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Call us: +44 (0) 1453 844400Email us: info@mountainkingdoms.com

Worldwide Small Group and Tailor Made Adventure Travel

What’s included

  • A local English-speaking leader
  • Economy class return air fares from the UK (flight inclusive option).
  • A single, timed group transfer to/from the airport on arrival and departure
  • All other baggage transfers as per the itinerary
  • 2 nights 3* hotel accommodation...

Dolomites Circuit Trek

Walking & Trekking

Venice, Italy | Walking & Trekking

Dolomites Circuit Trek
  • Grade:
    • ?
      Moderate / Vigorous

      Moderate: Suitable for anyone who enjoys hill walking.

      Vigorous: Suitable for enthusiastic hill/mountain walkers.

      Find out more...

    Moderate / Vigorous

  • Duration: 8 days from the UK
  • On trek: 6 days
  • Private Departures Available

Land only from £1795

A fully supported trek through the heart of the Dolomites, staying in delightful mountain rifugios.

Highlights

  • Explore the heart of the region on this exhilarating 6-day trek, starting at the foot of the Tre Cime
  • Walking amidst the pillars, pinnacles, and colossal rock walls of the Dolomites
  • Stay in comfortable and welcoming rifugios
  • All your baggage will be transferred for you between mountain huts – walk with just a daypack

Reviews          

From the outset an immaculate and smart Mercedes taxi collected us. Our guide Michele was excellent in every respect, his immense knowledge of the mountains, spoken English, sense of fun and humour all made for a great guide throughout the trek. He thought to book ahead for lunch stops which was essential. The Rifugios were all of a high standard as was the food and wine offer, certainly way...

Mr M R, Cumbria

Next

Just back from MK trip trekking in Dolomites - absolutely superb. A simply amazing holiday. I was extremely happy with every aspect of this trip. It was for me, hugely enjoyable.

Ms T, Herefordshire

Next

I do appreciate the level of accommodation that MK provides – it was a great trip.

Ms S, Yorkshire

Next

Holiday was excellent. Excellent route, weather, views, food and great bunch of fellow travellers. And the guides were outstanding.. We chose this holiday over other similar treks because it promised time spent exploring the military history and the trip exceeded our expectations with an alternative descent down a WW1 tunnel network.

Mrs F, Hampshire

Next

The best one week walking trip I have ever been on. Whatever you do add the Dolomites Circuit to your "bucket list". The scenery is stunning, the route well planned and the mountain Refugios all had a bar with ice cold beers to salute the end of the day.

Mr P Schulz, Berkshire

Next

I've trekked all over the world - but this is now one of my favourite destinations, I can't wait to go back.

Jude Limburn Turner, Mountain Kingdoms

Next

The trip was without equal and simply exceptional in every way. The natural topography is stunning, the trails we followed magnificent, the family run Refugio’s with their clean and well equipped bedrooms/dorms and culinary delights could not have been bettered. And to top it all our guide was simply terrific. His infectious knowledge of the Dolomites, its history and their wildlife and flora...

Mr R Dyson

Next

Holiday was excellent. Excellent route, weather, views, food and great bunch of fellow travellers. And the guides were outstanding.. We chose this holiday over other similar treks because it promised time spent exploring the military history and the trip exceeded our expectations with an alternative descent down a WW1 tunnel network.

Mrs L Fletcher

Next

We were with a mixed group of people who were of mixed ability and age and everyone enjoyed it and felt good about the challenges and their own personal achievements. The area was breathtakingly beautiful the whole way around and we would do the whole thing again.

Mrs E Rothera

Next

Trek greatly exceeded my expectations, the mountains although not particularly high are incredibly dramatic and the scenery changes at almost every turn. Excellent route. At this time of year the spring flowers are stunning. The Rifugio's are superb, food and accommodation was exactly right for a week in the mountains, very comfortable and the staff exceedingly friendly. The trek guides were...

Martin

Next

The 'mechanics' and organisation was up to MK's usual high standard. The Trek itself was probably the most enjoyable weeks walking I have ever done. The scenery was stunning and the guide was excellent. My 8th trip with MK and the as a complete week the best I have been on. I would recommend this ever changing landscape to anyone.

Mr S

Next

View All

The circuit commences in the Sesto Group of mountains that encompass the Tre Cime di Lavaredo. These are bisected by the administrative border between Italy’s German-speaking south Tyrol and the predominantly Italian Veneto region – the frontier between Hapsburg, Austria and Italy until 1918. The entire range was involved in the First World War, and wherever you turn you’ll see evidence, like trench systems gouged by hand out of the rough dolomite surface and defensive barricades of stones heaped up by platoons of soldiers. The circuit continues, crossing the Fanes-Sennes-Braies National Park with a spectacular traverse beneath the blood red Croda Rossa massif and then onto the beautiful Altopiano di Fanes, climbing to one of the most spectacular rifugios in the entire Dolomite range, rifugio Lagazuoi, which perches 700m above the Fouzargo valley floor with 360 degree panoramic views. From here you head south, and then east, concluding the circuit beneath the dramatic Croda da Lago massif, before returning to elegant Cortina d’Ampezzo.

The food and accommodation is a real highlight on this trek, with the delightful family-run rifugios offering an excellent mix of Italian, Ladin and typical mountain fare. A rifugio menu may offer various crispy salads from their own garden, handmade pasta dishes such as homemade tagliatelle with a venison sauce, as well as Tyrolean specialties such as barley soup and tutres (pancakes filled with ricotta cheese, canederli (bread dumplings) with goulash (stew) or in broth and pressknödel (crushed canederli) with sauerkraut. For the sweet-toothed there are delicious cakes and desserts including sweet strudel, kaiserschmarrn (an Austrian crepe-like pancake covered with powdered sugar and jam), and tyrolean sacher torte.

Private Departures

Kirsty and Adam on Kala Pattar close up 800x750

Dolomites Circuit Trek - Private Departures

If you would prefer to travel just with your partner, friends or family, we can arrange a private departure of this holiday. You follow the same itinerary, but travel on dates that suit you. Alternatively we can include elements of this holiday in a bespoke Tailor Made itinerary. Contact our friendly team for details and prices, and to make a booking.


At a glance

Grade:

Moderate / Vigorous

Duration: 8 days from the UK

On trek: 6 days

Max. Altitude: 2,573m / 8,438ft, Forcella Lagazuoi, Day 6

Private Departures Available

Guaranteed to run for a minimum of 5 clients

Maximum group size: 8

Land only joining city: Venice

Accommodation types: Hotel, Mountain refuges

Meal arrangements: Breakfasts and dinners included; lunches are not included.

Itinerary overview
Day Activity
1 (Itineraries may vary by departure, Detailed itineraries can be downloaded below for all departures). Fly to Venice Marco Polo airport. Group transfer to Cortina D’Ampezzo.
2 Drive to Lago Landro and trek to Rifugio Vallandro.
3 Trek to Rifugio Fodara Vedla – ridge traverse under the Croda Rossa Massif.
4 Trek to Rifugio Fanes, Lavarella or Rifugio Muntagnoles in the morning. Afternoon optional walk.
5 Trek to Rifugio Lagazuoi or Scotoni.
6 Trek to Rifugio Passo Giau.
7 Trek under Croda da Lago to Malga Federa. Drive to Cortina d’Ampezzo.
8 Group transfer to Venice Marco Polo Airport. Fly to London.
Leader: Local leader, Dolomites

Our holiday in the Dolomites are led by a passionate, experienced mountain enthusiast who will speak good English in addition to at least one of the principal languages of the region – Italian, German or Ladin. They will have a professional outdoor leadership qualification, know the area well and most importantly, be great fun to trek with. Our leaders are all fully qualified UIAGM/IFMGA guides, all speaking good English.

Local leader, Dolomites

Holiday Itinerary

Download a detailed itinerary
Day 1 - Fly London to Venice (Marco Polo Airport). Group transfer to hotel.

On arrival at Marco Polo Airport, Venice, there will be a single group transfer to your hotel in Cortina. This is timed to fit the group flight, please contact us for further information.

When you arrive in Cortina you will have time to stroll the streets of this elegant resort before dinner.

Overnight icon Overnight: Hotel Beppe Sello Or Similar, Cortina

Day 2 - Drive to Lago Landro. Trek to Rifugio Vallandro, 2,039m/6,691ft - 4-6 hours walking.

Today you will be transferred to Lago Landro, 1,409m/4,622ft, close to the Tre Cime di Lavaredo. Tre Cime di Lavaredo means the 'three peaks of Lavaredo', also called the Drei Zinnen in German and these three distinctive battlement-like peaks from east to west, are Cima Piccola/Kleine Zinne (little peak), Cima Grande/Große Zinne (big peak) and Cima Ovest/Westliche Zinne (western peak). You begin your hike on Route 34 winding up the trail to a saddle at 2,200m/7,218ft. From here you will ascend Monte Specie, 2,307m/7,569ft, for a fantastic view of the surrounding peaks. You will then return to the saddle and descend to Rifugio Vallandro (or Rifugio Prato Piazza) for a late lunch. This will also be your home for the night. Here you will enjoy fantastic views of the Croda Rossa (Red Wall) massif, 2,818m/9,245ft, and the Cristallo group.

In the afternoon you can choose to take an excursion to the top of the Pico di Vallandro, 2,838m/9,311ft. This is a straightforward climb, except for the final narrow exposed track which is fitted with a hand-rail cable. On top, with breath-taking 360° views, you will be able to survey most of the northern Dolomites, from the spectacular eastern Sesto formations, south across the famous Cortina mountains and beyond.

800m/2,624ft ascent, 200m/6,56ft descent.

Overnight icon Overnight: Rifugio Vallandro Or Rif Prato Piazza

Day 3 - Traverse beneath the Croda Rossa Massif, crossing the Fanes-Sennes-Braies National Park to Rifugio Fodara Vedla - 6-7 hours walking.

Today you enjoy a panoramic crossing of the Fanes-Sennes-Braies Park with good wildlife spotting opportunities along the way. Look out for chamois, marmots and ibex. Highlights en route are the spectacular section below the northern face of Croda Rossa Mountain and Prato Piazza, set in an idyllic high-altitude pasture valley.

The walk will take you through forest, lunar landscape and beautiful high alpine pasture land. There is one section with a 500m cable; this is not an actual via ferrata that you clip in to, but "asentiero attrezzato" - a handrail for your protection.

As you descend towards the end of the day's walk, the landscape will increasingly shift from rock-strewn paths to lush meadows and the vistas of the Sennes and Croda Rossa will become increasingly impressive. Croda Rossa is named for its blood red rock, caused by the presence of iron oxide. According to legend though, the mountain blushes in sympathy with Princess Moltina, who as a timid newlywed, was subject to spiteful ridicule when a jealous noblewoman exposed her humble origins as she had been brought up by marmots.

Distance: 14-16 km/8.5-10 miles. 240m/7,87ft ascent 144-290m/472-951ft descent. (Distance and altitude gain/loss depends on the trail followed).

Overnight icon Overnight: Rifugio Fodara Vedla

Day 4 - Altopiano di Fanes - 4-5 hours walking. Optional ascent of Col Bechei or Fanes Alpe in the afternoon.

Departing Rifugio Fodara Vedla this morning, you descend on a steep dirt road, tarmacked in parts. To reach the valley bottom will take about 40 minutes (the last part of the road approaching the valley bottom has a 1:5 slope. If you prefer not to walk this steep downhill section, it may be possible to take a transfer instead. When you arrive at Rifugio Fodara Vedla, ask your guide to arrange this with Arthur, the owner. You will need to pay for this locally.

From Rifugio Pederù, it is a steep climb back up again in the direction of Lago di Limo. When you reach Lake Lé Piciodel, the landscape softens with little lakes and rounded mountain tops along the Ru d'Al Plan River, finally opening out below Rifugio Fanes, 2,000m/6,562ft. From here there are splendid view of the Tofane Mountains. You continue on to your rifugio for the night - either Lavarella or nearby Muntagnoles. Once you arrive, there will be ample opportunity to enjoy additional walks from the hut and we recommend an ascent of Col Bechei, or a circuit on Fanes Alpe.

7 km/4 miles. 417m/1,368ft ascent, 512m/1,680ft descent.

Overnight icon Overnight: Rifugio Lavarella Or Rifugio Muntagnoles

Day 5 - Trek to Rifugio Scotoni, 2,040m/6,692ft, or Rifugio Lagazuoi, 2,752m/9,029ft - 4-5 hours walking.

Today you have a lovely hike through the Altopiano di Fanes to the Lagazuoi Massif. You'll enjoy beautiful panoramas of the Western Dolomites and the Marmolada Massif, the "Queen of the Dolomites." Departing from your rifugio, you trek south on gentle curves out of a steep valley (or on steeper shorcuts) on path n.10/11/Alta Via n.1 to to Passo di Limo, 2,172m/7,126ft. Once you are out of the valley, you will find the beautiful Lago di Limo on your left (to the east). The waters here are all but smothered by gentians, buttercups and globe flowers in summer. Passing an old military building and wooden cross, you trek down for Malga Fanes Grande, 2,104m/6,903, a cheery converted farm offering light meals and basic accommodation. The route continues through the beautiful high meadows and karst formations, climbing to the Forcella del Lago, a narrow and dramatic gap in the mountain with a descent through steep talus on the south side. At the base of the slope is the lake called Lago di Lagazuoi whose green waters are framed by pines with a backdrop of the sheer walls of the Cima del Lago and the Cima Scotoni. Continuing on the same path you will soon reach Rifugio Scotoni. If you are staying at Rifugio Lagazuoi you make a long, steady climb from the lake, entering open, rocky terrain with ruins from the First World War. This brings you to the Forcella Lagazuoi, a pass that separates Lagazuoi Piccolo from Lagazuoi Grande, and, finally, Rifugio Lagazuoi.

Walking distance 9.7 km/6 miles.

Overnight icon Overnight: Rif Lagazuoi or Rif Scotoni

Day 6 - Trek to Rifugio Passo Giau 2,236m/7,336ft – 7-9 hours walking – 17km/10.6miles

You retrace your steps to the lake and begin the long, steady climb to Rifugio Lagazuoi, 2,752m/9,029ft. Entering open, rocky terrain, you'll come across ruins from the First World War. When you arrive at the Forcella Lagazuoi, a pass that separates Lagazuoi Piccolo from Lagazuoi Grande, you can opt for a short detour through these WWI tunnels and fortifications en route to Rifugio Lagazuoi, one of the highest in all the Dolomites with incredible 360-degree vistas.

You can then ride the cable car down to Passo Falzarego - (there is the option to walk down if you prefer - you should discuss this with your guide - this is a descent of 573 m/1,880ft will add about 1.5 hrs to the day's walk). Crossing the roadway at Passo Falzarego, 2,105m/6,906ft, you follow a path to the southeast. The first part of the trail climbs gently across grassy hillsides. As you climb, the terrain becomes rockier, with the occasional grass and wildflower patch, including gentians and pretty pink thrift. Waymarking is regular, and you'll see red and white painted stripes on rocks, some with the trail number painted within. You'll cross several broad debris-filled gullies on this hike, the first of which you'll have a view of the diminutive Lago de Limedes below. At a clearing where the summit route for Punta Gallina forks off (cima, for peak, is painted on a rock), keep left for a brief climb. From here, you'll continue on a level path and come out shortly at Forcella Averau, Averau Pass, 2,435m/7,989ft, with exceptionally fine views back across Passo Falzarego of Lagazuoi and Tofana, and southwest to the grassy slopes of the Livinallongo Valley. When you're ready to leave the pass, continue to follow path n.441 turning sharply left (southeast). This will take you on a mostly level, if somewhat narrow, path that cuts across scree, just below the crumbling southern wall of Monte Averau.

Continue to Rifugio Averau, 2,416m/7,927ft, and descend to the south on path n. 452 to Passo Giau and reach Rifugio Passo Giau, your home for the night. Walking distance: 10.2 km/6.3 miles.

Overnight icon Overnight: Rifugio Passo Giau

Day 7 - Trek from Rifugio Scoittaoli to Malga Federa or Ponte Federa, 12km/7.8miles – 5-6 hours. Drive to Cortina.

Today you will enjoy a beautiful walk around the Croda da Lago massif, 2,236m/1,389ft. From Rifugio Scoittoli you walk towards the Rifugio Cinque Torri and take path 443 to your right, taking you under the Becco de Ra Madogna. This wonderful trail snakes its way around boulders and narrow rocks with views over the Croda da Lago peaks to reach Rifugio Passo Giau, 2,236m/7,336ft. From the Rifugio, you hike uphill to the rear of grassy Col Piombin, that takes its name from past lead mining in the area. The trail leads over the Forcella Giau, 2,360m/7,742ft, with plenty of ups and downs; here the views of the Tofana and Lastoi de Formin are inspiring. The path drops to cross streams, and then gains the earthy saddle Forcella Ambrizzola, 2,277m/7,470ft. From here you walk to Rifugio Croda da Lago Palmieri, 2,042m/6,699ft, and to Malga Federa. From Malga you continue on the dirt road until a crossing where the asphalt starts: here you will find your vehicle which will take you back to Cortina d'Ampezzo.

Your guide may take you on a good, but slightly longer alternative to the descent on the dirt road, a new path, the 'Gores de Federa' which takes you down to the Ponte Federa. The path is not marked on the maps as it was only created in June 2019. This new path follows the course of the Federa River, passing by natural waterfalls and suspended wooden bridges. This alternative is about 30 minutes longer than the standard way.

Host to the 1956 Winter Olympics, Cortina enjoys a reputation for great skiing in winter and is a destination for the international society set all year round with tremendous shopping, dining and nightlife.

Overnight icon Overnight: Hotel Beppe Sello Or Similar, Cortina

Day 8 - Group transfer to Venice Marco Polo Airport for your flight to London.

After breakfast, there will be a group transfer to Venice Marco Polo airport which is timed to fit the group flight. Please check with the office for details.

Map

Map Key

  • Airport Airport
  • Point of interest Point of interest
  • Mountain Peak Mountain Peak
  • Day walk in this area Day walk in this area
  • Flights Flights
  • Internal Transfers Internal Transfers
  • Trek Trek

2022

Dates Availability Land Only Flight Inclusive from
Sun 12 Jun - Sun 19 Jun 2022 Available £1795 Book Contact Us
Sun 4 Sep - Sun 11 Sep 2022 Available £1795 Book Contact Us

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Optional supplements
  • Single room hotels
    From £90
Insurance
  • Cover starts from £66
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No surcharges will be applied to your holiday after you book. Prices on this website are updated regularly. The Flight Inclusive holiday price, or Land Only holiday price, will be confirmed to you at the time you make your booking. There will be no surcharges after your booking has been confirmed.

Flight inclusive holidays

The 'flight inclusive' holiday prices shown on this website are based upon our preferred airlines and the best priced economy class fares we are able to secure at the time of publication.

We will be able to advise on fares with alternative airlines, upgrades to Business Class, and the options for flights from regional UK airports, please contact us for more details.

Booking your holiday
  • Deposit
    From £640

For the majority of our holidays, a deposit payment of £100.00 per person is required to secure your place(s), however a small number of holidays require a higher deposit - please refer to the holiday itinerary for more details. If the holiday departs within 60 days, a minimum deposit of £750.00 per person is required.

Book now!
  1. Book your small group holiday securely online – click the ‘Book’ button next to your chosen departure or visit our How to Book page
  2. Complete and return a Booking Form available to download here.
  3. Call us on +44 (0)1453 844400 and one of our travel specialists will talk you through the booking process.

What’s included

  • A local English-speaking leader
  • Economy class return air fares from the UK (flight inclusive option).
  • A single, timed group transfer to/from the airport on arrival and departure
  • All other baggage transfers as per the itinerary
  • 2 nights 3* hotel accommodation in Cortina, d'Ampezzo, twin share
  • 5 nights in mountain rifugio - shared accommodation
  • 7 breakfasts and 7 dinners included
  • All road transport by private vehicles
  • Sightseeing where specified
  • A free Mountain Kingdoms Water-to-Go bottle
  • The option of joining one of our pre-trip meets in the Cotswolds

What’s not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Optional cable car ascents / descents
  • Lunches and drinks
  • Locally paid bar bills and laundry
  • Optional trips
  • Tips


Read holiday reviews by Mountain Kingdoms travellers.

Overall score:           (Based on 10 reviews)

Dolomites Circuit Trek          

The trip was without equal and simply exceptional in every way. The natural topography is stunning, the trails we followed magnificent, the family run Refugio’s with their clean and well equipped bedrooms/dorms and culinary delights could not have been bettered. And to top it all our guide was simply terrific. His infectious knowledge of the Dolomites, its history and their wildlife and flora made our holiday one of - if not the - most memorable treks my companions and I have enjoyed in all the years we have spent in the Alps. We will be trekking with you again soon.

Dolomites Circuit Trek          

Holiday was excellent. Excellent route, weather, views, food and great bunch of fellow travellers. And the guides were outstanding.. We chose this holiday over other similar treks because it promised time spent exploring the military history and the trip exceeded our expectations with an alternative descent down a WW1 tunnel network.

The trekking holiday was excellent          

We were with a mixed group of people who were of mixed ability and age and everyone enjoyed it and felt good about the challenges and their own personal achievements. The area was breathtakingly beautiful the whole way around and we would do the whole thing again.

Accurately reflects holiday          

Trek greatly exceeded my expectations, the mountains although not particularly high are incredibly dramatic and the scenery changes at almost every turn. Excellent route. At this time of year the spring flowers are stunning. The Rifugio's are superb, food and accommodation was exactly right for a week in the mountains, very comfortable and the staff exceedingly friendly. The trek guides were exceptional and made the week very interesting and fun, they did everything possible to look after us so well. A marvellous week in an exceptional area with a lovely client group.

Great routes and great guides          

The 'mechanics' and organisation was up to MK's usual high standard. The Trek itself was probably the most enjoyable weeks walking I have ever done. The scenery was stunning and the guide was excellent. My 8th trip with MK and the as a complete week the best I have been on. I would recommend this ever changing landscape to anyone.


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