sexten Dolomites! Optional trip to the summit of Oberbachernkogel in the afternoon along some trenches of WWI. Hut keepers Hubert and Greti will spoil you with excellent tirolian cuisine!
Day 7: Early departure and via the Tre Cime Hut (Rif. Locatelli) we finish our circumnavigation of the Tre Cime di Lavaredo with post card views of their stunning north faces. We can either end the trip at the Auronzo Hut and take a return bus to Cortina or we descend via a malga (high pasture farm) for lunch back to the old resort village of Misurina. Return to Cortina either by taxi, bus or the guide’s vehicle.
Day 8: Leaving our B&B or Hotel in Cortina after breakfast
Note: On a custom trip basis, we also offer this trip as a 12 day itinerary (10 days trekking). That means two more days at the front end and one more day at the back end of the above itinerary.
Detail and Logistics
Meet on the first hiking day at 8.00AM at our Hotel in Cortina (lodging and breakfast included in trip price) for a trip briefing, distribution of rental gear followed by a taxi ride to the first trailhead.
Climate, Weather, Temperatures:
The Dolomites, being on the “sunny side of the Alps” are usually blessed with lasting high pressure systems in September. However, there is also a chance to see some snow, if a storm hits. Hence, day time temperatures can range from -5C (23F) to 25C (77F).
6 days guiding by an internationally certified (UIAGM/IFMGA), multilingual, mountain guide or a certified trekking guide for the trail hike. All guide expenses, 3 nights B&B in a *** B&B or hotel in Cortina, 4 nights double, multi-bed or dormitory lodging with half board in mountain lodges or huts. Dinner is usually a three to four course meal (“mezza pensione”), which consists mostly of pasta or soup, a meat entree and dessert and/or cheese. Breakfast usually includes a hot beverage, bread and jam (sometimes also ham and cheese). Transport from Cortina to trail heads and back. Gondolas and chair lifts where necessary. Parking fees, road tolls. Equipment use: Harnesses, helmets, carabiner and shock absorber set for via ferratas – if clients decide on Via Ferrata days.
Not Included Are:
Air fares, lunches, drinks, dinners in Cortina, supplementary charges for single room in hotels and B&Bs, transport to and from Cortina, but airport shuttles can be arranged at an additional charge
Can I Do It?
This is a non-technical trail hike, which requires up to 6 hrs (up to 6 miles, maximum of 2500 ft vertical) of hiking on some of the days. The unique feature about this trip is that each day our guests will have the option to participate in the itinerary of our “Best Via Ferrata around Cortina” program. This will give you the choice to either notch-up the challenge level and do a via ferrata trail (exposed trails, often secured with cables and ladders) or stick with the trail hike. It also gives couples the option to split up for part of the day and reunite in the afternoon upon arrival at our daily destination. On some days we reach our hut or lodge by early afternoon and guests have the option between a peak ascent or relaxing with a good book in the afternoon or if in Cortina, stroll along the main street shops.
How do I get to Cortina by public transport?
Cortina is most easily reached from Venice in about 2.5 hrs. There is a daily express bus operating from Venice Mestre via Venice Airport (Marco Polo) to Cortina for 25 Euros per person. The Cortina Express Bus operates daily with 2- 4 departures depending on the weekday and the time of year. Please see our Trip Info Link on the left for current time tables , however, for the high season summer schedule (from mid June – mid September) be aware it won’t be posted until shortly before the switch from the off-season schedule. Some of our clients have been unsuccessful at making an advanced reservation online, however so far we have never seen anybody missing their preferred transfer.
How do I get to Cortina by public transport from the north (Munich to Cortina = about 6 hrs)
You can take a city train (S-Bahn) from Munich Airport to Munich Main Station (HBF = Hauptbahnhof) or East Station (Ostbahnhof) where you find almost hourly connections to Italy. Via Innsbruck / Austria and the Brenner Pass to Franzensfeste / Fortezza. Switch trains to Toblach / Dobbiaco, where a connecting Bus to Cortina is usually already waiting in front of the train station. The train ride from Munich usually takes 5 – 6 hrs, the bus ride to Cortina in the end about 40 min. This all sounds pretty complicated but it works pretty well! For detailed itineraries we find the web site of the Deutsche Bahn (see link for German Rail on the left) works the best for cross border connections.
How much is a private taxi or shuttle from Venice airport to Cortina?
We can gladly arrange a private shuttle from Venice or elsewhere with our driver Sandro from Cortina. Driving time from Venice is about 2.15 hrs at 200-350 Euros depending on group size (1-8 passengers).
What are the Huts like? Double Rooms? Showers? Food Choices?
The standard of the huts in the Dolomites differ hugely. While some of the huts that we are using for this trek are rather like mountain lodges that offer double or 4 bed rooms and showers in the hall (Lavarella, Lagazuoi, Drei Zinnen) others have only cold running water and bunk bed sleeping in rooms with up to 10 fellow sleepers (Fonda Savio, Buellelejoch). The food is always delicious and plentiful with lots of choices. Special diets can usually be accommodated.
Can I buy boots / backpacks and other equipment in Cortina?
There are a few sport stores within close walking distance from the Hotel, namely the K2 Sport store and the Cooperativa. The latter is the large department store on the right side shortly after you enter the pedestrian mall. Their sporting department is upstairs and the often have the best deals!
Is there a luggage transport between huts? How much do we have to carry?
All huts and mountain lodges used for this trek are remotely located high in the mountains and away from paved roads. While a luggage transfer can be organized on a custom basis, it is costly and not customary. Instead most people travel lightly and only carry spare underwear & socks, light hut slippers and a few personal hygiene items beyond of what one would usually carry on a day trip. A 25 – 35 liter backpack should be sufficient weighing about 5 kg plus your daily supply of fluids. Don’t forget that the trip is divided into two legs of three days each – hence there is a chance to replenish with fresh clothing mid-trip.
Knowing that we are going hut to hut and carrying a lighter load, what is your recommendations on boots or trekking shoes?
If the weather is nice, we often wear approach shoes (low ankle hiking shoes with a vibram sole with good tread). You are sacrificing a bit of ankle support that a regular high ankle hiking boot would give you, especially in the gravelly sections, which there are a few. It’s also not so great in snow and if the trails are muddy – but either will be unlikely in August. What we wouldn’t bring are trail running shoes (too flimsy, not enough tread, not enough water resistant) and stiff hiking boots (too cumbersome for walking and on the ferratas). But like any place in the mountains it can snow any day and any time of the year and if so, you may be happy for ankle high hiking boots?…sorry that we can’t give you the “it depends” answer.
Should I take hiking poles?
We recommend using only one collapsible pole if any. On the via ferrata trails you can’t use them anyways and they can get in the way if they stick out too high from the backpack. Hiking poles can be rented or bought at the various sport shops in town.
Will there be a second guide to accommodate participants who prefer a non-technical hike on any given day?
In order to guarantee a daily choice between a non-technical trail and a via ferrata trail, we need at least 3 participants signed up for our non-technical hiking itinerary that runs parallel to our via ferrata itinerary. However, already with two participants signed up for non-technical hiking, (if need be) we are committed to bring in a second guides as early as the 3rd hiking day, when the possible via ferrata trail options become more challenging. The first two days of the trip are mainly hiking with basic introductory via ferratas suitable for everyone!
MULTIDAY HUT TREK (No ferratas)
1. Technical Equipment
- Sturdy, waterproof leather trekking / hiking boots
- Backpack (35-45 liters)
Some have built-in rain covers (Deuter backpacks).
Rain covers can also be bought separately.
Otherwise bring a big plastic (garbage) bag as an inside liner for your backpack.
- Collapsible trekking poles ( One pole is recommended)
We suggest using the ‘layer system’: Light technical clothing that doesn’t take much space in your backpack and dries quickly if sweaty or wet.
Layers can be put on and taken off fast if weather conditions change during the day.
- Wind and waterproof shell jacket with hood (Gore Tex or similar)
- Wind and waterproof over pants with side zippers (Gore Tex or similar)
- Hiking or Mountaineering pants (Schoeller or tightly woven cotton fabric recommended!)
- Light-weight hiking shorts
- Fleece or heavy jacket
- Medium weight fleece sweater
- Long underwear or running tights (e.g. Capilene or polypro)
- Undershirt – preferably long sleeves (e.g. Capilene or polypro)
- Warm socks for mountaineering / hiking boots (wool/synthetic outers)
- Warm hat, covering your ears
- Pair of warm gloves (warm finger gloves sufficient)
- Gaiters (light weight and short, when traveling early or late season)
- Sun hat
- Bandana (optional)
3. Hut lodging (if included in the program)
• Very light youth hostel sleeping bag or thin sleeping bag liner for the huts for sanitary reasons (lightest is silk, weighing less than ½ pound). Wool covers or duvets are provided by the huts
• Light hut slippers (optional). Some huts provide a limited selection of slippers.
• Very Small towel
• Alpine Club card (if you happen to be a member)
• Ear plugs (optional but very useful)
4. Other Items
- Rain cover for backpack (unless already built into backpack) Otherwise bring a big plastic (garbage) bag as an inside liner for your backpack or pack everything that needs to stay dry in plastic zip-lock bags.
- Spare underwear, socks
- Clothing and shoes for hotels / B&B in the evening
- Sun glasses (with good UV protection)
- Sun screen and lip protection
- Water bottle, preferably insulated, minimum volume: 1 liter or Camelback
- Light head lamp or torch (for bathroom visits at night)
- Blister kit (optional)
- Snacks (candy bars, dried fruit, sandwiches, nuts, etc.)
- Personal items (prescription medicine, extra contact lenses and maintenance equipment, extra pair of prescription glasses, etc.)
- Pocket knife or Leatherman (optional)
- (Health) insurance documents
- Zip-lock bag for wallet and other documents to keep them dry (recommended)
- Camera, batteries (optional)
- Compass, maps and GPS optional
Transport Options/Closest Airport:
Our Cortina Dolomites Hut trek begins from Cortina and is most easily reached from Venice Airport.
Public Transport: Most popular is the Cortina Express Bus which leaves at a variety of times daily in high season from Mid-June until Mid-Sept and then fewer services in in the shoulder season starting mid September.
Departures are either from Venice Mestre Train station or 15 minutes later from Venice Marco Polo Airport and takes you about 2 hrs to Cortina.
We suggest arriving into Venice Marco Polo Airport before 2.00pm to catch the 3.15pm.
If you spend the night in Venice before heading to Cortina, you can take a boat to Piazzale Roma. From there you need to hop on a bus for about 20 min to get to the main train station in Mestre, which is where the Cortina Express Bus starts.
Click Here for Cortina Express 2018 schedule
Click Here to make an online Cortina Express Bus Reservation
Please note: Cortina Express buses can only be booked if their online schedule has been released for your dates. These schedules are sometimes released only weeks prior to their new seasons schedule. Eg: late May for June schedule, so keep checking back on their website!
If you are having issues with making your reservation, please email us and we can provide you with a step-by-step guide to booking this transfer.
Another bus company option: ATVO bus
If you arrive from different locations (Munich, Bozen / Bolzano) or if the Cortina Express Bus schedule does not work for you, we gladly assist you with arranging your public transport by other means.
Train Travel to Cortina: This option is a bit cumbersome because you have to make your way to the main train station in Venice, take the train to Calalzo (switch trains) and then get on a bus in Calalzo, which takes you to Cortina.
Private Shuttle: Alternatively we can arrange for a private shuttle from Venice Marco Polo Airport or Piazzale Roma with our preferred taxi that takes about 1.5 hrs at 280-380 Euros depending on group size (1-8 passengers). We can gladly assist you in any transport arrangements or post trip lodging reservations.
Travel to Cortina from the north (Munich to Cortina = about 6 hrs)
You can take a city train (S-Bahn) from Munich Airport to Munich Main Station (HBF = Hauptbahnhof) or East Station (Ostbahnhof) where you find almost hourly connections to Italy. Via Innsbruck / Austria and the Brenner Pass to Franzensfeste / Fortezza. Switch trains to Toblach / Dobbiaco, where a connecting Bus to Cortina is usually already waiting in front of the train station. The train ride from Munich usually takes 5 – 6 hrs, the bus ride to Cortina in the end about 40 min. This all sounds pretty complicated but it works pretty well! For detailed itineraries we find the web site of the Deutsche Bahn / German Rail works the best for cross border connections.
Italian Rail Services: Trenitalia
Cortina Dolomites Hut Trek
- Up to 8 hrs/day
- Marked hiking trails
- Light multi-day packs
- Via Ferrata optional on some departures or for custom trips
Cortina Dolomites Hut Trek
8 Days Trip,
6 Days Trekking
Custom trips any time!
Shorter trips possible at pro-rated pricing
- June 2 – 9
- June 9 -16
- June 16 – 23
- June 23 – 30
- June 30 – July 7
- July 7 – 14
- July 14 – 21*
- July 21 – 28*
- July 28 – Aug. 4*
- Aug. 4 – 11*
- Aug. 11 – 18*
- Aug. 18 – 25*
- Aug. 25 – Sept. 1
- Sept. 1 – 8
- Sept. 8 – 15
- Sept. 15 – 22
- Sept. 22 – 29
- Sept. 29 – Oct 6
* High season surcharge applies
Cortina Dolomites Hut Trek
Guide & guide expenses, 3 x hotel*** Cortina, 4 x hut or mountain lodge, 4 x dinners, 7 x breakfast, via ferrata equipment rental, 4 x taxi or bus
Extra:Air port shuttles (from Euro 25), 3 x dinner in Cortina, drinks, lunches
US $105, CA $125
€ 80, £ 76
High season surcharge:
US $160, CA $200
€ 125, £ 110