Dolomites – 5 nights including refuge night
From the South Tyrol to CortinaBack to Routes
The Tre Cime
Near Auronzo Refuge
On Foot's boss in heaven
Leaving San Candido
Walking down to Misurina from Tre Cime
The lake at Misurina
Spring meadows at Locatelli
In the woods
The Cortina Bowl
From the Tre Cime
Dainty alpine flowers
Walking in the valley
This trip was fabulous: spectacular views from beginning to end; lovely and varied hotels, including the experience of the refugio; delicious food and good restaurant recommendations for lunches and dinners; good, hard walking each day with excellent route notes. Thanks for suggesting ski lifts for shortening the routes. That just added to the fun and diversity of a most wonderful trip. Thanks again, On Foot!
Susan Boston, Vermont, USA - September 2023
A walk is a challenge and this is the best way to see a remote area. We were so fortunate with the weather which made it fantastic We were recommended to OnFoot holidays and that has proved excellent. Thank you.
Sue Brown, Manly, Australia - September 2023
The whole trip was amazing. The hiking routes were breathtaking. The changes in terrain were a treat: forests, meadows, cow pastures and the jagged edge Dolomite views were just breathtaking.
Sue Austin, Summerville, USA - July 2023
Fabulous, this was our 4th On Foot holiday and we loved it. Thank you! Our best yet because of the lovely setting.
Anon, Australia - July 2023
I appreciated how every question I had, prior to our trip, was answered promptly and thoroughly (without any perceived annoyance at my persistent questions, lol). I also loved how I could reach On Foot by phone if I wanted to actually speak with someone. Everything arrived as noted and the overall preparation was extremely well-organized and well-communicated.
We loved every aspect of it. Day 2 of the hike, where we walked for 8 hours to the Tre Cime with a lot of elevation climb, was our favorite day. There was nothing that I would suggest to improve the trip (except to emphasize to future walkers that the walking poles and the Pocket Earth preloaded map are essential).
Claudia Bilbao, Nevada City, USA - July 2023
We thoroughly enjoyed all the walks and came back happy and fitter. What really added to the enjoyment was being able to stop at a refuge or village to have lunch, it adds so much to the day.
The routes were demanding in stamina but not, generally, difficult and we liked that. The views were stunning and people very friendly and helpful.
Amanda Parker, Clitheroe, UK - September 2022
My husband and I have just finished up the Dolomites hike and it wasn't just the views that were awesome. The route instructions, GPS maps, accommodation, food etc were all great. But the main thing I want to compliment you on is your team. Everyone we deal with - from On Foot staff to hotel hosts and transfer drivers - were all professional, pleasant and flexible.
Rose-Anne Manns, Naremburn, Australia - July 2022
This was a great way to see the Dolomites, a truly spectacular region. We enjoyed the physical challenges of each day and appreciated being able to self guide, knowing there was excellent backup should it be required.
Jeff Blackie, The Hill, Australia - July 2022
We have been on three other long distance hikes and wanted to hike in the Dolomites. However, we did not want a hike that required us to stay the entire time in rifugios. This fitted the bill and also allowed us to spend more than one night in each place as well as be in one of the most beautiful parts of the Dolomites.
Also, your office staff went above and beyond and even provided assistance for our transfer to Verona after the hike ended.
Nancy Batterman and Ricky Greenberg, New York, USA - July 2022
The scenery of the Dolomites is unparalleled. Most days we had 360 degree jaw-dropping views. The hike was fairly represented and was never harder than we imagined.
Michael Gibian, Santa Barbara, USA - June 2022
On Foot gives excellent advice and always follows through. I'm so impressed with their customer service, after five trips.
On Foot goes above and beyond. They have always provided me with more information about train and bus schedules than even applied to my holiday - including information about extensions I had booked before and after the trip on my own.
Laurie Gunn, Portland, USA - August 2021
It was exactly what we hoped for and much more. The Dolomites are stunning, and the walking was utterly beautiful. We could have walked further on a couple of the days, but we are quite capable of sorting that out for ourselves if we had wanted to. The luggage transfers were all smooth and the whole trip went to plan.
Nick Catliff, Crowborough UK, August 2020
Loved the Dolomites. More dramatic than I could have imagined. Walking distances were just right. Especially love that On Foot finds tracks that are "away from the crowds".
Annemarie Smytheman, Woronora Heights, Australia - September 2019
This is a great overall route with some truly memorable walking sections and many spectacular views.
The wild flowers were stunning - in the forests, on the meadows and on the higher Alpine sections. We enjoyed finding out about the history of the area - there are many reminders of the role this area played in WW1.
Kerstin Taylor, Guildford, UK - July 2019
At a glance
5-night version (4 days walking) - missing one night in San Candido and the San Candido circuit. See 'Prices' tab for what's included.
Suggested route pairing: Lake Maggiore
How much walking?
Full days: 11-18km per day, 4-7 hrs walking
Using shortening options: 6-14km per day, 2½-5 hrs (using ski-lifts and bus to reduce walking)
From remote South Tyrol to sophisticated Cortina
This self-guided mountain holiday combines two of the most attractive areas in the Italian Alps. The South Tyrol (Süd-Tirol) is a German-speaking enclave in Italy, a landscape of bucolic meadows and beer gardens. Start in the pretty town of San Candido (Innichen), and walk into the mountains, first to a remote refuge, and then, cresting the Passo Rondoi at over 2250m, into the Italian Dolomites at lakeside Misurina. The culture is now Italian, the wine from the Veneto. The final day takes you through breathtaking scenery to the smart resort of Cortina, famed for skiing but best seen in its panoramic bowl in the summer. You’ll end your holiday fitter, but supremely satisfied.
NEW: By spending a second night in Cortina, you can add a circular walk via a pretty path up from the Falzarego Pass, through the dramatic Col de Bos, and up to the Lagazuoi refuge. Along the route are reminders of World War I battles between the Italian and Austro-Hungarian armies in this unforgiving terrain, and the open-air museum at Lagazuoi is well worth the climb, with huts, tunnels and trenches to explore. Ask us for details.
Walked by On Foot staff: Simon, helped by Mark, and Mary
REVIEWS: For independent walker reviews submitted to the Association of Independent Tour Operators visit Aito.com.
TRAVEL ADVICE: To find the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office for UK citizens travelling to Italy, click here. Citizens of other nations will also find it useful, but should always check their appropriate local agency.
- The dreaming meadows of the South Tyrol
- A night in a mountain refuge (until 15th September)
- The high Tre Cime and the flower-strewn walk to Misurina
- The Lake at Misurina (1700m)
- Fresh milk from mountain herds
- Lunch at the Malga Larieto
- Sophisticated Cortina
This route features the following characteristics and interests: Mountains, Drive to route, History
Things you should know
- Long transfers at either end mean that careful planning at the outset is required.
- A very short walking season (July to September) means that the paths and hotels can be busy and expensive, so try to travel at either end of the season and avoid August.
- The full walk from the refuge to Misurina is very long with a substantial climb (shortening options available).
- There are shared bathrooms at the refuge – if this isn’t for you, then choose the option that bypasses the refuge.
- Weather will be variable – you are in the mountains!
Combining this walk with a trip to Salzburg, Verona or Venice. Staying an extra night in Cortina at the end, or by the lake at Misurina. For the more adventurous, Cortina has several via ferrata nearby which you may like to consider while you're in the area (not bookable through On Foot).
Eating and Drinking
Watch out for the distinctions between the German-Alpine (Tyrolean) cooking at the start, and the Italian-Alpine at the end. From dumplings to pasta in a week. The food is always good and sometimes exceptional.
How much Walking?
Using shortening options: 6-14km per day, 2½-5 hrs (using ski-lifts and bus to reduce walking)
Steep paths on some days, with some lengthy ups and downs, and a couple of spots where vertigo may be an issue for some. Paths generally well marked, though attention to written route directions required. Highest point on route: 2,450m.
Medium-hard: Average cumulative uphill stretches (CUSs) 759m (460m-1150m) per day.
Medium: CUSs 475m (140m – 750m) using ski-lifts and buses to shorten/ease walking.
Acrophobia/vertigo warnings: This is a mountain route with some balcony paths with steep drops (Refuge to Misurina mainly). Not suitable for severely acrophobic.
GPX file available for handheld GPS or smartphone App for complete route.
Important note: Times given for each day are walking times for an “average” walker and exclude stops. “CUSs” stands for “Cumulative Uphill Stretches” and measures the aggregated ascents in each day, expressed in metres of climb. See “Walk Grading” for more information.
When to go?
The best months to walk: July, August, September
Early booking is essential on this route, particularly between late July and early September.
Please note that we are unable to take any further bookings for 2023. The dates below are from July 2024.
The Dolomites are at their best in the summer, and furthermore the bus and lift timetables and hotel opening dates circumscribe our season. So go in July for the early flowers and hopefully best weather (though snow can be a problem – see below), and September for lonely walking (again with the possibility of snow). The lifts and some refuges close after mid-September so be prepared for the full walk and for carrying your own supplies. August is very busy due to a lack of hotel (and Refuge) availability (and it’s also very expensive). The last week of June is also possible but we suggest this only for last minute bookers when we know what the situation on the ground is.
SNOW. It can snow at any time of the year, so be aware that you may have to miss out on the Tre Cime day in whole or part.
Temperature and rainfall chart for Cortina
Arrive in San Candido (also known as Innichen), check in to your hotel and then have a wander round the attractive centre before your first taste of the local cuisine.
Day 2 - San Candido to Drei Schuster Hütte
The first part of this walk is along the river Rienza out of San Candido and then up through the woods past the Bagni di San Candido. Here there are two options – an easier walk for when the weather is inclement and the main route, which most of you will follow for the better views. After a climb of almost 600 metres, you will emerge above San Candido on a good track that gently undulates high above the Val Camp di Dentro, with wonderful views across the valley to the 3000m+ peaks of the Punta dei Tre Scarperi. (Medium-hard: 4 hrs walking (allow 5¼ hrs), 11 km (7 miles), CUSs 860m, or use chairlift at start to gain height – Easy-medium: 2½ hrs walking (allow 3¼ hrs), 6 km (4 miles), CUSs 510m).
Day 3 - Drei Schuster Hütte to Misurina
You’ll need a good breakfast before tackling the steep uphill on narrow paths to the Tre Cime at 2400 metres (note: this is rightly one of the most famous and most accessible mountains in the Dolomites, so for an hour or so you will most definitely not be alone). After lunch, your path leaves the crowds behind and descends swiftly to the stunning col of the Forcella Arghena (maybe stop along the way at Malga Langealmhütte for a glass of fresh milk from their herd). This is the perfect Alpine meadow, with added WW1 trenches for the historically inclined. The descent from the col is by the original WW1 track built to supply the trenches – running through meadowed woodland and eventually deeper forest before emerging above Misurina. Wonderful views throughout this secluded corner of the Dolomites. (Hard: 7 hrs walking (allow 9¼ hrs), 17¼ km (11 miles), CUSs 1150m). For less experienced walkers – take the easier alternative via San Candido with bus/taxi to start (Medium: 3¼ hrs walking (allow 4¼ hrs), 10 km (6½ miles), CUSs 530m) or ride whole way.
Day 4 - Rifugio Citta di Carpi Circuit
Today’s walk takes you through a lovely forest with plenty of rhododendron, and heads gradually uphill until it reaches the amazingly-sited Rifugio di Città di Carpi. Linger here awhile for the panoramic views and a little off-piste exploration (your maps show plenty of tempting paths), before descending back to Misurina via the Col de Varda hut (in case you’re in need of further refreshment) and then continuing the rest of the way on foot, or by chairlift if you’ve had enough. (Medium-hard: 4½ hrs walking (allow 6 hrs), 13 km (8 miles), CUSs 750m)
Alternatives: Ulli from the SportHotel in Misurina thoroughly recommends taking a trip to the Monte Piana 1st World War Museum. There’s a regular jeep service that can take you there and back – ask your host for details and see leaflet in your pack. www.montepiana.com. Pay locally.
Day 5 - Misurina to Cortina
Today’s walk begins with an easy walk along a wide cycle track just to get you warmed up. You then join a lovely woodland path that ascends (quite gently after the first short haul) to Ponte Rondvoi. It’s a short walk along the road before rejoining a woodland path that takes you past Mussolini’s antitank defences and then onto the Passo Tre Croci.
For a pre-lunch refresher Bar Son Zuogo at the pass has a very short season and does not seem to open in June or after mid-September. Malga Larieto is an excellent lunch option (until September) and time should be allowed for a stop here.
The prettier walk is definitely the second half, which is on mainly narrow wooded and mountain paths with a long highly panoramic section. It climbs briefly but is broadly level for the panoramic section and then descends approximately 600 metres, sometimes fairly sharply. Its views of the Cortina bowl offer a fitting climax to your holiday walking. (Medium: 6½ hrs walking (allow 8¾ hrs), 18¾ km (11½ miles), CUSs 565m, or with lift halfway Easy: 3½ hrs walking (allow 4¾ hrs), 9½ km (6 miles), CUSs 140m)
Return home, or stay longer in Cortina, or spend a night or two in Verona, Innsbruck, Salzburg or Venice (depending on your route back home).
ARRIVING BY TRAIN
Nearest railway station:
Start: San Candido
Finish: Dobbiaco or Calalzo (pre-bookable taxi from Cortina available)
Sample rail journey via Paris, Munich and Innsbruck
Intercity train Paris Gare de l’Est to Stuttgart, then Eurocity train for Fortezza via Munich and Innsbruck. Local train to San Candido. ~10 hrs
Also possible via Venice and Verona.
Return from Dobbiaco: Local train to Fortezza, Eurocity train via Innsbruck to Munich, then either the night train to Paris, or change at Stuttgart to Paris. ~10 hrs travel time (non-sleeper train); ~14 hrs (using sleeper train).
We suggest thetrainline.com for times, ticket booking and other information.
ARRIVING BY CAR
Park in San Candido ski lift car park (no charge, own risk). Return from Cortina at end by bus x 2 or taxi (see “prices”).
ARRIVING BY AIR
The nearest airports are Innsbruck, Salzburg, Verona and Venice Treviso. International flights use Venice Marco Polo, Milan, or conceivably Munich or Vienna with overnight stay unless very early flight/later departure. Check with On Foot Holidays about transfers from Milan/Vienna/Munich (for Venice see below).
Land by: Innsbruck 15:30; Salzburg 12:00; Verona 14:00; Venice Treviso or Venice Marco Polo 12:00 for public transport connections to San Candido (4-6 hrs) (Venice/Treviso part private transfer – see below).
Return flight earliest: Innsbruck 15:00; Munich 17:00; Salzburg 17:30; Verona 16:30; Venice Marco Polo or Treviso 17:30 for public transport connections from Cortina.
Note: For flights falling outside these times, some itinerary adjustment may be desirable, and/or overnight stays near the airport as transfer times can be long. Call On Foot for advice.
Flight information can change rapidly and not all flights run daily. Please do check directly with the airlines’ websites or Skyscanner (see below) before finalising any booking with us. Do not book your flights until we have confirmed that we have provisionally reserved accommodation for you.
For up-to-date schedules and flights from all airports check Skyscanner.
See “Getting to the start of the walk” below for transfer information.
Getting to the start of the walk
The first hotel is in San Candido (Innichen) and the last in Cortina.
For train arrivals see below:
Transfers from/to train stations:
Outward: 15 mins flat walk from San Candido station to first hotel.
Return: Bus (40 mins) OR Pre-booked taxi transfer (30 mins) from Cortina to Dobbiaco, similarly to Calalzo (bus 60 mins, taxi 45 mins). Note: Limited daily express bus service from Cortina to Venice Mestre station (~€25).
Transfer times and methods are suggested below for the four nearest airports (in order – Innsbruck is the nearest but Verona has more flights). Due to the distance from the airports and the timing of flights it is unlikely that many clients will be able to reach San Candido on the same day as their flight arrival OR to fly home on the same day as leaving Cortina, at least if using public transport the whole way. Care should be taken to ensure that your transfer plans work and have a reasonable margin for inevitable delays.
Outward: Airport bus (10 mins) to Innsbruck then train to San Candido (3 hrs) + 15 mins walk to hotel.
Return: Bus (40 mins) OR Pre-booked taxi transfer (30 mins) from Cortina to Dobbiaco, then train to Innsbruck (3 hrs) + airport bus (10 mins).
Outward: Airport bus to Verona (30 mins) then train to San Candido (4 hrs) + 15 mins walk to hotel.
Return: Bus (40 mins) OR Pre-booked taxi transfer (30 mins) from Cortina to Dobbiaco, then train to Verona (4 hrs) + airport bus (30 mins).
Outward: Airport bus to Salzburg (20 mins) then train to San Candido (4½ hrs) + 15 mins walk to hotel.
Return: Bus (40 mins) OR Pre-booked taxi transfer (30 mins) from Cortina to Dobbiaco, then train to Salzburg (5 hrs) + airport bus (20 mins).
VENICE TREVISO AIRPORT:
Outward: Local bus (20 mins) to Treviso then train to San Candido via Mestre and Verona (6 hrs), OR Pre-booked taxi transfer direct from airport to San Candido (3 hrs).
Return: Direct express bus from Cortina to Treviso (limited daily service, ~€20) then local taxi to airport (20mins) OR Pre-booked taxi transfer direct from Cortina to airport (2½ hrs)
VENICE MARCO POLO AIRPORT:
Outward: Local bus (17 mins) to Venice Mestre then train to San Candido via Verona (5 hrs), OR Pre-booked taxi transfer direct from airport to San Candido (3 hrs).
Return: Direct express bus from Cortina to airport (limited daily service) OR Pre-booked taxi transfer direct from Cortina to airport (2 hrs).
Additional option: VIENNA. Contact us for advice.
For pre-bookable taxi prices see “Prices”.
Full transfer advice, including timetables, is provided in your Walkers’ Pack. Contact us if you would like additional pre-booking information.
Where You'll Stay
The first two-nights are spent in a smart hotel in San Candido and are then followed by a night in a refuge (you will need to carry your night things for a couple of days, and do without your tiaras), and two nights at a family run hotel by a mountain lake (choice of two). Your night/s in Cortina are spent in a small, boutique hotel.
Traditional refuge in a remote valley. See 'More Information' below for details.
San Candido – Posthotel (dinner, B&B)
A comfortable, newly renovated family run hotel in the middle of the old town. Pool.Website
San Candido – Hotel Orso Grigio (B&B)
A lovely hotel overlooking the main square, that has recently celebrated its 550 year anniversary.Website
Val Campo di Dentro – Drei Schuster Hutte (dinner, B&B)
Traditional refuge in a remote valley. Dormitories or twin rooms (no single rooms), shared bathrooms. A private room cannot be guaranteed although we will do our best and single walkers will be in a dormitory (sleeping bag liner required). On Foot will book the accommodation but you will pay locally on departure. ~€60 per person including dinner. Credit cards accepted.Website
Total 5 nights in double/twin room, all breakfasts, 1 evening meal, luggage transfers; full Walkers Pack with route directions, maps, transfer and background information; local telephone support. You will pay locally for the refuge on departure ~€85 per person half board.
All prices are per person unless otherwise indicated, and are based on a standard booking in early July. Prices may vary seasonally and a fixed price will be given to you before you commit.
Single Room Supplement (SRS): from £240
Lone Traveller Additional Supplement (LTAS): from £165
Large Party Saving (LPS): Groups of more than 2 people (on an identical itinerary, on the same booking and booked at the same time) – discount of at least £15 per person
Maximum party size: 10
Alternative hotels in San Candido (half board) and Cortina (B&B) and Misurina (half board), and extra nights in any hotel: Contact On Foot Holidays (seasonal pricing)
Taxi from Venice Marco Polo airport to San Candido: From £310 (1-8 pers)
Taxi from Cortina to Dobbiaco railway station: From £80 (1-3 pers.), £100 (4-8)
Taxi from Cortina to San Candido (eg to return to own car) from £90 (1-3 pers) ,£115 (4-8)
Taxi from Cortina to Venice Marco Polo airport: From £250 (1-3 pers.), £300 (4-8)
Arrange locally: Local bus or taxi as desired
Sending Walkers Packs to addresses outside the UK: £20-£60 (per pack, location dependent)
Guiding by Isabelle (priced per group): From £225 per day irrespective of group size (£265 if overnight stay required)
Our local team
Isabelle has lived and walked in the Cortina area for more than ten years. She works as a walking guide and translator and has a special interest in the First World War Austrian/Italian Dolomite front.