Overseas Walk: Alta Via 1 an exhilirating trail in the Italian Dolomites
Although I had read many articles about the long distance pathway through the Italian Dolomites, I still hadn’t anticipated the sheer splendour of the dramatic rock outcrops stretching as far as we could see, in any direction.
We planned to follow the AV1 from Falzorego Pass to La Pissa in the south - a total of seven days.
The journey began with a stunning train ride, north from Goricia on the Italy/Slovenia border. For most of the way, we passed aqua coloured lakes, and white rocky outcrops, tinged with pink and gold.
Our first night was spent in a little Alberge in ‘Calalzo Pieve de Cadore’. near Cortina, It was a very good choice.
Next morning, a short bus ride took us to a chair lift from the Dolomiti Road, just before ‘Falzarego Pass.’ We sent our packs up on the lift, and walked less than two hours up to Scoiattoli Refuge - a beautiful hut with amazing views.
From here, you can walk, bike, go mountain climbing, or scale sheer rock walls. There is also the opportunity to ride up on the chairlift just to enjoy the views.
We walked on up to Averau Hut, a bit higher, then back to enjoy a ‘pink sunset’ as we watched rock climbers scale the imposing Cinque Torri beside the hut.
Meals at this refuge were superb. Breakfast was a ‘Banquet‘, and the evening meal served four courses, each a meal in themselves.
Staff were also very helpful, and booked accommodation at the next two huts for us. Because there are so many huts, it leads to variations on this walk, making each day longer or shorter, as preferred. Often, where you stay, is determined by availability of beds, so it is best to book two or three nights ahead.
Above left: Cinque Torri - Dolomites Towers by Scoiattoli Refuge. Above top right: Staulanza Refuge. Right middle: Giau Pass. Below right: Derek and Barbz at The Pelmo.